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A selection of short tales... - Labyrinthe Forum

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> A selection of short tales...
post Mar 3 2021, 04:55 PM
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So to get the ball rolling for our new creative corner, thanks to Stacey's suggesting that the amazing creative types we have here share some of the things we have written. These are a series of short tales about Laby I wrote a few years ago for Rob B as intros to various chapters of an extended length he was running. Hope some enjoy them!



The campfire flickered and danced, the crackle of the kindling worked its magic as those assembled drew closer to the warmth and companionship offered.
Slowly the hum of voices, the clatter of movement and the laughter of children faded to an expectant silence, as a figure slowly rose and began to speak.
His voice was that of a trained soothsayer, his skills honed by decades of practice, and this is but my own poor attempt to relate the tale he told us that night…
“This is a tale of Thatazel Head Taker, Wyr Sire of the lower pleasures of the Sunless. Our tale finds this mighty warrior sat before a campfire not dissimilar to this one. But he sat alone, hunted and without allies, his only companion his greatsword that lay across his lap, as he drew the whetstone back and forth with effortless ease.
A nocked and much abused weapon that had seen more battles than many named blades. But this blade had no name, its powers were born from the blood it had shed in his service, and it was but a tool…an extension of its wielders iron clad will.
Thatazel had earned his name, indeed everything he possessed he had earned in blood and the suffering of those who would stand against him. He had risen to a position of leadership within the rebellion, and defeated every foe he had ever fought. He commanded the respect and obedience of many, so why now did he sit at this campfire alone, whilst his enemies circled?
And circle they surely did, for he had attracted the full wrath of Coris mount. His example could not, would not be allowed to stand. And so the assassins came…not the petty contracted killlers that had plagued his steps for years. No, this time it was a bloodwacht, a unit of four elite deathwalkers, the very best the Mount had to offer.
And so the trap was set. This was why Thatazel sat and waited. Without any other to distract him. Patiently. Calmly. He waited and his pulse never quickened as he sensed the first movements on the perimeter of his camp. They were good. They had bathed in stripbark to remove all scent. They had mastered the art of slow, silent movements, and controlled their own bloodflow to such a slow pace that even his keen hearing could not make out the beat, beat, beat of their hearts.
But nonetheless he knew as they approached. How he could never have explained, he just did. He could sense it as the air parted around them, as the insects quietened in their path, a thousand different signals shouted to him as they came in.
One, two, three…he knew them, and their fate was sealed. But he also knew the nature of his foe, he knew the legends of the bloodwacht, and knew there would always be four. And so he waited as they edged ever closer. But no, the fourth, surely their leader, was the best he had ever encountered. No trace of his passing could he find. So he would improvise.
The moment arrived, as his would be hunters came into the kill zone. All three moved as one into his rear arc. Still several paces from the seated figure and not yet ready to strike…but Thatazel was. In the flash of an eye the bulky demon moved with the grace of a dancer. Backflip, quick step, and another, flash of a blade and a head rolled. Done and over, in less than the blink of an eye. He smiled as the dead figure became visible, a mage, he had got lucky with his choice of targets.
There would be a priest, a bladedancer and a master of the mind. Of course that was not the only skills they would know, and who knew what strange combinations of powers they had at their disposal. But it didn’t matter. This was battle, and Thatazel was in his element.
They came in now fast, their shock at the fate of their fallen comrade quickly smothered as they knew their fate would be the same if they hesitated.
The Wyr Sire felt a tickle at the edges of his mind, but his barriers were firmly in place. His brain should by rights have been leaking from his ears, but instead his focus was just honed even further. But he did grunt as an explosion of power surrounded his form, spiritual claws tore at his exposed flesh and sought to rend his spirit.
But the priest had made a mistake, expecting the pain to buy the time for him to launch another assault. Thatazel felt pain, but it didn’t incapacitate, he relished it, welcomed it into the very depths of his being. And so as the claws rended him he had already reached their origin, and mid incantation the priest was skewered, the first blow didn’t quite separate head from shoulders, but the third and fourth surely did, all struck with such speed and skill that it was all but impossible to discern the end of one blow from the beginning of another.
Two down, and now came the gamble. He knew where one of his foes was, just a few paces ahead of him. And so, he turned, his back exposed and lunged into thin air. And hit…nothing. But he was not disconcerted, his attack was barely begun, his blade spun in a frenzy, cutting at impossible angles to cover every approach, and there it was. The clang of a parry, he had the leader now, and he would not be denied.
Sudden pain pierced him from behind, multiple hits, daggers thrown with the force of the mind, and the accuracy of a trained assassin. Their accuracy was staggering, and would surely have felled most. He incanted, and the blood of his fallen foes flew to his form, sealing his wounds and at the same time surrounding him in a mist of blood, the dance of his blades concealed and all the more deadly as a result.
With a roar he carried the attack to the blade master, and with incredulity watched as his foe was revealed, a young human. Old enough to be an apprentice at best, yet somehow every blow parried, and a vicious cut suffered to his midriff in the process. This puny youth had cut him in combat. And his speed was incredible, he wielded two blades yet Thatazel recognised the style, for it was his own.
Pummeled once more by telekinetic attacks, Thatazel began to consider the possibility of defeat. And in that possibility, instinct and rage took over.
When control was once more asserted, Thatazel’s wounds were numerous, and the neuronicist lay dead at his feet, his body a bloodied hunk of meat, his head intact yet separate from the body, eyes just beginning to glaze over with the sheen of death. The look of shock on the face of the latest assassin to fall would have greatly amused the demon, had he had the time to consider.
But the leader still lived, and pressed him most sorely. The blades danced and flicked in and out, and each time they did blood flew.
Stepping back, Thatazel spoke for the first time. “I would know your name, foe, for few have lived who dance the dance so well”.
The young human male considered for but a moment, before stepping back and executing a bow. “I am Iang Von Zuam, and I am your death, demon”
They shared a look then, mutual loathing but merged with reluctant admiration, and the final dance began in earnest. Back and forth the battle raged, ascendancy borrowed and stolen back, but never truly possessed. And it ended as many such battles between legend do, on the roll of a dice, the turn of fate. A blood slicked stone, a foot placed so as to grant the stance necessary to absorb the power of a greatswords blow, and a fatal slip.
Thatazel fell beside his fallen foe, his mighty chest raising and falling with bellowed breaths as he roared to the skies. “Never have I known such an adversary, and never will I again. He will not be lost to the ages”.
And as rumours and old tales would have it, the Wyr Sire was true to his word. What became of the heads of his victims was never known. But the bodies of these four would be assassins were taken to a Blauze ritualist in Arathelia, who raised them as headless abominations to serve their new master.”


