Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Lemora (Fantasy, Sample, Draft) (1 Viewer)

MrDeadman

Senior Member
The strong, overbearing scent of spilled blood chased a hint of morning dew as Sir Helmon’s most skillful warrior received a fatal blow. Fallen, the heavily wounded combatant bled profusely from his severed arm, but he kept back the cowardly screams. He seethed in agonizing torment, while refusing to reveal any sign of weakness. Never wound he give his enemy the pleasure of ridiculing his defeat. Instead, he cursed quietly under his dying breath as specks of blood decked his reptilian mouth. He searched within for a way to cease the pain, while he gripped the handle of his sword with all the power he could muster. The throbbing sensation pulled on him as he rose with the help of his own undying courage. With the blade embedded into the blood stained earth, Sir Ruthra pried himself from off the grass and gave his commander one final look. Knowing that his future held only the promise of death delivered by the kiss of his rival’s claws, the warrior’s gaze needed no affirmation. Instead, the soldier ordered with silence for the commander to allow for his reach for glory. Confirmation received regardless of acceptance, and Sir Ruthra, a champion of the Lemorian army, lunged for the bristly savage that so boldly shouted victory towards his kin. The provoking taunts infuriated the other Lemorians, but they anxiously waited for their duelist to strike back.

The Grizkin champion lavishly poured on the sweet honeyed words of an easy triumph, rubbing in the souring taste of defeat in the face of their enemy. Standing on his hind legs, the bear-beast towered over his people as they knelt with due respect. All of them acted as one unit without the slightest deviation. Thus, they failed to spot the charging assailant in time. The sword struck. Violently, the long worn blade stabbed through the Grizkin’s back, stopping midway. The source for their moment of worship plunged into a destructive frenzy, and they quickly retreated for safety. The one-armed Lemorian drove the beast to flail madly as it tried to reach behind. One at a time, the creature stretched out its arms with claws at maximum length. The grizzly beast foamed heavily at the mouth as it whirled around in a futile effort to shake off the nagging reptile, but the Lemorian managed with his fading strength to keep with the pace. Weak from blood loss, however, Sir Ruthra’s command functioned on depleting spirits, rendering his hand strained and pale before releasing. The razor sharp claws of the furious beast punctured through the reptile’s kidney in a single brutal jab.

The Grizkin swatted the reptilian insect, but his fury remained as hot as ever. His blood burned as it pumped rapidly through his veins, sending waves of violently rendered chemicals to saturate his muscles until reason became impossible. The beast charged at the clustered Lemorians as they stood on the sidelines with weapons ready. As bold as their commander sounded, the importance of safety outweighed his command. The mass darted out from the Gizkin’s path, but the creature plowed into the slowest of the bunch, shattering their shields during their last minute reaction. The unfortunate few folded like putty to the beast’s forceful charge. With an unsatisfied rage, he sought out for those whose lungs were filled with the air of vengeance. His thick skin deflected the haphazard attacks, but where one or two were deflect many more struck blood. The Lemorians poured into the fray, swarming around the beast with overpowering numbers.

Terrified, the Grizkins approached out from their cover with tearful eyes. The horrific, brutal slaughter of their chosen duelist branded pure, irreversible anger onto the flesh of their hearts, causing the warriors to race to the scene in outrage. Falling on all fours, the beastly savages pounded the ground, tearing with their extended claws through the soil as they neared. With a bold leap, the first of the pack pummeled a few Lemorian knights like how a pack of rabid dogs treat a cornered bunny. The reptiles caught in their path stood not a single chance, slain before they could squeeze the handle of their swords. Blood sprayed, staining the grey and brown fur of the Grizkin warriors like sticky jam, and the scent urged them further. They pounced with blood red eyes, and continued to shred through the Lemorian forces until the archers arrived.

Safely guarded behind armored knights with tower shields, the Lemorian marksmen stormed the killing field with jagged, barbed arrows. The streams pierced through the flesh of the attacking Grizkins, but they refused to back away for cover. The beasts bolted for the knights as arrows embedded deep into their flesh, maiming a few to a sudden, fatal stumble. Three pushed too close and too fast, but the more daring one received a deathly deliverance by an upward swing of Sir Helmon’s sword. The lifeless corpse collapsed backwards, catching the other two by surprise. The two growled, flinging saliva from their mouths.

“You will return to your land,” said Sir Helmon, as he pointed the tip of his blade at the larger, more dominate one.

The Grizkin roared, arms stretched out with hands ready for blood as its head arched back.

“I believe you lost, which is a shame. All that boasting of victory when your chosen decided it was fair to attack us. Now, I want you to return to your kind and leave. Never, ever, should you return,” said the Lemorian Commander, a grin faintly emerging from his snarl.

The Grizkin threatened with a lunging bite, but pulled back just in time to dodge the Lemorian commander’s sword.

“You should be so thankful that I’m even giving you a chance to live. Your savage kind could never co-exist with us. Your brutal, animalistic nature would spit on our heritage and customs.”

A raspy growl emanated from behind the two Grizkins, calling for the both to return to their fold. They obeyed like loyal dogs, but not without flinching to the regret as they paced towards their chieftain. Taller than the others, fur gray with black stripes, and dressed in decorative armor crafted from thick stone, the chief took a few steps towards the Lemorian commander.

“Go on and obey your master,” said Sir Helmon, failing to hide his laughter.

“You don’t understand,” said the chieftain, voice troubled by the tragic loss. “Our lands are dead. The water has dried up, the soil has cracked, and the plants have died. There is nothing for us there.”

“Of course your lands are dying, you savages breed like rabbits. Do you think we want that strain to destroy this beautiful place? Hurry and leave my sight before I decide to kill you all where you stand.”

“Please, we can arrange something, I’m sure of it,” said the chieftain, as he dared an approach.

“There will never be an arrangement, not of any kind,” said Sir Helmon, enjoying the sound of his words.

“Our gods spoke of this place; they gifted our seer with a vision that we would create from this place a new home. I’m sure that means we would need to work together.” The chieftain raised his chin as he approached, stepping over a rivulet of blood. “Our gods don’t deceive.”

“Then your seer has,” said Sir Helmon. “This land is now territory of the Lemorian Empire, we will not just give this to you, and we will not collaborate with disgusting savages as yourselves. You have until nightfall to leave this area. You all leave, or you all die.”

The Grizkins gathered at the end of the clearing, resting in the shade of the trees near the mouth of a thick forest. The loss of one of their own opened a wound that time wouldn’t properly heal. Sadden hearts, mourning cries, and resentful thoughts lingered in the air, suffocating the bear humanoids with potent sorrow. But while members of the tribe held their grudge for useless bickering, the warriors circled around their chieftain. The worshiped and respected seer stood upright in a symbolic gesture: legs closed together, chest outward with pride, and arms reaching out. Long bead necklaces draped from her relaxed grasps with a relic that produced a faint ominous glow.

“We can’t allow them to deny us,” said Mulzul, still upset that his commander intercepted him.

With a raised hand, the chieftain gestured for his blood-thirty warrior to calm. “Relax, Mulz. We would lose so much by fighting them.”

“But they would surely lose the battle. How many did it take to slay Shilon,” grunted Mulzul.

“They were unprepared. But now they stand ready with archers waiting for command.”

“Chieftain, surely you don’t suggest that we simply return. No one would stand for that. Look at the tribe, broken, desolate, and in need of hope.”

“Don’t think I haven’t noticed,” barked the chieftain, as he turned around in anger. The hairs on his back rose, his breath grew thick and heavy, but he refrained from lashing out. Instead, he gripped his fists and glanced at the seer. “Lila, have you found anything yet?”

The seer’s eyes illuminated for merely a second before returning to their natural blue. Confused by something only she envisioned, Lila stood as if locked in placed. Her head swayed, slowly. Warm breath emanated from her opened mouth as she flinched to the sight of Mulzul’s approach.

“What did you see,” asked Mulzul, as he peered for a better angle of her face.

Lila stepped back, raised a single finger, and finally set her judging eyes on the warrior. “We’re to make peace with these people,” she said, stern words delivered on a soft tongue. “If we wage a war, we will all die. You will lead us to a battle that will destroy all of us.”

Mulzul spun around with a careless but intimidating swing that grazed the arm of another warrior. “You can’t expect us to simply leave,” roared the enraged beast. He pointed his claws at the chieftain. “Are we to simply leave this place and forget about their betrayal?”

The otherwise collected chieftain forced Mulzul’s disrespectful arm down with his own and seized it with a bruising grip. “It isn’t about you and your honor. It is about the people of our tribe. Think of them and tell me it is worth it.”

