31 Fantasy Characters, #17: Gravin

31_fantasy_badgeGravin wondered at the wisdom of keeping the most dangerous object the world would ever see right in plain view of anyone passing by. Then again, it was probably the safest place of all for several reasons. First and foremost, the library was a place of study of books. No one would suspect that a weapon would be found and studied here. Second, the weapon was stored in a book, so one had to know that fact to even know where to start looking. Third, this book was kept on a shelf of the Spiral, the enormous staircase whose steps led to the ancient texts in the lowest level. Who would ever think that hundreds of people would pass by it day after day, and any one of them could grab it? Finally, one had to understand how to use the window inside the book, and the number who did was small.

Yes, it actually was a genius idea to have it stored right where it was.

As Gravin passed by a few students going about their business, he casually walked by the book in question and started looking at the spines of surrounding books, his finger skimming over the titles as if he were looking for a work he didn’t already know the location of. More people passed behind him on the stairs, some up, some down. Gravin grabbed a small book here, a thick one there, the book he was really here for, then a few more.

Casual, unassuming, just as he did every day.

Finding his way to an empty study room down near the end of the Spiral, he closed the door behind him, and set the books on the table. He immediately pulled the book which housed the weapon, titled simply “Earth.”

What a strange world this Earth was; it would have been a fascinating study in and of itself, but that was not why Gravin was here. Shrugging, he turned to the forty-seventh page, and saw the window. Placing his right hand on the picture, he slowly increased the pressure until his hand reached through to the other world. Reaching blindly inside, his hand felt around for the weapon.

He assumed that in the other world his hand was inside some kind of box, but his own world had never constructed a box made of metal. The world of Earth was very advanced, of course, for the weapon he was reaching for was beyond anything his own world’s swords and shields could defend against.

Ah, there it was. He grabbed hold and gently pulled it out of the window in the book. The window shimmered once his hand and the object emerged.

He set the weapon down and began to resume his drawing of it on the forty-ninth page.

When he was finished, he would show it to the king. This “automatic pistol” would strike fear into their enemies, and make their kingdom great again.

(The word prompt today was “Study.”)

[– 31 Fantasy Characters in 31 Days –]

31 Fantasy Characters, #16: Thet

31_fantasy_badge“This really isn’t the best way to go, you know,” Thet said.

“I don’t care what you think, you little devil!” Lucinn said. “I want to go this way.”

Thet clucked his tiny tongue. “I wish you could see me as an asset, Lucinn. It will go so much better for you.”

Lucinn stopped and turned his head as best as he could to see the little creature adhered to his back. It was so disgusting. Slimy bright red skin with long thin arms wrapped around his collar bone, and legs wrapped around his torso. Its walnut sized pitch black eyes blinked at him while its tall pointed ears twitched about. “Look—”

“I am looking,” Thet interrupted.

“JUST—” he started to scream, but the creature squeezed Lucinn in fear and took the wind out of Lucinn’s lungs. It had happened a dozen times already this morning, so he knew to simply relax and then Thet would let up. And it did.

“Please,” Lucinn started again. “Just let me speak, and just listen.”

“Go ahead,” Thet said.

Lucinn took a breath. “You will never be an asset to me. You are a parasite—”

Thet shook his little head, his long pointy nose tickling the back of Lucinn’s head. “That’s not an accurate term to use for me—”

“Please,” Lucinn begged. “Stop talking.”

Thet emitted a tiny huff.

“Whatever you think you are, you need to remember one thing: you are not in charge. You go where I go.”

“Of course I do,” Thet laughed.

“So stop telling me where to go.”

“But I know where you’re going, and there is a better way. A safer way. This path we’re on takes us through a pride of Muirocks and they’ll eat you for lunch. Me, they’ll spit me out, I’ll be fine. I’m just looking out for you, Lucinn.”

Lucinn paused, then asked. “There’s really danger ahead?”

“Yes, you should turn left right here and we’ll follow the brook down to the valley.”
Lucinn sighed, then turned left and started walking. After three steps he tripped on a hidden vine and fell onto his stomach.

“Wee hee!” Thet squealed. “You sure fell for that!”

“Ugh, you devil!”

(The word prompt today was “Little.”)

[– 31 Fantasy Characters in 31 Days –]

31 Fantasy Characters, #15: Caerwulf

31_fantasy_badge“Bac tilak!” the man sitting next to Caerwulf said again.

Caerwulf just shrugged. “I don’t speak your language.”

“Bac! Bac! Tilak!” the other shouted, and shoved Caerwulf away.

“He wants you to move,” said a voice four or five people away.

“Well, wouldn’t that be nice?” Caerwulf said sarcastically. He turned to the man who shoved him. “And where exactly would you like me to go, huh?” He rattled his chains in swooping motions for emphasis, which moved the chains and the arms of his neighbors as well. “We’re not going anywhere, you fool.”

The man mumbled something in his unknown language and tried to lean away from Caerwulf. Caerwulf glared at him then turned back to the only one he could converse with.

“How’d they get you?” Caerwulf asked him.

“Same way they get all of us,” the man began. “Marched into our village, killed our defenders with those sticks of theirs, the ones that shoot fire and metal balls, and take away the strong men.”

Caerwulf had heard about these kinds of raids many times, but he had never seen them before. The lizard people came from the south years ago and had devastated the country ever since. Everyone who was taken away never came back. Those weapons, their tools, their ships… these creatures were very advanced.

“Hey! I said what about you?”

Caerwulf shook his head. “I was… alone.”

The man nodded. “Now it’s over. Sorry kid, you look young. I hate to see a life wasted.”

Caerwulf just stared back. He wasn’t afraid to die, not after everything he’d been through.

“Where do they take us when they kill us?”

The man grunted a small laugh. “You think you’re here to be executed?”

“What other reason could there be?” Caerwulf asked.

“You’re a slave now, son.”

Caerwulf turned away and leaned his head back against the walls of the rolling cart. “From living on the streets, to prison, to slavery. Why does it always happen to me?”

(The word prompt today was “Move.”)

[– 31 Fantasy Characters in 31 Days –]

31 Fantasy Characters, #14: Baemus

31_fantasy_badge

(This is an unplanned part 2 of the adventures of Ryck and Baemus. Click for part 1.)

Baemus followed Ryck through the ruins instead of the other way around. With the newly-found helmet, Ryck could see much better than Baemus could with just a torch. Ryck explained it made everything look like he was outside. Baemus couldn’t understand, because the helmet was too small for him to put on, but it certainly seemed to work, because Ryck discovered some new paths they had missed earlier, which led them further underground.

This deeper part of the ruins was massive, made for people more his size, and the large rooms – more like grand halls – swallowed up the torchlight. Baemus had to trust his little partner to lead them on, which was not an easy thing for the barbarian to do.

“Jackpot!” Ryck said suddenly, and stopped.

“What is it?” Baemus asked.

“My friend, I believe we’ve found something really valuable,” Ryck said, and started walking forward again.

With Baemus following, the two entered a smaller room, and immediately the torchlight was able to reflect off of some walls and brighten things up a bit. In the room there was a desk and a chair, some kind of bureau, and—

Ryck stepped to the side and turned with a smile, and Baemus saw it. Draped on a smooth wooden mannequin was a fine mail coat, with thousands of tiny rings of silvery metal glittering in the torchlight. It was beautiful.

It was also heavy. Baemus generally didn’t wear shirts at all, let alone armor, but he had worn mail before, and he did not remember it being this heavy. Lifting it off the mannequin with one hand was a struggle even for a man of his strength, so he handed the torch to the Smalling in the strange helmet, and used two hands to retrieve the strange mail.

“What is this thing made of?” Baemus asked with a grunt.

“Is it really that heavy, or are you pulling my leg?”

Baemus shook his head. “I swear, it’s very heavy.”

Ryck shrugged. “I can’t think if any metal that’s that heavy and can be easily made into tiny rings for armor.” Then the Smalling smiled mischievously. “Try it on.”

