Description: My story about Felwor
Game Hunter - August 28, 2005 06:12 PM (GMT)
The glow of the fire settled the man slightly. He gazed into it, washing away any other thoughts residing in his mind. The man then stared at the brazier just beneath the glow: the pieces of wood slowly turning to ash, the metal becoming darker and darker with each use. There was ice underneath the brazier itself, as the fire occasionally leapt from its source and splashed the ground, melting the snow near it, which then froze once more. There was snow everywhere, on the trees, the roofs, and the ground. Looking at the fire allowed the man’s eyes to wander and feel life, unlike staring at the uniform white around it.
His head turned to the right and heard various creatures that crept around the area at night. Fortunately for him, there were walls to keep them at bay. The guards continued to walk in their set paths as directed by their captain. Some of them passed the man. They watched him with a confused but intimidated expression then continued with their duties. He took no notice of their presence and watched the fire with content.
“Hello there! Lord Doom Hunter!” a voice called. “You should be inside; there’s supposed to be a storm tonight, and Hood’s predictions are usually right…Doom Hunter?” A second man approached the brazier from the left, looking at him slight concern.
“It’s nothing more than fatigue, Thorn. I’m tired.” Doom Hunter’s eyes met with the other’s. Besides the scars that covered a majority of his face and the generally rough texture that adorned the rest, the second man could see that Doom Hunter was, indeed, tired.
“All the more reason you should come inside, milord. You should get some rest; the last few weeks have been tough on all of us.” Thorn placed his hand on Doom Hunter’s shoulder. “Shall we go?”
“Not yet, Thorn. I’d like to spend a little more ‘alone’ time, if you don’t mind.”
“As you wish, milord.” Thorn removed his hand from its position and walked away to a building marked “INN”. Doom Hunter watched him as he left the brazier and entered the inn, then returned to the fire once more. This time, however, he couldn’t remove the thoughts plaguing his mind.
He tried to ease the burden of the memories often by merely watching a fire. The random, sporadic movement of each piece allowed his mind to rest and let his optical receptors to do all the thinking for him. It reminded him only of how he created his own fire, through his use of magic. The channeling of the energy around his palm, the concentrating of said energy into a small space, thus speeding the movement of the surrounding air until one of them ignited. There was always a chance that his own hand could catch fire instead of the air, but he had learned to patiently channel the energy so that the chance was greatly reduced.
He did this now, raising his right hand to perform the magic like so many other times. Within a few seconds he had conjured a small flame, though large enough to set any of the buildings around him afire. He then watched his own, small fire rather than the brazier’s, manipulating the air to change the movement of the fire as he pleased. This managed to relax his mind again, clearing the memories that wandered his consciousness.
Soon he rolled his fingers together into a fist then reopened his hand, extinguishing the flame.
Doom Hunter gazed at the moon. “How did this happen? Why am I here, right now? What chain of events led me to do this?” he spoke to himself. His questions were ignored by the celestial sphere, its bright figure as uniform as the snow. He walked towards the inn slowly, each step crunching the snow beneath it. As he passed a window of the building, Doom Hunter could see several men enjoying themselves, cheerily drinking ale as they sang drunkard songs. He grunted and continued to the door.
The door creaked softly as he opened it. A few of the men looked up to see who it was and quickly recomposed themselves. The others didn’t realize his presence and blissfully went on with their singing. Doom Hunter walked to the barkeep who hastily gave him a key with the word “A4” written on it. Without thinking Doom Hunter grabbed the key, slowly moved towards one of the doors near the back of the building, and placed the key in the keyhole. He opened the door and entered the room without so much as a glance at anyone.
The room was a simple one: two beds, one in the back and one near the entrance, and a dresser with a torch hanging just above it. Nothing else decorated the room but aging stone that amounted to the room’s floor, walls, and ceiling. Doom Hunter didn’t even bother to remove anything on him and fell on the bed nearest the door. He scraped some of the snow still stuck in the sole of his boots with his hands and threw it at the torch, destroying the fire that previously danced happily.
“Why must it come to this?”
Game Hunter - September 4, 2005 07:02 PM (GMT)
The enemy had reached the final stretch of turf. The few monsters still surrounding the city limits were immediately destroyed by the invaders. Their power was incredible: the spell-casters conjured as though it were nothing, while the fighters slaughtered their foes with little effort. They were a small army, about ten or so, but their sheer power was more than enough to make up.
“I’ve told you again and again what to do when something like this happens,” said Doom Hunter, addressing his men behind the fortifications within the city. To his left stood Thorn and a man wearing a white and blue trench coat and electrified white hair. To his right stood a seven-foot tall, green, dragon-like human with large yellow spikes about his tail and back. The four of them stood on a small platform, while the rest stood in front of them in a rowed, military fashion. There were sixteen soldiers in total; about half of them hired guards of the city.
Doom Hunter himself donned his regular outdoor attire: a pale-gold cloak with a tan-colored tunic underneath, a faded-golden fedora, thick boots and gloves made from a bear’s hide, and deep-brown trousers. He glared at those facing him. Most couldn’t handle the look and their eyes turned to something else, while others shook slightly and took the gaze.
“I’ve trained you in just about every way that I can. You are the best, the elite, the superior. Now is your chance to prove that very thing to me. I want you do fight them and show absolutely no mercy. This is not a sport; we play to win and nothing else. Prove to me that you will not let the city of Shyron fall! Prove to them what we are capable of…what Felwor is capable of!”
The men let out a war cry and ran to various places near the entrance of the city, the dragon being behind them to coordinate their placement. There was only one place that anyone, trespasser or otherwise, could enter from: the southern gate. The city had been built strategically so that mountains covered all other sides. Though there was a small opening between the city and the mountains to the east, it was manned by guards at all times so that all citizens would know if an enemy dared to enter.
Shyron itself had a moat of water around it. The makers of the city realized that, given the location of the establishment, it would normally remain frozen all year, so the moat was filled with a special brew of water, able to withstand temperatures much colder than normal before freezing. This alone kept most monsters from the city. When Doom Hunter claimed the city as his own after a fierce battle, he and a few of his followers enchanted the water. If anything was to attempt to leap over the water to the walls, the water itself would rise and strike the thing, knocking it back.
The dragon returned to the platform with the other three. “Lord Doom Hunter, all men are in their positions! We are as ready as we shall ever be,” said the dragon, a hand at his forehead as a salute.
“Excellent work, DragonKing,” remarked Doom Hunter, “but we’re not ready quite yet.” DragonKing merely nodded, turned back to the gate, and ran to bolster the defenses. Doom Hunter looked up at the sky and saw a cloudless but white expanse. He then looked down at the ground and noted the snow, somewhat battered by his men, but otherwise as white as ever. It was all he ever saw these days, as Shyron was on the continent Irendi, a frozen desert in most areas.
He turned to the other two. “Thorn, Hood, let’s get to work.” The three stepped off of the elevated floor and rearranged their placement into the shape of a triangle. They then placed their own fingertips together (in order to form their hands into an orb) and began to channel the surrounding energy. In a short amount of time three transparent, tiny spheres appeared in the center of their hands, growing steadily.
“Sir!” A guard stood just behind Doom Hunter. “The attackers are at the gate!” Doom Hunter turned slightly so he could see the entrance. As expected, a large battle was taking place as warlocks and warriors raged towards each other. One could see fireballs and hatchets hurled at one another, blood staining the white snow, armor and equipment bludgeoned by clubs and ice shards.
“Lord Doom Hunter, let us concentrate on the task at hand,” said the man with the trench coat. Doom Hunter remembered his channeling and noticed that the sphere in his hands nearly reached his fingers.
“Of course, Hood. We shall deal with them shortly….You! Leave us and help the others.” The guard jumped slightly at Doom Hunter’s voice, then sprinted towards the battle.
The three wizards then moved their hands forward, removing the fingertips from each other. The spheres launched from their hands and collided with each other into a giant, transparent ball, which began to float in front of them. They then closed their eyes and raised their hands to the orb. The snow in the surrounding area, pulled by a new force, began to fly towards the orb. The transparency disappeared as snow collected around the sphere until it was at least twice the size as before. They opened their eyes to see a colossal ball of snow hovering in front of them.
“This should be an interesting welcoming present, don’t you think?” said Hood, grinning. Doom Hunter lowered his hands and nodded to Hood and Thorn, who gave a look of understanding back. He then rushed towards the battlefield with great haste. Even before he reached the scene he could tell they were losing slightly without the help of their chief sorcerers: Thorn, Hood, and himself.
“Greetings, Doom Hunter! I see you’ve decided to discover the result of our skirmish here.” Doom Hunter turned in the direction of the voice to find a man wearing black clothes and a pair of black spectacles. “It shouldn’t take long before we finish your men here.”
“That is where you’re wrong, Cellessian. We are the best of the best, and we shall not fall to such unworthy foes.”
“Is that so? Then perhaps you should look at your comrades, or rather, your fallen comrades.”
Doom Hunter faced the main stage of the battle, only to see three of his own allies left standing, struggling to keep their ground. The rest appeared either slain or wounded, and some were being treated by mages. DragonKing was at the front of the remaining fighters, holding his own but, having to multitask by defending the other two, was having significant trouble.
“Oh, don’t worry, we’re doing better than you think, Cellessian,” said Doom Hunter, turning back to the black-spectacled man. “And besides, most of your own men have been defeated too. There is more to this brawl than meets the eye.”
“I can tell you aren’t bluffing, but let’s see if you can handle me, the leader of Cellessia, Zuo!” He charged Doom Hunter, sword held high. Doom Hunter quickly raised his palm, conjuring a flame with intense concentration. He threw it towards Zuo immediately after he had finished his summoning. Zuo gripped his blade with both hands and, after a second, a blue aura surrounded the whole sword. As the fire sphere approached, Zuo raised his sword in order to hit it. The fireball was absorbed by the blade and the aura vanished.
“Impressive,” said Doom Hunter. “Then a melee battle it is!” He reached for his own blade and ran towards Zuo. Their swords clashed heavily, both feeling a reverberation from the collision. It then became a series of parries and feints, no opponent gaining an advantage for a time.
Zuo suddenly removed a hand from his blade and he formed it into a claw. A fireball then appeared and Zuo sent it towards Doom Hunter, hitting him at full force. Doom Hunter dropped to the ground, allowing the snow to douse the flames, but the attack had dealt its damage: a large hole was burned into his cloak.
“Give up, Doom Hunter,” mocked Zuo. “It is obvious who the superior fighter is here. Accept our demands and we shall let you loose to the beasts of the wild, where you may survive if only for a while.”
“It looks like we’re finished, doesn’t it?” said Doom Hunter, picking himself up, “but I drained quite a lot of my mentality before I even got here. Take a look behind me.” Doom Hunter quivered a little as he said this and placed his sword back in its sheath. He resisted the urge to lean against the sword. “I will not show weakness to my enemy,” he muttered to himself.
