So, with the kind of slow death of our fan fiction forum, I've decided and been inspired to write a fan fiction in the Diablo world. It will be set around the same time as Diablo III seems to be set (twenty years after the Worldstone was destroyed) but will have very little, if anything, to do with the Worldstone, the Prime Evils, et cetera. Without further adieu, the play-by-play:
"They say far east of the Marshland coasts of lies a forgotten continent, steeped in intrigue and mystery. Miscarcarand, it was called, when Sanctuary was yet young. They say it came from a world even older than ours. They say the Nephalem never knew of it. They say a lot of things, and then they disappear.
Far from the ravages of the Mage Wars, isolated from the morality of mankind, magick was practiced there: very old, very powerful magick, the kind forsaken by the Mage Clans long ago."
I actually really enjoyed this, and I wasn't expecting to.
The story sucked me in quite quickly, although it wasn't exactly the hardest storyline to predict. Damsel in distress? Of course he's gunna save her. :p
So what i'm trying to say issss: Moar plz. :3
Hopefully some more will be up by the time I wake up tomorrow? I look forward to it.
I like that you picked up on that (blatant) use. I figured I could use a stereotype as long as I let the reader know that I was aware I wasn't being original, and in that sense it was okay. [spoil]I tried to mix it up with Meikara by allowing her to be the one to kill Ipa.[/spoil]
(And if you like it, you could consider giving the thread a few stars ;))
Update: After writing half of chapter two from my outline, I realized that I really needed to edit chapter one for coherency. Expect an edited version with new bits in it in about a day. I'll also attach a downloadable file for it so you don't have to read the ugly post version.
Edit: Click here(DEPRECATED) to download chapter one as a PDF- much better for reading purposes. Edited, added a few nuance details, and it now totals just eighteen pages.
Edit: Booyah! Finished my first draft of chapter two. Beginning to edit it tonight. I hope you guys start writing some more stuff, I'm missing my writing buddies in this forum
Witches chase Nyeyon, naked, down a dark path while silver-furred wolves join in the hunt with howls of bloodlust. A dark, vile, thick darkness chokes him as he runs, belaboring his already intense breathing. Everything about him is cloaked in mist and fog except for vague shapes of lanterns and smears of dull colors.
Suddenly, Meikara is bathing in a cauldron of steaming blood before him, her porcline body deteriorating with every passing moment. She cries and moans, her eyes tearing, as her flesh sizzles.
"You are the Tender! You were supposed to keep me safe! Nyeyon, it hurts! It hurts so badly! I think I am going to die here!"
The cauldron bursts to a monstrous new size, as wide as a lake, and Meikara disappears. Nyeyon finds himself dangling from the rim, his feet gracing the top of the frothing scarlet.
"I WILL DEVOUR THE FLAME OF CREATION!" roars a deep, gurgling voice as the center of the cauldron begins to bubble and swirl.
There is a sudden quake and Nyeyon loses his grip, falling deep within the mess, his mouth filling with gore. He is drowing in human blood. He is going to die.
Suddenly, Nyeyon is falling through the center of the mix, a hoarse, powerful laughter weezing at him from all around.
"There is no comradery among thieves!" it teases him.
His body slams against a solid, cold surface. When he opens his eyes, his naked form lies alone in a small circle of light emanating from a lonely star in the otherwise dark heavens. All around him is Void. Three figures dance around him, chanting:
"Blessed are we, Chosen of Oblevo, Coven of Vadon! Blessed are we, Chosen of Oblevo, Coven of Vadon! The Lord Oblevo rewards his servants!"
In a burst of gore they explode, their foulery splattering all over Nyeyon's bare body. The ground then shakes and begins to rupture, hideous, deep-throated laughter emanating from within the cold ground.
Nyeyon jumps to his feet and begins to run. He cannot run fast enough. The Thing is catching up to him. He looks to the sky to see a single star's light, but it is not enough to light his way, and it is fading. Its light extinguishes without warning and Nyeyon is in complete darkness, running blind.
"AS OF OLD, THE VOID WILL CONSUME THE LIGHT!" booms the mammoth voice.
A shrill, feminine scream echoes and then fades in to the background. Meikara?
He turns to run again, fumbling over unseen obstacles, when his foot suddenly falls farther than he expects it to. A pothole.
An alley materializes around him, the windows shuttered with rickety wooden beams, the stone brick road littered with refuse. The Thing is bounding behind him, but before him is the wooden wall. He has no place left to turn. The door to the abandoned house is gone, replaced by a small crevice barely wide enough to see through.
Frantic, he bounds to it. Stooping low, he presses his face to the hole and peaks in. Gaeity and flamboyance greet his eyes: brightly-colored lanterns warm with firelight, dancers in the streets, mobs of familes and friends, rich and poor, are eating and enjoying themselves under a burning dusk sky.
"COME HERE, TENDER! THE CANDLE IS DEAD!"
Failed, failed... I've failed her! Without fully understanding why he thinks it, it comes to his mind, nevertheless.
"FACE ME, WORTHLESS MORTAL! THE VOID HAS A SPECIAL PLACE FOR YOU!"
Nyeyon turns slowly around. The world bleeds of color, everything passing once more in to fog and mist. The vague sound of the celebration roars fleetingly in his ears.
The face he sees is his own, but the voice is not.
"NYEYON, LORD OF THE VOID OF HIS OWN MAKING! FAILURE! STREET RAT! GARBAGE! REFUSE OF THE WORLD!"
The real Nyeyon gropes to his side for his knife, but the belt is gone. Nevertheless, his hand finds a small pouch. In desperation, he tears it open, but it is empty.
Then, the pouch begins to grow rapidly, consuming everything in a rush of sounds and colors and smells. The False Nyeyon, the Thing, desolves in to nothingness.
"I am Meikara. Protect me."
۞ ۞ ۞
Nyeyon awoke with a start. Curled in the corner of the Silver Silk Inn's basement, a fierce cold sweat had drenched his clothing during the night. He shivered, not only from the damp, pervasive chill of the cellar, but from his disturbingly surreal nightmare.
Was that all it was? A nightmare?
The thought was meaningless to contemplate. He had been having the same nightmare for the past two nights, ever since he stalked away from Meikara and left her to take care of the drunken Old Man.
Was that the right choice?
He had nothing to eat since he left them, his body adopting an all-too-familiar uniform soreness. He could barely move.
I'm so tired.
Dazed and alone, he slowly climbed up the cellar wall and crawled out the tiny hole that led to the streets of Kurast and another day of self-indulging misery.
Nyeyon lurked through the early morning, silver sunlight borne on a breeze of fresh air from the riverside, and found himself in a strange state of mental numbness, all the while tainted with a faint, sour tinge of lack of purpose.
He kicked at a fat, patchy-looking rat as it scuttled across the uneven stone brick road. All around him the Achta Polls were being taken down, the ones that had held long ropes of lanterns only last night and for the preceding month. Now they were bare and garish looking things surrounded by the prevailing bleakness of morning.
What am I really doing? Where am I really going with my life?
The thoughts had been coming to him for the larger part of his time away from the Candle and the Old Man.
When did I start thinking like this? What the Hells does it matter? I make my own way.
With all of the festival-spawned apothecaries, tradesmen, and vendors gone with the last day of Ratham, Nyeyon was finding it harder to swipe the usual places he had been for a month. The nobility was forted back in its upper-city sanctuary, Northbank, the rest of civilization was back to its daily routine, and Nyeyon was back to his own: wandering the streets of middle Kurast.
Candles... Tenders... Witches... What was it all, some kind of stupid faerie tale?
Then, someone was walking by him. The details were obscured by the limits of Nyeyon's peripheral vision, but he could tell the person was short. Without a thought, he swiped the first thing that shimmered off its person.
He walked calmly for a little while so the victim would not be alerted, and when he turned around a corner he looked down in to his hand. A tattered piece of cloth with a single golden bead dangled there, staring back at him, daring him to keep it.
"H-hey, mister! That's... that's mine! Give it back!"
Nyeyon turned around slowly, an unfamiliar warm haze growing over his face. ...Guilt?
The voice came from a small boy, no more than half Nyeyon's age, with a strange look of fear mingled with anger on his face. Streaks of dirt, sweat, and tears all dried to his mucky face. His clothes were riddled with tears and holes and he had no shoes.
"You- you give it back or I'll stick you!" The boy sheepishly raised a rusty knife.
Nyeyon noticed that the subtle breeze was gone and the stagnant aroma of the marsh had returned. A thick fog began to mingle with the silver sunlight.
