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Author Topic: the split of man and blade  (Read 3006 times)

Offline Shadow Chorus

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the split of man and blade
« on: September 16, 2010, 09:50:01 AM »
(decided to go ahead and use this for Seth since he's technically not approved yet. Comments and Criticism welcome.)

"Up, parry, thrust, slice, repeat." The voice in the blade instructed Seth as he practiced with the blade. Its weight had been hard at first to adjust to the weight of the blade, but he grew used to it, and found his reflexes honed by his time practicing. "Alright, parry, up, left, thrust, riposte, swipe." and another routine placed again.

"How long must we practice this?" Seth asked, growing weary.

"Until you have it perfect." Chrono responded.

"Well, that's well and good, but I'm still mortal and human, even if you're inside a sword and don't tire."

"Human, yes. Mortal, no. Always remember that."

"Yeah, yeah...." Seth said, suddenly sullen at the thought of his immortality.

"What's wrong with you now?" Chrono asked, somewhat Irked.

"The fact that I'm going to forever look young while those I love grow old and die....."

"Bah, what is love to a man but a mere distraction from knowledge."

"Love is what drives a man to stand in the morning, to make him fight and what makes him long to continue living!" Seth retorted, rather more fiercely than intended.

" 'Love' is a distortion of one's senses and thoughts that drives them to perform acts so stupid that it is hard to believe they are still human." Chrono argued, equally forceful.

"What do you know of Love? You, who trapped yourself in your blade just to avoid death?"

"I know vastly more of all matters than you could ever imagine, boy, and you'd be wise to heed my words!"

The spellbook at Seth's side rose up into the air then, facing the two squabblers. Its pages fluttered open to a random spell, and several words were highlighted to obvious sight. "No" in one paragraph. "Fighting." In another, and then near the bottom of the page "You" and "Two". The pages then flipped some more, and the words. "Love is a very important thing." Were highlighted across the page.

"Oh be quiet, will you?" The Chrono-blade snapped at the book, before it stood still for a moment before closing itself and settling down at Seth's side, seeming to rest itself farther from Chrono than before.

"Old man, you need to learn some respect and manners." Seth stated, plunging the blade into a nearby tree before he began to walk off.

"Don't you dare leave me here, boy!" The blade shouted back at him telepathically, wobbling in the tree trunk but unable to free itself. Seth's book once again floated up in the air, showing him the sentence. "I'll keep an eye on him. Go cool off and come back." before floating off of his shoulder and resting on the Blade's outstretched hilt. Nodding at the book, Seth walked into the nearby town of Valora. A quaint little town with a good populace, and wonderful scenery.

However, shortly after Seth left, another figure approached. Garbed in black Robes, he quietly walked up to the blade embedded in the tree.

"So, the Legendary Chrono-blade? A pleasure to finally meet you..." The figure spoke, removing the book and sword from the tree.

"And just who are you, mage?" Chrono asked, though the book remained silent.

"I am Malignus, and you are correct in guessing me a mage. I assure you, the name is a name, and nothing more."

"Malignus...Ironic, for one who seems so wise as you." The blade stated, growing to like the mage ever more.

"Indeed. I assure you I am no man of evil. But the tales of the Chrono-Blade entice me so. And to see that man simply abandon you!"

"Indeed. Young Sethranas certainly has some gall in him. Abandoning one of the most powerful things he is likely to encounter, all because he dislikes my wisdom."

"My, my. To ignore the power of so wise a weapon as you is folly."

"Of course. I wonder about him sometimes..."

"Listen. Why don't you come with me? I'm certain you'll find me a much better wielder than that boy." The Mage offered, examining the blade. "One who appreciates your fine craftsmanship, as well as your magic and wisdom.."

"Perhaps. Very well. I shall travel with you. I'm sure the boy won't miss me, as hateful as he is of immortality. Come, book."

But instead of following the blade, the book lay inert on the ground, as if ignoring him.

"Bah. Who needs that pitiful book anyway? Full of nothing but basic spells. Don't know who made it sentient or why."

The book rose up and slammed into the ground, creating a noise equivalent to a "Hmph." as the two walked away in conversation. As the two vanished from sight, the books pages flipped and one page remained sustained in the air. Then, with a noise like rushing power, the page split into two separate ones, revealing two hidden pages. One of these pages began to glow brightly, a lightning bolt shooting into the sky.


