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Nanowrimo story Chapter 2


What Lies Between…
Power & Bliss

Chapter 2: Pride & Fear

The pain was numbing, slowly. This time it was genuine, and not because of anger. I have no idea what they did to me, to make me feel so weak, nor what had kept me feeling that way for however long it had been. How long had I been out? Had I slept for days, hours?

Li and I made our way out of the cell, and into a hall. The air smelled phenomenally better out in the hall, and as we made our way closer to open air, it got even better. Along the way, we found large chests, luckily containing our things; armor, weapons, and apparently, some bags of tea leaves Li had with him. After we had our proper clothing on, and our things restored to our possession, we left the hall, and made out way beyond. We could see outside the prison; I could see the multi-colored trees of Aldeon beyond the fort we were in. Unfortunately, I could also see a full retinue of soldiers lining the walls. With what strength I had, I shoved Li back away from the door, before one of them had the opportunity to look our way. He and I tumbled into some strewn hay, grunting in the process of tumbling over each other.

“How many freaking guards are there out there?!” I exclaimed, though in a hushed tone to hopefully not be heard.

“It seems they really want us here,” Li said.

“We should feel flattered, that they need so many for just the two of us, but damn… how are we supposed to get out with that many eyes on the lookout.”

“Perhaps we wait for night time? Sneak out when there are less about?”

“They will not allow that. They are going to eventually notice that two men did not return from the cells and find them dead. We have to get out now.”

Li looked around the corner again, and I looked around us. I pressed a hand to the wall as support in the absence of Li’s shoulder. I had to brush some hay off of my shoulder. My eyes widened. “That’s it!” I exclaimed. Sudden silence followed, as I berated myself mentally while listening. No sound of discovery came, so I grabbed onto Li, and pulled him back. “The hay; the stable attached to this fort is on this end. It has to be nearby. There are probably less men in the stable, a few stable hands and nothing more. If the stable opens directly outside, we may be able to escape that way before they even notice us.”

Li helped me back up, nodding to me without commenting on it. We hurried back down the hall, the way we had come, and found another hall that split off. We followed it, and sure enough, it lead into the stables. Quietly, we tip toed through. The place was filled with more hay, and quite a few horses. We saw no one about, at first, but as soon as we attempted to get into one of the horse’s stalls, one of the stable hands found us.

“Hey! You, stop there!”

He was nothing more than a barn boy, there to make sure the horses were tended to in the stables, and had not been on the same level as any of the guards. He was only wearing loose wool clothes, and though work with horses had toned his muscles, he held no skill as a fighter. This time, Li actually leapt to action, and approached the man. A single strike was all it took, one hand pushed forth, a pair of fingers pushed into the man’s neck, and he slumped to the ground. I stared at Li in disbelief.

“What was that?” I asked.

“I hit a pressure point, put him to sleep.” Li answered, as he grasped the man under the arms, and dragged him off into one of the stalls.

“Such gentleness, you are not meant for Arvandor. You should return home as soon as you find your son.” Li moved as if I was not speaking, however. He helped me up onto the back of one of the horses –not having time to worry about saddles– before he moved to the next horse, and got up on its back.

The fort shook, and every horse in the stable protested. I gripped around the horse’s body with my legs, and was nearly forced to throw my arms around its neck to avoid being thrown. However, despite that, it took little nudging to encourage the horse out of the stall. Shouting was heard in all directions, but our best bet was as I had told Li before, through the stables. There was a wooden gate that allowed the horses into the stable without having to go through the Fort’s metal gates. Out we went into the open, but whatever had shook the fort was not happening inside. Seemingly waiting for us outside of the fort, was a battle. The soldiers, wearing iron plate, wielding sword, mace, or axe with shield –some with bows and arrows– was many people, wearing naught but cloth robes of colors varying from white to a light pink or grey, all with masks covering their faces. I growled lowly.

“Grandmother…”

“What was that?” Li asked.

“Nothing, this just got more difficult, and we have even less time now. We need to get away from here without being noticed.”

“The prisoners are out!” came a shout from above.

“And the secondary plan of action is?” asked Li, who actually had the gall and temerity to laugh at his own joke at a time like this.

“No time for jokes, funny man.”

I urged my horse away from the fort, and ran off into the hills. Li followed, but I could tell he was not the only one. The sound of more horse’s hooves was in the distance. Clearly, they did not bother with saddles either. But this did not dissuade me. I squeezed at the horse’s sides, and emulated the slap of the reins with the back of my hand, directing the horse over one hill after another, hoping to bound into a place where we could not be easily seen; put some distance between us simply with a quickly taken curve.

Sure enough, a cluster of hills offered us a chance to duck behind some rock around the next bend. It would not save us entirely, because after that cluster of hills was wide open fields, and we would never convince them we had gotten so far that they could not see us. They would turn around, I was sure of it, but under the cover of that rock, I got off my horse. The pain surged, but I did it anyway and, as quietly as I could manage, I unsheathed my swords. It was good to have them again; a pair of katana, weapons forged in Higashi. One was a gift from a dear friend, one of very few in this world, if anyone could fall into that category so easily. The other was a bitter reminder of my past, but it was an excellent sword and it had served me well for years. When the men chasing us rounded the curve of the hills, and got into view of the open plains, they gave pause; as I had expected. I slipped out of our hiding spot, quickly slashing at them, wildly. Lightning churned from the metal of my blades, and though I never aimed for the horses, the supposed attempts to strike them spooked the horses. I missed, on purpose, but in their fright they reared up on their back legs, tossing their unsecured riders onto their backs on the ground. The horses ran off, and I circled the men, with blades pointed outward at them. There were four of them, so I could not put a blade tip to any neck without risking my own safety from any other of them. Li did not put forth any effort to keep them down either, and merely stood back watching. I did my best to not appear affected by this.

