Writer's Checkup   21 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of the characters is your "favorite" so far?

    • Corrin
    • Aurora
    • Dain
    • Lacy
    • Garnell
    • Geniora
      0
    • Iolar & Quarden
      0
    • Charles
      0
    • Mareth
      0
    • Teren
      0
    • Minshyl
    • My favorite isn't on here (tag me an I'll add it)

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237 posts in this topic

16 minutes ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

I've decided to finally post some of my writing for my long-fought book series "The Iconar Collective." All feedback is appreciated!

 

I mostly just skimmed it, but that was really good!! Can't wait to read more! Lots of details on the characters, which is awesome!

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2 hours ago, Enter a username said:

This is amazing. 

Why thank you ^_^

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Spoiler

Chapter II - Aurora

First Waterlight | Parallarity Gate, Feylore

    “Here you are, young ’uns,” the driver said, opening the door of the carriage for them, “Parallarity Gate B, Midway. I suppose you can take it from here?”

    Aurora stepped out of the carriage, blinking at the sunlight. “Um… yeah. You just walk through it, right?”

    The driver chuckled. “I don’t know; I’ve never left Feylore myself, y’know. I s’spect they got people there to help you out there. You got your passes, right?”

    Lacy stepped out of the carriage as well; or, rather, leapt out of the carriage, ignoring the footstool that had been put in place to help her down. “Of course we do. Come on, Amy, we have a portal to catch!”

    “Slow down, Lace.” Aurora chastised, stretching a bit. “We still have to get our luggage.”

    “Darn it. I don’t suppose we could buy new clothing in Ivinan?”

    “We don’t have that much money.”

    “Amy, it’s an all expenses paid internship!”

    Aurora shook her head. “They don’t pay for souvenirs. Besides, all the good clothing is sold in Ivinan City, and we won’t be anywhere near there.”

    Lacy huffed, rolling her eyes. “Whatever. I’ll go grab my luggage.” She turned around to fetch her case, but the carriage driver stopped her.

    “Don’t worry, young ‘uns, I’ll take care of that.” The driver flipped open the back compartment of the carriage, then grunted as he lifted out one of their trunks. “Oof, what do you have in here?”

    “Well… everything we own, I guess.” Aurora replied, moving to help him. “Are you sure you got that, sir?”

    The driver chuckled. “You think that just because I’ve put on a few years I can’t handle a heavy sack? Nah, girls, I’m tellin’ you; I got a dwarven blood in me somewhere.” He grunted as he set the case on the ground. “The real question is, are you going to be able to handle that?”

    “Easy.” Aurora replied, grabbing one end of the case. Lacy picked up the other. “It’s pretty easy to lift with two people.”

    The driver nodded, then removed his hat and held it out. “Would either of you be kind enough to leave a tip?”

    “Oh, uh…” Lacy patted down her pockets, pulling out a single silver crescent. “This is all I have on me. I hope it’s enough…?” She dropped it in his hat.

    The driver replaced his hat. “It’s always enough, young ‘un. Just a humble carriage driver, y’know.” He nodded to himself. “So you got parents waiting on the other side?”

    “Oh, we don’t… have parents.” Aurora answered.

    The driver’s brow sank downwards in pity. “You don’t?”

    “We grew up in the Feylore orphanages together.” Lacy replied.

    “Oh, my… so that’s really all you have.” The driver gestured to their case, then quickly removed his hat. “I shouldn’t have asked you for any money. Here, you take this back—”

“No, that’s alright!” Aurora interjected. “We’re not poor or anything. Just… frugal.”

    “I… see.” The driver replaced his hat. “Well, if there’s anything else I can do for you two…”

    “I don’t think there is,” Lacy replied, “but thank you.”

    “Then I’ll be on my way, then.” The carriage driver pulled himself back up onto his seat, then flicked his horse’s reins and wheeled the creature around. “It’s been a pleasure serving you two; Icona bless you, and good luck in Midway!” With those final words, he was gone.

    Aurora and Lacy began half-carrying, half-dragging their shared belongings through the crowded Parallarity platform. The gate itself was halfway up the mountain, but the masses of people waiting for passage began all the way down at the foothills. Thousands of stairs spiraled up the mountainside towards the cave at the top, where the Parallarity Gate resided. Having passed a series of arcane tests in Feylore had granted them guaranteed access to and from Midway for their internship; a good thing, too, as the Gate was only open for the day, and if you didn’t make it in time, you had to wait for a month or two before it reopened.

    The carriage that the Feylore Hierarchy had granted them had deposited them not far from the top, thank goodness; Aurora couldn’t fathom how long it would take the two of them to reach the Gate from the bottom whilst awkwardly lugging their belongings between themselves.

    Aurora was perfectly content to look around in silence. Lacy, however, had other ideas.

    “We could’ve gotten out money back.” Lacy said. “From that driver. Why didn’t we?”

    “Because we’re nice.”

    You’re nice,” Lacy replied, “I’m a jerk.”

    “You’re not a jerk!” Aurora sighed. “For the last time, the only person you’re ever mean to is yourself.”

    Lacy adjusted her grip on the case. “That’s because I’m a jerk.”

    “To yourself, nobody else.”

    “We could keep going in circles, couldn’t we?” Lacy stretched her free arm. “Let’s just get up this darned staircase and then argue.”

    “Agreed.”

    They ascended the remainder of the stairs in silence, broken only by the chatter of the hundreds of people climbing alongside them, or the occasional grunt as they struggled to lift the case over a number of obstacles in their way. The stairs grew more crowded as they neared the top, beginning to fill out with traveling merchants, beggars, and campers awaiting their turn to enter the Parallarity.

    “You have our pass, right?” Lacy asked.

    “Of course I do,” she replied, patting at it in her pocket, “right here. What, did you think I’d lose it?”

    “I mean, your reputation with pens back at the orphanage was rather impressive.” Lacy replied. “You even managed to lose one that was sitting right behind your ear.”

    “In my defense, it was a very slippery pen.” Aurora grunted as they had to lift their luggage over an inconvenient large rock. “And also less talk, more luggage lugging.”

    “More luggage lugging.” Lacy agreed. They ascended the remainder of the path in silence, but evidently that didn’t take very long, as the two of them bumped right into a tall, elven security guard within just minutes.

    “Halt,” the guard said, stooping down a little to come to eye level with them, “do you have your pass?”

    “Yeah.” Aurora fished through her pocket, grabbing a bundle of folded papers and handing them to the guard. “Right here.”

    The guard looked them over. “Aurora and Lacy… no last names? Ah, you came from the orphanage district. So you don’t have any parents here? Any guardians?”

    Aurora shook her head. “No.”

    “Sorry to hear that. I can get you a supervisor to go with you through the gate—”

    “No, that… won’t be… necessary,” Lacy interjected, “we’re fine on our own.”

    The guard raised an eyebrow, but didn’t question them. He continued leafing through the papers. “Alright, so I can get you an entrance in… ah, two weeks? Next passing if I pull the strings.”

    “We have an immediate entry pass…” Aurora patted down her pockets, but found nothing, “Lacy, do you have it?”

    “Would you really trust me to keep track of something as important as our tuition pass?” Lacy scoffed. “No, but I’ll check.” She rummaged through her own pockets—not a long ordeal, but nerve-wracking nonetheless—and came up empty. “I don’t have it.”

    “What?” Aurora considered going through their luggage, but then remembered, “oh, no… we left it in the carriage.”

    Lacy dropped her side of the case. “Are you sure?”

    “Positive.”

    Lacy sat down on the case, releasing a massive sigh. “I knew it was too good to be true. Going through the Parallarity, seeing Midway, learning Arcana in Ivinan.”

    The guard cleared his throat. “Do you… not have your pass with you, then?”

    “We did!” Aurora yelped. “But we… don’t.”

