Untitled Demon Hunter Story

  • #1
    This is my first draft of my fan fiction for the Blizzard contest. I was unsure if I wanted to actually right one, but then I sat down and the ball just started rolling and I wrote all of this. Let me know what you think including, spelling/grammatical errors, writing style, and general flow of the story, please. Thanks :D

    STORY -

    “Look Jethera,” Arianna, a mid aged female demon hunter, tells Jethera, a younger inexperienced demon hunter, “Put your bows to your side and grab a handful of knives in each hand. Squat down low to the ground and quickly turn, throwing the knives. Like this,” she finished as she got lower to the ground and spun around, unleashing a fury of knives all around her embedding themselves deep in the four wooden targets around her, “Now you try.”

    Jethera grabbed a handful of knives in each hand looking at them quizzically, unsure if he had grabbed enough. He knelt down concentrating hard on the turn and release. His previous attempts had left him with knives flying wildly off course and bunched up rather than fanned out. He took a deep breath as a sweat drop fell from his brow to the dirt beneath him. He closed his eye and exhaled slowly as he spun around, releasing the knives. He came to a complete stop, opening his eyes to see that the majority of the knives where stuck into the front two targets, and nearly none in the back two. He lowered his head disappointed in himself.

    “I can’t do it,” he sighed.

    “It’s one of the basics, Jethera. You have to master this; it was one of the first ones I mastered. We’ve been out here all day and you’ve only made little progress,” she told him sternly plucking the knives from the wooden foes.

    “Maybe just a little break to nourish my mind would help?” Jethera asked, without looking at Arianna, for he knew the answer, but desperately need one.

    “No, Jethera. Not until you get this down,” She said holding all his knives toward him. He extended a hand to receive the knives and she slammed them into his hand, “Know do it again!”

    Jethera once again gripped the half the knives in each hand and knelt down. Steady breathes formed a small dust cloud beneath him as sweat dripped from his chin. The fury of dust rose around him as he quickly turned, releasing the knives into the wooden targets again, and one particularly going off course. The rouge knife wisped through the air straight for Arianna’s throat. She leaned toward one side and the knife flew passed her and landed in the dirt behind her. She turned retrieving the knife from the ground and stormed toward Jethera.

    “No control! Damn it, Jethera, you need to learn discipline. I’ve had enough with you lack of focus,” she shouted throwing the rouge blade at his feet.

    “I’m trying, but this is hard. Can we practice bow skills? They come much easier to me,” Jethera pleaded, again knowing the answer.

    “No! You need to master this. What are your plans when surround by demons and your bows can’t help you? Do you plan to die?”

    “That won’t happen. My bow skills exceed the other demon hunters’ and my bloodlust will massacre any horde,” he said looking her straight in the eye.

    “Narrow minded boy,” Arianna sneered in reply, “You’ll die, like the rest of the weak, begging the demons for your life, but they won’t think twice when ravaging your body.”

    “You’re wrong! I can hold my own,” the argument grew louder. Both demons hunter standing face to face, ready to explode. Jethera turned away, toward the dark mist of the Dreadlands, “I’ll prove it. I’ll venture into the Dreadlands and come back with head of my victims”

    He turned back toward Arianna, in hopes that she would object or tell him that it’s a suicide mission, but she stood stone faced at him, saying nothing. She shifted her weight and crossed her arms and he stood still looking, wanting for a warning against what he had said. Nothing.

    “So be it. I’ll return by the morning with my victims’ heads,” he turned and started to walk into the darkness, “You’ll see!” he shouted before fading to black.

    As soon as Jethera faded from view, Arianna face shifted to worry. She was still angry with him, but believed that he would be able to complete the challenge that he had decide to uptake. However, she was still worried for his well being as the Dreadlands is a very hostile place where demons still roamed superior. She turned back toward Camp Toyad, paused for a second to rethink her decision to let him go alone, but started walking back to the camp.


    Arianna stood at the camp’s gates in the early morning waiting for Jethera’s return. She sipped slowly on her hot tea, cupping it in both of her hands, capturing the warmth that it gave off. Dreadlands morning were chilling cold, Arianna had wrapped herself in additional clothing, covering her face. She blew on the tea again, taking another long sip. She lowered the cup back down to the silhouette of a figure in the morning fog. She set the tea down on the wooden guard stand next to the gate and drew her weapons. The figure stepped out of the fog to reveal itself as Jethera. She put her weapons back to her sides and ran toward him. His cloak was bloodstained and thrown over his shoulder was a string of demon heads, eight in all. He was limping slightly, one bow pistol still in hand, as Arianna met up with him

    “I did it,” he said, dropping the demon heads next to him with a gleeful smirk, “It was near death, and my bow skills prevailed. I kill all of them, there had to be at least fifteen. I only had time to remove eight heads though, more were coming”

    “I’m surprised… and happy,” Arianna replied with a smile back, “I was worried for you. My anger was ill placed, forgive me, Jethera.”

    “I wasn’t the most understanding either. I know I need to learn more, I know. It’s just so hard sometimes.”

    “You do. Let’s get you back in the camp, cleaned up and rested. Then we’ll train after midday meal. You have graced Toyad with another demon massacre, it will be a good day,” she concluded, picking up the string of eight demon heads throwing them over her shoulder and they walked back into the camp together.

    They arrived at the camp together, but when she turned around to look to Jethera he wasn’t around. She stopped for a moment in an attempt to locate where he had gone, but could not. The barracks that lined the camp appeared different, as if they were transformed in her absence. Suddenly a loud cry came from the east side of the camp, followed by the cackle and taunts of demons. Arianna ran over to the source of the sound to witness a demon killing a woman and child. The horde had broken into the camp and had started to set flame to the buildings. Another child ran from them, but fell to the dirt as an arrow sunk deep into the right side of her back. Arianna’s right side of her back twanged in pain for a second at the sight. She stood frozen as the horde continued to attack the camp. Finally, she drew her bows, but it was too late. Before she could take aim at any of the demons, they had overrun her.