Herein lies the tale of how the vacuous vestments came to be. This tale was told to me by my father, Virallax Vestillard, a mercenary ritualist and accomplished practitioner of the black arts.
It was in the days after the emergence of the Onyx and Jade dragons, when the mighty black mana dragon had been laid low.
This insult to the source of my father’s power was not to be ignored. His adventuring days were behind him for the most part, but this one last time he gathered his ritual paraphernalia and ventured forth. He sought out the company of three others he knew of old.
Maervax of House Da’erth, a powerful drowe black mage. Salatharian, a human dark champion of the black mana dragon, a most puissant warlock and wielder of the darkest spirits. And Balthazar, a silver folk paragon and one of that rare breed who have mastered both the arcane and neuronic arts.
Together, these four studied and devised a way that their patrons power could be not only restored, but if anything surpassed.
After a series of gruelling and dangerous missions, they succeeded in their first objective. They stole a powerful gem, an accursed artefact known only as the Heart of Light. This gem was a physical representation of the actual heart of the white mana dragon. With this in their possession, their dreams became a reality.
After more months of careful planning, they raided a shrine near unto Sellaville. A shrine protected by warriors of the jewel, sworn servants of the white mana dragon. This shrine they consecrated with the blood of their victims, and began their ritual.
To hear my father tell it, their struggle lasted hours but felt more like days. To break the Heart of Light and corrupt it into darkness took all their combined might, as they battled endless waves of foul light elves and sprites and the like.
But in the end they were of course victorious, for such is always the way, the dark shall always consume the light, it is inevitable.
The shrine gave birth to a darkness then, of such pure malevolence that all four felt truly blessed to bear witness to its creation. The heart of light was consumed, the very heart of the white mana dragon lay destroyed, and Vacuous, dragon of darkness, was restored to his rightful place of glory.
Shards of this darkness spread across all the land, with Sellaville hit hardest, its proximity to the ritual resulted in several nights of utter terror for its residents, as black and twisted creatures of nightmare ran riot through its streets.
But the greatest blessing lay within the shrine itself, for when they were done, four artifacts of purest darkness came into being. Gauntlets for Salatharian, a headband seemingly woven from the very night itself for Balthazar, slippers seemingly made of scales for Maervax and my father…the instigator of this mighty ritual…he received a simple ring with a single black gem.
These four artifacts comprise the Vacuous Vestments, powerful arcane objects alone but when brought together by the most resolute of wielders, they hold the power to slay the white mana dragon and lay that pathetic wyrm low for all time. However it was also discovered that only through the destruction of the vestments could the Heart of Light be restored, and so it was that these four mighty companions parted ways and were never again to meet, as they each sought to ensure the vestments would never be reunited until the time for their true purpose was ripe, and one of sufficient power to slay the white mana dragon had arisen.