    “Could you let us in?” Lacy asked. “Please? Surely we’re on the roster or something?”

    “There are two people scheduled for immediate entry,” the guard said, “but without a pass, I’m not legally allowed to let you through.”

    “Please?” Lacy begged. “This might be our future.”

    The guard raised an eyebrow, then looked around. He leaned down back towards them, then said in a low tone, “Listen, guys, I can’t get you immediate entry, but there are a few people who haven’t come in today. I’m supposed to fill their spots with the next available group, but I can clear one of them for you two. It’ll be late tonight, though, during Waterlight.” The guard stands up. He cleared his throat and deepened his voice. “I’m sorry, girls. No pass, no entry.” He winked, then scribbled something on a piece of paper and handed it to them. “Good luck.” He whispered.

    Lacy snatched the paper, pocketed it with some impressive finesse, then stood up and grabbed her end of the case. They left the guard, weaving through the masses of people, fey and human alike.

    Aurora gestured Lacy towards an empty bench along the platform, on which they both sat with a tired sigh. After catching their breath for a second, Lacy pulled the paper out of her pocket and read what had been written on it out loud.

    “Parallarity Gate Entrance F,” Lacy read, “give this to the man there at Third Waterlight. Signed: Artus o’Carther.”

    “Sounds like something someone would get in a book,” Aurora remarked, “not real life.”

    “Cool!” Lacy exclaimed, not to Aurora’s surprise. “Do we get to go undercover? Do we get to wear disguises?”

    “More likely we just don’t say anything and get to go to the Academy of Arcana in Ivinan,” Aurora replied, “which is our initial goal, remember?”

    Lacy sighed, then pocketed the note. “Fine, but I don’t fancy the idea of sitting outside during Waterlight.”

    “It’s not like it’ll be a new experience,” Aurora replied.

    Lacy sighed again. “I suppose you’re right, of course. I just don’t like the rain.”

    “Then I recommend we go find some shelter,” Aurora said, “and maybe some food.”

    “Always you and the food, Amy.”

    “What? I’m hungry.”

    “When are you not?” Lacy’s stomach betrayed her, however, releasing a loud growl that probably could’ve been heard for miles. “But I agree. Any of those vendors look interesting?”

 

 

    “You’d best be finding shelter soon, dears.” An aged flatbread vendor woman said. “Waterlight’s coming soon, and my bones tell me it’s going to be a big storm tonight.”

    “We have shelter,” Aurora lied, “we just need food.”

    “Why, you don’t want to pay for anything Old Martha’s selling today, dears,” she replied, “it’s all old and crusty; cold, too. Here, you can get some of this morning’s bread for free.” She handed them some bread wrapped in a towel.

    “Really?” Lacy asked, taking one the towels.

    “Like I said, it’s all cold and crusty.” The woman handed Aurora a towle. She took it, but it was most certainly warm.

    “Thank you,” Aurora said, “we should probably get going now; take cover from the rain.”

    “Of course, dears, and good luck going through the Parallarity Gate!” The vendor woman looked up to the sky, frowning as the storm clouds started to gather. “Good luck indeed.”

    Lacy left the vendor first, Aurora not far behind. The platform had become gradually less crowded as the day had worn on, and by now they could see just about anywhere around the gate. The platform itself was about two or three hundred meters in diameter, all made of a cement mix found only in Feylore. The platform was built partially inside the mountain, where a large building mostly obscured the Parallarity Gate. Several trees stood tall and proud within their artificial planters; Aurora sat down beneath one of these, Lacy next to her.

    “You said we had shelter,” Lacy said, “but we don’t.”

    Aurora gestured to the tree about them. “Tree,” she said simply.

    “No tree is going to protect us from the rain.” Lacy chastised. “You could’ve at least told that lady the truth.”

    “She was nice enough to give us free food; I didn’t want to bother her any more than that.”

    “How do you know she was nice?” Lacy asked. “She probably wanted something.”

    “If she had wanted something, she would’ve charged us.” Aurora sighed. “You know, there are nice people in this world.”

    “Yeah, I know.” Lacy counted on her fingers, displaying all but her thumb on one hand. “At least four. You, the driver guy, that guard, and that lady.”

    “You’re forgetting yourself,” Aurora replied, “you’re nice.”

    “Only when I feel like it.”

    “I might actually agree with that.”

    Lacy laughed, and the two of them fell into silence. Aurora took a bite out of her bread; it was even warmer on the inside, which only made her feel worse about taking it for free. It was good, though, so she finished it even faster than Lacy did; a rare occurrence during most situations. Lacy finished hers soon afterwards, but immediately took to scanning the skies the second she was done. Maybe five minutes later, the first raindrop of Waterlight dropped nearby, followed by a series of others. Soon, droplets were falling through the branches of the trees, and splattering either next to them or on them.

    As the rains began to intensify, Aurora opened up their case of belongings and removed one item: a waterproof blanket, draping it on top of the case to protect it from the rains. She then sat back against the trunk of the tree, hoping that the crisscross of branches over their heads would be more compact near their point of origin. Lacy scooted back to sit next to her, hugging her knees up against her chest and resting against the trunk. Sooner rather than later, the rains had turned to torrents, splattering down on top of both Aurora and Lacy.

    “Icona, I hate Waterlight.” Lacy decided, shivering. “So cold…”

    Aurora nodded in agreement. She had tucked her feet beneath the waterproof blanket that they had covered their belongings with, but that only did so much for her against the downpour. She hugged her own chest, short sleeves leaving her arms bare past the elbows to catch the cold droplets with nothing but skin. The tree did little to protect them.

    Along the Parallarity platform, people ran left and right for cover. The merchants had put up awnings and tarps to protect their stalls from the rain, while still others unfurled umbrellas to protect themselves from the torrents. None took a second glance at the two teenage girls huddled beneath a tree, holding each other for warmth from the downpour and waiting for Third Waterlight to be out of the cold. Neither Aurora or Lacy needed that, though. They had each other—they had always had each other.

    And they had never needed anything else.

I learned how to format things! Yay!

Edited by Channelknight Fadran
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Interesting. I'd love to read more!

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Okay, wow, I really liked this. Like really really liked this. I do have a few nitpicky things, but overall easily 9.8/10. 

On 7/16/2020 at 1:05 PM, Channelknight Fadran said:

   “Oh for the love of Icona, who cares about luggage? We can get new clothes in Ivinan!”

This gave me the wrong impression of Lacy’s character. When I read this for the first time, my impression was that she was some spoiled rich kid who could afford to leave behind their luggage and just get new stuff. Then we learn that they’re broke, homeless orphans, and the luggage isn’t just some stuff...it’s all of their stuff. I get maybe wanting to show her being impatient, but it comes across the wrong way, at least to me. 

On 7/10/2020 at 4:51 PM, Channelknight Fadran said:

    “Oh, Class Identification?” Garnell replied. “Just an easy way to keep track of us soldiers, I guess. Fighters and Heavies in the front, mages and Artilleries in the back, right?”

This seems to be a reference to like DnD style character classes, but I have a hard time believing an actual army would organize it’s men like this. I think I’d need to know more about the war they’re fighting, like is it defensive? Are they invading? What’s the status of the country as a whole, economically? The method that the soldiers get equipment seems iffy too. How prosperous is this nation that they can afford to let its soldiers choose where to fight, how to fight, and what to fight with? It’s like the army signup papers are actually just a DnD character sheet. 
 

Those are just some little details that bothered me or seemed a bit inconsistent. Overall I really really liked it and I would very much want to read the rest. It seems that there’s some sort of worldbuilding magic stuffs going on with the weather in the form of “Waterlight” and that seems really cool. Is the weather on like a perfectly predictable cycle or something? That’s cool, I like that. All the characters seem really in-depth so far as well, really good writing. I hope you share more of the story because I’m genuinely enjoying it!