    Arianna was awoken sharply, forcing her to sit straight up in her bed. She breathed rapidly as she around to gain her surroundings, realizing she was in her room. She turned to the side of the bed and stood up, looking around still, confused. She threw on her cloak, ran out of her room and the barracks for the outside. She swung open the door quickly and the bright early morning sun struck her face. She shielded her eyes and drew the cloak in tighter. The light cloak allowed the cold morning air to seep into her clothing, chilling her body. She shivered and turned back inside, walking back down the hallway toward her room, muttering to herself, “A dream. All a dream?” She entered her room once more, grabbed her heavier cloak and wrapped herself in its warmth. She recovered her weapons from the trunk that sat adjacent to her bed and put them on her belt. She left the barracks, heading outside again.

    She walked briskly across the courtyard and toward the main gate, ready to await Jethera’s return. She had the guardsmen open the gate for her, so she could great him and stood waiting. Nervously, she paced back and forth, with no sign of Jethera. She looked to the sun, gauged the time and decided that Jethera was late for his return. She told the guardsmen to shut the gate behind her and left the camp to find Jethera. She walked quick paced toward the darkness as the sounds of the gate shutting behind her echoed in the still air. The morning fog enveloped her as she drew her two crossbow pistols and held them ready at her sides.

    The fog was dense, obstructing her visions, but she was a highly trained demon hunter and sight wasn’t her only method for finding her enemies. She pushed forward through the fog on and on, until suddenly she came to a clearing where all the fog around her seemed to dissipate. She looked around quickly and pulled her crossbow pistol up next to her, ready for an attack, if one occurred. In front of her, no more than fifteen feet away, stood a decrepit tree with vile looking stagnant waterhole below it. She slowly approached it with her crossbow pistols still ready and searching her surroundings.

    Blood spatter came into view which was layered upon the ground at the water’s edge and up the side of the tree. She lowered her pistols putting one back onto her belt’s side and kneeling down at the blood pool. She ran her fingers across the blood and brought it to her nose. She sniffed the blood deeply. Visions of demons and fire flashed before her eyes backed by the sound of people screaming. “Demons,” she said to herself, “Jethera,” she said as she stood back up, scanned the area for any kind of direction from the blood. A line of blood droplets accompanied by a pack of foot prints, directed her off to the west, she followed.


    Three days it had taken Arianna to be greeted by the western shores of the Dreadlands. Across the seas were a group of islands, holding the source of evil as well as Bastion’s Keep and hopefully Jethera. She walked down the rest of the mountain side and onto the shore, where a boat was waiting, to transport warrior to Bastion’s Keep.

    “What’s your business with Bastion’s Keep, demon hunter?” the ships guard asked.

    “I believe demons have captured on of my own and taken him to Arreat Crater. I require passage and supplies from Bastion’s Keep to continue my journey,” Arianna told him.

    “Bastion’s Keep and the crater are not attractions, I assume you are aware,” he said looking up from the warriors that he had been watching enter the ship, “We can give you some supplies, but we urge you to reconsider entering Arreat Crater.”

    “I meant no offense, sir. I’m aware of the importance and dangers of both Bastion’s Keep and Arreat Crater.”

    “Get aboard then, demon hunter,” he said, flagging her onto the ship, “its half a day’s journey to port, so get comfortable.”

    “The names Arianna and I never get comfortable when there are demons to be killed.”


    The ship seemed to take longer than half a day, but the lack of things to occupy oneself with on the ship was high limited. The men drank and gambled or sat around talking of how they’re going to kill demons as if its child’s play. Stories, which Arianna knew wouldn’t come true, for the ones telling them were inexperience and weak minded. Had they been thrown into battle this instant, many of the warriors would die, alcohol or not. Bastion’s Keep came into view as they rounded the southern part of the island and soon after, they came into port.

    “Alright you lot, get off the ship,” the same guard yelled to the warriors. The warrior obeyed, climbed to their feet and stumbled off the ship.

    Arianna waited until everyone was off the ship before leaving herself, but was stopped before she could. “Hey, Arianna, was it? Good luck out there. I hope I will be able to take you and whoever you’re looking for back across very soon,” the guard had wished her, before she departed.

    “Thank you. You’re very kind sir,” she said with a smile and walked down the loading ramp.


    Bastion’s Keep was magnificently large and impressively fortified. Arianna and the other demon hunters were told about Bastion’s Keep and Arreat Crater, but she had never seen them for herself. She followed the main flow of people into the keep and found herself in the main hall. Tables lined the hall, where warriors were sitting eating. She walked to the counter where the food was served and got in line behind a warrior whose head was bandage covering his left eye. She was pushed down the line with the other warriors, the people on the other side of the counter slopping food onto the tray she was given. The said nothing as to what the food was and only grunted when forced to serve the food. At the end of the line were flasks of water, which she grabbed one for herself and found a table where no one was sitting. She sat down and looking to eat the food that was covering her tray, all mixed together and stacked on top of each other. Regardless, she was hungry and started to eat and drink. Quickly, the table that was once empty was filled with her and many other warriors, who were loud and shouted across the table to each other. Once she was finished she slipped away from the table unnoticed and went to find rations for her journey.

    She exited the main hall up a flight of stairs which opened to a level overlooking the Dreadlands below. No sign of movement below was reassuring to her and the warriors that were patrolling Bastion’s Keep. She stopped one, “Excuse me, do you know where I could get some rations,” she asked

    “I do. Go up those stairs there and take a right in the hallway, it’ll be at the end of the hall.”

    “Thank you,” she said to the guard’s back, who was patrolling again.

    She turned and walked up the stairs and down the hall, where she found the rations room, just like the guard had told her. She opened the door, revealing the goods within the room along with an older man. The older man stood behind a small counter around him bread, fruit and barrels of water lined the shelves.

