Flaming Coinshoot

Dragonlight: Fireheart Book 1

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This is my book. All feedback is appreciated. Also, this is my first shot at an actual book after scrapping dozens of drafts for dozens of books. Depending on my diligence, chapters will be out anywhere from the next day to week, and I'll be absent for long stretches sometimes but I'll  let you know. All chapters will be posted here. That's it. Enjoy! 

Introduction: Fireheart

Spoiler

Introduction:  Fireheart

I am known by many names. Keeper of The Blaze, Flamelance, Death-of-a-Thousand-Armies, and many others. To you, I will be the storyteller. I wrote a tome for the ages to learn of this man and his struggles, and it comes in three parts. This is the first, the beginning of the beginning. You may be wondering how I know the thoughts of feelings of our main character who you will meet in a little bit. You may also wonder why I don’t call him a hero. You may even wonder who I really am. I will answer all of these questions. First off, I have lived partially inside of him since his rather unusual birth, which you will learn about later. Second, I don’t think many people who would call him a “hero.” Besides, Labels are relative. And finally, my true name is not meant for mortal tongues or eyes, so I will tell you my latest and truest title. It is “Fireheart”

Chapter 1: Fire

Spoiler

Chapter 1: Fire

 

In the hideout, Milos dumps his bounty on the floor. “Let’s see here, two wallets, ten strikes, four sharps, and a boot.” 

 

His leader, Arvas, asks incredulously, “A boot? The other stuff is good, but a boot?” 

 

“Yeah” Milos replies. “A real good one too. And guess what? There’s a knife in it and it’s stuffed with twenty strikes.” 

 

Arvas smiles, and says. “For one who joined us so recently, you seem to be doing good. You have a natural talent. In exchange for your services, you get to keep ten strikes.”

 

Milos bowed low and thanked Arvas with a little scrap. Arvas collected scraps all the time, and depending on the size and value, it could bring great rewards. Milos jumped out of the hideout and ran back over the roofs, jumping over the smokestacks. He grabbed his gear and was all set to go when he heard boots on the street. He got down and watched some police march up to the door of the house. They kicked it down and ran up the stairs. Milos saw them burst onto the roof and then burst into the hideout.

 

Milos watched helplessly as they ruthlessly dragged people out and threw them off the roof onto a cushion that slid right into a cage on a truck. Once most of the bandits were out, a guardsman pulled out a blowtorch and set the hideout on fire. Milos clamped a hand over his mouth as he watched the anyone left run out and jump straight into the grasp of the police. Milos wiped away his tears and ran for his life, his home burnt and everything he owned on his back. Constantly glancing behind him and going as fast as could. As he raced down the street, he collided with a grizzled man who was wearing the insignia of the Temekos. Milos started to run the other way when the man grabbed his arm. 

 

“Where do you think you’re going?” he growled. 

 

Milos trembled and managed to get out . “Uh…over-over the-there.” 

 

The Temekos looked at him real hard, and then grunted and said . “Over here. I know you’re from that hideout, and you could use a safe haven right now. My house will do. Follow me.” 

 

The Temekos stopped for a moment and then said “Oh. My name’s Markos.” 

 

Milos followed him, glancing over his shoulder every couple of minutes. At last Milos asked “Do you think we’re being followed?” 

 

Markos snorted “No. They don’t know these streets well enough.” 

 

Eventually, they came to Markos’ house. It was nothing like the big mansions that the Temekos uptown lived in. It looked more like the…hideout. The difference was even more stark inside the house. The only decorations were tools, and even those didn't look like the fancy ones that the other Temekos used. 

 

Markos looked at Milos. “Boy, you don’t even know your own talent do you? I’m guessing that tools you use to steal and pick locks and what not work better than normal ones huh?” 

 

“Maybe” Milos said evasively. “I never really checked.”

 

Markos snorted and glanced at Milos “Boy, you really are secretive huh?”

 

Milos shrugged. “Eh.”

 

Markos growled and limped away. Milos let out a breath. He had been wondering why his tools were much better, but he just assumed he had gotten them from a better craftsman. However, once he used others’, theirs were much better as well. He wasn’t about to tell that to this crazy blacksmith though. Rummaging through his backpack, he found what he was looking for. That boot, which had meant so much earlier, now meant nothing besides the money and weapons in it. He sighed, and stuffed the boot back into his backpack. He pulled an object wrapped in paper out of his backpack. A golden-red medallion, made with metal from the Havich Range in Norvor, and a dragon emblazoned on the front. The dragon was coiled around the edge of the medallion, and its eyes were little emeralds. Milos had no idea what it was, but his parents had given it to him as they pushed him out of the burning skyjumper. He had run, like he had today, away from a burning wreck, while others needed him. He clutched the medallion and as he held it, noticed a section of the side had popped away. He curiously opened it and found a knife. On it, written in High Miverian, said “Oathmaker.” Milos carefully put it away and put the medallion around his neck, hiding it underneath his shirt. 

 

Markas limped back into the room. Somehow, he immediately realized that Milos had something new on, because his eyes became laser-focused on Milos. “What you got, boy?”

 

Milos only said “A medallion.”

 

Markas hesitated for a moment, and then turned around and grunted. “Here. Follow me.”

 

Milos got up, and with more curiosity than apprehension, went off after Markas. Markas led him to the back of the hut to a table with tools around it. Next to it, there was a fire. With a start, Milos realized that this was his forge. 

 

Markos walked over and said. “Alright, first things first, let’s start with the tools. This here is a-”

 

Milos interrupted him. “Hold up! What do you mean? What are we doing here?” 

 

“Why, I’m teaching you to be a Temekos of course.” Markas responded.

Milos looked at him incredulously. “What? Why? A foreigner can’t learn the art, and my parents are..were from Lashas.”

 

Markas stared at him and then doubled over, laughing hysterically. “Of course a foreigner can learn! Half the Temekos are foreigners!” Markas shook his head and then stopped. “Wait- why did you say ‘were’?’

 

Milos looked him dead in the eye. “Because they aren’t alive anymore.”

 

Markas stared right back, but the mirth left his face. He wasn’t sympathetic, and Milos was glad for that. Everyone he told treated him like a glass vase, and it was already clear Markos meant to work him to the bone. 

 

“Well, let’s get going. This is a hammer. If you don’t know what that is then you really don’t have a brain…” And that’s how Markos kept on talking, telling him about the tools, their use, their care, and how to use them as a weapon. Milos started to laugh when Markas talked about weaponizing bellows. Markas gave him a flat stare and then blasted him with air and sent him flying a yard.  

 

When Markas was finally done, he had Milos repeat it back to him. Once he was satisfied, he put on his coat. “Follow me.”

 

Milos obeyed, getting his coat on and grabbing his cap. He followed Markas as he went through the twisting streets. They finally reached the junk heap. Markas turned and looked at Milos. “I want you to find the best piece of metal in there.”

 

Milos snorted and jumped into the scrap heap. 2 bananas, 5 cuts, a moldy apple, 2 other scavengers, and 3 minutes later, he flourished a plate of metal. He handed it to Markas and Markas examined it. He looked it over and asked Milos “What is this?”

 

Before he could stop himself, the words flooded out of Milos. He had no idea where they came from. “3Z7 metal, probably from Lake Morvor. Judging from shape and cut, probably used for a skipper before being discarded.”

 

Markos chuckled. “Still don’t think you don’t have a talent for the art? That was a better first reading from an apprentice than Zalkos, and he held the title for 8 years! Follow me.”

 

Milos stood in shock, then smiled, brushed himself off and scurried off after Markos. They went back to the hut and Markos handed him some thieves’ tools. “I want you to Boost ‘em.” 

 

Milos complained. “Boost? I don’t even know what that is!” 

 

Markos just grunted and sat down. Sighing, Milos tried to think of what it might be. He got a strange feeling...almost like he had done this before. Moving fluidly, almost without thought, he went to the table, grabbed the hammer, and touched it to his medallion. The hammer glowed, and Markos sat up, eyes wide. Before Markos could run over and grab the hammer, Milos touched it to the tools. The tools glowed brightly, and then the light faded. 

 

Markos didn’t grab the hammer or yell at him, he just stood there, eyes wide. He looked at Milos’ shirt and asked. “Can I see the medallion?” 

 

Milos shrugged and handed it to him, and then wondered how Markos knew he had it. Markos examined it and gave it back to Milos. “It’s a Spark. One of the best I’ve ever seen. Keep it safe, lad, it can save your life one day. But keep it hidden. Some would kill you for it. All that it does is Boost your ability. Now that you’ve actually Boosted something, let me tell you what you did.” 

 

Markos shook his head and then looked back up. “Boosting makes something better. It’s the easiest ability to use, and has increasing levels of difficulty from increasing the durability of a hammer to making a tower able to withstand an Ashkaran Ashoka-Class Battleship attack. And believe me, I’ve had to do that. Oh, just a reminder, all Smithing techniques only work on metal.” 

 

Milos blinked at the flood of information. Then he opened his mouth to say something and then closed it again. He then asked. “Are we gonna be doing anything else today?” 

 

Markos thought for a minute. “Normally, I would be teaching you how to make your own spark, but seeing as you have a generational one, we’ll do something different. You’ve already proved your Scavenging, Detecting, and Boosting. I’m gonna teach you the whole process from getting your metals to making a tool. Here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna make a plan for your invention, grab materials, and then I’ll teach you the most important part of Smithing- Smithing itself. Officially, it’s called Aquerstüv Opefjeg Klamnaehjalijeg, The Art of Making. I know High Miverian is a mouthful, but you’re gonna need to learn it. Assuming you wanna be a smith. This is the turning point.” 

 

He stared intently at Milos.

 

Milos looked back at him and simply said “Yes.”

 

Markos nodded approvingly. Then he motioned to Milos to follow him to the backyard. Milos scrambled after him down the steps. The “backyard” was a small enclosed area with some weeds scattered around it. In the middle, a huge scrap pile was built up like some sort of shrine. Markos turned to him. “You need to find the best pieces of metal there. Go!”

 

Milos scurried up the mountain and rapidly started digging into it. About 5 minutes later, he found a plate of steel that, although buried underneath tons of junk, still retained its shine. He cleaned it off with his shirt and peered at it closely. As he stared at it, he felt a presence in his head stirring. It was gone as quickly, but it left an impression on his mind, and when he looked at the steel again, he felt a wave of history hit him. 

 

“This was mined in the Skytor mountains. The whole batch was shipped to the Wild Islands, and from there was moved to Coveron. There, it was used as plating for a tank that fought against the Toshmarians. When the tank was destroyed, scavengers picked up the metal and sold it to the Ashkarans.” Milos stopped for a moment. Where was this all coming from? He shook his head and continued. “It was used for the 3rd Ashoka-Class Battleship, which sank in Lake Lomeria after being pounded by 5 Miverian torpedoes. The Miverians scavenged it and brought it here, where you acquired it.” 

