The Chaos Singularity

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

The Chaos Singularity

Postby Quark » Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:00 pm

A crummy fantasy I'm writing, continued on from the thread in the Broken Drum (Which Pooh then suggested I post it here instead). First chapter... thingy... tonight, as I have to go very soon.

"Where am I?"
"Interesting," noted a quiet voice. "I never knew anyone that actually said that."
It was all very dark, but it was an unusual kind of dark, which seemed to regard light with contempt: The kind of dark that light would nervously skirt around.
The voice, whoever it had been, had been quite close, and in the thick silence that followed, Irikas began to feel something in close approximation to fear. He shook himself uneasily. His kind didn't fear; they were the ones to be feared; the greatest warriors and the ones chosen to regulate reality itself. Whatever happened, Irikas was not going to show fear, so he did the one thing that could make him appear most at ease: he yawned, obnoxiously and at great length.
The silence which pressed in from all directions recoiled very slightly, but when it resumed its pressure, there was something different about its atmoshere. Irikas frowned, trying to figure out what it might be. Was it... amused?
He ignored this, well aware that something was watching him, and set about trying to figure out what had happened. His memory, however, seemed to have fogged up, like a disturbed fish−pond.
"I'm quite pleased, really," said a voice suddenly, with a conversational edge to it. Irikas jumped, and almost immediately rebuked himself. He was not scared. The voice was deathly quiet, but against the auditory background of total silence, it might as well have been a scream. It continued.
"I mean, you're obviously at ease here, despite what must be a rather disorienting series of events."
It had just been a normal, long−distance delivery, surely? Just a dozen pickaxes flown up to the dwarven stronghold. So how had he ended up here? The voice, oblivious to his worry, kept talking, now entering the state of chatter.
"I like it when people are at ease. They're much more... co−operative."
Irikas was beginning to realize how poorly he was keeping up his side of the conversation - if it could be called that - so he replied, even if it was merely to dispute a mis−wording.
"But I'm not at ease," he murmured. "I'm quite annoyed. And," he added, as an afterthought, "I'm not a person. You knew that."
It felt very strange, talking to someone that wasn't actually visible. He dredged up a memory, dragging it out of the metaphorical pond−muck.
...He was flying, an icy breeze whistling past him as he glided between the mountain peaks and through the valleys. Countless summits passed by, but only one mattered: the destination...
If darkness could smile, Irikas thought, that was what it would look like.
"Of course not, my reptilian friend. Now, I should turn the lights on, perhaps?"
Lights? Something as mundane as lights could dispel this darkness?
...As the sun sunk below the horizon, the icy breeze slowly escalated into a gale, howling mournfully. Before long it was a blizzard, and now it was a battle between him and the wind, as he was buffeted and blown off course. All he could see was the oncoming snow, and the faint outlines of a few mountains...
The dark was, indeed, receding. Points of blurred light appeared in it, spreading tentatively. With a whistling noise, the dark was sucked into several brass jars, like a very thick cloud of smoke, and disappeared. For the first time, Irikas could see the room.
...He was virtually blind, fearing that if he landed he wouldn't be able to take off again. The blizzard screamed heartlessly at him. With a sudden jolt, the package's ropes snapped and it tumbled off his back into the abyss. With a cry, he dived after it, but it was already receding, the snow was rushing up to meet him and...
It wasn't a dungeon, in the strictest sense of the word. Although the windows were high, small and barred, and slime dripped sluggishly from them, the floor was richly carpeted and the walls were wood panelled. A fire crackled in a massive marble grate, above of which a decorated shield hung. The furniture was equally impressive. Nevertheless, the door was thick and capable of being very firmly shut.
However, in the middle of the room, thankfully, there was some sign of life. A man stood comically still, head bowed, wearing a long white robe. With a sudden jerking movement, his head shot up, wearing a smile tailored to reassure people that have reason to be especially worried.
"Hello!" he said, almost absurdly cheerful. "Sorry about the fiendfog, but I felt it was best to ascertain your state of mind first."
"Fiendfog?" Irikas raised an eyelid with a snick.
"Basically darkness absorbed into a gaseous form. Ahem. My name is Jieara'kursin."
"I'll never remember that," Irikas mumbled, still a tad disoriented. Where was he, anyway? He'd asked the question, but so far not received an answer. The man shrugged.
"It hardly matters, as I expect you to refer to me as sir while you are here."
Irikas bristled, slightly annoyed. He'd never encountered a human daring enough to demand subversience from a dragon. Unless...
Another possibility occured to him.
"Hang on," he frowned. "Am I rescued or captured?"
The smile grew into an unruly grin.
"You are conscripted. I require your services for a while, then you are free to leave."
Irikas sighed, a slight rumble entering his throat.
"I, er, still have a delivery to make."
"What? A delivery?"
Irikas unconsciously saluted, something his profession demanded. He couldn't help feeling silly, though, especially when he noticed the large steel manacle attached to his front-left leg.
"I'm the long−range communications dragon, sir," Irikas grimaced. "From Sevenoak, the wizards' tower."
"Aha," the man nodded. "Near the coast. Nice."
Nice, in Irikas's opinion, was one word he could never apply to the tower, or the nearby coast, for that matter.
"Your name?" the man asked, barely a hint of curiosity left in his voice.
"Irikas."
"I see. Well, Irikas, a necromancer like me is always rather busy. I'd love to say and chat but there's something I need to attend to right about now," he said, already striding towards the door. A few italicized syllables fought their way into Irikas's befuddled mind.
"Wait a minute," he said, eyes widening. "You said you were a... what?"
But the door was already closing, hinges groaning as its weight swung inwards. Irikas strained at his manacle, calling into the rapidly closing gap.
"Come back here!"
Thud.



