Author Topic: Something really old...  (Read 1195 times)

Daniel Krispin

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Something really old...
« on: September 14, 2006, 03:46:01 am »
I've not written fanfiction in years, but recalling my old endeavours I found this thing again. The kernal of its beginning is essentially the true beginning of my writing, four years ago after I'd played Trigger. You see, at that point I got it into my head to novelize the bloody thing - I had no idea that there even was such a thing as fanfiction. Well, I (badly) wrote a few scenes, and decided it was a silly endeavour, so I bacame a touch more original in writing sequel-like fanfiction. Now, that eventually burned its way to completion (figuratively, of course), and I've not even done a spot of fanfiction in almost two years now (unless you consider trying to write a play in the old Greek style, on a mythological even, fanfiction. I suppose you can, but that would make Sophocles a fanfiction writer, too.) But to the point... this, here, was probably the first thing I wrote all those years ago. But no fear! I glanced at it again a year and a bit ago, and was so aghast at its poor quality that, being pressed to write an essay for school, I instead proceeded to revamp the style. Thus, what this is. In fanfiction, it was the best I ever did; in style, I still find myself pleased with it, over a year later (which confuses me, in fact, as at that point I had not yet read many of those things I count as great influences, the works of Homer, and the great Tragedians.)

And what it is, specifically, is the famous heroic party intruding on the wizard Magus' inner sanctum, and their battle therein. And know: it is written in a matter of a novel, with my style of phrasing. To me, the dialogue such as was in the game would never have sufficed for any sort of story. So much is altered to fit the style. Also, because it was no more than a scene and fragment to begin with (and I only revamped a portion), it is in medias res. But nonetheless, I figured I might as well post it, for one or two to glance at as they wish, rather than have it languish as mere data on my hard drive, forgotten and scorned by this writer. Anyway, enjoy, loathe, disdain, or whatever else you wish:


That glance startled all but Glenn. For he alone of the four had seen it before... only once before. Upon the darkest of days, and still the dread eyes haunted the deep corners of his memory. The visage was sallow and pale like that of a ghost, so gaunt that the very shadows were caught in menacing ways upon his cheeks. His hair was dark, violet or blue (it could not be seen fully aright), and was allowed to fall free below his shoulders. For all accounts here was no man, but rather a mystic, even as the creatures that served him. For even his ears were sharp in an unhuman way. And the sheen of the eyes was red. Their glance was of both mockery and amusement at once. And he was tall, far beyond the measure of any of them. Six, perhaps seven feet to the crown, and with sinews of adamant. It half crossed Crono’s mind that, had he been told the fullness of this man’s presence, he should have let the others take this path alone. And even then he spoke, with a voice deep and harsh like the report of thunder in the hall:

“What is it that we have here? It is that fool of a frog. Still you remain thus: unchanged in appearance since the day I cast that semblance upon you. Have you not thrown it aside yet, base squire of a fallen knight? Have you found no princess willing to give their kiss for the spell-breaking?”

He laughed greatly at his own jest, and Crono could not figure which was the more terrible: that they were not standing in the very lair of this fabled magician, or that he laughed at their threat. If he was so without fright, then they were surely doomed.
 
Glenn, however, was a measure more bold. In defiance of the sorcerer’s jest, he replied:

“My form is not without some measure of good. Indeed, I rather enjoy it, at whiles. See, now, sorcerer, I mock you: Magus of shadows, I shall turn this curse crossways yet!”

The sorcerer said naught, his wits perhaps unused to so unafraid a reply. A scowl was the only answer.
“And now see: I have something for thee!” Glenn cried, and drew from its scabbard the Masamune. With a knightly flourish he held it before him in the manner of a lord’s challenge. The sorcerer did naught at first. Then slowly came a reply.

“Ah, the Masamune,” he said, in near to a whisper. There was a measure of contempt, and perhaps even a touch of fear as he said it, but at once the former took full command, and he raised his voice to a half-disdainful laugh saying: “I reckon that you’re just dying to use it, fool.”

Glenn returned the dire gaze of the wizard with a stern resolve; once before he had faced this dark enchanter, and then he had failed. He would see to it that a like thing would not chance again. He brandished the sword before him, and the others, at his left and right, bore ready their own array of weapons: sword and bow and flintlock pistol.