This is the journal of Ava Thomas, scholar and priestess of Dead Heroes.
In other words, if you are reading this then stop! It’s none of your business, it’s warded with powerful runes that will strike you blind if you keep reading, and it’s my private journal so just 'micky' OFF!
There, maybe that will scare off those nosy bloody acolytes back at the temple.
So, guess it’s about time I started to keep a journal, cos let’s face it, Im not getting any younger. And my mind, whilst still plenty sharp, aint as good at remembering stuff as it once was.
So, my latest trips taken me near to Halgar, a small village in the rural outskirts, named Pinebridge. Aint no prizes for guessing what the bridge over the local river is made of!
Interesting case has presented itself, apparently plants that have been tainted by some kind of demonic entity. Quite rare really, plants not usually much interest to demons normally.
Anyway, have decided not to waste what remains of my funding hiring adventurers for this one. Such a waste, they cost a small fortune and nearly always end up butchering what I want to actually study!
I love worshipping the heroes of the land, but think it’s about time I followed their example, got off my backside and actually did something to help the land myself. And how dangerous can a few plants be, tales I’ve heard is more of scary things happening to local townsfolk, rather than anything actually all that dangerous! And let’s face it, these villagers aren’t exactly the toughest I’ve met, they seem scared of little old me, never mind that dark old forest! Bet half of the stories are more to do with the local brew than actual demons!
So off I go!
Travelled to the outskirts of the forest. Its old, that’s for sure. Dark and eerie, just like I thought. My best bet, a druid has scared off the villagers, or somesuch. Heading on in tomorrow.
Didn’t sleep well last night, some pretty damn odd noises coming from the forest. But nothing a strong brew and fry up didn’t take care of this morning.
Seen some interesting plants for sure, strangely some I would swear are usually found only in the Baronies. Will take some samples on the way back out for further investigation.
I was attacked! Yes, really, I’ve been in a real honest fight. Ok, it was with a wild boar, and a couple of halt miracles and some whacks from my mace soon took care of it. But still, me, in a real fight! What would Jerome say now if he could see me. Timid my [----]!
And my times in the kitchen as a youngster are going to pay off now! Fresh, wild bacon for breakfast tomorrow!! Life is good.
Ok, so I admit it, something weird going on. The noises were back last night, and they sounded like they were inside my tent half the time. But nothing there.
And my lovely pig that I hung up to bleed out overnight. Well, it was gone by this morning. Mostly gone anyway. Blood and viscera was smeared all over the clearing. And its heart was left on a silver platter outside my tent. Nearly stepped on the damn thing when I got up!
Rather disturbingly, the heart was beating. Ever so slightly, but definitely beating. The silver platter had evil spirits bound within it, guess that’s why it seemed to still be beating. But that aint the work of a druid, that’s for sure. Guess the villagers might have been onto something, with their talk of demons.
Anyway, Im not stupid, Im in over my head, time to hot tail it out and go get those bloody adventurers. Its Starsday tomorrow so usually some around looking for a hire!