The italics are a bit broken and I don't have the time to go through and fix them all, but I've tried. Sorry.
Image
User avatar
Quark
Member
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:27 am
Location: The blogosphere

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:17 pm

That looks v. promising Quark :D

What I really liked (and this is getting to be a huge bugbear with me) is that you didn't too much 'he asked' & 'he said' all over the place which I find intensely irritating these days - we know someone's talking if there are inverted commas so all I want to know is the volume or the tone if it's relevant :wink:

One thing though - why is a dragon not a person? Or why doesn't it see itself as a person but does regard the necromancer as one? In most dragon-'friendly' fiction usually a dragon sees people as talking mammalian vermin (I'm thinking of the grand arrogant Tolkien-style dragons mainly here, but Terry's draco nobilis was pretty disdainful with people too). :lol:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10468
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Postby poohcarrot » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:36 pm

BEING NICE

That's the best piece of fiction I've ever read!!! (sarcasm again :lol: )

BEING HONEST

I liked it and would read more, but was a bit disturbed with the water-simile fixation.

MAKING NO COMMENT
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
User avatar
poohcarrot
Member
 
Posts: 10425
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:11 pm
Location: NOT The land of the risen Son!!

Postby Quark » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:42 pm

One thing though - why is a dragon not a person? Or why doesn't it see itself as a person but does regard the necromancer as one? In most dragon-'friendly' fiction usually a dragon sees people as talking mammalian vermin (I'm thinking of the grand arrogant Tolkien-style dragons mainly here, but Terry's draco nobilis was pretty disdainful with people too).


I'll give you a bit of background that I've actually yet to input into the storyline:

It's actually the 21st century in Drakoldia (although general technological and scientific development is a bit behind), and the non-humanoid sentient species (Dragons, gryphons, etc) have adapted to a world under (mostly) human rule. They aren't very 'arrogant', I suppose, because they've gotten used to these silly little apes, and have resigned themselves to living around them. Basically, dragons are much more good-natured in the new millennium, and less inclined to torch people they don't like. They still consider themselves above humans (hence Irikas's surprise at the necromancer's demands), but aren't all that arrogant about it.

I liked it and would read more, but was a bit disturbed with the water-simile fixation.


I've got a bit of a problem with extended metaphors. Sorry about that, although I promise that's the worst one.
Last edited by Quark on Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
Image
User avatar
Quark
Member
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:27 am
Location: The blogosphere

Postby thelibrarian » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:44 pm

Interesting read, keep it coming. Is it possible to break up the wall of text a little thou with lines between them, would make it easier to read :)
Image
User avatar
thelibrarian
Member
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:48 am

Postby Quark » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:47 pm

Yea, sorry about that :| It's copied almost exclusively off my calculator, where I've been writing it, so the formatting is mostly gone. The paragraphs looked much better on there.
Image
User avatar
Quark
Member
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:27 am
Location: The blogosphere

Postby Quark » Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:35 am

When everyone's quite finished, I'll upload the next section. Ready?
Image
User avatar
Quark
Member
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:27 am
Location: The blogosphere

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:34 am

Any time :)
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10468
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Postby poohcarrot » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:36 am

On tenterhooks! :P

Any pond-muck/fish pond similes? :wink:
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
User avatar
poohcarrot
Member
 
Posts: 10425
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:11 pm
Location: NOT The land of the risen Son!!