    “Hello, miss,” the elder man said to her with a smile.

    “Greeting, sir,” she replied with a smile his way, “I need to take some rations for my journey, if that’s alright.”

    “Of course and what is your journey, demon hunter?” he asked her.

    She opened her bag and started to fill it with bread and fruits from the shelves, “I’m in search of another demon hunter. He was taken captive by demons and his trail lead back to this island.”

    “And you intend to find him?” he asked.

    “Yes, I do,” she said firmly.

    “That’s a large task. Are you sure that you’ll be able to complete it?”
    she paused. Turning to him, “Who are you?” she asked in wonderment.

    “The name is Nammek, miss. I keep inventory of the rations and I’m somewhat of a soothsayer,” he chuckled to himself.

    “Really?” she said putting the fruit she had in her hand into her bag and walking up to him. He nodded to her question,

    “How convenient. Do you see anything of my future, Nammek?”

    “Come close,” he told her, grasping his hand and closing his eyes, “I see a man… he’s surrounded by demons… he’s changed somehow… and… someone will die from this change. It’s brutal,” he finished letting go of her hands.

    “I will kill those demons around him, soothsayer, they will die. Thank you for your help,” Arianna turned a barrel of water and filled her canteen.

    “Do not be too hasty to judge my tellings. Many tellings are two-faced,” his final warning unheard as Arianna left the rations room, reinvigorate, heading for the front gate ready to start her journey again.

    Arianna came upon the front gates of Bastion’s Keep which were superior larger than anything. The gate itself was at least twice as tall as the walls that surrounds Toyad. Two guard towered flanked the gate, manned with a guard each. She approached the right guard tower, “Have you seen anything strange lately?” she asked the guard.

    “Hah,” the guard responded with. She took over her helmet and turned to Arianna completely, “We’re in the Dreadlands and this is Bastion’s Keep. Demons come to try and claim this area all the time. Strange, happens on a regular basis,”

    “I mean anything completely out of the ordinary, for even a place like this?”

    “I don’t really know. I remember seeing some demons that were walking away from the keep, but hadn’t attacked us.”

    “What about the demons seemed strange?” Arianna pushed further.

    “They had a prisoner; at least it looked like they did. A human, but it wasn’t a guard. And only guards had come on the latest ship.”

    “Do you remember what the human looked like? Or where they were headed?”

    “No, sorry, they were covered in cloaks; I couldn’t see anything about them. It looked like they were headed for the crater. Whoever that human is they’re surely dead now, though.” she finished recanting the story looking out to the crater. Looking back to Arianna she added, “Other than that, some demons that were eating other demons, which is kind of strange.”

    “Hopefully not. You’ve done more than enough to help me,” Arianna told her, “Can you open the gates for me?”

    “Why? You don’t want to go out there. It’s Hell on Sanctuary out there.”

    “I need to find that human.”

    “Impossible, they’re surely dead,” she replied in shock.

    “No, he’s not, I can feel him. Just open the gate, please,” she asked finally.

    “Alright, demon hunter,” she looked to the other guard tower, “Open the gate!” she called.

    The two guards turned to the cranks in their towers and started to turn them. The gate rattled and slowly started to rise. The sound echoed throughout the gateway and out into the desolate Dreadlands. Arianna waited until the gate was completely raised before making her way out into the eerie Dreadlands. Once she had passed through the gate, the call to lower it was heard, rebounding off the gateway. The gate slammed shut behind her and she took a deep breath, there was no turning back now. She started forward, into the heart of the Dreadlands.


    Several hours had passed and finally she came upon the edge of Arreat Crater. The crater was steep and many caves could be seen hollowed out of the wall of it. Sitting along the edge of the crater were many abandoned and long forgotten outlook towers. They were worn and half collapsed with many markings about them, telling tales of battles. Arianna took her first step into the crater and again flashes of demons and fire invaded her senses. The scenes flooded her body and her foot gave way and she fell down the side of the crater, sliding near twenty feet. She came to a stop, he cloaks covered in dust and the visions had stopped. But the sounds continued, only they weren’t scream, instead they were grunts and groans. She looked at her feet and making its way up the crater side was a horrific scene. An old barbarian corrupted by the worldstone shard which protruded out of its back, still glowing with energy, and its arms melded with its weapons, two swords.

    Suddenly the barbarian mutation was upon Arianna swinging the two swords at her with brutality. She flipped back out of the way of the strike and drew her crossbow pistol from her side. As quickly as she had drawn the bows, she had deployed four arrows in the body of the abomination of a barbarian. It stopped for a moment looking down at the arrows that were stuck in its body. With a quickly slash it removed the shafts of the arrows. Angered the barbarian rushed toward Arianna ready for another attack with its deadly sharp sword. Arianna had taken the time to her advantage loading a set of bolas onto her crossbow and launching it at the barbarian. The bolas wrapped themselves around the neck of the barbarian forcing it to stop. The bolas then exploded decapitating the barbarian, whose body then fell to the ground.

    “What was that?” Arianna asked herself. She walked up to the dead barbarian inspecting exactly what it was. But she had little time to do so as four barbarians, with an assortment of melded weapons from mauls and axes to sword and shields were approaching onto her location. She ran away, into a cave that was behind her and into one of the side caves. The barbarians albeit corrupted weren’t mindless and followed her into the cave, their groans getting louder and closer. Arianna opened her weapons bag and started to construct a metal device, which she put onto the floor of the cave and walked further into the cave. She rounded a corner and the metal device started to spin at the approaching barbarians. The sounds of scrapping metal and flesh being ripped and torn permeated the cave completely. She turned to make sure there were no more barbarians following her and to her relief none were.