He's gotta be just old enough to talk and he's ready to stab another person... What kind of life is this? How did this happen?
"You know, I'm pretty strong! My parents are gone, but I don't need them!" The small boy was gaining confidence.
It felt like a blade had pierced the long-silenced heart in Nyeyon's chest. Is this how it was with me?
Nyeyon simply observed him. The boy's two small, skinny, malnourished arms held forth the rusted knife shakily. Nyeyon took a few steps toward him and the boy got ready to bolt.
"Hey, wait. Here," Nyeyon tore the gold bead from the cloth and threw it to the boy, "you need this more than I do."
"Um... Yeah. Whatever." And the child was gone.
Nyeyon stood there for a few awkward moments, the beadless cloth clenched in his right hand, and then went on his way.
Not long afterward he found himself walking through the Rut, the dirtiest and poorest street in middle Kurast. On his right and left were the rejects of society: the poor, the slaves, the tribesmen, and the thieves. They sat silently against the buildings and lamp posts for the most part, silent, except for a few more adventurous ones that eyed Nyeyon up and down, judging whether he was worth the effort of mugging.
Bits of mist began to twine their snake-like fingers around every corner, cold dampness consuming warmth where ever it was found. The sky grew steadily more overcast and the destitute pulled their meager wrappings tighter about their ghastly forms.
Is this what I want to be when I'm too old to steal and too sick to move?
Nyeyon thought back to the night he met Meikara, small, frightened, and no older than himself. He remembered the strange awakening his soul felt upon seeing her, upon knowing her as a Candle, that compelled him to do what any self-serving street thief would never do for anyone: fight for someone else's skin. He remembered the strange way she spoke to him in his mind, the way she dispelled the Void curse on him with her touch. He remembered her quivering form as she stepped back from Ipa, Nyeyon's knife plunged in to the witch's back by Meikara's own hand.
No, I need to do something with my life. I won't die alone.
Nyeyon walked for what seemed countless hours down the gloomy length of the Rut. Human depravity, more physical than moral, plagued every corner and curb. Children ran across the streets, draped in tattered cloth, shoeless, ignorant of the mirthless future that lay before them. Nyeyon knew it all too well now.
But what would protecting some girl accomplish?
Logic battled with some surpressed, but growing, heat in Nyeyon's chest.
This just doesn't feel right.
Getting yourself killed over some stupid girl doesn't, either.
But what do I have to lose? Nothing! I'm just a penniless kid stalking the purses of the Golden Way Highway, Cobbleroad, and where ever else the coin jingles idly.
You could lose your life.
More time slipped through Nyeyon's fingers as the war waged on for dominion of his will. For some peculiar reason, Nyeyon could no more drop the subject than take it upon himself to fulfill it. Every thought led to another doubt, and every doubt led to another irrational feeling. He was a maelstrom of misery.
When his thoughts finally quieted, Nyeyon realized that he had wandered far from the Rut and all the other roads he knew so well. Before him, the stone block road was consumed with tall, green grasses. A small, abandoned courtyard laid before him. On three sides it was flanked with massive, four-story walls. Looking heavenward, Nyeyon could see that a vaulted roof once graced the top of the ruins. An ember of fading sunlight pierced the topmost crevice and cut down to the center of the courtyard, falling upon some kind of ancient basin, held up from a surrounding pool of water by a patch of hard, mossy earth. A banyan tree twisted around and over it, filtering the orange glow with its many leaves and hanging moss.
In a word, timeless.
Nyeyon did not look back, though his self implored him to leave this foolishness behind him. His veins once more filled with icy determination, and he knew that he could no more resist the urge to go forward than strangle himself to death with his own hands.
He stepped in to the still pool, which seemed as though it had not been disturbed in hundreds of years. Smooth ripples slid across the glassy surface, kissing the roots of the banyan as they passed. Nyeyon stepped up on to the earthen mound to the basin.
It was empty, cracked on the edges, and filled with moss and moist, but dead, leaves.
Suddenly, all indictators of place and time were dilluded with a persistant blur in Nyeyon's mind, a mental mirage that framed the borders of his consciousness.
Beside him had formed a small flicker of light, like a candle flame, and slowly the light of dusk was drawn from the peak of the ruins to its glow. It grew more brilliant, the light seeming to have a life of its own, mixing and swirling. Then it spoke.