Postby Quark » Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:35 am

Sorry for keeping you waiting, pooh :P (Not sure whether to be sarcastic or not) The next chapter: Presenting the dysfunctional king Arctros and the castle alchemist, Qwerty!

With a soft thud, the arrow struck the target.
"Good shot, sir."
"You think so?" Arctros queried, squinting at the target. "I suppose its about time that I hit that circular wooden thing."
The ground around them was littered with failed attempts. Admittedly, Arctros had only taken up this hobby in the last few months, and now most of his shots landed in front of him. It was a significant improvement, really.
They were in the castle garden, practically the only place in the city where the king could practice archery without accidentally hitting anyone. The garden was a courtyard, with high walls that left the sweeping lawn in shadow for most of the time. Plants dotted the edges, leaning out as though hoping for more light. Qwerty, the king's right-hand man and the castle's resident alchemist, handed him another arrow.
Crack, and a rosebush was suddenly decapitated.
"Do you think boredom is a disease?" Arctros asked absentmindedly, reaching out for more arrows.
"Sir?" Qwerty said, caught off guard by the question.
"I mean," thump, "We're sort of trying to cure it here, aren't we?" Qwerty frowned, considering this. Somehow, he never had seen a bow−and−arrow as a medicinal object, but the king usually saw things differently to other people. Sometimes that entailed seeing things that other people didn't.
"It's, eh, entirely possible, sir. I'll have to run some tests."
Arctros nodded, taking aim again. Officially, Qwerty was the castle alchemist, but that was just what they wrote on the line. In reality, he was a proper scientist, while alchemy was just a front he used, so nobody complained about the absurdity of his profession: Alchemy was fine, but the strange new concept of science was generally shunned. The arrow skipped along the ground and disappeared into a gnarled, thick bush. Arctros could be sure he heard a faint squeak.
"Excuse me, your highness," came a voice from somewhere behind them, each syllable sliding into the next like congealing slime. Before he even turned around, Arctros knew what to expect.
The head councillor was a tall man who was constantly wearing a thick, black jacket. His hair was a disconcerting mix of black and white, which was swept back using some kind of oil in a ridiculous manner. At the moment, he was smiling humourlessly, as one who had read that smiling appealed to people but never got the hang of it.
"Good morning, head councillor," Arctros said, coldly. The man nodded.
"I'm terribly sorry for interrupting you, my lord," he said, the faintest of sneers flickering across his face as he observed the pincushion of arrows that the ground had become, "But I was hoping that you might attend the council meeting for this week. There will be lunch," he added as an afterthought.
Arctros let slip an undetectable groan. Diplomatically speaking, he wasn't really allowed to say no, but attending council meetings was by far the dullest situation of the week, not to mention the most pointless. Years of relative peace meant that the royalty of Drakoldia had gradually become superfluous, as the countless politicians managed every humdrum decision possible. Arctros hated to admit it, but he was effectively a figurehead, and that was his role in the council meetings too.
"Of course, head councillor," he said, a small grimace edging into his expression. "I'll be there shortly."
The king and the alchemist watched him retreat from the sunlight, leaving a icy silence in his wake. Arctros spoke first, his bow hanging limply in his hands.
"'S not fair."
"Necessary, sir," Qwerty murmured.
"Necessary? What do I do at those meetings?"
Qwerty considered this, as humans were not his strong point: They were too unpredictable, and came with a horribly long list of uncontrollable variables.
"Public image, I'm sure, sir. If it was known that the king was neglecting his duties, people would get suspicious. Like that baron in Southwood."
"The poetry he wrote was rubbish anyway," commented Arctros, but his voice signalled defeat: Qwerty was right.
"Your highness, many people would be overjoyed at the prospect of not having to work for a living."
In a deficit of answers, Arctros shrugged.
The alchemist, musing on a bit of impromptu psychology, watched the king shuffle resignedly across the grass, occasionally stepping over an arrow embedded in the dirt. Arctros certainly cut an unusual figure: Tall and ungainly, to the point that he had been known to snort when greeted as 'your grace'. Though barely out of adolescence, he also sported a mop of steel−grey hair, which apparently ran in his family. Qwerty had often asked how it had ended up like that, but had never received a reply, unless 'shut up' counted. He stood alone in the courtyard, lost in his thoughts, and slowly left.
Last edited by Quark on Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Image
User avatar
Quark
Member
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:27 am
Location: The blogosphere