“Well now, we are going to confirm some things, fellas, what do you say?” I hoped I sounded convincing; intimidating.

“And vhy should ve be telling you anything?”

“You know, it is not wise to try and act tough to the person who has the means to end your life in an instant.”

“Dorian…” Li murmured.

“Do not interfere, Li.”

“You two knowing each other?” questioned one of the men.

“Yea, you know, you had us imprisoned together for… how long was it?” I passed it off as if I knew exactly, and was toying with them, I hoped.

“I was in there for five days. You were there before me,” Li responded.

“Yea, see? A week and you expect us to not know each other’s names? Seriously, Uncle hired himself some idiots this time around.”

“Uncle?” questioned them all, even Li, in unison.

I glared at the men on the ground. The idea that they would allow themselves to be hired for a job without knowing who their target or their employer was, was unsettling. I set my teeth, narrowed my eyes, and glared down at the men, but when I spoke, my words were all for Li.

“Yes, Li, Uncle. Black Mamba is a nickname given to him. My Grandmother, and all of her side of the family, just love snakes.”

“That is not entirely true, Dorian,” came a soft spoken, yet high pitched, voice.

I looked up from the men on the ground, and back to the cluster of hills. There, perched on the highest crest of one of the hills, was the figure of a woman in a flowing pink robe that disguised anything of her figure. She also wore a mask over her face, with a snake’s face painted upon it. She stared through narrow eye slits at me.

“Your words are less convincing, when dressed the way you are… Kiyomi.”

Kiyomi was one of the Cavanagh family, one of my grandmother’s people. She never officially declared where she fit into the family –she never officially stated anything, always giving her answers in a way that never officially answered what was asked– but I was sure she was Logan’s daughter; my cousin. She was the Cavanagh’s fetching girl, pursuing me ever since the day Grandmother sent that messenger boy for me. She was in the Serpent of Nishi the day I answered the message, and had been everywhere I had been, hunting for that object they all seemingly believed I had; the item my father had kept from them; the item they believed I got from him. Nonsense.

“Mother has very strict precedents for how we all dress,” Kiyomi said.

“I am sure she does; commanding and arrogant, as always. That aside, now is not the best time, even for your fruitless search.”

“It is only fruitless because you are too stubborn to give it up. Just hand it to me, and we will not bother you again.”

“If you snake lovers would get your heads out of your non-existent asses, you would know that father would never give me anything but punishment and brutality! Get that through your thick heads and leave me alone! I will not hesitate to kill any of you that get in my way.”

“Dorian…” Li intoned again.

Kiyomi  and I both glanced at Li at the same time. “Stay out of this, Li!” I shouted.

“Making friends, finally?” Kiyomi asked.

“My life is none of your concern, snake bitch!” I could not see her face through the mask, but I had the sudden feeling that she frowned. It did not matter to me, really, but I hesitated slightly, as I turned back to the men on the ground, who had been silent this whole time.

“Now, back to these idiots. Did you guys think to question why the Black Mamba wanted me captured?”

“What?!” exclaimed Kiyomi.

I looked back to her, the anger intensifying on my face. I could feel my skin curling up as the glare intensified as I found her again.

“Do not try to deny it. Two of the men inside confirmed it was him. So do not act innocent and unknowing in this.”

Black Mamba does not tell me all of his decisions.”

“You expect me to believe that Grandmother allows him to do whatever he wants without her okay?”

“Mother does not tell me all of her decisions either.”

“Right, heaven forbid she tell her spy, entrusted with tailing me every day of my life, something regarding the capture of her charge.”

My brow twitched, and I growled. This conversation was going nowhere fast. It was headed in only one direction; chaos. The longer it carried on, the longer I could hear his chiding in my head, along with his laughter.

“It is all a ruse. They only care to use you for their own ends. Remember, they do not care about you. Where were they when Liam hurt you and Raina? Where was Mother when you needed her? They only want this object, not you.” His voice in my head only served to further my anger even more. I was growling, without realizing it. Li was distancing himself, and I distantly heard him murmur my name a few more times. Kiyomi stood upright.

“Calm yourself, Dorian. Focus on me, not him.

This gave me pause. She knew about him? How did she know about him?

“She has seen into your mind. She is a danger. She must be destroyed, or they will enslave you!” Jinnzou exclaimed within my mind.

The pain was a dull throb now, and was fading away once more underneath my anger. Sparks of electricity extended out from my eyes, my arms, my legs; my whole body. Earth tore up beneath me, and was tossed in every direction. I was not looking at them, but out of the corner of my sight, out of the corner of my mind, I saw the men on the ground scrambling to get up, but settled for crawling away on hands and knees just to get away from the bombardment of my wrath.

“Grandmother will not have control of me!” I exclaimed as I gripped the hilts of my swords firmly, and with a peel of thunder at my feet, I leaped at Kiyomi.

The blade in my right hand stabbed forward at her, as she danced to my right, leaping off the hill, and landing on the ground below, between me and the men crawling away. With another peel of thunder and lightning, the hilltop shattered as I pushed to pursue. Spinning about as I did so, my other blade arched widely, seeking to cut across her waist. Once more, though, she moved away, this time, upward; leaping into the sky as if she were suddenly capable of flight. She flipped, over my head, and landed behind me. I spun around as quickly as I could, slashing without hesitation, downward in an angle, from left to right. Still, she merely avoided me, not once raising hand against me. I noticed this, in the back of my mind; where I lay a passenger in my own body. Jinnzou had control, and that made me even angrier.