“Surely you jest,” replied Zuo. “I’ve seen you fight before, and although you may not be at your peak, there’s no way you’re actually exhausted…oh my…” Zuo’s eyes widened as he saw a monstrous snowball approaching their position. Underneath it, Thorn and Hood were concentrating their efforts in order to hasten the great sphere to a sufficient speed. “You wouldn’t dare…”
“I would!” said Doom Hunter. “Allow me to introduce two of my lieutenants: Thorn the Geomancer and Hood the Grand Wizard. We have a ‘present’ for you.” At this last comment, Thorn and Hood amassed a large force of energy and pressed it against the snowball, causing it to hit the ground with a large shockwave. It was heading towards the gate.
“DragonKing, get the others out of here!” DragonKing turned to show his understanding, then fled his battle with the two others. The three quickly raced away from the gate, picking up a body or two as they ran. DragonKing managed to collect four bodies by himself, his unnatural strength able to lift more than usual.
Doom Hunter lifted another wounded soldier by commanding the snow’s energy around the man and using it to raise him, then flung him away from the scene. He then ran himself, leaving Zuo and his men to gawk at the horrendous white sphere rolling towards them at great speed now, growing bigger as more snow collected around it. Zuo came to his senses and had a smug look on his face.
“You almost had me fooled, Doom Hunter! This is nothing we can’t handle!” Zuo closed his eyes and prepared to summon a giant fireball, managing to do so it a relatively short amount of time. Both his arms were stretch out in front as two fires gathered quickly in his palms. He combined both fires with a short tossing motion, then hurled it at the snow. The two spheres collided, and although much of the snow was removed, it was replaced by even more from the other side.
“This is no ordinary ball of snow,” shouted Doom Hunter. “Prepare to be crushed!”
Zuo wasn’t able to dodge the snowball’s path now, so he and other wounded conjurers tried to melt the frozen sphere, but in vain; it had reached them and had lost little mass in the process. Zuo’s army was enveloped by the colossal snow-orb, and within seconds had reached the gate. Doom Hunter and those left standing walked over to it with contentness.
“Good job, men,” said Doom Hunter. “You weren’t expected to win by yourself. It is important to understand that, when you fight a team, you must beat them as a team. Now, what to do with them?”
“I already have that covered, sir,” said Thorn. Concentrating deeply, he brought his hands up, the snowball lifting in tandem. Raising it above the gate, Thorn moved his arms forwards, fingers outstretched. The orb launched itself away from Shyron, far away, until it was no longer seen. “We’ll let the people believe that the monsters beat them,” he added.
“Very clever, Thorn,” said Doom Hunter, “and an excellent job well done, everyone. Now, let’s do a quick scan of the area and we’ll be finished. How about I treat all of you to drinks?”
Many of the men were puzzled by Doom Hunter’s sudden cheeriness, but gratefully accepted his offer at once. Doom Hunter walked at the back with Thorn, while Hood and DragonKing led the mass toward the inn.
“It’s finally coming together, Thorn,” said Doom Hunter, staring at the white sky. “Soon we should be done.” He closed his eyes, thinking about the battle.
“That may be, sir,” said Thorn, “but you need to wake up.”
“You have to wake up, sir!”
Doom Hunter opened his eyes and found himself in room A4. Thorn was knocking on the door. “There’s trouble outside, Lord Doom Hunter!”
“And I was having a good dream for once, too.”
Game Hunter - September 17, 2005 02:45 AM (GMT)
“Ok, what’s the trouble?” Doom Hunter was out the door and walking with Thorn to the inn’s exit. He was still slightly groggy due to the sudden jolt from his dream but managed to act alert and awake.
“No one’s attacking, if that’s what you’re thinking,” replied Thorn, “But there’s trouble with some of the troops. After the battle with Zuo and his Cellessians, we’re infamous as the leading power, other than the kingdom of Irendi.”
“Yes, I know. I was just having a dream about the battle.”
“Well then, you must also remember that afterwards, some of the others have been feeling quite arrogant. It’s the feeling that they’re invincible. They’ve been attacking some of the others who dwell here.”
“Again? Fine, lead me to the source.”
By now Doom Hunter and Thorn were out of the inn and into the snowy plain of Shyron. Thorn led the way to the Item Shop, where many people in the Irendian region bought supplies. Doom Hunter had increased the prices long ago to make more profits, and contrary to what many people thought, customers did not decrease: they skyrocketed. The number of people visiting the Irendian continent boomed shortly after Felwor conquered the city, so they managed to gain much Gold each day.
“Here we are,” said Thorn, reaching the door of the shop. “I found these two scaring away customers and hoarding all of the supplies for themselves. Of course they bought it, but—“
“Say no more. You can leave the rest to me; finish your other errands.” Doom Hunter’s eyes narrowed as he turned to face the door.
“As you wish, sir.” Thorn left Doom Hunter at the entrance and headed outside of Shyron to attend other business. Doom Hunter sighed.
“So this is what it has come to…”
He opened the door quickly. Five commoners stood unwaveringly, staring at the counter where two Felworians sat, drinking. The shop-owner was among these visitors, trying to hide his anger with a grin, though in vain. A couple soldiers to Doom Hunter’s left, attending the shop to acquire supplies for their battles ahead, appeared heavily damaged. They sneered at the Felworians through their battered faces.
“Blue Mage and Galano. I might have guessed.”
The two Felworians turned to see Doom Hunter and stood up. “Oh, greetings, m’lord,” said the blue-robed man in the back, a flagon in one hand and drunk to his heart’s content. He had a little trouble getting off of the counter. “How’s it goin’? Good? Thas’ good ta hear…” He hiccupped slightly after this prattle.
“I’ve told you before; don’t bother the customers. Must I teach you a lesson again?” Doom Hunter raised his fist and small sparks could be seen revolving it.
“No, no sir!” A knight dressed in an intimidating black suit or armor stepped up, slightly pushing his counterpart aside. “We were stocking up for the Dragon Cave and got a little carried away, that’s all! I swear!”
“And how do you explain those two?” Doom Hunter pointed to the injured warriors near the back of the shop.
“Blue Mage is a little drunk and he got out of hand a bit. I’m really sorry sir, I’ll heal them up right away—“
“No, I’ll take care of them.” Doom Hunter stared at the knight. “…Very well, your intentions were justified. But I never want to see you drunk here again. And never attack any visitors just coming for rejuvenation. Have I made myself clear, Blue Mage?” He motioned to the knight’s less sober friend.
“Sure, m’lord,” said Blue Mage, trying to stay standing but having slight trouble. “Won’ hap’n agin.” He picked up his mug and threw it to the ground. “See? No more ale…” He hiccupped again and nearly fell to the ground but managed to catch himself on the counter.
The knight, in the meantime, began to cast a spell. His sword was already raised, glowing with an unnatural emerald aura. After chanting a few words, he pointed the sword at Blue Mage, the tip practically touching his face. A bright light suddenly shone the wizard, blinding Doom Hunter for a moment. When the light dispersed, Blue Mage was fully composed. “Thanks for the spell, Galano,” said Blue Mage.
“Anytime,” said Galano, placing his sword into its sheath. He turned to Doom Hunter. “Like I said before, I apologize for our behavior. We should get going now.”
“My sentiments exactly, Galano,” said Blue Mage. “If there’s any punishment you’re going to hand out, though, I take full responsibility. I was the drunk, after all.”
Doom Hunter sighed. “Go now. I have things to take care of.” The pair quickly stood erect, saluted Doom Hunter, then hastened out the door. The customers slowly walked back towards the counter, while the owner ran up to it, greeting them as if nothing had happened. He gave Doom Hunter a wink of gratitude and went on with his business.
The wounded soldiers, on the other hand, weren’t able to stand. Doom Hunter noticed this and reached his arm out, as if to touch them. A ball of light, similar in color to Galano's arcanum, appeared in his palm, growing each second ever so slightly. After a few seconds, the ball of light shot out through Doom Hunter’s fingertips, showering the soldiers in a wave of green. The blood dried up, their faces reshapen, and their wounds healed.
“Thank you, milord,” they said in unison. They walked towards the counter to get in line for some well-needed supplies.
Doom Hunter sighed again and walked to the door. “Galano and Blue Mage are such great fighters, too,” he said to himself. “Why do they act so foolhardy at times? Is it true that I’ve grown soft under all this pressure?” He left the item shop, slamming the door behind him as he always did.
He looked up and gazed into the plain sky. White, as usual. “Most of them have become like this,” he continued. “It’s not their fault, though. I want to give them more direction, and yet there is no way of executing it. The kingdom has become too spread out; the governors are so busy I rarely have time to talk to them about the kingdom. The rest of them go off on their own, probably becoming more arrogant each day. It should be perfect, but there’s something missing.
“Something needs to be done, or there will surely be chaos in the future.”
Game Hunter - September 30, 2005 02:23 AM (GMT)
“Sir!” Thorn stood in the doorway, giving his normal salute.
“Ah, good to see you’ve returned,” said Doom Hunter, looking up from a pile of documents and reports. He was sitting at a stone table covered with papers; even the floor had several pages strewn across the room. “Do you have the information I need?”
“Yes, sir,” replied Thorn. He walked over to Doom Hunter and handed him several sheets, filled to the edge with notes and footnotes. At the top of the first page read “Treasonous Activity”.
Doom Hunter had stationed the center of Felwor in a vacant building in the port town of Argo, in order to get away from the commoners. There were few places to go, however: a vast majority of the sea had been too rough for ships to sail though. Currently, the only dock open was New Banian’s; Irendi would soon open theirs.
It had been a rough month for Felwor. Doom Hunter had cleverly planned out trials to quickly bring loyal subjects to his ranks long ago, and they had amassed a small army of citizens. However, like any kingdom there was always the problem of betrayal.
Doom Hunter quickly skimmed the papers, then looked up at Thorn. “Good work. This will help me make my decision much faster.” He then began to read the report thoroughly.
“Anything to help, milord,” said Thorn, who walked out of the building soon after. Doom Hunter returned to the pages. Written on them was, among other things, the story of the first betrayal in Felwor: a man named Zeno. He left Felwor in disgust after an accidental skirmish with Hood. Doom Hunter had had few choices: he could let Zeno go and be marked as a weak leader, he could merely brand Zeno as an outlaw of Felwor, to be hated by all members, or he could “punish” him by means of torture. After some deliberation, he chose the third option, assuring himself it was the best way to strike fear in the rest of the populace.
“…Zeno had been caught and tortured for several hours in the New Banian dungeons until Haze showed up and, after killing the torturers, took Zeno away…”
Haze was an elite guard of Irendi, the greatest power in the world. He also happened to be a friend of Zeno’s, and upon hearing of his torture, immediately came to his aid. This brought another problem: should he interfere with Irendi? Their leader, Dream, was the greatest wizard of all, feared by even Felwor. Eventually he managed an agreement with Dream, and Zeno was punished only a short while longer, while Haze would be confronted by Hood.
