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My earliest memories are those of a child playing with little toy soldiers. I always thought that a well thought-out plan could overcome any odds, escape any trap, destroy any obstacle. I never once stopped to consider the presence of unknowns.
"Aran", the voice echoed, as if from a distant place, yet getting closer at the same time, "a cold body left unsaved."
Aran Bale, former Knight of the Empire, opened his eyes from darkness to darkness and found himself bound hand and foot to a pole of coldest iron. He struggled to look about and see where the voice had come from, but there was no one there. There was simply emptiness, as deep and vast as the gulf within his own soul. He tried to recall how he had come to be in the predicament he was currently faced with, but before he could begin to gather his thoughts, they were scattered to the wind by a second voice.
"Cast out, betrayed by those you trusted as brothers. What honor is this?"
Before he could answer, another voice spoke out, "You have been forsaken by all who could have aided you. Do you really think they will come to rescue a heretic? A corrupt traitor such as yourself?"
Then another, "They will never take you back, you know. You are nothing to them; a passing fancy, a decoration that can be used as a stepping stone to greater glories within that veneer of civility they call the Imperial Court. No one will remember you. No one loves or cares about you. We, on the other hand..."
"We offer you an alternative", the first voice finished, "a life of freedom away from corrupt and decadent power-mongering, a life where you may test your battle prowess and plans to your heart's content. All will be as pawns before your whims and you shall want for nothing!"
As the first finished speaking, the other three joined in and added their voices to the chorus so that the last words spiralled upwards in a crescendo that hurt Aran's ears. The pain was so intense that he struggled to escape from his bonds, to flee from this place forever and huddle in the comfort and safety of the nearest rock. He even considered going back to the Empire - maybe the peace of death would be more suited to him than an eternity of torture at the hands of these monsters. As the voices faded away into echoes, however, he reconsidered.
What had he done? He could no longer remember. Who did he have left? He did not want to believe the voices but he knew in his heart that what they said was true. No one would miss him or remember his name if he truly was a traitor. He stared into the blackness for a long time, going back over his memories, trying to find something - anything - that would anchor him in reality. There was nothing there. These voices seemed to have all the answers and more. In the back of his mind, he vaguely remembered the Empire and how it had taken everything away from him.
Aran finally looked up and spoke into the gloom, his voice a lance that pierced through the cold darkness of his prison, "What must I do?"
[Author's Note: If this seems a little bit underdeveloped, it's because it's not really finished yet. This is essentially the product of half an hour's work near midnight and I have school tomorrow, so there's not much I can do with it now. I'll be sure to work on this later.]
I concur with Araith. You really have a good start there. I like the way you capture his feelings and how weak he is through the description of the environment. The darkness of the story is also ever-present. I'd very much like to read more. Also like the first part of the title.
"No one has a monopoly on wisdom."-S.W.G.
Fluff Master Clan initiate.
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."-A.E.
"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."-C.
New 40K missions here.
A good start. I can't wait to find out why he was banded a traitor.
"DICE FOR THE DICE GOD!"
And the almighty Dice God said to his followers "Thou shalt not speak ye words "anything but a one" For thou whoever'st speaketh this blasphemy will be cursed with thy rolls being of one".
I really like this one..
One thing though, Tzeentch is a pretty elitist god. It mentions that his champions are generally the rarest, and have the toughest time becomming champions. What makes this particular dude worthy?
Maybe have him exiled from his previous position for displaying magical gifts he can't really control.. like the fallen sister from Modheim. Tzeentch could offer him the focus to train and refine those magical gifts, and it also better explains the warrior mystic niche which Tzeentch champions seem to play up to.
It doesn't say he already is a champion.
Maybe Tzeentch just sees some interesting potential in him, who knows? I've read the novel Riders of the Dead. Karl, a son from a minor and poor noble family from the Empire and later a slave of Marauders, gets for no clear reason blessed by Tzeentch and ends up as a champion of his.
Thus I'd say you need not give a clear reason. But some indication might be nice to the reader. Maybe just a hint as to the why. Or let it become clearer later on in the story. There are many possibilities. But fact is, Tzeentch with his knowledge has reasons for his actions beyond human comprehension.
well written, friend. the desperation is keenly felt and well as the curiousity of the empire knight, can he really change his fate?
hats off to you :yes:
""What's the matter? Don't ya like clowns? Don't we make ya laugh?" - Captain Spaulding.
I like. See the above posts for reasoning.
Also, he doesn't necceserally have to have magic. Champions of Tzeentch have been known to manifest his blessing in the form of preternatural reflexes, visions of things to come and things that have been, amazing strategic skills, and the ability to analyze situations (such as sword fights) and come up with a solution to the problem (such as a weapon slashing at you) in less than a second. I prefer that.