    She stopped for a moment to sit on the cave floor and rested and reloaded her weapons. She took a swig of the water from the canteen and tore a piece of bread from the loaf and ate it. In the distance of the cave depths came sounds of people talking in a demonic tongue. She stood up peering into the darkness of the tunnel and walked toward the voices, weapons ready. She rounded corner after corner until she came upon flickering torch light off the wall. She peeked around the corner to see a circle of demonic sorcerers gathered around symbols etched in demonic fire on the ground. Arianna leaned back around the corner, putting her back hard against the wall’s corner loading multiple arrows into both of her crossbow pistols. She breathed deep closing her eyes and pulling her crossbows up to her chest. She opened her eyes, rounded the corner pointing her crossbows at the sorcerers already with perfect aim, ready to unleash a fury of arrows onto them.

    But suddenly she stopped, dropping her bows back down to her side and staring at the summoners’ circle frozen. In the middle of the circle now stood Jethera, looking weak and weary. The summoners spoke to him in demonic tongues and he replied with only half demonic tongue.

    “Has’kelrek… Do it… masters!” Jethera said to them, “Jou’tinth…. I’m ready… Tur’jaku!” They responded with more demonic tongues to Jethera and raised their hands high. The demonic fire engulfing Jethera’s body completely.

    “NO!” Arianna yelled at them, snapping back into reality and taking aim again at the dark sorcerers.
    But the summoning was already complete, she was too late. Jethera erupted from the demonic fire and rushed to Arianna before she could fire, his hand gripping her throat. He lifted her from the ground slightly and yelled at her, “You’ve interrupted!” his voice sounded as two voices. His own, plus the now demonic side that had corrupted him, “You will pay for this vile woman!”

    “Jethera…” Arianna managed to speak through his clenching grip, “This isn’t you… fight the corruption… please…” she squealed at the end.

    “NO! This is me, Arianna. I wanted this. You said I needed discipline,” he told her tossing her to the ground at his feet, “You’re damn right! But I didn’t have hatred for demons; I had a love for them. They know what they want and know how to get it. I’m now stronger than ever before.”

    “Please don’t,” she pleaded with him again.

    “You’re so weak like the rest, mother. Begging for your life, but don’t worry, I won’t think twice when I let the lesser demons ravage your body,” he smirked mocking her, drawing a large demonic crossbow and point it at her head.

    Arianna got up, to a kneel position in front of Jethera, “I’m sorry, but you’ve left me no option,” she told him, tears running down her cheeks. She spun quickly, releasing a fan of knives into all of her surroundings, grabbing her crossbow pistols and immediately fleeing after back down the cavernous halls.

    Jethera was quick on pursuit every footstep shaking the cave walls allowing smaller rocks to tumble down the sides of them. His abdomen embedded with several knives and bleeding behind him, his anger flooded from him with bestial roars that boomed through the cave tunnels. Arianna had made it to the end of the cave where she stopped at the sight of another group of corrupted barbarians wandering around. They spotted her and started to make their way over to her. She unloaded the barrage of arrows that she had preloaded onto the horde of barbarians, killing them all. However, Jethera was now standing behind her, his crossbow drawn and aimed at her.

    “Jethera…” she pleaded, “My one and only son…”

    “Not anymore.”

    Jethera fired, his airs ripped through the air until they found Arianna’s body. She collapsed at the entrance of the cave with multiple arrows stuck in her body. “I guess all tellings are two-faced,” she said to herself before dying.
  • #2
    I haven't read this yet (I have a meeting in a few minutes), but I'm excited to see someone else writing about the Demon Hunters. Looking over their "lore," their history and culture are thread-bare and I think that the Hunters could use some fan fiction treatment.

    You should come up with a title. They're great for helping to critically analyze the message and/or point of the story and focusing the story on later editing run-throughs.

    More thoughts when I read it~
  • #3
    I think you should go back through it and read it. I think you would find a lot of the typos and grammar issues yourself.

    So far, all I have read is the intro. I assume you are trying to get across the point that Jethera is more focused on the hatred than discipline side of things. If so, I think this could use some clarification. I think something as simple as: When he closed his eyes, all he could focus on was the demons that destroyed his life. The wooden targets morphed into the demonic possessions that once attacked him physically, still attacking his mentally.

    Maybe allude to what happened to him to become a DH before you actually tell us what happened.

    Also, adding in times where maybe he cuts off Arianna's speech would help exemplify his brashness or frustration.

    I'll try to read more later but I have my own story to write.

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  • #4
    I just finished reading it, and I enjoyed it. :)

    There are some grammar errors and typos spread throughout the text, you should definately re-read it once or twice. Try to do so with a neutral mindset, analyze each line and section carefully. If you find something that doesn't quite make sense, make a notation and come back to re-write when you're finished.
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  • #5
    This would be the second draft. I reread through it fixing errors and changing some things, but I'm sure there are more errors. I'm currently having friends read physical copies of it. I took your advice Scyber, but I can only push the 'hatred' aspect so much, as you'll see why later, but it was a good idea. I know I need a title, but I haven't thought of anything yet. It's not much 'lore' really, but I hope you still like it Mag. Glad you enjoyed it Lorgarn and thanks.

    STORY 2 -



    “Look Jethera,” Arianna, a mid aged female demon hunter, tells Jethera, a younger inexperienced demon hunter, “Put your bows to your side and grab a handful of knives in each hand. Squat down low to the ground and quickly turn, throwing the knives. Like this,” she finished as she got lower to the ground and spun around, unleashing a fury of knives all around her embedding themselves deep in the four wooden targets that surrounded her, “Now you try.”

    Jethera grabbed a handful of knives in each hand looking at them quizzically, unsure if he had grabbed enough. He knelt down concentrating hard on the turn and release. His previous attempts had left him with knives flying wildly off course and bunched up rather than fanned out. He took a deep breath as a sweat drop fell from his brow to the dirt beneath him. He closed his eye and exhaled slowly as he spun around, releasing the knives. He came to a complete stop, opening his eyes to see that the majority of the knives where stuck into the front two targets, and nearly none in the back two. He lowered his head disappointed in himself.