“…and during the week, Zeno had been taken away again several times, though when Haze came to rescue him he met with Hood, who attacked him while Zeno’s punishment was carried out. Dream eventually stopped the torture, and Felwor was officially finished with Zeno, cutting any ties he once had with them….”
Doom Hunter read the article over and over again, trying to remember how he felt the first time. After Zeno had been dealt with completely, his plan had nearly backfired: through the citizens of Felwor became even more loyal than before, the majority of those in the New Banian region became disgruntled by this, eventually leading to the creation of a new faction: Cellessia.
“…the leader of the Cellessians, Zuo, began to recruit members so that they could “handle the Felworian problem,” as Zuo told the public. Though his army nearly matched Felwor’s in numbers, their strength was statistically insignificant, and thus not considered a threat to Felwor….”
Now Doom Hunter was faced with another betrayal, even worse than the first: Deze. Though he supposedly quit for unknown reasons, Doom Hunter suspected that he would join the Cellessians. Deze was a veteran among the Felworians, and he could potentially make Cellessia a bigger problem than Doom Hunter would ever want.
“…Deze, a martial-arts trainer in Felwor for approximately three months, left Felwor. He stated that his reason was personal and removed the information regarding himself from Felwor’s archives. It is possible that he may have taken other things, though no proof of this has been found.”
Doom Hunter had finished the report. “Now what should I do?” he thought. “Zeno was one thing, because Haze was not a large threat to Felwor once we managed to contain the situation. But this…” He stood up from his seat and, holding the papers in one hand, walked out of the small building.
Argo was a peaceful town. Few people dared enter it, for they were afraid of the elite guards, who watched over it day and night; those who ventured into the city were very strong themselves. The stores were always open and full of things to purchase, ready for the wave of people that would soon enter the town when the Irendian dock would open. There were few homes, for the property there was very expensive. Even a one-room house could cost one hundred thousand gold coins.
Doom Hunter strode to the pier and watched the waves, never ceasing, always restless. “So this is what it has come to,” he thought. “I suppose I should reconsider, but I know that it is the right thing to do, even if it will affect our relations with the population of New Banian.” He turned slightly, and said aloud: “I can tell you’re here, DragonKing.”
The dragon-like giant came from behind a building and saluted his king. “Pardon the intrusion, milord,” said DragonKing. Although he dwarfed Doom Hunter in height and stature, he treated him with the same respect as any other would. “The other Felworians are restless. They want to know if they can begin or not.”
“So you told them what I would probably do?” said Doom Hunter. “I suppose you know me quite well then. The answer is yes.”
“Very well then, sir.” DragonKing raised one of his claw-like hands and clenched it into a fist. “We shall take care of the problem.” He ran off, heading for a ship. Doom Hunter turned to see him off, then continued to stare at the sea once more. The waves calmed him slightly, as they took his mind off the many letters and documents he had read over the past few days.
“First Zeno, then Deze, and now Cellessia will become an issue. Hopefully we can position ourselves in an Irendian city by then.” Doom Hunter turned from the pier and walked back to the building that was Felwor’s outpost. He sat down at the stone table, sighed lightly, then returned to the papers.
“Sir!” Doom Hunter looked up. A bare-chested, bald man stood in front of Doom Hunter, panting. “You’d better come quick, we have another problem.” Doom Hunter looked back down at his papers, only to find that they weren’t there. Instead of the documents regarding Deze’s treason, he was holding a flagon of ale; instead of the small one-room building, he was in the tavern of Shyron.
Doom Hunter stared at the ale for a moment. He was remembering what he had read a week later, after the decision of Deze’s punishment: “…and so, after receiving the final say from Doom Hunter, DragonKing led a group of Felworian soldiers to arrest Deze, who was subdued and captured within the hour of arrival. They led him deep into the Spider Cave, located in the northwest portion of the New Banian forest, and tortured him by many means for days on end. After they were done, they left him for dead, to be eaten by the monstrous arachnids.”
He stood up, leaving the mug behind. “Let’s go.”
Game Hunter - December 8, 2005 03:43 AM (GMT)
“It was nothing, really…I suppose things just got out of hand.” The bald man apologized to Doom Hunter as he led his lord to the entrance of Shyron. Snow still fell from the heavens as thick ice crystals. Doom Hunter quickly raised his hand and conjured a ball of fire as a repellant to the unusually large snow.
“Indeed!” remarked Doom Hunter, waving his fireball-hand at his escort. “And I suppose you were in charge of this mission, Tae.”
“Well yes, but I didn’t expect this…” Tae rubbed the back of his head. “Honestly, none of us did, but it just sort of followed us here…”
The two reached the gate, staring above the walls to see a giant, white dragon. If it had been standing still most people may not even see it, save the large puffs of vapor from its nostrils. Three Felworians were trying to hold it down: DragonKing, who had managed to tie a noose around the neck and held its neck near the earth, Blue Mage, who was casting a barrage of lightning spells to keep the dragon’s breath attacks at bay, and Galano, who was helping DragonKing hold the noose at ground level.
“What I’d like to know is why! Of all the monsters to fight, why a frost Dragon?!” Doom Hunter glared at Tae.
Tae jumped back, surprised. “…We were getting bored with all the other monsters. Even the beasts surrounding Irendi Castle are too easy now. You know how we are. If we can’t get a tough fight, we get restless.”
“Yes, I remembered that thanks to Blue Mage and Galano over there,” replied Doom Hunter, motioning towards the frost Dragon. “I suppose you want some help?” He made his way through the gate.
“No, milord, we’ve brought some help from the guardhouse. I don’t want you to have to involve yourself in such a petty matter.” Tae pointed to the right, and Doom Hunter saw three warriors making their way to the Dragon. Doom Hunter recognized one of them as Tanin, his loyal knight, while another wore the mark of Irendi. The third, however, work no mark at all, though Doom Hunter knew him merely by his demeanor.
“Tanin! Over here!” DragonKing yelled to the three. “I’m glad you finally arrived with backup!”
“Yeah, we’re here, alright,” said a knight wearing a spiked black helmet and royal-blue chain mail. He unsheathed his sword, a claymore, and upon reaching the Dragon ran up its tail, proceeding to hack at the monster’s scales.
“Don’t forget about ol’ Haze!” shouted the second knight of the bunch, wearing a blue robe and black-gold plate mail. He too brought out a sword , though ran to the head of the Dragon and attempted to slice off its teeth. The third man in the party stayed slient and sprinted towards the belly of the beast. He had no weapon but his fists, yet wore heavy armor, fashioned for a knight.
“Haze I can understand,” said Doom Hunter, watching the six take down the mighty beast. “But how on earth did Tanin manage to get Deze to help?”
“Deze is a thrill-seeker, like the rest of us,” answered Tae, grinning as he watched the six take down the Frost Dragon slowly. “You remember how he was before he left us, don’t you? Always wanting to do more with himself.”
“Don’t remind me, I already did that today.” Doom Hunter had his eyes on Deze in particular. His fighting was flawlessly executed, each punch designed to deal damage to its target, even with the Dragon’s tough hide getting in the way. He turned to each one, noticing their slight errors and tendencies. “Deze is…different,” thought Doom Hunter. “Ironic how he would still be an ally after all of this.”
The Dragon fell to both knees, tiring from the endless struggle. It realized it could not win now, win six opponents to deal with. His foes realized this, too, and they backed away from the gigantic beast. Knowing when to run, it brought itself up again and began to sprint, a final wind urging it onward.
“I’m glad we didn’t actually have to finish it,” remarked DragonKing. “Not only does it take forever just to kill one, but removing the body is more trouble than it’s worth, even with the stuff you can make from it.”
“Thanks for the fun, guys,” said Haze. “I haven’t fought a Frost Dragon in ages. Just call for me whenever you take another one on, okay?” He walked off into the blinding snow, his path quickly covering itself.
“Get everyone over here,” said Doom Hunter, motioning Tae to the others.
“Don’t you think they need some—“
“Yes sir,” said Tae, hastening to the remaining soldiers. He shouted to them and, as they gave nods of approval, ran back towards Doom Hunter. All ran just behind Tae except for Deze, who stood motionless, studying the scene of the fight.
“Now Felworians, how many times do I have to tell you not to endanger this town?! Do you have no respect for my rules and our domain? I don’t know why I’ve put up with this before…” Doom Hunter paced back and forth, eyeing each person with discontent. “And your fighting techniques…who even taught you people how to fight?!”
“Well, sir,” began DragonKing, “this kingdom was founded as an underdog, you know—“
“And are we still an underdog kingdom? I think not! We are the police force, evil as it may be, that drives this world. We control the population with our whims, and how do you use that power? You bring a Frost Dragon dangerously close to our outpost. I want all of you out of my sight.” Doom Hunter walked towards Deze.
Blue Mage started to follow. “Where are we supposed to—“
“I don’t care, just go!” Doom Hunter’s voice echoed, bouncing off of each crystal so that it boomed in each of the Felworian’s ear drums. He looked back at Tanin, who had been relatively innocent of any wrong-doings, and sighed. “As for you, Tanin, would you come with me?”
Tanin hesitated for a moment, then nodded and walked to his king. The others, feeling emotionally defeated, left in the direction that Haze took. As Tanin caught up to Doom Hunter, the two made their way to Deze, who continued to study the ground.
“Ah yes, Deze, the former-Felworian,” said Doom Hunter. “I didn’t expect you to actually help us. For your aid, I thank you on behalf of the Felworians. Take this as further gratitude,” he added, throwing a bag to Deze. Deze caught the bag in mid-air without looking up, responding with a grunt. He turned and ran off, leaving behind no trace that he had been there.
“There goes a different person than I knew many months ago,” said Doom Hunter. “Remember after I exiled him? He couldn’t have been more angry with Felwor. If anything, what I did somehow helped him to become who he is now, and he has become friend rather than a foe. Have you noticed the change in him, Tanin?”
“Well, he’s a lot stronger than before…I mean, you saw him taking out that Dragon. He was probably hurting it more than anyone else had been.”
“True, but that’s not what I meant. While his strength has increased greatly since, his mind has strengthened even more. He spots weaknesses and formulates a plan without hesitation. That is the mark of a great warrior.” Doom Hunter tread over the snow towards Shyron, Tanin closely following.
“So, how am I supposed to contend with that?” asked Tanin. “I don’t think you can get that kind of experience by training, can you?”
“No, Tanin, you cannot. It is something you learn one day, and actively work for in everything you do. Although it is great in battle, it is just as great a burden. Some people call them perfectionists, and others will call them freaks. I believe they are mentally superior to the majority of people. I have tried to ascend to that level several times, but I have never truly been able to motivate myself all the way.”
“Then I guess it’s not too important to strive for?”
“On the contrary,” replied Doom Hunter. “It is the very reason we live. As you know, most people don’t think that they will make a difference in the world. While they are probably right, they can make a different in their own world, and that is through constant vigilance. Only by transcending to something beyond yourself will you feel satisfied.”