Postby poohcarrot » Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:04 am

"Qwerty?!" :lol:
Has he got a brother called "Uiop?" :wink:

It's good. I like your style of writing. God knows how long it's going to be though.

quark wrote:like congealing slime


Treading a very thin line there with the pond similes. :lol:
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
User avatar
poohcarrot
Member
 
Posts: 10425
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:11 pm
Location: NOT The land of the risen Son!!

Postby Quark » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:13 am

Treading a very thin line there with the pond similes.

To tell the truth, when I wrote that I was thinking more of the kind of silly putty you get in the gift shops of science museums. :lol: . Of course, I wasn't going to write that.

God knows how long it's going to be though.

I'm having trouble predicting that myself. I've gone through about nine of these 'chapters' so far, and I've really only just started the real gist of the story. Please observe the quote a few lines from where I'm up to:

"What?" he said, before his voice escalated into a cry of disbelief. "You're meant to be dead by now."
Image
User avatar
Quark
Member
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:27 am
Location: The blogosphere

Postby Quark » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:20 am

Ahem. I decided it was about time to upload the next chapter. Discworld fans may feel a twinge of familiarity. Also, my calculator doesn't support footnotes, so they're kind of just scattered at the next paragraph interval.

Sevenoak, a wizards' tower on the coast, only a few miles from the capital of Almatar. A tottering monolith of stone (propped up in places with wooden struts), it jutted out of the rocky coastline precariously on top of an outcrop.
Rain battered the windows in waves, although this was quite ordinary: Many of the wizards loved to conjure up a good thunderstorm while conducting some magical achievement or the other. All the same, the lightning rod had been a necessity. Something large and vaguely glutinous slapped the window of Serene's study. She watched impassively as a tentacle the size of a lamp-post slowly slimed its way down the pane. Getting up, she wandered into the corridor and called down to the room at the end.
"Darren?"
A muffled sound of acknowledgement in reply.
"I think the kraken wants feeding again."
A resigned grunt followed, and several moments later a dwarf shuffled by in a set of very thick, baggy waterproof overalls.
"By th' way, Ser'ne, Mast'r Wizard wants to see you," he said, his voice warped from a combination of ill-fitting undergarments and mountain ancestry.
Serene jumped, knocking the crystal ball and causing it to briefly show a cloud−covered planet with green continents and huge blue oceans. She ignored it.
"The Master Wizard? When? Where?"
The dwarf looked dismally out the window.
"Wanted to meet y' in the courtyard. Not really an opt'n now. The hall, maybe?"
Serene nodded, already halfway out of the room. It had probably been intended as a GOHRNBIE.*

*Get Over Here Right Now Before It Explodes.

