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 Resurrecting the Dead of Winter

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Varchild_Marquee
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PostSubject: Resurrecting the Dead of Winter   Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:12 pm

Resurrecting the Dead of Winter



All around, ash and snow fell thick in the swirling hot air. Se’balyn, Ice-daughter of the Kjeld tribe and Chosen of Thal’dor, stared down into the dark labyrinthine canyons. The land was ravaged from the cataclysm that had struck overnight. Fear still pulsed in her veins, but anger pulsed louder. Strange dark creatures moved among the blackened rocks and the glowing rivers of earthblood. Carefully she hefted Rækfyld, Thal’dor’s gift to her on ascendance to the title of Ice-daughter.

The strange leviathan that set upon the city in the night destroyed everything. The palace was gone, a smoldering collection of rubble atop a crumbling plateau. Thal’dor’s magnificent temple split in twain and toppled into the molten canyon below. The walls of the marketplace still stood, marred with ashen streaks, cracked from the violent tremors, and stained with the blood of survivors who escaped the pyroclasm only to be cut down by the dark beasts hardened from the cooling flows. Se’balyn whispered a silent prayer to Thal’dor and strode toward the remains of her former home.

Behind the Ice-daughter, a cadre of priests and warriors recently converted to Thal’dor’s guidance shuddered at the sight. Her bravery was all that tempered their mettle. Her black hair billowed in the hot winds whipping through the canyons, and her tattered red traveling cloak whipped. Out of the heat and ruin a roar erupted over the scene. A reptilian head reared out of the temple ruins. Black wings beat the air and the beast took to the sky.

Se’balyn rooted her stance and gripped the axe in both hands. The beast bore down on the Chosen of Thal’dor with smoke trailing from its jaws. A jet of flame burst forth as the creature roared. Flames lapped around the sides of Rækfyld as the Ice-daughter raised it like a shield. As the fire lapped around the edges of the blessed weapon of Thal’dor’s chosen Se’balyn prepared for worse.

The beast’s blow struck as the fire faded. The tail whipped out and struck the Ice-daughter and her companions. With the strength of ten men, the blow sent them tumbling toward the canyon edge. Thal’dor’s chosen dug Rækfyld’s pommel into the earth and caught herself before she could be thrown over the edge. Four of her companions were not so lucky. Swirling the blade through the air once to loosen her wrist, Se’balyn grasped it firmly in two hands and charged forward off her knees. “Thal’dor grant me strength!”

A surge of power filled the Ice-daughter. As she reared Rækfyld back to strike, a trail of purest sleet followed the blade. Before their eyes, her remaining companions witnessed the Ice-daughter’s flesh grow pale and the black of her hair grayed and then glistened to a purest white. Eyes the color of a frozen lake glared with hatred as Se’balyn sank Rækfyld into the flesh of the dark creature.

Inspired to courage, the recruits screamed and charged forward attacking the beast with zeal. Blood and fire filled the air. The beast roared its pain to heaven, unleashing a blast of its unholy breath.

“I know not whence you came, nor to what hell I send you—” She paused to rip the axe head from the creature’s side and raise it back again before continuing, “I do not pity your suffering there!” Another roar of pain sent flames into the air as the Ice-daughter buried the axe deep into the reptilian fiend.

Retreating with a buffet of its wings, the black beast lifted to a nearby outcropping. Rearing on its haunches, the beast closed its eyes and clasped its claws together. Agonizing sounds filled the air behind Se’balyn. She turned, watching her companions as they twisted and took on new shapes, horrible dark shapes.

“Thal’dor I expel you from these lands and this flesh. I purify these souls in blood and fire.” The words came as a growling from the monster on the rocks. Turning she rushed the beast. Raising back the Rækfyld, she let the axe fly sure to its mark.

As her own transformed companions fell upon the Ice-daughter, Rækfyld sank deep into the bone and organs. Gore splattered the rocks, and the foul destroyer and the Chosen of Thal’dor fell. The beasts feasted on the flesh of the fallen. Stained with gore, Rækfyld was forgotten, lost forever in the snow and ash of the frigid wastes rent asunder by the cataclysm of the unnamed beast.
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Part 2


Last edited by Varchild_Marquee on Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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JoeSlucher
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PostSubject: Re: Resurrecting the Dead of Winter   Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:15 pm

Thanks for posting this fiction looks like it's going to be fun. Can't wait to see what happens to the artifact.
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PostSubject: Re: Resurrecting the Dead of Winter   Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:55 am

Nice piece of fiction!

I too would like to see what happens to the artifact.

Very nice and grim ending of part 1
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PostSubject: Re: Resurrecting the Dead of Winter   Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:18 pm

Thank you both!

I'm almost done with part two. I'm uncertain when I do ocmplete it, whether I should post it by editing part 1 or by posting a second thread... if it gets too long, it could end up taking a lot of space either way...

