obviously it needs work but here is the general idea for the beginning of my story
Drums. Drums beat. The pounding is deafening, the regular and unchanging beat. The irregular clang of blades on one another and on shields. Blood. Blood stains the ground and runs as a river. The shadow of war is on us, when the world turns against us and it is indiscernible who is friend, and who is foe. Our people are subverted by the Black, the darkness. It destroys you, rips apart what you are turns you into… them. Horrible, misshapen beings, serving only Him. Navarog. For who can stand against the might of the King of Demons?
The Chronicles of Sylvarya
A forest. A forest of silver trees, warm with life. Fairie, they flit all about, each no larger than my hand. Three pairs of feet, running as fast as their legs can carry them. Three voices call out with laughter, the boy, me, calls to the redhead who has fallen behind. Fairie flit around us, giggling. Suddenly, they stop. They call out to us, begging us to come back. Their cries are in vain for we cannot hear them. Not now, now that we have left hallowed ground. The Forest does not appear to change, but the feeling changes. We fail to notice for our fun, but nervousness begins to creep. Then, we come upon it. A cave, with bowels blacker than the darkest night. We stare, in wonder and fear. We can all feel the chill emanating, the darkness that threatens to swallow all who enter. The shadows shift, the darkness is moving, alive.
“Let’s get out of here”, who’s voice, mine, my friends? Time seems to desert us and we feel more alone than ever before. But we are not alone, we are far from alone. The Black, it moves in on us. We are rooted in place, and yet repeat the urge to leave several times. Finally, something snaps. I run, the others follow after. We run as fast as we can, cut by branches and rocks around us. Something is following; we dare not look back, lest it catch up. It’s gaining, laughing, and the laugh is as dark and cruel as the being that possesses it. I trip, but it’s gone. We are back on hallowed ground, safe. Hours have gone by in the span of what was to us, minutes. It’s dark out; we run back home, and tell none of what happened, what happened in the Silver Forest.
I jerk awake, breathing heavily. The dream, the one I keep having. Those events were years ago, I was but a child then. I glanced around my tent; nothing was disturbed, nor moving. My sword lie by my side, my armor and cloak hung on the stick manikin I had fashioned. I extended a hand, my dagger flew out of its hiding place in my sleeve, and I grasped its leather wrapped handle.
I jumped out of bed and, after looking around once more, I replaced my dagger in its usual spot. I donned my armor and cloak quickly, the elaborate design on the armor, contrasting the plain cloak. I walk outside, looking out at the lands. My tent, as the tents of my fellows, is pitched on top of a cliff. I can see the Silver Forest, extending as far as the eye can view. I can also see the dark and ruinous Darken Forest, the part of the Silver Forest that has been claimed by the dark forces of Navarog.
A twig snaps; I am immediately on guard with my dagger in hand. I whirl round and block a sword stroke meant to part my head from my shoulders. A whirling kick sends my attacker reeling. I can see that it is a goblin; a green and wrinkled creature with a leather jerkin and no boots. I move in swiftly, drawing my other dagger. The blades are meant to distract it from my true attack. I kick it back and begin with my real aim.
“Elsendia Termeraa Helosum!” I shout. The goblin screamed in pain as thousands of thorns push from his core out to his skin, destroying him from the inside. What is left is a corpse with massive black spikes sticking out in all directions, indeed a gruesome spectacle. I run back to my tent and grab the horn that will rouse the others. I sound the alarm, three cries of a trumpet in quick succession, and rush out with sword in hand.
My blade, Elvirior, is forged of the metal Sinium, a Shadow metal. As I practice, with control, Shadow magic, I am able to harness the forces that Sinium draws on. Shadow magic, by itself, is not evil, but it is corrupting if one is not strong enough to handle it or it is used for destructive purposes. Shadow magic is the hardest to tame and wield, and by far the most dangerous. It forces you to face your inner fear and use that fear to your advantage. It can open up realms of magic that few would even be able to otherwise consider.
The battle that ensued was a desperate one, we, battling with might and magics the waves of goblins that pressed upon us. Black flames licked the feet of the enemy, even as their curved blades and wooden shields pounded our defenses. The morning seemed as though it would never come, but the sun rose and the goblin force fled. Many of our numbers collapsed in exhaustion, and many more were dead.
“Sir, we will rendezvous with the rest of the army tomorrow, erm… 21 men died sir.” were the words of my protégé, Markus. I responded in a neutral tone, “They were good men, but that matters not, not now. What’s done is done. We ride for the rendezvous point at high noon, and we stop for no man. We can’t afford any more losses.”
How can this war get any uglier?, I wondered. We have sacrificed so much and now… what else is there to give? Our homes are left in ruin, our forests corrupted and our people… killed by the hundreds. I know that there is escape for all of us, but no… I must not even think on that. It would be surrendering our lands, forever. No, escape is not an option.
“General, it’s good to finally meet you” I said to the figure with gilded golden armor, perched on top a white horse.
“And you, though I wish it were under better circumstances” General Maheras replied.
“We lost twenty-one good men in a skirmish yesterday, heavy losses, but not fatal by any means.”