She hurried down the narrow corridors, slipping slightly on the damp floorboards, before emerging in the Funnel. The capitalisation is merely to indicate the forthcoming significance.
The funnel was the main tower, a huge cylinder encircled by the magnificent staircase that ran the height of the tower, all the way from the hall up to the griffin keep. The centre of the funnel, however, was dominated by a massive irregular pillar of silver, iridescent rock that pulsated with an eerie glow. It was Sevenoak's rune−stone, from which the magical energy to fuel the tower's spells was drawn. Serene glanced at it, noting passively that it seemed a little dim, and hurried down the stairs.
The Master Wizard was waiting in the hall, staring vacantly into space. The fact that he was also drooling slightly probably indicated there wasn't any significant thought going on. While the Master Wizard was the largest knife in the drawer, he probably wasn't the sharpest.
"Tiraus?" Serene said, tentatively, utilising the old custom of addressing a wizard by their first name when greeting them.
"'Allo!" he greeted her cheerily. "What is it?"
"You asked for me, sir," Serene said, a slight feeling of pointlessness creeping up on her.
"Did I? Aha, yes," said Tiraus, realization dawning surprisingly quickly: It must be important. "Follow me, please."
He strode across the polished floor. The Master Wizard might have been a few jam & herring sandwiches short of a picnic, but he was, nevertheless, a formidable person, and carried a powerful magical aura which made the passing wizards, on their day−to−day business, give him plenty of room. Serene, unpertubed, followed him closely.
Tiraus stopped in an emply section of the hall and spun to face her.
"Demons. Know anything about them, Serene?"
"Not much, sir. Nobody's seen one in years."
"Well exactly," Tiraus smirked. "Not after that... er, something that happened."
"The war, sir," Serene inputted, helpfully.
"That's it! Anyway, that's all irrev... illel... irrelevant, because there was one on the surface quitie recently, and we saw it."
There were several fairly obvious questions queueing up in Serene's mind, along the lines of 'where' and 'when', but she chose the one that always eventually stumped people, if asked continuously: Not because of these attributes, but because she hoped it would, temporarily at least, yield the most information.
"Why?"
Tiraus showed what might have passed for annoyance at this stage, as he had no choice but to use the terminating answer.
"We don't know. The griffin keeper, Eldain, was on an errand to the Almatar castle and saw it on the roof. I don't think there's any reason to doubt his eyesight, do you?'
Serene shook her head, having no reason to have somehow passed by the common knowledge that the griffin keeper's life with the half−bird, half−lion creatures in a magical area had left him with eagle−like eyesight. It hadn't helped his magical prowess, though.
'Good. Anyway, that's where you come in. We'd love to go and search for it, but this is a rather serious diplomatic situation, so I want to ask the king for advice. You'll be our messenger.'
'Sir, nobody's gone directly to the king for help in a long time.'
Tiraus's face crumpled into a frown like a squashed paper bag.
'I am the Master Wizard,' he said, with a dash of pompousity. 'If I'm going to ask for help, it will not be from some politician or servant. The king is responsible for his kingdom.'
'Yes sir,' Serene muttered sullenly, aware there was no changing his mind at this point. Thoughts embedded themselves in his mind like tree roots, and eventually stuck there, sometimes permanently.
Tiraus nodded and, Serene sensed, terminated the conversation. He walked away with an incongruous sweep of his cloak and up the great staircase, leaving Serene in the hall. Somewhere higher up, she heard his voice.
"Five strawberry pies!"
Serene sighed, hoping desperately this wasn't an insanity−induced wild goose chase. The Master Wizard had a dangerous imagination.
Outside, the rain took on a smug air.
Image
User avatar
Quark
Member
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:27 am
Location: The blogosphere

Postby Quark » Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:40 am

More Irikas, now with the addition of an insectoid centaur. Just a short chapter this time :\

Irikas had woken slowly, but when he had he found his mind crystal−clear, as was the norm. It was a relief from yesterday, as he had felt awfully slow. The necromancer must have done something to him.
Irikas was rather irritated with Jieara'kursin. First was his apparent profession with necromancy, the art of speaking to the dead. At least, that was technically what necromancy was about, but in reality most necromancers aspired to raising the dead. It was rather dark magic, not to mention the appalling success rate*, and Irikas rather despised him for it.
*Nil.
The other concern was, of course, the matter of imprisonment. It was then understandable that Irikas was surprised, upon looking around the room, to find that his manacle was undone and the door was unlocked. There was also a note pinned to the door, written in a flowing script that was, at least from a dragon's point of view, particularly difficult to decipher.
I've seen it fit to let you roam the tower. Do not try to escape. You may meet other residents.
It was a short note; to the point. Irikas decided to use this extended tether to his full advantage, as he wasn't intending to stay here much longer. The more he knew about the tower, the better his escape chances would be.
He wandered out into the corridor, folding his wings carefully to avoid knocking anything over. The corridor was tall and strangely stuffy, with torches burning quietly away in their brackets, suppressing the apparently endless night*. The flagstones underfoot were some kind of shiny, black stone, possibly even obsidian. Irikas frowned, tapping it disbelievingly with a claw.
*The night was genuinely endless. Exactly why is probably best left until later, but all that is needed to be known at this point is that one side of Drakoldia is in perpetual darkness.
The tower was eerily deserted, with corridor after corridor of unused obsidian, covered in a thick layer of dust that muffled the click of Irikas's claws and, it occured to him, anyone that might be following. Slowly, he became aware of something: a faint whirring noise that must have been composed of thousands of tiny sounds overlapping just a little. It was at the edge of his earshot, yet it also must have been there the whole time. The faintest noise, or at least it had been. It seemed to be getting louder - and closer.
Something rather worrying occured to the dragon. There was no way anything could walk on this dusty floor and make a noise like that. Either it wasn't walking, or...
He looked skywards.
Something was hanging nonchalantly from the ceiling. His visual centres eventually came up with 'centipede', but his imagination had strict quality control and demanded a better explanation.
It was a centipede, in the loosest sense of the word: It had lots of legs and it was quite long. The similarities ended around there, because it was several meters long and was wide in the same proportion. One end was host to an insectile torso, spined and leathery, which, following what the general design was for a torso, had two long, spiderlike arms and a triangular head which peered inquisitively down at him. Irikas stared back into the set of red, isocahedronal eyes uneasily.
"Hello," he said warily, convinced that if it was hostile it would hardly pose much of a threat. "What exactly are you doing up there?"
It made a harsh clicking noise, which was hardly an adequate answer in his opinion. Surprisingly quickly, it turned around and scuttled down to floor level, making the same noise it had made before. It beckoned with one arm and, with a finger like a big, black needle, pointed down the corridor.
"You want me to come with you?"
More clicking, accompanied by a stiff nod. Irikas shrugged his wings, realizing just how lost he was anyway. The creature whirred away, with the dragon in its wake.
Image
User avatar
Quark
Member
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:27 am
Location: The blogosphere