==========================

Seth dropped his glass of water as he watched the lightning bolt shoot up into the sky, the round cup thudding on the covered counter-top of the bar and rolling to a stand without so much as cracking or spilling. He stood quickly and paid for his water before sprinting out of the bar, back to where he had left his weapons, only to find the book there, resting softly.

Reaching down and picking up the book, he found the air around him swirling with magic, sending his hair swirling in the torrent, as if a magnificent torrent of wind spiraled around his form into the air from the ground beneath him. Telepathic images bored into his mind, the book, the blade, and the man who had claimed it. The book had unleashed a secret power, revealing its new magic in this time of need. The book floating leisurely to his side, it rested upon his shoulder,the chain resting down now affected by gravity. Flipping through the book and observing the few new spells, he closed the book, and with a gentle nod of affirmation of purpose, he set off after the trail this mage had left behind. However, he had more than a quest to reclaim the sword to think of. One of the images that the spellbook had displayed for him was of a pendant hanging on the Mage's neck. A small image of the world, with a glowing eye in the center, held in a clawed, decrepit hand. The mage was a member of the Ordo Theridas, stemming from Treyjach, a city of evil and shadow. The Ordo Theridas was a wicked group of magi who sought nothing but total and absolute power, dominion over the world. They were a treacherous group, who often slew each other for the gain of power. To leave the sword in the hands of such a mage could mean the very goal their order sought; the domination of the entire planet.

As he walked, he contemplated his returned Mortality. His purpose had been to prevent the wrongs that had occurred to him from happening to another, so why should those wrongs be set loose merely because his form had deceased? He decided that Immortality was the price to pay for his quest, and he would pay it, living without the love of another, to save the lives of so many more. He needed to retrieve the blade.

Following the trail of the Mage, he arrived at a massive bronze tower in the middle of the forest. He had never seen it before, which meant that it had to have been summoned. What was worse, emblazoned upon the door was the very symbol that was hung around this mystery mage's neck. This had to be his tower. Stepping up to the bronze gate, he extended his hand to the door, uttering arcane phrases from the book, his eyes glowing white as a blast of arcane might, one of the new spells, burst forth from his hand, buckling the doors and sending them blasting wide. The darkness inside was temporarily illuminated by the bolt of magic, revealing half a dozen suits of armor, walking, animated by arcane magic. The suits gazed at the broken door, and, drawing large great-swords of obsidian steel, exited the castle, forming a line in front of the door as the time-lost stepped back, letting them form their lines. As the center armor stepped forward, great-sword raised high, the magic book opened itself to a new page and began to glow, and Seth found his hand enchanted by electrical magic. Parrying the blade with a horizontal chop from his hand, he found his hand instead shearing directly through the blade, sending the great-sword's massive obsidian blade falling down from the hilt. Catching it mid-air with his electrified hand, the blade not even piercing his enchanted flesh. He flipped the blade round and hurled it like it was nothing into the walking suit, impaling it and sending it crashing to the ground. As the suit fell inanimate, breaking apart to pieces of armor as the magics that held it together dissipated, the electricity left his hand, leaving him standing there once again unarmed save for his magic. As the next suit stepped forward, Seth used yet another new spell. "Nymphlores Impalus, Arcanum." he spoke, the arcane words rolling from his tongue as he pointed his index finger at the walking armor. A finger-thin line of pure arcane energy shot from his extended index, piercing the armor through its forehead, laying it low as its magic collapsed. "Faerie Spear, arcane, eh?" Seth translated, the vague translation of the arcane words fitting the spell perfectly. The third of the six suits stepped forth, and Seth decided to experiment with this. "Nymphlores Impalus, Incendis." He uttered, a line of fire shooting through the armor, setting its pieces alight even as they fell to the ground. "Interesting...." He muttered, contemplating what was likely to become his signature spell.

The remaining Three began to charge Seth at once, their magic sending them onward at him in reckless abandon. Scouring the book mentally for an appropriate spell, it flipped open to one in specific.

"Arcanum Repulsha."

Lights of arcane magic, wisps in the air, gathered around Seth, lifting him off the ground as his body curled into a crouching guard in the air, as if he was compacting all of the magic into one spot, holding it within his form. His body began to glow a bright blue as he channeled the power. As the suits neared and raised their arms to strike at him, He spread his arms wide and stood straight in the air, extending his reach as far as possible, the arcane lights bursting forth in a powerful wave of energy, battering the armored figures with their power and dropping the somewhat fatigued Seth to the ground. Breathing out a sigh of relief, he noted to himself that that spell would need to be saved for emergencies. Standing and catching his breath, he proceeded onward into the tower, ascending stairs to what he knew was the chamber in which the mage waited.