Maheras sighed, “Well, the situation is not yet dire, but ill fortune has been our constant miserable companion I fear. It may come that the portals…”
“Will not be used, ever. It is not acceptable, with all due respect Sir.” I cut in.
“If worst comes to worst…”
“It won’t, I assure you.”
“Very well, then. Gather your forces; we are advancing, in a final charge for the Darken Forest, and Navarog.”
“But sir, it’s suicide!” I exclaimed.
“We don’t have a choice but to try, now steady your horse and round the troops, if we are to die it will be as warriors, not picked off one by one by guerilla attacks.”
I did as was instructed, arranging the men in formation and, with a final battle shout, we charged. My brow furrowed and my grip on my sword tightened as I saw, up ahead, Navarog’s forces running towards us.
I brought my sword down, beheading a goblin, blocked an attack from a centaur and split the skull of a crawler. I rebuffed an attack from an ogre’s axe with my shield, yet was knocked off my horse. I fell to the ground in pain, the ogre stomping at my head, meaning to crush my skull and spill my brains. I rolled in between its legs and thrust upwards, impaling the beast. After recovering my sword I jumped into the thick of a horde of goblins and conjured black fire to turn them to charred corpses. I battled for hours, swings and blocks melded into each other, my arms feeling like lead. When the last blow had fallen on me, and the last of our foes finished, I fell to my knees in exhaustion. Then I saw it, not twenty paces ahead of me, the cave.
I slowly stood, stood before the roiling darkness. This time I felt no fear, only the strength lent me by the Shadows. I had come all this way, to face this. Now, I could use my worst fear, as my greatest strength. I ran forward and right into the cave. The first beast I encountered was a massive spider, which I blasted with a wave of sound, leaving it in ruinous condition. I advanced forward, suddenly very acutely aware of how alone I was.
Perhaps I should have waited for the others, I thought. I pressed the doubt from my mind and continued on. After much time, and several battles with lesser minions of Navarog, I came to an opening, where the cave’s ceiling suddenly shot up, further than the eye could hope to see. And it is there, perched high up, that I saw it. Navarog, a black dragon.
His scales were lustrous and polished, his eyes glowed yellow, and fire dripped from his muzzle, extending off a long neck. His body was much like you would expect; leathery wings, massive whip-like tail and four legs. Each of his feet was studded with three razor sharp claws, and his back was lined with protruding spikes. He spoke “You are too late; my plan is set in motion, even if I were to die, you could not stop it. All of the universes, all of the realities will shatter, and fall to ruin. You are pathetic and weak, and you will die, with all the rest.”
I was back outside the cave, or where the cave should have been. Instead there was a giant block of ice. The ice was moving, expanding. I looked more closely and realized my imminent danger. I ran, just as I had run before, the same trail. The ice expanded out rapidly, engulfing the forest around it and threatening to engulf me. I ran, past the hallowed grounds of Fairie and to the stone archway, etched with runes. I raised the black crystal that swung from my neck and the portal activated. The runes glowed and I stepped through, just as the ice engulfed it.
There was a great whooshing, and I felt light-headed. With a crack, I was transported, somewhere…
I stood slowly, my weapons were still at my side, but I had lost my shield whilst running. I looked about myself, I was surrounded by strange tree-like things. They looked like trees, but they were the color of mud, with bright, garishly orange and yellow leaves that littered the ground. The air was crisp and the sun was low in the sky, the morning I presumed. What an odd place to end up. I had to find the rest of my company and the General. I pulled out my black crystal but, to my horror, it was not glowing. The portal had been frozen over and I was trapped.
“Eemova rhaheedos megregosnii” I uttered. A spell of seeing; to show me Sylvarya. It was frozen; entirely frozen in time. I felt horribly sick; and very nearly heaved then and there. How, how could this be? How could Navarog win? Then it dawned on me, he had not won. The portal… it had stopped the freeze spell from ripping Sylvarya apart by absorbing some of its energy. One portal could not save the lands though, there must be other survivors, other portals opened. The energy would be dispersed into the other universes and might well disrupt the balance of those worlds. I walked forward and came to a long strip of burnt land. Upon closer inspection I found that it was not burnt, but that the ground was naturally colored black. I walked along this strip, wondering where it went and what it’s purpose could be? A huge metallic monster raced by, and it made an odd blaring noise that startled me greatly. I resolved to stick closer along the side of this black path in the future lest more monsters run by me in a vain attempt at my death.
I walked for near a pargos, about one hundred million paces, before I came upon a structure. It was a hooded thing with a bunch of tank-looking things, and thick ropes that people fed the metal monsters with. Determining that these creatures must not be of my reality I decided not to approach, but kept a tight clutch on my sword. After a while I slowly walked up to the now unused structure and walked towards what I assumed was the main building. The doors slid open of their own accord, the people here must be possessive of magic then. I approached the man inside, and all the while looked round at the curious, almost market-like place I was in. He laughed and said something in another language. I extended but a finger and cast a translation spell, a green triangle appearing between us. The man was extremely surprised; perhaps magic was reserved for a select few here? His words, although in a very odd state of corrupted verbose were such: “Hey man, what the hell is that? I mean, how did you do that, and what’s with the freaky get-up? You part of a convention or something?”