Postby Quark » Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:42 am

Arctros learns of the perils of oyster stew :shock:

Arctros entered the hall surreptiously, opening the north door so it wouldn't creak, but it was quite difficult to appear unrecognized when you were the best known person in the kingdom. Everyone immediately stood up, causing him to sigh quietly.
"Oh, sit down," he said irritably. Obesiance was immediate, silent, and insolent. It was quite an achievement on the part of the council to do all three simultaneously. While a few tried to maintain the shallow illusion of respect, many abandoned the illusion and simply glared through dull hatred. He wasn't sure why they disliked him; It was probably something to do with the uselessness that they themselves had imposed on him.
The meeting began, and with it, lunch. Arctros stared at the shallow soup bowl with an expression of restrained revulsion. He wasn't sure what it was, and he was too polite to ask, but it was brown, viscous, lumpy and when he prodded it with a fork, gave a dubious gloop. He looked around and, when he caught the head councillor's eye, recieved a thin, encouraging smile.
A few mouthfuls assured him that this was the kind of food he normally avoided with earnest, so he put down the spoon and sat back moodily, listening to the exchanges and wondering how they all managed to sound so dull at the same time.
"Your highness?"
Arctros jumped, startled out of his bored state. He looked around at the expectant faces, having no idea what they had asked him about. Further down the table, Qwerty was mouthing something silently. War? Walls?
"Ah, the city walls," Arctros said. Drakoldia hadn't had a war since the demon uprising, and the wall around the city had fallen into disrepair. Due to a small factor called 'population', many sections of the wall had been knocked down to make way for the expanding city, and now the remaining ruins rose like islands above the sea of rooftops.
"Keep the pieces. A sort of... war memorial, maybe?" he hazarded, glad to be able to share opinion for once. Evidently the council wasn't, judging by the furious muttering that arose from the remark.
"But we could increase taxes by point zero zero one of a percent with the added revenue," cried the head of economics. Arctros shot an armour−piercing glare at the man and sat back, staring into his soup with a decidedly sulking expression. It was a small comfort that the head of economics now looked rather weak at the knees and also remarkably pale.
As the meeting wore on, Arctros spent much of his time finding ingenious methods of getting rid of his food.* Even this, however, became difficult: He was beginning to have genuine trouble thinking, as though he was surrounded by a haze. This escalated into a cyclonic headache, which worried him considerably. After all, he'd been fine this morning. It was probably the food, he decided fuzzily.
* The team of cleaners which swept the hall later would be astounded at the amount of oyster stew in the nearby plant pots.
Slowly, he leaned backwards, tilted on his chair, bashed his knees against the table, and collapsed backwards to the ground. It probably doesn't need to be said that he had passed out.
Image
User avatar
Quark
Member
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:27 am
Location: The blogosphere

Next

Return to Games

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests