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UnfortunatelyNamed's writing endeavor(s)


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So I took a creative writing class, and this short story is the result. I was planning to post this earlier, but I wanted to do some edits that I haven't found the time to do. Anyways, here it is:



I catch a hint of fresh sea air as I walk towards the inn, squinting up at the sign hanging over the door. Fortunately, this one indicates that the owners accept the King’s Debt, so I shove the door open wearily and walk inside.

The inn is a cheery place compared to the dark street outside. A fire crackles contentedly in the hearth, and the few tenants seem to be enjoying themselves. I shake my head, trying to dispel the heaviness from my eyelids, and walk towards the innkeeper, a tall and spindly man with a head full of blond hair and a few long whiskers on his chin. He looks up as I approach, taking in my mud-covered form.

“Came through the wetlands, eh? Most travelers go around. Those swamps are infested with brigands. There’s even the occasional monster. Care telling me why you decided to go through instead?”

I ignore the question, slapping my left hand down on the bar.

“I’d like a hot meal and a room for the night. Water for a bath too.”

“You got the money for it?”

Money? I glance back at the door, confused. Hadn’t the sign said he’d pay the King’s Debt? I look back at the innkeeper, and only then realize that the back of my hand is covered in mud. I lift it off the bar and scrub it best I can, then turn it around to show the scale embedded there.

The innkeeper’s demeanor changes immediately. He stands up straighter, eyes moving from the mark on my hand back to my dirt-covered face.

“Ah. Huntsman.” He puts down the mug he’d been cleaning, calling to one of the servers to bring me some food. “The Debt will be paid here. I’ll go prepare a room.” He turns to go, but stops, hesitating briefly. “Thank you for your sacrifice.”

I snort, accepting a bowl of stew gratefully and beginning to eat. People seem to like that lie. I think it makes them feel better to believe that us Huntsmen chose our fate. I guess it’s true on some level. I did make the decision to join. But if I’d known what the world was really like, if my head hadn’t been full of stories of brave knights fighting dragons and protecting those in need… well, it would’ve been different.

I finish two bowls of stew and a mug of ale by the time the innkeeper gets back. He shows me to my room on the second story, much more deferent now that he knows what I am.

He glances at my filth-covered cloak. “My wife can clean those clothes. Just pile them outside your door, and she’ll have them back in late morning.” He paused. “Unless you’re leaving sooner than that?”

I shake my head. “No, I’ll probably be staying a few days. I plan to get passage to Delmor, so I’ll have to wait until I can find a ship going in the right direction.

“Passage to Delmor? Pardon me for inquiring, but why Delmor? The King’s Debt isn’t paid outside of the country, and that place is practically wilderness.”

“They say there’s dragons there. They’ve been extinct here in Aldwin for centuries, but over in Delmor, they’re still around. Or so it’s said.”

“Dragons? Why do care about dragons?”

I look down at the dragon scale embedded in my palm, a mark of the new life given me after my time serving the king was up. A relic from a better age, it sparkled dully in the faint light of the hallway.

“I’m going to kill one.”

Kill one?” The innkeeper looked shocked. “But-why?”

I only smile, thinking back to the stories I’d heard of dragons. Nothing like the creature’s I’d been forced to fight. No, dragons were majestic, beautiful creatures. They didn’t skulk about in the shadows, waiting for children to devour and preying on humankind’s worst fears. They didn’t need to. They flew through the air, shining for all to see. When you fought a dragon, you weren’t fighting some nightmare. You were fighting a story come to life.

The innkeeper jolts me out of my daydreams, concerned look on his face. “I-look. You want passage to Delmor? That’ll be expensive. Ships don’t pay the Debt, especially not Delmish ships, and I doubt you have the money to book a passage.”

 “I thought I’d hire myself out as a guard. The seas are dangerous, and I’m sure any captain would love to have a Huntsman to protect his ship.”

Retired Huntsman. Look, no one would doubt your skill, but-Huntsmen… They aren’t exactly…” The innkeeper trails off, looking me in the eyes. “Well, you’re not exactly known as the most reliable fighters. Most of the Huntsmen I’ve had pass through here, they spent their days trying to kill themselves with drink. Most of them didn’t want to think of fighting. Besides,” He gestures to my waist. “You don’t even have a sword.”

I wave aside his concerns. “I’ll find passage. Don’t you worry about that. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m very tired, and I’d like to clean some of this mud off me before bed.” With that, I walk into my room, leaving behind the innkeeper and his worried face.


I’m standing in the fog, screams echoing in the night. Around me are my fellow soldiers, looking as terrified as I am. Commander Helm is the only one who looks somewhat calm. “HOLD! Those screams are meant to frighten us. Stand fast men, we’ll live through this yet.” I barely hear him, staring out in the fog, desperately trying to make out any shapes in it. The whole world is shaking, or maybe it’s just me. I grip my sword tightly, every bone in my body telling me to run. On my right, Aron does, breaking ranks and fleeing into the night. Shapes move, and I hear another scream, this one more real. I almost lose my footing as the ground tilts beneath me. The commander points his sword towards the shapes, yelling orders that I can’t hear over the splintering of wood.

Shapes burst from the fog, claws rending. Commander dies first. Then Eric. Timothy.

Falling. I’m falling.

I dropped my sword. Where is it? I collapse to my knees, running my hands along the ground, trying to find my fallen weapon.

Falling. Wood cracking like bones. Screaming.

Screams, directly in front of me. I look up to see a thing, form indistinct, shifting the  into the face of death itself. My hand runs into something sharp, and I grasp at it, mind numb with terror.

The creature lunges, teeth and claws forming out of shadow. I cry out, swinging my sword upwards in a desperate blow.

Falling. Shouts. Scream-

I hit the ground hard and am jolted awake, groaning in pain. It’s pitch black. The boat shakes. I can hear screams above me, shouting. A storm? No, the wind would drown out the shouts.

Another sound. A deep bellow, massive. The boat shakes again. More shouts, this time I can make out one word. Dragon.

I’m moving before I can think. I slam the door to my quarters open, run into the hallway. Another roar, another shake. I lose my footing, hit the wall. Get back up. Climb the ladder. Open the trapdoor. Onto the deck.

Sunlight. I’m out on the deck, I can see the chaos. A massive head off the starboard bow with glowing green eyes, grey fog leaking from its mouth. Patches of that fog cover most of the deck, sailors near it convulsing in death throes.

It’s not a dragon. A sea serpent. Must’ve smelled the whale oil in our cargo. I see a harpoon in the hands of a dead sailor, face contorted in agony, skin covered in boils. I grab it, running towards the sea serpent.

The captain sees me, shouts something that gets lost in the wave of screams as the serpent breaths out more poison. I ignore him, running towards the beast, holding my breath and wrapping my cloak around myself as I enter the fog, Holding onto the harpoon with a death grip.

I reach the edge of the deck, eyes burning. All I can see of the monster are its own glowing orbs. They latch onto me as I leap, holding the harpoon high. The beast lunges, jaws bursting from the fog to claim me. I thrust my weapon upwards.




I hit something, knock my head against the ground hard. Everything starts to go black.

“Captain! The creature’s leaving!”

“Did you see him? He jumped into the snake’s mouth! Stabbed the thing.”

“Saved our necks, that’s what he did. That thing was about to sink the ship.”

Falling. Fading. Darkness.


I’m lying in a clearing with tears flowing down my cheeks, the light of the dawn shining upon the blood and death that covers me. My squad is gone, the corpses of those lucky enough to be killed strewn across the clearing around me. Those less fortunate are in the creature’s dens, where they’ll be fed on for weeks, even months. I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to banish visions of the horror they must be experiencing right now.

A shout breaks the silence, forcing me to open my eyes and glance over the carnage that surrounds me. A fellow huntsman stands at the edge of the clearing, patterned grey cloak blending in with the shadows of the forest. He looks sick as he turns away from me, shouting back into the forest.
“Over here! I think it’s Helm’s squad. They’re… dead.”

As his squad catches up with him, I try to cry out, but can’t manage anything more than a whimper. I struggle, trying to shift the corpse of the monster that has me pinned to the ground, but it’s no use.

The squad of Huntsmen cry out as my struggling causes the corpse to move, raising weapons and forming into a tight bunch. I take in a deep breath and force my mouth open, trying once more to call out to them.

“I’m… here. H-help me. Please help me.”

The squad remains frozen, staring at the creature on top of me. Did they hear me? I’m about to try again when one of them breaks ranks and starts across the clearing towards me. He looks too old for a Huntsman, and he has the grizzled look of a veteran about him. Holding his sword in one hand, the man stops a foot or so away from me and the corpse, hesitating. Taking a deep breath, he reaches out and places his left hand on the corpse.

My eyes widen as I see the dragon scale embedded into it.

The veteran lets out a quiet sigh of relief before turning to face his squad

“Get over here and help me shift this thing, you damn cowards! There’s a man trapped under it!”

He kicks the creature, gesturing to the slowly decaying tendrils of fog emanating from its motionless form.

“Look at it! This bastard’s melting in the sunlight! You think it’d just sit here if it was still alive? Get moving, unless you want this man to die of boredom waiting for you!” He grunts, looking down at me. “Sorry bastard’s got more guts than the lot of you put together, I’ll wager.”

Kneeling beside me, he examines what little he can see of my body for injuries.

“Are you hurt lad? The beast didn’t get its fangs into you, did it?”

I shake my head, eyes still stuck staring at that left hand. I spoke, voice hoarse and tired.

“Why didn’t you… leave? You have the scale. You finished your service. Why come back?”

The veteran freezes, glancing down at his hand. Behind him, the squad finally breaks into action, timidly approaching the corpse. The veteran shakes himself, then waved the group of huntsmen over, organizing them around the beast. He grabs my shoulders, pulling me out from under the monster that I’d killed. At his coaxing I finally relax my grip, stiff fingers releasing the sword embedded in the nightmare’s face.

The squad of young huntsmen drop the beast to the ground with a thump and stand there, transfixed by the horror that lay before them.

Finally, the veteran speaks, voice quiet.

“You’ll understand one day, if you live long enough. What you’ve seen today… what you’ll see in the future, it won’t stay behind when you leave.” He sighed. “I tried to leave, when I finished my time. I guess a part of me just couldn’t bear living without a mission. There was nothing out there worth doing. Not for me, at least.” He stands up, turning his back on me. “You remember that, kid. If you live, find something worth doing. Something besides fighting these damned nightmares.”


I wake up on a cot, face swathed in bandages, vision blurry. I must have given some indication that I was awake because a blurry shape moves at the edge of my vision, hovering over me.

“Don’t try to move. You’ll only aggravate the burns. Here, drink this.”

Something cool is placed to my lips, a metal cup, perhaps. It’s filled with something that tasted foul, but I drink it anyways, thankful for something to wet my dry throat. The shape exits my range of vision, but I can still hear whoever it was moving, so they’re still in the room. I cough, lips smarting painfully, and speak.

“Where am I?”

The sound of movement pauses briefly, then continues.

“Delmor.” I think the voice is feminine but can’t tell for certain with the bandages muffling my hearing. “I’m an apothecary. Pert’s crew brought you here once they made port, along with many others hurt by that monster you encountered. Most of those are either dead or healed, by now. You’ve been unconscious for almost three days.” A pause. “I was starting to think you wouldn’t wake up.”

Delmor. I’m finally here. “Did the captain…?”

“Survive? Yes, he did. And he wants to see you, once I say you’ve recovered enough. For now, try to go back to sleep. Your burns need time to heal, and your eyes need rest if your vision’s going to return.”

I close my eyes, and quickly drift off into a relaxing, dreamless sleep.


I spend the next week resting, much to my chagrin. With my goal so close, I can’t stand just sitting around. There are dragons out there, real dragons, with fangs and claws. Every bone in my body wants to leap out of bed, run out of the city, and climb the mountain where they’re said to live.

The apothecary doesn’t care about my ‘stupidity’ as she calls it. She makes it very clear that if I don’t stay in bed until she says I can leave, she’ll have me tied to it and put under watch night and day. Unfortunately for me, she’s serious, as I find out after she catches me sitting up, putting on my boots.