*sigh* Tough decisions, what are your guidelines? Most forums I've seen fiction on have guidelines posted with a sticky to cover such details. I'll take any suggestion you might have on the subject.
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PostSubject: Re: Resurrecting the Dead of Winter   Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:46 pm

My suggestion is to break up your writing for easy reading. If you want to make another thread that is fine.

I would also recommend breaking up the pages with mulitple posts on the same thread. This way readers can give their eyes a break when reading and the words do not jumble together.

Right now we are small, over time (and after another moderator is appointed) we will put up stickys and get some rules down.
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PostSubject: Re: Resurrecting the Dead of Winter   Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:19 pm

Okey doke, no problem, one clarification, please:

Fate wrote:

I would also recommend breaking up the pages with multiple posts on the same thread.

Not sure I understand what you mean. Do you mean:

a.) I should put a line break or gap of space between multiple parts when editing in additional parts of the story in one post?

b.) I should post the additional parts in a single thread as replies?

c.) ...and now for something completely different?
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PostSubject: Re: Resurrecting the Dead of Winter   Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:38 am

The B answer is what I am looking for. But this is by choice as I am not enforcing rules on the forum as of yet.
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PostSubject: Re: Resurrecting the Dead of Winter   Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:06 pm

Just looking for guidelines. If I write regular parts to the story or start other stories I want them to be uniform in method. Besides, we wouldn't want people searching all through the forums looking for parts of the stories among hundreds of out of order parts of the story. Would get frustrating. Option B it is... Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Resurrecting the Dead of Winter   Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:11 pm

For those not used to crawling through every available thread, we may want to post a static rules and recomendation thread that is always the first topic listed for this forum. I'm not adept enough at forum management to know how that's done, but I know it's the standard solution on most forums, and the one the users will be most familiar with.
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PostSubject: Re: Resurrecting the Dead of Winter   Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:56 am

I wil work on a standard forum guideline for posts this weekend. We will get it right. Smile
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PostSubject: Part 2...   Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:19 pm

Tem was freezing! The animal hides barely covered his goose-pimpled flesh. Drawn with hunger and seeking only a place to make shelter from the harsh cold, he headed for the only sign of habitation in the barren tundra. A plume of smoke rose in the distance, and at the edge of nightfall, a warm glow radiated from behind the spires and crags of a lonesome rocky outcropping.

Tem carefully approached, for he knew well that barbarians and worse could be the source of the warmth he sought, and none such beings could be a promise of security for him. Tem was sent from his tribe to map the cold waste with fourteen other men, none of whom he had seen in nearly two months. It was both an honor to be an explorer and a glory to the goddess to render this region to scrolls for the sake of future generations of the people of the whistling reeds. Dale’iri would be a pleased goddess when he returned with his portion of the tundra completely mapped. He hoped the others would be as fortuitous on returning home.

Peering over the top of a rocky ridge he saw something unexpected. Magma crept through cracks in the icy tundra. The hot air rose over the area. Smoke was rising from the depths of a deep channel of glowing lava. Atop one cliff, remains of a massive building stretched for the dark sky. Another ruin sent curtains of dust spilling into a crevasse carved by molten rock. The remains of a crumbling wall deteriorated by ages of frost and wind still guarded a section of old buildings. This called for a record.

Tem hastily rifled through his belongings for the charcoal and rolled hides that served to preserve his thoughts and discoveries. In the flowing ideograms of his people, Tem recorded detailed descriptions of the world around him. The serene but blustery plains all around, the majestic outcroppings of stone backlit by the fiery glow of the volcanic trench, the desolate ruins nestled inside the crumbling hollow of an ancient tribal market.

Food, long hence unfit to eat, was frozen on racks and tables in the crumbling remains. Ratty furs, most likely once valuable cloaks and clothing hung coated in frost and scented with brimstone. The eye-watering stench that hovered in the air was rising from vent grates in the cobblestone walkways, for streets would have been much broader. Everything was as if the end had come in the middle of the day with everything progressing according to routine. Oddly Tem found no bodies, and realizing this hastened to stow the record he was making of the place. It was not safe here. No bones or bodies— Who had taken them? Who had removed them? Was it possible, in spite of the stillness of these ruins, that Tem was not alone?

He had to flee into the cold night again, well away from these ruins—and quickly—before whatever was here caught his scent. He rifled the racks of furs looking for anything to keep him warm. As they crumbled at his touch he whispered a silent prayer to Dare’iri. Something else answered him instead.

“Tem of the Saga’eri tribe. I am Thal’dor, once known as Snowbear. I have dealt with your goddess for help and she has sent you. This is the truth of your mission. You are mine until your return. Dale’iri and I will aid you, but to speak with you, you had to first find my home. The ruins you stand in are the home of my ascension. The people were proud barbarians, masters of winter, and I was their protector. I failed them. Even my champions were destroyed. I am in my end days, unless you teach my word and bring my message to a new people.”