 

Markos blinked. “What- what- where did you get that from?” Markos stammered.

 

Milos was about to say “I don’t know!” but just then, Markos pointed at his shirt. “Your medallion! It’s generational, and you have knowledge stuck in there. One of your ancestors must have been a great reader, or else he had some sort of scrying, because I only knew it was mined in Skytor and scavenged off an Ashkaran ship, but none of the rest!” He shook his head. “That Spark is a lot more powerful than I thought. It’s a Trove Spark. You can put your memories, your knowledge, into that thing. Try. Focus on a memory or skill, and think of it flowing in there.”

 

Milos focused on his lockpicking, thinking of every little trick he knew, and pictured it flowing into the medallion. There was a light silvery glow, and a stream of light drifted into the medallion. It glowed once, and then reverted to its original state. “Huh. It worked!”

 

Markos shook his head. “This is gonna be a lot easier for you, huh?”

 

They walked together back to the hut after Milos had picked some more quality steel. Milos felt the medallion, and he could sense the decades, the centuries of knowledge there. He felt for a good design, and stopped when he saw one. A large, twisting creature of fire. A dragon! Milos ran back and started to grab bronze for the dragon. Markos chuckled and kept on walking. Milos also grabbed some wiring as well. Then he ran back. He immediately sprinted towards the forge and laid out his materials. A glow came over him, and he grabbed the hammer. He quickly Boosted it, and then he took the hammer and started hammering the plates into shape. He grabbed a welder and then started binding the plates together with perfect precision. He grabbed an apple and threw it into his mouth before going back to his work. For hours and hours he worked, hammering and welding, threading and connecting wires, putting on extra plating, and before he realized it, it was dusk and then dawn again, and yet he still worked. He mastered the art of power-napping, and for 3 days he worked, under the watchful eye of Markos. His shirt got soaked beyond repair, and Markos had to get him sweat-proof, fire-proof clothes. 

 

When he was done, Markos walked up to him. “Well, it’s time to teach you the last step of Aquerstüv Opefjeg Klamnaehjalijeg. The Enchantment, Etantsuchjalt, the most sacred and important step. Without this, your creation is just a regular automaton. With it, it is a masterpiece. The closest we can get to artificial life without those-” Markos’ mouth soured. “aberrations the Almoreans make.”

 

Milos nodded his understanding. “When will we begin?

 

“Right now” Markos responded, “you start with a warding- it's to protect you, if it blows up. To my knowledge, every order uses a warding. Guess they all believe in safety first.”

 

Milos couldn’t tell if he was joking or not. He asked “How do you do a warding?”

 

Markos shoved a paper in front of him. Milos grabbed it, and began to read aloud. “Weaerdalliamneg. Huh. Nothing happe-” Right then, a golden red glow shot up over him. It disappeared after a moment, but little sparks floated around in the air and then disappeared. 

 

“All right. What’s next?”

 

“We start the Etantsuchjalt.”

 

“How do I do that?”

 

“I’ll show you.” 

 

Markos grabbed his hammer and then handed it to Milos. “You should use your medallion. Search for the magic. Everyone has their own source. This font of magic is known as your, well, Source. Most likely, you’ll get one of the Sources that are better for lithe creations that are highly versatile.” 

 

Milos felt within him, using the medallion to help him. 

 

“It should take you a couple of hours.”  Markos commented.

 

Milos kept on searching, feeling within him for anything that could give him a clue and 5 minutes later, as Markos was walking towards the door, Milos exclaimed “Wait! I found it! It’s raging inside of me, trying to get out. It’s-” 

 

Suddenly Milos cut off, clutching his hand and screaming in agony. “What is it? What happened?” Markos asked, running to Milos.

 

Milos opened his hand. Branded on there, there was a large dragon with scales that looked like its scales were rubies soared high over a lion that looked like it had a golden mane and bronze fur. “Oh no.” Markos gasped, face sheet-white.

 

“What?” Milos demanded

 

“You have- you have” Markos stuttered, dumbstruck.

 

“I have what?” Milos asked again.

 

“Fire Source.” 

 

“Is that bad?”

 

“It's- not exactly very popular.” 

 

“Why not?”

 

“It’s the most destructive of Sources. It’s one that War Mages often use, as do battle smiths. It’s also known for bringing about ridiculous levels of destruction. During the Detrorok Revolution, the Miverian Army used Fire Source bombardiers to rain destruction on the city. The second largest city In Miveria was destroyed by 23 Burners. Ever since then, when they’re not restricted from city entry, Burners are usually chased out of town or their life by mobs in Detrorok. The army blamed it on the Burners, saying that it was the Burners' idea to do so much destruction and the army was only aiming for the major revolutionary hotspots. Any Burners in the city were lucky to make it out of the city with anything but the clothes on their back, and often those were ripped and tattered. ” He shudders. “Don’t tell anyone, and don’t go to Detrorok.”

 

Milos took a second, and then nodded. “Probably for the best. What are the other sources?” 

 

“Oh, there's hundreds. The most common ones for a Temekos, or Smith, are dependent on where they live, but most often, you get Steel, Strength, Stone, Resolve, and occasionally you see Craftsmanship. Fire though… it was already a rare talent, because it was generally hereditary. One of the biggest Burner families was based in Detrorok, and they were all killed. After that, people all across Miveria and Toshmare killed hundreds. The fact that the government didn’t do anything claiming that there wasn’t enough evidence when there were eye-witness accounts of large mobs, only spurred them further. You be careful. Chances are, your parents were probably holed up in Lashas out of necessity. 

 

Milos looked down at his palm. “What is this?”

 

“That’s called your Mark. If you have a source, you get one on your right palm, like you have. If you have a divine blessing it goes on your left. More abilities are signified by tattoos that go on your arms.”

 

“So, Burners get this tattoo?’

 

“It’s generally some sort of combination of lion, dragon, and phoenix, and fox, yes. In general, lion means outright fire strength, while fox is more subtle, and dragon is surging forward while phoenix has more defensive fire.”

 

A thought suddenly came to Milos “What’s your Source?”

 

“I’m a Steeler” He shows the hammer and anvil imprinted on his palm, in a circle with triangles coming out of it and a mountain in the background.

 

“What can you do? How does it help?”

 

“Increased strength, metal handling, and I can use telekinesis on chunks of earth.”

 

“Oh. What about me? What if I try… this!” Milos stretched his hand out, focused, and a fireball launched out of it and exploded against the sturdy walls. 

 

Markos groaned “Also, I can enchant metal to be much, much tougher than standard enchantment. But it can only last for so long. Be careful!”

 

“Okay. What’s next?”

 

“We enchant. Focus on your fire-”

 

“Done.” Milos said, juggling a fireball.

 

“Okay, now focus your fire, feel its- heart I guess. Can you?”

 

“No. There’s nothing there.”

 

“I’ll leave you to it.”

 

Ten minutes later, Milos felt the Source of his Source. Tracing it back, he heard the thumping of the heart of a beast that was ancient, wise, and powerful. He heard it chuckling. 

 

In a deep, rumbling voice, it thundered “Not yet, young Draegm. Not yet. And don’t tell anyone about our little meeting.” 

 

In his mind, Milos frantically shook his head and mentally went back to his Source. He felt the fire roaring and focused on it. Without awaiting further instruction, he grabbed a sizable chunk of Fireforce and ripped it out. The fire in the source immediately regenerated, while the fire he was holding suddenly manifested as a wreath of fire in his hand. He gave a start not realizing that all that had happened in his mind. He focused the fire and then slammed it straight into the dragon, imagining the same roaring force that had fueled the fire fueling the lion that he had made. The dragon’s eyes shot open, and it got up and growled. It tilted its head up and shot a column of fire into the air with a wordless roar. It looked back at him.

 

Milos tentatively said “Uh, how ya doin?”

 

The dragon growled, and while it had not spoken Miverian, Milos understood. Its name was Bronzeclaw, and it was wondering where it was. It suddenly flooded him with memories: fighting alongside Milos’ ancestors, its design being added to the Trove Spark, running along Detrorok before it had become a city. In turn, Milos told it everything. Bronze Claw understood, and was able to communicate with Milos It growled “Hi.”

 

Milos told Markos, and Markos nodded. “Must be a family creation, which would explain why it caught your eye. Every couple of days, maybe twice a week, upload all of your memories into the dragon. That way, if either of you gets hurt, one of you can still upload experiences to the trove for future generations.”

 

“Okay.” Milos compacted the dragon into a metal miniature, and then put it into his medallion after another secret compartment shaped to fit the dragon perfectly popped open. “Seriously, how many secrets does this thing have?” Milos asked.

 

“Lots.” Markos replied simply. “Well I think that’s it for today.”

 

“Wait, what do you mean lots? Do you know anything? What do you know?” Milos asked, scrambling after him.

He gave him a sly smile, and turned to go inside. “Go to bed, Markos said, simply.

Chapter 2: Memories

Spoiler

Chapter 2: Memories

When Milos woke up in the morning, it took him a moment to figure out where he was. When he remembered, he jumped up into the air and ran to the forge. Markos was already there. THey spent the morning practicing techniques. Markos dug out a tome full of Burner techniques for fighting. While Markos mostly corrected posture, Markos learned things from the book 

 

“Dragon-Phoenix-Scratch!” Milos muttered under his breath as he unleashed a combo of fire punch, fire-jump, and then fire blast. 

 

“Try to jump higher next time! Remember, the fire isn’t the only thing you're jumping with.” Markos called out.

 

Milos grunted and focused on his legs, launching himself up as he created a double helix of fire from his feet to soar into the air. After that, he made a clawing motion and then launched a blast of fire that scorched the mobile training dummy, blasting it across the room and landing with a graceful crouch. 

 

“Good. Try to use the Dragon Punch as forward momentum.” Markos suggested.

 

Milos righted the dummy, and it immediately came at him. He focused his fist, wreathing it in fire and launching it at the dummy’s chest. While the reinforced metal wasn’t hurt much by the blast, Milos did a flip into the air and did the Phoenix Jump, soaring straight into the air right above the bot. He powered his fire again, and then streaked like a meteor into the bot. He looked like he had done the hero landing and the bot was in pieces around him, while the training floor had a large crater that was formed from the impact. 

 

Not even flinching, Markos calmly informed him “You did a Meteor Strike instead of a Fire Scratch, which is better. The only reason they don’t mention it is because they obviously don’t expect it for beginners.” He suddenly grinned “You, obviously, have a special affinity for fire.” 

 

Milos shrugged, “It just feels more right.” 

 

Markos nodded “Got it. Try that from now on. Move onto the next form. I’ll get the sturdier bots out here.”