    “I can’t do it…” he sighed.

    “It’s one of the basics, Jethera. You have to master this; it was one of the first ones I mastered. We’ve been out here all day and you’ve only made little progress,” she told him sternly plucking the knives from the wooden foes.

    “Maybe just a little break to nourish my mind would help?” Jethera asked, without looking at Arianna, for he knew the answer, but desperately needed one.

    “No, Jethera. Not until you get this down,” She told him holding out the knives toward him. He extended a hand to receive the knives and she slammed them into his hand, “Now try it again!”

    Jethera once again gripped half the knives in each hand and knelt down. Steady breathes formed a small dust cloud beneath him as sweat dripped from his chin. He closed his eyes again trying to focus on perfecting the ability, but he was overrun by the memories of the demons overrunning his village. The wooden targets transformed into the demons that destroyed his village, that destroyed his life and he began. Dust consumed his feet as he quickly spun, releasing the knives poorly into the wooden targets again, and one particularly going off course. The rouge knife wisped through the air straight for Arianna’s throat. She diverted to one side and the knife flew passed her and landed in the soil behind her. She turned retrieving the knife from the ground and stormed toward Jethera.

    “No control! Damn it, Jethera, you need to learn discipline. I’ve had enough with you lack of focus,” she shouted throwing the rouge blade at his feet, “You can’t let your hatred for demons control your every move.”

    “I’m trying, but this is very hard for me. Could we practice bow skills instead? They come much easier to me,” Jethera pleaded, again knowing the answer.

    “No! You need to master this. What are your plans when you’re surrounded by demons and your bows can’t help you?” Arianna asked him standing over him, “You’ll die out there—”

    “That won’t happen!” he said sternly looking her straight in the eye, “My bow skills are far better than the other demon hunters’ and my bloodlust will massacre any horde—”

    “Narrow minded boy!” Arianna sneered in reply, “You’ll die, like the rest of the weak, begging them for your life, but they won’t think twice when ravaging you body—”

    “You’re wrong! I can hold my own,” the argument grew louder. Both demons hunter standing face to face, ready to explode. Jethera spun around toward the dark mist of the Dreadlands walking several steps away, “I’ll prove it. I’ll venture into the Dreadlands and come back with heads of my victims”

    He pivoted back toward Arianna, in hopes that she would object or tell him that it’s a suicide mission, but she stood stone faced at him, saying nothing. She shifted her weight and crossed her arms and he stood still looking, wanting for a warning against what he had said. Nothing came.

    “So be it. I’ll return by morning light with my victims’ heads, ripped from their bodies,” he turned about and started to walk into the darkness, “You’ll see!” he shouted before fading to black.

    As soon as Jethera figure was lost in the mist, Arianna face shifted to worry. She was still angry with him, but believed that he would be able to complete the challenge that he had decide to uptake. However, she was still worried for his wellbeing as the Dreadlands is a very hostile place where demons roam superior. She turned back toward Camp Toyad, paused for a second to rethink her decision to let him go alone and started walking back to the camp.


    Arianna stood at the camp’s gates in the early morning waiting for Jethera’s return. She sipped slowly on her hot tea, cupping it in both of her hands, capturing the warmth that it gave off. Dreadlands morning were chilling cold, Arianna had wrapped herself in additional clothing, covering her face. She blew on the tea again, taking another long sip. She lowered the cup back down to see the silhouette of a figure in the morning fog. Setting the tea down on the wooden guard stand next to the gate she drew her weapons. The figure stepped out of the fog to reveal itself as Jethera. She put her weapons back to her sides and ran toward him. His cloak was bloodstained and thrown over his shoulder was a string of demon heads, eight in all. He was limping slightly, one bow pistol still in hand, as Arianna met up with him.

    “I did it,” he said, dropping the demon heads next to him with a gleeful smirk, “I was near death, and my bow skills prevailed. I killed all of them, there had to be at least fifteen, but I only had time to remove eight heads though, more demons were approaching.”

    “I’m surprised… and happy,” Arianna replied with a smile back, “I was worried for you. My anger was ill placed, forgive me, Jethera.”

    “I wasn’t the most understanding either. I know I need to learn more, I know. It’s just so hard sometimes.”

    “You do. Let’s get you back in the camp, cleaned up and rested. Then we’ll train after midday meal. You have graced Toyad with another demon massacre, it will be a good day,” she concluded, picking up the string of eight demon heads throwing them over her shoulder and they walked back into the camp together.

    They arrived at the camp together, but when she looked back to Jethera he wasn’t around. She stopped for a moment in an attempt to locate where he had gone, but could not. The barracks that lined the camp appeared different, as if they were transformed in her absence. Suddenly a loud cry came from the east side of the camp, followed by the cackle and taunts of demons. Arianna ran over to the source of the sound to witness a demon killing a woman and child. The horde had broken into the camp and had started to set flame to the buildings. Another child ran from them, but fell to the dirt as an arrow sunk deep into the right side of her back. The little girl sprawled on the ground, clearly not dead, but gravely wounded. Arianna’s right side of her back twanged in pain for a second at the sight. She placed a hand inside her cloak and rubbed her back, feeling her scar. Standing frozen in terror, she was unable to move as the horde continued to attack the camp. Finally, she drew her bows, but it was too late. Before she could take aim at any of the demons, they had overrun her.


    Arianna was awoken sharply, forcing her to sit straight up in her bed. She breathed rapidly as she looked around to gain her surroundings, realizing she was in her own room. She rolled to the side of the bed, sitting then stood up, looking around still confused. She threw on her cloak, ran out of her room and the barracks to the outside. She swung open the door quickly and the bright early morning sun struck her face. She shielded her eyes and drew the cloak in tighter. The light cloak allowed the cold morning air to seep into her clothing, chilling her body. She shivered and reversed back inside, walking back down the hallway toward her room, muttering to herself, “A dream. All a dream?” She entered her room once more, grabbed her heavier cloak and wrapped herself in its warmth. She recovered her weapons from the trunk that sat adjacent to her bed and put them on her belt. She left the barracks, heading outside again.

