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Author Topic: "Trials and Tragedies" Partial Chapter 2  (Read 2550 times)
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« on: 21 February 2002, 00:11:00 »

I am by no means done Chapter 2, but I had a burst of inspiration today. Anyways, I figured that since there's going to be a lot of battles in this story, I better see how good I am at writing them. Also, I think 12 pages was a little long to read in one sitting of a message board, so I would just post the approximate 4 pages I have so far and let you guys read them. Or'injera makes it's debut as the Teaching Sword, and (this one's for Xarl), I put in a quote from Lyla. Again, if anyone has anything they want to say, just say so.

Chapter 2: Anger Begat Sorrow

“At a fork in the road, there are three options. Go one way, the other, or stay there. Every path has it’s own cost. Be sure you can pay it when you decide to walk down, because there is no turning back.”
-Dygan Heartswind, on choices

        The snows were coming down furious. Moving as fast as he could through the torrent, Dygan gritted his teeth. He was cold, wet, and terribly lonely. Flisgard’s sword hung at his right side, but Dygan doubted that he would ever use it. It was far too cold for any sort of predator to be out. His hair and clothes ruffled through the harsh winds, and the biting temperature stung all throughout his body. He kept his face slightly down, towards the ground, to block some snow from getting into his face, but it helped little. Despite the hood, he could barely feel his nose and ears. His fingers sent shocks of pain whenever he tried to move them. He knew nothing but misery since he left home two days ago, or three, or maybe even four. Time didn’t mean anything now, except survival from one minute to the next, and Dygan didn’t count the minutes. Dygan’s stomach rumbled, much as it had done on numerous occasions. Dygan only brought a little food with him, and he saved it for when he was absolutely hungry. He hadn’t eaten at all since he left, and he sorely missed great tasting food served to him three times a day. A rich breakfast, a mid-day meal and a light dinner, they were foreign luxuries to him now. “I deserve this,” he affirmed himself time and again. He chose to leave his home, and this was the consequence of his rash actions.

Today the snow was exceptionally bad. Small flakes came down quickly and stinging with the winter wind. Small flakes, as Dygan knew, meant the snow was going to keep falling. The weather was punishing him for the things he had done, if the weather could indeed do that. Dygan cleared his mind and went back to trekking through the wilderness. After a few more hours of walking, the snow had started to lessen, and light was fading. Using a low, sweeping branch bristling with pine needles as cover from the wind, Dygan tried desperately to build a fire. Fire meant warmth and life, with fire he could carry on to journey further. Flisgard had taught him how to identify a proper starting rock, to create sparks by striking it against his sword. At that time, it seemed like such a useless lesson, but Dygan realized the importance of it now. He pawed through the snow, searching frantically for one. Luckily, Dygan found one without too much difficulty, only a few paces from his campsite. He cleared away an area, assembling some of the drier timber and striking sparks until one caught. He slowly and carefully fed his fire, shielding it from the harsh winds. “Another hour and I would’ve froze,” he breathed out, which ended as a small white cloud a few inches in front of his face. Every muscle in his body was aching and sore, because the cold had stiffened them. Dygan sat hunched over the fire for many minutes, trying to absorb all the warmth he could. The life-giving heat from the fire radiated throughout his near frozen hands, giving him a welcome pain as he moved each of his fingers. They weren’t frozen at all, at least not any more. He was alive for another minute at least.

“It was a terrible trip, my first journey to Voldar. It was in the middle of winter, and I had little knowledge of how to survive in the outside world. My days were long, since my pace was slowed due to the snow. My nights were spent with little sleep, and sleep I did find was light. I felt that if I fell asleep, some beast would devour me as I rested. Journeys alone are almost always harsh, and mine was doubly worse, because of my self-torture.”
-Dygan Heartswind, on the days after leaving the village of Tereftan

        Dygan was awake for many more hours, confident that if he fell asleep, he would not awaken the next morning. But at last, the young Dygan could stand no more, and he laid down in a cleared spot, under his rickety lean-to. Clutching his cloak tightly around his frame, having no other protection from the elements, he tried desperately to fall asleep. He had to move himself every now and then, to cover himself better with the meager protection he had. He would be cold and sore the next morning, and not at all refreshed, but it was no different from any other night in this winter.