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58 minutes ago, Danex said:

This gave me the wrong impression of Lacy’s character. When I read this for the first time, my impression was that she was some spoiled rich kid who could afford to leave behind their luggage and just get new stuff. Then we learn that they’re broke, homeless orphans, and the luggage isn’t just some stuff...it’s all of their stuff. I get maybe wanting to show her being impatient, but it comes across the wrong way, at least to me. 

Perhaps I should rewrite that line. I can see how it would confuse somebody.

58 minutes ago, Danex said:

This seems to be a reference to like DnD style character classes, but I have a hard time believing an actual army would organize it’s men like this. I think I’d need to know more about the war they’re fighting, like is it defensive? Are they invading? What’s the status of the country as a whole, economically? The method that the soldiers get equipment seems iffy too. How prosperous is this nation that they can afford to let its soldiers choose where to fight, how to fight, and what to fight with? It’s like the army signup papers are actually just a DnD character sheet. 

I did want to incorporate some D&D-style adventuring party stuff into my army, because I like D&D. I intentionally made things a little unclear to provide some intrigue, but for now I'll just tell you that the Silverclad Enclave is very organized. As for how the war itself works... well, that's a little complicated, and I'll hopefully clear some of it up with the next few chapters.

1 hour ago, Danex said:

Those are just some little details that bothered me or seemed a bit inconsistent. Overall I really really liked it and I would very much want to read the rest. It seems that there’s some sort of worldbuilding magic stuffs going on with the weather in the form of “Waterlight” and that seems really cool. Is the weather on like a perfectly predictable cycle or something? That’s cool, I like that. All the characters seem really in-depth so far as well, really good writing. I hope you share more of the story because I’m genuinely enjoying it!

Well, thank you for pointing those things out! And also, yeah; the weather's really, really predictable. Why? Because I was bored and I wanted it to.

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Speaking of the next post:

Spoiler

Chapter III - Dainspeech

Second Waterlight | The plains, Ivinan

    After traveling for what felt like forever—though it couldn’t have been longer than a few hours—Dain had taken Corrin and the other soldiers to a set of large, interconnected tents along the road to the Broken Fields. They did not completely protect them from the rains, but kept them mostly dry nonetheless. Corrin was content with this, but his captain was not.

    “Look at the state of this place!” Dain was gesturing to a tear in the side of a tent. “They call this place a camp, and it doesn’t even keep us dry!”

    “Is he always like this?” Corrin whispered to Garnell.

    “Well, yes and no.” Garnell seesawed his hands. “There are a number of factors that go into his occasional grumpiness. Usually, it has somethin’ to do with his bein’ tired and a lack of quality in the place where he’s supposed to sleep.”

    Dain turned his eye on Garnell. “Is there a problem?”

    Garnell laughed. “No problem. Corrin’s just complaining about you.”

    “I’m not… complaining.” He turned to face Dain, who had raised an eyebrow.

    “What’s the problem, soldier?” Dain asked.

    “I, uh…”

    “Speak up so I can hear you.”

    Corrin cleared his throat. “I, well… don’t you think you’re being a little nitpicky?”

    Any quiet conversations that had been filling the background silence before were suddenly hushed as several soldiers looked over at Corrin, faces a mixture of disbelief, amusement, and interest. Corrin felt his own fingers tug towards the sword at his side, but he managed to reassure himself that he would not be needing it.

    “Perhaps,” Dain replied, “but answer me this, Soldier Corrin. In the case that a massive army of demons assault the walls about Ivinan City, and said walls have to hold out for exactly three days before reinforcements from Camp Ember arrive, then what would make the difference between invasion and not? There are no stronger defenses in the Iconar Collective than that of Ivinan City’s mighty barricades, but even the impenetrable can become penetrable if there is but one weakness in them.

    “Even the smallest crack, the tiniest nesting hole, could be enough to allow the walls to come crashing down in the case that a Decayer manages to strike the perfect spot. It may be nitpicky, Soldier. Perhaps eyeing every mishandled stitch in the fabric of this tent is unnecessary for the purpose it provides, but if the smallest break in your shield there is enough to let one of those denizens of Sunken Deep pierce through your own defenses and cut out your heart on the end of its spear, then I strongly suggest that you patch it up.”

    With that, Dain left the tent, stepping out into the rains of Waterlight for what reason Corrin could not tell.

    To Corrin’s left, Garnell was whistling quietly. “Well, well,” he said, “Mareth, how long was that?”

    One of the spearmen, lanky, sword-wielding, and wearing a purple coat that signified him as a Striker—the rank above Soldier—tapped the table a couple of times, running something through his mind, before replying, “five, I think. Recruited early Third Firelight, its early Second Waterlight… that makes five hours. New record.”

    Garnell and some of the other soldiers burst out laughing, though the axe-wielding man to Corrin’s left was certainly the loudest. Corrin frowned, unsure how to react.

    “I’m sorry, lad,” Garnell said, managing to contain his laughter, “We haven’t gotten a tenacious soldier like yourself in ages! Five hours. Icona, it took me three days!”

    “What in Sunken Deep’s demons are you talking about?” Corrin demanded.

    “Dainspeeches!” The soldier called Mareth replied. “What you just got was a Dainspeech. Whenever you ask him a question that digs even the tiniest bit under his skin, he’ll hit you full in the face with all the military knowledge his time in the Enclave has given him over the years. Everybody gets one eventually, so we time how long it takes for each new recruit to get their first,” he chuckled a little, “and you just blew the record away like a dead leaf at Second Airlight.”

    “What was the… previous record?” Corrin inquired, still confused.

    “One day, seven hours.” Another soldier said. He was tall and thin, with the most angular face Corrin had ever seen. He also wore a Striker’s uniform. Corrin’s eyes, however, were immediately drawn to a large red birthmark just underneath his eye. “To me.”

    A completely identical soldier—minus the birthmark—frowned. “Um, no, it wasn’t to you, Iolar, it was to me.”

    “Shut it, Quarden.”

    “Twins?” Corrin whispered to Garnell.

    “Twins.” Garnell replied at an equal tone, nodding. He then raised his voice and called, “wasn’t it to both of you?”

    “I was talking to Dain first!” The one with the birthmark—Iolar—said.

    “Yes, but I was talking to him before he started.” The other one—Quarden—replied. “So I’m the most likely candidate.”

    “What were you even talking about?” Corrin asked.

    “Oh, uh…” Iolar frowned. “Good question.”

    “Something about science.” Quarden said, tapping his chin.

    Mareth sighed. “Dain was talking about plants or whatever and how heat made them grow? And then you two interrupted him and talked about photosync or something.”

    “Photosynthesis!” Quarden replied. “And yes, now I remember. He told us that it didn’t matter what your enemy ate for breakfast that morning, your sword was still gonna cut them up.”

    Then we cut him short by correcting him and telling him that we were not, in fact, using swords—”

    “And, rather, a couple pokey polearms.” Quarden nodded. “Those were good times!”

    “Then he assigned you to latrine duty for three days.” Mareth recalled.

    “We asked him if what your enemy ate for breakfast mattered for what left them over the chamber pot.” Iolar laughed.

    “And then he extended our duties to a week.” Quarden concluded.

    Corrin blinked. “That… was a story.”

    “By the time we’re countin’ the minutes until the next recruit’s Dainspeech, you’ll have a few of your own to tell.” Garnell assured him. “Aye, but you gotta meet everyone, though! No reason to be left out just because you’re new; your first Dainspeech is basically your initiation to the group.

    “This here’s Mareth,” Garnell said, gesturing to Mareth, who waved hello, “fellow Fighter Class to you and me. Almost as reckless as I am! Always gettin’ himself hurt.”

    “I do not!” Mareth interjected. “Always get myself hurt.”

    “And your nineteen battle scars?” Garnell asked. “Including the one you managed to get underneath your—

    “Okay!” Mareth yelped, “so I’m a little… tolerant of pain.”

    “I think you’re just crazy.”

    “To each their own.” Mareth decided.

    Garnell took that as an excuse to move along the introductions, gesturing at the twins. “Iolar and Quarden. Spearboys.”

    “Spearmen.” Iolar corrected.

    “Spearman.” Quarden said. “Iolar here’s just a spear.”

    “You’ve basically met ‘em already.” Garnell admitted. “Ain’t much underneath the surface there.”

    “There’s plenty of us underneath the surface!” Quarden countered. “Bones, blood, those muscley things—”

    “You mean muscles?”

    “Yeah, muscles.” Quarden replied. “Okay, so there isn’t much of us beneath the surface.”

    “Speak for yourself.” Iolar said. “I’m basically a genius.”

    Quarden and Garnell both snorted near simultaneously, the second scoffing, “genius. I’d sooner believe that Corrin was a Channelknight!”

    “What’s that supposed to mean?” Iolar asked.

    “I think what Garnell’s trying to say,” Corrin replied, “is that he thinks you’re an idiot.”

    Corrin expected some rebuke there, but instead everyone inside the tent burst out laughing—Iolar included. Garnell was louder than the others, gesturing weakly at Corrin and saying “you pick up fast, lad!”

    Corrin frowned. “What?”

    Garnell patted him on the back—slapped him, really. “You’re gonna fit right in, lad.”

    “Good to… know.” Corrin replied, still confused.

    The others stopped laughing, and Garnell continued introducing him to the many soldiers and strikers by whom he was surrounded. “That there’s Teren, Dain’s brother or summat. He won’t actually tell us.”

    “That’s because you don’t need to know.” Teren replied. He did share some resemblance with Dain, but not a lot. Across his back was a quiver and a bow, and in his hands was one of his many arrows.

    Garnell, evidently content with Teren’s reply, pointed to another person. “That there’s John, our heavy-armorer. Only guy on the crew with an axe bigger than mine! And here you have Uia. He’s our mage; Water Arcana, mostly. Kent here’s our only cavalry, but that’s okay; you don’t usually find anyone on horseback for in a single squadron.”

    John was possibly even taller than Garnell, and definitely larger around. His arms were thick and covered in tough-looking muscles. Despite his intimidating demeanor, he seemed nice enough, exchanging in pleasant (albeit short) conversation with Corrin. Uia didn’t speak much, claiming that he was “not good with people” when Corrin tried to talk to him. Regardless, the short, possibly gnomish man wore the white-and-blue robes of a Master Water Mage, so Corrin had reason to respect him. Kent was staring off into the distance when Corrin introduced himself, and barely spoke a word other than “that’s okay” or “I see,” thoughts obviously far, far away from the matter at hand.

    Apparently, those three soldiers along with the strikers Iolar, Quarden, Mareth, and Teren served as Garnell’s close confidantes within the squadron. There were some other soldiers, but they largely kept to themselves. All of these carried spears, except one, who had a couple handaxes strapped to his belt.

    “So… four fighters, nine spearmen, two artillery, one mage, one heavy armorer and a cavalier?” Corrin asked, trying to remember everyone’s specialities. “What about rogue class? Infiltrator?”

    “You been studyin’ the Ideal Squadron things?” Garnell asked. “Aye, that’s right lad. A good squadron’s got mostly spears, with some fighters up front, a heavy-armorer somewhere between the pikes and the swordsmen, an artillery and a mage or two, and an infiltrator. We’ve got most of those, plus a cavalier, but you’re right in sayin’ that we don’t got any rogue on our team. That’s fine, though; not all squadrons are ideal. Icona, most aren’t as good as ours!”

    “So we don’t reconnaissance?” Corrin asked.

    “Well, yes and no.” Garnell seesawed his hands. “We generally get a description of what’s going on when we take a mission. Destroy a camp, attack a supply train—that kind of thing. Dain tends to scout out the area before we attack, though, and everything usually ends up fine.”

    “Is he really that great?” Corrin asked. “Dain?”

    “Like I said—best in the business.” Garnell cracked his knuckles. “Though he does have his weaknesses.”

    “And those are?”

    Garnell chuckled. “It’s not my place to tell you those, now is it?” He yawned, stretching.

    “You should get some sleep.” A voice said.

    Corrin looked up, pulse quickening for just a second. Dain had reentered the tent, hair matted and soaked with the rain from outside. His uniform and trousers were equally wet.

    “Would you like me to dry those off, sir?” Uia asked, wrapping a Clothwand about his hand.

    “If you don’t mind.” Dain replied.

    Uia closed his eyes, then after a second, flicked his hand backwards. The water covering Dain’s clothing seeped away from the fabric, floating in midair as a thousand little droplets. Mareth jumped out of his seat—the ground—and opened the flap to the tent. Uia opened his eyes, then swung his arm in the direction of the door, the water launching outside like an stone off of a child’s sling.

    Corrin nodded. “Pretty good—better than I did back at the Academy.”

    Uia smiled, looking slightly embarrassed. “I… that’s all I really do around here.”

    Dain nodded to Corrin. “Soldier. I take it that you’ve been… initiated?”

    “That he has.” Mareth replied. “Broke the record, too.”

    Corrin cleared his throat. “My apologies, sir.”

    “No need for that.” Dain replied. “Questioning your leaders is never to be discouraged, except during one situation.”

    “On the battlefield.” Garnell whispered to Corrin.

    “On the battlefield.” Dain said, confirming Garnell’s predictions. Whether or not he had heard Corrin’s childhood friend, he had no idea. “There, its simply your duty to follow orders and stay alive.”

    “Don’t those occasionally contradict each other?” Corrin asked.

    “They can,” Dain admitted, “but in the case that your captain’s orders and your own well-being are in conflict… well, that’s when you have to find courage for yourself.”

    “Stick to your orders?”

    “Sometimes, its more courageous to disobey and protect yourself.” Dain replied. “But it’s different for everyone.” He cleared his throat. “Everyone, I have an announcement to make.”

    The collective of soldiers and strikers in the tent quieted down. Dain, however, did not speak yet, instead watching as a wave of anticipation slowly grew.

    “It’s bedtime.” He said finally. “Get some sleep.”

    The anticipation broke, and Garnell released one last chuckle. “I’ve been waitin’ to hear that line all night.”

    “Why didn’t you just go to sleep earlier?” Corrin asked, glancing about for a clear spot to lie down.

    “With all this racket?” Garnell replied. “Like trying to put out a wildfire with a bellows.”

    “Half of the noise is your own.” Corrin said.

    “And half of it isn’t.” Garnell didn’t bother finding a comfortable spot; he simply collapsed where he was sitting and rested his head on his arms.

    Corrin took the time to spread out a bedroll on the floor, glad to see that he wasn’t the only one—it would’ve been awful it he had gotten strange looks for being the only soldier who tried to keep himself warm while he slept. In fact, Garnell was one of the few that didn’t; he was already snoring, however.

    Pulling himself into the bedroll, Corrin allowed the day’s memories to flow over each other as his body broke out from the day’s walk. Soon, the barest thought of movement evaded Corrin’s limbs, and the darkness of sleep took him into the unknown.

Spoiler

Chapter IV - The Parallarity

Third Waterlight | Feylore Midway

    Shivering, tired, and soaked by the rain, Aurora passed the slip of paper the guard had given her to the man at Parallarity Gate F. He wore the same uniform as all the other guards, the one thing setting him apart from the others being his age.

    The guard considered their note. “So… Cyril is back to his old tricks again, huh? Ah, well, I suppose I’d better let you through.” He took their passes, stamping them then sliding them back to the two of them. “Enjoy your trip through the Parallarity.” He gestured them towards the large stone building that housed the Gate.