“The Candle cries,
The Tender saves,
The Candle hides,
The Tender braves.
Welcome to the selune, descendent of Achumentos. I bid you bend o'er the basin and you will find it quite different now.”
Its voice came from no specific place, echoing unevenly off everything around Nyeyon.
“Wha-what the heck are you?” he blurted.
Nyeyon sensed it relax, as if in a smile, as its wisps of light slowed and lowered.
“I am Elder Gloam,
The last of my kind,
I' th' mortal home,
Of Light am of mind.
I must show the Tender the way back to his Candle.”
A sheet of light spun from its body, if it could be said to have one, and graced the top of the basin.
“The selune will show you the way.
Time is short, the dusk flees away.”
Nyeyon turned to the basin, and as Elder Gloam had said, it was changed. The debris was now gone. Water that flowed like clouds in the sky stirred in the basin, its edges illuminated by the burning colors of dusk, and it was an opaque mix of swirling orange and golden light.
“Holy Hells,” Nyeyon gasped as a rush of wind blew from the basin through his hair, the clouds shifting and coalescing into surreal blends of color and light. “How do I use it?”
“Grasp the rim and it will take
To th' majestic c'lestial lake.
From the beginning and to the end
You now must go and thus ascend
To stand in primal waters still
And know what must be done to fill
Nyeyon curled his fingers around the basin's edges. “I don't need to go to some stupid lake, I-”
۞ ۞ ۞
In the twinkling of an eye Nyeyon found himself in complete darkness. All was cold, he felt as though he were wrapped in ice, and he could hear drops of water plopping in a pool.
“Hello?” he questioned the passive blackness. His voice echoed for a long time until it faded in to silence.
“Much trouble, this whole matter with the Dragon and the Lady. My children are troubled.” The voice felt prickly, like shots of coldness tingling through his body.
“The Dragon and the Lady? What are you talking about? Who are you?”
“My children,” the voice repeated, yet bodiless. “I have many, they number more than anything you know, but you have never seen one of them.” Silence. “I am the First Cause, the Father of Being, and the Mother of Form. In some worlds I am known as Ruah, though seldom am I spoken of.”
“Why... am I here?”
“Yes, that is the question. Come, step forward.”
Nyeyon could not see his feet. He remembered his first step in to the stairwell of the abandoned house, where he could not see and fell down the stairs in the slippery darkness. Instinct was telling him not to move until he could see.
“The first thing a Tender must know is that he must trust without knowing. Step forward, Tender Nyeyon.”
Well, it doesn't look like there's any way of getting out of here, anyway. Nyeyon took a heavy breath, lifted his foot, and took his first step.
A ring of icy light emanated from his footstep, and what Nyeyon saw disturbed him greatly. The light expanded for countless miles until it was beyond his sight. Nyeyon stood on water.
He jumped in surprise. “What in the world is going on here!”
“Fear not, Created cannot enter again in to the womb of its bearing. You cannot fall through the Lower Water.”
There's an Upper Water...? Nyeyon looked up. Sure enough, the sky was an endless expanse of ocean, though it was not smooth and glassy like the Lower Water; it heaved and roiled in chaos, an ocean in a storm.
“Behold, the Upper Water. It is where all living things dwell. It troubles me greatly, however. Madness stirs in its depths, evil purposes are at work, and the time is coming when my children will war against themselves. It was foretold.”
“Foretold?” Nyeyon repeated.
“Yes, by your own race. Humanity has proven to be the most interesting of my grandchildren. A man named Laben was born forty years ago, by the standard of Sanctuary, with a powerful gift. He was the child of two worlds. The father was of Sanctuary, your own. Do you know what world the mother was from?”
“How would I know? I didn't even know there were other worlds until you told me.”
“I had hoped the Shaman had told you.”
“Yeah, well, we've got problems of our own, you know. Daemons n' stuff.”
The Upper Water shuttered.
“Trag'Oul, the Dragon, was not the wisest of my children, but his foolery did birth yet more interesting things. Regardless, I know not from whence the mother came. It is a mystery even to me, as your mother's spirit was not created in the Lower Water, an enigma.”
Nyeyon shuffled his feet, watching the ripples glide across the glass surface of the Lower Water. “Yeah, so? What did Laben do?”