Jinnzou continued to press the attack, but this time, Li got in the way. A flat palm hit my wrist in mid swing, and as if he were the stone itself, my swing was instantly halted. His other palm struck me in the gut, and with some unnatural momentum, my body was lifted up, off its feet, and flipped in the air, only to land sharply on its back. My breath fled my lungs, and leaped out of my mouth in that moment, seeking refuge on the current of winds that was suddenly around us. I noticed briefly, my head never made contact with the ground. My anger was reined in, in all the confusion, and I lost consciousness as Jinnzou lost control.

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NaNoWriMo story Chapter 1


What Lies Between…
Power & Bliss

Chapter 1: Belief & Truth

I awoke in a great deal of pain, laying within hay in what seemed to be a prison cell. Above me was a man with a moist cloth, cleaning blood away. I could not feel the trickle of blood. However, the cloth came away red so I must have still been wounded; but from what? I could not remember a fight nor how I got here. I wanted to move away from this stranger, despite his helpful actions. I did not know him. Was he cleaning me up because he wished to, or because he was told to? Who else was here? Who were my captors? I could not move much; tilting my head being the extent of what I could do without causing myself sharp stinging pain. So, I laid there, taking in what I could of my cell.

“You are awake, I see…” he said finally, as he dunked the cloth into a bucket of water, and rung it out.

“So I am…” I said, and even I was surprised at how hoarse my voice sounded. “Where am I awaking to?”

“I do not know these lands well, I am afraid. I was thrown in here, for what I do not know, and I have only been here a few days.”

“Well, you clearly pissed off someone in the Empire.”

“What Empire?”

“What Empire? Where are you from? Everyone on this blasted world knows the Empire.”

“There is no Empire where I come from.”

“Are you deaf? The empire controls the whole continent, even if the territory isn’t all theirs, they have so many shady deals running throughout this continent, it is a wonder they even put on a façade of trying to hunt down the criminal organizations in it.”

“I am not from this continent.”

This took me by surprise. My brow rose to show my confusion, and despite the pain that accompanied it, I forced myself to face this man and look at him. “There’s… only one continent on this world. Where are you from? Who are you?”

“My name is Li Shaoshen. I am from a small village called Hǎiguī Shěng, on the northern coast of a small continent called Uialond. My people have lived there for centuries.”

“Your people? What are you?”

“Uialondian? Hǎiguīn? I do not know what name to call us which would result in you understanding more clearly. Suffice to say, I am from another continent. One you seemingly did not know existed. What about this empire, why should they wish to imprison us?”

I tried to move —grunting while doing so— but resolved to remain still for a moment longer, propping myself up against the wall to do so. “Well, I can think of many reasons why they would want me, but I cannot speak for you.”

“As I said, I have only recently come to this land. What could I have done in a few days to warrant imprisonment without question? I hate to think of where my son has wound up, without me.”

“Your son?”

“Yes, I came here with my son. He is only 8 years old. He has been doing quite well in his studies, and so I took him on this trip to reward him. I hope he is alright. But, though he may excel in his studies, he does not possess sufficient skills to survive in the wild without me; ever more the truth, here in a strange land.”

A man, a father, here before me, and he actually cared how his son was doing. It is hard to grasp. Can I believe him? Why would he lie to me? What would he have to gain by lying to me?

“To get on your good side, of course,” that voice intoned within my mind. It was Jinnzou, that other part of my life. A part I hated. He had been with me ever since I was a child, and was the reason I managed to survive against my own father and brothers. “No one cares about you, they are all just aiming to use you, to abuse you. You cannot trust anyone.” He was right, I could not trust anyone. How could I when every step of the way in life had been riddled with abuse, corruption, and pain on my behalf, as well as my sister’s.

What does he seek to gain, by passing this ruse? Did I actually believe him for a moment that some continent exists apart from Arvandor?

“Well, you are gullible.”

Shut up, Jinnzou. He did not like the name I had given him. When he first came into my life, he had no name. He was always talking to me, never allowing me to see him; always in hiding. So, since I could never verify his existence, save his voice, I named him Jinnzou Ningen : Artificial Human. He hated the name, but he has not once stopped following me, wherever I went. If he was imprisoned too, where was he now? How could he still hide from me here? Wherever he was now, he was at least quiet.

“I will not be able to escape any time soon, I am in too much pain.”

“Escape? Why would you try to escape? Would that not cement their ideas of your guilt?”

I looked at the man in the eye. Was he serious? Was this further attempts to sway my ideas of him? “I am guilty, Li. And I have no intention of sitting in a cell to rot.”

“You should pay penance for your wrongs, if you are guilty. I shall not escape. I shall sit here and wait, and when they see their mistake, I will walk out of here cleansed of their accusation.”

It hurt, but I laughed. I laughed hard. I laughed hard, I winced hard, and I rolled on the ground, clutching my sides out of literal side-splitting pain. This time, I felt a new trickle of blood. “I have no idea what sort of man you are back in your home, Li, but here in Arvandor, things work differently. Did you not hear me say the empire was corrupt and that their efforts to arrest criminals was nothing more than a façade? They do not care about right and wrong, they only imprison those who get in the way of their corrupt dealings.”

“How can you believe they would wrong their people so?”

“Look bud, I do not believe this to be the case. I know it is the case. I have grown up amidst their corrupt ways all my life. My own father beat me under the accusation that I killed my mother when I was born. My family abused me, and they are among the heads of the criminal world in this empire. Are they in prison? I am evidence of only some of their wrong doings for the past 28 years and not one of them was ever inprisoned. My grandmother has strongholds in the mountains of Nishi, and she still carries on her own tasks. Is she imprisoned? No, if anything, she’s cutting the Empire in on her deals, and thus avoiding arrest. Wake up, the world is fucked up. Decency does not exist.”

