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Author Topic: Through Hell  (Read 2877 times)

abculatter_2

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Through Hell
« on: November 19, 2009, 10:19:49 pm »

April 25th: IT'S ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!!

Re-did everything. Old story was crap. Haven't proofread it yet, and spellcheck was not available while typing.

I probably shouldn't give set update times anymore, and just update when I feel like updating. Which probably means another hiatus.

EDIT: 2nd update today! Woo!

April 26th: Big update. Part of it I've been sitting on since yesterday. Haven't proofread it yet, though I did go through with spellcheck.

EDIT: Another update. Again, haven't proofread it yet. I'll make a mental note and try to remember to do that tomorrow.

***

Through Hell

Jaehye stared across the horizon, far in the distance a thick, ominous line of swirling black stretching beyond the eye's view, even assisted with a telescope. Beside this black smirch, the sunset was beautiful and the seas calm and glittering. Nary a cloud in the sky, except for one which partially covered the sun, amplifying the scene's beauty.

Though the black line was Jaehye's main concern right now.

Their fleet, 21 hastily-made ships not counting the damned elven bone ships and almost 6,500 well-armed soldiers, was approaching the final stretch of their month-and-a-half voyage. According to the elven fleet navigator, only a few days of open ocean remained. No one wanted the trip to be ended pre-maturely now, especially by a freak storm. Though somehow he doubted this was just a storm...

He lowered his spy-glass, continued to stare for a few moments, then heard a loud commotion coming from below deck.

Aye, he thought
Not another drunk fight... I always have to get bloody with those...

~~~

No... Can't be right...
Though he had checked all his calculations several times.
No... not possible...
Though he couldn't deny that it was there.
He decided to check once more, taking his sextant and walking back above deck. The stars were there, in perfect alignment; the constellation of Mordune couldn't be clearer. He looked once again at the swirling black clouds beginning to loom above them, the faint red glow coming from within them now visible in the absence of other light, and the indistinct outline of jagged land far within the foreign, chalky-white sea which boiled beneath the shadowed clouds.

All evidence pointed to one thing.

No... they would've found a way... they couldn't have let this happen...

He took a deep breath, noticing the faint hints of rotten egg and ash in the air's smell, the sudden dryness which whipped them on rare breezes. He decided it best not to mull over this too much, it would only waste time and energy. And there were more pressing matters to attend, such as the mysterious current pushing them toward this land and gaining strength as they grew closer, and...

Why is there steam coming from the sides of that boat?

The lead ship, a large, triple-masted wooden one which was almost a direct copy from the elven galleons, oars extended from the lack of almost any significant wind, had already entered the boiling whiteness under the black cloud's shadow The water it contacted frothed even more violently and emitted a white steam barely visible in the gathering dusk. It seemed that others on this ship along with several of the others had also noticed, and he thought frantically of something, anything, which may be able to save the fleet from whatever fate the lead ship was about to face or at least help explain what was happening or will happen.

A quick look over-board was all he needed to see that the current was now too strong to be rowed against, the wind was blowing only in occasional half-hearted breezes... There was only one thing they could do.

"FAELNIRV!!!"
Ah fuck, not the captain...
"What kind of hell have you blasted goblin-eared pansies brought us into!?!"
 A large, muscular hand gripped Faelnirv's dirty shirt and forced it violently toward an angry, heavy-set face, his breath wreaking of alcohol. Faelnirv managed to maintain an illusion of calm,

"I know not, Feyn-Harnov. Likely, the sight we have feared has come to be."

The captain's face showed his slowness of understanding.
"First, you will call me captain! None of that damn elf crap, and definitely not attached to my name! Second, you damn well better find a way to save us from it, or your hide will be the first one to rot!"

"From what I can divine, captain, there is only one possible path for that sight to be. That is to extend the oars and ride the current toward the mainland. If the Seer wishes it, the sight will be formed into being."

"Stop talkin' in that elven prophecy crap." The captain said, tossing Faelnirv onto his back.
"ALRIGHT, YOU MISERABLE LOT, GET BELOW DECK AND CRACK THOSE OARS!!!"
So loud was his bellow that the messenger on the next ship over, well over a thousand yards away and trained over the course of the voyage that any order given that loud was for the entire fleet, had tumbled out of his above-deck hammock and was soon relaying the message through a magically-enhanced voice to the rest of the fleet. Faelnirv stood and brushed off his shirt, to little effect, and watched as everybody scrambled below deck.

"Oy, what do you think you're doin' there, elf? Come an' help with the oars!"
"There aren't enough for everyone-"
"GET YOUR LAZY ASS DOWN HERE NOW!!"

