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Tomp
03-10-2012, 07:24 AM
I just had an idea (which may be rubbish).

Why don't a group of us write a story.

We write 1000 +/- 20 words each. First one of us starts and when he/she/it have written ~1000 words it gets posted as part 1. Writer nr 2 take up the mantle and continue the story, writing his/her/its ~1000 words, and so on.

It could be fun.
It could be bad.
It could be silly.
It could be done.

It would need a minimum of 4 writers.

What do you think?

Edit:
Would be interesting if there were seven writers (7 spokes) and it just turned round and round.
Hm, where did I get that from?

Zombie Sammael
03-10-2012, 10:40 AM
Why not just make it so that anyone who wants can write a chapter? Or, this can be pretty funny when everyone writes a paragraph, or even a sentence - it can go some pretty stupid places. Not sure that's what you were after, but I've tried it that way before. Anyway, I'm in.

The Unreasoner
03-10-2012, 11:47 AM
As am I. So long as it is done by the paragraph (or more). The staggered nature of time on the boards would make anything less either nonsensical or excruciating. Dibs on the penultimate chapter.

Sei'taer
03-10-2012, 01:34 PM
As long as there's no drinking, sex, or cussing. I'm against all those things.

Zombie Sammael
03-10-2012, 01:35 PM
As long as there's no drinking, sex, or cussing. I'm against all those things.

Shhhiiince f***in' when?

fdsaf3
03-10-2012, 02:23 PM
I'm in. My contribution to the story will be a mathematician named Frederique who is lost inside his local grocery store trying to find panko bread crumbs.

Sei'taer
03-10-2012, 03:42 PM
I'm in. My contribution to the story will be a mathematician named Frederique who is lost inside his local grocery store trying to find panko bread crumbs.

Does he have a shitty roommate? Uh, I mean a crummy roommate?

Tomp
03-10-2012, 03:59 PM
Any preferences concerning types of setting and so on?

Zombie Sammael
03-10-2012, 05:03 PM
Any preferences concerning types of setting and so on?

I think we should just see where the wind takes us.

Tomp
03-10-2012, 05:16 PM
I think we should just see where the wind takes us.

Anyone who wants to go first and establish some of those things?

I can do it if no one else wants to, but I prefer to be second or third.

The Unreasoner
03-10-2012, 05:35 PM
I don't know. I think Your thread, Your game: You begin. You can take a second turn if you'd like though.

Tomp
03-10-2012, 06:01 PM
Ok, I'll start.

The thing won't be up for a day or so though.

Dragon Thief
03-10-2012, 06:14 PM
I think we should just see where the wind takes us.

If 'taer is involved, you don't want anything to do with his wind. You've been warned.

Zombie Sammael
03-10-2012, 07:17 PM
If 'taer is involved, you don't want anything to do with his wind. You've been warned.

Oh. Oh yes, you're right.

fdsaf3
03-11-2012, 12:56 AM
Does he have a shitty roommate? Uh, I mean a crummy roommate?

Probably. In fact, I'd wager heavily that our poor mathematician has given slightly worrying levels of thought about how to poison his roommate.

Tomp
03-11-2012, 07:29 AM
If 'taer is involved, you don't want anything to do with his wind. You've been warned.

He eats a lot of beans or what?

Tomp
03-11-2012, 09:19 AM
"????????"

by various fanatics (in theory)


The stink was horrific.
The prison was full of unspeakable remains from its previous inhabitants.
Luca sat in a corner and watched the other prisoners. They all sat quiet as well. When is it my turn to be led out and tortured, he thought. The guards had started to torture some of the prisoners in their quest for answers. The screams from the last time someone was collected by the guards had ended some time ago. Luca had no idea why he was in this prison. He had just been buying some baking spices for master Stamm at Nedinas place. They had stormed in and arrested everyone there. They all sat here in this place, except for the two who'd been led away for interrogation.
He took in the dark room again. It was a square room, six pases across, stone walls and an iron door. The only light coming in was daylight from the lattice at the top of one wall and the light from torches through an opening in the door. Outside the door were the prison guards with their shock sticks. They had bludgeoned prisoners, two times so far, for being too rowdy. One of the other prisoners walked over to Luca.
“What do you want”, Luca asked quietly.
“I have a request to ask of you”, the stranger whispered.
Luca stayed silent.
“In case I don't make it, you've got to take a message to countess de'Lidra or her senior officers”.
“But I'm just a bakers assistant”, Luca protested, “they'd never meet with me”.
“Nevertheless you will try in case I fail”.
Luca nodded reluctantly.
“I had hoped we'd been rescued by now. I can't wait any longer. I'm going to make a run for it the next time they open the door.”
“But that's impossible”, Luca protested.
“Perhaps it is, but I'm going to give it a try.”
The stranger shifted position slightly so that he could whisper even more quietly.
“If someone comes looking for Arond, say that you have the information they seek.”
"What is the information, what should I say”, Luca asked.
“The message is that Kargon has the keystone, but don't give them the information until you are certain that it's the countess people."

A short while later Arond seized his chance and made it passed the first three guard before he was overwhelmed by kicks and shock sticks. It looked like Arond wouldn't meet his freedom before he met his death.
Luca settled back at his spot and wondered if the rescue would come or if he would face the same end as Arond and the others.
He prayed to the peacebringer that the rescue would come. Soon.

Zombie Sammael
03-11-2012, 10:25 AM
Okay, I'll go next.


Ordinarily, there was no way Jasind would have seen a client after hours. Ordinarily, he'd have told them to go to the Warmaker if they bothered him as he was heading home for the night. But then, ordinarily his clients weren't clearly distressed, weeping women. Expensively dressed, distressed, weeping women.

He ushered the woman - no, girl, she was much younger than he'd first thought - off the rain-soaked street, into his office on the first floor. He placed a reassuring arm around her and showed her to the seat in front of his desk.

"They said you were good," she sobbed, "They said I could trust you."

That much was true at least. Jasind was the best there was in the city. Unfortunately for him, he was also the most honourable, and not given to taking the bribes and making the murky deals that the other Freelance Manhunters would, just to get ahead. That was why he was in this part of town, rather than up in the Heights.

He leaned forward over the desk. Unfortunately, his notesmith Lucina had already gone home, or he'd have asked her to make some tea while he tried to calm the girl down. "Calm down, my dear," he said, doing his best to be soothing. "Why don't you tell me your name?"

Peacebringer be blessed, she stopped crying. "It's Ariella." She said, relaxing a little.

"And what can I do for you, Ariella?"

"It's my betrothed," she said, "He's disappeared."

Jasind leaned back in his chair. This was a story he'd heard before. "Ariella, I hate to be the one to tell you this, sweeteyes, but he's probably just got cold feet and run off."

"You don't understand." The girl said. "No-one else knows."

"Knows what?"

"That we were to be married."

Jasind breathed out. This had gone from simple to murky in no time flat. "How's that, sweeteyes?" He asked, "Goldborn girl like you, getting married without even your family's involvement?"

"He was brassborn." She said. Murkier and murkier by the minute. "I couldn't tell them, but I was - we'd - I was in love with him!" She finally managed, then started sobbing again.

"Okay," he said. His initial assessment changed slightly. If the guy had been Goldborn or even Silverborn, he'd still have thought it was just cold feet. But a Brassborn running away from marriage to a Goldborn woman? That was just crazy. Things just kept getting murkier. "Why don't you tell me a bit about this guy, sweeteyes?"

"Like what?"

"Like his name. How you met. Anything you think might be important."

"Okay," she stopped crying again. "His name's Luca. He works in the bakery my House gets bread from. Sometimes we order sweetrolls and cakes from them as well, for parties and the like. The day we met, mother had asked me to go and order a large cake for a ball that evening. The minute I saw him, I knew we were for each other. It sounds silly, but it was the way he ran his fingers through the dough he was kneading. It was just so... thorough, and caring."

She carried on like that, about how this guy Luca was the sweetest, caring-est, nicest baker's assistant that ever lived. Jasind just sat and listened. Ariella wasn't the first Goldborn girl to fall for a Commonborn man, and nor would she be the last. But Jasind had a soft spot for young women in distress. He made up his mind to check it out. Finally, she ran out of puff. "Okay. I'll check it out." He said.

"Oh, thank you! Thank you!" She burst out.

"Just one thing. You say no-one else knew about the engagement, right?" She nodded. "So it was just you two?" She nodded again, then opened her mouth as if to speak. "I need to know, Sweeteyes."

"I told my best friend."

Ah-ha, Jasind thought. "What's her name?" He asked.

"Anyara." She paused. "Anyara de'Lidra."

Jasind whistled. Anyara de'Lidra was the daughter of Countess de'Lidra, the ruler of the city. This was starting to look very murky indeed.


ETA: The one thing we probably should agree on is how long we want this to be. There are five of us, so it should definitely be a multiple of five chapters/sections each (I may have got carried away and broken my own rule about paragraphs, but having had a go, I think chapters is better) so as TU can get the penultimate chapter as he desires. Is five chapters each enough?

The Unreasoner
03-11-2012, 01:34 PM
I was thinking more like 2-3 each. But yeah, I'll take every 4th. 4 is my favorite number. And I like what I see so far...at first it looks like a case of wrongplace/wrongtime, but then a more sinister story begins to emerge. (it is fantasy, right?)

Zombie Sammael
03-11-2012, 01:42 PM
I was thinking more like 2-3 each. But yeah, I'll take every 4th. 4 is my favorite number. And I like what I see so far...at first it looks like a case of wrongplace/wrongtime, but then a more sinister story begins to emerge. (it is fantasy, right?)

It's fantasy, but I wasn't sure where to go from Tomp's start, then a little voice whispered "changing the genre to film noir would be funny", so that's what I did. But it's still fantasy, just with a dash of noir now.

The Unreasoner
03-11-2012, 02:34 PM
I'm about 2/3 done with my first contribution, but I was going to wait until Sei or fdsaf posted to finish.

But I could also go now, provided we can swap back later

Zombie Sammael
03-11-2012, 02:57 PM
I'm about 2/3 done with my first contribution, but I was going to wait until Sei or fdsaf posted to finish.

But I could also go now, provided we can swap back later

I don't think we need to stick to the established order. I'd say post when you're ready, but try not cross-post in case we run into continuity problems. You can check if someone's posting in the thread by clicking on their public profile, for those that might not know.

The Unreasoner
03-11-2012, 03:39 PM
So I'm done. I'll post the first half, then the next half a little later (the next half is the Count's meeting, but I didn't think it would work just yet, and if someone else writes the meeting I guess I'm screwed) But here we go:


The Count de'Lidra knew something was wrong in the City. He was not particularly gifted in the True Arts of the Imperial Family, nor even in their lesser forms practiced by the Goldborn, but he knew the basics of both. A rarity, for a Brassborn. He was proud of his rise in status, and bragged about his common ancestry to the noble Bohemian circles he favored as company.

The last member of an ancient, if low, house, the Count was a brilliant metaphysicist and mathematician. As little more than a child he obtained a Seat in the Second University, and quickly rose to the highest circles. He became a power in his own right, and even trained the first World-Makers. Goldborn, Imperial Agents, and the members of the Ular Society flocked to his classes, even stooping to bribes, blackmail, and kidnapping to secure a place in his lectures.