The man sat there in silence, as I spoke, as I blew up in his face. I was still pissed, and sure he would try to continue to use me for his own escape, but the look on his face put me to wonder. He had remained utterly calm throughout it all. He just sat there, and listened, and … he frowned. I refuse to believe he feels sympathy for me, I do not need his sympathy! Fuck sympathy!

“What are you staring at!?” I yelled.

“Torment,” he said, and nothing more. A simple statement, and so calmly made. It made me angrier. And my damned body would not move. I did not want to have to listen to that sickeningly calm man; so naïve and foolish. But I was grounded. I could not avoid it.

“What are you talking about?” I asked, as I turned my face away from him, and grumbled lowly.

“In your soul, there is a great conflict; I can see it etched on your face, plain in your eyes, as if you were a book to be read. You have been wronged. And when great men are wronged, their anger can lead them down a path towards great change; change that will better their surroundings and better the livelihood of those that come after him. Anger, however, is like fire. Kept in control, it is life giving, necessary, and can heal the body as well as the soul. However, handled without care, your blazing anger will simply bring destruction that will help no one. And I know what someone such as you would say. ‘I have a right to my anger. I do not want anybody telling me I should not be angry; that it is nice not to be, and that there is something wrong with me for being angry.’ This is true, you do have a right to it, and as I said, great change can come from someone’s anger, but before you embark on your angered journey, think well on how many graves will come of it.”

“You presume to know a lot about me, after having known me for less than an hour.”

“I do not presume to know you, sir. I do not even know your name. I presume to know anger.”

I paused, and thought on that. There were various implications to such a statement. What did he mean by it?

“He is simply seeking, once again, to impress upon your emotion, and get you looking at him in a favorable light under the pretense that you shall help him escape.”

He said he would not try to escape.

“So of course, you believe him. Pathetic fool…”

I bowed my head, and through a great deal of pain, pushed myself back up, to sit against the wall again. Holding my sides to the pain that radiated anew, I turned my gaze to him. He had a son, whom he worried about. Liam never worried about me. He knew the battle with anger, the struggle for control. I was clueless in that regard. Could this man be speaking truthfully, or was it as Jinnzou said; lies in attempt to get on my good side? Did I have a good side to get onto?

“My name is Dorian. Dorian Blackwood.”

“Your real name? Have you finally given in to the idea of suicide?”

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Mister Dorian Blackwood.”

“You shall think differently in time.”

“Now, Mister Dorian. You should not put yourself down as such. Have some confidence in yourself. Do as best you can, and you shall succeed in all your goals.”

My lips curled down into a frown. His head tilted in confusion over this, but he did not question me. Likewise, I did not feel the desire to explain. Perhaps, it is more aptly described as not feeling the urge to explain right away as my mind was pulled into the chasm of memory.

A market place, with shattered wood, papers, and goods strewn over the ground; a young woman held with her arms behind her back over on one side of me, three men at her back. In front of me was the other one. Him. Liam Blackwood. The anger surged in me, in the memory, and as I sat there by Li. There was a fight; a fight that lasted into the night, and ended with me unconscious for a while. I awoke in the morning, with none of them around me. I could care less if the four men were gone, but the young woman, Raina. She, I needed to rescue. And that day was thirteen years past by now. Thirteen years with no information on where Raina was. Father and our brothers were dead, and more interaction with grandmother than I would ever care to have had, had taken place, and I knew nothing more of where Raina had disappeared to. Worry over Raina tempered my anger a bit with concern. It was hard to stay angry when worry weaved its way in. Not impossible, but difficult. After a moment, I pulled myself from those thoughts, and looked at Li once more.

“Your anger is deep,” he said, softly. “But you must not let it consume you, lest you cause more harm than good.”

“Ok, enough with the philosophical bend, please.”

“As you wish.”

“Tell me… about your son.”

“Hmm?” He seemed to find the question amusing, a smile painting his face now. “Hao is a very bright boy. He pays attention in his studies, and does well not just in learning his letters, math, history and sciences, but also practices diligently in the martial arts. Among students of his age group, he is marked within the top 5 in their practical performance.” Oh god, that smile was sickening. He… he was proud. He was glowing with it!

The door opened with a creak, disturbing the conversation, perhaps thankfully, as Li’s attention was drawn to the door while I was busy dry heaving over his bright display of fatherly pride.

“Ah, he’s avake,” one voice uttered.

“So it seems,” said another.

Talk about déjà vu. I looked up to see that the voices belonged to all of two people, two men, that walked in. Both men had dark tanned skin and had short, neat looking brown hair. They had taken pristine care in trimming their beards down to a point and had seemingly done the same to make their eye brows look pointed at the outer edge. They looked like twins, but what was more important; they looked the perfect image of someone clearly not from the city of Arvandor. I lofted a brow as they drew nearer. One kneeled down in front of me, tilting his body and his head, to get a better look at me. He clearly noticed the new blossom of crimson at my left side.

“Mmm, reopened the vound, ‘eh? Still in a great deal of pain, no?” His voice sounded brusque, and each word seemed sharply cut off at the ending. Where was this bugger from?

“Hah! Vell, ve did get the drop on ‘im ‘eh? Jumped out o’ the trees. Seems he’s never fought in the voods, ‘eh?”

I snarled deeply. I had fought many times in the Aldeon woods; in “Ever-Autumn.” I clenched my fists, because their arrogance, and stupid sounding accent, was starting to get on my nerves. “Who the fuck are you!?” I blurted out.