~~~

The oars of every ship on the fleet were soon out and rowing more or less in unison, the deep drums being heard from ship to ship stabilizing the tempo for all of them. As they entered the chalky white sea one by one, each ship began frothing and bubbling, its hull and oars slowly transforming into a chalky white substance as the water laped(sp?) up onto them. The men tried to take no notice of this or the smell of sulfur, ash, and dryness which came inward on warm breezes. There was only the monotonous beat of the drums, and the back-breaking work of pulling the oars.

Faelnirv was, perhaps unsurprisingly, among the first to give in to exhaustion. The captain, who sat next to him on his bench, only shook his head and attempted to pick up the slack. It was then, upon the floor and drenched in sweat, that Faelnirv noticed a rushing, roaring sound. At first he thought it was his blood rushing through his ears, though he realized it was coming from outside his head. He wondered at this for awhile, then noticed it reminded him greatly of the waterfall of Goblin-Bane Pass. He found this odd, then mulled it over...

He had a moment of sudden realization, then darted onto his feet and onto the main deck, ignoring the captain's protests. He took out his imitation-bone telescope and began scanning the horizon in the direction of the sound.

As he feared, the current appeared to be in a radial pattern, getting stronger and stronger until it disappeared behind a large cleft in a jagged peninsula formed from an up-heaved mountain range. He noticed the tell-tale signs of rapids licking about the cleft.

Faelnirv darted back under deck and shouted, "EVERYONE, GO RIGHT! WE NEED TO GO RIGHT!!"
He ran toward the captain's seat, telling him, "Captain, you must tell the other ships to go right, or we'll all be doomed!"
"I thought we were already doomed!" he shouted, abandoning his oar and going above-deck. His booming voice could even be heard above the drums.

Meanwhile, some of the men on the oars shifted places, not bothering to question the elf's reasons. Soon the ship had turned right slightly against the current, going on a direct collision course for a rocky shore on the peninsula. No more then 20 feet away from that shore, the bottom of the hull, severely weakened by the chalky substance it was now, succumbed to the rushing current and collapsed, sending the ship tumbling forward onto the rocky shore like a man having stubbed his toe and fallen.

The men, many now tossed haphazardly about the oar deck, lay heaving upon the floor. Even the captain allowed himself a momentary respite.

"Alright, ya lilly-livered grots! Time to get off this boat before she tosses us into the sea!"