“Oh.” Tanin felt confused. “So, I should train my very hardest every day, until I feel I’ve reached my potential.”
“…Yes, that’s basically what I’ve been saying,” said Doom Hunter.
“Okay.” Tanin turned away, focusing on something else to pass the time.
Doom Hunter looked up at the sky. The ball of fire was still in his hand, melting the snow before it reached him. He could feel the endless white surrounding him constantly, and if not for the fire he would be lost in the storm of colorless space. He sensed a slight relation to this and Felwor’s position as a major power. All of the small distractions in the way would surely cause it to crumble in the end, but with the proper barrier the distractions can be avoided and dealt with.
“Is it really worth it?” he asked himself silently. “Perhaps the burden has become too much to bear, even for me. I should decide soon, before something that I can’t handle comes my way. And either way, it will change this world drastically.
The two had just reached the inn. Tanin pulled the door open, waiting for Doom Hunter to enter. “Coming, sir?”
“Yes, of course.” Doom Hunter walked into the inn and worked his way to the stairs, as to remove himself from Tanin’s company. He climbed to the top floor, found a chair, and sat down, a grimaced look on his face.
“Great things will happen no matter what I decide, so I must be sure that my choice is right.”
Game Hunter - April 16, 2006 05:33 PM (GMT)
Doom Hunter opened his eyes. He felt something pushing him. “Lord Doom Hunter, you dozed off again.” A hand shook his shoulder lightly. “We have another possible citizen.”
“Mm…hmm? What? …Oh, okay. I’m awake,” mumbled Doom Hunter, raising his head. He turned to see Thorn Manablade, his trusted assistant, with a boy to his left. He stood, trembling slightly; his posture was firm so that few would realize it. He looked straight into Doom Hunter’s eyes, and Doom Hunter looked back: a fire was there, but it wasn’t the kind he was looking for.
Doom Hunter’s eyes focused on the room itself: it was small and cluttered. Several bookcases and statues rested along the walls, and many papers adorned every flat surface. He recognized it as their headquarters, located in New Banian.
“Present yourself!” said Thorn, nudging the youth.
“Oh!” the boy was surprised but quickly responded. “M-my name’s Tordak; I’m a red mage. I have come here seeking a kingdom to join. I had heard of the so-called underdog, Felwor, and knowing it would be led by a prominent leader, rushed to see if I would be allowed to enter its ranks.”
“Is that so?” said Doom Hunter. “And what are your intentions as a part of this “underdog” kingdom?”
“W-well, I want to help a powerful kingdom and eventually rule a part of it.”
“You’re a very motivated one, I can tell. What are your inspirations?”
“Yes, why do you live on? Everyone has a purpose, or at least they make one based on their life to this point. Come, tell me.”
“Well…” the boy paused, trying to think of a proper answer. “I want to be the best, the strongest, the greatest there ever was. With that power, I’d shape the world to a peaceful one where no one would fight senselessly.”
“I like your attitude,” said Doom Hunter, studying his figure carefully. “…You are dismissed.” He stood up and moved to another part of the room, gathering papers.
“What? So am I in, or what?”
“No, of course not. And don’t get me wrong, you’re a good spirit. You just don’t belong here. My members would eat you up. Go find a kingdom more suited to your utopian ideals.”
“Oh…okay then…” the young mage walked to the door, his head lowered.
Thorn waited for the boy to leave before he asked, “You didn’t give him your usual “get out of my sight” speech…why?”
“If you can believe it, he reminded me of myself near that age,” replied Doom Hunter. “You can’t blame him for being hopeful; I’ll let him figure that out on his own. The rest of them were a bunch of cowards or weaklings. I could tell this boy had trained for quite some time…he may be fighting monsters in Aldeae by now. He just didn’t match our kingdom’s true goal.”
He looked over a paper: Monster Compendium of New Banian. “Hood wrote this, didn’t he?” said Doom Hunter, looking over the rest of the sheet. “He’s great at finding information.”
“Speaking of which, he’s waiting outside right now, milord.” Thorn motioned to the door.
“Hmm? Very well. Good luck to you, Thorn,” said Doom Hunter. He placed the stack of papers down among the rest and headed for the door, opening it slowly. Doom Hunter looked around, enjoying the view of New Banian. Green as far as the eye could see: green grass, green trees, green vegetation. It was the one color no magic could truly recreate. “I wonder what those fools in Irendi are going through right now,” he thought, laughing at the idea of living there.
“Good day, lord Doom Hunter,” said a voice. Doom Hunter saw Hood a few steps away from the door, whittling away at a staff. “I have some news you may find rather interesting.” He put away the stick, escorting Doom Hunter around the small town that surrounded them.
“It seems that there is a current opening in the port town of Argo. The price is rather high, but if we continue to milk these lesser fighters, we should have enough to get there in a month or so. This plot of land would allow us to establish a headquarters at the very center of the world, as all continents can be reached from Argo. The traffic for new constituents would also increase.
“Additionally, there have been several…how should I say…‘hot-spots’ forming along this island. After some investigation, I found them to be locations where particularly strong monsters appear. DragonKing is off fighting a “boss”, as they are called, in the Dungeon right now. The other monsters we have collected data on are code-named “Deadly Abomination”, “Grand Vizier”, and “Venom Queen”. We could use these monsters to collect enough revenue to reach Argo even faster.”
“Excellent work, Hood,” said Doom Hunter. “Argo will be a much-needed improvement. I keep hearing that we’re still the underdog kingdom. Little does the public know that we are growing rather quickly, maybe even faster than Irendi.”
“Then again, no one around here but a few even know of Irendi’s existence.”
“Very true, and that only helps us more. I plan on a few…announcements to New Banian rather soon. See what you can do about arranging some public gatherings.”
“As you wish, my lord.” Hood bowed and swiftly strode to building, leaving Doom Hunter’s view after a few seconds.
“Though, I will miss this place somewhat,” said Doom Hunter, thinking aloud. He walked towards the town center: a small garden planted around a well. He rested his arms on the top of the well, looking down into it. “I’m surprised we did make it this far. Ever since the recreation of Felwor after ScouSin…but that’s in the past. I must continue to think towards the future domination of Felwor.”
“Who are you talking to, sir?” Doom Hunter looked up. DragonKing stared at him, a large smile across his face. “I’m here to report to Hood about the latest boss, but I’m sure he already told you.”
“That he did,” replied Doom Hunter. “You were in the Dungeon, correct?”
“Yep! Had to go all the way down to the fifth floor before I found anything of any difficulty. A lot of people were huddled at the stairwell leading down there, like a bunch of mice looking out of their hole. I laughed at them, of course, but then they began to warn me about this giant scorpion with a stinger that could pierce the toughest armor. I went down, ‘cause it’s my job, but you could say I was a bit worried.
“I fought some undead, you know, the usual findings in the Dungeon, nothing too difficult. Then I saw it: the thing must have been as tall as me with its tail out. It proceeded to lash the monstrous stinger at me, but I whipped it away with my swords. It took forever to hack through the exoskeleton, but I finally got it. Just look at the size of this!” DragonKing brought out an enormous scorpion tail, handing it to Doom Hunter. As DragonKing let go, Doom Hunter felt its massive weight, sinking a little as he struggled to hold it.
“Amazing…” muttered Doom Hunter. He said to DragonKing, “Then the scorpion itself must have been huge as well.”
“Not really,” replied DragonKing. “It wasn’t much bigger than one of those other scorpions you find down there. I still can’t believe it could hold it with such a small body, much like fling it with such speed and dexterity.”
“You’ve done very well,” said Doom Hunter, handing the tail back to DragonKing. He took it with one arm only, placing it into the large sack on his back.
“Well, I’m off to fight something deep in the temple,” said DragonKing. “It’s supposed to be a lot stronger than Impaler Butt over here, but at the rate I’m going, I still won’t need any help. See you later, milord.” He ran out of the town, his steps making subtle imprints in the hard ground.
“I’m glad we kept him,” thought Doom Hunter, resting on the well again. “He wasn’t too bright during the early days, but he has somehow matured in a short amount of time. He can only get better, too.” He left the town center and headed for the tavern.
As he entered, people looked at the door and a sudden appearance of despondency came over them. They returned back to their doldrums, but considerably shaken by the mere presence of Doom Hunter. He thought, “I love this feeling of power. They know I could have my kingdom raze this town down on a whim. But this is why we must move to Argo, too. They are too scared of us here.”
He decided to leave the building and find one less inhabited. Not caring for their headquarters’ state, Doom Hunter found an empty house and, noticing a table, sat down at one of the stools. He rested his head on the surface, attempting to rest.
“It’s extremely important that the decisions I’m making now are the right ones,” he said to himself. “These are the early stages, where anything can go wrong. On the other hand, it is later on where I have a lot less control over the situation. I have to make sure I don’t box myself into a corner.” He closed his eyes for a minute, remembering the past recruitments: Deze, Zeno, Galano, Blue Mage. All of them were important to the new kingdom, and he had to make sure each and every one of them would stay true to the Felworian name.
“Sir!” Doom Hunter’s eyes wandered, searching for the voice that called to him. His sight rested on a figure clad in a loosely-fit gi, belt and headband, all uniform in color. “I think there’s an issue outside. It appears that some Irendian citizens have entered our town.”
“What?” Doom Hunter stood up, looking around. He was in a small room, unlike any in New Banian. “Where am I?”
“Lord Doom Hunter, you’re on the second floor of the inn. Please, hurry down.” The man flew down the steps next to him.
Doom Hunter took off his hat, rubbing his head. “There really is nothing like the present.” He rushed down the stairs.
Game Hunter - June 28, 2006 05:57 PM (GMT)
Gazing at the other side of the window as he passed by, Doom Hunter couldn’t help but remember his daydream in New Banian. He grunted, feeling the irony of his own candor sink in: white earth, white snow, and white sky. To see the green again would only be in his dreams for the time being. Doom Hunter took in a deep breath and walked towards the door. As he opened it, he couldn’t help but let the breath out violently into the chilling air.
Shyron was the usual, at least in its outwardly manifestation: the fortifications were in order, the buildings were whole and safe from harm, and the general feeling of cold, bitter weather was there as always. Something didn’t feel right, though. “There’s a foreign presence here…probably those Irendi inhabitants Yuji spoke of,” he thought. He headed towards the rear of the city, expecting to find a secret gathering of some kind. As he turned into an alley that was the very end of Shyron, he stopped very suddenly.
Doom Hunter could make out a two figures at first: one, bare-chested and pony-tailed, was beating up the other, wearing a full uniform of red from head to toe. The second didn’t appear to have landed a blow yet. Several others were there as well, but didn’t seem to be part of the action, as they were busy with something else. Doom Hunter hastened to the gathering, only to find DragonKing being held off by most of the other watchers. Yuji stood away from them and, noticing Doom Hunter, ran to his side.