 

Two bots made with more reinforcements, including strengthening enchantments, walked into the room. The floor fixed itself, and Milos was ready again. 

 

He grabbed the book and read it “Form 9: Whirlwind, Dragon Punch, Backwards Fireflip. Aren’t I on Form 5? 

 

“Nope. You were able to use a meteor, which skips you to Form 8, and unless 9 doesn’t come after 8, this is the right one.”

 

Milos went to one of the bots and did a spinning kick to the head to one of the bots while charging the kick with a fire trail, fluidly turning it into a punch that resounded off the bots’ chest and sent it flailing backwards. Without giving it any time to recover and come at him, Milos put another fire trail on his boots and did a backflip, kicking the bot in the shoulder while propelling himself away from it with fire and landing far away from it. The bot, its head already loose, lost its head completely and fell over. 

 

“Not bad.” Markos said. ‘According to this, you can move on.

 

“Form 10: Whirlwind, Firekick, Hooked Dragon Punch, Hooked Back Firekick and then Phoenix to Execution Kick. Alright” Milos read aloud.

 

He set up 5 bots and then started. His opening move blasted into one's head, while his second sent another one reeling. His punch slammed into one's arm, rendering it useless right before his spinning firekick sent the head of the first bot flying, and the debris destroyed another one. He taunted them towards him before flying straight into the air and stretching leg out, and dropping it onto the lead robot with an explosion of fire. After he did the execution kick, there were no more bots. Markos looked back again and nodded. “Alright. Lunch time!”

 

After their lunch (Tuna melt. Delicious!) They walked the streets. Markos showed Milos how to read people, and how to get them to work with you. There was less of a learning curve than expected, due to the fact that Milos’ thieving background required him to slip out of tricky situations often. As they walked, Markos turned to Milos. “Why are you in Miveria? You said your parents were Lashashian, and if you had a medallion that was important, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that you would be able to live the high life.”

 

“It doesn’t matter.’

 

“Actually, I think it does.”

 

“Fine. This is all I’ll tell you. We were in Detrorok when a bolt of Enzerium hit the side of our Skimmer. The ship crashed on the Lakeshore, and while I was able to slip out of the overturned vehicle, my parents and the rest of the retinue weren’t. My  father slipped me the medallion and told me to protect it. They told me to come here, to Miskos, and find the Knuckain, who is a friend of theirs. He granted me protection and sent me to a hideout of slightly more moral and trustworthy bandits who helped me survive. He came by every once in a while to check on me. No matter where I was, he always knew how to find me. So in 3 days, expect a visit.” Milos wiped his eyes.

Markos sat silent for a little bit and then said “Come on lad. If the Hidden King himself is gonna visit, then we should hone your skills, huh?”

 

Milos nodded “Let’s go.”

 

Together, they walked back home. Once they were back, Markos had Milos make a bunch of creations. He started with a simple lantern and then moved on to small but complex puzzles. For about 5 hours, from Thirtieth Rept to the Thirty-Eighth, he made hundreds of little creations. After he finished making a sword, he asked “Why am I making these?” 

 

“What do you think?”

 

“I’m not sure. I won’t need half of these, and even then, it’s way too much.”

 

“Temekos isn’t just an honorary position and occasional military engineer, no matter what the current leadership would have you think. At the base of it, we’re still blacksmiths. And though our numbers are smaller now, we still try to fulfill our purpose as blacksmiths. Magical ones, sure, but we do the same jobs.”

 

Milos nodded and went back to his work. When the clock hit Fortieth Rept, Milos stopped and moved onto the next part of his training. Magic.

 

“So why is everything in High Miverian?” Milos asked as they walked to the library.

 

“High Miverian isn’t like standard Miverian, not only because of how weird it is, but because of the fact that it doesn’t have the same roots. There’s a reason High Miverian and Miverian sound nothing alike.”

 

“But then, by your logic, Street Miverian is a magical language.”

 

“Believe it or not lad, Street Miverian is just Miverian with weird slang.”

 

“Like calling streets pafs?”

 

“Exactly. But they still use many of the same words. And actually, “Paf” evolved from the word path. So they do have things in common. High Miverian was created by magical creatures prior to Miveria’s founding.”

 

“So it’s a magical language from an ancient era that grants you magical abilities?”

 

“Exactly. Now let’s get on with it. Miverian uses sounds and uses symbols to symbolize them. Each sound is more complexe, examples being Wezex, Hjalli, and Klamn. To make them magic, you split these, called Stödö, to get your desired sound as well as the nearest sounds in the Stödö. Once this has been done, you form these fragments called Stjuvegamnst. Using the Stjuvegamnst, you form them together to make your words. For example, the translation for road would be Veroaedjö. “Ver,” “O,” “Ae,” and “Djö.” 

 

Milos thought for a moment. “Are there swear words in High Miverian?”

 

Markos facepalmed and sighed. “No, and that’s not the point.”

 

Milos laughed “I know. So I’ll just practice using those today?”

 

“Yep.”

 

From Forty-Fifth Rept to Seventieth, eating some BBQ Pork Ribs for dinner. 

 

“Mmmm. These are delicious! Where did you get em from?” Milos asked while carving into the ribs.

 

“Friend in town.” Markos replied, also burning the food.

 

After finishing dinner, Milos went upstairs. He tiredly plopped down on his bed. During this time, he focused on summoning his dragon at will and meditating. He summoned his dragon, and together they put more memories into the Trove Spark. He plopped down on his bed, put his dragon in Sentinel Mode and went to sleep. As soon as he slipped into his sleep, he appeared in a cave. In the back of the cave, a large reptilian creature with wings and burning eyes smiled at him. “Hello Milos.”

 

“How do you know who I am?” Milos demanded

 

“I am the Dragon. I know all.”

 

“Are you the dragon on my palm?”

 

The dragon’s expression soured “No, that’s someone else. I, although I do not just throw around favors to anyone, am much more powerful. I am Natakaras.”

 

“What? What do you mean giving out fav-”

 

“It’s nothing!” The dragon suddenly roared, tail swishing back and forth “Nothing! He does not matter. Right now we are talking about you, and we are talking about me.” 

 

“Okay then.” Milos said cautiously “How did you get in my dream?”

 

“A simple matter of old magic. Dreams are one of the safest ways to communicate, as it is ridiculously complicated to break into a dream in which someone did. Do you know why I am talking to you tonight?”

 

Searching his memory, Milos suddenly saw the moon outside “Because it's the Blood Moon. Bi-annualy, the strongest magical moon rises and hundreds of spells shoot around.”

“Correct. Do you wanna know why I chose you?”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because I needed a Miverian Temekos Apprentice who had been apprenticed on the day before the Sun Moon, the First Blood Moon of the year. The apprentice must have inherent Smithing Abilities, not just a spark that could be raised or squandered, and finally, this apprentice must be a Burner. I am in need of a service. Fifty years ago, on this very night, a Burner struck me down as I flew over Detrorok. I need someone who can retrieve a talisman for me before the Harvest Moon.”

 

“Why were you flying over Detrorok?”

 

“I was brought in by the Draconic Council to evacuate civilians in the city.”

 

“Really?” Milos asked incredulously. 

 

“Yep. Believe it or don’t, but here’s why you should help: I have lots of influence in the world. If you help me, I can help you remake the Burners’ reputation. I can help you show your talent to the world.”

 

“Don’t even try to bribe me with money or power. I’m not interested.”

 

“So stereotypical. That sounded like the Karelemon Saga.”

 

“It is.”

 

“While he was facing an evil dragon. Right. The difference is, I’m not evil, and I certainly don’t want to kill you.”

 

“Why do I need to find it during the Amaegallic Tiamé?”

 

“Ah, I’m glad that you’re intelligent. That makes it much easier. The reason I need you to find it during the Amaegallic Tiamé is because the entrance to the castle this sword is stored in only opens then.”

 

“Whoa, whoa. Castle? Magic Sword? And it’s only available during Amaegallic Tiamé? Should I be concerned?”

 

“It certainly will be tough.”

 

“What’s in it for me besides not having to restrict myself from juggling fireballs in the street and going to Detrorok?”

 

“You wish to learn more about your family, yes? I, too, share your fascination due to your families’ unique hereditary trait.”

 

“You mean Fire.”

 

“Yes. I have had some minions do some digging, and I can arrange for travel to your ancestral homeland as well as more knowledge.”

 

“Ancestral homeland? Where is that?”

 

“Ah-ah-ah, you don’t get the treat without rolling over.”

 

“I dislike being compared to a dog.”

 

“My apologies. I couldn’t think of a better analogy.”

 

“So I get this Magic Sword and you tell me about my family history and bolster Burner’s reputation.”

 

“And I give you enough money to fill a swimming pool, worldwide connections, and magical powers, yes.”

 

“I told you, I’m not interested in money or power.”

 

“Just a little something to sweeten the deal.”

 

“How do I not know you’re evil?”

 

“Give me your Oath Knife. And before you ask, like I said, I hold interest in your families’ history,”

 

“Should I be worried about that?” Milos asked as he handed over the knife.

 

“No. It’s purely magical and historical. Now, let me show you how this works.”

 

“Wouldn’t the knife break on your scales?”

 

“Oath Knifes can not be used for fighting, but when making an oath, they can cut through anything- and nothing can cut through that oath. For this reason, they are ridiculously rare-just like that dragon and medallion. All three are supplied by your family. And you are the steward of them. Now be quiet and watch.” Natakaras chanted Lli amaklet an Oaethjall and then slit his wrist with the Oath Knife. The wound healed instantly, while the blood on the knife glowed. 

 

“Here. Cut your palm.”

Wincing, Milos slit his palm with the knife. The wound didn’t scar, but the two mixed bloods on the knife glowed and then disappeared in a shower of sparks. 

 

“We are now bonded.” Natakaras said solemnly. “I will communicate with you in your dreams every once in a while. A mutual friend will be coming along soon with more information.”

 

“Hold on!” Milos cried desperately. “Who?”

 

“”You’ll see” the dragon said with an encouraging smile. “You’re smart, you can figure it out.”

 

“A mutual friend who’s coming in a couple of days. Wait! You mean Knuckain is your friend? That’s why he seems to know everything! But wait- my dad and he grew up together and they made friends with all the same people- even mythical creatures. Are you saying you were my dad’s friend?” Milos asked.

 

“You’ll see. Now go to sleep. You’ll need your energy.” The dragon said firmly. “Hopefully that knowledge will help you trust me better.”

 

“Aren't I asleep?”

 

“You’re body is, but your mind isn’t. Dream Walking is like the opposite of being brain-dead. Your brain is awake but your body is asleep. Now sleep.” The dragon commanded, pushing Milos out of the dream and into deep sleep. 



