Jan 22 2015

Corn Chaser

It was just like in the movies, the madness squawked at Edgar as he sprinted through the cornfield. The thought did little to comfort him as harrowed stalks slapped him with indifferent glee. Each wind-sharpened husk delighted in carving a millimeter trough of flesh from his skin, creating a symphony of pain as sweat trickled across the strings of blood.

Edgar had always wanted to be in the movies, and now here he was in the scene of his life. He didn’t think that anyone was going to yell cut here though. He wouldn’t have heard them anyway, not over the roar of the fire. His Suburban had exploded with unexpected gusto, and the surrounding harvest was now paying the price. He hadn’t seen the big boom, only felt the shockwave and the gust of heat. He’d been quite a few rows into the corn by then, legs pounding. One didn’t tarry when the madman gave you a head start. Continue reading

Jan 19 2015

Shadow of Hope 49

“First of all,” Erellia said, turning to Finn, “welcome Master Farstrider. I apologize for the,” turning a raised eyebrow at Talon, “abruptness with which you were brought into these circumstances. I greatly look forward to hearing what exactly Talon has been telling you during your journey with him, and I assure you that if after hearing our tale you wish to depart from our company, you may certainly choose to do so.”

Finn bowed again and said, “Oh, I don’t expect to be leaving anytime soon, m’lady. I’d been hearing about these parts for some time and wanted to come and see what all the fuss was about.” Continue reading

Jan 15 2015

The End Crusade

She dreamt the world was gone, and when she opened her eyes, it was so.

Enlightenment had become a myth, a gleaming memory in the stories of legend. Buried were the desires of the shuffling masses, the will to strive, to achieve a higher state of being. Smothered by a perpetual landslide of mediocrity, lives filled with purposeless consumption. When the spirit had been so crushed, were not those who wandered only a facet of the living dead? Continue reading

Sep 3 2014

Shadow of Hope 48

In his usual quiet manner, the barbarian said, ” I am Borlak Dotkina of Sunari, well met.”

“Finn Farstrider of Anatomber, well met again.”

Linking arms with Talon, Rôhn pulled him toward the party, speaking to him as if the Halfling were not present and gesturing to each of the rest of the party members in turn and pausing after each introduction to allow the inevitable superfluous exchange of verbiage characteristic of Humans.  “Allow me to introduce Katarina Tshurka, Priestess of Trymeya…Marcus, Scribe of Denevor…Kurn the Swordmaster…his squire Haron…and *this*–” he gestures toward the Lizardman, “is Cheskith, chef and Chanter of the Silvaraean catacomb-dwellers.”  Rôhn’s tone became more enthusiastic, “His people fought bravely against the Hordes in the Great War!”  Rôhn tucked his thumbs in his girdle and rocked back and forth on his heels, looking up with smiling eyes at Talon, eager to ask him about his whereabouts and exploits since the collapse of the Dragonkeeper’s temple. Continue reading

Aug 22 2014

Shadow of Hope 47

“Zulian, if you would, please,” Erellia directed the half-Elf.

With an affirming nod, Zulian led her mount by the reins, passing slowly between the two misshapen trees and onto the narrow ridge beyond.  The remainder of the party followed her lead and in due course, the entire company was strung out in a single file line, trickling over the terrain.  Erellia watched over the procession as it formed and was the last to pass through the trees and on to the path that led to Anquilla. Continue reading

Aug 4 2014

Shadow of Hope 46

Having been refreshed by an undisturbed evening of rest and the promise of a rain free day ahead, the party departed the camp in heightened spirits, anxious to continue forward on their journey. At Erellia’s request, Zulian and Borlak exchanged positions at the head and rear of the column, and the slender half-Elf lead the way along the murky flow of the Wicked Way.

Travel was swift as the sun’s rays and the gusting winds began to dry out the terrain, and the lay of the land became considerably less cluttered. Despite a noticeable increase in elevation, the morning hours passed rapidly, and a quick lunch was consumed astride mounts as the scribe of Deneir anticipated. With little sign of trouble throughout the journey, a mounting sense of tension began to form amidst the ranks. Surely something must be lurking nearby in these inhospitable hills to threaten this small group of travelers. Continue reading

Jul 28 2014

Shadow of Hope 45

Cheskith had settled back somewhat from the fire to eat, the better to allow others access to the ready meal. He wasn’t rushing to the same extent as Kurn, though, and thus had to interrupt his only partially finished dining to attend to this new question.

“The watches, they have been settled? If this is as yet undone, then I would prefer the first, I think, but can settle for any,” he spoke, addressing whomever seemed to have been drawn to the topic.

Gathering from the looks around the camp that they had not yet been settled, and not wanting it to be a long drawn-out discussion of merits — a discussion that could readily cut into everyone’s needed rest for the day ahead — Kurn nodded tersely to Cheskith’s statement and looked to everyone else, “Fine; any other preferences?” Continue reading

Jul 14 2014

Shadow of Hope 44

“The hierarchy of the Purification has yet to reveal itself,” Erellia responded, “Though I suspect their primary dealings are intertwined with one of the darker gods.  A reduction in arcane energies throughout the lands would certainly give more sway to those who wield the blessings of their deity.  Several encounters have been reported where priests have been seen among the ranks of the hunters, though whether that is coincidence or collaboration is uncertain.”

She fell silent for a moment in thought.  “The sheer potency of the hunters’ fanaticism is also quite disturbing.  Rarely have I ever seen such single minded determination.  Once an individual joins the Purification, they seem to lose something of themselves to the whole.”

Then more quietly she added, “Which is why no one has yet been able to successfully infiltrate their ranks.” Continue reading

Jul 7 2014

Shadow of Hope 43

Rôhn’s eyes widened and affixed on the glistening green jewel, appraising it.  His jaw slackened and his tongue lolled, loosening its vice on the stem of his pipe, which rested on his dried and cracking bottom lip and would have fallen to the ground had the pipe bowl not been perched upon his fingertips.

“Oooohhhhhh….” he muttered as his eyes sparkled in time with the glistening of the jade amidst a shroud of slowly rising smoke billowing from the burning leaf. Continue reading

Jul 6 2014

A Year in Passing

My goal was maintenance of a blog for a year, full time.  In so doing, I wished to digitize many of the written elements of my gaming past as both reminiscence and inspiration for future endeavors.  That year has come and gone, swifter days with each setting sun as age foretells.  I find it hard to believe that this step in the journey is complete.  The task seemed insurmountable at the beginning, a looming monstrosity of time.  Though time can be a fickle beast, prioritizing can usually whip it into shape.  One day, one post, one word at a time.

I will continue to post on Sworded Tales, but my pace will be more motivational and lower on the list of priorities for now.  New challenges move into the limelight and new adventures await.  We shall see where these new roads lead, and whether the journeys favor the path of shadow or that of song.