Dale’iri’s musical voice whispered through the wind as it always did, “Thal’dor does not deserve the fate that has caught up with him. You must bring him to a new people, Tem, son of Ergoss. I will gather the others now that you have found his lands. Together you will be Thal’dor’s new champions; I believe he called them Brothers of Frost. He is weak, so I will outfit you. Take a fur cloak by its chain, and then do as Thal’dor commands.”

Tem nodded confounded by his goddesses desire to aid this dying god. He asked no questions of her, but took the fur cloak before him by the chain clasp at its collar. The frost and age melted away and the cloak glistened with fresh thick black fur.

Thal’dor again spoke to his new Brother of Frost, “You will need a weapon. I have one artifact I have kept empowered. You will be its wielder.” A voice called to Tem from behind, “Here!”

Tem turned and saw a large and imposing form standing along side a rocky outcropping beyond the river of magma. Covered in garments of thick lustrous fur with a thick billowing cloak of white, Thal’dor stood in his full glory. His young face was accented with a black goatee and his balefire green eyes glistened like emeralds. With his massive hands, Thal’dor dug the snow and ash from the place at the foot of the stones where the unnamed beast met his end ages before.

Tem approached, putting on the cloak, and carefully found some footing to cross a ledge overhanging the magma. Chunks of stone toppled from beneath him into the superheated rock flowing below. Splashes of lava burned into the walls of the crevasse and sent smoke dancing up the rocky crags. A blast of heat sent Tem’s hair whipping up around him. He grasped the stones to keep from falling off his ledge. He reached the solid ground of the snow shrouded plateau and dropped to his knees. Slowly he crawled away from the ledge and found himself at the booted feet of Thal’dor. He raised himself to his feet slowly.

The Snowbear held out his hands flat. On the cushion of his firm palms, an axe, the haft wrapped in black fur, rested, glistening with a red tinge embedded through the blade. “This was my only remaining weapon of power, once called Rækfyld, the Axe of Frost. It was the sign of the leader of my chosen. You would be called Ice-son, but you cannot. Take the weapon.”

With fear and uncertainty Tem took the axe from his new master’s massive hands. He examined it more closely and admired the craftsmanship of the finely designed metalwork. Ideograms he knew and other symbols he did not recognize decorated the center of the blade on both sides. He ran a finger along the edge and pressed his fingertips to the stained metal.

“It has been soured by the reeking blood of the beast that destroyed my people. The foul taint has become a part of the purity that once wedded the Winter’s chill with the perfect metal of the blade. I am too weak to cleanse it. Until you can find a method to wipe the putrid stain from the weapon’s core, it will be called Dyrbærdin, Bearer of Doom. You shall be called Redeemer, for it is my hope you will find a way to restore my people to greatness. Use Dyrbærdin wisely.”

“But great lord Thal’dor, my liege. I am not a warrior. I am not a priest. I am a scholar.”

Thal’dor stood still, crossed his arms at his wrist with his hands balled into fists and began fading out of existence. “Redeemer, I need a teacher to spread my word, not a priest. Besides, Dyrbærdin is a wonder to be cleansed before you are to wield it. A warrior would see only a weapon. Draw it for battle only in times of dire necessity.” As the words echoed over the snow, Thal’dor was gone. Tem the Redeemer packed the God of Winter’s gift and curse under Dale’iri’s parting gift.

A noise roused Tem to attention, and he turned. Crawling from under piles of rubble and seeping out of cracks in the walls above the pyroclastic flow, black reptilian beasts began digging claws into stone and crawling to the edge of the surface. Tem began to shake and reached for Dyrbærdin, but stopped.

A warrior sees only a weapon. Tem drew the axe and took a running start away from the monsters. Saying a short prayer, accidentally addressed to his former goddess, he leaped over the nearest rocky outcropping. Thrusting the flat of the axe’s blade to the ground under his feet and planting them firmly, Tem rode the axe in a crouch while holding the leather cords gathered at the pommel like the reins of a horse. Leaning left and right became second nature to Tem as a means of making turns as the axe coursed down the steep slopes of snow covered rock.

Suddenly, a drastic change in the terrain turned the speedy trip into an unexpected lesson in flight, as a sudden ramp of snow built up from storms over a small ledge collapsed and thrust Tem forward off his makeshift sled. The head of Dyrbærdin caught on a small woody root sticking out of the ledge overhead, and Tem dangled helplessly over a deep crevasse grasping precariously to the gathered leather bindings he’d been holding like reins by only one hand. He climbed, straining to get over the top of the ledge and scanned the rocky crags and Kjeld ruins with only the ruddy glow and his former goddess's blessed moon for illumination.
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PostSubject: Re: Resurrecting the Dead of Winter   Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:04 am

The plot thickens.

Looking forward to the next part, keep it up!


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