[----]! Im in trouble. Right, here’s the facts, lets lay it out and see if I can make some sense of it.
There’s definitely demons. Theyre playing with me. Ive travelled through more woods than most in my life, I don’t get lost easy, yet cant find my way out. Something is confusing my mind. I keep seeing demonic figures surrounded by mist at the edge of my vision, but theyre never there when I look full on.
The plants. Oh sacred heroes, the plants. They all drink blood! There are dead animals and people and all sorts throughout the depths of the woods. And the plants are draining them of every drop of blood.
The plants all have a weird red tinge to them. And give off…heat. But not like fiery heat. Just wrong. Really, really wrong. Like suck the blood right out of your still living body wrong. [----]!
And they move. They trip me. They drop branches on me. And they close and open paths when Im not looking. It sounds mad, I know, but I swear its true.
Im scared. I’ve communed with some heroes who may have been in a similar predicament. The only advice I got was to get to the middle. So what choice do I have, if I make it through tonight, onwards I go!
What a day. You know I just might make it as a bloody hero after all!
Today I’ve fought off mad, blood crazed plants. Demonic imps that shot poisoned thorns at me. And perhaps most importantly, I’ve learnt to not fear anything!
Those buggers tried everything. Demonic disembodied faces appearing right in front of me. Taunting voices and threats of every conceivable kind. Sudden explosions. Weird music haunting my every step.
But you know what, I think this place feeds on fear. And I WONT GIVE THEM THE [----] SATISFACTION. The one time they did get a scream out of me, the ground opened up immediately afterwards and belched out a walking plant that nearly had me for dinner. Luckily I still had that explosive cache from Tommy, it didn’t like fire any more than most plants. But that soon taught me, no matter what, Im done feeding this shithole with my fear!
Anyway, stop wasting time Ava. The important news, in case this doesn’t work out after all, in which case I hope this journal helps any other poor soul that makes it this far. But it will work out. Damn it, I’m not going to be beaten now.
So yea, I made it to the middle of the forest. Some kind of hut to one side, really gave me the creeps, not going anywhere near that. But there was a ritual circle in the clearing, and I managed to lasso the scroll that was in the middle out without getting blown up.
I’ve placed a protection from evil around my tent, should be able to renew it a couple of times. So now just time to translate the scroll and hopefully figure out how to get the [----] out of this mess I’ve gotten myself into. My divinations tell me the answers I need lie within this scroll. And Im a scholar, I CAN do this!
*There are no further entries in the journal*


Dear Sara Eldar,
It is with regret that I must write this letter. I have completed my investigations into the fate of your missing husband.
There is little to be gained from dragging this out, I am sorry to say your husband is dead. You paid well for my skills, and so below is a complete recounting of his final hours. But my advice to you would be to read no further. Your husband died without stain on his honour, but his death was not an easy one. So I plead with you, know that his last thoughts were of you, mourn his passing and be at peace. You will gain nothing from reading any further, but the service you have paid for must be completed to the best of my abilities.
I dreamed and I saw, and in seeing I shared all, knew all, of the final hours of Thomas Eldar. So it was done, and so it shall be told.
Thomas travelled with a friend, Maervax Fyrson, a fire wizard of some repute. They sought to save some missing villagers. They had tracked them to a grove a few miles outside of Trollsville.