Fortunately, she doesn’t have any problems with me talking to people as long as I don’t get too worked up, and the sailors who take turns on watch are eager to tell me all about the city.

“Yeah, I asked about it at the tavern. The men there said they haven’t seen many dragons recently. Haven’t had any attacks since about twenty years back, when they killed one with that ballistae they set up. They think that scared the others off.”

Jeb grimaces, taking another sip of ale.

“They had plenty of stories about normal monsters though. Seems like attacks have been getting more common lately. The wall guard’s seen creatures hovering around the edges of the forest, just outside the wall, and solitary farms get attacked all the time. Seems almost as bad as it is back in Aldwin.”

Finally, a week after I first woke up, the apothecary decides I’ve healed enough to release. My face is still covered in scabbed-over blisters and my vision still has a hard time in the dark, but at least I can walk again.

I’d heard Captain Pert wanted to see me before I left, so I head over to the docks to meet him. He’s overseeing repairs on his ship when I get there, shouting at some workers for ‘lifting the sail wrong’. He notices me as I approach, patched gray cloak on my back.

“Ah. It’s you.”

Pert turns to one of the workers next to him, whispering something that sends the man running off somewhere.

“Huntsman, I believe I owe you my thanks. You saved my ship, my cargo, and my crew. I wasn’t sure about letting you on the ship at first, but seeing how things turned off… I feel guilty to be giving you nothing but passage here.”

I hesitate, not sure what to say. “You don’t owe me anything. You hired me as a guard. I was just doing my job.”

The captain nods thoughtfully, turning as the worker he’d sent off earlier comes back holding a long wooden case.

“That’s a load of rotten fish if I’ve ever heard it. You saved my life, and I don’t owe you?” he chuckles. “I might not be the best man around, but I always pay my debts.” Taking the case, he opens it, revealing a gleaming sword, as well-made as any I’ve ever seen.

“Take it. If you’re going to go get yourself killed by a dragon, it’s the least I can do to see you equipped with a proper weapon first. I had it made by a blacksmith in the city, an old one from the days when dragons still raided this place. He says it’s sharp enough to pierce a dragon’s scales, and strong enough that it won’t snap in half doin’ so.”

“I-” I look at the sword, overcome with emotion. “Thank you.”


I hike up the mountain with the sword on my back. Apparently, the dragons nested up here, on a plateau atop the mountain range. Soon, I’d be having the fight of my life. A real fight, against a real monster. Not those nasty creatures I’d defended the kingdom from. Nests of acid slugs, massive insects that feast on human blood, humanoid things resembling rotting corpses. My foot gets stuck on something. I look down to see what looks like a large clump of spiderweb. I pull my sword out and cut my boot free. No, this won’t be like those creatures. This will be a battle against a true monster. One that doesn’t need to rely on stealth or fear, but on majesty and strength.

I reach the top, and finally see a dragon.

The bones of one, at least. A massive skeleton, easily fifty feet long. It hangs suspended in the air, wrapped in a massive grey web. The ground beneath is splattered with what looks like dried blood, littered with fallen scales. I pick one up and am struck by how dull it looks compared to the one in my hand.

I let the scale fall to the ground and press onward, towards the caves at the plateaus heart. The trees up here are massive, towering things. They would be beautiful, if they weren’t covered in webs. I pass more dragon skeletons as I progress, some with flesh still on the bones. Webs block my way, and I have to slice my way through with my sword to progress. This turns out to be a mistake, and I watch as the sliced web sends off a serious of reverberations around the forest, massive strands of web shaking the trees with their vibrations.

To my horror, a massive spider, even bigger than the dragon skeletons, appears out of the webs. Somehow, despite its massive size, it moves without sound, skittering towards me and the broken web.

It notices me, and out eyes meet. I hold my sword out wardingly, but I’m frozen in fear, trapped by the sight of its eight black eyes. The terrible creature moves closer, as if curious. I have to move, to run, to do anything but I can’t. All I can do is stare into those dark eyes that eat the morning light, as the spider slowly approaches me.