    Aurora and Lacy both thanked him in turn as they passed by the guard’s desk to the Gate building. There was a short line here, but it moved forwards quickly, and barely a minute after entering the line, the two girls found themselves standing before the door of the large, stone, domelike building sitting perfectly dry in the mountain cave.

    “Half a second, you two.” The guard by the door said. He peeked into the building through a slit in the door. After a few seconds of looking, he opened it for them. “Alright, head on through.”

    Lacy pushed through the door before it was barely half open, followed by Aurora, who had chosen to be more prudent with her entry. Inside, a single archway stood beneath the light of a few dozen candles, flanked by two men in robes. Both men looked like they had seen many years, and day by day guessed when their last surprise would catch them.

    “Hello, young ones.” The first man said. “Are you prepared to enter the Parallarity and travel to Midway?”

    “Yes, please.” Aurora said, shivering in her soaked clothing. “How does it work?”

    “Simply walk through the gate.” The other answered. “The Parallarity will do the rest.”

    Aurora and Lacy exchanged a glance, then the younger of the two walked through the archway. She did not reappear on the other side, though. Rather, she vanished from Aurora’s view entirely.

    Aurora blinked, but didn’t think twice of it. “My turn?”

    One of the men gestured at the archway in answer. Aurora took an unconscious breath, then stepped through the gate. For a moment, her vision was blank and dark, but it quickly returned, and her breath caught. She was no longer in the torchlit stone room back in the mountains of Feylore. Rather, she was standing within an enormous marble chamber, packed with people of all races from the Iconar Collective. Held up by intricately-carved pillars and hardwood archways crisscrossing the ceiling, with brightstones shedding light on every nook and cranny so that the entire room shone like the firesun, it was a little hard not to stare.

    Behind her, a stone archway identical to that of Feylore stood, surrounded by a loose circle of marble fenceposts behind which the crowds of people flocked, each person portraying varying levels of annoyance and impatience. Some shot her and Lacy glares, waiting for them to exit the circle and let them go on their way into Feylore.

    Lacy, who Aurora had barely noticed walking through the gate, grabbed her arm. “Come on!” She said, excited. She gestured to their case of belongings, which she had been awkwardly dragging across the floors without Aurora’s help. “Help me out with this; we’re in Midway!”

    Aurora didn’t need to be told twice. She picked up the other end of the case and helped Lacy carry it out of the circle and into the crowds. They immediately found themselves in the sea of people, struggling to navigate them and their belongings. Only the occasional attentive person ever made way for them; everyone else remained as tightly packed as a herd of cows inside someone’s closet.

    After a chaotic and claustrophobic minute or two of pushing through the crowds, Aurora could feel Lacy tugging on her end of the case, pulling her out from between two humans and into an open space. Aurora stumbled a little, then righted herself and looked around to get her bearings. Behind her, the initial crowd of people that she assumed had been filling the entire building stood in a rough circle around the gate, barely filling a third of the room.

    Here in the significantly less claustrophobic area of the chamber, Aurora and Lacy could easily carry their belongings, able to avoid any person who happened across them. They found a row of benches (most of which were empty), where they took a seat to rest their arms for a minute.

    “So we’re in Midway,” Aurora said, “but now what? The Arcane Academy is in Ivinan, but how do we get there? Wasn’t there supposed to be someone here to take us to Ivinan? A guide or something?”

    Lacy shrugged. “I don’t know. I think there was, but…” She gestured to the heavy crowd of people around the Parallarity Gate. “I mean, how are we supposed to find them in that mess?”

    “We could ask around.” Aurora suggested.

    Lacy snorted. “Because that would work. ‘Hey, have you seen a person recently? We don’t know who they are or what they look like.’” She gestured at the crowds again. “Because there’s obviously no one here who fits that description.”

    “Oh, lighten up.” Aurora replied. “We’re in Midway now! Let’s go get some fresh air.”

    “I thought I was the optimistic one.” Lacy said, frowning. “You’re supposed to be the depressed cynic.”

    “I’m not depressed.” Aurora said. “Cynical, yes, though.”

    Lacy stretched her arms. “Right, then. Let’s go.”

    They grabbed their luggage and made for the exit. The people were slightly more crowded around here, but nowhere near as clustered together as they were around the Gate. Aurora and Lacy could easily push through, and after a short struggle trying to push open the doors, they broke into the outdoors. There was no rain out here; why would there be, in a land without the Dayseasons? No Firelight, Waterlight, Earthlight, or Airlight to be seen or heard of here. However, despite the lack of rain, small particles still fell from the sky.

    In front of the two girls, a pack of people wearing some expensive-looking clothing frowned at the skies and unfurled some umbrellas; or had a servant do it for them. The less wealthy simply ignored the downfall of the white, snowlike particles. Around them, children grabbed at the flakes, rarely succeeding in their attempts. While she had heard the stories, Aurora did frown at the particles. They weren’t snow. In fact, they smelled of quite the opposite; smoke.

    Lacy grabbed Aurora’s arm, tugging on her sleeve. Aurora turned to Lacy, but she wasn’t looking at her. Lacy pointed off into the distance, pointing to a massive black cloud.

    No, not a cloud. A plume of smoke.

    “Is that—” Aurora asked, not that she needed to be answered.

    Lacy nodded. “The war.”

    For a moment, they just stood and stared. Though they had to be miles and miles away, Aurora could’ve sworn she that she could’ve seen the hail of arrows, blasts of fire from the mages, and heard the battle cries from humans and demons alike as they clashed sword on sword in the thick of the battlefield.

    “You don’t think that’ll be us in a few years, do you?” Lacy asked, interrupting Aurora’s thoughts. “Mages on the battlefield?”

    Aurora frowned. “I sure hope not; all that looks pretty chaotic.”

     Lacy sat down on their case. “Well, even if that happens, we have to become mages first. Which means, first and foremost, we have to get to Ivinan. That was supposed to happen after a certain few people came to take us there. However, their lack of presence here makes me paranoid about if we’re ever going to get to Ivinan, become mages, and possibly join the army.”

    Aurora blinked. “Well aren’t you a little pessimistic?”

    Lacy nodded, sighing. “You’re right. I’ve got to be more upbeat, don’t I?” She cleared her throat, falsely deepening her voice. “I’m sure that those certain few people are only a few minutes away from dragging us to mage school in Ivinan and drafting us into the military! We just have to be patient.”

    Aurora laughed. “Very nice.”

    “Aurora?” A voice called. “Lacy?” A rushed-looking woman wearing a mage’s robe ran forwards, eyes locked on the two of them. “Is that you, you two?”

    Aurora looked to the woman. “It’s us.”

    A look of relief flashed across the woman’s face, her hand leaping to her chest. “Thank goodness! We’ve all been worried sick.” She rushed forwards, offering her free hand. “I’m Geniora, Master Arcane Mage. I’ll be your Earth Arcana instructor at the Academy.”

    “Really?” Aurora asked. “Like, they sent an actual Master to get us, and not some servant?”

    “Of course!” Geniora smiled. “You children may very well be the future of Ivinan and the Iconar Collective. Besides; we don’t have servants.” She turned to leave, beckoning them to her. “Come, now! You were supposed to be in Ivinan and on your way to the Academy hours ago. We haven’t a moment to lose!”

    “See?” Lacy said, getting up and grabbing one end of their case. “I told you that we should’ve been optimistic.”

    Aurora laughed, grabbing the other end. They carried it awkwardly after the mage, until Geniora turned around and frowned. “Oh, allow me to get that.” She picked it up and slung it over her shoulder, and despite the loose sleeves of Geniora’s robes, Aurora could clearly see the lines of powerful muscles barely straining to lift such a heavy load. “Follow me, you two. The sooner we get to Ivinan, the better.”