    She walked briskly across the courtyard and toward the main gate, ready to await Jethera’s return. She had the guardsmen open the gate for her, so she could great him and stood waiting. Nervously, she paced back and forth, with no sign of Jethera. She looked to the sun, gauged the time and decided that Jethera was late for his return. She told the guardsmen to shut the gate behind her and left the camp to find Jethera. She walked quick paced toward the darkness as the sounds of the gate shutting behind her echoed in the still air. The morning fog enveloped her as she drew her two crossbow pistols and held them ready at her sides.

    The fog was dense, obstructing her visions, but she was a highly trained demon hunter and sight wasn’t her only method for finding her enemies. She pushed forward through the fog on and on, until suddenly she came to a clearing where all the fog around her seemed to dissipate. She looked around quickly and pulled her crossbow pistol up next to her, ready for an attack, if one occurred. In front of her, no more than fifteen feet away, stood a decrepit tree with a vile looking stagnant waterhole below it. She slowly approached it with her crossbow pistols still ready and searching her surroundings.

    Blood spatter came into her view which was layered upon the ground at the water’s edge and up the side of the tree. She lowered her pistols putting one back onto her belt’s side and kneeling down at the blood pool. She ran her fingers across the blood and brought it to her nose. She sniffed the blood deeply. Visions of demons and fire flashed before her eyes backed by the sound of people screaming. “Demons,” she said softly to herself, “Jethera,” she continued standing back up, she scanned the area for any kind of direction of the blood. A line of blood droplets accompanied by a pack of foot prints, directed her off to the west, she followed.


    Three days it had taken Arianna to be greeted by the western shores of the Dreadlands. Across the seas were a group of islands, holding the source of evil as well as Bastion’s Keep and hopefully Jethera. She walked down the rest of the mountain side and onto the shore, where a boat was waiting, to transport warrior to Bastion’s Keep.

    “What’s your business with Bastion’s Keep, demon hunter?” the ship’s guard asked.

    “I believe demons have captured one of my own and have taken him to Arreat Crater. I require passage and supplies from Bastion’s Keep to continue my journey,” Arianna told him.

    “Bastion’s Keep and the crater are not attractions, I assume you are aware,” he said looking up from the warriors that he had been watching enter the ship, “We can give you some supplies, but we urge you to reconsider entering Arreat Crater.”

    “I meant no offense, sir. I’m aware of the importance and dangers of both Bastion’s Keep and Arreat Crater.”

    “Get aboard then, demon hunter,” he said finally, flagging her onto the ship, “Its half a day’s journey to port, so get comfortable.”

    “The names Arianna and I never get comfortable when there are demons to be killed.”


    The ship seemed to take longer than a half day, but the lack of things to occupy one with were highly limiting. The men either drank and gambled or sat around talking of how they’re going to kill demons as if its child’s play. Stories, which Arianna knew would not come true, for the ones telling them were inexperience and weak minded. Had they been thrown into battle this instant, many of the warriors would die, alcohol or not. Bastion’s Keep came into view as they rounded the southern part of the island and soon after, they came into port.

    “Alright you lot, get off the ship,” the same guard yelled to the warriors. The warrior obeyed, climbed to their feet and stumbled off the ship.

    Arianna waited until everyone was off the ship before leaving herself, but was stopped before she could. “Hey, Arianna, was it? Good luck out there. I hope I will be able to take you and whoever you’re looking for back across very soon,” the guard had wished her, before she departed.

    “Thank you. You’re very kind sir,” she said with a smile and walked down the loading ramp.


    Bastion’s Keep was magnificently large and impressively fortified. Arianna and the other demon hunters were told about Bastion’s Keep and Arreat Crater, but she had never seen them for herself. She followed the main flow of people in to the keep and found herself in the main hall. Tables lined the hall, where warriors were sitting eating. She walked to the counter where the food was served and got in line behind a warrior whose head was bandage covering his left eye. She was pushed down the line with the other warriors, the people on the other side of the counter slopping food onto the tray she was given. They said nothing as to what the food was and only grunted when forced to serve the food. At the end of the line were flasks of water, one of which she grabbed for herself and found a table where no one else was sitting. She sat down and looked to eat the food that was covering her tray, all mixed together and stacked on top of each other. Regardless of what the food was, she was hungry and started to eat and drink. Quickly, the table that was once empty was filled with her and many other warriors, whom were loud and shouted across the table to each other. Once she was finished she slipped away from the table unnoticed and went to find rations for her journey.

    She exited the main hall up a flight of stairs which opened to a level overlooking the Dreadlands. No sign of movement below was reassuring to her and the warriors that were patrolling Bastion’s Keep. She stopped one, “Excuse me, do you know where I could get some rations,” she asked.

    “I do. Go up those stairs there,” the guard stopped and pointed behind her, “And take a right at the hallway, it’ll be at the end of the hall.”

    “Thank you,” she said to the guard’s back, who was already patrolling again.

    She turned about and walked up the stairs and to the right, down the hall, where she found the rations room, just like the guard had told her. She opened the door, revealing the goods within the room along with an older man. The older man stood behind a small counter around him bread, fruit, and barrels of water lined the shelves.

    “Hello, miss,” the elder man greeted her with a smile.

    “Greeting, sir,” she replied with a smile his way, “I need to take some rations for my journey, if that’s alright.”

    “Of course and what is your journey, demon hunter?” he asked her.

    She opened her bag and started to fill it with bread and fruits from the shelves, “I’m in search of another demon hunter. He was taken captive by demons and his trail lead back to this island.”

    “And you intend to find him?” he asked.

    “Yes, I do,” she said firmly.