De'Lidra had since left teaching, but two of his students continued to play a large role in his life. One was the Countess herself. A Goldborn, and a powerful one at that. She was a distant cousin of the Emperor himself, and profoundly gifted in the True Arts. Some said her abilities surpassed even the Emperor's own. From the start, she and he had a profound intellectual connection. Her giftedness and his intelligence fed off one another, grew together; and the symbiotics of the relationship produced many grand things. Most would say the Keystone or the Pillars of Dawn were their greatest creations, but the Count felt otherwise: their two greatest acievements were their love for one another, and their daughter Anyara.

But the balance of Power in the Realm was generally understood to center on the Pillars. Even a minor practitioner of the Arts could do great and terrible things with them under his control. Simply building them would have been an act of treason if the Countess hadn't immediately given them to the Emperor. But even that had its complications. The fear of the Pillars' power in the hands of the Emperor caused riots across the Realm. Thousands died. But the Emperor refused to destroy them, he even went so far as to build a new throne of living fire with their power, and took the new title of Dawn-Emperor.

When the riots reached the Heights, the Countess and he devised a plan to create a balance to the Pillars, and worked for days deep in the Citadel de'Lidra. On the seventh day, they had finally done it: they had built the Keystone. They met the Dawn-Emperor's Warmaker in the ruins of Citadel de'Lidra, and made a compact: The Emperor would keep the Pillars, but the Keystone would remain in Lidran, under the Countess's control, and Lidran would forever remain a Free City. Without the Keystone, the Pillars' power would be severely compromised, yet they still would be capable of performing the standard feats that the Emperor desired. If a need for the Pillars' true power arose in some mutual threat, the Countess and the Emperor could unite through the Keystone and defeat it.

It had been many years since the riots, and Lidran was rebuilt, but for a reason he could not describe the Count knew something was wrong. Very wrong. He did not even feel this sense of dread when he was hiding in the vaults of the Citadel, desperately trying to complete the Keystone. There were whispers in the streets, and disappearances only partially explained by Anyara's agents. What was his daughter up to? For that matter, what was his wife up to? He was an intellectual and a hedonist, his head was always in a cloud of ideas or in a pit of carnality with the Ular Society. The Count did not think beyond the intellectual triumph when he built the Pillars, and was shocked by the incredible ramifications. Again, he wondered why the Countess said nothing beforehand. Certainly she knew what the political consequences would be. Was it just love for her cousin the Emperor, wishing to honor him with a mighty gift? Or was she as blinded by pride as he was? Was it her love for him? Or did she have a deeper plan?

De'Lidra looked to the sky from his balcony in the Citadel. The Sun was nearly above him, Fyrian Lenset would arrive soon. His other favorite former student, a man more gifted than even he himself, and a powerful World-Maker. A rare man: both Ulari and Goldborn, and in service to the Dawn-Emperor himself. Perhaps he could shed some light on the problems in the City. Because the Count rarely noticed what was going on around him, and cared even less. Which made his present unease all the more worrying.

The Unreasoner
03-11-2012, 03:58 PM
To recap:
Tomp-
The stink was horrific.
The prison was full of unspeakable remains from its previous inhabitants.
Luca sat in a corner and watched the other prisoners. They all sat quiet as well. When is it my turn to be led out and tortured, he thought. The guards had started to torture some of the prisoners in their quest for answers. The screams from the last time someone was collected by the guards had ended some time ago. Luca had no idea why he was in this prison. He had just been buying some baking spices for master Stamm at Nedinas place. They had stormed in and arrested everyone there. They all sat here in this place, except for the two who'd been led away for interrogation.
He took in the dark room again. It was a square room, six pases across, stone walls and an iron door. The only light coming in was daylight from the lattice at the top of one wall and the light from torches through an opening in the door. Outside the door were the prison guards with their shock sticks. They had bludgeoned prisoners, two times so far, for being too rowdy. One of the other prisoners walked over to Luca.
“What do you want”, Luca asked quietly.
“I have a request to ask of you”, the stranger whispered.
Luca stayed silent.
“In case I don't make it, you've got to take a message to countess de'Lidra or her senior officers”.
“But I'm just a bakers assistant”, Luca protested, “they'd never meet with me”.
“Nevertheless you will try in case I fail”.
Luca nodded reluctantly.
“I had hoped we'd been rescued by now. I can't wait any longer. I'm going to make a run for it the next time they open the door.”
“But that's impossible”, Luca protested.
“Perhaps it is, but I'm going to give it a try.”
The stranger shifted position slightly so that he could whisper even more quietly.
“If someone comes looking for Arond, say that you have the information they seek.”
"What is the information, what should I say”, Luca asked.
“The message is that Kargon has the keystone, but don't give them the information until you are certain that it's the countess people."

A short while later Arond seized his chance and made it passed the first three guard before he was overwhelmed by kicks and shock sticks. It looked like Arond wouldn't meet his freedom before he met his death.
Luca settled back at his spot and wondered if the rescue would come or if he would face the same end as Arond and the others.
He prayed to the peacebringer that the rescue would come. Soon.
Zombie Sammael-
Ordinarily, there was no way Jasind would have seen a client after hours. Ordinarily, he'd have told them to go to the Warmaker if they bothered him as he was heading home for the night. But then, ordinarily his clients weren't clearly distressed, weeping women. Expensively dressed, distressed, weeping women.

He ushered the woman - no, girl, she was much younger than he'd first thought - off the rain-soaked street, into his office on the first floor. He placed a reassuring arm around her and showed her to the seat in front of his desk.

"They said you were good," she sobbed, "They said I could trust you."

That much was true at least. Jasind was the best there was in the city. Unfortunately for him, he was also the most honourable, and not given to taking the bribes and making the murky deals that the other Freelance Manhunters would, just to get ahead. That was why he was in this part of town, rather than up in the Heights.

He leaned forward over the desk. Unfortunately, his notesmith Lucina had already gone home, or he'd have asked her to make some tea while he tried to calm the girl down. "Calm down, my dear," he said, doing his best to be soothing. "Why don't you tell me your name?"

Peacebringer be blessed, she stopped crying. "It's Ariella." She said, relaxing a little.

"And what can I do for you, Ariella?"

"It's my betrothed," she said, "He's disappeared."

Jasind leaned back in his chair. This was a story he'd heard before. "Ariella, I hate to be the one to tell you this, sweeteyes, but he's probably just got cold feet and run off."

"You don't understand." The girl said. "No-one else knows."

"Knows what?"

"That we were to be married."

Jasind breathed out. This had gone from simple to murky in no time flat. "How's that, sweeteyes?" He asked, "Goldborn girl like you, getting married without even your family's involvement?"

"He was brassborn." She said. Murkier and murkier by the minute. "I couldn't tell them, but I was - we'd - I was in love with him!" She finally managed, then starting sobbing again.

"Okay," he said. His initial assessment changed slightly. If the guy had been Goldborn or even Silverborn, he'd still have thought it was just cold feet. But a Brassborn running away from marriage to a Goldborn woman? That was just crazy. Things just kept getting murkier. "Why don't you tell me a bit about this guy, sweeteyes?"

"Like what?"

"Like his name. How you met. Anything you think might be important."

"Okay," she stopped crying again. "His name's Luca. He works in the bakery my House gets bread from. Sometimes we order sweetrolls and cakes from them as well, for parties and the like. The day we met, mother had asked me to go and order a large cake for a ball that evening. The minute I saw him, I knew we were for each other. It sounds silly, but it was the way he ran his fingers through the dough he was kneading. It was just so... thorough, and caring."

She carried on like that, about how this guy Luca was the sweetest, caring-est, nicest baker's assistant that ever lived. Jasind just sat and listened. Ariella wasn't the first Goldborn girl to fall for a Commonborn man, and nor would she be the last. But Jasind had a soft spot for young women in distress. He made up his mind to check it out. Finally, she ran out of puff. "Okay. I'll check it out." He said.

"Oh, thank you! Thank you!" She burst out.

"Just one thing. You say no-one else knew about the engagement, right?" She nodded. "So it was just you two?" She nodded again, then opened her mouth as if to speak. "I need to know, Sweeteyes."

"I told my best friend."

Ah-ha, Jasind thought. "What's her name?" He asked.

"Anyara." She paused. "Anyara de'Lidra."

Jasind whistled. Anyara de'Lidra was the daughter of Countess de'Lidra, the ruler of the city. This was starting to look very murky indeed.Unreasoner-
The Count de'Lidra knew something was wrong in the City. He was not particularly gifted in the True Arts of the Imperial Family, nor even in their lesser forms practiced by the Goldborn, but he knew the basics of both. A rarity, for a Brassborn. He was proud of his rise in status, and bragged about his common ancestry to the noble Bohemian circles he favored as company.

The last member of an ancient, if low, house, the Count was a brilliant metaphysicist and mathematician. As little more than a child he obtained a Seat in the Second University, and quickly rose to the highest circles. He became a power in his own right, and even trained the first World-Makers. Goldborn, Imperial Agents, and the members of the Ular Society flocked to his classes, even stooping to bribes, blackmail, and kidnapping to secure a place in his lectures.

De'Lidra had since left teaching, but two of his students continued to play a large role in his life. One was the Countess herself. A Goldborn, and a powerful one at that. She was a distant cousin of the Emperor himself, and profoundly gifted in the True Arts. Some said her abilities surpassed even the Emperor's own. From the start, she and he had a profound intellectual connection. Her giftedness and his intelligence fed off one another, grew together; and the symbiotics of the relationship produced many grand things. Most would say the Keystone or the Pillars of Dawn were their greatest creations, but the Count felt otherwise: their two greatest acievements were their love for one another, and their daughter Anyara.

But the balance of Power in the Realm was generally understood to center on the Pillars. Even a minor practitioner of the Arts could do great and terrible things with them under his control. Simply building them would have been an act of treason if the Countess hadn't immediately given them to the Emperor. But even that had its complications. The fear of the Pillars' power in the hands of the Emperor caused riots across the Realm. Thousands died. But the Emperor refused to destroy them, he even went so far as to build a new throne of living fire with their power, and took the new title of Dawn-Emperor.

When the riots reached the Heights, the Countess and he devised a plan to create a balance to the Pillars, and worked for days deep in the Citadel de'Lidra. On the seventh day, they had finally done it: they had built the Keystone. They met the Dawn-Emperor's Warmaker in the ruins of Citadel de'Lidra, and made a compact: The Emperor would keep the Pillars, but the Keystone would remain in Lidran, under the Countess's control, and Lidran would forever remain a Free City. Without the Keystone, the Pillars' power would be severely compromised, yet they still would be capable of performing the standard feats that the Emperor desired. If a need for the Pillars' true power arose in some mutual threat, the Countess and the Emperor could unite through the Keystone and defeat it.

It had been many years since the riots, and Lidran was rebuilt, but for a reason he could not describe the Count knew something was wrong. Very wrong. He did not even feel this sense of dread when he was hiding in the vaults of the Citadel, desperately trying to complete the Keystone. There were whispers in the streets, and disappearances only partially explained by Anyara's agents. What was his daughter up to? For that matter, what was his wife up to? He was an intellectual and a hedonist, his head was always in a cloud of ideas or in a pit of carnality with the Ular Society. The Count did not think beyond the intellectual triumph when he built the Pillars, and was shocked by the incredible ramifications. Again, he wondered why the Countess said nothing beforehand. Certainly she knew what the political consequences would be. Was it just love for her cousin the Emperor, wishing to honor him with a mighty gift? Or was she as blinded by pride as he was? Was it her love for him? Or did she have a deeper plan?