    Geniora led them through the streets of Feylore Midway. Lining the cobblestone walkways were buildings big and small; mostly taverns, inns, and shops, but a few houses stood as well. Merchants called for people to buy their wares, which they had brought from realms across the Iconar Collective—the finest metalwork of Drakefell, medicines from Vitera, even empty Soulcages from Carnon.

    “You there!” One merchant called, pointing to Lacy. He did not stand before a shop, or even behind a vendor cart. He carried a large backpack, but as far as Aurora could tell, that was the only thing he had on him. “Could a beautiful young lady like yourself be interested in one of my handcrafted flutes?”

    Lacy shook her head. “No, sorry.”

    “We don’t have any money on us.” Aurora told him.

    “I never said I wanted money.” The merchant replied. “If wealth was only determined by crescents, then this would be a sad, dark world.”

    “We should probably… go…” Aurora said, awkwardly sliding away from the merchant and towards Geniora. Lacy followed her, eyes still on the merchant.

    “We’ll meet each other again.” The merchant said.

    Aurora raised an eyebrow at the strange remark, but for some reason she found herself nodding, and somehow believing this stranger.

    As they left, she could hear the strange merchant laughing quietly to himself.

    “What do you say, Icona? Channelgirl or no?”

 

Edited by Channelknight Fadran
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Okay, this time I’m gonna record my thoughts as I read it, First impressions and all that. 
 

Dain’s giving me Kaladin + Dockson post-Kelsiers Death vibes. Kal but less depressed and maybe more professional? More veteran-y. I like him. 

14 minutes ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

Corrin blinked.

I like it when authors do stuff like this. I really can’t explain it, but it’s good. 

15 minutes ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

Berserkia don’t exist.” Garnell said.

Name’s a bit on the nose. Also, The Thrill. 

16 minutes ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

    “There’s plenty of us underneath the surface!” Quarden countered. “Bones, blood, those muscley things—”

    “You mean muscles?”

    “Yeah, muscles.” Quarden replied.

Lol. 

18 minutes ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

“genius. I’d sooner believe that Corrin was a Channelknight!”

:ph34r:

19 minutes ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

“So… four fighters, nine spearmen, two artillery, one mage, one heavy armorer and a cavalier?” Corrin asked, trying to remember everyone’s specialities. “What about rogue class? Infiltrator?”

D&D party.

20 minutes ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

“We generally get a description of what’s going on when we take a mission. Destroy a camp, attack a supply train—that kind of thing.

D&D quests. 

21 minutes ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

Uia closed his eyes, then after a second, flicked his hand backwards. The water covering Dain’s clothing seeped away from the fabric, floating in midair as a thousand little droplets.

Waterbendiiiiinnng :lol:

22 minutes ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

Corrin nodded. “Nicely done.”

Ok, first actual nitpick. Corrin is brand new and the way this is phrased makes it seem a little condescending. Like a superior talking to someone serving under them. Corrin just thought:

24 minutes ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

Regardless, the short, possibly gnomish man wore the white-and-blue robes of a Master Water Mage, so Corrin had reason to respect him.

I think Corrin should be a little more....impressed? I think Uia’s response can be exactly the same, but maybe Corrin should just say “Woah!”. Although, maybe Corrin wouldn’t really be that impressed because I assume Corrin’s had experience with magic before from what he says in the first chapter. Anyways, back to reading the rest. 

30 minutes ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

Corrin took the time to spread out a bedroll on the floor, glad to see that he wasn’t the only one—it would’ve been awful it he had gotten strange looks for being the only soldier who tried to keep himself warm while he slept. In fact, Garnell was one of the few that didn’t; he was already snoring, however.

I like this paragraph, does a good job of showing the mild anxiety that comes with joining a new group. Makes everything seem more natural. 
 

All-in-all, I liked this chapter just as much as the first 2. Maybe better considering how I only had one tiny nitpick instead of 2. I’m very intrigued with this whole world, I have so many questions. If this was a published book, I don’t think I’d be able to put it down so far.  I’ll read chapter 4 later however, as I gotta do some work now. 

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4 minutes ago, Danex said:

Name’s a bit on the nose. Also, The Thrill. 

I might take that out. I barely remember adding it, so it's probably not important.

Quote

:ph34r:

;)

Quote

Ok, first actual nitpick. Corrin is brand new and the way this is phrased makes it seem a little condescending. Like a superior talking to someone serving under them. Corrin just thought:

I think Corrin should be a little more....impressed? I think Uia’s response can be exactly the same, but maybe Corrin should just say “Woah!”. Although, maybe Corrin wouldn’t really be that impressed because I assume Corrin’s had experience with magic before from what he says in the first chapter. Anyways, back to reading the rest. 

You're right about this part. Dunno how I'm gonna change it yet, but you're right.

Quote

Waterbendiiiiinnng :lol:

WATERBENDIIIIINNNG

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Ok, let’s read the next chapter, shall we?

11 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

Lacy pushed through the door before it was barely half open, followed by Aurora, who had chosen to be more prudent with her entry.

There goes Lacy being impatient again. I like how you keep the characters consistent.

11 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

“Hello, young ones.” The first man said. “Are you prepared to enter the Parallarity and travel to Midway?”

    “Yes, please.” Aurora said, shivering in her soaked clothing. “How does it work?”

    “Simply walk through the gate.” The other answered. “The Parallarity will do the rest.”

    Aurora and Lacy exchanged a glance, then the younger of the two walked through the archway. She did not reappear on the other side, though. Rather, she vanished from Aurora’s view entirely.

    Aurora blinked, but didn’t think twice of it. “My turn?”

    One of the men gestured at the archway in answer. Aurora took an unconscious breath, then stepped through the gate. For a moment, her vision was blank and dark, but it quickly returned, and her breath caught. She was no longer in the torchlit stone room back in the mountains of Feylore. Rather, she was standing within an enormous marble chamber, packed with people of all races from the Iconar Collective. Held up by intricately-carved pillars and hardwood archways crisscrossing the ceiling, with brightstones shedding light on every nook and cranny so that the entire room shone like the firesun, it was a little hard not to stare.

Wooo, lotta subtle world building here. “Brightstones”, “firesun”, “Feylore”. More examples of magic. Very nice. Not blatantly explaining much, just dropping words here and there. 

11 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

   Lacy snorted. “Because that would work. ‘Hey, have you seen a person recently? We don’t know who they are or what they look like.’” She gestured at the crowds again. “Because there’s obviously no one here who fits that description.”

Lol again. 

11 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

There was no rain out here; why would there be, in a land without the Dayseasons?

More subtle worldbuilding. Very nice. 

11 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

“We’ll meet each other again.” The merchant said.

HOID HOID HOID HOID

 

11 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

Firelight, Waterlight, Earthlight, or Airlight

11 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

 Uia closed his eyes, then after a second, flicked his hand backwards. The water covering Dain’s clothing seeped away from the fabric, floating in midair as a thousand little droplets.

11 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

They weren’t snow. In fact, they smelled of quite the opposite; smoke.

11 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

“According to the textbooks, it spans twenty miles at fifty feet tall, and about twenty feet  thick.”

11 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

“I’m Geniora, Master Arcane Mage. I’ll be your Earth Arcana instructor at the Academy.”

Hmmmm, where have I heard the words “Water, Earth, Fire, and Air” used a lot, seen people have the ability to magically move water, seen smoke be mistaken for snow, and seen a city related to “earth” with a really big wall.......
:P


Okay, this was a pretty good chapter. Not a ton happens, kinda just a transition chapter, but we still get a lot of info, So far there’s been a really good balance between Corrin’s POV and the girls. I’m not more invested in one of another. This is good because otherwise people tend to get bored of certain characters POV and only read them to get through to the character they care about.

*cough* Sarene *cough* Raoden *cough

I can’t wait to read more of this!