“Ah, yes. Laben was a powerful prophet, and in his journal he recorded each of his prophecies. To keep them from falling to the Dark, he sealed the journal with his dying breath and had it hidden by a friend.”
Nyeyon waited for Ruah to continue its story, but when it did not, he pressed: “And what does this have to do with me?”
“You have not yet guessed at it? You must find the journal with the Candle.”
The Upper Water rumbled intensely, and then settled.
“Before Laben died, he spoke one last prophecy:
'Before the Three will rise again,
Daemon will cause the Worlds to wane
In to the dark for evermore
Beyond the grand Celestial Shore
And 'low the Lower Sea.'”
“So? What does that mean?”
Ruah did not speak for a long moment, and then: “Below the Lower Water is the third and final ocean: the Void. You know the power of the Void well, Tender Nyeyon. You saw its daemonic servant.”
Nyeyon's mind wandered back to their escape from the deep dungeon below Kurast, running from that consuming, lumbering beast. He remembered his last vision of the building before Utusku magicked them from its collapse; he remembered the chilling darkness it emanated.
“You know what you must do. Find the journal, unlock its hidden prophecies. Only you can open its secrets. Discover its riddles and protect the Candle. Only she can fulfill its charge.”
The waters begin to fade to darkness once more. Nyeyon could feel a cold wind rushing around him, whipping-up the Lower Water in a dazzling mix of ice and sparkling liquid.
“Wait! Where will I find this journal? How will I know where to go?” Nyeyon was shouting now, the sound of the maelstrom consuming his eardrums.
“Follow the Shaman but do not tell him where to go. Only then will you find the way to the journal. Do not fear the Dark or Void, the Lady Miscara's power will protect you so long as you are with your Candle. Do not fail, my children depend on you.”
“But I have more questions! Please, wait!”
“I have no more answers. Go.”
All was gone.
۞ ۞ ۞
Nyeyon was before the selune basin once more, his hands gripping the edges as if for fear of his own life, his knuckles shock white. The strange water was gone from the basin, the dusky light of sundown gone, and Elder Gloam was nowhere in sight. It was a chilly night, cloudy, and the silver disc of the moon peaked over a mountain of heavenly mist. The banyan tree crooked over him, its branches laden with long trails of moss softly flowing in a breeze tinged with the rotting smell of the marshland. He was alone in the ruin.
Damn, he thought to himself, thinking of all the things he was never able to ask Ruah. It was all too bizarre, too fantastical. Nyeyon had seen daemons, powerful magick, and the birthplace of the gods, himself, and could hardly believe it. Maybe it was all just a dream.
He remembered Ruah's charge. “Do not fail, my children depend on you.” It was not a comforting thought. So now I have to find that drunkard old bastard again. Just my luck.
Nyeyon started to leave the ruin, wading through the pool surrounding the selune and stepping back on to the adjacent bank. He looked down the road before him. He was looking straight down the Rut, the homeless curled in corners and sprawled before lightless lanterns in the cold night with little but the rags they wore to keep them warm.
Trag'Oul, Miscara, Tender, Void, Candle...
Nyeyon repeated the foreign words in his head endlessly so that he would not forget them.
“Do not fear the Dark or Void, the Lady Miscara's power will protect you so long as you are with your Candle.”
Nyeyon remembered when he had first met Meikara, when her touch had set him free from a Void curse. So, that was some kind of magick?
A sky made of water, a rhyming, speaking blob of light, and the weight of countless worlds on my shoulders... Weird day.
As he walked up the Rut to the alley beside the Silver Silk Inn, he cast a weary look back to the ruin. It was gone.
۞ ۞ ۞
When Nyeyon awoke the next morning, his only complaint was the crick in his back from sleeping on the cold, damp floor of the Silver Silk Inn's basement. His sleep had otherwise been undisturbed, free of any strange nightmare or prophecy of doom. The usual mist of the morning, always thick in Kurast from the warm air of the marshland meeting the cold air of the Twin Seas, trailed sleepily down from the usual entrance he used. He felt fresh with a new sense of purpose, despite how much that purpose would demand of him.
Sudden thuds rammed against the ceiling above, from the tavern. Nyeyon could hear muffled screams and yells, catcalls and jeers, and got to his feet to begin his morning routine of finding goods to liberate for breakfast. He climbed out, right beneath a boarded window, and leaned his ear close to hear what the commotion was about.
