Fantasy

Posted: January 15, 2016 in Creative Writing
Tags: , , , , ,

Below is the first scene from a Fantasy novel that I started for my graduation portfolio.  My two favorite genres are Sci-Fi and Fantasy, so I am trying my hand at both.  Again it’s only a draft, but my instructor and fellow class mates seemed to like it so i’ll post it here.  As always any comments or likes are greatly appreciated.

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He was all alone in a small empty clearing, but all around him the world burned with intense heat.  The woods surrounding the clearing were engulfed in a raging inferno of reds, oranges, and bright blues, as the flames crawled their way from branch to branch.  In the distance deep black smoke rose from the ruins of a small city set against a large deep blue lake.

The man in the clearing began to stir as the grey ash from the burning trees fell on him like a light swirling snowstorm.  First a hand swiped across his face removing a fine layer of ash that had settled there.  Next his eyes fluttered, and he let out a deep groan as he sat up, and received a sharp pain in his left side.  Fully standing up he looked down and noticed that he was wearing deep maroon robes that was held closed by a belt full of pouches.  He was of regular height and weight, with a normal face, a head full of blonde hair that is bound in a ponytail, and a sparse beard.  His eyes are a deep blue that shine with a fierce light.

Looking towards his left side he immediately noticed the pain was coming from a wood splinter roughly six inches long lodged in between his ribs.  Grasping the splinter in both hands, he held his breath and quickly tugged the wood from his side.  As he did he instantly regretted it as the pain was so excruciating that he almost passed out.  Clamping a hand over the open wound he tried to stem the blood flow, while with the other hand he began searching the pouches on his belt one by one for anything to bandage the wound.

His hands were flying between patches when he felt his left hand start to burn.  Looking down he noticed the hand encased in a glowing white light, which quickly flashed out, but after it did he felt no more pain in his side.  Removing his hand from the wound he was astonished to see that it had completely disappeared.

“What is going on?” he asked.

Taking a quick look around the clearing he notices that it was completely empty except for a plain looking walking stick.  Bending down he grasped the stick in both hands and stood back up.  Now armed with his walking stick and a belt full of powders that he didn’t know the use of, he began to look for a path through the burning woods towards the city by the lake.

With no clear path through the burning trees, the man quickly ripped a strip of cloth from his robe, and wrapped it around his nose and moth.  Moving at a quick pace, but with a lot of caution, he negotiated a path through the trees, making sure to to stay out from under trees that were fully ablaze.  Even though he avoided the worst of the burning the trees, the smoke and heat from the blaze was nearly unbearable.  Even as he neared the end of the wood he almost panicked as the smoke clogged his lungs, each breath was excruciating and burnt from his nose all the way down his throat.  The heat was oppressing and seemed to roll off the trees in unstoppable waves, forcing him to bend at the waste to keep the brunt of it from his face.

After what felt like a lifetime, he finally burst through the trees onto a cracked cobblestone road that led to the burning city beyond.  Casting his gaze upon the city, he realized that he would find no answers there.  The city appeared to be in complete ruin, with flames licking at the side of everything.  Whatever had happened here had been very violent and thorough.

Looking around the man identified a river that seemed to feed into the lake beyond the city, so he moved towards it to find a place to sit and collect himself.  Finding a small stump at the edge of the river he sat and put his head in his hands.

“Quite a mess you’ve made this time, eh?”  said a sharp manic sounding voice from behind him.  Twisting quickly to his left the man brought his walking stick up before him in a defensive posture, and strange harsh, words came to his mind unbidden.  Looking towards the voice he was taken aback to see a large bat like creature looking back at him.

The creature was jet black, with bright sharp red eyes that seemed to glint with intelligence.  It had small wings that beat furiously to keep it afloat, but it also had short crooked arms, and stubby little legs that just dangled as the thing floated in the air.

“Who? What are you?”  asked the man, his eyes narrowing in suspicion.

“You did it again, didn’t you?”

“Did what?”

“Oh boy,” replied the creature.  “You better sit back down master.”

“Master?” asked the man, as he slowly lowered himself back onto the stump, while still keeping the walking stick in front of him.

“Yes, master.  You are Arch Mage Kalicon, senior member of the Dragon’s Coven, which is the most powerful group of mages in the realm.  I am your familiar, Laspo, and I am an imp.  Now what do you remember?”

“The only thing I remember is waking up in that burning clearing, surrounded by fire and destruction,” said Kalicon.  “If I am such a powerful mage, then why am I here, and why don’t I remember anything?”

“You came to this city looking for an enchanted stone to affix to your staff.  As to why you don’t remember anything, I think I can tell you that as well.  When we got to the city you had me begin a search for the stone while you procured supplies.  Shortly after arriving, I heard the bone-shaking roar of a dragon, but it wasn’t just any dragon.  It was the elder black dragon, Jasshek, who has been hunting for the stone as well.  So what I think happened is you fought Jasshek, and in doing so depleted all your energy, which caused the memory wipe you’re experiencing.  Since I have been your familiar for many years, I have seen it happen several times before, but you always get your memory back, so no problems there. That would also explain why everything in the area is ruined as the power between the two of you is incredible.    The big problem is, I see your staff, but no stone affixed to it, which means that Jasshek has the stone.”

“So, I’m guessing this walking stick is actually my staff then,” said Kalicon.  “How long does it usually take for me to regain my memory?”

“Usually no more than a day,” said Laspo.

“So what do you recommend we do until then?”

“Well master, I would say heading South towards Carlan Keep would be our best bet.  There you can restock supplies and formulate a plan to regain the stone,” it said.

“What is so important about a stone, and why does this elder dragon want it?”  Asked Kalicon.

“The stone is a sacred artifact said to be blessed by Luprus, the god of magic,” said Laspo.  “With it you should gain enough power to challenge the coven and claim the position of Grandmaster.  Jasshek however, only wants it to further his power base, and because he is a dragon, and dragons love magic, artifacts, and gold.”

“Well sounds as good a plan as any.  How long should it take us to walk there?”  He asked.

“About a month, but we should run across several towns where you may be able to procure a horse to make it a smoother trip.  The supplies you will need to locate Jasshek however you won’t find until you reach the Keep.  Of course, you will also need a lot of rest to recuperate your energy after the first battle, and also to gather some help.  With Jasshek now possessing the stone he will be even more powerful than before, and you couldn’t kill him then so you don’t stand a chance now.  We can deal with that when we get to it though,” said Laspo

“To Carlan Keep then,” said Kalicon, as he stood, grabbed his things, and started South.

 

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