The wizard looked from one to the next, and it was plain that he was measuring the strengths and weaknesses of each. But whatever his dark mind saw, it remained hidden, and only a soft smile touched upon his lips as he said:

“Very well, then, children.”

And he reached a hand into the darkness; from the shadows he drew a weapon. It was neither sword nor spear, but rather a scythe, not unlike that which the reapers were wont to use at harvest for felling the wheat. Or, perhaps more telling, akin to the old renderings of death itself. For surely the scythe was beyond the measure of most; this wizard was taller than any of the four without doubt, but the topmost point was above the crest of his head, and the long blade shone with a silvern sheen in the unlight of the room. And at that a dark wind seemed to rise within the hall, and not one of the four felt comforted by this, for it was grim and cold, as if it were the whispers of some dread prophecy.

The wizard too felt this thing, and casting a far gaze into the darkness whispered:

“Ah, the black wind begins to blow,” and he laughed.

“So be it then, children,” he said, striking the haft twice to the ground so that the report echoed noisomely. “If you wish my blood, do so to the best of your skill. But be mindful, for only Hades awaits you!”

With far greater skill than any reaper of the fields, the blade was hafted into the dark air. The fingers of the wizard were skilled in far more than simply spellcraft, it seemed: he bore his dread weapon with ease, turning it here and there about him as a knight at play, brandishing an arming sword. Swift, indeed. Nearly too quick for Crono, for it was only a moment’s breath later that the blade was swept for his neck, halted only by a hasty and clumsy parry.

And at that the wizard leaped back in feigned retreat, his steps hardly more than catfalls upon the earth. Or perhaps he even flew, but to judge such things was difficult, and the enchantment was heavy in the air.

“If this is to be the manner of this battle, it may go hard with us,” Glenn muttered, but drawing up his eyes cried: “Return hither, coward. But who would fault you if you should flee? A child, a cursed squire, and two maidens are a dreadful foe for any man.”

It was not well placed, maybe, but Glenn knew the report of this sorcerer well: he would ill endure any such suggestions of cowardice. His steel-shod steps were as thunder in the dark room as he came forward again.

“Do you wish so greatly for death, squire of Cyrus?” He said, drawing firm his fingers about the black haft of the scythe. “Do you know the power of this one you face, or are you drawn to doom by some evil chance of fate, like so many others? Know that I am Magus of the Mystics, Asarel ar Asant Medina. Hold to your bravery, if you wish, but know that I fear neither you nor your enchanted blade.”

A bolt off Marle’s crossbow sung a path through the air. A coward’s stroke, maybe, yet when one combats so dark a lord as this, who can judge fairness? But it was to little avail regardless: it was wild and vanished in the dark.

The Masamune leaped, and the sorcerer parried, sparking as its failed stroke met the ground. Glenn spoke a low prayer, and struck again, swifter and more fell than before. But though it was true, whatever blood ran through the veins of this foe was that of a master warrior. The holy sword missed its mark yet again, and in return the wizard dealt a heavy stroke of his hand across Glenn’s face. The strap broke and his helm flew from his head; he himself faltered to the earth, his eyes in a swoon. Perilous, to be certain, for the scythe was ready for blood and singing a high note through the air already, but Crono was there at once to hold off the blow, and Glenn was saved.

“Ah, a swift one, I see,” the wizard laughed. “Do so again, and I will strike off the hand that foils my blow. Kimtos!”

And at that word, Crono was thrown to the earth and backward further than a score of paces. He rose wearily, wondering at what this was. If it was sorcery, it was potent beyond anything he had thought possible. What was this sorcerer, now? Man or demon, or a mingling of demon in the guise of a man?
Now, all this while, Lucca had stood her ground, with an eyes of watching only, waiting for a moment in which to make a fell stroke. Now, as the sorcerer stood over Glenn with an eye for death, she deemed it had come. A tongue of fire leaped from the barrel of her gun. A masterful shot, too, for it found its mark at the heart. But whatever armour this man bore beneath his sable robes, it held true. He turned his eyes upon her with a laugh.