They fought their way to this grove, a full day of arduous and incessant battle, through ravening animals and blackwood Ents, pine warriors and shambling mounds…but in sight of the captured villagers at the center of the grove they themselves were overcome. The very grove itself seemed to come alive about them as they entered, and they were ensnared in vegetation that bound them hand and foot whilst the pine warriors that had massed in defence of the grove beat them into unconsciousness.
Hours passed before Thomas once more regained awareness. Night had fallen, but the moon above the grove was a deep crimson red, and it bathed all in the grove in macabre lighting that I can only describe as a shroud of blood. Thomas awoke to be greeted by the terrified screams of the captured villagers, as one by one their throats were slit with razor sharp sickles, wielded by emotionless pine warriors that seemed themselves to be entirely carved from Blackwood. As the villagers blood gushed forth, soaking the earth and deepening the red hue that covered everything in the glade, the pine warriors stood in the pools of blood as though rooted to the spot, their black barky skin becoming laced with pulsing red veins.
Struggle as he could, Thomas could not free himself from the vegetation that still bound him, it seemed a blood red ivy-like plant had grown through his very skin and wrapped itself around the bones of his arms and legs. The pain was nearly overwhelming, but he fought for consciousness, determined to find a way to escape. He had a promise to keep, a promise to his wife who carried their first child. And so he struggled and fought with all he had, but it was futile.
At last, resigned, he shared a look with Maervax, comrade through so many battles, and in that moment both knew they were done, their time had come. A weary smile was all he could muster, and a resigned nod.
The last villagers screams cut off abruptly, but the grove was anything but silent, the rustling of vegetation accompanied a low, ominous chanting from the gathered pine warriors. They were calling upon an ancient power, a god of blood and sacrifice whose power I believed to have long since faded. Gradually the blood red light permutating the entire area became somehow focussed, and shone in a wide beam of crimson directly onto the form of Maervax.
Thomas fought back his own screams as he saw fire magic burst uncontrolled from his friend, only to be absorbed by the light. As the fire flowed from the mage, the crimson light seemed only to grow in potency. Now the very bones of his friend could be seen through his flesh, glowing with an incandescent light. Maervax locked gazes with Thomas one last time, but there was little conscious thought visible through the overwhelming agony, as his magic was ripped forth from his very form, and his bones melted the flesh around them, until all that remained was a crimson skeleton that tumbled to the ground in a pile of bones, and then furthermore melted into a crimson ash that was scattered by a sudden gust of wind.
And now I beseech you one last time, read no further.
A huge pine warrior approached Thomas, its blackened features gazed at him impassively as it began its work. Using its own fingernails it began to carve. All of Thomas’ determination to not scream were for naught, as he was flayed alive, every inch of his skin was torn from his form with swift precision. And yet he lived and felt every cut, every tear, as the gaze of the blood moon shone down on him. Only when the last shred of skin was torn from him did his life begin to wane, as the occult power that held him released its grip and his blood exploded forth in a diabolic crimson rain, soaking all those that gathered around, as they bathed in the death of this brave young man.
I wish there was something I could say, some words that could ease the pain. That his death served some fitting purpose in the end. That he found peace.
But I am sworn to never lie, conceal or reduce the truth of my dreams. The death of Thomas Eldar was the worst I have ever witnessed. The regret that filled his last moments tears at my heart even now. He was a good man, he did not deserve the end he met. And his blood, it somehow lives on, for a purpose both dark and malign.
So it was, and so it is recorded, herein lies the full testament regarding the fate of Thomas Eldar.
Savvrax Truthspeaker, dreamwalker and seer.