“No tribbies allowed! Didn't you read the damn sign, old man? We don't serve your kind! Get out if you know what's good for you!” The bad temper of the manager of the inn was flaring.
“No, don't hurt him! He didn't do anything to you!” A female voice, pitched with fear.
A typical day in the Silver Silk Tavern.
Nyeyon started to take off for the Gold Way.
“Utusku, do something! Don't let him just hit you like that!”
The name caught Nyeyon by the neck and yanked him backward a step. Meikara?
He ran quietly around to the front of the tavern. He was not the only spectator the brawl had drawn in; merchants and peasants, alike, hovered around the front door and the large windows to either side.
“Damn tribs should know their place- out there in the Fringe with the rest of the freaks not fit to live in civilized society!” jeered a short, bald man in a red cloak lined with white frils and gold trim.
The throng blocked all entrance to the tavern. Nyeyon could not even manage to squeeze an arm through.
“Hey, move out of the way, my friends are in there!” After saying it, Nyeyon thought it odd to consider the two people who dragged him in to this whole mess his friends. No one paid him any attention.
For the love of money.
He snatched the sack hanging from the bald man's fine belt and shoved it in the hands of a man with a large pack slung across his back.
“Hey, look mister, that guy's stealing your gold!” Nyeyon chided the bald man as he tapped him on the shoulder.
The man turned around sharply, “Kid, I don't have any patience for-”
Nyeyon motioned his thumb to the sack in the peasant's hand, who shrugged innocently.
“Ah, we have a thief on our hands, do we? Eidor, Tharn, please take care of this man!”
Nyeyon backed away slightly and watched as the two largest and burliest men stepped to the fringe of the crowd, one cracking his knuckles and the other drawing an immense mace from his back.
The peasant fumbled the sack in his hands nervously and bolted.
“Come back here, you coward! Thief! Thief! Wolves, a thief!” shouted the bald man as he pointed and chased after him. His hentchmen followed suit.
Nyeyon grinned. There's some things magick can't do. He slipped through the gap and in to the tavern.
A crowd as diverse as the one outside was packed in the benches, tables, and around the room of the tavern. Utusku was on his back over the bar, his cane shielded in front of his chest, and the inn keeper was trying to wrestle it out of his grip.
Nyeyon! Meikara's voice was clear in his head.
He scanned the room and found Meikara standing to the side of the scene, her hands frozen in a helpless gesture, her head turned toward him.
We've been looking for you for days! She whispered in his mind.
Yeah, well, I think you guys need me, so I came back. Why doesn't Old Man Utusku use his magick or whatever?
He can't, it's in his cane and he can't move it!
Nyeyon reached for his dagger out of habit, but it was not there. I really need to get myself another one of those, he thought as he remembered losing it to Lera's beastly body.
Nyeyon shrugged his shoulders. I don't know what to do.
Meikara gasped, her eyes fixed behind him.
He turned around. Three Iron Wolves shouldered their way through.
“Alright, outta the way, Wolves are here,” proclaimed Ashak, leading the trio.
“I'm sorry, excuse me- oh, sorry, my fault- no, I'm sorry,” stuttered Yatiraj as he bumped through the crowd.
En'sha made her way through in silence, her hand to her short sword.
The inn keeper relaxed his attack as Ashak came to the front. “The old guy came in- I clearly have a sign at the front: 'NO TRIBBIES!' It's bad for my business, you see. People don't like their kind,” he glared at Utusku, “skulking about.”
“Ah, damn, more of these stupid freaks! Yat, slam some chains on this tribby! That's an account of trespassing, assault-”
“He didn't assault anyone! The inn keeper is the one trying to steal the poor old man's cane-” En'sha was cut short.
“Tsk, tsk, En'sha. You're not the squad leader!” Ashak shook a ribbon in her face that was dangling from his shoulder. “Actually, hold off on that, Yat. I hereby command you, En'sha, to put this tribtrash in chains!” He laughed, quickly joined by most of the onlookers and the inn manager.
“Oh, come on, Ashak, you know she's an Aganok. That's just mean. Why don't you just escort the old guy out? He's not even doing anything to anyone.” Yatiraj was empathetic.
