Posts tagged: fantasy

Books

I finally managed to finish reading two of the books I bought some time ago. I mean “The Dreaming Void” and “The Temporal Void” books. Science fiction books with a touch of fantasy in them, very entertaining I would say. Highly recommended.  They are part of the Void Trilogy but the last book, “The Evolutionary Void“, is not out yet. I have to pre-order it when I can. And I have to look up more books by Peter F. Hamilton ;-)

The Paladin

After leaving the two dark elves, he heads for the woods again. He must search for him. He needs to find him. It’s been months now since the dark elf is searching the woods, but his prey is nowhere to be found. That does not bother him though. He will find him, he knows that. And when he does, he will kill him. He can’t fail his master. Stopping for a while he looks back, to where the inn must be. His thoughts drift for a moment and her image comes into his mind. `Maybe I should stay around for a while. This should be interesting`. He nods to himself. `Yes, I will be back.`. He wonders why he has this sudden interest in the young dark elf. He dismisses the thought now, there are more important matters at hand, he must focus. He is about to move again when a small sound is heard not far away. He snaps instantly. He sees a shadow moving among the tree trunks and his heart skips a beat. `Is it him ?`. But he knows the answer to that question.

-===-

The paladin moves at a fast pace through the woods. He does not like the woods. And he certainly does not like the woods at night. There are other ways to reach the town, but this is the shortest way. He curses himself for taking this route but now it’s too late to turn back. He takes comfort in the thought that the town is not far now. The town is safe. He will get … CRACK!*. The sound seems to him like an explosion in the silence of the night. He stops dead in his tracks and looks down at the broken branch under his boot. `Rats!`. He pushes slowly away the branch. A feeling of terrible dread engulfs him, something is very very wrong, his whole being screams of danger. He lifts his eyes and that’s when he sees him. A man in a dark robe stands still not far from him. He has a staff in his hand. His skin is dark, his hair is white and his eyes are burning with rage. It’s him, there is no doubt about it. The paladin quickly draws his big sword, words are useless. One of them is going to die.

But his hands are shaking. His heart is beating so fast it’s about to burst through his chest. He tries to focus, he’s been trained for this. He tries to calm himself. He fails and the shaking is not stopping. He clenches his hands on the sword’s engraved hilt and charges the dark elf. He makes a powerful swing with his sword, aimed at the dark elf’s head. But his sword hits nothing but air. He loses balance from the power of his strike and stumbles forward. Confused, he turns and the dark elf is behind him. Standing still. Same rage in his eyes. But his lips are moving, whispering unheard words. The paladin staggers violently, his sword drops to the ground. `What’s happening ? What’s happening to me ?!`. Trying to back off he finds out that he can’t, something is holding him still. His panic grows even more. Suddenly he feels like his blood is boiling, like molten lava is flowing through his veins. His skin stretches and starts to spurt, blood oozing from all over his body. Sheer pain explodes in a white flash through his brain. Pain beyond belief. He never thought there could be so much pain. He then starts to scream. Inhuman,  terror-filled screams. Long screams echo through the woods. And the dark elf is watching. The paladin’s bones start to loose consistency and begin to crumble. Soon he falls to the ground like a empty bag, in a pool of blood which is already soaking the ground. The shock makes pain fade away. He is somewhat surprised he is not dead yet. He sees the dark elf approaching, a long curved dagger in his hand. The dark elf puts his dagger to the paladin’s throat and locks eyes with him. It’s over. One quick slash and the paladin’s world fades into darkness.

-===-

The dark elf takes the bloody head and puts it carefully in the special bag he had prepared for this very occasion. He stands up, puts the bag into his backpack and grabs his staff. Looking at the deform pile of flesh and armor in front of him, he feels satisfied. A grin creeps on his face. Although he has no reason, he kicks the blood stained helmet, which lands with a thump into a bush nearby. He just felt like it. He is one step closer to his goal. With that, he heads back to the inn. They must be sleeping because nobody is there. The fire makes weird shadows on the walls. It’s quiet. He heads to a table in a corner, drops his pack to the ground and sits on a chair. He feels a bit tired, but good at the same time. Leaning back in his chair he closes his eyes, lost in a meditative trance but alert at the same time

 

Games and roleplaying

About 8 years or so ago I started playing for the first time online games. Back then it was “Unreal Tournament“, an excellent  first-person shooter. I used to be pretty good at it, I was part of a clan and I was playing in all kind of online matches. Soon after that a guy from work (Hi Volker!) told me about “Everquest” (official website). I ordered it, installed it and started playing shortly after that.

I was instantly hooked! I had always been a fan of the fantasy genre and the immersion that this game provided was amazing. I still remember the feeling of wonder as I was exploring the game world, discovering new zones, doing quests, interacting with people and so on. By today’s standards the game graphics were nothing to write home about but back then they seemed amazing to me. The gameplay is what hooked you.

Even though you can play alone, the game promotes the concept of group playing and after a while I joined a guild, a group of players working towards a common goal. 3 years later when I stopped playing the game I had already had an amazing time and had made a lot of friends ingame. It was during this time that I picked up the concept of roleplaying. Basically roleplaying means you act like your ingame character, leaving the “real life” at the door. I almost always played a dark elf and since they were supposed to be enemies of the “good races”, like the high elves and the like, we always had this good-natured “hate” against them.