Mulzul attempted to pry his arm out from the chief’s grip, but the effort only caused further strain. “But the gods spoke of this place. They brought us here for a reason. Even if we have to sacrifice a few, this land would sustain us for years, allowing us to grow even further.”

“The gods brought us here to settle, but they didn’t bring us here to drown in our own blood. We either make peace with these people or move further north.” The chief reacted to Mulzul’s snap, and shoved the vengeful warrior into his kind.

“I think our enemy has made it very clear that they intend on killing us. They won’t allow for our presence, and I doubt they would trust our word of heading north. You’ve commanded us since I was a pub, and I’ve even had the honor of fighting along your side, but this is not something I can tolerate,” Mulzul muttered, seething as the urge to break into a frenzy pressed on his shoulders. The warrior leaped out from the support of his peers and shot the chieftain a dividing gesture. With the point of his claws, with the thirst for blood in his eyes, and the ancient words spewing from his mouth, Mulzul severed his allegiance with the tribe.

The chieftain withdrew his tolerance. He stomped towards Mulzul with hands ready to deflect and maim within a single second. The loathsome, disobedient warrior retreated from the fight before it even started, finding that his peers agreed with his call.

“By our gods, put him down. Now!”

The warriors remained as they were, refusing to abide by a commander they lost all faith in. Mulzul snapped at the chief before leaving with the pack for the trees.

The sound of approach caused the chief to flinch with a deadly claw. He swooped as he turned and nearly dealt Lila a mortal wound. She receded for a moment, but returned with a kind-hearted hand on his shoulder.

“He could get himself killed,” she said.

“I don’t blame him though,” said the chief, masking the words with another retort. “What about us? What happens now?”

“We wait for them to join,” she said in confidence. “Until then, we pray that the gods have not forsaken us.”

Sir Helmon’s legion, staffed with a few royal guards, a dozen seasoned knights, and wave of infantry approached from their position. In tight formation they marched, stomping with heavy feet across the landscape. Their numbers appeared to multiply along the horizon, while the middle column divided so that Sir Helmon could ride out on his giant armored komodo and take the lead. The archers at the rear cast a brief warning sprinkle, forcing the begrudging Grizkins to fall into compliance. In clusters, the members of the bear tribe rose from their spots, many holding each other out of fear, dreading the possible erroneous choice that they could possibly make. To flee or to fight, the end result was the same, and the Lemorians didn’t hesitate to remind them of their dominance. Their order, according to Sir Helmon, trumped the advice and council of the Grizkin’s chieftain. He bowed before them, expressing the need of collaboration and compromise with a pleading tongue. The appeal for peace, even temporary, without the sharing of resources was denied with another dose of disrespect. Then the grizzly chieftain pleaded for extra time so that his people could head north, but the mere thought of the savages pacing across their newly acquired land caused Sir Helmon to strike the chief in the face with his gauntlet.

“Unless you want your fur to line my floor, I suggest you begin walking,” said Sir Helmon, amused by the chief’s cowardly reaction.

“You defy our gods with such arrogance,” growled the chief, as he rubbed his jaw. “You will pay for this.”

“I’ll be sure to answer to them when they arrive,” remarked Sir Helmon, as he directed the chief with a rigid finger. The tribe ventured into the dense woods at a lethargic pace while bearing the curse of unyielding sorrow. Defeat decayed upon their tongues, staining with a taste of coal, as misery began to set in. As if plagued with a damning virus, the Grizkins continued their death march while they rot internally. Their land dried from a drought brought upon them by an aging world. Branching trenches of caked mud tore through the mountainous valleys. Heaps of dried timber stood ready to ignite from the scorching rays of the sun, while the stench of death lingered where game had once been so plentiful. Every step further into the forest reminded them of their destroyed home, but every moment of hesitation gave the Lemorian army the chance to punish. And punish they most certainly did. The royal guards roughed the slowest of the bear-kin with the pointed boss of their shields. The infantry, eager to test their training, rushed through the woods and injured those that dared to succumb to their hatred.

Tormented cries surrounded the chief, squeezing the principles of his ordinance, the dedication to the word of their gods, thus calling out his mocking doubt. The gods directed them to this land with the promise of settlement, but surely not from the expense of war. The chief choked on his words as he attempted to council his people during this terrible time. Hateful tears ran down his face as the strain of failure flung him to the verge of sinking his claws into the flesh of his oppressors. But Lila reminded him with a grave expression to not attack. The envision must be trusted, otherwise their efforts might fail. Never has the seer been wrong. Never have the gods deceived them for their own pleasure, and this painful trial held a promise no different than the others. Their complete devotion will be repaid.