The immediate response was a chorus of groans, then slow, reluctant obedience.

~~~

A few gangplanks were extended down from the deck to the shore, and everyone shifted slowly off and onto land, being counted as they went. Most flopped straight onto the ground or stretched in the openness now around them, thankful that they were off the cramped, swaying ship and once again on dry land. Others looked warily at the black clouds above them with their eerie, faint red glow, or the cold black rock they stood upon despite the dry warmness of the place. At one point or another, all of them looked longingly at the line of dark-blue on the distant horizon, glittering with the silver of the moon.

Five other ships along with all three of the elven bone-ships managed to make it ashore in more or less one piece. One of them had crashed into another as it was coming ashore, likely causing quite a few casualties though it was impossible to tell in the dim light. Another had only barely managed to get stuck in a rocky shoal, and only some of the men managed to get ashore before it was hit by another ship.

When the tumult had died down and all that would come ashore were being accounted for, the various surviving captains, lieutenants, and commanders chose a fairly flat rock to gather around and discuss what should happen next. Presently, Faelnirv and another lieutenant bickered;

"We must save this land, cleanse it of this filth, like we came here to do! Even if we die trying!"
"I think we should try to find a way out of this hellhole, maybe come back with reinforcements."
"My ancestors forged this land-"
"And now they've been killed and their land taken by something even more powerful. There was an entire nation here no more then two years ago, you should know this better then any of us. Now look at it. What makes you think fifteen-hundred-odd men will succeed where an entire nation failed?"
"But..."
"Can't you elves teleport things long distances? We could try to send a note or a person back to Humvar and request reinforcements."
"Too far. The energy required for that would leave even the most accomplished mystics half-dead."
"Aren't there other ways of collecting energy?"
"Teleportation requires all required energy instantaneously. Otherwise the object would be transferred in bits and pieces which will fall away."
Harnov broke in,
"Maybe we should stop lookin' back at that shiny moon and start lookin' at where we are?"
They both stared at him for a moment.
"And what do you propose we do?"
"I think we should set up camp and count what we have, then focus on livin' long enough to do some of that fancy magic."
"We're counting what we have as we speak. We're discussing what we'll do after we count everything."
"I don't see anyone makin' a camp."
The only surviving commander interjected with,
"He has a point. We should set up camp and prepare for hostilities. Whatever caused this might still be here, and likely isn't friendly. We should also scout the land to see what dangers might be near-by."
There was a general murmur of agreement and they fanned out as they assigned themselves various duties.

Harnov assembled a small group of twenty experienced soldiers, led by one of his favorites, Brom, to explore the immediate area for anything of interest. Meanwhile he, Jaehye, who was among one of the other surviving ships, Faelnirv and several guards would check out a near-by cave to see if it could be used as shelter.

After several minutes of walking, Harnov and his group were approaching their destination when they saw, not twenty feet away from it, a crude sign hammered together from an unusually straight claw and a two rotted planks of wood. Upon that sign, painted equally crudely from what they could only assume was congealed blood, was a simple yet profoundly disturbing message with ominous, if obvious, overtures most of them tried to ignore;

"Welcome to
HELL!!"

The cave itself was also unusual, seeming to have been carved by hand and marked with the countless bloody testaments to this rather amazing feat. When they peered within, they were unsurprised to find its interior was even darker then the outside. They were, however, quite surprised when a voice, withered and dry yet enhanced with an ethereal edge,  seemingly confused of exactly where emphasis was supposed to be made;

"I...HAve been exPECting yooooou. I musT SAY... youtook a raaather LONg time tooo gEt here."

Startled as they were by this, it took several seconds before Jaehye had the presence of mind to whisper a spell of light upon his finger, which instantly flooded the immediate area with golden light,

In the pool of light now around them, they saw that the cave was little more then an indentation in the cliffs, only just deep enough to fool the eye into the illusion of depth. In the center of this indentation was a bony humanoid figure horridly emaciated, covered in blood, sweat and grime, and completely bare of any clothing. His eyes were sunken in their sockets and stared upward into the skull like one asleep, his teeth black and moldy, his chin and scalp marked by scars where hair had been torn out, and his finger tips mangled almost beyond recognition. His ears also tapered to the distinct point of an elf. Faelnirv looked upon the bloody pot-marks of the cave with renewed disgust.
"How the hell is he alive?!"
"LIFe... is a fiCKle thiiiiing... isn't THAt so, Jaehye?"
Jaehye glared at the pitiful figure, wondering at what the figure was attempting to hint at.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"Myyyyyy NAME is no looonGER of an...y importENCE, though SuffiCE to say... I maay beeeee of use?"
There was a brief pause, before Faelnirv broke in with,
"I can feel the magical energies coursing through him, even without any of the detection rites... he seems to be either extremely powerful, cursed... or both."
Jaehye added, "Aye, I can feel it too... and I definitely think it's a curse. Maybe his soul has been bound?"
Faelnirv cringed at the very thought.
"It's our... or at least my, sacred duty to save any of the Seer's kin from such a cruel fate. I propose we take him back to camp and perform some dectection rites. Maybe question him further about his curse's origin."
"I don' like this..." Harnov said, "Bringin' strange magical things which shouldn't even be alive back to camp... seems dangerous."
"I personally accept all responsibility for any lives lost to this endeavor."
Harnov looked at the elf, considering all the things he'd like to do to him...
"Fine. But I'll be the one beatin' ya if you're wrong."