De'Lidra looked to the sky from his balcony in the Citadel. The Sun was nearly above him, Fyrian Lenset would arrive soon. His other favorite former student, a man more gifted than even he himself, and a powerful World-Maker. A rare man: both Ulari and Goldborn, and in service to the Dawn-Emperor himself. Perhaps he could shed some light on the problems in the City. Because the Count rarely noticed what was going on around him, and cared even less. Which made his present unease all the more worrying.

The Unreasoner
03-11-2012, 04:06 PM
It just struck me that we may all have decided on different villains. This could be amusing if everyone turns out evil.


Who's next?

Tomp
03-11-2012, 04:11 PM
Maybe someone in the US is next. They have probably just woken up, the lazy bastards.


BTW I guess I'll write another one tomorrow, but I'll be gone for almost the entire tuesday and wednesday. You guys may continue past my turn those days and then I'll catch up.

The Unreasoner
03-11-2012, 04:15 PM
I'm in the US. Who are we waiting on, Sei and fdsaf? Are they really in on this?

Zombie Sammael
03-11-2012, 04:23 PM
Sei will post. I've done this sort of thing (http://theoryland.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=15)with him before.

Speaking of which, assuming that the trend of each author adding their own POV character continues, to avoid it getting too much like RPing, I think we ought to switch characters around, so for example, Tomp takes on Count de'Lidra, TU takes Jasind, I take saffie's character, Sei'taer takes Luca, and saffie takes Sei's. Or something like that. Unless people have specific story directions they're attached to already, but I think it's more fun if each chapter can swerve in its own direction (as long as it remains consistent overall).

The Unreasoner
03-11-2012, 04:26 PM
why not each write from only one or two PoV's? we can claim them now. I'll take the Count and Anyara, or the Count and Lenset.

I just think Tomp knows Luca, I know the Count, and you know Jasind. I just think the characters will come across as strange if they are written by more than one person.

Tomp
03-11-2012, 04:32 PM
Let's see what the other guys comes up with.
I may have another character I'd like to throw into the mix, but it may be too many POVs if we all have one or two each.

The Unreasoner
03-11-2012, 04:38 PM
I am under the impression that Luca and his fiancee are the main characters (Rand/Egwene), Jasind is sort of like Thom Merrilin, the Count and Countess like Siuan, and the Dawn-Emperor like the Aiel/Seanchan. Importance-wise.

How funny it will be when I'm proven wrong.

Zombie Sammael
03-11-2012, 04:43 PM
I am under the impression that Luca and his fiancee are the main characters (Rand/Egwene), Jasind is sort of like Thom Merrilin, the Count and Countess like Siuan, and the Dawn-Emperor like the Aiel/Seanchan. Importance-wise.

How funny it will be when I'm proven wrong.

Calm down. The dragon hasn't even turned up yet.

ETA:

Thank you.


And Jasind better turn out to be a badass, if you want to keep calling this story 'film noir'. Anyara can be the sexual deviant sociopath.

Just because I took an opening from film noir doesn't mean I'm married to it, but if left to my own devices, that is roughly the direction I would develop Jasind.

The Unreasoner
03-11-2012, 04:53 PM
Just because I took an opening from film noir doesn't mean I'm married to it, but if left to my own devices, that is roughly the direction I would develop Jasind.
Glad to hear it. The second half. But we need a plot, so maybe you should be married to it.

(BTW, what film is this?)

Tomp
03-11-2012, 04:55 PM
Just because I took an opening from film noir doesn't mean I'm married to it, but if left to my own devices, that is roughly the direction I would develop Jasind.

Maybe the different POVs experience the story in a different way. Jasind sees the world through a noir filter and so on.

But that may be to disruptive in the end.

Zombie Sammael
03-11-2012, 04:56 PM
Glad to hear it. The second half. But we need a plot, so maybe you should be married to it.

(BTW, what film is this?)

It's a fairly generic opener - the hard-bitten detective, the broad in trouble, the missing fiancée. *feels like a magician giving away his tricks*

Zombie Sammael
03-11-2012, 05:02 PM
Maybe the different POVs experience the story in a different way. Jasind sees the world through a noir filter and so on.

But that may be to disruptive in the end.

I think you can take bits and pieces from different genres and work them into a fantasy setting, or whatever setting you like, really. Red Dwarf isn't Star Trek, for instance. I'm a comic book reader, and people often talk about "the supehero genre" as if it's homogeneous, but it isn't. Batman or Daredevil are noir superheroes, as Superman and Green Lantern are sci-fi superheroes, and Captain America is a spy superhero. I think the same is true of fantasy, to an extent. If we get to the point where the final villain is an enormous six-winged ice-breathing monstrosity of a dragon (for instance), then obviously, if Jasind confronts that, it's not going to be noir. But you are right about worldviews, and each of the characters so far does have their own, Jasind being of a noirish persuasion.

I hope that makes sense to anyone except me.

Tomp
03-11-2012, 05:02 PM
It's a fairly generic opener - the hard-bitten detective, the broad in trouble, the missing fiancée. *feels like a magician giving away his tricks*

Feels like the good girl actually is bad. Maybe we should have a bad girl who is good.

Zombie Sammael
03-11-2012, 05:07 PM
Feels like the good girl actually is bad. Maybe we should have a bad girl who is good.

I have a twist in mind, but I don't want to spoil it. I might have to at some point, though.

Tomp
03-11-2012, 05:10 PM
I have a twist in mind, but I don't want to spoil it. I might have to at some point, though.

Do you want us to set up something for the twist?

Zombie Sammael
03-11-2012, 05:20 PM
Do you want us to set up something for the twist?

Not necessarily, no. Especially not if we're sticking to our own characters. And I might not use it. My ideas will probably change as other people post.

The Unreasoner
03-11-2012, 05:43 PM
Can Kargon be either Ariella's brother or father?

Tomp
03-11-2012, 05:46 PM
Can Kargon be either Ariella's brother or father?

Sure, for me that works just fine.

I have my own twist, unless someone screws it up before I get there.

Edit
400 posts reached
The twist has something in common with this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY-rVVRZoC8).

The Unreasoner
03-11-2012, 05:50 PM
I didn't mean for it to be a twist, per se. Just something to tie the story together. I do have a little twist in mind involving Anyara, Fyrian, and the Dawn-Emperor though.

The Unreasoner
03-11-2012, 05:59 PM
Maybe we should PM these twists to each other. Anyway, I have another scene ready, but...consecutiveness...

fdsaf3
03-11-2012, 06:11 PM
Hang on, I'm writing some stuff now. I'll post it soon.

Tomp
03-11-2012, 06:25 PM
Ok.

I sent PMs to zombie, TU, fdsaf3 and Sei.

Zombie Sammael
03-11-2012, 08:00 PM
Just FYI, I am internet impaired due to work during the day for the next few weeks. I'll still be able to post during the evenings. Hopefully that won't slow us up too much or kill our momentum right away.

Looking forward to your section, saffie! (it is okay for me to call you that, right?)

Sei'taer
03-11-2012, 11:26 PM
Not necessarily, no. Especially not if we're sticking to our own characters. And I might not use it. My ideas will probably change as other people post.

I'm too drunk to write tonight. Mebbe I can hang it out tomorrow. Y'all roll on and I'll catch up, promise.

fdsaf3
03-11-2012, 11:48 PM
I missed the previous writing section, so I'm going to scrap what I wrote and go after the most recent chunk. My section was about introducing a wild rebellion and sowing the seeds for a plot line about religious intolerance, but it doesn't fit with the new direction. Oh well.

BTW - I'm not going to read the back and forth between you guys. I'm going to try and keep my writing based purely on the inspiration of what I get when I read the submitted text. For me, that's the fun. You think a character is supposed to be a villain and I think he's supposed to be a hero? That makes for really interesting writing!

Anyway, I'll upload my stuff here in about 20-30 minutes. Just hang on a bit.

fdsaf3
03-12-2012, 12:14 AM
Something I whipped up. I'm thinking this is something of a choose your own adventure. I'm intentionally leaving a few possible paths for you guys to pick up on, and I'm sure there are more that I didn't notice when I was writing.

have fun!

Captain-Guardsman Targaela Donici looked down at the battalion of Wasp Knights training in the square practice yard. They wore nothing except the solid black headbands which belonged to the initiates of the most elite fighting group in the Emperor’s army. Their training was a show, of course. As per custom, nobles and goldborn with nothing better to do with their time than watch young men wave swords at imaginary enemies lined the walls above the practice yard. Some of the women, and even some open-minded men, made no secret of their admiration of the hard bodies below them. How nice, thought the Captain, to have nothing better to do with their time than waste it watching my men work up a sweat.

The Captain had been born into the military, as was befitting his family’s status in the grand scheme of things. Born to a middle class silverborn family, his options had been simple: church or military. He had chosen to fight men and not gods. Rising quickly through the ranks of incompetent and arrogant highborn men and women, he had found himself comfortably in the position of Captain-Guardsman of the Keep of the White Water at a young age. He was well shy of the grizzled face and stern mien of his predecessor. He took his work seriously, but it was difficult. After all, the Empire hadn’t been in a serious armed conflict for quite some time.

A messenger appeared at Donici’s shoulder, standing at full attention like a drawn longbow.

“Yes, what is it?” asked the Captain. He had precious little time or patience for what he presumed would be yet another invite to a lavish banquet or feast. He hated turning so many down, but he hated being invited even more. Let others who had more interest in the sport play politics. His sole focus was on defending the Keep.

“You have been summoned to see the Emperor, Lord Captain”, said the messenger smartly. “Please follow me with all possible haste.”

This was odd. The Emperor rarely sent for anyone, for it was common knowledge that he preferred to spend hours alone in quiet meditation. His steward was responsible for the day-to-day running of the Keep. Along with Captain Donici, of course.

“What is this about?” asked the Captain. “As you can see, I am very busy here. My men…”

“Your men,” interrupted the messenger, “are waving their swords in the air and moving in a synchronized pattern. I’m guessing they could perform this routine in their sleep. It’s quite a good show, of course. But you must think me mad if you think I will fail to deliver you to His Highness for such a paltry excuse.”

The Captain grunted. He hadn’t expected anyone to catch on to the nature of the exercises so quickly. Soon, he decided, he would have to alter the routine. The men wouldn’t like it, but they would learn to adapt. They always did.

“By all means, show me to the Emperor.”
The messenger’s eyes flashed as he smiled at the Captain. They were peculiar eyes, noted Donici. The irises were a kaleidoscope of color. Looking into the messenger’s eyes, Donici felt himself being drawn into the man’s confidences. He felt as though he could tell the man some of his deepest secrets, but none seemed important enough to share.

“Of course,” whispered the messenger. “Follow me this way.”

Zombie Sammael
03-12-2012, 05:48 AM
I missed the previous writing section, so I'm going to scrap what I wrote and go after the most recent chunk. My section was about introducing a wild rebellion and sowing the seeds for a plot line about religious intolerance, but it doesn't fit with the new direction. Oh well.

BTW - I'm not going to read the back and forth between you guys. I'm going to try and keep my writing based purely on the inspiration of what I get when I read the submitted text. For me, that's the fun. You think a character is supposed to be a villain and I think he's supposed to be a hero? That makes for really interesting writing!

Anyway, I'll upload my stuff here in about 20-30 minutes. Just hang on a bit.