“Silence, tiny man. Ve ask the questions.” His hand struck the side of my head, shooting stars through my vision, and bringing blood from my nose. “Tiny little veakling he is, ya? Like little puppy.” He laughed.

It may sound stupid, but I absolutely hate it when people comment on my height. It pisses me off that they think height makes enough of a difference in a fight. At this point however, I could do nothing but prove them right as I was still feeling too weak to fight back. I was only just now starting to be able to move again with less pain, but it would never be enough to break free right now.

“Now,” he began again, and I pushed my anger into my eyes and gave him my best ‘I will tear you to shreds’ stare. “Vhat is name, little puppy man?” And just like that, my anger was gone. The stare was gone. My eyes were as wide as pearls.

“What!?” I exclaimed.

“You hard of hear, puppy man? Vhat name!?”

The anger was quickly back, and I snarled, almost as if I were becoming the dog they were calling me. My body writhed on the ground, and despite the pain, I found myself fighting to actually get to my feet.

“You fucking idiots arrested me, and you do not even know who I am!? What kind of dumb as shit thugs are you!?” I was on my feet at that moment, the anger boiling the blood within me, numbing the pain, and a fist struck at the man’s jaw. I felt new pain surge in my fist in that moment, but it was brief, and gone quickly. The man, however, lurched back from that punch, and fell in a heap against a bench along the far wall. Dorian Blackwood : 1; Weakness of short people stereotype : 0. The other man stood up quickly, and came towards me, ready to try and suppress my anger, but I evaded his own fist, and I was soon behind him, had him shoved down to his knees, and had one arm around his neck. He was grasping at my arm, trying to gain breathing room, but I pulled back as firmly as I could, and snarled into his face from above him.

“Who is looking down on who, now, ‘eh? Now you are going to tell me who hired you to get me, because if you dumb fucks do not know who I am, and had no one hire you, then I am just going to leave the both of you dead here today as a lesson for messing with the wrong person.”

“Ya!” He sucked in what air he could. “I tell, please ease up!”

I loosened my grip, barely, and stared down at him with even more intensity. “Who?”

“It was guy! Man vith svirly knots of ink on arm. He call himself… Black Mamba.”

I snarled, deeply.

“That all! He not give real name. He crazy man, but he offer lot of money. He offer Imperial Immunity!”

I jerked my arms into a circular motion, far beyond what his body would be able to handle. A loud crack echoed in the room, and a moment later, he slumped to the ground. The other guy wasn’t getting up either. His head had hit the bench itself, and with it up against the wall, it did not give. Crimson pooled around his head. I turned towards Li, and looked to him firmly. My anger slowly melted away, reigned in under what meager amount of control I had, but I breathed slowly now. The pain was returning, and I was starting to feel shaky.

“Do you believe me now? Imperial Immunity, just for capturing me and bringing me here. They were not going to give me a trial, they were going to let me die here. The empire is corrupt, and I will not be their sacrifice. I do not know who you wronged, whether it was the empire or not, but these guys were not going to give you a trial here either. I am leaving, but I need a companion till this pain fades. Are you going to come with me?”

Li nodded, and slowly rose from his place by the wall. He dusted off his pants. “I do not like running when I am innocent, but I also cannot just let Hao roam out there alone in the wild. Gods forbid he should come across something dangerous.”

I huffed. “Yea, let us leave the gods out of it too, shall we? Now give me your shoulder, and let us get out of here.”

“As you wish.”

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Failure and Distractions


Well, I have failed to write anything new for my story. I did go through what I had written in November, and edit a bit, fixing typos, grammatical errors, and elaborating on a few scenes, adding nearly 3,000 extra words to the original count at the end of November, however, my story remains 30 chapters in, and only around the 53,000 word mark. I plan to repeat this process, and elaborate more on what is already written, on top of adding to the story in time, however, during the month of December I simply found myself too distracted to press on.

The Dresden Files has been read. I find it amazing, really, that in the time between September to December, I read the entire series; from Storm Front to Ghost Story (minus the Side Jobs short story collection). I loved the series, though Changes and the beginning of Ghost Story did not sit on the same level as the rest of the series for me. At the end of Ghost Story though, I came out reasonably satisfied, and can’t wait to read more. I have heard, I forget where, that Butcher will be writing the next book from Molly’s point of view, which merely makes me truly wonder what Mab has in store for Harry, and what more training Lea has for Molly. While waiting for the 14th installment of Dresden-esque hilarity, I plan to read Butcher’s other series, and picked up Furies of Calderon and Academ’s Fury today at the library.

Aside from that however, I looked back at a previous series of books I read. The Anita Blake series to be specific. I stopped reading that series around Blood Noir, no idea what number book that was, but I recall it taking me forever to finish those books, but after reading the Dresden series, and looking back at those books … they’re so thin in comparison. I find it amazing that in three or four months, I read thirteen books, but the Anita Blake ones took me much longer to finish. Granted, after The Killing Dance, the series became nothing more than sex, sex, sex, and I quickly grew bored. I am a guy, and I like me some sex, but I would prefer a little sex with my plot, rather than a little plot with my sex. It felt like nothing more than porn and I just didn’t care enough. And I’ve heard tale that the Merry Gentry series, also written by Laurel K Hamilton, was worse than Anita Blake in that department. Good thing I never read Merry Gentry.

So, anyway, from here, I shall follow the tales of Tavi in the land of Alera, and see how he shall work with magic. I’m excited, to say the least. Once I’m finished with this series, I will more than likely get back to writing my own stuff, and will hopefully have more inspiration from that story to really pump out the chapters. So wish me, and Aleksander Zachery, luck, and you all have a Happy New Year.

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Bear with me…


As I clean away the dust…

Well, it’s been a grand long time since I’ve last posted here. A lot has gone on. I am unemployed again, have cancelled my WoW account. I still have time on the account, paid off for a little while, so I still play from time to time, but I’ve also lost a lot of interest in the game. I won’t say it has anything directly to do with changes to the game, I’ve simply not felt like playing as much. On top of that, due to my lack of money, I am not stuck to simply using a laptop, and while it is better than my old computer, it’s processor is lacking, and I don’t think I’d be able to handle raids anymore.

I have been looking into various other games, I picked up Starcraft 2 again, somewhat, and have been playing that and League of Legends in what free time I have. I have also been looking forward to the releases of Diablo 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic. If I have the money come January, I might pick up TOR rather than renew WoW. But I more than likely won’t have the money, so who knows where I’ll be in the future.

I have also been doing a little reading. I was introduced to the Dresden Files series of books. For some reason, my library classifies this as Science Fiction when it is so clearly not. It’s Fantasy first and foremost. There’s nothing science fiction about it. Anyway, I’ve read the first two books of the series ( Storm Front and Fool Moon ) and have started on the third, Grave Peril. I’m half way through it, and am loving the series, even though I disagree with a lot of what the author states for vampires. The rest of it is fascinating though, so I stick to it. It, along with other things, has inspired me to get back into my own writing.

Era of Unification has not been scrapped, but I pretty much have shoved it to the side, and use it merely as notes now, as I have begun writing up, in more detail, the Segregation Eras, so that I can more appropriately portray the story in chronological order. I have started with the short story I had posted here, which was titled Fighting the Apocalypse. So far I haven’t written up any chapters, but I’ve been working on reorganizing and planning out the order of events in my mind. I hope to have it fleshed out soon. I decided on changing some of what was in the original writing, and if you read the original Era of Unification chapters, then you’ll recognize a few scenes, and see the little bit of change once I get it written up and posted here.

With that, I plan to re-focus the blog once more on my writing, rather than WoW, since I won’t be playing it much any longer. So, I’ll go back to the Silvercrest name and try once more to dedicate this to my writing. In time, I’ll resume posting chapters, but for now I’ll keep my focus on some of the writing before I start posting them again.

Till then, see ya.

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Character Spotlight


I came up with this idea rather on the ball today, as I was thinking last night upon how to progress with my story. So, to kick off this idea, I felt I’d share on one of my older characters. Now mind you, I don’t mean older in character age, but rather a character who has lived longer within my mind. So, spotlight #1!

Aleksander Zachery the Judicator:

This character was born in my first online RP experience within a game I played. As I’ve stated in a previous post, my first RP experience came from AOL Chat-room based RP, however, my first experience in a game with RP was in Shadowbane, around 2001, or so. I played him there as a Human Ranger Blademaster. He wielded a two-handed sword with expertise. I had been playing Shadowbane for a little while before I discovered RP existed there. I learned about it while on the test server, from someone who normally played on the Mourning server. He told me there was a trend with a lot of role players on Mourning, naming their characters in the style of ancient Europe’s titling systems. (i.e. Alexander the Great, Ivan the Terrible, Edward Longshanks the Avaricious) so I decided to try out that trend, and check out the RP. With my love of history in mind, I went with Barbarosa the Judicator. I gave him a red beard, and originally played him with a german accent. I ended up not lingering in Shadowbane for long, and after Shadowbane I played City of Heroes. The lore and continuity of CoH couldn’t support the character being role-played, but I did make a character themed after him, which was a Broadsword/Super Reflexes scrapper with green and brown leathers for his costume. There, he was named simply, Justicar. After issue 5 in CoH, I stopped playing, mainly due to frustration over how they were repeatedly killing off my favorite character’s capabilities. I played Guild Wars for a short while after that, and there I had a Ranger/Warrior named Justicar Barbarosa. There was never any RP in Guild Wars, but I still played him, for myself, as if it were RP with the NPCs. I didn’t go around talking to the NPCs, that would just be creepy, but in my mind, it felt alive.

It was at this point that I decided upon a real name for him, rather than simply a title. I got rid of the german accent, and made him more English/British in nature. Barbarosa the Judicator, or Justicar Barbarosa was a title based off his appearance and demeanor/personality. I drew back to the lore of Shadowbane for his history, and the in game events to fill out his growth. Eventually, I saw a trend…

In Shadowbane, the main RP for my guild (Guardians of Aerynth) was in contention with another guild (The Undead Lords). The leader for their guild was referred to as The Lich. Alek’s nickname came from another area however. There was a church group called The Order of the Cleansing Flame, they were humans, with a hatred for all things not human. Basically… the KKK of the fantasy world. Well, I played Barbarosa as a half-elf, half-human*. His father was a priest of the Order, and his mother an elf mage. He was in love with her, and so he overlooked her not being human, but did his best to hide such things from the Order. When it was found out, his father and mother were burned to death. He was hunted for the rest of his life. His skills earned some fear, however, and he was called Barbarosa the Judicator because of the red beard that stuck out of his ranger hood, and his method of killing members of the Order in a way as if he were judging them all. Which, he was. In Guild Wars, the main villain of the whole story is a person referred to as The Arch-Lich (this was before the first expansion, Factions, came out). This allowed me to write his story out as if he went to another country in further pursuit of the Lich that led The Undead Lords in Aerynth.