        When he awoke, the first rays of dawn were peeking out over the horizon. The sky was clear, and it appeared to be a slightly warmer day. The snow wouldn’t melt, but at least no more would accumulate, which would slow Dygan’s progress even more dramatically than it already did. He built a fire to warm himself as well as to finally give in to his hunger and eat some of the food he did bring with him. Even with Dygan’s sub-par cooking skills, his own hunger made the rather bland taste of the breads and salted meats taste quite nicely. He ate frugally, knowing that there would be many more days like this one where he would need food as well. His stomach grumbled when it’s expectancy of more food was denied. Despite the small pains, Dygan packed up, tore down his shelter, and continued onward. No more rest, he had a journey to take. Still hungry and still tired, he plodded forth through the snow.

        He had gained several miles before he stopped to camp. It was suicide to walk from dawn to dusk, Dygan knew that much. He camped every couple of hours, to warm himself. It was a long process of finding shelter and building a fire, just like before. This time however, the winds weren’t blowing, so there was no danger of having the fire snuff out. For the first time since his journey began, Dygan was able to look up at the overcast sky and ponder the turn of events.

        “If I had just thought everything through instead of…” Dygan stopped himself. It was his own fault; it wouldn’t relieve him to reaffirm that. “What was I thinking?” Dygan asked himself, but he already knew that he wasn’t thinking. He was acting like a small child throwing a temper tantrum, not as a youth of his age. With time, his mind moved away from those past moments where his life was changed forever. It went back to the present, where Dygan was freezing in what seemed to be a futile search for answers and redemption. Dygan thought of how terribly lonely he was. Before all of this mess started, he had no end of friends to talk to, to entertain himself with, to entrust with secrets, to do anything at all with. Even the worst moments with his friends were better than this solitary sojourn. At least someone was with him.

“It only takes a moment to begin a lifetime of sorrow”
-Lyla Aerosire, on memories

“The one who searches the hardest for answers within will find them the least often.”
-Dygan Heartswind, on answers

        A growl brought him to his senses. Dygan laid his hand on Flisgard’s sword and looked around. Wolves, on all sides, had appeared during his thoughts. They were waiting for the perfect time to strike. They were hungry, just as Dygan was. A wayward village boy was the only food available in this snowy terrain, and they were going to capitalize on it. Five against one, terrible odds. Dygan drew his weapon. He was determined to not die as a nameless vagabond in the middle of some forest path. Flisgard’s sword seemed to gleam, despite the low light in the area. It was curious, but nowhere near as pressing as defending himself from the pack of wolves. At this time, Dygan remembered that he had no idea how to fight against a hungry animal. He knew how to defend and attack against an armed person, whether it was a dwarf with an axe or a human with a sword. He knew tactics and cunning in battle, but all of his knowledge meant nothing to a four-legged beast with basic animal instinct. The first wolf leapt at him with a guttural snarl.

        Duck and move to the right, keep focused on the attacker, came a voice inside of his own head. Dygan thought it was odd, and the wolf was able to tear at him, ripping its sharp teeth into the human’s right leg. Strike now! The voice commanded again. Not as surprised, Dygan sliced downward, nicking the lupine beast on the side of the body. The wolf yelped, and another wolf from behind joined into the fray. Get down! Whatever this voice was, it was saving his life, so Dygan released his rational thought from his mind, concentrating solely upon the voice. His legs dropped him into an agile crouch. The wolf, which had been going for the back of his neck, landed in the snow in front of him, kicking up small clouds of white as he tried to turn. Now attack! Dygan thrust forward, catching the animal in its exposed flank. Without being told, Dygan already rose and planted his foot on the dying creature to remove his sword. Blood gleamed red against the sparkling metal. The next two wolves were unfazed and began attacking, working together to bring down the larger foe. Get one in between the other; limit the amount of opponents. Dygan circled to the left, putting one wolf in between the other, just like the voice had said. The wolf in the rear tried to get around, but Dygan kept the pace even. Move to the right! This time the call was urgent, as if it had to be followed. A third wolf had entered the battle, and the wolf’s jaws tore Dygan’s cloak. With a quick counter-attack, Dygan swiped downward while the animal still had the cloak in its teeth. His sword cut down the front-right leg, a cut parallel to the bone. That wolf limped off while the other two continued. “There’s just no end,” Dygan thought aloud in his frustration. The two wolves were the last attackers; the wounded had maintained a circle around their prey to prevent escape. The two glared fiercely at their quarry, which had killed one and injured two. The two wolves attacked at almost right angles to each other, quite a messy situation. Dygan backed up, the closing teeth missing by near inches. They were so near; Dygan could feel the warm wolf breath coming from their snouts. Dygan spun to the left, using the extra momentum to land a stronger blow upon the next beast, ripping into its hindquarters. The remaining wolf stopped and ran off into the forest until it was out of sight, along with the other three wolves that had survived the skirmish.