“Enlighten me, where art I?” I asked.
“Dude, you’re in Springfield, Springfield, Ohio!”
“This Ohio, it is not a realm of Sylvarya…”
“Dude, whatchya goin’ on about? Look, just knock off the whole medieval routine thing, it ain’t does no good, and what the hell is that green triangle thing?”
I turned around and the Translation Triangle disappeared in a puff of green smoke. The man started at its vanishing and stuttered over something. I walked out the odd doors and was on my way. I cannot have gone farther than a few thousand paces before I heard something.
On either side of me were the mud colored faux-trees, something was moving in them, trying very hard to be quiet. I drew my blade and slowly turned towards the sound’s direction. Whatever it was it was getting closer and it was moving fast. I could not see it for the trees, but it was headed right for me. I drew my blade down in an arc only to decapitate a small white animal. It had long ears, a short tail and would have been cute, but for the blood staining it’s fur. A footfall behind me, I swirled by blade around, clashing with another sword. I used an aggressive style to keep my assailant on guard. From what I could see the attacker was a young woman, electric yellow hair, wearing a leather tunic and leather pants. Her boots were well made, but obviously not tailored. The woman backflipped to escape my rain of blows, and her voice seemed startlingly familiar.
“Codyarik, that any way to treat an old friend?” she said.
I stopped, incredulous, “Zoe?”
She spread her arms as if to say ‘Who else?’ and walked toward me. I sheathed by blade, as did she, and I was quickly caught up in an embrace. A new voice came from a way’s back. “I think there’s something over… Codyarik?”
“Guinevere, that you?” I replied
Guinevere ran up to us and, as I was expecting an embrace, it was a shock when I got a slap. “You fugre, how could you head to the army without saying anything! You stupid, stupid…”
I caught her up in an embrace and she returned the gesture.
“What have you two been doing while the war raged, and how did you get away?” I asked.
“We’ve been living off the land and making guerilla attacks on Navarog’s forces… well, we did until the freeze came. We barely made it to a portal; we thought we were the only ones to make it out.”
“DAMN!” the black dragon roars as he looks through his Seeing Spell. “They were not meant to meet up; this complicates things. Nevertheless, I am prepared for this. I will simply have to ensure that there are no future miscalculations on my part. They are still playing straight into my hands, the longer they stay there, the more they are degrading the balance of that world! Soon, I will claim every reality to have ever existed! And it’s all thanks to those stupid little Sylvaryans.”
“There must be a way to discern something about this reality” Guinevere, or Ginger as she preferred to be called, remarked.
“Doubtlessly, if I slip into a trance and examine the universes flow I can determine its natures.” I replied.
“Yes, well… very well, do so, but be careful… messing with the reality of this world could shatter it.”
I slowly steadied my breathing, sat, and after what seemed to be the passage of some great length; time melted away. A streak of yellow fluttered through my vision. Then, abruptly, the entire thing snapped into clarity. It was a long yellow band, seeming to ripple with a steadiness. It was the flow of time in this world. I looked more closely and saw misfitting purple streaks. Something, Navarog, tried to push my vision away, but I resisted long enough to see that the purple was us; we were fracturing this reality with our presence.
The great black dragon screamed in anguish, and with a mighty beat of his wings, propelled himself to the dark shrine near the top of his cave.
“We are destabilizing this world; we need to go, now!” I shouted.
On my feet in instant, I ignored the confused questions of my companions and pulled out my portal crystal, hoping beyond hope that it was glowing, that the portal was open.
“We can’t leave; you know that as well as us. Now what are you shouting about?” Ginger asked.
“I saw our timelines, they run in conflict with this world’s timeline; by being here we risk this world being ripped apart.” I exclaimed.
“We can’t leave, we can’t leave, can we blend in with this timeline, maybe stop the splitting?” Zoe said, pacing.
“Maybe, but all three of us would need to slip into trances, each one balancing their own presence in this reality.” Ginger retorted.
“It’s dangerous, if we were to be attacked…”
“It’s a risk we have to take” Ginger said, sitting down.
I returned to that place; the timelines. After once more identifying our streaks I tried to figure out which one was mine in particular. A massive force of resistance struck me; Navarog was intent on our demise and the destruction of the universe we had ended up in. Despite my resistance; Navarog broke my trance. The Demon King had no intention of letting us live.
I looked about myself, by this time it was dark out and the other two were in trance; but obviously struggling. Both of their brows were furrowed with concentration, neither one willing to relent. After a moment’s thought an idea struck me.
“Heesela dulak meestiki, reezboos nagirinon” I uttered throwing my hands skyward. How long the shield would hold was debatable, so I had to hurry. I sat back down and slowed my breathing. Ginger and Zoe were close to stabilizing, I could feel it. It took only some small effort on my part to stabilize myself after they had done much of the fracture repair work through their slipping into place in this timeline.
By taking this action we had affirmed our presence in this reality; the only way to leave would be to displace ourselves once again and leave through a portal transport. The displacement would be easier than our incorporation; not only because Navarog would have less ability to intervene, but because our natural reality condition did not fit with this world.