 

Chapter 3: Hunting

Spoiler

Chapter 3: Hunting

“And again!” The sharp voice of Markos rang across the training room. Milos had been physically unscathed by the dream encounter, but he still remembered it, and his soul carried the weight of the Oath he had made. That had been two weeks ago. For two weeks, he had had no further communication with Natakaras and Knuckain had also been absent. Knuckain was due today, and Markos was pushing him extra hard.

 

“Punch, spin-kick, fireball, flip-jump, meteor crash, roll, twisting fireball launch, flip and axe kick, final dragon punch.” Today they were on Form 24, and that focused on lots of fire-less abilities, in the event of an ability cage, which could take any form and just suppressed your abilities. 

 

“Can we have lunch now?” Milos asked pleadingly.

 

“Sure. Tuna melt?”

 

“The same.”

 

Halfway through their sandwiches, Markos put his down. “Do you know about the new Monster Surge? It came two months early.”

 

Milos nodded. “Yeah, it normally comes in the middle of Amaegallic Tiamé.”

 

“Be careful. It seems much more vicious, although that might be because the Sun Moon came last night.”

 

“Yeah. I will.” Milos promised, careful not to reveal anything.

 

“Okay. I think I’ll take you out to fight some monsters attacking the village nearby, Calzos.”

 

“Really? Yes!”

 

“I like the enthusiasm. Just be careful.”

 

“Alright.”

 

Once they finished their sandwiches, around 26th rept, they heard a knock on the door. Markos went to greet it. “Hello. Who are you?”

 

There was a man outside the door. He looked alone, but Milos’ trained eye could detect the men who looked like they were languishing casually around the street but were actually keeping a careful eye on Markos. Putting two and two together, Milos figured out who it was. The mark on the man's right palm and the one on his left, as well as the tattoos on his arms marked him as the Knuckain, the Hidden King, He Who Rules the Streets. Milos ran up to him and knelt.

 

Knuckain. The honor is mine.

 

“Get up, Milos. Your dad was my friend, and he would have beat me thirty ways to First Rise if his son was bowing to me.” 

 

Milos got up and smiled. “So, still not late, but not early.”

 

“Yeah. Your sudden disappearance right after the Purge got me worried, but one of the Ops saw you walking with the Temekos.” At this, he turned to Markos “Thank you for helping him. I see he has worth as a Temekos, so can you train him?” 

 

Markos made a low bow and then straightened. “Of course. Only a fool of a Temekos would throw this talent away.” 

 

Knuckain nodded. “Thank you. Can you take him out monster hunting? It’ll build his character. “

 

Markos nodded, “Of course.”

 

“Thank you. If you need something, all you need to do is ask. Your house is safe from any bandits, and we will try to stall any other threat. But you must defend yourself against the Purifiers. They will ruthlessly destroy anything I send at them, and I will not send men and women to needless deaths.”

 

“Of course.”

 

Knuckain turned to Milos. “Anything I can do for you?”

 

‘What’s the Purge?” Milos asked.

 

“The Purifiers rooted out every major refugee camp, hideout, and stash in the city. They were ruthless, claiming that we were vermin who needed to be eliminated for the greater good as they killed innocent refugees for the simple fact that they were guarded by us. That is why we avoid them.”

 

“Oh. Do you have any new knives for me? I lost my old one.”

 

“Under Temekos Markos here, I think you’ll be able to forge a better blade than my smiths, but use this to start.” He tossed a knife to Milos with a stylized flame on its hilt. “I heard you were a Burner. I myself am a Stormer.” he said, showing the lightning bolt and thunderbird on his right palm. 

 

“What about your Blessing?”

 

“It’s from the Trickster God. I got it after bluffing, tricking, and fighting my way out of Nrackt Prison.”

 

At that even Markos nodded appreciatively. Milos piped up. “Are all the Sources just the element and then -er after it?”

 

“Or -i, -y, or -am, yes.”

 

“So creative. Also, how many tattoos do you have?

 

“First, there are names in High Miverian for each of them- for example, Beuoran is Burner, and Stoerameter is Stormer. Second of all, I have maybe 15 combined.”

 

“Wow.”

 

At this point, Markos interrupted again. “You know High Miverian?”

 

“Of course. How else am I going to do magic?”

 

“Oh right. I hadn’t known you were able to harness your Source.”

 

“A common mistake, and one that has saved my life. And now you know why I wear gloves and sleeves most of the time. No, it is not to be able to quickly dispose of any bloody evidence on me, no it is not because I am a vampire and want to hide it, it is simply because I want to hide my power. Seriously, where do people get these ideas from?”

 

“I know right?” Milos agreed.

 

“Anyways, I need to go now. Thank you for having me. And can I have a tuna melt?”

 

Markos handed him his sandwich and he left. With him, his retinue slowly filtered out. He twisted around and tossed Markos a bag and Milos a bag. “For you” he said, pointing at Markos “My thanks.” He pointed at Milos “For you, Happy Birthday.” Then he walked off. 

 

Markos turned to him “Today’s your birthday? You should have told me! I should get you something!” 

 

Milos laughed. “First, let’s open the bags.” Inside of Milos’, there were ten flames, or thrones, which was normally the most expensive currency in the streets. There was also a metal cube. The note attached to it said “Your father told me to give you this when you were 16 if he couldn’t. Happy Birthday. -Knuckain.” Milos looked at it closely. Suddenly, a little needle came out and poked him, drawing blood. 

“Ow!”

 

It opened with some mist pouring out. In it, there was a simple metal rod. It rolled off, and as soon as it hit the ground, it expanded into a large spear. On it, another note said “A family heirloom. It’s a combat focus.” Milos knew enough about focuses to know how they worked. Summoning his fire, he turned the raging blaze in his soul into a mass of fire in his hand and then grasped the spear with both hands. The spear exploded with power, its tip radiating energy and heat. Milos tossed it between his hands.

 

“Neat.” He said “Erutueran” and it shrunk again, slipping out of his hands and into the cube. Once it was in, the cube snapped shut and floated to Milos’ hand. When Milos smashed it against the ground, the entire thing transformed into a spear and immediately summoned his fire, charging it up. With the same command, he put it away.

 

“What do you have?” Milos asked.

 

“Money. A lot of it. The equivalent of ten suns.

 

Milos slowly whistled. “Wow.”

 

Markos turned to him “What do you want?”

 

“To kill monsters.”

 

Markos chuckled. “Fair enough. Let’s go.”

 

Milos leaped up, slipped on his medallion and grabbed his new cube. He found that the top of the medallion had an area that would absorb the cube, and he just had to say the command word to make it spring out.

 

For two days, they rode to the town, where the nearest frontier was. Once there, they got lodging at an inn and set up. Once that was done, Markos took him into the outskirts to find monsters. At the first farm, they found a family riding their horses as fast as they could from a pursuing pack of hellhounds. Milos rode his horse straight into the hounds. He stopped it in the middle as it reared up and kicked its front legs, and then summoned his spear. Holding it in the sky, it glowed brightly with energy gathering around it and then he blasted the energy straight into the hellhounds. They all burned to ash. Right then, he realized that the family was staring at him and Markos was shaking his head. The father shook his pitchfork at him “Get away from us, Burner! You’re probably in league with the monsters! Go back to your demons!” 

 

Rather than trying to argue, he just turned his horse and rode away. He and Markos evacuated the inn and set up a little hut near an abandoned farm. Day after day, they carved through seemingly endless waves of monsters. They put up explosive traps around their hut, and every day when they came back, more traps had been triggered. Their days fell, inevitably, into a schedule. Wake up, set traps, go into town wearing disguises to gather supplies, eat tuna melt, hunt monsters, reset traps, Smith, practice magic, relax and then go to sleep. For about 5 days they tramped about in the forest, crusading against the monsters and then Milos being denounced for being a Burner whenever someone was watching. Once they got further from the town, into the real outskirts communities, less and less people cared that he was a Burner and more and more were just grateful. By the time their excursion was done, they had proof of  enough monster kills to get the equivalent of eight hammers. “Wow.” Milos said, hefting the bag of coins “Monster hunting is lucrative! Killing aside, I can see why it would be popular. And we were doing light hunting!”

 

Markos turned to him. “The real price is paid in blood. The money lures many who are not ready, and death is the only payment they recieve.”

 

Milos was silent for a moment. “And the ones who survive gain money and glory.”

 

“Yes. Besides that, what did you learn from this?”

 

“People are shortsighted. They believe what they hear over the truth in front of them. They’re also prejudiced. They aren’t willing to see the individual, they only see the wider group. When people look at me, they see a Lashashan, maybe a Norvorian. Then they see that I’m a Temekos, or a Burner. All of these make others’ perspectives. But, as you get farther from civilization, you meet folk who see the person, not the shell. True, the prejudiced and shortsighted ones are even worse, but they are few and far between from what we saw. Maybe it’s just here, but people get smarter. They are from the city, not more primitive. Or maybe they get wiser.”

 

“They do get wiser. That was good. For this week, I think that was enough excitement. These past three weeks have been crazy, huh? New apprentice, Knuckain on my door, discovering a hidden Burner Family, hunting monsters.” He turned to Milos and smiled. “We’ll make a proper adventuring Temekos out of you yet, lad.”

 

Once in the house, Milos took a shower and then hopped into his bed. Once in his dreams, he saw a familiar face. A draconic face. “Hello Natakaras.” Milos said coolly.

 

“Pleasure to see you, Milos.”

 

“What are you here for?”

 

“You made an Oath to deliver the sword to me by Harvest Moon or die trying. A Blood Oath. So far, you haven’t done anything. True, it has been a week, but I want your word that you’ll not dilly-dally any longer.”

 

“Master Markos will wonder where I am.”

 

“Hmm. Do this. Tell him that you felt an urge-use those exact words- tell him that you’ve felt an urge to go to Mount Calastan, where the sword is. The mountain is where the castle is going to be next month. Tell him at the beginning of the month, right at midnight. That’ll get him to go with you. If circumstances change, go south to Torshi River, and travel to the Torshi Mountains. There, find Mount Casalé. It will only be available to you if you are using your spear. Also, when you use that thing, I can speak to you. Anyways, the castle will be at the peak. There, you will find the sword. Getting the thing should be simple. Finding it? Not so much. From the castle onwards it’s easy, but everything else is much harder. Don’t go on the week before next month. Then, the magic will be iffy, and your body might be split into magical particles. Once you get the sword, bring it to me and I will reward you.”

 

“So, this month: Mount Casalé in the Torshi Mountains. With Markos is Mount Calastan next month. Use the spear. Once I get the sword, bring it to you. Don’t go on the border week. Got it. Just two questions. First: Where are you? And second: What about the third month?”

