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View Full Version : Mortal Lies (The first part of the story)



Wander
April 21st, 2014, 04:12 AM
Alright everyone, I finally got brave. This is the first part of a WIP story. Not sure what I'm going to do with it. Could go anywhere really. I'm going to tell you all now, please point out errors in punctuation and grammar. I have been out of writing for critique for a long time so I really don't know how I'm doing. So, please don't spare emotion I want the God's honest truth. I want to post this story in segments. If I get enough interest in this part I'll work on the next part and post it, but if it is honestly that bad let me know so I can rewrite it. Otherwise enjoy =)

Mortal Lies- Part 1

This was the end, the last time Aiden told herself as she stalked into the ill-lit tavern. Her black cloak concealing the knife she held at her side. Her prey seated before her at the bar chatting up his neighbor while finishing his pint. This was to be a two target deal, and her other mark sat alone. Back to the far corner of the room, nursing his third drink. The place stunk of alcohol, the air heavy with smoke from the fire in the pit. It clung to the ceiling and hung from the rafters. The fire gave the tavern a warm glow that reflected eerily from the face of one of its occupants. She ignored the leery eyes watching her every move, it's what she wanted anyways. The more eyes watching the better her chances of freedom. Aiden finally stopped behind her prey, her hood shielding her face. Then with a swift thrust forced the blade through her prey with an audible sigh. Aiden let go of her knife as the prey fell forward onto the counter. A hushed awe fell over the tavern as its occupants tried to grasp what just happened. She just stood waiting hands at her sides, head bowed to the floor, eyes closed. Waiting for what was justly hers, a sudden clatter announced its swift approach. There was a rush of feet towards her, gasps and late screams. Hearing the sharp buzz of steel being swung right at her reaped no reaction. Instead she let out a deep breath choosing at the last second to duck under the edge of the steel blade. Her game had just begun. She heard someone call for guards at the same time as she expertly twisted away from her attackers. But, in her mind if they could catch her they would be her redeemers not her killers. Aiden couldn't let it be easy, her end. She wanted a good fight first. She drew no sword instead she weaved around her attacker's sword swings while dodging others. Finally there was a clatter of steel armor and more swords being drawn. At the sound of a bow string twang she stood still as the arrow narrowly passed by her lodging into the support beam. Before she could do anything else cold steel pressed harshly to her throat. She gazed up following its point to its owner. The man had a rugged face, midnight hair falling onto his shoulders, and hardened grey eyes begging her to push him into applying the last amount of pressure needed. He wasn't alone in wishing for such things. Under the edge of her cloak a blade was pointed at the man, he was her second mark. But she hesitated gazing at the man before her. She had changed her mind and he would remember her forever. In a sudden haze she disappeared escaping to a safer location. Watching from the rafters as the tavern became filled with confusion and sudden out bursts of anger at her escape. She observed as the guards totted away her prey. The man who nearly had her life was stalking around the tavern, searching for her everywhere. He stopped the guards dragging the body of her kill. Then he wrenched her strange blade from the dead man's back. He finally calmed down and decided to have another pint, stewing over her escape toying with the dagger. Aiden felt it was finally safe enough to leave. She slunk through the smoke vent in the ceiling disappearing into the evening. She had decided she wanted to live again.

"Aiden your back, and still alive I see." Greeted a sultry voice as she stepped through the sanctuary's black door. She looked up the stone stairs to see a figure emerge from the shadows. He wore the traditional black robes and hood of the sanctuary's leader, a shadow knight. His tall elf stature dwarfed her as she approached him. He had his dark hair pulled back and his vibrant crimson eyes piercing the darkened room. He extended a black gloved hand towards her. Aiden kneeled bowing her head then gave him her hand. When she got back on her feet and looked up at him he was smiling at her. It was gentle and knowing, yet full of pity and dark power.

"Don't think I don't know what you were trying to do." He began to say in his velvety voice. He took her hand and tucked it in the nook of his elbow as he lead her through the hallway to the main hall. Aiden just went along with him gazing at the ground. Suddenly he stopped and turned himself in front of her cupping his long fingers under her chin turning her face up to him.