I think that's cool, but while there are some elements of world-building that can be introduced through the text (the class and political systems) it might be a good idea to all be on the same page for the magic system. Or, we all agree to follow Sanderson's First Rule of Consequences, i.e. that if the rules of the magic system are ill-defined its usage should always have unintended consequences that complicate things for the characters.

Thanks for your section! Really enjoying it!

Tomp
03-12-2012, 06:39 AM
I'm too drunk to write tonight. Mebbe I can hang it out tomorrow. Y'all roll on and I'll catch up, promise.

Guess it's my turn then.

Congrats on 5000 posts.

Tomp
03-12-2012, 09:26 AM
The iron door closed, with a solid "kachunk" sound. The screams of protest from the penultimate prisoner died down as he was taken away. Luca sat alone in the dark stinky prison cell. The sun had set some time ago and the lattice opening gave no light from the outside.

“No one is coming to rescue me”, Luca whispered to himself. He felt sad that he wouldn't see Ariella's golden red hair. How was it that a goldborn would want to be with someone like him, a brown haired brassborn. No not even brassborn. Ironborn. If she knew that he was ironborn she'd never see him again. In fact she'd probably throw him out into the street, or even out of the city.

When he thought about it, it wasn't that strange really. That people treated the ironborn as they did. He knew that, in many ways, they did it out of fear.

It was six years ago. He had only been 13 years old the first time he'd tapped into the iron. The memory still made him upset. Luca had played Gunka ball with his friends. Malken, the neighbours oldest boy, had cheated. The result had been that he almost killed Malken, with his iron fueled blood. He remembered how his father had taken him inside the house. Given him a solid beating and told him that he must leave. The village would never accept him now. Not in the same way. He got a recommendation letter from uncle Barkan. Then he was sent on his way to the city to become a baker.

But that's not why they fear us ironborn, Luca thought. It's what happens afterwards that's make them fear us. The thing that comes after, he shivered at the thought. That's what I fear as well.

“The message is that Kargon has the keystone”. Luca could still hear Aronds whispered words in his head. “Kargon”. Wasn't Ariella's father named Kargon? Or was it her brother? No, it must be some kind of coincidence. What if it's not?

I must get out of here, he thought.

Some of the guards would still be struggling with the last prisoner. If he was going to act it must be now.

He sneaked up to the door. Touched the lock with his fingertips and tried to feel the iron. His body quivered slightly as he tapped into the iron stored in his blood. Luca pushed his fingertips harder against the lock and could feel the crystalline structure. I've got to get a feeling for it.

There, that's the thing that connects with the latch. If I could just turn that, slowly. There was a low metallic sound. Got it.
“What's going on there”. Maggots, the guard must have heard me. Luca pumped iron into his muscles. The door opened with a screeching sound. Luca struck hard and pain enveloped his hand and wrist. “Ooh, feces covered maggots and iron bars”, Luca muttered. I must remember to steel myself with the iron as well. He looked at the guard. The jaw was positioned in an impossible way. Blood dropped from the mouth and the eyes stared vacantly into the roof. The blood. Luca could feel a craving for it even though he had used very little of his iron reserves. Maybe if I just take a little bit. He touched his finger to the blood on the guards chin took it to his mouth and tasted it. He looked at the guards neck. Maybe just a little bit more blood. He grabbed the guards key, pressed the sharpe bit against the guards vein. Blood oozed out. Luca leaned in and hesitated. Wait, I've got to get out of here. It was this thing I feared and wanted to avoid. He averted his eyes.

I guess no one here knows who I am, he thought. If I just get out of here no one can identify me as a fugitive. There's not anyone who knows my identity and saw me get arrested. Except possibly Nedina, she was in her herb store when they took us. They will question her. They will not go easy on her either. She is brassborn as me, or rather how people see me. If they knew the truth. No, I won't think on that now. I must warn her and then we'll see about this message that Arond left.

Zombie Sammael
03-12-2012, 10:03 AM
Will post my next bit this evening.

The Unreasoner
03-12-2012, 10:41 AM
Here we go:
"I must thank you for the invitation to lunch, Your Grace."

The Count looked across the table at his former student. "Not a bit of it, Fyrian. It is a pleasure to have someone with me who enjoys the subtleties of life as much as I do. Have some more crawfish, and help yourself to the saffron-butter!"

"Your table is as remarkable as ever, Your Grace. I particularly enjoy these odd roasted black fungi. Not even the Dawn-Emperor himself serves the like," said Lenset.

The Count smiled. "Nor would he. They are called truffles, and they only grow wild here, in Lidran. And what did I say about calling me Your Grace?"

Fyrian Lenset gave an apologetic smile. "Forgiveness, Your Grace, but I am here on Imperial business. The proprieties must be observed."

"Ah. So did my wife send for you? I knew she must have noticed the oddities in the city before I did. Frankly, I'm relieved. I have no ability in this problem-solving. I know Truth and I know Beauty. But with producing either except ex nihilo…I'm lost. Which is, of course, why my wife is so wonderful. What have you to report?"

"Your wife, yes…I'm afraid I came of my own accord, or rather at the suggestion of the Dawn-Emperor. You see, the primitives in the other Free Cities seem to have formed a large Brassborn army, and have begun to capture more territories. All under a single banner."

The Count blinked. "Treason?"

Fyrian Lenset nodded.

The Count started. "Wait, a Brassborn army? You must joke. Even the least of the Silverborn, with his Battle Arts, should overwhelm them. And I'm a Brassborn."

"You don't understand the numbers involved. All throughout the Empire, those in the working class cast down their tools and march for the border. The Silverborn are unable to pick up the slack on their own. Nor should they: they are the warrior class, warriors and professionals. And of course the Goldborn cannot be bothered."

Count De'Lidra frowned. "What do you want of us, then? We could arm every man, woman, and child of Lidran; but it would hardly make a difference to the Legion's numbers. And you say the traitors outnumber even them."

Lenset just looked at his former mentor solemnly.

"You are here for the Keystone," breathed the Count.

Lenset nodded. "We are. Or, more precisely, to make sure it is secured and available to us. We do not need it yet, but we would like the option."

"You had that option in the Capital."

With a bitter smile Lenset said, "Forgiveness, Your Grace, but we did not. Your House has lost control of this artifact. Vanished. We believe it is still in the City, and still intact. Anyara reported it missing to me several days ago. I have come to commandeer her agents and secure the artifact. I also am obligated to inform you that I will be moving a small garrison to Lidran."

De'Lidra felt there was more to this situation than he was presently seeing. "Whatever for? Anyara's people are better for this sort of thing, they know the City. If it's to put down a Brassborn rebellion, a small garrison may not be enough, if they are as effective as you claim. We have quite a few, more than the entire population of the Capital itself. Anyway, legally your forces must report to my wife while they are here."

"Yes…the Countess. And the numbers. Well, both of these problems find a common solution: the garrison will be Wasp Knights," said Lenset.

De'Lidra was stunned. "The fanatics?" he asked.

"That is a bit reductive…their Captain Donici is a fairly thoughtful man. Although I suppose he would kill his entire family and sleep well afterwards if the Dawn-Emperor but willed it. You see he is, like all of the Wasp Knights, bound to the Dawn-Emperor. By the Pillars. So they can only be commanded by him, but they are granted tremendous power, so long as they do his bidding."

"This Donici, he will take orders from you?"

Fyrian shook his head. "Only from the Dawn-Emperor, Your Grace. Captain Donici will know his Master's will, and command the Knights himself. The Solar Lances only ever point at the enemies of the Dawn-Emperor." Whoever they might be.

"Courtesy suggests that the Countess will at least get periodic reports of Donici's doing," protested the Count.

"This is a war, Your Grace. You understand," Lenset replied, rather coldly.

The Count felt a rare moment of pride. "And this is a Free City, Fyrian."

"I am afraid not, Your Grace. Your family was charged with keeping the Keystone safe and hidden. You have failed. And since every other so-called Free City now lies in open rebellion, the Dawn-Emperor saw fit to impose a regional Governor."

Count de'Lidra was shocked.

"Be thankful it is myself, Your Grace. We are old friends, and Ulari. Know that I will be as just as possible, and respect the honor and dignity of your House. But from this moment, I am Governor Lenset, Hand of the Empire and Warmaker of the Burning Throne. Now, I must go meet Anyara." With that, Fyrian rose and prepared to depart.

The Count stood and dismissed Fyrian with a cursory bow. Where is my wife? he wondered as the new Governor made his exit.

The Unreasoner
03-12-2012, 10:49 AM
To recap:
Tomp-
The stink was horrific.
The prison was full of unspeakable remains from its previous inhabitants.
Luca sat in a corner and watched the other prisoners. They all sat quiet as well. When is it my turn to be led out and tortured, he thought. The guards had started to torture some of the prisoners in their quest for answers. The screams from the last time someone was collected by the guards had ended some time ago. Luca had no idea why he was in this prison. He had just been buying some baking spices for master Stamm at Nedinas place. They had stormed in and arrested everyone there. They all sat here in this place, except for the two who'd been led away for interrogation.
He took in the dark room again. It was a square room, six pases across, stone walls and an iron door. The only light coming in was daylight from the lattice at the top of one wall and the light from torches through an opening in the door. Outside the door were the prison guards with their shock sticks. They had bludgeoned prisoners, two times so far, for being too rowdy. One of the other prisoners walked over to Luca.
“What do you want”, Luca asked quietly.
“I have a request to ask of you”, the stranger whispered.
Luca stayed silent.
“In case I don't make it, you've got to take a message to countess de'Lidra or her senior officers”.
“But I'm just a bakers assistant”, Luca protested, “they'd never meet with me”.
“Nevertheless you will try in case I fail”.
Luca nodded reluctantly.
“I had hoped we'd been rescued by now. I can't wait any longer. I'm going to make a run for it the next time they open the door.”
“But that's impossible”, Luca protested.
“Perhaps it is, but I'm going to give it a try.”
The stranger shifted position slightly so that he could whisper even more quietly.
“If someone comes looking for Arond, say that you have the information they seek.”
"What is the information, what should I say”, Luca asked.
“The message is that Kargon has the keystone, but don't give them the information until you are certain that it's the countess people."

A short while later Arond seized his chance and made it passed the first three guard before he was overwhelmed by kicks and shock sticks. It looked like Arond wouldn't meet his freedom before he met his death.
Luca settled back at his spot and wondered if the rescue would come or if he would face the same end as Arond and the others.
He prayed to the peacebringer that the rescue would come. Soon.
Zombie Sammael-
Ordinarily, there was no way Jasind would have seen a client after hours. Ordinarily, he'd have told them to go to the Warmaker if they bothered him as he was heading home for the night. But then, ordinarily his clients weren't clearly distressed, weeping women. Expensively dressed, distressed, weeping women.

He ushered the woman - no, girl, she was much younger than he'd first thought - off the rain-soaked street, into his office on the first floor. He placed a reassuring arm around her and showed her to the seat in front of his desk.

"They said you were good," she sobbed, "They said I could trust you."

That much was true at least. Jasind was the best there was in the city. Unfortunately for him, he was also the most honourable, and not given to taking the bribes and making the murky deals that the other Freelance Manhunters would, just to get ahead. That was why he was in this part of town, rather than up in the Heights.