 

“I’ll tell you where I am once you have the sword. As for the third month, that’s right before Harvest Moon. That month at the end of Amaegallic Tiamé is when things get bad. Real bad. Not so much during a regular year, but during a monster surge monsters go out of control. Magic starts getting real weird in areas with high magic density. The castle teleports to the worst place during that month. Mount Samarex.”

 

“You mean the mountain that nobody comes back from?”

 

“Yep. It's  because of the high magic density. I can’t tell you the nature of the threat-I’m honor bound not to-but it’s bad. Going there is a death sentence.”

 

“All right.” Milos said. “Good night.”

 

“Good night,”

Chapter 4:  Blade and Blaze

Spoiler

Chapter 4: Blade and Blaze

 

Milos fluidly moved from one form to another. Apparently, Form Fifty was about combining parts of previous forms to make one large chain of forms. He had been working on this one for five days, and had burned through hundreds of bots, but could never make the transition from One to Thirty-two to Forty-nine, right at the end of Fifty. The Dragon Punch and Fire Kick to a Flame Screen to Backwards Phoenix and then Lion Pounce to Phoenix Forward Flip combined with Burning Ram transitioning to Backwards Fire Flip and then Flaming Vortex was just unnatural to him. The rest flowed well, but the Screen after the kick felt like he was missing an opportunity, and the Backwards Fire Flip felt the same after such a devastating attack. The amount of flips threatened to force him to reveal his meager breakfast, and the Flaming Vortex had always seemed strange to him. Why launch a continuous stream of fire from your arms when you could be punching fireballs. The way it all fit together made it feel like someone had done a poor welding job on a tank. That combined with the complexity of the first two-thirds made his head feel like someone had done a poor welding job on his skull. “Try again!” Markos yelled.

 

Steeling himself, Milos launched himself with a wordless cry at the bot. He burned through the forms, taking out the bots as he went along. They were much, much better, but his training had made him stronger too, and it was a very even matchup. In no small part due to the fact that it was ten-to-one.  Then he moved on to the end. “Punch, kick screen, phoenix, pounce, flip, ram, backflip, vortex!” He yelled as he finally got it right.

 

“Good job. Time for sandwiches.”

 

“So, what do we do now?” Milos asked in between bites.

 

“I was thinking of another excursion. First month of Amaegallic Tiamé is when monsters are only carrying out raids and attacking the roads, and where there’s a lot of magic, attacking towns. During the second month, full-scale assaults happen and only a fool wouldn’t retreat to their nearest city. Most do so during the first month, but by the second everyone goes to the city. Third month is when the sieges happen. That’s also when the worst monsters appear- Giants, Dragons, Unicorns-”

 

“Unicorns?” Milos asked, bursting with laughter.

 

“Yes, Unicorns. They’re deadly. Heal their fellow monsters, gorge you with their horns, and they got nasty magic. Alicorns are worse. They fly and have better magic.”

 

“Huh.”

 

“So, before all that happens,  I think we should go on one more hunting trip.”

 

“Sure!” Milos exclaimed. He leapt up and ran to his room to get his stuff. 

After Markos finished eating, he did the same. When they were ready, they walked out into the street. Men with stylized eyes on the shoulders of their clothes followed them from the rooftops. “Should we take em out lad?” Markos asked.

 

Milos was surprised Markos was deferring to him. “They’re working for Knuckain. I think they’re escorting us.”

 

“Alright.”

 

They walked along in silence and gave the guard their passes to exit the city. They set up a way from the town and prepared to fight monsters. One day some townsfolk walked up to them. “Look, I know we’ve had our differences but we really need your help.” the Mayor said.

 

“Alright, we’re listening.” Markos’ gruff voice replied.

 

One of the townsfolk turned to Milos “Does red hair turn you into a Burner?”

 

Milos felt his straight hair. “No.”

 

The Mayor turned to him “Not now! Anyways, to business. A drake is burning down the farms.”

 

“Just go to the city and call the guard.”

 

“And abandoned our farms? Are you crazy? It’s only month one!”

 

“Sun Moon was only 3 weeks ago. Fire creatures are going to be strong-”

 

“We’ll take it.” Milos interrupted

 

The Mayor looked at him suspiciously. “All right.”

 

Markos sighed and went inside. Milos followed suit. 

 

“Do you know what you’re getting us into?” Markos asked.

 

“Drake fight?”

 

“Yep. Let’s go.”

 

They hiked through the forest until they found it’s den. For those of you who don’t know, a drake is a creature that resembles a dragon, but it is more serpentine, shoots fireballs, has no wings, and crawls on the ground. They’re also weaker and dumber. Unfortunately, they also like pillaging and plundering. Once they found the den, they saw a glitter in it. Inching closer, they found it’s hoard. “Holy Flames!”

Markos absentmindedly said “Watch your tongue.” but he was transfixed as well. What seemed to be the village’s wealth seemed to be there. “I don’t see the drake.”

 

“Should we go in?”

 

“I don’t know-” Suddenly Markos felt something breathing on him. He spun around and saw the drake. It started growling and going towards him. And then it was just gone. Markos spun towards it and saw Milos wreathed in fire and pounding the drake. Just as it was about to get back up, Milos unleashed his dragon and the dragon flew up and launched a stream of fire into the drake. The fire didn’t seem to affect Milos, and he continued to pound the drake. Milos did a flip into the air and did a Meteor Strike at the same time his dragon launched another beam of fire. The combined power slammed into the drake and left a crater in the ground with the drake in it. It got up and looked at the dragon, launching a fireball at it. Milos leaped high into the air and launched a fireball midair. He used the recoil to go even higher. Once he reached the apex of his jump, he spun around and weaved fire around him until he was a spinning whirlwind of fire. The drake was helpless as Milos crashed into him and pulled out his new dagger. He held it high and sent it straight through the drake’s skull. He pulled it out while doing a flip and watched grimly as the drake slowly started to dissolve. All that was left was a large horn. After gathering all of the loot, Milos put the dragon and dagger away. Markos told the villagers that the drake was dead and gave them all of their belongings back. Milos kept the horn though, and hung it up in his bedroom once they got back to the city. Markos first words when they got back were “That was really something.”

 

“Thanks.”

 

“I think that you’ll need a better weapon than that dagger. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but you’ll need something better. Follow me.”

 

Curiosity piqued, Milos followed Markos to the forge. Once there Markos instructed Milos to open his trove. “Search for a weapon that you’ll think you’ll be able to use.” 

 

Doing exactly that, Milos felt around. “Hammer, no. Axe, eh...no, Halberd. No. Greatsword is too big, the longsword isn’t my fighting style. Is that a...Varkas? What’s that?” Looking closely, it was a one-handed, double-edged blade with a wide, flat pommel and a short guard as well as a slightly rounded tip that originated in Norvor. The real selling point for him was that it was big but still light and versatile. He memorized the design and, notifying Markos where he was going, went shopping. He went to Old Gars’ place first. “Hey, Milos. Whatcha doin?”

 

“Shopping. I need certain materials.” He handed him a list. 

 

As Gars read it, he talked. “Hey, I heard that you got Pafshell from Knuckain. And that you’re training to be a Temekos.”

 

“All true.”

 

“Neat! Alright, I can get you a quality hilt-and I mean true quality- for eight sharps, assorted metals mined in the Skytor mountains for four sharps-but they’re banged up-and the leather for six, but it’s made at a Knuckain ranch in Toshmare. They’re actually a brand name. You mighta heard o Calles’ Leather?”

 

“Yeah. Good stuff.”

 

“That’s this.”

 

After looking at the state of the metal, Milos wanted something a little better so he paid fourteen sharps for hilt and leather, which were both really good. After saying bye to Gars, he moved onto a metal selling place in the West Quarter, which actually took up half the city. The place was called “Ravs’ Metals” and he was friends with Ravs, especially after he became a Temekos. “Hi Ravs!”

 

“Howdy Milos.”

 

“Do you have some quality metals for me?”

 

“Where, what kind, and how much.”

 

“Skytor or Havich, steel, some ingots to melt down for a sword.”

 

“What kind?”

 

“Varkas.”

 

“Alright.” He checked his books. “Ten flames.”

 

“Alright.” Milos said, tossing the money. 

 

“I’ll be right back.” Ravs went back and got his metal. “Here you go. See ya around!”

 

“See ya!”

 

Milos walked back home with all of his stuff. Normally, carrying this much money and material would make him a prime target, but he was under Knuckain's direct protection. He walked in the door, went to the forge and got to work. He started by Boosting his tools and set to work. He made the fire and melted all of the ingots down into the cast. Day and night, he worked the fire and shaped the sword. While he was waiting for the fire, he would start making the hilt. Markos came in occasionally to use the secondary forge and to bring him food. He pumped the fire endlessly and shaped his sword. At the end, he used leftover metal to make a guard and he attached the blade to the hilt. Right before the sword was done, he engraved a dragon on either side of the cross guard. Whenever Markos would help him with the process. When it was finally done, he cooled it in a bucket of water. He pulled his sword from the water. It was quite impressive. The sword had two razor sharp edges, and despite its size, it was light and maneuverable. Milos conjured a flame shield on his right hand and held them together. He dismissed the shield and then went to work enchanting the sword. The first step was to name it. He decided on “Ashrune.” In High Miverian, that was Aeshjaruan. Chanting the name, a glow spread over the blade and him. Continuing his spell, he summoned his dragon to support him. The dragon summoned the heat in its belly and Milos drew from that. Using his own fire, he put all of the energy into the sword. It glowed brighter until the room was filled with the brightness of the Etantsuchjalt. At last, the glow faded and the sword looked ordinary. Milos grabbed it, said “Aeshjaruan!” The sword lit on fire, and when he said it’s name again it extinguished itself. Using a ritual from the Trove Spark, he combined the magic of the spear and the sword. The spear merged with the sword, and although the spear was gone, he could now use his sword as a focus for his Source like he could use his spear. He ran over to Markos. “I’m done!”

 

“Really?”

 

“Yep. Look!” He fluidly pulled the sword out of its sheath and then said “Aeshjaruan!” It burst into flames and then he put it away. 

 

“Nice!” 

 

“Thanks. Good night!” 

 

“Night.”

 

For the first time in weeks, Milos had a dreamless sleep.

Chapter 5: What Doesn't Kill You...

Spoiler

Chapter 5: What Doesn’t Kill You...

 

“Aahhh!” Millos gave a… war cry as he cleaved dummies in half. Ever since he had gotten his sword, he had been working on sword techniques.

 

“Not bad. Try the final chop again.”

 

Milos swiftly dismantled bot after bot, cleaving, stabbing, cutting, blocking, until he focused his fire on the sword and made a huge downward chop that destroyed the last dummy. “Done.”

 

"Good. Do it five more times.”