With his troops squeezing the Grizkins into a tight cluster, Sir Helmon ordered his men to stop, thus preventing any further movement by the threat of death. The infantry bashed their swords against their shields and shouted at their fearful prey.

“This is the end of the line for your kind,” shouted Sir Helmon, as he adjusted the tightness of his gauntlet. “I expected a fight from you, but you didn’t give it. I expected resistance, but you refrained. I even expected you to become a martyr, but you resisted the symbolic spotlight. How pitiful you must really be if you willingly subject your people to this type of treatment. Have you no honor? Have you no pride?”

The tired chief held back the rage as he sluggishly turned around. He gave the Lemorian commander a long steady gaze, while blood dripped from his upper lip.

“Do you even have the courage to speak,” said Sir Helmon, checking around for any sign of amusement produced by his taunt.

The chief growled, revealing his ivory fangs. “How dare you speak of courage when you force us away on a flimsy stance of prejudice? You insignificant, narrow-minded view will earn you your due. You can count my words on that.”

“Then I was correct to assume you would still hold a grudge against Lemora,” said Sir Helmon, as he glanced through the grizzly mass. “It would be against Lemora’s best wishes to let you all go if you plan on holding on to the hate. What sort of commander would I be if I allowed enemies of the empire to have a chance to attack?”

“Lemora,” muttered the chief. “Lemora will fall!”

The chief released a furious growl that shook branches as it pressed forth like a violent wind. The bloody roar called those within the mass to arms, absorbing the complete, undivided attention of the Lemorian army. The huddled mass lashed outward to receive a controlled and fatal reaction from their guarded enemy. But out from the bushes, out from the vast thickness of the woods, did those allied with Mulzul charge. Drunk with the smell of blood, empowered by the bottled rage, the Grizkin warriors caught the Lemorians by their blindside and slaughtered. Swords, gripped tightly, flailed flimsily as the beasts dropped the soldiers, ripping into their chests in an unchecked fury. Shields bashed the tips of the claws, deflecting mortal blows, while another bristly savage delivers the kill. Arrows, useless by the dense forest overgrowth, sprayed around with the majority missing. The ones that pierced did so with nagging bites, driving the infuriated beasts further into madness as they charged at the archers.

The sudden ambush stormed through like Hell-fire, consuming the lives of all the Lemorians that crossed its path. Under the thickening dust, under the blood saturated air, were those that lost sight of their glorious position. The pompous high, the liquor of arrogance, was all but depleted as the remnants of the Sir Helmon’s platoon fled for the clearing. Bloody cries hollered through the dense hollows, as the retreating met with unrelenting resistance. For the honor of their gods, for the honor of their fallen brethren, or for the prospect of more prosperous days, the Grizkin warriors, backed by the other members of the tribe, released all their hate onto their enemy. Fleeing reptilians, crying for mercy, were flung into the air with catapult force, while others were torn limb-from-limb where they stood.
 
MrDeadman,

First of all, I really enjoyed reading this. There are several things I like right off the bat 1) the ambiguity of the character's morality. These are real people here, even if they aren't all human. 2) The interplay of culture. I felt like this was a genuine conflict between different cultures. 3) Immediate conflict. You've started with a big conflict right in the first sentences in it keeps going. You're good at describing physical conflict, but the exchange of the chief and the knight is just as conflicted and just as intense. I like that, it keeps the reader reading.

There are some small grammar errors here and there, which is natural any time you write. And there are a few places where your descriptions are (for me) a tad awkward. A good way to get grammar errors is to print what you have off when you revise it and go over it with a pen. It sounds weird, but having a piece of writing physically, on paper, in hand, makes it easier to see mistakes that don't manifest themselves on a computer screen. Also saying things like, "like hounds who had pinned a bunny in a corner" are, for me, awkward descriptions, as the metaphor doesn't seem to fit (bunnies are cute and not dangerous at all - all these guys are deadly warriors).

But all-in-all, this piece is extremely promising. I'd put the finished book on my shelf :)

Neuroaxiom
 

MrDeadman

Senior Member
I appreciate your comment, and there are areas that will indeed change. The mentioned metaphor sounded fine at first, but it was written without completely contemplating as to how it related to the scene. I was in a zone, of sorts.
 
Top