He leaned forward over the desk. Unfortunately, his notesmith Lucina had already gone home, or he'd have asked her to make some tea while he tried to calm the girl down. "Calm down, my dear," he said, doing his best to be soothing. "Why don't you tell me your name?"

Peacebringer be blessed, she stopped crying. "It's Ariella." She said, relaxing a little.

"And what can I do for you, Ariella?"

"It's my betrothed," she said, "He's disappeared."

Jasind leaned back in his chair. This was a story he'd heard before. "Ariella, I hate to be the one to tell you this, sweeteyes, but he's probably just got cold feet and run off."

"You don't understand." The girl said. "No-one else knows."

"Knows what?"

"That we were to be married."

Jasind breathed out. This had gone from simple to murky in no time flat. "How's that, sweeteyes?" He asked, "Goldborn girl like you, getting married without even your family's involvement?"

"He was brassborn." She said. Murkier and murkier by the minute. "I couldn't tell them, but I was - we'd - I was in love with him!" She finally managed, then starting sobbing again.

"Okay," he said. His initial assessment changed slightly. If the guy had been Goldborn or even Silverborn, he'd still have thought it was just cold feet. But a Brassborn running away from marriage to a Goldborn woman? That was just crazy. Things just kept getting murkier. "Why don't you tell me a bit about this guy, sweeteyes?"

"Like what?"

"Like his name. How you met. Anything you think might be important."

"Okay," she stopped crying again. "His name's Luca. He works in the bakery my House gets bread from. Sometimes we order sweetrolls and cakes from them as well, for parties and the like. The day we met, mother had asked me to go and order a large cake for a ball that evening. The minute I saw him, I knew we were for each other. It sounds silly, but it was the way he ran his fingers through the dough he was kneading. It was just so... thorough, and caring."

She carried on like that, about how this guy Luca was the sweetest, caring-est, nicest baker's assistant that ever lived. Jasind just sat and listened. Ariella wasn't the first Goldborn girl to fall for a Commonborn man, and nor would she be the last. But Jasind had a soft spot for young women in distress. He made up his mind to check it out. Finally, she ran out of puff. "Okay. I'll check it out." He said.

"Oh, thank you! Thank you!" She burst out.

"Just one thing. You say no-one else knew about the engagement, right?" She nodded. "So it was just you two?" She nodded again, then opened her mouth as if to speak. "I need to know, Sweeteyes."

"I told my best friend."

Ah-ha, Jasind thought. "What's her name?" He asked.

"Anyara." She paused. "Anyara de'Lidra."

Jasind whistled. Anyara de'Lidra was the daughter of Countess de'Lidra, the ruler of the city. This was starting to look very murky indeed.Unreasoner-
The Count de'Lidra knew something was wrong in the City. He was not particularly gifted in the True Arts of the Imperial Family, nor even in their lesser forms practiced by the Goldborn, but he knew the basics of both. A rarity, for a Brassborn. He was proud of his rise in status, and bragged about his common ancestry to the noble Bohemian circles he favored as company.

The last member of an ancient, if low, house, the Count was a brilliant metaphysicist and mathematician. As little more than a child he obtained a Seat in the Second University, and quickly rose to the highest circles. He became a power in his own right, and even trained the first World-Makers. Goldborn, Imperial Agents, and the members of the Ular Society flocked to his classes, even stooping to bribes, blackmail, and kidnapping to secure a place in his lectures.

De'Lidra had since left teaching, but two of his students continued to play a large role in his life. One was the Countess herself. A Goldborn, and a powerful one at that. She was a distant cousin of the Emperor himself, and profoundly gifted in the True Arts. Some said her abilities surpassed even the Emperor's own. From the start, she and he had a profound intellectual connection. Her giftedness and his intelligence fed off one another, grew together; and the symbiotics of the relationship produced many grand things. Most would say the Keystone or the Pillars of Dawn were their greatest creations, but the Count felt otherwise: their two greatest acievements were their love for one another, and their daughter Anyara.

But the balance of Power in the Realm was generally understood to center on the Pillars. Even a minor practitioner of the Arts could do great and terrible things with them under his control. Simply building them would have been an act of treason if the Countess hadn't immediately given them to the Emperor. But even that had its complications. The fear of the Pillars' power in the hands of the Emperor caused riots across the Realm. Thousands died. But the Emperor refused to destroy them, he even went so far as to build a new throne of living fire with their power, and took the new title of Dawn-Emperor.

When the riots reached the Heights, the Countess and he devised a plan to create a balance to the Pillars, and worked for days deep in the Citadel de'Lidra. On the seventh day, they had finally done it: they had built the Keystone. They met the Dawn-Emperor's Warmaker in the ruins of Citadel de'Lidra, and made a compact: The Emperor would keep the Pillars, but the Keystone would remain in Lidran, under the Countess's control, and Lidran would forever remain a Free City. Without the Keystone, the Pillars' power would be severely compromised, yet they still would be capable of performing the standard feats that the Emperor desired. If a need for the Pillars' true power arose in some mutual threat, the Countess and the Emperor could unite through the Keystone and defeat it.

It had been many years since the riots, and Lidran was rebuilt, but for a reason he could not describe the Count knew something was wrong. Very wrong. He did not even feel this sense of dread when he was hiding in the vaults of the Citadel, desperately trying to complete the Keystone. There were whispers in the streets, and disappearances only partially explained by Anyara's agents. What was his daughter up to? For that matter, what was his wife up to? He was an intellectual and a hedonist, his head was always in a cloud of ideas or in a pit of carnality with the Ular Society. The Count did not think beyond the intellectual triumph when he built the Pillars, and was shocked by the incredible ramifications. Again, he wondered why the Countess said nothing beforehand. Certainly she knew what the political consequences would be. Was it just love for her cousin the Emperor, wishing to honor him with a mighty gift? Or was she as blinded by pride as he was? Was it her love for him? Or did she have a deeper plan?

De'Lidra looked to the sky from his balcony in the Citadel. The Sun was nearly above him, Fyrian Lenset would arrive soon. His other favorite former student, a man more gifted than even he himself, and a powerful World-Maker. A rare man: both Ulari and Goldborn, and in service to the Dawn-Emperor himself. Perhaps he could shed some light on the problems in the City. Because the Count rarely noticed what was going on around him, and cared even less. Which made his present unease all the more worrying.fdsaf3-
Captain-Guardsman Targaela Donici looked down at the battalion of Wasp Knights training in the square practice yard. They wore nothing except the solid black headbands which belonged to the initiates of the most elite fighting group in the Emperor’s army. Their training was a show, of course. As per custom, nobles and goldborn with nothing better to do with their time than watch young men wave swords at imaginary enemies lined the walls above the practice yard. Some of the women, and even some open-minded men, made no secret of their admiration of the hard bodies below them. How nice, thought the Captain, to have nothing better to do with their time than waste it watching my men work up a sweat.

The Captain had been born into the military, as was befitting his family’s status in the grand scheme of things. Born to a middle class silverborn family, his options had been simple: church or military. He had chosen to fight men and not gods. Rising quickly through the ranks of incompetent and arrogant highborn men and women, he had found himself comfortably in the position of Captain-Guardsman of the Keep of the White Water at a young age. He was well shy of the grizzled face and stern mien of his predecessor. He took his work seriously, but it was difficult. After all, the Empire hadn’t been in a serious armed conflict for quite some time.

A messenger appeared at Donici’s shoulder, standing at full attention like a drawn longbow.

“Yes, what is it?” asked the Captain. He had precious little time or patience for what he presumed would be yet another invite to a lavish banquet or feast. He hated turning so many down, but he hated being invited even more. Let others who had more interest in the sport play politics. His sole focus was on defending the Keep.

“You have been summoned to see the Emperor, Lord Captain”, said the messenger smartly. “Please follow me with all possible haste.”

This was odd. The Emperor rarely sent for anyone, for it was common knowledge that he preferred to spend hours alone in quiet meditation. His steward was responsible for the day-to-day running of the Keep. Along with Captain Donici, of course.

“What is this about?” asked the Captain. “As you can see, I am very busy here. My men…”

“Your men,” interrupted the messenger, “are waving their swords in the air and moving in a synchronized pattern. I’m guessing they could perform this routine in their sleep. It’s quite a good show, of course. But you must think me mad if you think I will fail to deliver you to His Highness for such a paltry excuse.”

The Captain grunted. He hadn’t expected anyone to catch on to the nature of the exercises so quickly. Soon, he decided, he would have to alter the routine. The men wouldn’t like it, but they would learn to adapt. They always did.

“By all means, show me to the Emperor.”
The messenger’s eyes flashed as he smiled at the Captain. They were peculiar eyes, noted Donici. The irises were a kaleidoscope of color. Looking into the messenger’s eyes, Donici felt himself being drawn into the man’s confidences. He felt as though he could tell the man some of his deepest secrets, but none seemed important enough to share.

“Of course,” whispered the messenger. “Follow me this way.”Tomp-
The iron door closed, with a solid "kachunk" sound. The screams of protest from the penultimate prisoner died down as he was taken away. Luca sat alone in the dark stinky prison cell. The sun had set some time ago and the lattice opening gave no light from the outside.

“No one is coming to rescue me”, Luca whispered to himself. He felt sad that he wouldn't see Ariella's golden red hair. How was it that a goldborn would want to be with someone like him, a brown haired brassborn. No not even brassborn. Ironborn. If she knew that he was ironborn she'd never see him again. In fact she'd probably throw him out into the street, or even out of the city.

When he thought about it, it wasn't that strange really. That people treated the ironborn as they did. He knew that, in many ways, they did it out of fear.

It was six years ago. He had only been 13 years old the first time he'd tapped into the iron. The memory still made him upset. Luca had played Gunka ball with his friends. Malken, the neighbours oldest boy, had cheated. The result had been that he almost killed Malken, with his iron fueled blood. He remembered how his father had taken him inside the house. Given him a solid beating and told him that he must leave. The village would never accept him now. Not in the same way. He got a recommendation letter from uncle Barkan. Then he was sent on his way to the city to become a baker.

But that's not why they fear us ironborn, Luca thought. It's what happens afterwards that's make them fear us. The thing that comes after, he shivered at the thought. That's what I fear as well.

“The message is that Kargon has the keystone”. Luca could still hear Aronds whispered words in his head. “Kargon”. Wasn't Ariella's father named Kargon? Or was it her brother? No, it must be some kind of coincidence. What if it's not?

I must get out of here, he thought.

Some of the guards would still be struggling with the last prisoner. If he was going to act it must be now.

He sneaked up to the door. Touched the lock with his fingertips and tried to feel the iron. His body quivered slightly as he tapped into the iron stored in his blood. Luca pushed his fingertips harder against the lock and could feel the crystalline structure. I've got to get a feeling for it.

There, that's the thing that connects with the latch. If I could just turn that, slowly. There was a low metallic sound. Got it.
“What's going on there”. Maggots, the guard must have heard me. Luca pumped iron into his muscles. The door opened with a screeching sound. Luca struck hard and pain enveloped his hand and wrist. “Ooh, feces covered maggots and iron bars”, Luca muttered. I must remember to steel myself with the iron as well. He looked at the guard. The jaw was positioned in an impossible way. Blood dropped from the mouth and the eyes stared vacantly into the roof. The blood. Luca could feel a craving for it even though he had used very little of his iron reserves. Maybe if I just take a little bit. He touched his finger to the blood on the guards chin took it to his mouth and tasted it. He looked at the guards neck. Maybe just a little bit more blood. He grabbed the guards key, pressed the sharpe bit against the guards vein. Blood oozed out. Luca leaned in and hesitated. Wait, I've got to get out of here. It was this thing I feared and wanted to avoid. He averted his eyes.