 

Milos sighed and got to work. It had been two days since he had gotten his sword and he had been practicing and practicing. He remembered his deadline quite clearly. It had been two weeks since Sun Moon, which meant he had three weeks to go to the mountain, or else he would have to convince Markos to help him. Everyday was filled with tons of training. At night, he still hadn’t met Natakaras. During the day, he had mainly been focusing on sword practice and magic, while he had spent his afternoons on the streets, hunting the monsters that were getting closer and closer to the city, and smithing, in that order. “I’m done.” Milos called out again.

 

“Alright. Freestyle.”

 

Milos sighed. Sometimes, Markos was like a drill sergeant. Not that he knew what one was like. He frowned. Sometimes, memories from the Trove would sneak into his brain. While the skills of some of his predecessors had been useful at times, he still had no idea why he could name plants on sight, or why he occasionally felt an urge to lick certain rocks. Milos shook his head and drew his sword. He had made Aeshjaruan and he had a certain bond with the blade. It came out and, with just a subtle mental cue, burst into flames. He readied it in front of him, and immediately started hacking through the enemies in front of him. He and Markos had designed dummies that looked like monsters as the monster surge, the Amopanstuegsteger. They had sold surprisingly well, and they made some for themselves. Whenever Milos’ old friends wanted to hunt monsters, they came over and trained with the bots and ate tuna sandwiches afterwards. Today, no one was scheduled to come and he went crazy. Leaping with a phoenix jump, he soared into the air before slamming his sword into a troll replica. It collapsed, and he used the momentum to fly into a pack of kobold bots. He used a meteor strike, and they were all destroyed before he drew his sword. Spinning around, he saw a pack of Karks, dog-like creatures with lizard tails and crab claws charging at him. He drew his sword and slammed into them like a cannonball, plowing through their ranks. Skeletons lined up in front of him, lowered their spears, and charged. He raised his flame shield and dodged their attacks where he could, and blocked them where he couldn’t. And when there was an opening? He just stabbed, slashed, and shredded. He was a force of nature, swirling in their ranks. He was untouchable. Until he wasn’t. 

 

One skeleton jabbed its spear straight through his thigh. Milos gasped at the pain and collapsed on one knee. Gritting his teeth, he awkwardly used fire to launch himself up and then sustained it to stay floating. Some skeleton bots were throwing spears up at him, while the ones with longer ones were jabbing up at him. He couldn’t sustain this much more, so he did an impromptu meteor and crashed into them. Wincing, he shakily held himself up on his bad leg and fended the hordes off. Muttering a quick spell, a dome of fire appeared around him. The skeletons charging him disintegrated against the shield, and he had a moments’ rest. He readied his sword and dropped the dome. The skeletons surged forward again, and he spun around to face each one, using fire to help him each time. He threw up a five-second dome and summoned his dragon in the break. Together, they burned through the skeleton ranks. He briefly saw Markos destroying skeletons while disabling the bots that hadn’t gone crazy yet. Halfway through a swing, his leg collapsed and a spear went through his shield arm. Wincing at the pain, he dropped his shield and held off the skeletons with his sword, he focused and launched a bolt of fire that went clear through the skeletons. He got another view of Markos, now finished, swinging his hammer and launching fireballs into the horde. He saw his dragon burning swathes into the waves of bots. Milos made a sweeping motion with his sword and decimated the front rows of the skeleton. They just kept on pressing and fighting, though. He was woozy from the pain, but he was pretty sure that the skeletons should have all been dead. And that’s when he realized that instead of metal, the last few charred corpses had been exactly that-corpses. Every so often, he saw a couple with rags and other weapons. His suspicion was further confirmed when he saw more skeletons crawling out of holes in the ground that seemed to be glowing with a purple light. 

 

He desperately yelled to Markos “They’re real skeletons!”

 

He called back “I noticed!”

 

Calling out a real war cry this time, he smashed his sword sideways into the basket of ribs in one skeleton, and cracked it over another’s skull. Twirling around, he made an upward slash that popped the skull of one and he hacked the legs of it’s fellow. When the destruction was over, Markos, Milos, and the dragon stood grimly over the remains of their fallen foes. Markos broke the silence. “Well, this was obviously the work of a very powerful necromancer. I took extra care not to build my house over bodies, so whoever they were must have teleported them here.” For the first time, he saw Milos. “Are you alright lad?” He asked, concerned. 

 

Milos had ignored the pain in his arm and leg, and it all came flooding back.“I..think...I’m...alrigh-” He collapsed before finishing the sentence. The last thing he saw was Markos’ concerned face over  him and his dragon picking him up.

 

A couple of hours later, he woke up in a little room. He was sitting on a bed, and he saw one of his friends, Parsh, who had healing abilities and expertise. Markos was also in the room. “Well, Mr. Temekos-” 

 

Markos interrupted. “Just call me Markos.”

 

Parsh continued, embarrassed. “Well, um, er, Markos, he seems to be okay. He may suffer from trauma, but his wounds are fine.”

 

“Thanks.” Markos replied gratefully

 

“No problem.” Pash said. “It’s just to help my buddy Milos. Hey Milos, you’re awake!”

 

“Thanks for helping me Pash.”
 

“Nah, just consider it repayment for that time you saved me from Carl’s gang.”

 

“Alright. Still, take a spark.”

 

“Fine. Thanks. Take care!”

 

“I will!” Milos called over his shoulder as they walked out. He turned to Markos “How did you know to take me here?”

 

Markos smiled. “Knuckain told me to come here if you got hurt.”

 

“Fair enough. Wanna eat tuna melt? Oh wait, did you clean up the mess?” 

 

“Yeah. Let’s eat!” Markos said, opening the door. Inside, there were three officers who were standing with their hands on their batons. Markos’ face darkened. He turned to Milos. “Stay here. If things turn south, I’ll meet you at Pash’s place.”

 

“All right.”

 

Markos walked in. “What are you doing in my house? You need a warrant.”

 

The one in the middle, clearly in charge turns to him, face expressionless. “The Purifiers need no warrants.”

 

Markos’ face turned sheet white. And so did Milos, when he recognized the face. That Purifier had been in charge of the burning of his hideout. He made a visible effort not to leap at the man. Markos gave him a warning glance and turned to the Purifier. “Why are you here? We did nothing wrong.”

 

The Purifier gave him a cold smile. “Defying authority multiple times, disturbing the peace, associating with criminals? I wouldn’t call that “Nothing wrong.” If you tell me of these criminals you have been meeting with, and promise to follow local authorities, then you will be pardoned.”

 

“Criminals?” Markos asked incredulously. “What criminals?”

 

“To start, that boy right there. You took him as an apprentice when we clearly saw him as a thief. Another, that clinic you just visited. The people on the streets who you talk to regularly. And most importantly, the Knuckain.

 

“What about the Knuckain? He seems okay, and he’s helping everyone! He worked with the government to provide food for the poor, he-”

 

“He is a criminal overlord who must be put down to preserve the peace!” The officer suddenly roared. “You admit to meeting with him, you are obviously helping this ex-thief, and that combined with your previous records provide us with solid evidence to arrest you.” The officer yelled, chest heaving and spit flying out of his mouth. He pulled out his baton, and the other two mirrored his movements. “In the name of Ocarvus and Equiliras, deities of Law and Punishment, and the Court of Purity of the City of Miskos, we arrest you.”

 

Markos sighed. “I didn’t go this far to be arrested for talking with people. Now step aside so me and my apprentice” he said, emphasising the apprentice, “can eat out lunch in peace.”

 

“Not a chance. You come with us or die.”

 

“Then at least I’ll die on my feet. Milos, go!” Markos shouted, swinging his huge hammer into the lead officer. But where he should’ve been, there was only empty air. Milos launched a huge fireball that erupted into one of the officers, burning him as he screamed. He swung around and engaged in the others. Markos took a quick moment to yell “Milos, I said go!” and in that moment, the electrocuted baton slammed into him and his body went limp. Screaming in rage, Milos jumped up and hacked at the other officer and then turned to the lead one. Swinging his sword, he cut a sizable chunk off of his shoulder. Snarling, the Purifier pulled out his sword and it started glowing. Milos’ face turned grim serious and he charged in, using his shield to block the others’ attacks and blasting him with fire. The purifier could launch bolts of energy, and Milos frequently had to summon new shields because of that. Milos tripped, and the purifier lunged at him- only to find himself gasping for breath due to the cut across his chest. The purifier collapsed and Milos was the only one left standing, Realization of what he had done slammed into him, and his stomach heaved as he threw up onto the street. He staggered over to Markos, and checked for a pulse. There was none. Numb with pain, Milos felt where he had been hit and walked into the house. He paused for a moment, and then dragged the corpses inside. He threw the Purifiers’ bodies into the fire outside, remembering what Markos had said about necromancers, but he gave Markos’ body to a Temekos funeral. A forge fire, and his hammer being burned with him. He fixed the tuna melt and sat by the forge. He pulled out his sword and established a link with Natakaras. He saw the dragon in his cave. Natakaras looked up. “Hello Milos.” 

 

Milos’ face was completely blank. “I can go now.”

 

“Now? So Markos agreed to go with you?”

 

“Markos is dead.”

 

The dragon looked at him in shock. “Dead. Markos? Are you sure?”

 

“I saw it with my own eyes. And I avenged him.”

 

“Well, the world's worse for it. He was a great man. And revenge, nasty business. Still, my sorrow. Did you give him a proper funeral?”

 

“Yeah.” Milos said, loosening up a bit. “And did you know him?”

 

“Yes. He met me right after Detrorok and got me some food to get me back on my feet.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Yep.”

 

“So, I’ll pack and then head out.”

 

“Okay. Here, burn this with Markos.” Natakaras held out a medallion with a dragon on it. “This one is me.”

 

Milos nodded, cut the link and entered reality again. Holding out the disc, he dropped it on Markos’ fire before heading to his room to pack. He packed his meager possessions and then went back to the forge. He waited until everything was melted, and then he picked his stuff up and went out the door. He had places to be. Walking through the streets, he could distantly hear cops rounding up criminals. Although they might be Purifiers rounding up civilians. He picked up his pace until he got to an apartment building. At the front, two big, burly guys were lounging about. “Hey guys.” Milos said impassionately. 

 

“Hi. What’s wrong? Weren't you with that Temekos?”

 

“He’s dead. Purifiers.” 

 

They shook their heads. ‘Claim to keep the peace when all they do is disturb it. Are you going to be staying here?” 

 

“No. I just need to see Knuckain.”

 

“Alright. You need anything,  just tell us.”

 

“Thanks guys.”

He walked up the stairs until he had gotten to the top floor. He knocked on the door. Knuckain peered out. “I heard what happened. What do you need?”

 

“I just wanted to tell you, but it seems you know. Do you have any other gifts that I was supposed to get? I’m headed out of town on a quest of some sorts.” He told him about the Natakaras and everything else. “So, is there anything you can help me with?”