“I suppose you already know what this is,” said Yuji, motioning to DragonKing.
“Quite,” replied Doom Hunter. “The pony-tailed one in Manboy, there’s no doubt about that. I can assume that the ninja is related to DragonKing by the way he’s reacting to the beating. Are the ones holding back DragonKing Irendian?”
“Yes sir,” said Yuji. “I didn’t want to get involved, because…well, I’m not as strong as the rest of you. Even by your standards, Irendian warriors are very strong, so I’d rather not do something that’d get me killed unless I was out of options. Was I right in doing that?”
“Of course, of course. Don’t pick a fight you can’t handle. Now if you’re excuse me…” Doom Hunter stormed towards Manboy, who noticed a brownish spot in the corner of his eye, and gave him a morbid stare. He said to Manboy: “Listen here, Irendian. If you have a problem with someone from my domain, you can take the problem to them. I wouldn’t expect your kingdom to stoop so low as battering civilians.”
“What?” Manboy finally met Doom Hunter’s eyes, releasing his grip on the red-clothed figure. “Oh, this punk? Nah, he’s not one of yours; I had him checked out, and he’s just a passerby. The little whelp tried to blast me with one of those ninja projectiles…shuriken. I don’t pick fights, but I don’t back down from a threat, so I went right at it.”
“I know he’s not from Shyron literally, but he’s visiting on behalf of a Felworian officer. You know DragonKing?” Doom Hunter pointed to the scaly humanoid behind them.
“Of course: he’s on our list of people to outright avoid. But sometimes people need to be taught a lesson, and when I saw that sergeant of yours rush at me, the rest of my squad made sure he didn’t interfere. As you can see, he’s no match for the five of them, even with his strength. Ya hear that?” he added, shouting to DragonKing. “You’re not invincible, and right now is yer proof!”
DragonKing growled, giving himself another push towards Manboy, but the Irendi soldiers kept him from budging at all. “Lord Doom Hunter, do something about this!” he shouted back. “Demon Prince was just practicing with me when Manboy happened to be in the way of his targets. I swear to you that he didn’t mean to attack an Irendi!”
Doom Hunter nodded. “Hold your attack for a moment, Manboy. I’d like to have a word with this ‘Demon Prince’”.
“Yeah, but I’m only doing this because you’re the mayor over here. He’s probably had enough anyway.” Manboy turned to the group struggling to keep DragonKing at bay. “Okay, let him go. We’re through here.” The other Irendi released their grasp on DragonKing, who flew for a moment, regaining his balance. He turned again, to Doom Hunter. “You’ll be hearing from Dream, so I suggest you figure out just what happened.” He ran off with his fellow Irendians, leaving a trail of very light prints in their wake.
Doom Hunter sighed, staring at the ground, and at Demon Prince, who lay unmoving on the ground. Blood was noticeable on his garments, and his face was unrecognizable. Doom Hunter, without moving his head, brought his left hand to face the ninja. He formed the fingers as though he were about to grab something, and a white ball came from the center of his palm. The ball grew slightly, increasing in intensity as well, then, as it reached the capacity of his hand, quickly dimmed to a milky translucency. Doom Hunter then placed his hand on Demon Prince’s head, and a white flash enveloped the ninja’s entire body. Moments later, Demon Prince stood up, completely unscathed.
“Tell me, boy, how exactly did you manage to make a mockery of the Felwor name?” Doom Hunter glared at the ninja, who was unable to meet Doom Hunter’s eyes.
“W-well, like DragonKing said, I was practicing my throwing arts, outside the town of course. DragonKing had me target trees with bulls-eye imprints on them, something he set up a while ago for himself. So I aimed for the center of each tree a bunch of times. Then those Irendi people showed up, but I wasn’t paying attention…”
“It wasn’t completely his fault, milord.” DragonKing approached the other two. “I think Manboy was looking for trouble, or perhaps he thought it’d be funny or something. They really did come from nowhere; you know how alert I am at detecting others.”
Doom Hunter looked at DragonKing, then back at Demon Prince. He said: “Still, I expect better of you than to practice in an open environment like that. Find some place more private and desolate next time. I hope you two also realize you’ll have to be there when I speak to Dream of this, if what Manboy says is true.”
“So you don’t blame us?” DragonKing looked straight at Doom Hunter.
“Not entirely…usually the fault of an event is divided into many places, and there’s no cause for the boy – or you for that matter – to get involved with Irendi. Dream and I will talk about how the reprimands will be given. You two are dismissed,” he said, waving them away.
Demon Prince walked to DragonKing’s side, then focused his eyes on Doom Hunter. “Do you think I might be able to join Felwor one day, sir?”
Doom Hunter gazed into Demon Prince’s eyes. He stared for some time before he finally spoke. “Mm…yes, I do believe there’s some hope for you, lad. Keep training with DragonKing, as you’re in good hands.” He watched the dragon and the ninja run out of the alley, and sighed again. “He’s got the makings of a Felworian, but is that a good thing?” Doom Hunter trod back to the center of Shyron, glancing at the inhabitants as they blissfully attended to their menial tasks.
“It’s not that the problem is an external one," he thought. "I could care less about what Dream thinks of Felwor’s actions. Our reputation, though negative, is a strong one, and that is exactly what any kingdom needs. However…” He found a stone bench near one of the town braziers and relaxed himself on the surface. “It’s my lack of foresight for an already-established kingdom.”
“Sir!” A voice jolted Doom Hunter in its direction. Yuji, who was taking in short, quick breaths, stood just in front of him. “I’d just like to inform you that the Irendians have left Shyron.”
“Oh? Glad to hear it,” said Doom Hunter. “Tell me, Yuji: do you think Felwor is a stable domain?”
“Lord Doom Hunter, Felwor is the most powerful and infamous kingdom in the world right now, and—“
“No, you misinterpreted the question,” said Doom Hunter. “I understand very well that Felwor is a strong nation when others look at it from the outside. My question relates to whether or not Felwor has the capacity to keep itself going.”
“Oh, I see,” replied Yuji. “From what I can tell, Felwor will keep its stability so long as the members of the kingdom stay loyal to its beliefs. Right now, we’re facing some difficult times, but it’s nothing we can’t handle.”
“Thank you for your opinion, Yuji. You are relieved.” Yuji ran to the gate of Shyron, continuing whatever duties he had there. Doom Hunter lay his head on the bench, gazing at the blinding-white sky. He then placed his right hand in the air, his palm facing the sky, and channeled his arcane power. A speck of the air ignited between his fingers, and a flame appeared in his hand. Doom Hunter thrust his palm outward, allowing the flame to accelerate towards the sky. As the flame flew to its maximum height, Doom Hunter clenched his fist, and the flame exploded into a great fire. He then brought his left hand out and, with his left index finger, controlled the flare with hand gestures.
“It’s easy enough to begin work on a project and gather all of the materials so that you have an advantage over everyone else,” he said to himself, “but without a proper direction or goal, you don’t know what to do with your materials, and they will soon decay from lack of use.” He held the embers stationary, watching them slowly dissipate until nothing more was left. “Eventually, the entire project falls to ruin, and you have nothing at all.”
Doom Hunter closed his eyes, allowing himself to fall sleep calmly by relaxing all of his muscles on the stone. He listened to the crackling of the brazier near him, each flame constantly moving around in its own sporadic pattern.
“What I did in its upbringing I failed to do in its follow-up. Is there any way to salvage the remains?"
Game Hunter - July 12, 2006 12:46 AM (GMT)
“You’re a failure.” Doom Hunter looked around; all was black. It didn’t even feel as though he should be standing, but he was. The air was thick and he breathed it in slowly, believing it to be smoke. As he didn’t feel woozy from the inhalation, Doom Hunter presumed it to be mist. The voice from a few moments ago still echoed in the nothingness, as if there was nothing to absorb it and yet it still reverberated on itself.
“This must be a dream, then,” he said, trying to find the source of the voice. “Who dare calls Doom Hunter a failure?”
“I do,” replied the voice. He heard footsteps behind him, quick and short taps on a floor-like surface. Squinting through the mist, Doom Hunter perceived a man in heavy armor and a heavier sword, holding it as though it were a rapier and pointing it directly at Doom Hunter. His physiognomy wasn’t visible, but his voice and appearance finally clicked in Doom Hunter’s subconscious.
“ScouSin,” he muttered. “Are you here to mock me?” Doom Hunter’s memory flashed to Felwor under ScouSin’s reign. The world was very different back then, and Felwor was just beginning. ScouSin was much older than Doom Hunter, but he accepted the boy back then for his talents. After much time passed, ScouSin left on a one-way journey, handing over Felwor to Doom Hunter. Doom Hunter now regretted having taken it from him.
“Though I speak insults, I am not here for such petty things. You should understand why your mind dug me up.” ScouSin’s face lit up, showing deep scars and deeper eyes. His complexion was that of a hardened warrior: full of battle experience, shattered dreams, and the deaths of others. It sparked Doom Hunter’s attention.
“Then you want me to consider it.” Doom Hunter removed his hat, revealing a mass of unkempt, dark-blond hair, and scratched his head. “I’ve already given it some thought, but I didn’t want to make it an option—“
“Enough of your indecision!” shouted ScouSin. “It is for that very reason that you’re in this position.” ScouSin turned to the right and began to pace on the imaginary floor, resting the giant blade on his shoulder. “While it is true that you brought Felwor to the brink of greatness, you refused to give it a place in the world. It is nothing more than a collection of power-hungry villains who feast on the populace.”
“It’s better than what you did with it,” replied Doom Hunter. “We were stumbling around the world as a group of misfits, looking for a safe haven while the strong kept us down. The underdogs with no hope.”
“Is that what they called us? Hmm…amusing. You can’t deny that my uprising of Felwor helped bring this kingdom to its place now. Hood, DragonKing, Thorn…all key members in the foundation. I left you a simple pawn in your hand, but I opened the file for it to reach its destination; you brought it along that treacherous path and promoted it to a power of the highest order.”
Doom Hunter chuckled, remembering his own references to chess in the past. He must have gained that habit from his old lord. He said: “If all of this is true, why is Felwor in such a decaying state?”
“Do you forget the teachings of Rdeedfrey? ‘Power is nothing unless it is used in a manner that reflects its full potential; if there is no purpose for that power, it becomes useless and thus powerless.’ What did you do with your power? Very little, if you examine all of the perspectives.”
Doom Hunter analyzed that remark. Felwor had, indeed, flaunted its power. Perhaps they had done it in a way that appeared to make them weak? Its members lay waste to the majority of the people and were satisfied with their work, but what of the people? They saw nothing but bullies. There was no respect for what they did: even Doom Hunter saw very little to admire about Felwor and its dominance over the world.
“Think about it. Cellessia was created as a countermeasure to remove Felwor. Did they succeed? Of course not. However, the message it brought was important: people hate Felwor. Irendi didn’t get in the way of Felwor’s rule. Why should they? The entire kingdom would fall under Dream’s whim. They have a hidden power that few even realize. Felwor’s being battered from all directions.”