I guess no one here knows who I am, he thought. If I just get out of here no one can identify me as a fugitive. There's not anyone who knows my identity and saw me get arrested. Except possibly Nedina, she was in her herb store when they took us. They will question her. They will not go easy on her either. She is brassborn as me, or rather how people see me. If they knew the truth. No, I won't think on that now. I must warn her and then we'll see about this message that Arond left.Unreasoner-
"I must thank you for the invitation to lunch, Your Grace."

The Count looked across the table at his former student. "Not a bit of it, Fyrian. It is a pleasure to have someone with me who enjoys the subtleties of life as much as I do. Have some more crawfish, and help yourself to the saffron-butter!"

"Your table is as remarkable as ever, Your Grace. I particularly enjoy these odd roasted black fungi. Not even the Dawn-Emperor himself serves the like," said Lenset.

The Count smiled. "Nor would he. They are called truffles, and they only grow wild here, in Lidran. And what did I say about calling me Your Grace?"

Fyrian Lenset gave an apologetic smile. "Forgiveness, Your Grace, but I am here on Imperial business. The proprieties must be observed."

"Ah. So did my wife send for you? I knew she must have noticed the oddities in the city before I did. Frankly, I'm relieved. I have no ability in this problem-solving. I know Truth and I know Beauty. But with producing either except ex nihilo…I'm lost. Which is, of course, why my wife is so wonderful. What have you to report?"

"Your wife, yes…I'm afraid I came of my own accord, or rather at the suggestion of the Dawn-Emperor. You see, the primitives in the other Free Cities seem to have formed a large Brassborn army, and have begun to capture more territories. All under a single banner."

The Count blinked. "Treason?"

Fyrian Lenset nodded.

The Count started. "Wait, a Brassborn army? You must joke. Even the least of the Silverborn, with his Battle Arts, should overwhelm them. And I'm a Brassborn."

"You don't understand the numbers involved. All throughout the Empire, those in the working class cast down their tools and march for the border. The Silverborn are unable to pick up the slack on their own. Nor should they: they are the warrior class, warriors and professionals. And of course the Goldborn cannot be bothered."

Count De'Lidra frowned. "What do you want of us, then? We could arm every man, woman, and child of Lidran; but it would hardly make a difference to the Legion's numbers. And you say the traitors outnumber even them."

Lenset just looked at his former mentor solemnly.

"You are here for the Keystone," breathed the Count.

Lenset nodded. "We are. Or, more precisely, to make sure it is secured and available to us. We do not need it yet, but we would like the option."

"You had that option in the Capital."

With a bitter smile Lenset said, "Forgiveness, Your Grace, but we did not. Your House has lost control of this artifact. Vanished. We believe it is still in the City, and still intact. Anyara reported it missing to me several days ago. I have come to commandeer her agents and secure the artifact. I also am obligated to inform you that I will be moving a small garrison to Lidran."

De'Lidra felt there was more to this situation than he was presently seeing. "Whatever for? Anyara's people are better for this sort of thing, they know the City. If it's to put down a Brassborn rebellion, a small garrison may not be enough, if they are as effective as you claim. We have quite a few, more than the entire population of the Capital itself. Anyway, legally your forces must report to my wife while they are here."

"Yes…the Countess. And the numbers. Well, both of these problems find a common solution: the garrison will be Wasp Knights," said Lenset.

De'Lidra was stunned. "The fanatics?" he asked.

"That is a bit reductive…their Captain Donici is a fairly thoughtful man. Although I suppose he would kill his entire family and sleep well afterwards if the Dawn-Emperor but willed it. You see he is, like all of the Wasp Knights, bound to the Dawn-Emperor. By the Pillars. So they can only be commanded by him, but they are granted tremendous power, so long as they do his bidding."

"This Donici, he will take orders from you?"

Fyrian shook his head. "Only from the Dawn-Emperor, Your Grace. Captain Donici will know his Master's will, and command the Knights himself. The Solar Lances only ever point at the enemies of the Dawn-Emperor." Whoever they might be.

"Courtesy suggests that the Countess will at least get periodic reports of Donici's doing," protested the Count.

"This is a war, Your Grace. You understand," Lenset replied, rather coldly.

The Count felt a rare moment of pride. "And this is a Free City, Fyrian."

"I am afraid not, Your Grace. Your family was charged with keeping the Keystone safe and hidden. You have failed. And since every other so-called Free City now lies in open rebellion, the Dawn-Emperor saw fit to impose a regional Governor."

Count de'Lidra was shocked.

"Be thankful it is myself, Your Grace. We are old friends, and Ulari. Know that I will be as just as possible, and respect the honor and dignity of your House. But from this moment, I am Governor Lenset, Hand of the Empire and Warmaker of the Burning Throne. Now, I must go meet Anyara." With that, Fyrian rose and prepared to depart.

The Count stood and dismissed Fyrian with a cursory bow. Where is my wife? he wondered as the new Governor made his exit.

Tomp
03-12-2012, 04:07 PM
I'll be gone for two days.

You guys continue and I'll catch up when I'm back.

Zombie Sammael
03-12-2012, 06:12 PM
Okay, 1. I'm tired, and 2. I'm feeling a little low mood-wise, which may just be an effect of 1. In any case, I apologise if this is complete crap.


When Jasind finally left the office that night, it was with the grim understanding that he only really had two choices. He'd taken the assignment now; he had a commission signed and sealed by a Goldborn lady. Even if he hadn't, something was drawing him in. He was interested now Peacebringer help him. He couldn't quite put his finger on what it was, but there was something drawing him into this case.

So, two choices, and the first not even really an option. He could go into the palace and demand an audience with Lady Anyara de'Lidra, like that'd work. Sure, Manhunters like he were supposed to have jurisdiction to pursue a commission anywhere it took them, but the truth was, it'd take a lot more time than he felt he had to get anywhere near Anyara de'Lidra. Unless he was willing to compromise himself. The thought made him want to spit. No, it wasn't like he was some bored Goldborn playing at Manhunting. Nor was he a military inquisitor, nor one of his contemporaries, willing to sell themselves out on the next case to solve this one a little sooner. There were too many Manhunters in this city who made less than half their income from commissions.

So that left option two, if he wanted to get anywhere at all. Shame about that, he'd been hoping to hit Qasie's Tavern on the way back. But he was going to have be up early in the morning. He scrawled a note for Lucina, then pulled on his cloak and the flatcap that identified his station to any resident of the city, and made his way out into the rain.

*

The next morning, he was up with the dawn, and he felt worse than he would have done if he had been to Qasie's. He just wasn't a morning person. He yawned as he dressed, and headed out.

Ariella hadn't given him much to go on, but she'd given him enough. The baker where her boy worked was patroned by her house, or she wouldn't have been sent there, and her signature on his Commission gave him the name of her house: House Rolander of Bruck, sigil the leaping stag, colours blue and silver, head of house Kargon Rolander the Elder. So that meant all he had to do was look for a baker's shop with blue and silver ribbon tied round its sign, somewhere near the Rolander mansion.

Once he'd trudged from his room in the lows and caught a boat upstream, it took him all of ten minutes. Next trick was finding out what he could. He pushed open the door to the baker's shop, breathing in the delicious scent of the freshly-baked morning bread. Now, if he was right in his deductions...

"Hey, friend. I'll take a loaf of the crackedbread." He called to the man emerging from a backroom in an apron, fingers encrusted with dry dough. "Oh, no, wait, you're out of that. I'll take a bloomer." He passed over the coin, the baker a loaf of bread. "Don't you have any sweetrolls?" He asked, furrowing his brow. "What happened, somebody stole them?"

"No." The baker shook his head. "I had an assistant, but he's disappeared. Until I can hire someone else, it's all down to me, to bake for the entire Rolander family and whoever comes in here. I don't rightly know how I'm managing."

"Ah, to the Warbringer with 'im." Jasind commiserated. "Hey, what was his name? Maybe if I come across him I can drag him back here. As a favour, like."

"Thanks for the offer, Manhunter, but I'd like to see you try. Luca was over at Nedina's spice-shop when it was hit two days ago."

"That's too bad. Military hit, I heard." Jasind tried to make it sound like he knew all about it, but he was suddenly puzzled again. Why would a military squad hit a spice shop? Worse, why were the military performing arrests at all? It had been years since that sort of thing, back in the days of the old Ironborn scares.

"Yep. Squad of imperial soldiers." Imperial soldiers? That made even less sense. Things just kept getting murkier.

"Ah well. Guess I'll be buying my spice from Haroch's then. Thanks for the bread, and the info." He tipped his hat to the baker, and left.

So, next stop the Nedira spice shop. Of course, the placed would be closed up now, but if he was lucky, this squad of Imperial soldiers - if they were Imperial soldiers, it was easy enough to fake a uniform, even for a squad - had abandoned the shop by now, and he could sneak in, see if he could make out any reason why a squad of soldiers would hit a spice shop. And see if he could figure out where the might have taken the prisoners.

In theory, only the Countess de'Lidra was licensed to hold prisoners, but any imperial license she had, she could grant freely. That was how the system of Freelance Manhunters worked, and it meant that pretty much every Goldborn family in the city who could afford it had some cells in the basement. Of course, in theory, even the Countess was supposed to have probable cause. In theory, no-one with power ever abused it.

He arrived at the spice shop. Sure enough, all was dark inside, and the front door was locked. But there was no-one about in the alley next to the building either, and he was easily able to force the back door. Now, to find some sort of clue to what was really going on here.

Inside, everything had been wrecked. There were pretty clear signs that the soldiers had struggled, but pots and jars of valuable spices lay with their contents spilled onto shelves, and the floor. It was a damn shame. Had the soldiers hit any pots in particular? He examined the shelves. It didn't appear so, but as he looked around, he realised there was something peculiar about the way the spices had fallen on the floor.

Jars and pots lay all around, but wherever the spices had fallen, they all seemed to pointing towards one spot in the middle of the floor. Was this some kind of trick, or worse, the True Arts at work? He swallowed as he stepped on the floorboard where the spices pointed. Sure enough, it creaked. He knelt down, clawing at it with his fingertips to pry it loose.

Underneath lay a silverish object, six spikes protruding from a spherical centre. He lifted it out. He had no gift for sorcery of any kind, so far as he knew, but there was something very odd about that stone. It was like he could feel something coming from it.

He was so distracted by the strangeness of the stone that he didn't even notice the person with the cudgel until six seconds after he'd been hit.

*

Jasind struggled awake. Had he been out at Qasie's last night? His head hurt something rotten. And where on Earth had he fallen asleep? The bed beneath him felt hard. No, not the bed. The floor. He dared pry his eyes open. And that was when he saw the Ironborn, feasting on the blood of the guard.


Hope that gives whoever's going next something to work with. Also hope the timeline works out okay, or I'm going to start feeling like a professional fantasy author (http://www.brandonsanderson.com/)...

fdsaf3
03-13-2012, 02:33 AM
Okay, 1. I'm tired, and 2. I'm feeling a little low mood-wise, which may just be an effect of 1. In any case, I apologise if this is complete crap.

As far as I'm concerned, this is totally for funsies. No pressure to come up with brilliant writing, my friend. Just go with it.