~~~

Meanwhile, Brom and the rest of his group wondered further down the peninsula, toward the mainland a good mile or two away. The peninsula was rough and rocky, with only occasional outcroppings of pebble beaches and rough loose stone. No signs of life nor sustenance could be found. They had also discovered early on that the roaring gush of water, although it became more faint as they approached the mainland, was omni-present on this mountain range.

Presently, they had found a mountain section which had been further up-heaved into a shallower slope, one which they could easily walk up and use as a stepping stone onto higher vantage points. They neared the pointed summit of this section and could see a convenient step of rock, then looked over the summit and stopped in wonder of the sight before them.

The summit of this mountain and another no more then fifty yards away were merely the lips of a canyon which seemed to stretch downward for well over a mile. It seemed as if this entire mountain range, rising out of the ocean where the waterfall which had claimed so many of their number lay and stretching as far as the eye could see inland, was a massive, jagged, half-formed scab upon the earth's crust. The shear enormity of this landform, becoming even wider and deeper farther inland, and the truly awe-inspiring forces which must have formed it, left them all speechless.

After several minutes of gaping as such, Brom brought them all back to their senses with an abrupt order to continue, deciding against continuing their path upon the high summits of this canyon in favor of the cliffs and outcroppings between this and the shore.

As they continued, Brom and several of his companions couldn't help but notice the dryness and stillness of the air, despite the ocean a mere 300 feet from them. They also realized that, with the sun and moon blocked as they were from the omnipresent black clouds, there was almost no reliable way to tell the time, even in relative terms of 'day' and 'night.' They did, however, notice that the red glow seemed to gradually get darker then brighter over the course of time.

After what seemed like several hours of walking, they had reached the mainland shores and now took their first real look upon it from their vantage point upon one of the mountains' cliffs.

The land before them, continuing as far as they could see, was a barren wasteland of igneous black scabs and withered, cracked earth. Large gashes spewing strange-colored gases and red lava dominated the landscape, which undulated with seemingly random upheavals and violent craters. Dotting the land were clumps of charred, gnarly trees and shrubs which all seemed to reach for a central point far inland which, Brom noted, was also where the strange gash they now stood upon also headed. Occasionally mysterious figures rose above the unnatural undulations of the landscape, forming structures, or rarely clumps thereof, of unknown make, purpose, or possibility, almost always dotted with spikes and thorns. Nothing near enough to be seen moved, not even the wind.

It was decided to rest and eat upon the cliffs, then head back to give their report. This went more or less uneventfully, until about a hour and a half into their rest. Most of the group, having not slept for well over three-fourths of a day, were napping somewhat fitfully, with only one of their number scanning the barren landscape idly. Suddenly and without warning, horridly misshapen figures, most vaguely humanoid, appeared from the cliffs and rocks around them, making disorienting cries impossible to any normal human and brandishing chains and cuffs which they whipped about the men's ankles and wrists with uncanny accuracy. It was not long until every one of them were bound in chains and being forced upon their feet by their new freakish masters.