“Hurdle?” said the misshapen goblinoid to his companion.
“Hurdle, hurdle” came the inevitable reply.
Despite the succinct nature of their conversation, understanding evidently blossomed between them, and the remainder of their hunting party, as they moved into position with smooth efficiency. They had been trailing the traders caravan for a couple of days now, their interest drawn by the number of guards for just a couple of wagons. And now had come the opportunity they had awaited. The caravan was about to enter a narrow canyon, evening was fully upon them, and the ambush was set.
The shaman and witchdoctor awaited ahead, one on either side of the canyon, situated up high on ledges well hidden from the road below. Their summonations would start the combat, distracting the wagoneers whilst the raiding party approached from behind.
And so the chieftain and his chosen warriors and scouts began the final approach, hunkered low with their large hands easing their passage along the rocky ground as they half ran, half scampered towards the wagons.
A massive earthen elemental suddenly appeared amidst the human guards and began lashing out, the pained cries of its victims swiftly turning into the clash of arms and armour as battle began. All were so focussed on where the elemental would next appear that none noticed the ethereal figure with burning red eyes, that hunted the fringes of the battle. But one after another the guardsmen ceased to move, as the undead wight froze their very life essence and feasted upon their helpless forms.
Over half the guardsmen were dispatched before the truth of their predicament dawned, as one particularly stalwart guardsman threw off the freezing touch with a determined cry, and sounded the alarm “Wight! There is an accursed wight attacking!”
The shocked cries of the guards companions were drowned out by a chorus of victorious shrieks from the chieftain and the rest of his raiding party, who had successfully closed the distance during the distraction.
“Hurdle, Hurdle!” came their battlecry as they surrounded each guard in turn, their long knives rising and falling in a dire rhythm that stopped only when they were bathed in the crimson lifeblood of their victims.
Licking their lips, they looked for the next target, eagerness evident in the excited tone as they cried out to each other, “Hurdle! Hurdle, Hurdle!!”
The fight was already nearly done, the shaman and witchdoctor had joined the fray, the wight had been joined by a couple of ghouls and it hunted down those who still showed signs of resistance whilst a pair of elemental gnome lords plagued any who tried to organise resistance. Those who fled found their feet bound to the ground, or unnatural forces forcing them to their knees. Only one knot of human guards still held out, protectively surrounding the wealthy looking merchant that presumably had organised this ill fated expedition.
The chieftain saw his opportunity and barrelled into the group, accepting several stinging hits as he flailed left and right with his morningstars, tripping and knocking down those who came within his range. And as they all converged on his position, he grinned with true menace and threw a bottle down at his feet, with a triumphant cry “HURDLE!”
The bottle shattered, releasing a black noxious cloud of deadly poison. The poison engulfed the chieftain, seemingly healing his wounds even as the human guards collapsed to the floor, their last breaths wheezing forth as their faces turned purple and their eyes burst in their sockets.
The raiding party slaughtered the incapacitated guards as they writhed upon the floor, and the merchants pleas for mercy were met only with repeated shallow cuts and stabs, the creatures malevolent giggles paired with the finality of their usual refrain “Hurdle, hurdle!”
Soon all that could be heard was the tribe enjoying the flesh of their victims, tearing, rending, crunching and chewing, interspersed with the occasional satisfied belch and exclamations of “Hurdle!”
The vision slowly began to fade as the strangely distorted goblinoid creatures finished their feast and began to loot the caravans. The last thing to be seen was the beautifully crafted blade, gleaming silver in the moonlight, that the tribes chieftain took from one of the caravans and victoriously held aloft, with a cry of “HURDLE, HURDLE, HURDLE!”
As the vision faded a cold voice spoke…
“So there you have it, so it is seen, so it is known, the blade now resides with the creatures known as the Hurdle.”
“Yes master, thank you for showing me our target. We shall find them and retrieve it, I foresee no complications.”
“Good hunting. I hope this stain on our honour shall be swiftly cleansed. That such foul creatures should hold our legacy…”