Normally Baemus wouldn’t have, but seeing as though that helmet was giving his small

friend some unnatural abilities, maybe… just maybe…

With a heave he lifted it over his head tried to slowly lower it onto his body, but it spilled over him awkwardly in a heap and he fell to the floor on his behind. Both men laughed, and eventually they maneuvered it over Baemus’s head.

At that moment, the weight of the mail suddenly disappeared. Baemus opened his mouth to say something, but shut it again.

“What?” Ryck asked.

Baemus didn’t answer; he simply stood up with no effort. It felt as if he was wearing a linen tunic.

“How can this be?” he asked, looking down at it, stroking the metal with both hands.

“It’s… it’s like it’s not even there.”

He looked up and saw Ryck charging at him with a sword, aiming for his belly. He didn’t have time to move.

The sword struck the mail and snapped as if it struck a stone wall. Baemus had felt nothing.

The two exchanged a look of fear. Then they burst out laughing.

(The word prompt today was “Mail.”)

[– 31 Fantasy Characters in 31 Days –]

CONFESSION: This took me way longer than 5 min. Again. 🙂

31 Fantasy Characters, #13: Ryck

31_fantasy_badgeRyck held the simple barbute helmet in his hands, the only interesting thing they had found all day from their search in the ruins. It was tucked away in an old chest that Baemus had smashed open with his warhammer. Ryck would have preferred to pick the lock, as the chest could have been useful, but the deed was done.

The helmet was old, scratched, dented in spots, but showed no signs of rust. It was a little smaller than Ryck was used to seeing.

This helmet might actually fit someone like me and not wobble around, he thought.

“Leave it,” Baemus said. “It’s worthless, no one’s head is that small. Except maybe yours.” The barbarian laughed at his own words.

Ryck rolled his eyes and looked inside the helmet. He brought his torch closer to see better in the dark room. There was some kind of writing scratched inside, which would have had to have been done shortly after it was forged. Strange. Ryck turned it to Baemus for him to see.

The large man shrugged. “I can’t read.”

“Pity,” Ryck said, wondering why he had hired this man to accompany him in the first place.

Ryck lifted the helmet and started to put it on his head.

“What are you doing?” Baemus asked, clearly annoyed.

“I just want to see if it fits,” Ryck said.

It did. And suddenly the whole room lit up as if it were daylight, even though Ryck knew it was still night. He squinted from the brightness.

“On too tight?” Baemus asked, laughing.

HE LOOKS LIKE A PIG WHEN HE SQUINTS.

“Don’t call me pig!” Ryck said and punched the barbarian in the shoulder.

Obviously unhurt, but looking confused, Baemus said, “I didn’t say anything about a pig.”

“You just said I look like a pig when I squint.” Now Ryck could fully open his eyes. The room was totally visible, as if the ceiling was gone and the room were bathed in broad daylight. And he could hear what he thought were mice crawling in the walls.

STRANGE LITTLE FELLOW.

“That! Right there! You keep insulting me!” Ryck said, pointing his little finger at the barbarian.

“I— I—,” Baemus stammered. “I may have… thought it.”

Ryck frowned as he stared down the man. “I distinctly heard you say—”

I SHOULD HAVE STAYED AT THE BAR. CAN’T BELIEVE I CHOSE TO WANDER AROUND WITH THIS LITTLE SQUIRREL OF A MAN.

Ryck stopped. He never saw Baemus’s lips moving, yet he distinctly heard his voice. Ryck narrowed his eyes. “Am I a squirrel to you, Baemus?”

“How— how did you—?

Ryck smiled. “I heard your thoughts.” He took off the helmet. Immediately the room plunged into darkness, save the faint torchlight. “It’s this helmet. It heightened my senses, I was aware of… everything!”

Baemus laughed. “Then what are we waiting for? Time to play cards back at the bar and get my money back!”

(The word prompt today was “Aware.”)

An unplanned part 2 continues the adventures of Ryck and Baemus.

[– 31 Fantasy Characters in 31 Days –]

CONFESSION: This took me way longer than 5 min. 🙂