ScouSin stopped pacing and drove his sword into the ground, leaning on it. “You understand the situation now, I hope.”
“…Yes, I do.” Doom Hunter’s despondence was obvious. Felwor was on a course to disaster. “How could I have avoided this, then?”
ScouSin sighed. “If there’s one thing you still don’t understand, it’s evil. Evil isn’t about doing stuff against the will of the people for that very reason. It’s about using the power you have for your own ambitions, thinking little of what the people want. Ironically, if your ambitions coincide with the people’s wants, then you end up being a good leader. You don’t decide what evil is; the people do.”
“There’s no reason to attack a populace that already doesn’t have hope to defeat you. Instead, you should have focused on increasing your control on Irendi, eventually defeating them. Then you would become the hidden power, above mere kingdoms. Irendi’s state of power is enough to deify itself, but they did it behind the scenes, while no one dare attack them. You had your chance, Aercharon, but you failed to see it.”
“What about Cellessia?”
“What about Cellessia?” said ScouSin, mockingly. “They wouldn’t even exist had it not been for your insistence to terrorize the already-worn society.”
“So Irendi could have been ours? I can believe it, but how did I miss it??” Doom Hunter clutched his head with both hands, his hat falling to the floor.
“Such is the responsibility of a leader,” added ScouSin. “I picked you because I knew you’d bring Felwor to a great level. I lacked the foresight to see that you wouldn’t properly use its greatness. I leave you to make your decision…” ScouSin’s voice echoed once more, and when Doom Hunter looked for ScouSin, he couldn’t find him. Once again there was an infinite shroud of black.
“What should I do?!” Doom Hunter shouted into the nothingness. He then took a deep breath, found his hat, and placed it back on his head. He closed his eyes, focusing into his subconscious. “There’s still more I need to consider before I make my decision. Now to think…” He let his mind wander into the black, allowing it to change its form.
“Hey, sleepyhead. It’s time to make our trip to the swamps. We have some ogres to slay.”
“W-what?” Doom Hunter opened his eyes. He was sitting at a bar, about to fall off a stool. He looked for the voice, finding ScouSin in his faded armor.
“Glad to see you could join us. Gaku, Thorn and DK are waiting outside. Have something to drink and hurry up.”
Doom Hunter grinned. “Sure thing, sir.”
Game Hunter - August 16, 2006 02:49 AM (GMT)
"Here's another one!" Thorn shouted in the distance. Doom Hunter scurried along, scimitar in his right hand. The swamp was difficult to traverse, being composed entirely of wet, mossy foilage, but he managed to keep up with the other fighters. To his right was ScouSin, swinging his great claymore fiercely. Farther to the right was Gakumerasara, the Dark Knight, carrying his falchion and iron shield in a ready position. At the back was DragonKing, only marginally taller than ScouSin, holding two axes out at his sides. "Get ready...and...go!"
Doom Hunter took a good look at the creature he neared: a great ogre, easily twice his height and green-skinned. This ogre wore an eyepatch and a shirt, possibly from an ogre clan. It carried a monstrous club in both hands, flailing it at Thorn. Thorn had appeared to have taken a blow in the chest, but otherwise seemed healthy enough to fight. Doom Hunter whipped his left hand out towards the ogre and, after muttering a few words under his breath, clenched his fist. He then sheathed his rapier and brought his right hand above his head, palm pointed at the ogre. Doom Hunter slowly lowered his right hand, and as he did, the ogre's eyes closed just as slowly until they were completely shut. By then Doom Hunter's hand was back at his scimitar.
"An efficient sleeping spell, Doom Hunter," noted ScouSin. "I see you've been practicing."
"Anything for milord," replied Doom Hunter. "Let us slay this great beast!"
ScouSin abruptly stopped, allowing Gakumerasara and DragonKing to start the assault. DragonKing threw both axes at the ogre's hands, waking it up but causing it to roar in pain, dropping its club at the same time. DragonKing then picked up the giant club and smacked the ogre squarely in the face. Gakumerasara then hacked at the legs and arms of the ogre, disabling it permanently.
"That worked out very well, sir!" Thorn said, walking towards ScouSin as the ogre yelped intensely.
"Yes; it was a very good strategy, Thorn. Props to you," added ScouSin. With that, he ran towards the ogre. He shouted to it: "You have been slain by Felwor; may your soul burn for eternity." ScouSin then brought his claymore high into the air, jumped, then gored the ogre's head, thrusting his sword deep into the skull. After a few seconds, he removed the weapon and sliced the beast's head off, landing several feet from the body.
"Sir, why do you always get the final strike? I feel we should all get our fair share of hits," asked DragonKing, removing his axes from the dead ogre's fists.
"Don't question my ruling, DragonKing," said ScouSin, giving his minion a side-glance. DragonKing flinched, then saluted ScouSin. "Well then, I think that is enough training for today. Let us all head back to Tillipan, where we can bask in the glory that is Felwor."
He turned to leave and the rest moved into their proper format: Doom Hunter to his left, Gakumerasara to his right, DragonKing behind and to the right, and Thorn to DragonKing's left. It was the Wall of Felwor, with only few ways to breach its stalwart defense. Thorn created this formation, along with the many other strategies Felwor used in combat. He grinned at his own involvement in his innovation.
The five walked for several minutes before ScouSin spoke: "So Gaku, how are the people of Vergan? Draegath seems to be rather aggressive as of late."
"I haven't found anything particularly noteworthy other than Draegath," replied Gakumerasara. "He's always going into the deepest parts of the swamps, killing ogres and tigers by himself. It's amazing that he can do it, but it does not bode well if we want to dominate this land."
"I assumed as much," said ScouSin, turning to DragonKing. He said to him: "Is Moltos running well?"
"What? Oh, yes, very well," said DragonKing, startled that ScouSin was talking to him. "Hood's got that place going very smoothly in its construction. We should have an established territory within the month."
"Excellent. Felworians, we are becoming a power. Whether the rest of the world likes it, they will have to deal with us soon enough. We shall stand tall among the other kingdoms of this land, and be respected by the populace!" He brought his fist in the air, his arm shaking as he clenched his hand. The rest looked at his hand, nodding to each other
Doom Hunter took off his hat and gazed up at the sky. It wasn't much to look at, for there were no clouds in the sea of pure blue. No white at all. His eyes wandered to the now-grassy terrain beneath the sky: the green was fresh and uniform throughout this part of the earth. No white at all. "Not even a speck," he thought.
They continued to travel for at least an hour, but in Doom Hunter's mind it was only a fleeting moment, all happening as he placed his hat on his head. A small, underground cave connected the mainland to the continent where Tillipan resided, but no monster dared lurk in it; the masses of adventures were so great in number that even the dim-witted creatures understood not to make a home in that passage. Beyond the cave was a open field, a giant prairie filled with monsters. These monsters knew better, however, when they saw the Wall of Felwor. Felwor had passed through these parts enough times so the beasts here understood just as well as the ones near the cave what to expect.
The gates of Tillipan were very welcoming: citizens cheered for their leader and his followers, guards saluting in full adornments, and the usual fanfare was played in honor for their return. The five made their way through the throng of peasants to the inner sanctum of the city, where a formidable tower rested. There was nothing special about the tower, just that it was tall and somehow brooding in its outwardly appearance. ScouSin looked back on the other four, his head held higher than the rest.
"I want all of you to train personally, as hard as you possibly can. I am planning an assault against one of the other kingdoms, but it won't be for a time. Details will be given at the time of sieging; you are dismissed." ScouSin stormed through the tower's door, and the slam of it opening echoed throughout its empty staircase. Doom Hunter looked at the others, and the others look at each other.
"Which one?" DragonKing said what was on everyone's mind.
"It wouldn't be Vergan or Zenobia," noted Gakumerasara. "They are far too powerful at this point, even for us. Unless he's planning to get help from one of the other kingdoms, it must be either Mercia or Aludaries."
"We have good ties with Mercia, though," added Thorn. "Garet Archanus and his henchmen know ScouSin too well, anyway. If he was planning an attack on them, they'd realize it before we did. That leaves Aludaries."
"Aludaries, headed by Zegidroph," said Gakumerasara. "A new faction, like us, but fewer territories and a small army. That would be a good choice, and it would greatly show off Felwor's power. After all, it would prove to the other kingdoms that we can handle a skirmish against our own generation of fighters.
"That settles it, then," said Thorn. "We should all still train as though we were against Rdeedfrey himself. Power to Felwor and death to those that oppose it!" Gakumerasara, DragonKing, and Thorn all headed off in their own directions to train in their own way. Doom Hunter, however, still stood there, soaking up the information.
"It would make sense," he said to himself, "but ScouSin's never been the kind of person to fellow that sort of sense. Perhaps Vergan...and Draegath."
Doom Hunter brought his right hand up, bringing each finger into a near-first separately from pinky to thumb. He then closed his eyes, allowed himself to concentrate only on his hand. A teal color began to glow from the center of his palm, growing slowly. Some of the energy escaped the spherical form, disappearing in the air, but after a few seconds, he clenched his fist, and that energy returned into the orb. Some time later, the energy had nearly reached a pale-green color, but Doom Hunter found he could no longer contain the energy. He steadied the right arm with his left, and calmed himself down. The orb flashed white, then became nothing.
"It's been a while since I've tried that," he thought. "It's getting closer. Hopefully I can finally figure out its power in a year or so. The 'green light'...but I more important things to think about." Doom Hunter walked along the cobbled road towards his private cottage, thinking about the possible struggle against Vergan.
"Doom Hunter, sir, where are you going?? We need you here now!" An unknown voice called out from behind.
"Sir? I haven't heard anyone call me sir--" He turned out sharply, only to see no more road, no more peasants, no more Tillipan. There was only snow, Thorn, and Shyron.
Thorn looked at Doom Hunter gravely. "We have a serious problem."
Game Hunter - September 8, 2006 10:20 PM (GMT)
"I'd explain it to you, but it's hard to describe how. A joke led to an insult, an insult led to a threat, a threat led to a punch. Now...well, you should just see for yourself." Thorn finished speaking as he and Doom Hunter towards Shyron's village center. Usually Doom Hunter could find some small children playing in the snow, or a youth scribbling in their notebook. Instead, he found something he could not stand to see.
A war inside his own walls.
From left to right, he spotted the various militant citizens of Shyron. Hood and Jammer were grappled in a battle of the minds, throwing spells at each other in flawless form; as one arcanum was hurled, another was used to counter it, and a deadlock occurred. Galano and Tanin, on the other hand, clashed in a fiercesome struggle of swords. Each opponent moved their blades this way and that, with no ground to be gained between the two of them. DragonKing and DemonPrince were fighting as a team against Tae and Blue Mage: The two companions created four points of attack from which Tae was barely able to defend, though Blue Mage managed to summon an onslaught of wizardry to lessen the barrage of swords and knives.
Thorn filled Doom Hunter with information regarding the subject: "From my understanding, sir, the soldiers have split into two. One of them, claiming to be the subtler of the opposed rivals and led by Hood, wants to focus more on the mercantilism of our kingdom. The another, formed by DragonKing, wants to keep Felwor as it is, perhaps even make a profit on what we do. There's no specific details about these factions, but Hood's team consists of Galano, Blue Mage, and Tae; DragonKing's group is assisted by DemonPrince, Jammer, and Tanin. I haven't seen Yuji for a while...I have no idea where he got to.
"I can't explain why they're fighting...they just did. As I said before, little things led to bigger ones until this happened." Thorn turned to the scene, trying to make out any advantages. He didn't want to stare any longer at Doom Hunter's increasingly-hostile physiognomy.
Suddenly, Galano lost his footing from a parry and tripped, allowing Tanin to gain the upper hand. He slashed at Galano's chest, one to have his weapon deflected by a large icicle. "Thanks, BM!" shouted Galano, and he jumped into his position to begin the fight again.
"No...this will not go on further..." Doom Hunter mumbled. He brought his right hand into the near-clenched form, grasping the wrist with his left arm.
"Sir?" Thorn glanced back at Doom Hunter. His nervous expression quickly turned into a morose one, first looking at his lord's hand, then his face. "Sir, you shouldn't do this now...think of what may happen--"
"I know very well what may happen!" he snapped. "This is a desparate situation, Thorn. I need a powerful aura to gather their attention." Doom Hunter then closed his eyes and concentrated on the energy within him. A teal orb flashed into existance only seconds after he began channeling, already turning pale-green. The orb grew in intensity, its power barely held in the small sphere. Doom Hunter did his best to remove any thoughts of the conflict in front of him, searching for more energy.
"Agh!" DemonPrince had fallen on one knee, as one of Hood's spells had been redirected by Jammer, landing off-course and into DemonPrince's face. Tae took the opportunity to launch an attack, and Blue Mage brought a large mass of magic towards a distracted DragonKing.
"Enough!!" roared Doom Hunter. His voice, even though he spoke his loudest, echoed with an amplification of nearly ten-fold his normal speaking ability. The snow from the surrounding roofs fell to the ground; the trees shook as though shocked themselves; every warrior in combat immediately stopped and directed themselves towards the voice.
Doom Hunter held a jade-colored orb of pure energy in his hand. Thorn felt an immense amount of power from his lord, and everyone else noticed the sudden increase of intimidation their leader was using. The orb, although very near the color of that from a plant, was nowhere near what Doom Hunter wanted. He uttered a few words only he could hear, then removed his left hand from the other's wrist and clapped it down onto the orb. He removed his hands from each other, revealing nothing more than a pair of blackened palms.
"Sir, let me heal those now," Thorn began.
"No!" replied Doom Hunter. "Let them see my hands, my battle-worn, charred hands." He approached the eight fighters, all watching Doom Hunter with complete concentration. He said to them: "Now that I have your attention, I will tell you what I think of your skirmish.
"You are the brand of Felwor: you live to serve under its banner. We are the the powerful, the ultimate, the second-to-none. This is what I have taught all of you, and I am now saying that it is a falsehood. We are not the powerful; we are the bullies that prey only on those weaker than us. We are not the ultimate, for there are others much stronger and feel that we should not even be bothered with. We are not the second-to-none; not a single person in this organization is repected enough to be considered first in anything.
"What I see is a rag-tag group of divided men. Mercantilism, oppression...it's unnecessary. Consider the fate of those who can't live with others that keep them safe, for they are doomed to constant torment and pain. 'United we stand' is a popular saying, is it not? It's also quite true. Killing yourselves only shows me you aren't ready for the real challenges out there."
Doom Hunter pointed to the gate. "That is your enemy. Your rivals are the trees; your opponents are the elements of winter. Unfortunately..." Doom Hunter sighed, looking at his own palms. He lowered his voice: "...the battle is out of our hands." He then walked through the eight interrupted fighters, blankly staring into the air. "So much white..." Doom Hunter looked back at Thorn, who immediately ran to Doom Hunter's side.
Thorn listened as Doom Hunter spoke very softly towards him. He interpretted the meaning of the words, then spoke. "Lord Doom Hunter will speak to all of you tomorrow concerning the fate of our kingdom. Meet at the gate at precisely eight o'clock in the morning. That is all." He and Doom Hunter left the others, heading for the INN. Neither said a word the entire time.
"Huh...that was something," remarked DragonKing. He looked at Hood with a sneer. "Don't think this is over."
"And the same goes for you," said Hood. "We'll hold this off for the time being, but you're not getting off this easily."
"Oh, that's a laugh," added DemonPrince. "Everyone here knows who will win. We're leaving." He, Jammer, DragonKing, and Tanin walked off towards the northern part of the city, leaving the village center in ruin.
"Feh...c'mon guys, I'm itching for a good battle. Let's go kill dragons!" said Tae, flexing his muscles. "It's become boring suddenly." The band of four headed for the gate, exiting Shyron.
Doom Hunter looked back as he and Thorn approached the INN. He sighed deeply. "Thorn, I--"
"It's already understood, sir," interjected Thorn. "But what do you plan on doing?"
"I'll find something, Thorn. There are plenty of unfinshed projects at my disposal...like Echirio." He looked down at his hands once again, the pain finally coming to him through the inner nerves. He clasped his hands, wincing at the sudden shock, then concentrated his mind on the blackened skin. In a few seconds, an emerald light flashed from the spaces in his fingers, and upon opening his hands the charred skin was no longer there. In its place were two small circular markings, faintly green in color.
"I shall bear these marks as the memory of this place," said Doom Hunter, glancing at Thorn, then back at the scars. "It will remind me of the failures..." Doom Hunter lost balance, then fall hard on the ground.
"Lord Doom Hunter!" exclaimed Thorn, quickly summoning an arcane art. A shield of light surrounded Doom Hunter, and Thorn closed his eyes. "So he only fainted. It's due to that spell he tried earlier, no doubt. Now I'm surprised he was stay awake this long...you!" Thorn yelled, opening the door with a wave of his hand. "Barkeep! Bring the lord to a room and treat him with great care. He has a hard day tomorrow."
The man from behind the counter sprung to action, motioning two others to him. They lifted Doom Hunter's body and carried him to a door in the back of the INN. "Scou...Sin," mumbled Doom Hunter just before he left Thorn's hearing range.
"ScouSin, eh? Now there's a name I haven't heard in a long while."
Game Hunter - November 9, 2006 01:11 AM (GMT)
“Scou…Sin? Is that really your name?”
“It’s as much my name as yours is Doom Hunter, Aercharon.”
“Fair enough. So then, tell me about this Felwor.” Doom Hunter and ScouSin sat at a small table in the middle of a tavern. The regulars eyed them warily, expecting some sort of trouble. However, they paid well, and drinks continued towards the table time and time again. Doom Hunter raised his arm for another flagon of ale as he waited for ScouSin’s answer.
“I suppose you haven’t heard of the old kingdoms: of course not, you’re not from the mainland. There’s the Vergan kingdom, led by the astute Darian; the kingdom of Mercia, which follows their head wizard, Garet; the kingdom of Zenobia, managed by the powerful knight, Malthros. There’s a new faction that has emerged recently, known as Aludaries: supposedly a nobleman by the name of Zegidroph commands them.
“What of them?” asked Doom Hunter as he drained the latest flask of alcohol.
“They’re what Felwor has to deal with. I know next to nothing of Aludaries, but the other three are strong forces, indeed. I’ll require some new strengths in order to defeat them. From what you tell me, you were quite the scholar in your land.”
“Yes…I was. But those studies were for naught, as they could save the people I cherished.” Doom Hunter brooded over his past memories of Echirio, the loss of his island home and that he, alone, survived the account. “I have much to learn.”
“And learn you shall, for I want an even greater power than numbers. Aercharon, what I want from you is the new magic.” ScouSin pointed sharply at Doom Hunter, causing the others around him to look up and follow his finger.
“New magic? But you cannot simply create magic like that—“
“Listen to me. I have been told that the grand Arcanum have been developing new powers beyond your most bizarre thoughts. You know that magic is a relatively new thing for humans, and so I want you to tap into a greater source of power. Something the world has yet to experience, even by the ancient creatures.” ScouSin took a swig of ale when he finished.
“…You raise a good point. But, since you mention it, I have been experimenting. You know that magic has been able to create a variety of colors, no?”
“Fiery reds, electrical yellows, sub-zero blues. I understand that the elemental magics cover different hues.”
Doom Hunter nodded. “Yes, but here’s a point of interest: no one has ever been able to reproduce a pure green. The curative magics you see are teal, sometimes wintergreen, but never the kind of green you would expect in a field during summer. Surprisingly enough, it was difficult enough for past sorcerers to wield curative powers until it was discovered that the power was meant to heal rather than to destroy.”
“That is certainly a quandary,” replied ScouSin. “I never would have guessed that the color of a spell was important. What do you suppose makes green special?”
“I have yet to understand, but I believe it deals with it being a natural color. Reds, yellows, blues…mostly artificial when you think of a “pure” blend of the color. It also may relate to the Shade Theory that many teachers at my school had been following, that the lightness or darkness of a color and its use as a spell are related. Despite being bright at times, each of the elements other than curative are vibrantly—“
“Dark,” said ScouSin, completing Doom Hunter’s sentence. “Even lightning isn’t so much a yellow of the sun as it is golden. Curative magic, though…”
“Indeed,” added Doom Hunter. “It’s lighter than the other colors. It has been postulated that these “light” and “dark” colors produce “light” and “dark” magic. Therefore, a green of such a deep hue as grass would likely produce offensive results. Why it is so difficult to make the color so deep is a mystery that I intend to discover.”
“Marvelous,” said ScouSin. “Truly astonishing that you would come to such a conclusion based on pure intuition. You are exactly what I need for this kingdom.”
“But what is Felwor, exactly?” Doom Hunter suddenly snapped back to the reality that he had been brought here solely for the purpose of a membership to this new organization.
“We are…the underdogs,” said ScouSin. “I repeat, the old kingdoms are extraordinarily powerful. Malthros has engaged his armies in many a war, winning every single one of them. Garet and Darian have a strong bond, and each kingdom is full of scholars such as yourself. However, they lack the initiative to recruit those they aren’t familiar with. I’ve seen their applications, and they expect their members to be so-called “good” folk, trusting the faith of their laws and suggesting that what they do is the will of the people.
“I reject this outlook on life: people as a whole do not have a will of their own. They must be willed a certain direction before anything can be accomplished. Felwor will be designed to reflect our ambitions for this world, and we shall will those people unto our control. Of course, it won’t look that way on the outside: from the people’s perspective, we will be nothing more those underdogs that they love so much, struggling to make a name for themselves. In truth, we will slowly gain power over the others without any suspicion.”