 

“Alright. I have one thing from me and one from your parents. Don’t open it until next year.” He handed Milos a small sphere, and then said “From me.” and handed him a knife.

 

“Thanks.” Milos said.

 

“Wait! The knife has hydra poison on it, and it’s enchanted to cut through anything. You can’t lose it, and in any city, you can use it to show my favor.” He smiled. “Even in Detrorok.”

 

Milos bowed. “Thanks. I’ll see you again.”

 

“You better.”

 

Milos walked out and into the street. The vibrant oranges and yellows bled in the evening sky. He ran back up the stairs and knocked on Knuckain’s door. “Can you send someone to get Markos’ possessions?” 

 

“Sure.”

 

“Thanks!” Milos ran out again and into the street. He sprinted through the city and held up his pass to the guard. The guard nodded and then leaned down to him. “I assume that you don’t want the Purifiers to know?”

 

“Thanks.”

 

“No problem. Go!” 

 

Milos ran into the open country, leaving the city behind. Above him, the first stars slowly started to appear.

 

Edited by Flaming Coinshoot
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Spelled 'his'  'has' gemheart is Stormlight, and so is mark, unless that isn't currency.

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Posted (edited)

Aw dang it I knew something was off. I'll change all of that. Thanks. Also, where's the typo?

Edited by Fireball300
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1 hour ago, Fireball300 said:

Aw dang it I knew something was off. I'll change all of that. Thanks. Also, where's the typo?

The first spoiler box.

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Posted (edited)

Okay. Fixed it

 

Edited by Fireball300
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This is fun.

I think it's a bit odd though that Milos is doing things so much faster than he should be able to. Is that because of his Spark?

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Posted (edited)

Thanks! Yeah it's because of the Spark.

Spoiler

The idea is that the Spark is generational, so all past knowledge is there.

 

Edited by Flaming Coinshoot
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Correct me if I'm remembering wrong... but wasn't he not wearing the Spark at that time?

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Posted (edited)

I may have written that wrong, so I'll go see, but I think that he was. 

Spoiler

He put the skill into the Spark, and then he didn't take it off.

 

Edited by Flaming Coinshoot
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Just let me know if I get too carried away with any feedback meaning if I start to hurt your feelings or something like that, 'cause I tend to be very gritty with grammar on any feedback about writing. I'll put both positive and negative if there are any, I'm sure you did a beautiful job in here. Take this all with a grain of salt, since I am not a professional and this is my honest opinion as someone who has a bit of experience with writing some stuff. Most of this will be grammatical stuff, lol. If it'll help you, you can go to my status' to make some critiques heaven knows I need them.

I'll write more feedback when I get to reading it, meaning that there will be editing involved in this comment. I'll do it one chapter at a time. I still do have a life outside the Shard, lol.

Chapter 1

Spoiler
On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“Let’s see here, two wallets, 10 strikes, 4 sharps, and a boot.” 

I have to be a grammar nazi for a second, but spell out the numbers when they are being spoken (e.g., Use something like "I have ten fingers," instead of, "I have 10 fingers"). I know people tend to know what the number is when it's written as a number, but ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ ya gotta love that grammar ᕕ( ᐕ )ᕗ. In short, say the numbers by their name rather than by their number form. It'll be the same for any other numbers used here, since I don't wanna go through all of them and say that, lol.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

His leader, Arvas, asks incredulously “A boot? The other stuff is good, but a boot?” 

You're missing a comma between "incredulously" and the beginning on the dialogue. I'll be a grammar nazi yet again to explain what I mean unless you know this, then you can ignore it: I see that I will need to explain some comma and period grammar rules. I see you make this a lot and that's okay, but also there are some things that you probably need to know if this were to be "grammatically correct."
Yes, yes, there are some cases where this is okay, but for most of the time. Because you are saying something more of an action, that is a different sentence and will be a change of pace. Keeping dialogue and actions separate is one of the key things when it comes to writing, unless you have a word that links them together (e.g. "and," "then," "suddenly," etc.)
Lemme write up an example from a movie~

Obi-Wan Kenobi leaped from the rafters, landing behind the droid general. A small smile formed on his lips. "Hello there," he announced, rising from his crouch.
The droid general perked, then turned around at the sudden noise. "General Kenobi." General Grievous laughed. "You are a bold one."

As you can see (within this hecka long comment), I used periods to try and keep those actions and dialogue separate because they're different sentences when trying to tell a story. Again, you can use commas to make the sentences longer and and try to flow with one another, but also keep in mind that there are sentences where it really doesn't make any sense sometimes.
I hope that you got something from this hecka long text and if you want me to explain further, feel free to ask. Grammar is one of my pet peeves. I'll most likely go through all of them, because I don't think it's something that you can see, as of right now.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Arvas

I'll say this now while I'm thinking of it, you come up with good name, such as the one I just quoted. I love myself some good creative names, since it's easier for me––the reader––to know who's who.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Milos saw them burst onto the roof and then burst into the hideout. Milos watched helplessly as they ruthlessly dragged people out and threw them off the roof onto a cushion that slid right into a cage on a truck.

Right in between "hideout" and the next sentence, I would break the paragraph. You're changing topics and you wouldn't want to confuse the reader with what emotions are going on.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Milos trembled and managed to get out 

 

“Uh…over-over the-there.” 

Yes, you missed a period reference the big blob of text at the beginning; I'll just call it "blob of text", but I would make these two a paragraph of its own. Meaning, I would create a new paragraph at the "Milos" rather than the dialogue. Appreciate that you're paying attention to the grammar with that. Also, side note: You're probably one of the first writers I met that hasn't gotten their writing published, of course that has gotten the stammers and stutters down. Really good.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

The Temekos looked at him real hard, and then grunted and said 

 

“Over here. I know you’re from that hideout, and you could use a safe haven right now. My house will do. Follow me.” 

Same as above. I'm not sure whether or not this was on purpose or what happened when putting the writing here, but making ya aware. Also, place a comma after "said" and before the dialogue reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Markos snorted “No. They don’t know these streets well enough.” Eventually they came to Markos’ house. It was nothing like the big mansions that the Temekos uptown lived in. It looked more like the…hideout. The difference was even more stark inside the house. The only decorations were tools, and even those didn't look like the fancy ones that the other Temekos used. 

I would make a new paragraph after the dialogue. A period between "Markos snorted" and the dialogue; it's breaking the dialogue and action apart reference big blob of text. Also, a comma between "eventually" and "they" wouldn't hurt. If you want this is personal choice, you could explain more in depth what the house looks like to paint more of a picture in the readers head. I don't care if you do that piece or not, just something coming from a reader.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“Oathmaker”.

Periods and commas go on the inside of quotation marks (e.g., My friend said something like, "Words of Radiance," the other day). To be honest, periods and commas can be tricky to place, but you get the hang of them when you use them more and more. So yes, I learned something from my English 101 class.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Milos just said “A medallion.”

Reference blob of text. This is a personal choice, but I would replace "just" with "only."

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Markos walked over and said “Alright, first things first, let’s start with the tools. This here is a-”

I would make this a paragraph of its own; also, reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Milos interrupted him “Hold up! What do you mean? What are we doing here?” 

Reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“Why I’m teaching you to be a Temekos of course.” Markas responded.

I would place a comma between "why" and "I'm." Also, reference the blob of text for the period at the end of that dialogue.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

"My parents are-were from Lashas.”

I would let there be a pause between "are" and "were," and have the "were" be a bit emphasized (e.g., My parents are... were from Lashas). Also, applause again for the creative name for the place Milos' parents are from, man.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“Wait- why did you say “were”?’

Ah, quotation marks. They're tricky :// When a person is quoting, or making air quotes, what writers would use is apostrophes inside the quotation marks (e.g., "I believe you said that we were 'sneaking' our way in"). Only reason why I'm not putting the period inside the quotation marks is because they belong outside of the parentheses at the end of a sentence.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Milos looked him dead in the eye “Because they aren’t alive anymore.”

Reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

He looked it over and asked Milos “What is this?”

Reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“I want you to Boost em’.” 

Should be 'em, instead of, em'. You're shortening the word from the first two letters; last two are still there, so use the apostrophe in front of the word.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Milos complained “Boost? I don’t even know what that is!” 

Reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Markos didn’t grab the hammer or yell at him, he just stood there, eyes wide. He looked at Milos’ shirt and asked “Can I see the medallion?” 

Break this off from the paragraph to make a new one; new topic/action means new paragraph. Also, reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Keep it safe lad, it can save your life one day.

Put an apostrophe before "lad," since it's a title/name.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Markos shook his head and then looked back up “Boosting makes something better."

Reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

He then asked “Are we gonna be doing anything else today?”

Reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

He stared intently at Milos.

This can be its own paragraph.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Milos looked back at him and simply said “Yes.”

Reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Markos turned to him. “You need to find the best pieces of metal there. Go!”

This can be its own paragraph.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“This was mined in the Skytor mountains. The whole batch was shipped to the Wild Islands, and from there was moved to Coveron. There, it was used as plating for a tank that fought against the Toshmarians. When the tank was destroyed, scavengers picked up the metal and sold it to the Ashkarans.” Milos stopped for a moment. Where was this all coming from? He shook his head and continued “It was used for the 3rd Ashoka-Class Battleship, which sank in Lake Lomeria after being pounded by 5 Miverian torpedoes. The Miverians scavenged it and brought it here, where you acquired it.”

This can be its own paragraph; also, reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Markos blinked. 

This can join the paragraph below it.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“This is gonna be a lot easier for you huh?”

I would put a comma between "you" and "huh."

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Milos ran back and started to grab bronze for the dragon. Markos chuckled and kept on walking. Milos also grabbed some wiring as well. Then he ran back. He immediately sprinted towards the forge and laid out his materials. A glow came over him, and he grabbed the hammer. He quickly Boosted it, and then he took the hammer and started hammering the plates into shape. He grabbed a welder and then started binding the plates together with perfect precision. He grabbed an apple and threw it into his mouth before going back to his work. For hours and hours he worked, hammering and welding, threading and connecting wires, putting on extra plating, and before he realized it, it was dusk and then dawn again, and yet he still worked. He mastered the art of power-napping, and for 3 days he worked, under the watchful eye of Markos.