"You haven't been behaving the same lately, please speak." He beckoned her but she refused. He scowled then continued to lead her down the stone hallway. When the hallway opened up into the main hall with its high vaulted ceiling there was a timber table with a deep red table clothe running its long length. There were chairs lining the table and plates of food on its surface. Along with pitchers of various drinks sitting close to empty pint tankards. A banner baring the mark of the brotherhood hung limply from the far end of the hall. Moss had formed on the walls of the damp sanctuary. Candles and torches lite the otherwise dark cave like hall. The brotherhood's leader released Aiden's hand and pulled out a chair for her, inviting her to sit at the table. She complied taking a seat on the wooden chair. He then sat in the high backed chair at the head of the table. Grabbing two goblets then poured a glass of wine handing it to her before pouring one for himself.

"Aiden every time you expose yourself when doing a job you risk exposing us all. I don't know if you are trying to get yourself killed, but whatever your problem is it must end." He demanded of her. Aiden swirled her wine watching the burgundy color splash up the sides of her marble goblet. The elf glared at her before setting his wine glass down.

"Speak!" He demanded of her. Aiden glanced up at him with Stoney eyes.

"I made the wrong move, stepped too far into the light. That's all, Lucien." Aiden answered him, Lucien glared sternly at her.

"I know that wasn't just a wrong step. You don't make wrong moves. If you want to die that badly, I'll kill you myself before I'll watch you captured and executed." He warned her. She angrily set her glass down crossing her arms in front of her chest. Restraining her anger.

"That isn't your decision." She growled at him. He washed all thoughts of anger from his face before answering.

"The day I bought your freedom from the slavers is the day you lost your right to say that. Besides letting a mark go was inexcusable and unexceptable." He responded to her then motioned for someone. A bulky shadow approached her from behind laying a heavy hand on her shoulder.

"Take her to the pit, she needs a lesson in how good her life is here." The calm in Lucien's voice was unnerving. Aiden glared at him pushing her seat away from the table and standing up. She was about to say something when the heavy hand grabbed a hold of her spinning her away from the table. The tall agile looking man lead her by the arm down another corridor, darker than the first. The natural stone seeped with water as the gentle slope brought them further down. Eventually the grip on her arm loosened and she was turned to face a deep hole carved into the ground. She couldn't see the bottom just the echoing darkness. She glanced down then back up at the man who lead her here.

"Casius you don't have to do this." She began to plead as she glanced back down at the pit. She knew what waited for her down there. Casius turned his guilt stricken eyes away from her.

"Do you know what he'll do to me if I don't?" He asked her, hoping she would just drop it.

"Do you know what he'll do to me if you do?" She asked him right back with a sense of urgency. He knew. She had been down in that hole many times, it wasn't the darkness that scared her.

"Aiden, drop it you know I can't. Now, hand over the weapons." He finished it, still keeping his eyes turned away. He knew very well what would happen to her down there, he hated himself for putting her there every time. He held his hand out as she reluctantly removed her bow from her shoulder and her belt with her sword from her waist. He impatiently motioned for her to hand them over and she shoved them into his grip scowling at him. Then they both heard foot steps coming down the hall. Without warning Casius nervously jerked towards Aiden shoving her over the edge of the pit. Aiden, thrown off balance, was sent tumbling toward the bottom. She hit hard with a thud and a crack on her back causing her to let out a sharp breathe that she couldn't catch again. She gasped trying to get enough air to keep her head from spinning, but she couldn't. Instead everything went black and her mind took her to a better place.

Casius stared down into the pit hearing her hit the bottom with a sharp crack. He knew one, if not both, of her unique wings were broken. He couldn't help but feel her pain as his own as he stared after her, she was one of his favorites. He did train her after all. Lucien gave Casius a strange look clasping his hands behind his back, then shook his head.

"The only one I ever had to pay for and she turns out to be the one to give me the most trouble." Lucien seemed to lament then switching his attitude he waved a hand in Casius' direction.

"Make sure you bar the top this time. I don't want my little bird to get away from her cage while I'm sleeping." He instructed then turned towards the stair case carved into the wall next to the pit that lead down. "Oh," he remembered something else and paused on the first step. "Let no one come this way, I'm putting you on guard duty until I come back up." Lucien shot Casius a mischievous smirk before descending the steps.

Nothing really bothered Casius. He could listen to the screams of his victims both male and female as he killed them. He could listen to the children cry and scream in fear. Bones being shattered, the rattle before they would stop breathing, the last beat of a wounded heart. He could sleep every night with those memories in his mind and not think twice. But, Aiden haunted him. She was the only one he could have made the right decision with only he never did. He wasn't a hero and he knew it. He sat on the wooden stool facing the pit, slouched over his knees angrily rubbing his temples as the sounds of struggle echoed up the pit, amplifying everything. A lot of it he didn't want to hear especially the muffled scream followed by painful sobs. Casius knew what was happening to the poor girl, he didn't want to believe it nor did he want to remember it. It made him think of the daughter he had and how he had let her down. Not being able to handle hearing her anymore Casius folded his hands around his ears and tightly shut his eyes.

When it all went silent and the triumphant foot steps could be heard making their way up the stairs he opened his eyes to see Lucien walk away with a satisfied grin across his lips. Casius wanted to murder Lucien, wanted to plunge his knife deep into the elf's chest. What Lucien did angered Casius, but he also knew there wasn't much he could do right now. He was no hero he reminded himself as he picked up Aiden's bow and walked to the edge of the pit. He looked both ways before knocking the bow string with a steel arrow. I'm no hero he said again to himself. Then he drew the string.

Aiden laid against an edge in the pit and pressed her sore swollen wings to the cold rock. Her back was on fire from the brutal punishment Lucien inflicted. He felt her transgressions were enough for the whip. An evil braided leather thing with silver tasseled tips. She curled her knees close to her chest as she glared at the dirt floor. Her body shook unstoppably from the trauma of Lucien's attack and the pain he inflicted. Adrenaline numbed some of the hurt but it couldn't wipe her mind and that's what she wanted most. She didn't want to remember what just happened, how he forced himself upon her. How he made sure she couldn't cry. She begged she couldn't handle any more. She hated how he made her feel. She lied on the cold damp floor thinking of ways she would get her revenge. Then the sudden sound of an arrow lodging itself into the side of the pit broke her plotting. She watched with curiosity as several more struck and got stuck in the cracks of the stones. The more that lined the wall the more they began to look like a way out. She jumped to her feet rushing over to the first arrow and grabbed a hold of it. Slowly she climbed the continuously ascending arrows as they flew into place above her. When she reached the top a waiting hand pulled her up over the edge. Aiden rested on the ground while her rescuer gathered her things. Once Casius retrieved her belongings he helped her get her sword belt fastened around her waist. Then he pulled her to her feet, he knew they didn't have much time.

"Get out of here, go!" Casius urged her as he shoved her bow and quiver into her arms. Aiden gazed at him in awe but nodded her head, slinging her bow and quiver over her shoulder. He grabbed a hold of both her shoulders in a tight grip and stared long into her golden eyes.

"Don't come back, please. Just don't come back." He warned her, then they both heard the echoing foot falls heading straight for them. They both turned to look down the hall. Just then Lucien appeared from around the corner.

"I thought I heard something." Lucien almost growled at the sight of Aiden and Casius.

"Casius you traitor!" He snarled. Casius pushed Aiden behind him to shield her.

"Aiden, your only chance to escape is to fly out." He told her. Aiden didn't think she could do it, she knew her wing was broken. Lucien drew his blade directing his attention at her instead.

"Aiden if you try to escape I'll hunt you down and make sure you never fly again." Lucien threatened her. Aiden scowled at him and made up her mind. She wasn't going to get another chance. She stretched out her wings wincing as the broken one unfolded. She quickly glanced up at the small opening in the ceiling far above her judging the distance she would have to go. Just as she leapt Lucien attacked. Casius protected her escape and by the time she reached the small hole a winner had been chosen. She looked back to see Casius on the ground and Lucien angrily staring up at her. Aiden felt a pang of guilt for Casius as she stared down at him but, she couldn't linger long. She scrambled through the small hole and out into the darkness of the wilderness. Once outside she ran as far as her legs would take her.

Now, Aiden looked back on that day as she gazed out upon the horizon at a land she called home a long time ago. It had been several years since her escape. The land hadn't changed much. Pines, cedars, and willows still dotted the rocky country side. Prairies of tall grass and wild flowers filled the small valleys within the great mountains rim. Rivers were running deep with the spring run off, full of spawning fish. Bringing the bears and other predators out to the banks. The land was blossoming with the beauty that winter's end was bringing. Even the air smelled crisp and as fresh as the buds on the tree branches.