Doom Hunter pondered over the request. He felt hatred for those who were self-righteous in the name of some higher order. Echirio, from what he had discovered, looted their island as tribute for their god. Their holier-than-thou attitude towards everyone else filled Doom Hunter with rage, and he slammed the table at the thought. ScouSin flinched, looking up from his flagon.
“Have you decided, then?”
“Yes,” said Doom Hunter. “Though, I would like to ask one question.”
“Are most people malleable enough to be controlled? I haven’t gone into any psychological pursuits and, having only studied the arcane knowledge, I wouldn’t have any scholarly wisdom on the matter, either.”
“Give me a moment and I’ll see if I can put it in an understandable manner,” said ScouSin, tapping his fingers on the wooden table.
Doom Hunter looked around, noticing that many of the other customers had forgotten their own mundane conversations and took interest in theirs. Surprisingly, the bar was quite full: most of the newcomers stayed to hear of Doom Hunter’s and ScouSin’s dialogue.
ScouSin stopped tapping. “I think I have it…oh, are these people bothering you? I can fix that—“ ScouSin unsheathed a monstrous blade from his back and swung it around, nearly coming in contact with the other customers. “If anyone wants to keep their heads, I suggest you get out of here. Now!” ScouSin shouted. Everyone, including the bartender, raced towards the door, shoving each other as they scurried to escape the tavern. In less than a minute, he and Doom Hunter were the only two left. “Where was I…oh, right. Now that I think about it, I believe there’s your answer.”
“And what an answer, indeed!” remarked Doom Hunter. He raised his hand at ScouSin. “I gladly accept your offer into Felwor."
“Excellent,” replied ScouSin, taking Doom Hunter’s hand and gripping it tightly. “I already have other members for you to meet, but another time. For now, I want you to read our statement for new members. Bear with me in that it’s a formality, but you may as well see what the others get to learn.” ScouSin stood up, placed his sword back in the sheath, and stormed out of the bar.
Doom Hunter looked back, smirked, then read the paper. On it was a single sentence: “We are for the people, and all others are against them.” He thought about the page for a moment, then finished his ale.
“For the people…the ignorant masses that flock our streets in everyday tasks, unaware of the truth behind truths. All others…those that oppose our views, for we are right and they are wrong. A bit hypocritical, but at least we aren’t pretending to be for some greater good. Our will is ours alone, and it will slowly become the people’s. Yes, that sounds about right.”
Doom Hunter walked out of the bar to find the throng of fearing customers outside. They jumped back at Doom Hunter’s presence, giving him a path to the heart of the city. As he exited the crowd, they swiftly returned into the tavern, scared even to look back.
“These masses will do nicely. Even our own members will be out of that truth behind truths, for no one can understand the true intent of the ruler. When I come to power, someday, I will make sure of that.”
Doom Hunter walked off into the distance, noting the green pastures ahead of him.
"Green. So very calming..."
Game Hunter - February 17, 2007 02:29 AM (GMT)
The Felworians had assembled in the town center, just as Doom Hunter had asked. Not a single member was missing in their ranks, and even though two split groups had formed, they stood side by side to hear their lord’s message. Not a single word was spoken between them, for each person was there only to listen to Doom Hunter and him alone. Even as Doom Hunter slowly walked to the small podium placed there for his speech, not a single breath had been drawn. He noticed an eerily hostile feeling among them as he chose right there and then the words of his speech.
Thorn had been waiting at the podium and saluted his lord when Doom Hunter reached him. “We are all eager to hear your words, Overlord.” He took a few steps toward the other Felworians, then relaxed and turned to face his leader. Thorn saw Doom Hunter looking straight at him, causing him to flinch the slightest bit at first: there was no expression on his face whatsoever. Not one of anger, or of grief, but the most stolid countenance he had ever seen.
For a time, Doom Hunter only stood there, looking first at Thorn, then to each of his troops. There was nothing left here for them. It was but a matter of time until the newly-formed factions would completely sever their links from Felwor and run rampant in the world. He would stop it now. Doom Hunter had seen enough in the last few days to realize the immense pressure laid on him, building up to this very moment. If anything, he’d delay the inevitable until another power came in to halt its process.
An extremely cold breeze blew into the town center just then, causing the audience to shiver; even the more hardened warriors felt an involuntary urge to shake at the breath of frost. Doom Hunter inhaled the frozen wind, unmoved.
“Felwor is gone. All information dealing with it has been destroyed, all inventory and property belonging to it have been returned to the original owners, and all titles and ranks belonging to the members have been stripped. Shyron is currently under no leadership, and the citizens are free to create their own government. I am likely correct that you are curious as to why I have disbanded our…your kingdom. Let me begin by saying that I never intended to—“
“What? Are you serious?!” DragonKing immediately walked up to Doom Hunter and flashed his blade near his neck. “What are you trying to pull here? Is this some plot to get us back together, because it’s not going to…to…”
As DragonKing looked at Doom Hunter, he saw nothing, just as Thorn had. There was no plot: he was telling the absolute truth of the situation. Even if no feelings could be ascertained from Doom Hunter’s face, a thousand truths clearly came out, revealing the man’s lifetime of suffering. Disheartened, DragonKing staggered backward a few steps, then landed in the snow. He threw his sword away from the town center, letting it leave a trail in the snow until it impaled into the side of a building.
“I never intended to let Felwor last forever,” Doom Hunter continued. “Such a ruthless band of warriors would never conquer the passage of time. I lost the ideals that ScouSin had originally planned for the kingdom when I decided to gain power for ourselves. That is when I knew that, someday, we would fall. You could even thank me for stopping it here and now, rather than allowing the group to fester a while longer until chaos and inefficiency caught up and dissolved the kingdom, leaving nothing at all.
“I’m sick of it. Day after day, you do nothing but train your bodies and sharpen your blades, thinking nothing of the real world. There is much more to this world than physical and magical strength. Hopefully, now that your reign has ended, you will understand that. I could name even a few faux pas that have occurred in the last days of Felwor that would cause other leaders to shudder, thinking, ‘How on earth would a leader allow such atrocities?’
“You have none of the blame, however: I place it solely on myself. Certainly, I created a very powerful kingdom, filled to the brim with the finest soldiers. You served your purpose, and I thank you for that. However, I failed to give you a direction, a path to follow, a campaign to carry out. In the end, your jobs were nothing more than to kill anything and everything you saw other than your comrades. I never even gave that order, but simply the lack of an order brought it about. I apologize.
“I suggest you speak your mind now, for I will not be staying after this meeting. I have already purchased fare for an island far from the continents of Irendi and New Banian. My business is not yours, and I ask that you do not inquire on the subject.”
Doom Hunter looked around and saw no replies. Not even a mouth was open, for a great deal of the Felworians were shocked into speechlessness. Even Hood, normally cool and relaxed, exerted a great deal of tension from his expression and stance. Thorn knew of Doom Hunter’s predicament, but had nothing further to say.
Doom Hunter left the center of attention and walked to Thorn, who gave him a slip of paper and a handshake. They said their own goodbyes in silence, understanding their partnership through the age of Felwor. It was a simple bond that they had formed in the name of ScouSin, and so it ended with the remembrance of their past lord.
He didn’t bother to look back. Their faces would no longer be filled in awe, but they would continue with their normal doldrums. The old Felworians, with their legendary statuses, would find other kingdoms, perhaps even make new ones, and rise to power once again. Doom Hunter didn’t care: he knew anything they started wouldn’t last. In the end, it would take a brilliant leader, nay, a genius, to forum a kingdom as powerful as Felwor once had been. “Hopefully,” he thought, “one that didn’t replicate the very being of Felwor’s core.”
He reached the dock in a very short amount of time; no beast had crossed Doom Hunter’s path the entire trip. Even he found it odd that the monsters that occupied the continent were missing from the solemn day. Doom Hunter gave his slip to the attendant near the ship and climbed aboard.
“I’ll return one day. I just need some time to think.”
Game Hunter - March 18, 2007 12:23 AM (GMT)
The town of Peramor was positioned about fifty kilometers south of Irendi. It was a small but bustling city, being the closest port between the main continental hub and the vast archipelago to the west. Sailors, pirates, and warriors alike came to this place in order to journey to that chain of islands, being known only as the Unknown.
News traveled fast. One of the town’s more popular bars, The Royal Tankard, was filled with such news. A few sailors gathered around to speak of what they had learned over the past few weeks.
“So, did ya hear about the mainland?”
“Felwor was destroyed.”
“Absolutely. Rumors are that Cellessia finally found a powerful fighter that wiped ‘em all out, even their Overlord ‘o theirs.”
“Nah…” A third joined the conversation. “I heard that that half-dragon fellow in the group went crazy one night and turned into a full dragon, killing off everyone before they woke up.”
“That’s pretty crazy if you ask me,” said the second. “Even though half-breeds are rare, there’s no way to revert to one or the other through insanity.”
“Here’s what really happened,” chimed a fourth sailor. “You know that plant guy, with the flesh of vines? He exploded after tapping into a dark magic and grew into a fearsome elemental, toppling the whole place before anyone could react.”
“What? There’s no way,” added the first. “That’s a tall tale; no one with half a mind would think that. Have you been drinking too much?”
“I can tell you.” The sailors stopped their argument and turned. At the table nearest them was a small man hunched over a drink. He wore a gray cloak that concealed the majority of his body. “It fell apart from the inside, but there was no battle, no action. They simply…disbanded.”
“Ha! Now there’s a laugh!” The third sailor walked over to the cloaked man. “That’s the silliest story we’ve heard yet. You’re telling me that the strongest force on the mainland decided, one day, to stop being the strongest and left??”
“Yes.” He removed the cloak from his face and took a drink. “It’s that simple…perhaps you’re skeptical? I shall show you then.” An arm extended out to the sailor’s face, revealing a blackened hand. The cloaked man concentrated and a sudden white flash covered the sailor, leaving him in a stupor. A few seconds passed as the other sailors puzzled over the predicament of their comrade when, as sudden as the flash, the sailor shook awake from his gaze.
“He’s right, they disbanded. And their leader was the one to do it. Just…hmm…” the sailors walked back to his chair and went to his drink again, gazing into the air. “Why?”
“Because he knew that a force too powerful to handle is a waste of time.” The cloaked man rose from his chair, leaving a few coins next to the flagon. “Let that be a lesson for you to repeat to others.” The cloaked man walked out of the bar, leaving the sailors just as puzzled as during his previous stunt.
“Hey, lad, what just happened?” The first sailor shook the third, trying to awaken him from his continuous gazing. “Is there something the matter?”
“It was…him…the leader…”
“You can’t be serious!” He sighed. “Ah well, it was probably just an illusionist playing tricks on the poor boy. Let’s get back to the ship, they’re probably waiting to take leave anyway.” The group left the tavern in haste, hoping to set sail soon. They left their confused friend behind.
“Green…green. It was green.”
“Where to go, Aercharon? The Unknown’s waiting, but where to go…”