This lead to some interesting events and after a while I started writing short stories  based on the Everquest universe. The other day I was browsing the old forums of my guild and found some of the roleplaying stories I posted there. I thought it would be interesting to repost them on the blog. They are all in english and unfortunately they will stay like that. It’s not something I can easily translate, some things just look  plain weird in Romanian. They are a bit dark perhaps and there is some violence in them but again, they are supposed to be roleplaying stories and show how the Everquest  looked like through my character’s eyes. Which was a dark elf necromancer, by the way.

You can view the stories by clicking the new item in the menu at the top of the page or, if you read this through your RSS reader, just click here: Fantasy/Roleplaying. Like I said, they were written some 7 years ago or so and I am sure they have some mistakes in them but I decided to post them the way they are, without correcting them too much. Enjoy ;-)

The Zoo

“Finally !” he says to himself.

After he cleared the forest, the great spires came into view: huge, impressive and beautiful in their simplicity. He was always impressed with them. Although he could use the services of a wizard to get on the moon (druids can do that too, but he really leaves that as a last option), he preffers to use the spires whenever time is not an issue. He remembers first time he saw the spires, long time ago, in another land. He did not believe things that huge existed. He was so stunned that he almost died when that griffawn attacked him from behind. The scar on his back still itches from time to time.

As he approaches the spires, he notices the mass of people and creatures awaiting the teleportation. Sighing inwardly at the sight of so many people, he requests his shard from the Scion that wards the spires. This time they sent down here human female. He takes his shard and moves out of the way, watching her. While she is not a dark elf, he can’t help admiring her curvaceous body that her white robe does a poor job at covering. ‘Not bad at all‘ he thinks. Right then, as if she read his thoughts, she turns her head to him and shots him an icy glare, her deep blue eyes almost glowing. Noticing the bloody corpses not far from her feet, he suddenly decides he will keep further comments for himself.

He moves to one of the huge pilars and, leaning on it, waits patiently for the teleportation. Although he used the spires countless of times so far he still can’t get used to the crowd. You could find here all the races you could think of (and some you would not want to think of). From the big and disgusting trolls and ogres to the small and annoying halflings and gnomes. All kinds of clothes, colors, weapons, smells, growls, snarls. It was all here. It was a zoo, that’s what it was.

He remembers when this place was completely deserted (baring, of course, the ocasional wizard that was appearing every now and then). In those times nobody had any idea what the spires were and what was their use. Until, one day, one of those erudite wizards managed to use the power of the spires to open a portal during one of his experiments. This was a good thing, the dark elf thinks to himself, because the way to the Nexus was opened. More commercial opportunities, travel was easier. More zoo though. Because of the Nexus, herds of people started to pour in. But that could not be helped, he guesses.

He comes back to present, watching the crowd. At some distance from where he stands a group of filthy barbarians are laughing and drinking some liquid which has a very dubious color. One of them says something and the others roar in laughter again. The barbarian puts down his sword and grabs several throwing knives from his belt. He grins and his companions and then, suddenly, throws one knive at the female Scion. The knife reaches her, hits some invisible protective shield and just falls to the ground. The barbarians find this very funny and laugh again, spilling drink on the ground.

These things happened before and the dark elf knows that, eventually, more blood will be soaked into the ground. For some reason the Scions never moved when attacked, nobody knows why. They can not be harmed though. Taking another gulp from the bottle, the barbarian takes another knife and throws again. They laugh again. The Scion does not. She just stands there, motionless but watching the smelly thug intently. Taking another shot from the bottle, the barbarian staggers a bit (too much drink, thinks the dark elf) and grabs the arm of one of his companions so he can steady himself. But the other one just laughs and pushes him away. He stumbles but regains his balance after a few steps and, with some effort, stands up.

Only to be met by the beautiful and cold eyes of the Scion. In his stumbling, he moved too close the her. He does not even have time to blink. With blurring speed, faster than the mind can comprehend, her arm lashes out and she brutally applies one single devastating blow to his head. The barbarian is lifted clear off the ground and lands with a loud thump several feet away. Even from where the the necromancer is standing, he can clearly see that the barbarian’s plate helmet was simply smashed into his brain, the upper half of his head is now only a diformed mass of blood, oozing brains, pieces of metal and bone splinters. He was dead long before he hit the ground. There is a small comotion and the remaining barbarians (who are not laughing anymore) drag the corpse away.

The dark elf shakes his head and chuckles to himself. Some people never learn. Amusements like this one makes it almost worth it to be this close to the Zoo of people. The melodious voice of the Scion is suddenly heard, announcing that the teleportation will begin soon. There is movement in the zoo, people standing up, grabbing their packs, weapons, pets and gods know what else. Getting ready.

After a short while, it happens. The space between the spires is filled with a blue haze. Hot-white balls of light float high above the ground, slowly moving in a circle between the four pillars. Then faster, and faster until they are just a blur of light. The Scion’s body is suddenly engulfed by a column of light. Just before that light lifts off the ground and shots towards the skies, the necromancer feels every single cell parting his body and join the light.

There is a blinding flash of light then everything is over. The Zoo is gone.