    “That’s a large task, demon hunter. Are you sure that you’ll be able to complete it?”

    She paused. Turning to him, “Who are you?” she asked in wonderment.

    “The name is Nammek, miss. I keep inventory of the rations and a lot of the guards come to me to see their futures,” he chuckled to himself.

    “Really?” she asked putting the fruit she had in her hand into her bag and walking up to him. He nodded to her question, “How convenient. Do you see anything of my future, Nammek?”

    “I don’t do that in my old age, demon hunter.”

    “Please, I need to know the path that I’ve chosen is the right one. Will I find Jethera?” she said sadly, “I need to know. I beg of you.”

    “Fine, come close then,” he told her, grasping her hand and closing his eyes, “I see a man… he’s surrounded by demons… he’s changed somehow… and… someone will die as a result of this change. It’s brutal. I can’t see who it is though…” he finished, letting go of her hands, “I’m sorry that I can’t give you specifics, my mind has grown fuzzy—”

    “Nammek, that was excellent, it makes perfect sense to me,” she told Nammek with a comforting hand on his shoulder, “I will kill those demons that want to hurt Jethera; they will die by my arrow. Thank you for your help,” Arianna looked to a barrel of water approaching it and filled her canteen.

    “Do not be too hasty to judge my tellings. Many tellings are two-faced,” his final warning unheard as Arianna left the rations room, reinvigorate, heading for the front gate ready to start her journey again.
    Arianna came upon the front gates of Bastion’s Keep which were superior larger than anything she’s ever seen. The gate itself was at least twice as tall as the walls that surrounded Toyad. Two guard towered flanked the gate, manned with a guard each. She approached the right guard tower, “Have you seen anything strange lately?” she asked the guard who looked to her over her shoulder.

    “Hah,” the guard responded. She took off her helmet and turned to Arianna completely, “We’re in the Dreadlands and this is Bastion’s Keep,” she said motioning around her at Bastion’s Keep, “Demons come to try and claim this area nearly a dozen times a fort night. Strange, happens on a regular basis,”

    “I’m sorry, I should have been clearer. Anything that is complete out of the ordinary for even a place such as this?” she asked again, making sure to emphasize what she fully meant.

    “I don’t know, really. I remember seeing some demons that were walking away from the keep, but hadn’t attacked us,” she told Arianna racking her brain.

    “What about the demons seemed strange?” Arianna pushed further.

    “They had a prisoner; at least it looked like they did. A human, but it wasn’t a guard. And only guards had come off on the latest ship.”

    “Do you remember what the human looked like? Or where they were headed?”

    “No, sorry, the prisoner was covered in cloaks; I couldn’t see anything about them. But it looked like they were headed for the crater. Whoever that human is, they’re surely dead now,” she finished recanting the story looking out to the crater. Looking back to Arianna she added, “Other than that, some demons that were eating other demons, which is kind of strange.”

    “I hope you’re wrong, guard,” Arianna told her, “You’ve done more than enough to help me. Can you open the gates for me?”

    “Why? You don’t want to go out there, surely? It’s Hell on Sanctuary out there.”

    “I need to find Jethera.”

    “The human? Impossible, they’re surely dead,” she replied in shock.

    “No, he’s not. I can feel him. Just open the gate, please,” she asked finally.

    “Alright, demon hunter, it’s your life you’re putting in the hands of the demons” she looked to the other guard tower, “Open the gate!” she called.

    The two guards rounded to the large wooden cranks next to their guard towers and started to turn them. The gate rattled and slowly started to rise. The sound echoed throughout the gateway and out into the desolate Dreadlands. Arianna waited until the gate had completely risen before making her way out into the eerie Dreadlands. Once she had passed through the gate, the call to lower the gate was heard, rebounding off the gateway walls. The gate slammed shut behind her and she took a deep breath, there was no turning back now. She started forward, into the heart of the Dreadlands.


    Several hours had passed and finally she came upon the edge of Arreat Crater. The crater wall was steep and many caves could be seen hollowed out of the wall of it. Sitting along the edge of the crater were many abandoned and long forgotten outlook towers. They were heavily worn and half collapsed with many markings of war gashed deep into the core of the wood, telling gruesome tales of battles. Arianna took her first step into the crater and again flashes of demons and fire invaded her senses. The scenes flooded her body and her foot gave way and she started to tumble down the side of the crater, sliding near twenty feet. She came to a stop, her cloaks covered in dust, but the visions had stopped. But the sounds continued, only they weren’t the screams that haunted her, instead they were grunts and groans. She looked down to her feet and clambering its way up the crater side was a horrific scene. An old barbarian corrupted by the worldstone shard which protruded out of its back, still glowing with energy, and its arms melded with its weapons, two swords.

    Suddenly the barbarian mutation was upon Arianna swinging the two swords at her with deadly force. She rolled back out of the way of the strike and drew her crossbow pistol from her side, standing. As quickly as she had drawn the bows, she had deployed four arrows into the body of the abomination of a barbarian. It stopped for only a moment looking to the arrows that were stuck in its body. With a quickly slash of its gnarled blades, it removed the shafts of the arrows. Angered the barbarian rushed toward Arianna ready for another attack with its deadly sharp sword. Arianna had taken the time to her advantage loading a set of bolas onto her crossbow and launching it at the barbarian. The bolas wrapped themselves around the neck of the barbarian forcing it to stop. The bolas then exploded decapitating the barbarian, whose body fell to the ground.

    “What was that?” Arianna asked herself reloading her weapons. She walked up to the dead barbarian inspecting exactly what it was. But she had little time to do, as four more corrupted barbarians, wielding an assortment of weapons melded to their arms from mauls and axes to swords and shields, were approaching onto her location. She ran, finding a cave that was behind her and continued into one of the side caves. The barbarians albeit corrupted weren’t mindless and followed her into the cave, their bloodthirsty groans getting louder and closer. Arianna opened her weapons bag and started to tinker with metal pieces constructing a metal device, which she laid onto the floor of the cave and walked further into the cave. She rounded a corner as the metal device started to spin at the approaching barbarians. The sounds of scrapping metal and flesh being ripped and torn permeated the cave completely. She turned back down the hall to check to be sure no more barbarians following her, catching a glimpse of the grim scene of blood and metal spew across the floor and walls of the cave.