After Guild Wars I went back to City of Heroes for a short while, played City of Villains and got back into it for some time, but once more got bored with the monotony of the game, and the general lack of endgame content. When I got bored with CoH, I then turned to World of Warcraft. A friend from CoH pulled me over, and I got to see first hand the craze about WoW. Not only was there a lot of content in the game, but there was a lot of content at all level ranges. This was what I was looking for in City of Heroes. To this day, if CoH had the amount of content that WoW has, I’d be playing CoH instead. Currently, Alek is a Worgen Warrior in WoW, and in ForsakenWorld (a free to play game a friend of mine told me about) he is a Human Warrior.

His story has gone through many revisions due to the continuity of the games I play him in. For the purposes of my story, I revert mainly to what I had in Shadowbane however.

Aleksander Zachery is the son of a Pious soldier of the Royal Guard of the Kingdom of Haven. The capital city is Havenshire, a city built near an old, abandoned church within a forest they named The Havenwood. The church had served as a bastion for those who had to flee the destruction of a rampaging Undead army. A soldier guarding the refugees read the texts in that church and came a realization. There was a sword within the church, and armed with it and the teachings of the books, he rejoined the ranks to fight back against the undead. When the undead were beaten back, the church was restored, and a city constructed near it. Alek’s father was Mikael Zachery, an honorable war hero who aided in the formation of The Onyx Guard, a military formed within the Kingdom of Haven in order to fight back against another upsurge of undead attacks. However, there were people cautious about the formation of this new military. Eventually, Yami would poison the minds of those within the Onyx Guard, and had them turn against the Royal Guard. This revolt resulted in Mikael’s death. Aleksander took up the sword, and trained to be a soldier in order to fight back against the Onyx Guard. Aleksander formed a militia of his own once he had grown up, and matured as a swordsman, naming it The Guardians of the Oaken Crest. Alek had the uncanny ability to unite the forlorn citizens of the kingdom, and bring them together as a military to oppose the Onyx Guard’s takeover of the kingdom. Alek held other special traits. His mother was a woman by the name of Myst. She was not human, nor elf, nor anything many of those around them knew of. She was a Fae. A lesser fairy though she was, she possessed magic  unrivaled by any of the mortal races. She however forsook her magic, in order to live a normal life with the man she had fallen in love with.  Her powers brings some suspicion on them, and after his rebellion against the corrupted guard, he becomes a hunted man. Due to his heritage, Alek possesses a unique form of magic all his own, which aided in his struggles against the Onyx Guard and their demon corrupter. He eventually inspects the old church that was the origin of Haven, and studies the same books that the founder of the kingdom read. Through magic, he looks into the events of the founder’s journeys. In time, his militia eventually forms an alliance, through the brewing friendship between him and the Prince of the Elves, Elvulith Silverleaf.

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20 Days of WoW: Day 1


So, it was Francine the introduced me to this, and in turn, she was introduced by Erinia. I had never even heard of 20 days of any thing else posts, much less WoW, but looking over what she’s posted so far, I guess I will give it a whirl and see if I can get into it. If anything, it should give me something to talk about. So, here it is…

Day 1:  Introduce yourself.

Well, my name is Ken. I was born in Manhassett, Long Island, NY. I lived in New York for a short time before the family moved off to New Jersey due to returning home one day to find a basketball sized hole in our front door. We moved to Landing, NJ which is a small town in Roxbury. Lived there for about 10 years before we moved out to Rockaway due to medical reasons.

I’ve always had a good memory. Ask friends of mine and they’ll say I have an iron trap for a memory, but this is only partially true. My short term memory sucks, but if I do things often enough in a short period of time, I remember it forever. Contrary to that explanation, I remember the day we moved out of New York, when I was only 4 years old. Can’t repeat that over and over in a short time, but there you go.

I’m usually a quiet and reserved person, I don’t drink or smoke, and just like to have fun. My motto, or personal philosophy on life is Growing Old is Mandatory, Growing Up is Optional. Many complaints I’ve heard is that I don’t talk much, but get someone who has similar interests, and we can talk on and on … about those interests. If it doesn’t interest me, I don’t have much to say on it.

Irony alert. Every job I’ve had has been involved with some form of Customer Service. My first job ever was at an AMC Cinema, and I worked there for about a year and a half before I left due to academic reasons. After I finished High School I went on to work at a Toys R Us, Office Max, Wendy’s, and a Cracker Barrel. Now, I work at Safety First, which is  monitoring service for companies that have a need to monitor the safety of their drivers.

My personal interests have always been regarded as childish. I am a die hard anime fan, and a PC Gamer. The second of which is pretty obvious, given the title of this post. Other than WoW, though, I’ve played online games ranging from RTS to RPG genres such as Starcraft, Age of Empires, Shadowbane, Ultima Online, City of Heroes, Guild Wars, Diablo II, Gates of Andaron, League of Legends, Rift, and a few various other less known games. I love fantasy story involving not just a medieval theme, but space-aged and even some modern. However, primarily medieval themes interest me the most. Aside from playing the games, I enjoy Role-play because behind it all, I enjoy the story of the games, and of the books I read and movies/TV I watch. I write my own stuff, but like to also get together with friends and make up our own story through creative writing play in a text based environment. The characters I play tend to show up in every game I play, and so you’ll find the characters I play in WoW are also included in a story that I am writing myself. Such story can be found on my site, at Era of Unification.

My inspirations for my writing have been numerous, but the prime ones are C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Laurel K. Hamilton, and my own father. Aside from my likes on the fantasy, I’m also fond of history, and as such, Tolkien’s writing and inspirations to his writing thrill me. I also enjoy delving into history on a regular basis, and tend to do so before I write in depth about something that isn’t common knowledge to me, like the history of Japan.