Aiden noticed a well trodden dirt path following a stream coming off one of the surrounding mountains. Judging by the small worn wooden sign Aiden figured a rural town must be nearby. She hoped there was a town of some sort. She was weary from her travels and dreaming of a comfy bed and warm pint while her horse grazed in the hills. Hopping down the stony over look and on to the path she pulled her cloak in around her as she walked. A strange wagon passed her being driven by Kingdom Guards. She glanced at it curiously as it passed, even the horses pulling the wagon seemed to be edgy. She let them pass by and continued down the path. Not far into the trees sat a small town. Log homes and buildings with hewn stone foundations. The stream widened into a shallow river where a saw mill sat perched on the edge of the bank. It's large water wheel gently turning. The shop buildings had beautifully hand carved signs hanging above the doors. Smoke trickled from the vent of the blacksmith's forge. The small rural town was beautiful but, it was empty. Not even a disturbed curtain hanging from a window of a home. Aiden stopped in the town's center, looking and listening. Something felt off to her. It wasn't just the lack of people there was a strange air to the town. She looked down one of the roads that spurred off the town center like a spoke in a wagon wheel. A small unit of soldiers emerged from down the road. These ones looked different than the Kingdom's soldiers, they looked thrown together and rag-tag. No uniforms, but a crest was painted on their shields. They looked suspiciously from side to side as they marched through the street. When they reached the town's center they looked just as confused as Aiden was.

"You there!" One of the men shouted towards her as he walked her direction. Aiden turned her attention towards him as he came to a halt in front of her. He had a thick brown beard and hair pulled back away from his face. He was in worn iron armor with a heavy iron sword strapped to his back and a crimson red cloak.

"You haven't seen anyone else have you?" He asked her. Aiden shook her head and was about to speak when the sound of boots resounded around them.

"We're surrounded!" She heard a soldier shout as the small unit was backed into the town square. She watched as one by one the small unit surrendered to the Kingdom soldiers. Even the Captain in front of her standing squared ready to fight threw his weapon down. Aiden put her hands up submissively knowing she was already too caught in the middle to escape, but refused to turn over her weapons. Quickly they were all rounded up, bound, and placed into the empty buckboard wagons she had seen earlier. All the weapons had been placed into a chest carried in the back of the last wagon, even the weapons that they could get from Aiden. She fought it and knocked a few to the ground but eventually they managed to take her sword and bow.

She sat broodingly on the hard wood floor of the wagon. Bumping down the rough road occasionally hitting large rocks and jostling the prisoners. Aiden grumbled as the already uncomfortable ride was made worse with her hands tied behind her back. She glanced up to see the Captain in the wagon sitting across from her. He glared at the kingdom soldier driving the wagon as if his mind were a bow and his eyes the arrows. Then he turned his attention towards Aiden, eyes still like arrows.

"I bet you had something to do with this." He accused.

"I have nothing to do with your war." She retorted glaring off into the scenery.

"Lies." He hissed under his breath. She ignored his insults. Instead she just focused on the looming shadow of a fort just on the horizon. The closer they got the more details she could make out, the old stone walls and watch towers perched on the corners. It was well fortified guards paced the walls and stood at the entry doors, those of which had been pushed open to make way for the carriages of prisoners. Inside the walls was the fort itself. With slotted windows and one door in to its protective cover.

As soon as the carriages slowed to a halt the soldiers ushered everyone off the carriages into the slopping mud. They were all lined up to be counted and names taken down in their record books. The Captain of the fortress walked by each of the rebels inspecting them for rank. When he got to Aiden he stopped and began to rub his beard, eyeing her with a suspecting gaze.

"I've never seen your armor before." Then he yanked back her hood to get a better look at her. He wrapped his hand around her chin and lifted her face so he could see her eyes. She snarled at his touch and glared at him.

"I don't think I've seen you before either, who are you?" He asked her taking a quick glance over her.

"Just a traveler." She answered. He held her gaze as if trying to pull the truth form her eyes. He looked away when one of his soldier's spoke up.

"We confiscated these from her. Put up a good fight she did, knocked out two of my men." The soldier said as he approached his Captain with her affects. The Captain flipped through her weapons drawing her sword from it sheath. He gazed at the black blade with its strange carvings and gilded hilt.

"Too fancy of a weapon for a traveler. This looks like something a king would bestow upon his honored spy." With that statement he had come to a conclusion and waved her from his sight. "Put the spy in the cell next to the rest of the prisoners." He commanded before marching off with her weapons in hand. He handed them off to another low rank foot soldier speaking quietly to the young man. Then he swung himself into the saddle of his horse and rode away.

A soldier shoved her from behind pushing her forward towards the fortress door.
"Move it!" he barked at her. She growled and faster than the soldier knew what was happening she had firmly planted a foot in his stomach. The soldier doubled over as she looped her bound hands around his neck propelling his face into her waiting knee. Everyone heard the crack as the soldier's face made contact with her knee. The other unoccupied soldiers rushed to her putting her down with a pommel to her head. She went down to her knees but was quickly forced to her feet and dragged through the door down to the prison.
They threw her onto the cold, damp, stone floor slamming the iron door behind her. Aiden made her way to the far corner of her cell. She pulled her hood over her head and tucked her cloak in around her. She didn't want anyone to see what was beneath her cloak.