-----------------------------------------------------------

"Amazing..." The mage uttered as he delved into the depths of the sword, his mind grasping the inherent magical power the blade held. The battle below went unnoticed to the mage, even the door being blown in did not carry as far as the tower's top. He held the blade in his hands, running his left hand over the surface of the magnificent sword, when he began to hear footsteps coming up the stairs. Too fast for his arcane constructs...Who was coming towards him?

His thoughts were interrupted as the door was blasted open, and Seth walked calmly into the chamber, the spellbook resting softly at his side. Setting the blade down on the counter, the mage turned around and began to clap softly for Seth. "Impressive, impressive. Perhaps that book isn't as useless as I first thought. Maybe I should have-" the mage's speech was cut off as a roaring fireball left Seth's hands, aimed at the arrogant sorcerer. But the fireball exploded against the wall behind the mage, and Seth barely had time to widen his eyes before he was slashed across the back, the mage having grabbed the blade at the last second and used it against him.

"So then. You're working with him then, Chrono." Seth grunted, falling to his knees as the pain of another slash traced across his back.

"Indeed. You are nothing but a little fool, leaving so powerful a tool behind. But now the sword is sworn to me! And nothing you can do will stop it! It's mine now! Mine! And I'll use its power to become the mightiest mage in existence! And all will bow to me! Me! Malignus of Treyjach!" the crazed sorcerer shouted, though the blade became eerily silent, a fact that Malignus apparently ignored.

"I've enjoyed toying with you, you simpleton! Now I think I'll kill you, and take that spellbook for my own!" He grinned, turning the sword backhanded in his grip and raising it high.

"Not with that sword you won't...." Seth said, scowling at the mage.

"Oh really!? Just try and stop me!" He shouted, raising it still higher. "NOW DIE!" he plunged the blade down at Seth's back, intending to impale the man. But the blade stopped short, hovering just off Seth's back.

"What?! DIE DAMN YOU! DIE!" He shouted, swinging the blade repeatedly at Seth, only for it to stop every time just before it would actually touch him. After yet another crazed swing, the blade stopped suddenly and spun around mid-air, pointing its tip at the Mage's throat.

"W-what!?" Malignus shouted, stepping back in shock. It was then that the voice of the sword proclaimed his final error.

"Me!? A tool!? I am no mere tool, you pretentious braggart! I am Chrono-blade! I am the Time-Blade, and I will not be used for such evil purposes! You think yourself the greatest mage of all time!? Then let Seth show you how wrong you are..."

"Really? You're accepting me back?" Seth asked, reaching out for the blade.

"Go on boy, it's your time." the Blade responded, and Seth gripped the blade tightly, a grin spreading across his features.

"Alright 'Malignus of Treyjach', it's time you knew just what I can do..." Seth said, vanishing from the mage's sight, a miniature slash wound appearing on his left arm, then his right, then across his leg, then his other, then a slice across his cheek, then a deep gouge down his back. All of this before Seth finally appeared behind him with his index finger pressed to the back of the mage's head.

"Nymphlores Impalus, Illumina."

A beam of pure, searing light shot its way through the back of the mage's head and out his forehead, his eyes rolling back and his liquefied brains oozing out of the holes as his body fell to the ground, very much dead. Wiping the blood from the blade, Seth sheathed it once more at his side, on his sturdy belt. As he was about to leave the room, the spellbook at his side fluttered. Floating into the middle of the room, it began to glow brightly and its pages began to flip to the back of the book. With a sound of ripping coming from around the room, pages began to float towards the hovering spellbook, one-by one attaching themselves to the end of the book, page after page of arcane spells becoming added to the book, the spine expanding with its new girth. Then, after assimilating another dozen pages, the book closed, blue arcane runes now glowing across its surface as it floated back and rested on his shoulder. Its pages fluttered open when he held the book up, illuminating the words "I am Alina." In its text in bright light.

"Well, Alina. It seems you're much more than you seem, not even considering your sentience." He said, marvelling at how his own spellbook could evolve and absorb spells from other books of magic. "Still, it's time we went home." He said, both his sword and his book making their assent known.