I'll get some stuff up tomorrow some time.

The Unreasoner
03-13-2012, 02:59 PM
Enter Fyrian:
Fyrian Lenset, Warmaker of the Burning Throne, was terrified. It did not show: he did not shake or flinch. His body did not even betray his fear to himself. Breathing rate, temperature, heart rate; they were all normal. A side effect of being Ulari, he thought. My body has long since given up mirroring the intensity of the emotions in my mind. But on some profound level, far above the simple panic animals felt, Fyrian was terrified. The Count was right: we have nothing to fear from Brassborn. It’s the cannibals among them. All throughout the Realm, in both Empire and Free City, these so-called Ironborn rallied their lowborn brethren and rebelled. And they did have power to rival the Silverborn Battle Arts. More than rival. Fyrian had seen one of the Ironborn struck down by a bolt of lightning simply stand up and drink the blood of his wounded companion, then cut down the Dawn Lancer with the man’s own sword. The man’s own steel sword. That was the key: they needed to be kept away from iron and its variants at all costs.

Fyrian fought down the urge to vomit. How long has it been since I felt such primitive revulsion? Fyrian wondered. He did not question it though; he knew what those monsters did when their iron was low. Blind to friend and foe alike, to health or even life; they…ate. He then vomited in actuality, noting as he did in some remote corner of his mind the delightful colors of the remnants of the Count’s table. He stood, signaled for his Brassborn servant to clean him off, and walked away from his desk so the man could finish.

Fyrian had been operating in the City for weeks, a fact that would have had the Countess demanding his head from the Dawn-Emperor if she ever found out. He had nearly a third of the City’s Manhunters bought and paid for, and he set them to kidnapping every Brassborn that had a sudden rise in influence, to the point of taking several dozen that were guilty of nothing but being good at their jobs. He did not feel guilty though. He could not allow himself to.

He was an Imperial Warmaker, named after one of the two ancient God-Kings of the Realm. Warmaker and Peacebringer. Why must War be made, but Peace can simply be brought? Fyrian wondered. He sighed. As Warmaker, he was one of the three people in the Realm permitted to use the Pillars of Dawn. With the Emperor’s help, he used them to burn iron mines out of the earth, burying them under miles of now glassy earth. And the cannibals still had access to iron. He avoided thinking of their possible source. For the sake of my stomach, if nothing else; I must think of them as rebels. Rebels. Not cannibals. Rebels.
Few people knew this, but the rebel hordes were marching on the Capital itself, driving the Legion of Fire back like clockwork. A decisive strike was needed. The Keystone was needed. And then, it disappeared. Could one of the Ironborn locals have foreseen our need, and taken it to deny us its use? Hopefully Anyara’s agents were close to finding it. She was talented, certainly, if a little cold. She was as talented as either of her parents, and had a cunning all her own. He himself taught her the ways of a modern World-Maker, those few people with both the talent and ambition to govern; politically gifted and incredibly pragmatic. If she hadn’t found it yet, he would need to move fast. Her actions probably alerted the hidden Ironborn, and the Wasp Knights’ arrival might put them into a panic.

I must be quick, he thought.

Zombie Sammael
03-13-2012, 06:04 PM
As far as I'm concerned, this is totally for funsies. No pressure to come up with brilliant writing, my friend. Just go with it.

I'll get some stuff up tomorrow some time.

Thanks. It's more fun for me if I think people are going to enjoy what I've written, hence why I worry about it being crap.

Since I've potentially driven my storyline into his, I'm going to wait and see what Tomp does with that one before posting again. I'm somehow even more tired tonight, so not going to post anything today, but if inspiration hits I might write a scene with one of the ladies, since they've had limited screen time thus far despite their obvious importance*.

*No, I mean in the story... ah, dammit!

Tomp
03-14-2012, 05:52 PM
Ok.

This is a bit longer, I think. It introduces a new character and ends right about where zombies last bit does. It is possible we have to cut away either your last bit or my last bit.

Anyway here it comes.



Nedina walked home in the quiet darkness. The oil lanterns lighting up bits of the street, spaced about 60 strides apart. She usually counted the steps between them.

It had been a productive night. She counted on her fingers, one standard job at the bellowing boulder and one special delivery to the oldest Brakara boy. That made a total of 35 silver.

She still owed Lenset money, or rather her father had owed that Lenset, maggot of a man, 300 gold. Then he up and dies on you, she thought and leaves you with all that dept. Her spice making abilities and her fathers contacts was all that was left to her. Her fathers contacts had given her an alternative other than working the streets to pay off her debt. It seemed her father had had more than spices in his shop.

Soon after her father died, the first special client had arrived. He wanted to lay an order for seven doses of butari cliokos poultice. Nedina didn't know what the man had been talking about, but when he offered two silver for each poultice she just nodded her head.

The next day she searched through both the shop and his house, which she now used, from floor to ceiling. Finally after nearly giving up she'd found the hidden entrance to the basement, in the backroom of the store.

What she found in there had made her fall to her knees in amazement. There were different liquids, powders, nuts, dried fruits, dried leaves, strange dead insects, candles and glass vials. There were glass vials of different colours, sizes and shapes. She found books with clients and books with strange recipes. Nedina thanked the peacebringer that her father had made her learn to read, that meant she didn't need anyone else helping her with the books.

She managed to produce the seven poultices in the alotted time and got her money. She got new orders of similar nature, but it was not only healing poultices people wanted. She understood that a whole lot of the recipes was for poisons as well.

One day a customer had ordered that they wanted a special delivery of pumpkin bark to Marlot Binkins and given her 30 silver. When Nedina had looked in her fathers books for a while, she'd realised what the special delivery meant. She would give an assignment to kill Marlot Binkins to the next one of her clients dealing in murder. She had completed her task by telling one of her clients of the assignment and then had to pay him 25 of the 30 silver.

She had realised that, although she was payed in silver instead of copper, when dealing in different drugs, she wouldn't be able to pay off Lenset in time. She decided that she wouldn't take it lying down, in more than one sense. The next time a special delivery was wanted she took the contract and carried it out herself.

That first time had been a clumsy awkward attempt, but she had finally been able to poor the brown liquid into the ale of the target of the special delivery. She had become more adept at it since then. She had even started to use poisoned daggers, but that was very rare. She never used those if it was supposed be difficult to detect or if the target was bigger than she. Now, after 7 years Nedina had aquired a certain level of respect among the other assassins. She didn't bother with the ethical aspects of it all. Nedina rationalised it by saying to herself that if she didn't kill them, someone else would.

Despite the success in her field. Nedina, now almost 30 years old, was still not free of that ironbanded debt. Lenset had some kind of annual interest rate which made the debt a tenth higher each winter solstice. The debt was still around 80 gold. That was why she had agreed to lure that Arond fellow to her store. She would get 30 gold just for doing that.

They had said that they would be careful. They had said that it would be a cirgucal operation and that no one would notice. Instead close to 20 soldiers had stormed into her store, when it was full of customers. She remembered that sir Jovric had been commanding them, he had been in the thick of it flailing about. She wondered if she ever would see her money, probably not when Jovric was involved.

Anyway, done was done. She was almost home now. It was left up here and then only a short way up the same old street. The first thing to do would be to pick up her overturned pots and salvage what was salvagable. She had had no time for that earlier in the day because the special delivery had a special delivery date attached to it. Now, after working all night it was time to get that sorted out and continue as if nothing had happened.

Suddenly she felt someone grab her from behind. She struggled to get free. She tried to shout, but a hand covered her mouth and only muffled noises came out. The arm holding her was tremendously strong. Nedina tried to reach for one of her knives.
“Quiet, stop flailing about”, the attacker said quietly. She recogniced that voice and stopped struggling.
“Luca”, she said “what are you doing”?
He put his finger to his lips "sshhh” and said “look there, just to the right of your door”. At first she couldn't take her eyes from his lips. There was a red colour on them that she hadn't noticed before. Then she looked at her door and towards the right side of it. There was a shine in head height as of that you'd get from the reflection of a helmet. When she looked closer she could see that the man in the helmet was looking at something inside her store.

Without warning the person with the shiny helmet opened the door and two more men entered the building. Nedina was not aware of running until she was half-way to the building. She drew a knife and prepared herself for what was to come. What she hadn't counted on was “Luca” who sprinted past her in an incredible speed.

When she reached the doorway there was only one of the intruders standing. She slashed out with her knife and the last one toppled backwards with a gurgling sound and blood poured from his slit throat. Nedina surveyed the room. There were three men with unshaven faces on the floor. One of them with armor. Thugs for hire, she thought. Then there was the odd one out. He looked more civilized, but what was he doing lying on the floor in her store.

Nedina went into her back room and found some of the come round brew that she'd delivered to the bellowing boulder. There they used it when drunks who'd passed out needed to get home. She hoped that it would work for this as well.
“Hold open his mouth”, she told Luca. She poured the liquid into the strangers mouth and massaged his throat to make him swallow. After an involuntary coughing spasm the stranger swallowed a couple of mouthfuls.

“There, he should be awake in a little while”, she said.
“We have to get rid of these thugs”, she continued “Luca help me drag them out to the wagon.” They dragged the limp bodies out the back and heaved them up onto the old wagon.
“Luca, go get the last one” she said.

Luca left and she looked on the two dead people lying on the wagon. There was no blood on these two. One had his chest pushed in and when she felt his chest she felt little resistance and heard only a crunching of splintered bones that ones had been a rib cage. Too bad for him that he wore no armor, she thought. Then she felt his chest again. What force did it take to make such a damage on a person. She looked on the other guard. His face was completely destroyed from the right eye down to his chin. What is this, she wondered. Did sweet innocent Luca do this? she wondered. He is just a bakers assistant, she thought to herself. She countered with another thought. Yes, and you are just a spice merchant.

Where was he, he should be out with the one that she had carved a southern smile on. I'd better go look for him. She went back inside and stopped. The stranger had woken now, but that was not what she reacted on. What she looked at and couldn't believe was the image of Luca. He sat on his knees in front of the sliced thug, lapping at the blood formed at the neck just as the neighbor cat used to do when drinking milk.

Zombie Sammael
03-14-2012, 07:10 PM
Actually, Tomp, you've managed to tie things up pretty nicely for me - although I'll have to slip something in about how Jasind just thought it was a guard he saw. Not where I was expecting to go, and I think you knew that, but getting Jasind and Luca together was my main goal.

I might do two tomorrow evening to make up for my slackness over the past couple of days (stupid work... rasmfrasm).

Tomp
03-14-2012, 07:25 PM
Maybe this should be moved to "your fiction"

Zombie Sammael
03-14-2012, 07:50 PM
Maybe this should be moved to "your fiction"

I was thinking that, at least now that those who are involved know what's what. (I predict that Sei's part, when he gets round to it, will be AMAZING :p no pressure)

Tomp
03-14-2012, 08:04 PM
Masters of the forum, who rules our world.

Make it happen.

Zombie Sammael
03-15-2012, 08:11 PM
Okay, next part. Following part probably coming tomorrow, now.

You think you know what's happening, but you don't know anything at all.

The thought was not his, but somehow, Jasind heard it in his head, as he looked at the Ironborn, crouched down next to the body of a rough-looking man. Not a guard. Why had he thought that? He must still be groggy from the blow to the head.

The ironborn. The best thing he could do was to play possum, except... the floorboard creaked behind him. He was right, there was someone else here. A woman.