    She stopped for a moment to sit on the cave floor and rested and reloaded her weapons. She took a swig of the water from the canteen and tore a piece of bread from the loaf and ate it. In the distance of the cave depths multiple voices speaking in demonic tongues rebounded off the cave walls to her. She stood up squinting into the darkness of the tunnel and walked toward the voices, weapons ready. She rounded corner after corner until she came upon flickering torch light off the wall. She peered around the corner to see a circle of demonic sorcerers gathered around symbols etched in demonic fire on the ground. Arianna leaned back around the corner, pushing her back firmly into the wall’s corner loading multiple arrows into both of her crossbow pistols. She breathed deep closing her eyes and pulling her crossbows up to her chest, ready to attack. She opened her eyes, bounded the corner pointing her crossbows at the sorcerers already with perfect aim, ready to unleash a fury of arrows unto them.

    But suddenly she stopped, dropping her bows back down to her side and staring at the summoners’ circle suspended in disbelief. In the middle of the circle now stood Jethera, looking weak and weary. The summoners spoke to him in demonic tongues and he replied with only partial demonic tongue. “Has’kelrek… Do it… masters!” Jethera pleaded to them, “Jou’tinth…. I’m ready… Tur’jaku!” They responded with more demonic tongues to Jethera and raised their hands high into the air, the demonic fire engulfing Jethera’s body completely.

    “NO!” Arianna shrilled, snapping back into reality and taking aim again at the dark sorcerers.

    But the summoning was already complete; she was too late. Jethera erupted from the demonic fire and rushed to Arianna before she could fire, his hand gripping her throat. He lifted her from the ground slightly and bellowed shaking the cave walls, “You’ve interrupted!” his voice sounded as two voices. His own, plus the now demonic side that had corrupted him, “You will pay for this vile woman!”

    “Jethera…” Arianna managed to speak through his clenching grip, “This isn’t you… fight the corruption… please—” she squealed with the finish.

    “NO! This is me, perfected I wanted this more than anything. You said I needed discipline,” he told her tossing her body to the ground at his feet, “You’re damn right! But I didn’t have hatred for demons; I had a love for them. Demons know what they want and know how to get it. I’m now stronger than ever before,” he told her walking around her body, letting his new found powers course through his body.

    “Please don’t—” she pleaded with him again.

    “You’re so weak like the rest of the humans! Begging for your life, but don’t worry, I won’t think twice when I let the lesser demons ravage your body,” he smirked mocking her, drawing a large demonic crossbow and point it at her head.
    Arianna got up, to a kneel position in front of Jethera, “I’m sorry, but you’ve left me no option,” she told him, tears running down her cheeks, crashing into the dirt on the cave floor. She spun quickly, releasing a fan of knives into all of her surroundings. She immediately stood, quickly grabbed her crossbow pistols and with shadowy apparitions in her wake fled back down the cavernous halls.

    Jethera was quick on pursuit every footstep slamming the ground shaking the cave walls allowing smaller rocks to tumble down the sides of them. His abdomen embedded with several knives and bleeding behind him, his anger flooded from him with bestial roars that boomed through the cave tunnels. Arianna finally came upon the end of the cave, her freedom, where she slid to a halt at the sight of another group of corrupted barbarians wandering around below the cave entrance. She promptly attempt to hug the entrance wall to avoid them but they had spotted her and started to make their way to her. She unloaded the barrage of missiles that she had preloaded into the gang of barbarians, killing them all. However, Jethera was now standing behind her, his crossbow drawn and aimed at her.

    “Jethera…” she pleaded, “My one and only son…”

    “Not anymore, Arianna. I have no mother,” he sniggered to himself.

    Jethera fired, his bolts ripping through the air until they found their target, Arianna’s body. She collapsed in the threshold of the cave with multiple arrows stuck in her body. “I guess all tellings are two-faced,” she said softy with her dying breath.
  • #6
    I will give you some more precise critique when I have more time.

    For now, my favorite paragraph was this one:
    Arianna stood at the camp’s gates in the early morning waiting for Jethera’s return. She sipped slowly on her hot tea, cupping it in both of her hands, capturing the warmth that it gave off. Dreadlands morning were chilling cold, Arianna had wrapped herself in additional clothing, covering her face. She blew on the tea again, taking another long sip. She lowered the cup back down to see the silhouette of a figure in the morning fog. Setting the tea down on the wooden guard stand next to the gate she drew her weapons. The figure stepped out of the fog to reveal itself as Jethera. She put her weapons back to her sides and ran toward him. His cloak was bloodstained and thrown over his shoulder was a string of demon heads, eight in all. He was limping slightly, one bow pistol still in hand, as Arianna met up with him.


    It just reads so well and paints a picture.

    One thing I will say for now is to try to give each character a different voice. They all have the same speech patterns and vocabulary. Something as simple as Arianna not using contractions can help separate her from Jethera. The Barbs could have an accent by saying things like "aye" instead of "yes". or using slang or saying 'bout instead of about. Those small things can help distinguish the characters and make the reading flow better.

    Also, I am a but confused how becoming a demon gave Jethera more focus. It made him stronger but only fueled the rage he seemed to already have.

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  • #7
    That's actually something I was reading about. I will have to go back through and edit it. I don't understand what you mean by Jethera getting more focus becoming a demon. It made him stronger and allowed him to understand his priorities better.
  • #8
    so he wasn't perusing more focus? I thought since that is where arianna pointed out was his weakness, that was what he was trying to improve.

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  • #9
    awesome story
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