The hunter squatted low, his powerful hindlegs bunched beneath him, ready to spring. His prey came closer, unaware of the danger that lurked nearby.
Shockingly sudden, the hunters tongue lashed out, stunning and encircling the lizard before it even knew what had happened. The huge toad grinned a toothy grin, as the lizard was drawn ever closer to the gaping maw that would be the last thing it ever saw.
“Snap, slurp…belch”
So it was done, another feast consumed. The mighty hunter nodded happily to itself as it pondered on whether it had space for more, or should just return to its midday doze. But suddenly a mystical prodding drew its attention, and with a resigned sigh the toad shouted in a peculiarly resonant tone “Alright, I’m coming, don’t get yer breeches in a twist!”
So saying the toad sprang away from the pond, and several powerful leaps later entered the hut that was the dwelling of its mistress, a particularly potent witch named Estael Swampsinger.
The toad could not remember a time it had not served the witch, and its loyalty was more than that of a beast to its master. There was a link, a bond betwixt them, that brought to them both a satisfyingly symbiotic existence. They both enjoyed feasting on lesser life forms, and both excelled at exerting their mastery over all they encountered. They were kindred spirits. At least so the toad mulled to itself as it hastened to the call of its mistress.
But something was wrong. His mistress was in a panic, disarray ruled throughout the hut as belongings were strewn everywhere, and through their link he no longer sensed calm assurance but rather panicked urgency.
“Mistress, be calm, whatever be the matter, I am here and stand with you, be calm!”
The witch whirled to face her familiar, and the frenzy that gripped her did indeed lessen. She gave a single nod, as she considered, and then without the need for speech she placed a hand upon the toads head, which stood at the same height as her own waist, and sent forth a vision of what was occurring.
The toad saw a group of strange humans, wearing furs and jewellery carved of bone, fighting their way deep into…into their swamp! They had overcome nearly all the defences the toad and its mistress had spent decades erecting. And the determination upon their faces was clear, not lessened in the slightest by the casualties they had suffered and the hardships they had overcome.
Estael spoke to her familiar, detailing what must be done. Then she scooped up a casket from the floor and spoke several arcane words. A rope arose from nearby and wrapped itself securely around the casket, and then around the toads powerful neck. As she did so she spoke a further incantation…
“For the one I truly loved, let love bind and ensnare any who should seek this, for the one who broke my heart, let the same be suffered by any who open this, let the blessed be accursed, let the living know unlife, heartless, hopeless, let despair rain down upon those who seek that which is mine, now and forevermore!”
The toad blinked slowly as the shadows in the hut deepened, and a powerful sense of dread pervaded the small dwelling. The sound of his mistress’ heart became all encompassing, and a salty taste of fresh blood momentarily overpowered his senses.
And then as suddenly as it came, the power surged and dispersed, and all was normal once again. But with a voice that brooked no argument the witch spoke, and the toad listened and obeyed.
“Go forth, my familiar, my trusted friend. Take this casket into the deepest darkest reaches of our home, let the swamps hide and protect it, and let no living hand but mine take it from you.”
The toad wanted nothing more than to stay and protect his beloved mistress, but the authority in her voice allowed no argument, and so wordlessly he turned and leapt from the hut, the casket securely attached to its back. As he fled from his mistress, he heard further ritual incantations behind, and knew those who dared attack her in her glade faced a battle that few could survive…

So if anyone actually got to the end of these, and would like to read more, I have completed one whole chapter of a book I would love to finish writing one day. Drop me a PM and I'd be very happy to share what I have written so far, if interested. And feedback always welcome!
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post Mar 4 2021, 06:59 AM
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I have read the first one, enjoyed it very much! Loved the way you treated caves-related abilities... a cavie would get the reference but a non-cavie would also be able to read and understand what's going on too.

Also skimmed down to the last paragraph. I too am hoping to write a book (trilogy) and find keeping myself accountable hard. I'm learning a lot about structure, character arcs, etc so always happy to talk writing with people!

I'm also looking to do some fiction editing/proofreading on the side so if you ever want anything looked at from that pov, I would be more than happy to help.

Will come back later to read some more.

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