He flipped on to his feet. "Get back, sweeteyes!" He shouted, flinging himself towards the ironborn. He crashed into the man, throwing his weight in such a way that he should have knocked the man to the ground, but for his unholy strength. The man grabbed hold of him, stilling him. He headbutted him, right in the face.

The move should have broken to hell-thing's nose, but as it was, it simply staggered him, causing him to let go of Jasind. Jasind swung for him, landing another blow to his face, then jumped back. It had been a long time since he'd had to fight an ironborn, but he remembered that, when they were tapping their iron, they were strong - but not necessarily fast. If he could manage to be faster, he could still----

"Luca?" The woman said from the other side of the room.

"Luca?!?!" He said aloud. No, it couldn't be. Could it?

The ironborn - Luca - seemed to calm slightly, regaining his self-control. "I'm sorry, Nedira," he said, "I never meant for you to see that."

"Nedira?!?" He said. That settled it, in a way. This was Nedira's spice shop, the woman was Nedira, and the ironborn was the man he'd been hired to track down, who'd disappeared after being arrested in her shop just a few days before. Too much of a coincidence if he was just her cousin Luca from off who'd happened to pay a visit. Of course, the way this case was going, it'd turn out he was her cousin.

"You're ironborn." Nedira said. Luca nodded. "Warbringer!" She spat. "Then, that's how you got away - and that's why the soldiers were so aggressive. They were after you, not Arond."

"Arond?!?!" Jasind said.

"No." Luca replied. "I swear to you, nobody knew of this. It's been months since I tapped the iron. I never even wanted to in the first place."

Jasind clutched at his head, still ringing from the assault earlier in the night. An ironborn who didn't want to be ironborn? All the stories said they were meant to be monsters, happily drinking the blood of ally and enemy alike if it meant replenishing their iron, which they tapped constantly to give them their hellish strength. There were too many pieces that didn't fit in this case.

"Iron and sulphur." He muttered. He sat down on the floor. The woman, finally noticing him, ran over to him.

"Sorry," she said. "I slipped you something to keep you out cold, while we got rid of the thugs."

"Thugs?" He muttered. It must have been one of them who'd got him over the back of the head while he was looking at that... thing. "Wait. Just wait a second. Where is it?"

They both looked at him. "Where's what?" The ironborn asked.

"The thing. The thing that was under the floorboards."

Nedira looked completely puzzled. "What thing that was under the floorboards?"

"There was a thing under the floorboards." He replied, and leaned forward, looking for the floorboard. "I had. I had it in my hand when they got me!" He tried to stand, his legs wobbling underneath him. The surge of adrenaline when he'd realised he was facing an ironborn before must have kept him going, but now he was feeling the effects, both of a possible concussion and whatever concoction the "spice merchant" had given him. She was probably selling more than just spices. He filed that piece of information away for now.

She took hold of him. "Thanks." He muttered, noticing for the first time that she was quite an attractive woman. "It was right around..." A floorboard squeaked beneath them. "Here!" He knelt to the floor, and lifted the boards. "Dammit!" The hollow was completely empty.

"Maybe," Nedira said, "You would like to explain to me what the "thing" was. And also how you happened to know about a secret hiding place in my shop, that I didn't even know about, IN MY SHOP."

He sighed. "I came here looking for him." He pointed over his shoulder at the ironborn, hovering behind them. "Your fiancée's worried about you, lad." He said. "Anyway, what I found instead was something odd. You know your shop's been ransacked, obviously. But the spice on the floor, it was all pointing in one direction - towards that floorboard. Or more precisely, to whatever the thing was I was holding when your friend there got me." He indicated the thug on the floor. "Guess one of those guys must have got it. WE ought to search them."

"Why?" Luca said. "What's so important about this "thing"?"

"It's a piece that doesn't fit." Jasind said. "Like you. And her. You get the pieces that don't fit together, you start to work out the case. Though this one's murkier than the depths."

"I thought you said you were hired to find me?"

"I was. I'm starting to think there's more to the case than that."

"There are two others outside. Luca, go search them. See if you can find this "thing" he's on about. I want to talk to him."

The ironborn shrugged, and did as he was told.

"Luca's ironborn. I can't believe it." Nedira said. "But then there's you. Who are you?"

He smiled, stumbling over to the body Luca had been feeding on. The thought made him shudder. "Name's Jasind." He said. "Freelance manhunter. Like I said, I was hired to find your lad there. You know he's engaged to a goldborn?"

"Heh. After the ironborn revelation, yes, I think I do." She flashed him a smile back. There was something wicked in her smile, something he was drawn to, something out of place.

He crouched next to the thug, and began searching his pockets. Nothing. They were all empty, including the hidden one on the inside of his shirt. Then Jasind noticed he was clenching his hand. That was odd; the man was dead. He pulled them loose, revealing the object he'd found earlier. He took hold of it.

"Jasind," Nedira said, "I think that's..."

"Yes, it is," a voice said from the doorway, a female voice. "And I'll be taking it now."

Jasind looked up to see a face he recognised. He should have; it was one of the three most famous faces in the city: the Lady Anyara de'Lidra, heir to the seat of Lidran.

AbbeyRoad
03-17-2012, 02:58 AM
Is it too late for me to jump in? I don't have a whole lot of time on my hands but perhaps I can inject a minor character with a little perspective here and there? My posts might be a bit irregular timing-wise, however.

Zombie Sammael
03-17-2012, 05:28 AM
Is it too late for me to jump in? I don't have a whole lot of time on my hands but perhaps I can inject a minor character with a little perspective here and there? My posts might be a bit irregular timing-wise, however.

Don't see why not. You can help fill in the time until Sei stops being drunk and posts. It could be a while.

Tomp
03-17-2012, 06:34 AM
.
until Sei stops being drunk and posts. It could be a while.

A new moon cycle starts on the 22nd. Maybe he'll sober up then. ;)

The Unreasoner
03-18-2012, 01:29 PM
So I had a pov idea for Donici. But since he's not my character, it would definitely seem different if I wrote it. Should I Post anyway, or just tell fdsaf what I'm thinking?

Zombie Sammael
03-18-2012, 01:42 PM
So I had a pov idea for Donici. But since he's not my character, it would definitely seem different if I wrote it. Should I Post anyway, or just tell fdsaf what I'm thinking?

I would ask for fdsaf3's permission out of courtesy, but i don't think there is any reason why we shouldn't use each other's characters if it works. Eventually we'll have to!

On another note, I think five was too short, but we do need to decide how many rounds this goes so that The Unreasoner can write the penultimate chapter. Unless we do something like ending part one shortly and start again with a new part, that new writers can Join if they want.

The Unreasoner
04-11-2012, 06:46 PM
I don't know if we're finishing this, but I'll post something I wrote a while back, found it in my .bak files. It's the Donici PoV, and since I have yet to hear back from fdsaf, I'll post it tentatively at the moment.
I would ask for fdsaf3's permission out of courtesy
Having done this to no effect, I will post For Your Consideration (and will retract on request):

Treason…

The word filled Captain Donici’s mind. It was not his thought, however. It was the thought of the only living man who could command him: the Dawn-Emperor. Donici could see him, in his mind’s eye. It was a simple matter to visualize himself kneeling before that terrible throne of living fire, and see his lord and master in his magnificence and glory. He was still him though. Still Donici. There were not many people who could maintain their free will in such a presence. But he could. It was in part his immunity to that sense of awe that those masters of the True Arts could inspire that made him an invaluable ally to the Dawn-Emperor. His own strength and cunning were what earned him his rank, though.

But in this moment, Donici knelt and closed his eyes, to better know his Master’s will. Immediately, he was in the throne room, and beyond the throne he could see the Pillars that shone with the light of a thousand suns. If he were there in the flesh, blindness would have come instantly. Donici then lowered his gaze to the Emperor, and when he met those fiery eyes he heard a voice:

Treachery.

Whose, your Radiance? Donici replied. But the answer was indirect: a flood of images crossed his awareness, so fast each lasted but a moment; so intense he would remember it to his dying day. He saw the Keystone, and as he reached out for it; a hand shrouded in darkness snatched it away. He saw the rebel forces receiving wagonloads of pure iron from a figure he could not quite make out. He saw Lidran, from a distance, shrouded in fog. And then he saw the man who could have planned it all:

Fyrian.

Donici saw nothing to conclusively identify Fyrian as the culprit, but he was the only person Donici could think of that might be responsible. And the Emperor seemed certain: Donici could feel the murderous intensity of the Dawn-Emperor; could taste that fiery rage.

His orders were clear: Fyrian would die.

Thy will be done, your Radiance.


Short and sweet, I thought of writing the ensuing battle from Fyrian's PoV; but it really could go either way. I do intend for Fyrian to die.

The Unreasoner
07-24-2012, 05:09 PM
So I'm working on the second-to-last chapter atm. And it's long. At least three PoVs, maybe four. I'm planning on an Anyara to start, then the Countess, then Fyrian.

A little summary for any interested in writing the conclusion:

I'm bringing the rebels to Lidran, Anyara has made an iron dust storm that will cover Lidran, the Countess plots against the Emperor with her private army while allying with him and Donici against Anyara. Might introduce one possible ally for the Tomp/Zombie crew.

Abbaaddon
08-17-2012, 11:09 AM
What you guys are doing is truly amazing. I wish I had been there once you started but as English is not my mother language and as I make loads of mistakes, I'll just follow up what you are doing. Keep going, it's awesome !

Tomp
08-30-2012, 06:58 PM
Unfortunately time has passed and this little project has more or less gotten away from me.
I know I had an idea on where to take it but I've forgotten what it was.

For you who want to pursue this further may use the two characters that I wrote if you wish. I don't think I will continue on this little project.

For those interested, an incarnation of Luca is now in my own space opera story that I'm working on.
It includes trans-dimensional entities, mysterious murders, exploding stars and a person who learns he can manipulate magnetic fields and increase his physical prowess (at a price).

Sorry guys.

Figbiscuit
09-04-2012, 10:38 AM
I realise I am a little late to this party, but I've only just started reading this story.

Is it still happening? Tomp has bowed out, Zombie is half way up the UK on the back of a bike and possibly Sei is still drunk...anyone?

The Unreasoner
09-04-2012, 03:05 PM
I'm still doing it. I have a big chapter coming out soon. Fyrian's PoV is done, as is the Countess's. Having some trouble figuring out how to get some exposition in there, maybe an excerpt from the Imperial Histories to start the chapter?

Tomp
04-01-2013, 03:44 PM
Gonna do a short story on part of Nedina's backstory to submit to the S&L Anthology.

Zombie Sammael
04-04-2013, 12:32 AM
I... basically abandoned this like a redheaded stepchild. Sorry everyone. It's even worse since I'm ginger myself. I will have to reread all the parts and work out where I can throw in some more chaos - er, move the story along - then get back on it.

GonzoTheGreat
04-04-2013, 03:46 AM
I... basically abandoned this like a redheaded stepchild. Sorry everyone. It's even worse since I'm ginger myself.
It takes one to know one, it seems. Maybe the redheads deserve it after all. :p

Tomp
04-05-2013, 03:30 AM
It takes one to know one, it seems. Maybe the redheads deserve it after all. :p

No they don't. It's the Dutch that deserves it (whatever it is).

Mort
09-27-2013, 12:34 PM
This looks fun. I might join in the next story