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5 hours ago, Danex said:

HOID HOID HOID HOID

:ph34r:;)

Quote

Hmmmm, where have I heard the words “Water, Earth, Fire, and Air” used a lot, seen people have the ability to magically move water, seen smoke be mistaken for snow, and seen a city related to “earth” with a really big wall.......

Don't worry, I'll stop Avataring and get to more Iconar Collectiving in a few chapters, once I manage to really explain the seperate magic systems.

Thanks for all the feedback; and I like that you like it! (Did I really just write that sentence?)

 

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Here's a map of Ivinan by the way. Hope it helps clear some stuff up:

Ivinan.jpeg

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Triple posting! Whoohoo! I am on a roll!

This chapter's shorter (a lot shorter), but that's okay, because it's also ambiguous!

Spoiler

Chapter V - Omens

First Earthlight | The plains, Ivinan

    As the other soldiers breathed quietly in the state of sleep (exempting Garnell, of course, who was releasing a loud series of snores), Dain sat on a stool, sharpening his blade. His whetstone scraped against the blade, shaving off rust, dirt, and oddity stains that could’ve come from anywhere. The rains had ended just minutes ago; and his inability to fall asleep led him to want to do something.

    So he sharpened his sword, sitting on a stump, staring aimlessly into the distance.

    You did as I asked, yes? The voice asked him.

    Dain sighed, then set his sword down. “Listen, Forse… I don’t know what you want.”

    What I want is inconsequential, it said, it is the path that the Iconar Collective must tread. I asked you to recruit the boy for your own benefit. It’s as simple as that.

    “You know, for a god, you’re awful at lying.”

    Even my own powers can only see so far into the future. What I see is the boy becoming a great asset to your squadron. Perhaps there is a greater reason behind his recruitment, but for now, I can only see so far.

    “A great asset, huh?” Dain replied, picking up his sword and continuing to sharpen it. “It’s about time you gave me something useful with all your magical fortune telling. I swear an oath in your name, join your little demon cult, and it takes you five years to get me something as useful as a great asset?”

    It didn’t reply, to Dain’s frustration. He continued sharpening his sword.

    Scraaape…

    Scraaape…

    Ping!

    Dain looked down, sighing as he realized that his whetstone had struck against his crossguard in his absent-mindedness. He hadn’t even seen it coming. He blew off some metal dust that had fallen there, then grabbed an oiling cloth and began cleaning around the tiny scrape. It didn’t take long, and even though there was still a small indent in the crossguard, Dain didn’t bother to clean any longer. He oiled his blade, then slid it back into its sheath at his waist.

    He stood up, but before he could walk back to the conjoined series of tents, Garnell woozily got up and stumbled out into the forest. Dain didn’t look twice at him; he knew that Garnell would be getting up to answer nature’s calls any second now. After Garnell was out of sight, Dain began whistling a tune—and just seconds later, a songbird started mimicking it. Dain looked up at the bird, observing it for a few seconds, then slipped into the nearest tent and took a seat on a small barrel of weapon oil.

    On the wall, a coat hung out to dry from the Waterlight rains. Dain winced for a second, and then watched it tumble off its hook onto the ground. Whoever it belonged to—hopefully they didn’t mind their uniform dirty.

    What a curse. Dain thought to himself. Knowing all this.

    You chose it. The voice replied.

    A few minutes later, Dain looked up and was unsurprised to see Garnell returning from his trip to nature’s latrines. He held up a hand to greet him, making the gigantic man jump.

    “Oh, Dain!” Garnell said. “Didn’t see you there.” He laughed to himself a little. “I s’ppose you saw me comin’ a mile away, huh?”

    “Not quite a mile, but I knew you were coming.” Dain replied.

    “Yeah, I guess. Also… I never had a chance to actually thank you for recruitin’ Corrin.” Garnell said. “He’s been wantin’ and workin’ to be a soldier ever since his parents were killed by demons.”

    “Same old story, then?” Dain asked.

    “Same ol’ story.” Garnell replied. “Even he gets that.”

    Dain nodded, partially out of understanding, and partially out of respect. Most soldiers that joined the Enclave wanted to avenge a loved one, often a parent—but most didn’t understand that everyone else was there for the same reason. It wasn’t so uncommon to have a soldier holding his life’s struggles higher than everyone else’s despite the fact that they weren’t any worse than the next person; so someone who understood that they weren’t the only one was a relief, when they could be found.

    “Is he a good person?” Dain asked. “He’s got fire—and I can respect that—but on a personal level, is he…?”

    “If you’re askin’ if whether he’s a self-centered, uncarin’, demon-style jerk, then yes. Yes, he is a decent person.”

    “You know what I mean, Garnell.”

    Garnell chuckled. “Yeah, he’s a good guy. I don’t know how he is in a fight, but he works hard, tries to protect other people, loyal as sin; you don’t find his type on every recruitment board.”

    “Does he follow orders well?” Dain asked. “Just out of curiosity, of course.”

    “Of course.” Garnell echoed, chuckling. “Also, no idea. I’ll tell you what, though; he can give them like an angry parent. We always won whenever we played soldier as kids, and I’ve never seen him lose a game of Arcala to anybody except his own uncle.”

    “So a strategist, then?”

    Garnell shrugged. “I don’t know how well stick-and-pinecone battles translate to real war, but yeah, I suppose he is.”

    “So a great asset to the team, huh?”

    Garnell frowned. “Yeah… I guess you could say it like that.”

    Dain nodded. “Nice… well, we’d best be getting some sleep, then.”

    “Yup.” Garnell yawned and stretched. “‘Night, Dain.”

    “Goodnight.”

 


 

    Unfortunately, sleep meant dreams.

    It wasn’t that Dain wasn’t used to them—rather, he could usually tell they were coming even before he fell asleep—it was that he wasn’t particularly fond of them.

    His first few were normal; well, as normal as dreams could ever be. Snowball fights with Garnell, for one, which was rudely interrupted by a fifty-foot-tall demon. Then, he and Teren were standing back to back, wielding fire pokers at an onslaught of flower-creatures craving human blood. This shifted to him falling endlessly into the Red Valley Rift, grabbing at thin air to try and stop his fall.

    Then, his dreams became more coherent. In this distance, an army of people of from every realm—humans, dragons, and dwarves fighting alongside each other, the fleekers and vampires defending each other. Dain couldn’t see who they were fighting against, but he didn’t need to; he’d killed those creatures of filth a thousand times—and with none other than the literal king of demons, Calamitous Oblivion himself, fighting at his side.

    Dain swung around instinctively, yanking his sword from its sheath at his side and slashing through the air. Just as he did, a scream pierced the air, and a birdlike creature fell to the ground, neck cut clean through by Dain’s blade.

    “Excellent form,” Calamitous Oblivion, king of demons, said, “have you been practicing?”

    Dain didn’t reply, rather growling and turning to face a group of hairy, spider-like creatures. All their legs, save two, were on the front of their bodies, so that they almost looked like a walking mop. They hesitated, out of reach from his blade, until one reared back and jumped at him. Dain sliced it out of the air, then moved his blade to guard his chest as a second jumped mere moments after. One after the other jumped at him, and he mercilessly slew them all. Just behind those, a human with glowing black eyes charged at him, holding a sword in a fashion that could only mean harm to Dain. However, the human’s skills were lacking, and Dain cut him down with ease. Aside from the spider-creatures and bird monsters, the most abundant of his adversaries were corrupted people.

Behind him, he could hear a similar battle originating from the demon king. As much as Dain wished he didn’t have periodical dreams with the Calamitous, it was nice to have a suitable warrior behind him. Once, he had run away from the demon king, and after a corrupted dwarf had smashed his chest in with a massive hammer, Dain had woken up in a cold sweat, an awful aching in his chest where the dwarf had hit him. Since then, he had stayed near Calamitous Oblivion—though reluctantly. The companionship with who he considered his worst enemy hadn’t always protected him, but he didn’t want to take any chances.