Suddenly, a crashing sound to my right. I whirl to face it, and beside me the spider does as well. Webs all around us begin to shake, and a roaring emanates off in the distance. It sounds angry. The spider moves off silently, ignoring me now that there’s better prey to be found. I fall to my knees as it leaves, horrified. I’d come all this way to kill a dragon, only to find that thing hunting them like flies? This was what became of my worthy goal? I clench my fists, grip tightening on my sword as more roaring sounded off in the distance. The dragon sounds desperate. It knows what is coming. “No.” I whisper, standing up straight. “I won’t let that thing win. I am going to kill a dragon, no one else.”

I run through the forest, towards the sound of crashing and roaring, but by the time I get there, it’s too late. I can only watch, helpless, as the spider sinks its fangs into the majestic creature’s neck, silencing its roaring and paralyzing the once-mighty dragon. Tears come to my eyes as the spider wraps the dragon in its web, and my sword clatters to the ground uselessly.

A web next to me vibrates, and I hear a gentle scratching on stone. I turn, and see a tiny dragon, broken wings trapped hopelessly in webs. It stares at me, eyes glowing softly with inner flame. Not knowing exactly what I’m doing, I cut the dragon free, half expecting the young creature to rip out my throat as soon as it can move again. Instead, it runs up to me, climbing up my leg and along my arm to sniff at my left hand. Then it curls tight around my arm, shaking with fear.

I stare at the baby dragon mystified, not aware of how quiet it has become until a tree above me creaks.

I look up to see the spider’s eyes not ten feet away from me, gaze locked onto the dragon on my arm. Above the monster, the husk of a dragon hangs trapped in webs, all hints of life and majesty sucked dry.

Before the spider has time to pounce, I turn and run, ducking low between branches, holding my left arm close to my chest. Slicing webs out of my way, I dash for the edge of the plateau, hoping the nightmarish creature wouldn’t follow me further.

Surprisingly, by the time I get to the forest’s edge there’s no sign of the spider. Ahead of me is the dragon skeleton I first saw upon reaching the plateau’s top, and beyond that the beginning of the climb down. I look behind me, expecting to see shaking webs, a dark form descending upon me to claim my life, but instead there’s nothing. An empty forest once beautiful, now covered with hideous webbing. Confused, I turn back to the forests edge, and realize why the spider’s not behind me.

It's waiting for me, hovering motionless in the webs above the first skeleton I found, eight black eyes locked on mine. I step back in shock, considering my options. Should I run back into the forest? No, that would only delay the inevitable. What I should do is abandon the young dragon on my arm. If I threw it out there, I’m certain the spider would attack, eating it and giving me time to escape.

For some reason, I find my eyes drifting down to that lonely dragon skeleton, the bones of a once-mighty beast. My grip tightens on my sword, and I start walking towards the edge of the forest. The spider waits, watching me. I look down at the dragon on my arm, terrified creature’s claws digging in to the back of my left hand. Maybe… maybe dragons aren’t the ones that need to die.

I lift my sword, eyes locked on the dragonslayer, and charge.

Am I done with this story? No. I'd like to edit it further, and I have at least one scene I'd like to add to the thing. I don't know if I want to write a follow up, or if I'll find time to do so. My semester's pretty busy right now. Maybe over spring break.

Anyways, thoughts? Constructive criticism? suggestions?

(For any you who are in FotT season 2, it is possible that you'd notice some similarities between this story and my character Klave in the Fellowship. That's because when I first joined that I saw the rate people were posting at and realized I needed a character quickly, so I pulled the MC from this story, gave him a name and some character development, slapped an OP magic system on him, and tossed him in)

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That was really good. I've always been partial to nice fight scenes, heroes with a strange sense of honor, and fantastic beasts. It would definitely be really cool to see more of that. Um...let's see I always like constructive criticism, but there isn't much to say for this. You have a really good writing style, the sentences flow really well. The jumps between each scene were a little bit confusing at first, and it would be nice for a little more explanation in a longer story, but for something so short it's really good.

Good job!

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