"How's it feel spy? To be done here with the rest of us." Came the mocking voice of the rebel captain.

"I am no spy." She sighed, slightly irritated. "I'm just trying to get home." She said softly as she pulled her knees to her chest. She folded her arms over her knees to form a space to rest her head. As she often did when she was deep in thought or brooding over an event. Something she did not often do alone. On a normal night her steed would be resting behind her, but not this night. She could only hope her faithful companion had avoided detection. Her mind began to drift away from her quiet cell to her horse. It was neither comforting nor distressing, just a compilation of memories to distract her from her current situation.

"Humph." The captain snorted in disbelief. Aiden just remained huddled in the far corner blocking out the throbbing in the back of her head. It wasn't long before she heard voices outside her cell.

skitty
April 21st, 2014, 05:35 AM
Boy, that sucked! It's too flowery and frou-frou. Aiden's a stupid name.

Wander
April 21st, 2014, 05:52 AM
Well, that was definitely point blank.

Ari
April 21st, 2014, 06:48 AM
skitty, I roll my eyes in your general direction. That is no way to critique.

Anyway. Hey Wander ^_^ I've done the first two paragraphs only, hope that's okay?

First thing is that it'd take me a while to get used to reading Aiden as a girl's name. It was always used for boys. If you trace it back far enough, it means 'fire' in a Gaelic language (Irish?). Not that it's a problem... just saying.

As a whole, the sentences seem choppy. There's not much emotion, just a string of listed events. Aiden did this. She saw that. This happened. That happened. Starting with a fight, this could be really gripping and intense, but for me it isn't quite. Maybe conjurer some feeling if you can?

It does have some serious cool factor, I'll give you that, and I like the depth of description. I just think it could be more... personal.

Grammar. There are grammar mistakes here, like this:
Her black cloak concealing the knife she held at her side.
But picking on grammar stuff is kind of boring. I reckon you can do that yourself...

This is more interesting:
The fire gave the tavern a warm glow that reflected eerily from the face of one of its occupants.
It reflected from this guy's face? So, he has a shiny metal face? That is pretty darn eerie... But is it what you meant?

She ignored the leery eyes watching her every move, it's what she wanted anyways. The more eyes watching the better her chances of freedom.
Why? This is a very strange statement - if people see her, she's more likely to go free - and for me needs immediate explaining, or backing up.
Going by the odd fight that follows, I only feel she'd be better off if no one had seen her.
Oh, and maybe you shouldn't have that S on anyway. Not unless she's actually speaking. And the tense is muddled again. It's being short for 'it is', but you need to say 'it was', I think.

The fight itself:
Okay, not really a fight as all she's doing is dodging blades, but... that part seems kinda unreal. I get that she's using some kind of magic to dodge, but it seems so odd that all these dudes are clustered round her with swords, and not one of them can hit her. If this is because of magic, maybe you can explain it better? Or the guys can show their surprise they they're not stabbing her when they're so close?
And why does she stick around to play dodge-the-blades anyway, when she could've just gone blurry and hopped up into the rafters? She seems vaguely suicidal - the whole redemption thing - but then why doesn't she let herself be stabbed?

.... as she stepped through the sanctuary's black door.
Were you part of the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim? I was! :D

Anyway, overall, I like it as a story. You got assassins and that's cool. You've got an elf, and that's cool too. You've got a tavern, a sword-and-magic fight... it seems like pretty standard fantasy. I guess what you have to work on is trying to make me care so terribly about your characters that this story will rise above all the other assassin-elf-sword-magic stories I've read...

Good luck! I think this could be great.

Wander
April 21st, 2014, 07:03 AM
Thank you Ari, I know its rough. But thank you for going through what you did. You have some very good points about the first part of it. There was something I didn't like about it butt just couldn't put a finger on it. Then again I haven't had anyone to bounce it off of. I see the beginning is going to have to be rewritten because I just had a problem making it flow right in the fight scene. But, yes I have been in the dark brotherhood since Oblivion and love it. Not going to lie Skyrim was an influence to this story lol. And yes I did research on the name Aiden and loved it. It does mean fire but it also (and I know this is going to sound really corny) means love. But again, thanks =).