Ashak threw up his hand. “Shut it, Yat. En'sha, slap this guy in irons or I'll have you tried for murder-”
En'sha slapped him across the face, catching him off gaurd, but then retreated backwards a few steps. “You snake! You said that was just between us! I murdered no one!”
“Ah, and shall I have you tried for assault of a squad leader, as well?” He winked at her.
Trembling with rage, she took a pair of iron handcuffs from her sack and walked over to the old man. “I am sorry for this, friend.”
Utusku managed a weak smile and put his wrists out. “I don't want anymore trouble.” He looked over to Nyeyon, and then to Meikara. “Meik, you know what to do.”
She nodded and stared at the floor.
“Come on now, gramps. The prison on the Fringe could use some more tribtrash.” Ashak yanked Utusku to his feet, the Old Man's cane clattering to the floor. Meikara quickly picked it up. Ashak gave her a nasty look, but Yatiraj caught his arm.
“What are you gonna do, arrest an innocent girl?”
Ashak sneered at him. “What are you, jealous your father made me the squad leader and not his only son?”
Yatiraj had a cool temper. “I couldn't care less about a ribbon.”
The three Wolves left with Utusku, all eyes on them. After they were gone, the inn keeper grinned wickedly and went back to work behind the table. “Drinks all around, on the house!” he shouted.
Cheers rang around the room and everyone began to bustle to the bar. Meikara came up beside Nyeyon, cane in hand, and together they left the Silver Silk Inn to the Gold Way, a street basking in the golden aura of the rising sun.
She grasped his arm with surprising strength and turned him to face her when they were safely away from the chaos. “Where in Sanctuary have you been?” Her face was almost tear-struck.
Nyeyon stuttered, wondering how much, if anything, he should tell her. “Well, I did a lot of thinking, and,” he paused, looking around the city, back to the alley that led to the Rut, over to where the ruin should have been and the old building that he found by fate not more than a week ago. “I think I'm coming with you guys.”
“Well, that's just great. Now you decide. Meanwhile, we've been searching all of Kurast for you and Utusku got arrested!” Her sorrow gone, her face was now livid with anger.
Nyeyon rolled his eyes. “It isn't my fault the Old Man got arrested. He almost got me arrested in the first place!”
She turned away from him, her strawberry-blonde hair catching the new daylight so that it seemed like burning gold. “We finally found a boy. He said you tried to steal something from him, but that you gave it back. He said that you were living near the Silver Silk Inn.”
“Ah, yeah, so?” Nyeyon knew his face was beat red and was glad she was not looking.
“So? So, I think you have had a real change of heart, especially coming back to us- to me.”
“I guess you could say that,” he mumbled.
“So it's settled,” she declared, turning back around.
Nyeyon blinked. “What's settled?”
“You're going to help me get Utusku out of prison. The Wolf said it is near the Fringe- do you know what that is?”
“Who wouldn't know what that is?” he asked incredulously. “Kurast has been battling the Aganoks there for years now. I don't think this is such a great idea, though.”
“It's your fault he's there! You're helping me whether you like it or not!” she screamed at him.
Nyeyon started backward, his hands coming up defensively. “Er, yeah, sure!”
As he turned to lead the way to the Fringe, Nyeyon remembered Ruah's words: “Follow the Shaman but do not tell him where to go. Only then will you find the way to the journal.”
I've begun chapter three. When it's completed, chapters one through three will be assembled in to a convenient PDF in book format (and chapter three will be posted here for those that do not like downloading things for whatever reason).
Chapter three should illuminate a lot of things. I can't wait About five pages written of the first draft.
Edit: First draft of chapter three is done. Editing it now, expect it by the end of the night.
Chapter three is finished! Click here to download chapters one through three as a beautiful, organized PDF (title page, page numbers, index, etc.). I will have all of chapter three as a post in here tomorrow (well, today- it's 1:01 AM).
Update on Chapter Four: Sorry it's been taking so long. I want chapter four to be even better than the preceding 52 pages, so I've taken a week to really plan it out (map of the New Kurast region, map of the prison, map of the Fringe, maps of outlying jungle areas, and some deep thought to try and make the characters more alive). I'm almost to my usual halfway mark, and I am hoping it will be done with the coming of Sunday evening. Also, I've been reading through the first three chapters and been finding a lot of contradictions, grammatical errors, and some confusing wording, so everything up to now will be updated.