The things spoke to them in stygian tongues unheard by any sane man, sneering with ugly, twisted faces and kicking them with amalgamate, often mutilated limbs. Their weapons, armor, clothing and other belongings were stripped from them, spat upon and tossed into the chalky sea, slowly turning into that mysterious chalky substance. Horrid, demonic, and emaciated mounts were brought into view and the men's chains bound onto them with cuffs and clamps. The freaks which had bound them then mounted and with their demonic tongue commanded the mounts forward, dragging their prizes in tow.

~~~
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 03:38:27 pm by abculatter_2 »
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woose1

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Re: Through Hell
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 10:51:10 pm »

I think I know the plot twist...
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abculatter_2

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Re: Through Hell
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 02:20:01 am »

Sorry guys, I died for a few days.

I'm better now though.
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JoshuaFH

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Re: Through Hell
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 07:17:41 am »

I read it. Will there be another installment?
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abculatter_2

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Re: Through Hell
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2009, 08:10:42 am »

I read it. Will there be another installment?

I'm going to gradually complete it as time permits. It's not very interesting right now, unfortunately, but I plan to remedy this soon.
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JoshuaFH

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Re: Through Hell
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2009, 08:21:20 am »

That's good. I was going to complain about something to the tune of "Sailors... wearing plate mail?" and then I thought, "Oh wait, conquistadors. Nevermind.".
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abculatter_2

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Re: Through Hell
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2009, 09:13:11 am »

I'm surprised at how quickly it's growing, and how little has happened so far...
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zchris13

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Re: Through Hell
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2009, 08:09:08 pm »

That's good. I was going to complain about something to the tune of "Sailors... wearing plate mail?" and then I thought, "Oh wait, conquistadors. Nevermind.".
Conquistadors are super cool.  Total dickhats, but SUPER COOL.
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mendonca

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Re: Through Hell
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2009, 07:03:21 am »

Looks good so far ... posting so I can watch this develop (please post more ... :))
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Little

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Re: Through Hell
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2009, 08:02:33 pm »

I'm surprised at how quickly it's growing, and how little has happened so far...

It's called purple prose, and you seem to be excellent at producing it. It's good purple prose, and I like it, and I want to see more. Kudos.  :)
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abculatter_2

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Re: Through Hell
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2009, 04:03:05 pm »

I'm surprised at how quickly it's growing, and how little has happened so far...

It's called purple prose, and you seem to be excellent at producing it. It's good purple prose, and I like it, and I want to see more. Kudos.  :)

May I ask why it's call purple prose? And is it a good thing to be producing?
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Cheeetar

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Re: Through Hell
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2009, 04:23:46 pm »

Purple prose is named after the purple patches people stuck on inferior clothing to look better and sell for more while not costing much. Purple prose is generally not used as a compliment. I think there's a wikipedia article on it.
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abculatter_2

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Re: Through Hell
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2009, 04:00:37 pm »

This is something I just thought up and don't want to lose, and I still have a few scenes to do before I get to it.

---

Meanwhile, in a large animal-leather tent back at the camp, many of the soldiers gathered 'round a quickly dwindling supply of fine mead. They made absolutely sure not a drop went to waste, savoring every drought of the precious liquid as if it were their last (as it seemed it likely would be). One particularly rambunctious group of patrons stumbled out to the camp's edge not far away, shouting drunkenly at passers-by and heartily recalling drunken exploits with somewhat convoluted clarity.

One particularly rash member of this group eyed a near-by patch of scraggly trees with some apprehension. Then, on a sudden inspiration, suggested that one of their number attempted to climb one of them and stick his bulbous rump in the direction of the general's tent. After some deliberation, it was him who ended up, with some amount of unease, walking toward this clump. As he got within a few yards of it, he thought he noticed something nagging at him from the edge of his mind, though in his drunken stupor paid it no heed. Instead, he creeped closer and closer, jarred forward by the harsh words of his peers.

When he was within an arm's reach, the dull nagging suddenly exploded into his mind, destroying all thought and replacing it with a shroud of fear and confusion. No thought managed to penetrate this veil, leaving only instinct to guide his actions. These instincts told him one thing:

Run

Suddenly, the man burst into a full sprint, quickly tripping himself up and scrambling on all fours for several feet before picking himself up and charging straight into his companion's laughing arms. Sneeringly, they asked what the matter was, though they were met only with a look of crazed hysteria and a berserk struggle. For a full minute he remained in this state, finally collapsing in his companion's arms. When they questioned him about this behavior, he only muttered, "The screams... oh god, screams..."
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 03:27:18 pm by abculatter_2 »
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Vester

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Re: Through Hell
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2009, 07:21:12 pm »

I'm surprised at how quickly it's growing, and how little has happened so far...

It's called purple prose, and you seem to be excellent at producing it. It's good purple prose, and I like it, and I want to see more. Kudos.  :)

May I ask why it's call purple prose? And is it a good thing to be producing?

Nominally, it's a fancy word for padding.

Nice definition, Cheeetar. I did not know that.

This a decent story, though.
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abculatter_2

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Re: Through Hell
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2010, 02:23:03 pm »

IT'S ALIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!

Didn't think this really needed a new topic, so lolbump.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 02:34:08 pm by abculatter_2 »
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