"You guys are the best, I have to say." He said as he stepped out of the tower, leaving behind this chapter of his growing relation with his own weapons.

THE END
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 04:15:27 PM by Shadow Chorus »

Offline Shadow Chorus

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Re: the split of man and blade
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2010, 09:42:49 AM »
The story is complete and open to criticism, any and all advice and constructive criticism is welcome! :D

Offline Soul Reaver

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Re: the split of man and blade
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2010, 03:22:45 PM »
Since everyone else is lame and not replying, I thought I'd give some C&C...

First, general comments:

I thought it was an enjoyable read, and have read the whole thing.  I also appreciate the short story format, as a small but self-contained episode of Seth's life.  It does a good job of introducing the characters of Seth, Chronos, and the spellbook, as well as the interplay between them.  I personally like the spellbook best - it has an interesting 'personality' and I like the way it communicates with Seth.  It's also the most mysterious of the characters and makes me want to know more about its goals and purpose.

But some criticsm:

You might need to run the story through a spell-check.  There are some errors in there at the moment.

One thing that bothered me about the story is Seth's reaction to finding the sword missing.  Think about it for a minute: Seth abadons the blade in a tree.  He comes back after the spellbook calls to him, and sees that someone else has taken it.  Now, I wouldn't blame anyone for taking the sword: after all, Seth just abandoned it, and we all know the blade is tempramental and may well ask someone else to pick it up.

That Seth would go looking for the blade makes sense.  What seems a bit odd is how he goes about it: he manages to find a bronze tower, and he EXPLODES the doors.  After this, the tower's guards (naturally) go out to defend the tower (and get destroyed).  He then blows up the door to the wizard's chambers, and tries to blow him up with a fireball.

Up to this point, there's been no indication that the wizard has done anything wrong, or is in any way evil.  It makes Seth look like a brutish bully, smashing doors and attacking people just because someone else picked up something that he abandoned but then changed his mind about.

Of course, it turns out the wizard is power-mad, so he ends up getting killed, and all is well.  But the point is that Seth really didn't know he was a power-mad wizard when he was smashing and burning his way to his chambers (and then attacked him).  What if he was a kind-hearted old sorcerer who picked up Chrono because he wanted the sword's knowledge to help heal his dying granddaughter?

Perhaps there need to be some clues early on that Chrono was taken by an evil wizard - clues that Seth sees but Chrono wasn't aware of (otherwise he wouldn't have let himself be taken in the first place).  It then also gives Seth a better reason to try to retrieve the sword other than that he just changed his mind about having left it behind: it becomes a noble quest to prevent the weapon falling into evil hands.  The more you play up the evilness (and genuine danger) of the wizard, the more fitting and satisfying his final defeat will be.

Offline Shadow Chorus

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Re: the split of man and blade
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2010, 03:50:06 PM »
Thanks. I'll edit in some reasons to chase after the mage in a bit and run a spell-check.


Edit: And it's done, added a paragraph (I think, but not bothering to look at the exact length right now) to explain that he is from an evil organization of magi that seek world domination, an organization which extends from the mage's home-town, which is also a seat of evil and violence. I may add more later, but for now I think I'm going to rest.

2nd edit: Also added some description to the tower so he knows it's the mage's instead of some random wizard who lives in the forest.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 05:28:20 PM by Shadow Chorus »

Offline Archdemon Stu

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Re: the split of man and blade
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2010, 03:12:52 PM »
Never before have I found a book to be one of my favorite characters in a story.  It adds a lot of X factor throughout your story.  It acts as a constantly present wild card that reveals little by little about itself.

While it seems like you do it for dramatic effect, is there a reason when people use the Chrono Blade they don't just immediately stab the other person through the heart?  Just curious if it's writing style or some technicality of the Chrono Blade I missed.

Offline Shadow Chorus

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Re: the split of man and blade
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2010, 07:37:59 PM »
That is easily possible, but the more action you take while time is stopped, the more energy it drains. A couple flicks of the wrist for the minor cuts that happen is less energy than moving your entire arm back to prepare for a thrust and then forward again, with your shoulder, to stab someone through the heart. That, and there's the fact that Chrono dislikes the act of an instant kill. He finds them dishonorable, and more often than not won't allow you to. He prefers to allow the enemy to fight back, even a little bit. But for the most part, I just use it for dramatic effect.