Nothing grammatically wrong about this paragraph; however, I'm not sure if I like how Milos is developing his skills quickly than he should. I know you said it was because of his Spark and apart of his past generations knowledge, but even the most powerful of people had to be weak at one point. Something I would do, if I were writing his arc is I would have him learn more of his abilities, step by step rather than all in a couple of days. I'm mostly basing what I would do off of Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender, since he went through it all step by step, or season by season, than all at once. No one is born powerful, not even the people who have the most access to all the world's knowledge. Everyone has to learn step by step, and that doesn't exclude people who have past generations to go off of. If you continue this, what you will create is a Mary Sue/Gary Stu, and speaking from experience and from the people I know, no one likes one of those characters.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

When he was done, Markos walked up to him. “Well, it’s time to teach you the last step of Aquerstüv Opefjeg Klamnaehjalijeg. The Enchantment, Etantsuchjalt, the most sacred and important step. Without this, your creation is just a regular automaton. With it, it is a masterpiece. The closest we can get to artificial life without those-” Markos’ mouth soured “aberrations the Almoreans make.”

This can be its own paragraph; also, reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“Right now” Markos responded. “You start with a warding- it's to protect you if it blows up. To my knowledge, every order uses a warding. Guess they all believe in safety first.”

Reference blob of text, and I would do it like this: "Right now," Markos responded, "you start with a warding––it's to protect you, if it blows up. To my knowledge, every order uses a warding. Guess they all believe in safety first."

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

He asked “How do you do a warding?”

I would move "he asked" to behind the dialogue.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Right then, a golden red glow shot up over him. It disappeared after a moment, but little sparks floated around in the air and then disappeared. 

This can be its own paragraph.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“I’ll show you” 

You forgot a period at the end.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Markos grabbed his hammer and then handed it to Milos “You should use your medallion."

Reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“It should take you a couple of hours.”  Markos offered. 

Take this with a grain of salt, but this is how I would write it: "It should take you a couple hours," Markos commented, [insert something he's doing physically, since writers can and probably should show and not tell].

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Milos kept on searching, and 5 minutes later,

Go a bit more in depth with his search. Meaning, what is he feeling? Is he searching lightly, or deeply? Is he lax or determined? Is he beginning to sweat or is he unfazed? You gotta provide context and have the readers feel some sort of suspense of, "Is he going to find it? What if he doesn't?" and so on. You would then break the paragraph of how much time has passed.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“What is it? What Happened?” Markos asked. 

Maybe have Markos run up to Milos, because he might be concerned that a literal child is screaming in agony. Also, the 'h' in "happened" can be made into a lower-case, unless that's personal preference.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“Oh no.” 

Can be made into its own paragraph, also are there any expressions on Markos' face, or is he staring into Milos soul and wondering why he's paying attention to a child that screamed bloody murder that's just me, though, lol. I don't think "oh no" would be said with a blank face, but with something more of horror.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

He shudders “Don’t tell anyone, and don’t go to Detrorok.”

Reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Milos took a second, and then nodded “Probably for the best. What are the other sources?” 

Reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Milos looked down at his palm “What is this?”

Reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“That’s called your Mark. If you have a source, you get one on your right palm, like you have. If you have a divine blessing it goes on your left. More abilities are signified by tattoos that go on your arms.”

Is that an Eragon reference I sense? >.> I'm kidding, of course lol. I was just reminded of it, if you know what it is.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“So Burners get this tattoo?’

I would put a comma after "so"; also, you put an apostrophe at the end when you should've put a quotation mark.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

A thought suddenly came to Milos “What’s your Source?”

Reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“I’m a Steeler” He shows the hammer and anvil imprinted on his palm, in a circle with triangles coming out of it and a mountain in the background.

Reference blob of text; also, love how you explained it, man.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

What if I try...this!

Should be a space between the dots and "this."

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Markos groaned “Also, I can enchant metal to be much, much tougher than standard enchantment. But it can only last for so long. Be careful!”

Reference blob of text.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

“Done.’

Should be a quotation mark at the end.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

In a deep, rumbling voice, it thundered “Not yet, young Draegm. Not yet. And don’t tell anyone of our little meeting.” 

This can be its own paragraph.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Milos tentatively said “Hi.”

How I would write it take this with a grain of salt: "Uhh, hi," Milos said, tentatively.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

It growled “Hi.”

This can be its own paragraph; you also forgot a period at the end of the sentence before this.

On 6/14/2021 at 5:50 PM, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Markos simply said “Go to bed” with a sly smile.

How I would write it take this with a grain of salt: He gave him a sly smile, and turned to go inside. "Go to bed," Markos said, simply.

 

This ain't bad, I actually like where this is going; but that doesn't go to say that it doesn't have its flaws. What I noticed is that there isn't a whole lot of physical action, such as a character moving, whether that be shifting in their place or turning to go do something. Go and reference someone's writing, like Sanderson's, if you need something to go off of; I wouldn't go as far as say reference my own writing, but it's there if you really want something else to go off of. Another thing I noticed was that I didn't hear any thoughts from the protagonist, like what stuck their mind when they were building stuff.

I'll give you an example from one of my own characters.

 

Q huddled against the corner close, clutching her head as more memories came in to drown her. Not only the memories came in, but the blood... so, so much blood. It made it hard for her to breathe, even though the blood wasn't there physically. It might has well have been there in real life, since she started to choke. Not because of the tears and blood, but because of what the memories reminded her of.

Why am I like this? she thought, coughing up blood on the dark floor. Why can't I go through a day normally?

 

Something like that, because I tried to show that she was hurting mentally, emotionally, and physically. Not only that, I gave her some thoughts about what she was questioning about. I dunno if I helped or not, because I wrote this just now, lol.

I'm sorry if this is too much for you; if I said too much, just lemme know. 

 

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Question: An unknown Temekos walks up to Milos, knows where he was, and offers his house as a safe haven. What reason does Milos have to trust him? You don't get far on the streets by trusting random people. When I read that bit, so many alarm bells rang and I was immediately suspicious of the Temekos. Why wouldn't Milos, a street thief, be even more suspicious of the Temekos?

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Posted (edited)

First off, Milos was wearing bad clothes, had a backpack over his shoulder, and was obviously running away. Markos is pretty smart, so he can put 2 and 2 together. Btw, all of this is on me for not describing that better, so I'll fix all of that. Milos just literally saw everyone he lived with burned or captured by clearly ruthless police, and his home got burnt to the ground, so his judgement isn't the best right now. He's also supposed to be fairly new to theiving, but again, I'll edit that. Mystic Syn, thanks for all of that. I just learned more grammar from you than from my teacher. I think I fixed everything. As for the character arc, a lot of it is gonna happen after Chapter 5. This is just getting a grip on his abilities. Thanks to both of you and keep it coming!

Edited by Flaming Coinshoot
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3 hours ago, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Mystic Syn, thanks for all of that. I just learned more grammar from you than from my teacher. I think I fixed everything. As for the character arc, a lot of it is gonna happen after Chapter 5. This is just getting a grip on his abilities. Thanks to both of you and keep it coming!

I tend to hit hard with the grammar, lol. Anyone of my irl friends can tell ya that. If you ever have questions about grammar… idk, I’m not a professional and only took a class about it, while learning some things as I’ve been writing over the years.

K, yes, I get that he’s getting a grip on his abilities, but lemme remind you: No one comes out of the womb solving geometry, world hunger, or whatever the heck the Karens are doing. I am a bit of a hypocrite, because I also love to have fun with abilities before actually thinking about how my characters took the steps to get there; but I found out that I love to create a backstory for my characters and the steps they took to get where they are now. It can be tedious, but they end up being amazing characters and people tend to love them the most at least, that’s what I’m thinking what happening with Q/Yulong; people kinda just love her and idk why. Maybe I’m doing something right lol.

I was talking to a friend of mine irl a few hours ago about this, and he agreed that power leveling is something you can’t just give to a character all at once, but let them take the journey to find out their powers. Those end up becoming a better story and people end up loving it more.

I’m not sure if you play D&D, but I’ll make an analogy: As a spellcaster at first level, you are only allowed cantrips and a couple of first level spells but I could be totally wrong about that, since I haven’t played a spellcaster in a while. You don’t have access to all the cool spells––like Fireball––at first level, but you have to work your way through the levels to achieve it, so you can burn a town you hate because the stupid manager won’t give you the money they owed you five sessions ago, and you could really use–– *ahem* Sorry. Getting ahead of myself.

My point is that everyone needs to have arcs with their power leveling. You can’t make gods out of people who are supposed to be mortal in the first few paragraphs. “Getting a grip” on his abilities is cool and all, but doing it overtime will make people savor it more and become more attached to the character. And who knows? Maybe they might even relate themselves to the character.

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Posted (edited)

I do play D&D, and I can see how I messed up on that. I might adjust the abilities later. Although, I'll probably end up burning the draft and restarting the powers.  

 

Edited by Flaming Coinshoot
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Keep all your drafts. One of the most important rules of being a writer. There probably is some mistakes that you made in past drafts, but if you keep and reference them as you keep drafting, you will overcome those mistakes and become a better writer. There are some drafts of some writing I made years and I'm not joking when I say "years" ago that I keep around, so I can see what more I can do.

One of the main worlds I've been working on has been in the works for almost five years now and i can't believe it's been five; it feels longer. I still have the very first official draft of what I wanted the books to be, even though I did not get too far about nineteen pages before I had to stop and think about it some more since flying by the seat of my pants wasn't working for me. I have the second official draft from about four years ago, and it's better than the first one since I thought about it some more, but even now there are some things I don't like about it. I'm pretty sure that there are some more drafts that I most likely tossed because I didn't get far in them meaning one or two pages, and I sat back and didn't do much about it, keeping it on the back burner as something I might do in the future.

Now, I made a new world for it. I was going to have it be on Earth, but I enjoy it better when it's in my own creation and in my world. As of right now, I'm on the fourth official idk how many actually draft of the worldbuilding, that I've been trying to force myself to sit down and do. Once you get to this amount of drafts, you just want it to be over, but there are some serious reworks I need to do lol. I haven't started to actually write what book I want to, because I'm still figuring out characters, their arcs, where I want them to be at the end of the story, their personalities, how they fit into the story I want to tell, and all that jazz.

Moral of the story: Keep the drafts to remember what you're fighting/writing for.

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Okay. I think I'm just gonna make a draft two for the first few chapters. 

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@Flaming Coinshoot looks good, but i'm kinda busy and don't have time to read it all at once. can you private message me the whole thing and I'll copy it to something where I can read it at my own pace? thanks!

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1 hour ago, Hoid the Drifter said:

@Flaming Coinshoot looks good, but i'm kinda busy and don't have time to read it all at once. can you private message me the whole thing and I'll copy it to something where I can read it at my own pace? thanks!

Thanks! I don't actually have the whole thing written, but I will once I'm done.

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4 hours ago, Flaming Coinshoot said:

Thanks! I don't actually have the whole thing written, but I will once I'm done.

thanks

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I'm currently taking a break from the book to step back and figure out the best way to rewrite/improve it. Thanks to MysticSyn, Tani, and Frustration for their help thus so far. Thanks to everyone who read it. Bye!

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