Dygan understood now why these wolves weren’t all rushing to kill him at once. It wasn’t a battle to kill, it was a battle to judge whether or not this new creature was a threat. Dygan had underestimated the intelligence of these wolves. But on his mind now, was the even stranger occurrence involving his survival. Quickly however, Dygan went to bandage his own wound, on the calf of his right leg. It was painful, but shallow. He would survive.

“Hello?” he asked. “Is someone there?” Dygan was trying to reference the person who was speaking inside his head. Dygan owed him severely. There was no response, save the small whistling of the breeze. “My friend, do not be frightened. I mean you no harm. I wish to thank you for your assistance.” Still no answer could be gained. There was not even the scampering of feet from someone who wished to remain in the shadows.

Dygan’s eyes fell to the wolf he had slain. It was truly dead; the sword had gone right through it. The fur was bloodstained, but that was not was Dygan was looking at. He was looking at the wolf itself. “Well…even if I die soon after, at least I won’t starve.” Dygan grabbed his sword, having no other tool, and he skinned the wolf as best he can. He gutted it and took the parts to a ditch about 100 peds away and dumped the contents, being careful to bury them to hide the scent as best he could. He moved his camp away from where he killed the wolf as well. No sense in having a bigger, much more dangerous predator smell dead wolf and come running.

He set water upon the small cooking pot that was in the meager supplies he did have. He put the meat into the pot, adding some various plants Raye had taught him to identify as edible. Not tasty, but edible. He cooked the makeshift stew and consumed it right out of the pot. It wasn’t great tasting, but the broth was warm, which flowed through his aching muscles once again. Besides which, he was hungry, and he wouldn’t have to delve into his remaining rations with this. He scraped the pot clean, letting the wolf-meat settle in his stomach before he continued on. It was a neverending cycle.

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« Reply #1 on: 21 February 2002, 12:39:00 »

Very good.  Another talent to compete with. *shakes head and thinks about hanging up quill pen.*  

Just kidding. I like this story alot. Keep it up.

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« Reply #2 on: 22 February 2002, 21:11:00 »

Don't you dare do that, Capher!! *shoves the quill pen back into Capher's hand and chains him to his desk so he can write more stories for us!!* :lol  

Eskon, I like your continuing Dygan Heartwind saga, you have a good narrative flow with excellent use of practical descriptions like the slaying and eating of the wolf. However you seem to have quite long paragraphs which make the story seem a bit blocky when reading. But I guess that's a matter of style so it's not a biggie :)    

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« Reply #3 on: 23 February 2002, 05:32:00 »

ehm.. it seems to me, that .. certain .. writers, should stop shoving their pens away to their collegues, and .. start writing again.. ;)  ;)  Like Eskon here!

"oh.. yeah! now you've done it again!" - the voice in Faugar's head..

 Only         when you awake, will you know you fell asleep..          

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« Reply #4 on: 28 February 2002, 10:25:00 »

No writer here, reader only:

It is good to read!
But I didn’t like the quotes inbetween, I hardly read them at the beginning of a chapter, but in the middle of it I want to continue and  not to be hold back by them. Maybe you wanted to bring some diversion into the long description, but they are leading the thoughts away from what happens.

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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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« Reply #5 on: 06 March 2002, 19:25:00 »

I haven't read the whole thing yet, but I like it's flow. It doesn't stutter like mine, but seems to be a continuous paragraph.

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