Contrary to other kids, when I was younger I didn’t go around exclaiming about what I wanted to be when I grew up,  because I didn’t care about growing up. I just wanted to keep up with what I enjoyed as a kid, and there were no professions I knew of that involved watching anime and reading endlessly about history and fantasy. I guess when it came down to it, I wanted to be a writer, though I was never good with grammar. I’m still not. I correct people endlessly now, because I can see the errors made more clearly, but I’m still by far, no expert. Yet at the same time, I’ve been told my writing is very good, and people want to role-play with me because of how well I write. I don’t quite understand how I can write well and still suck at grammar.

Well, that’s me, in a nutshell. If I ever get out of this nutshell, there might be more to tell. Till then, arivaderci.

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Filed under Age of Empires, C.S. Lewis, City of Heroes, Diablo, Fiction, Gaming, Guild Wars, J.R.R. Tolkien, Laurel K Hamilton, League of Legends, Life, Literature, Multiplayer, Role-play, Shadowbane, Starcraft, Strategy, World of Warcraft, Writing

Role-play and Story writing


I feel like going out on a limb today, and talk about the least popular of my topics on this blog. That is writing. I’ve seen many writing blogs out there, and honestly, don’t know how to get as much of a response as they do. Probably the most obvious of answers is to leave all my WoW discussion, but I don’t feel like limiting myself. Because of this; Role-play. In World of Warcraft, I play on the Wyrmrest Accord server which is an RP server. On this server, aside from simply playing the game, which can get monotonous at times, especially at high level when not in a raid. Farming is tedious. Essential, but tedious, especially when you have a lot of higher level characters, and you want to focus on not just Blacksmithing of Jewel-crafting professions, but also Leather-working and Alchemy. We play out our characters, we have ongoing story lines that mingle or differ from the main story line of the game. Our guild is called Chains of Fate, and the premise behind the guild is that, we’re not all associated with each other, we’re not a military group or some church of the light, we’re just a random assortment of people who, by the Chains of Fate, manage to meet each other. Simple, broad, and fun.

I first started to Role-play years ago, on AOL. In chat rooms, there was an AOL RP community set within the fictional world of Rhydin, where I got a lot of experience in RP in the 90’s. This was back when AOL 3.0 was the new thing, and the Windows OS still had a DOS prompt. The first character I ever whole-heartedly set my mind to for playing in Rhydin, was a character named Jet Kurói. At the time, the name was chosen to honor one of my favorite anime characters, Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop. (Kurói is Japanese for Black) However, his history, appearance, and demeanor/personality was a mixture of many other anime characters I liked. I had many great and memorable experiences in that AOL RP, despite the DnD-esque dice  based combat system. On that note, I remember playing DnD when I was younger, but not to the extent that I actually acted out as if I were the character. At the same time, I never REALLY got into DnD because of the dice aspect of the game. Leaving my actions up to chance never seemed fun when I put so much effort into the character’s background and such. Case in point, a soldier having years of military training, failing to hit when swinging their weapon at a large spider. I’m sorry, what? No, that doesn’t sit right with me. I even tried DnD Online, and failed to really get into the game.

After Rhydin RP, I tried a lot of other communities, many never lasted a lengthy trial. However, a few years back, I managed to meet up again with someone I had been involved with in Rhydin RP, and they introduce me to their own RP community online. It wasn’t constricted to just AOL, though many of the people used AOL. It was a modern RP community, based around the books written by Laurell K. Hamilton. Now, this was my first time hearing about the  books, but they were about vampires and were-wolves, and others of the sort, so I was intrigued. My first character there was one named Yami Asakura, who was a Shadow Demon. (Catching up to how my brain works yet, people? =P) Combat here was much more nicely handled. The abilities of each type of supernatural creature were laid out on the site, along with the levels of increasing power for them, and combat was handled not with dice, but with an honor system based around the understanding of what each character type was and was not capable of. Thus the pros and cons of vampires and lycanthropes really had to be thought about to handle decisions before combat even occurred. I read Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake book series, and got into it till about the 8th book, when it got way to heavily focused on sex. Some sex here and there is fun, but when the whole story revolves around it, … well, it got boring real fast, and so after Blood Noir, I haven’t read a book. I’ve heard from friends that it’s gotten more focused on the story again, and not so much on the sex, but if I’m to pick up reading it again, I would have to pick up where I left off, and I don’t know if I want to read about sex, and sex, and more sex, before getting back to the story. This person had Penance Moments, based off this book series, set in the city of Las Vegas, then there was London Fog, set in … well, London. There was a lot of drama brought about from London Fog however, and as a whole, I lost interest in RP.

Well, recently, I found another group doing a similar thing. They don’t confine themselves to the Anita Blake theme however, and take up inspiration from other similar stories such as True Blood. I’m getting back into that genre of RP, and for the time having fun with it. For now, I play a vampire character named Santino, named for the character from The Godfather, and inspired by my own love of Italian heritage. If anyone out there is also interested in this sort of thing, check out the site at Wicked Labyrinth. Tell them Santino sent you. =P

As you can see, I have used the names, and basis behind characters in RP before even starting to write this story I’ve been working on. It still has a lot of work to go, but I’ve been drawing up the characters and background to it for years with the prior RP I’ve experienced, prior books I’ve read, prior movies/TV I’ve seen, and even games I’ve played. I will continue to do this, because this is truly how my imaginative mind works. I assure you there will be more crucial characters introduced in time, and who knows, Santino may find his way into the works. =P

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Filed under Anita Blake, Fantasy, Fiction, Gaming, Laurel K Hamilton, Literature, Role-play, Writing