“Say, this battle isn’t as bad as the others, don’t you think?” Calamitous Oblivion said. “Remember last week’s? I got my arm cut off then.”

“No more than you deserve.” Dain replied, scowling as he cut up a flock of the bird monsters.

Calamitous Oblivion stabbed at a spider monster. “Now, that’s not very nice. I had an actual battle to lead that morning, and I had to put it off just because I couldn’t move my arm! I lost no shortage of ground to the Silverclad Enclave that day.”

“Good.”

After a moment of silence—as silent as a battlefield could ever be, that was—Calamitous Oblivion spoke up again. “You know, I don’t enjoy these dreams any more than you do.”

“Who says you’re actually here?” Dain ducked beneath a wide-swung sword. “You’re probably out killing good men in Central Midway right now, and not even thinking about it.”

“That’s not true. I’m currently asleep, and for good reason. One of those soldiers managed to stab me in the arm awhile back, and I’ve been healing up since. That soldier died honorably.”

“Says you.” Dain spat. “You’re just a mindless killer. You made that up; a monster like you wouldn’t remember any one soldier they killed.”

“I remember all of them.” The Calamitous replied quietly, not for the first time.

“No less than you deserve.”

“So I’ve been told.” The demon king sighed.

Dain ran a corrupted fleeker through the chest, then said, “I swore to kill you. I swore under Carnon’s name that I’d kill you.”

“Pleasant.”

“And if I didn’t, I’d be there with the person who did.”

“Fancy seeing a Silverclad Enclave captain there in the palace of Sunken Deep, watching and cheering on some challenger opting for position as Calamitous. Would that solve your problem, Dain? You think watching me be beheaded and replaced with an even more powerful demon would end this war any faster? Hm?”

“As if you wanted this war to be over.”

“I admit, my position as Calamitous is rather supported by the current military squabbles between our nations, and ending this war one way or the other wouldn’t exactly secure my position of power. Regardless, I don’t delight in killing, so perhaps one day you will watch someone run me through the eye with a spearhead, and while I finally get a break from all these voices in my head, you could say ‘I told you so.’”

“I hate you.”

“So I’ve been told.”

“I hate this war.”

“I’m not partial to it myself, as I just stated.”

“Then why am I dreaming about both?”

“Ooh, that’s new.” Calamitous Oblivion cut in an arc with his sword. “I honestly wonder that myself. Perhaps your hatred Forged a Spirit Bond or something? Not that I’m an expert on these things—I can barely Decay—but I have learned a thing or two from those who can.”

“Can’t I just wake up already?”

“You think I don’t want to? Dreams are dreams.”

Dain sighed in frustration and anger, then cut through a group of corrupted humans.

I am going to kill you, Calamitous Oblivion, Dain growled to himself, I swore that on Carnon—I swear it.

Edited by Channelknight Fadran
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21 minutes ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

On the wall, a coat hung out to dry from the Waterlight rains. Dain winced for a second, and then watched it tumble off its hook onto the ground. Whoever it belonged to—hopefully they didn’t mind their uniform dirty.

    What a curse. Dain thought to himself. Knowing all this.

:huh::huh:
 

Consider me......I n t r e g u i e d

Hears a god in his head? Demon cults? I like where this is going.....

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3 minutes ago, Danex said:

:huh::huh:
 

Consider me......I n t r e g u i e d

Hears a god in his head? Demon cults? I like where this is going.....

I like that you like where this is going.

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5 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

I like that you like where this is going.

I'm shocked that you didn't say, "Did I really just write that sentence?"

Also, I wish I was creative. I feel like I'm good at coming up with original ideas, then I read things like this and my friend's writing and I realize that the story I've gotten the farthest on is a pretty generic fantasy.

I have had another idea that I think is pretty original, but I haven't gotten around to writing it.

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3 minutes ago, DramaQueen said:

Also, I wish I was creative. I feel like I'm good at coming up with original ideas, then I read things like this and my friend's writing and I realize that the story I've gotten the farthest on is a pretty generic fantasy.

I have had another idea that I think is pretty original, but I haven't gotten around to writing it.

For me its more like, I get what I think are creative ideas, but then I will try to write them down and just can't.

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Just now, The_Truthwatcher said:

For me its more like, I get what I think are creative ideas, but then I will try to write them down and just can't.

That too. Just. All of the blocks. I can't think of creative ideas, but when I do, they don't want to flow or aren't actually creative.

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Well, @The_Truthwatcher and @DramaQueen, there are several steps to writing interesting fantasy. It doesn't have to be a work of super original ideas and super good writing; you could create something super original and write it not as well, and it'll still be intriguing. Simultaneously, if you take something super generic and write it down really well, then you can make anything sound interesting. And if you don't think you're good at either--well, I don't think that you're bad at either. Don't make excuses. Excuses are BAD.

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*poofs into existence*

Is Corrin named after the Fire Emblem character by any chance? I think I’ve seen you mention the series before... is definitely not trying to figure out if you’ve played Three Houses.

I want to give you feedback but I don’t have the time to write up something decent, sorry. From what little I read I think you have the basis of something really exciting. 

23 hours ago, The_Truthwatcher said:

For me its more like, I get what I think are creative ideas, but then I will try to write them down and just can't.

23 hours ago, DramaQueen said:

That too. Just. All of the blocks. I can't think of creative ideas, but when I do, they don't want to flow or aren't actually creative.

I’m not sure if this will work for you two, and I am definitely not qualified to be giving out writing advice, but the best piece of advice I’ve ever received is “Write the book you want to read.” Easier said than done, I know, but if I found that if I stopped focusing on originality and my ideas, and just more on what I thought was cool, what tropes I liked, then everything began to flow a lot more smoothly. There’s a quote from Mistborn that sums it up nicely. I think it’s something like “nothing is original except for style”, and I think that applies to writing, too. Everything we create is a synthesis of our thoughts, feelings, worldview, the stories we’ve consumed, loved, cried over, the world around us, and a whole bunch of other things. If you’re writing it, chances are it’s been written before. But it’s the way in which we explore these ideas (storms, I sound like an English teacher) that makes our stories unique and vibrant. So even if you feel like your ideas are cliche, if you like them, if you feel excited by them, then write anyway! Cliche elements can be changed in a later draft.

As for not knowing where to go with ideas, this is something I still struggle with, but I read somewhere that breaking those ideas can really help create a story. Ideas are like eggs (I seemingly can’t help coming up with weird similes). They’re the start of something, but you have to break them if you want to get to the good bits inside. Create problems. Grab your idea(s) (you could combine some if you want) and figure out how things would go wrong. Then make them go wrong. I’m making this sound a lot easier than it is, but it really helps escalate tension and puts characters in tricky situations. 

Sorry to hijack your thread with my crazy rambles, Fadran. Good luck with your writing!

:ph34r:Since I’m supposed to be inactive, I was never here:ph34r: 

*sneaky Salad exit*

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1 minute ago, The Awakened Salad said:

(storms, I sound like an English teacher)

My English teacher last year was my favorite teacher of all time. And before then, I never had an English teacher I disliked.

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17 minutes ago, DramaQueen said:

My English teacher last year was my favorite teacher of all time. And before then, I never had an English teacher I disliked.

Oh no, I don’t have anything against English teachers at all, most of my favourite teachers were English teachers too, I just felt like I was turning into a lecturer and subsequently started feeling bad about it.

Edited by The Awakened Salad
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12 minutes ago, The Awakened Salad said:

Oh no, I don’t have anything against English teachers at all, most of my favourite teachers were English teachers too, I just felt like I was turning into a lecturer and subsequently started feeling bad about it.

I didn't assume you were, I was just letting you know that I think English teachers are the best, and you, by sounding like an English teacher, are also the best!

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