“So you make your move in this game, then? And with what an array of arms? Cunningly constructed, I think, but holding no strength against the armoury of the ancient world. Know this of me...”
Glenn rose, and whatever more the wizard was minded to say were silenced. Twin blows were traded, and he fell back a pace.

“Hold your peace, squire!”

Whatever sorcery had assaulted Crono now worked its spell upon Glenn, only thrice as strong. He was overcome in a half-moment, and struck heavily to the stone ground. Marle, with an ever-compassionate heart, leaped to his side, and fought to work her subtle sigaldry upon him.

And even as she turned aside, Crono and Lucca made essay to strike down the dark one for the last. Crono’s blade was flourished swiftly, across to one side and then to the other; Lucca, by her arts and learning spoke short words of command, in the near-forgotten tongue of an ancient realm: “Rotha achos!”
The flames that leaped from her fingertips were perilous indeed, and they caught themselves upon the keen blade-edge of Crono’s sword.

“What is this?” the wizard muttered, scarcely heard above the clamour of the flames. “A child of learning to know that tongue, indeed; sooth, it shall not avail against me!”

But even so it was that, when Crono came upon the sorcerer, his sword was whelmed in flames. Twice, three times he struck. At the fourth the wizard’s black-hafted scythe shattered, and with a certain measure of plain alarm, he retreated a pace from the child’s deft assault. And then Crono erred: he thought the sorcerer defenceless, and pressed forward what he thought to be the final attack. But catching at the ruined blade of the scythe in his left, and drawing from his side a sickle in his right, his foe was full prepared. A great rending of steel sounded in the hall, and Crono faltered, his weapon wrested from his grip.

Magus shut fast his eyes and cast out a hand. At once a darkness, like to a wave or sudden gale wind, leaped from the nothingness, and whelmed in about Crono and Lucca. To their hearts it was as though a freezing terror had taken hold of them, and their eyes were darkened to all light. In that moment, they almost despaired of all life, for such was the great wizard’s power that even their heroic will could not contend with his dark sigaldry. But it passed even at the brink, and they faltered with a mingling of keen relief and fear to their knees. For certainly they were freed from the mighty spell, but worse there was: their limbs were weakened so that they could make no trial at defence, and Magus came with heavy steel paces before them, drawing high his blade for a single death-swath. Surely they would have died even then, but from the far length of the room, a swift arrow was loosed: Marle had arisen again, with Glenn at her side. The arrow wound a straight and fell path through the air and halting fast in the armour of the sorcerer.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2006, 03:54:02 am by Daniel Krispin »

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: Something really old...
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2006, 03:22:28 am »
It's quite good. I'm disapointed you didn't finish the scene. The phrase you use, Asarel ar Asant Medina, what does that mean, and in what language?

Daniel Krispin

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Re: Something really old...
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2006, 03:36:45 am »
It's quite good. I'm disapointed you didn't finish the scene. The phrase you use, Asarel ar Asant Medina, what does that mean, and in what language?

Well, writing a battle is easy. But to continue... I don't think I'd have managed.

If I remember, I think I meant that line to mean 'lord of the east and king of Medina' or something like that, just like 'rotha achos' was 'fire come', literally. I'd just finished my fanfiction where I had used similar styles of termonology for Janus, as well as for a lord of the Mystics (named Azarel, which I made to be Asarel in a different dialect.) That was back when I had grand designs to make up my own language, but knew next to nothing about actual languages - I just made up a bunch of words and no grammar. I was once really into doing that 'Tolkienish' linguistic thing, but when I happened upon Ancient Greek, and even Latin recently, I've found that nothing I can make up can at all compare, so I've not bothered with it. Its original purpose was to provide root words for names, you see, and even in that purpose it died, as I've changed most names in my writing to Greek. And anyway, it was becoming more and more Greek the longer I worked at it - the grammar style I was shifting to be Greek, so I figured, why not use Greek? Thus, it is a mere relic of an older writing style of mine.

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Re: Something really old...
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2006, 03:52:47 pm »
greek actually would be a good language to use. brilliant!

Daniel Krispin

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Re: Something really old...
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2006, 01:01:37 am »
Meh, it would sort of work in my other writing, but hardly in this. Unlike Latin, which is the more standard fantasyish thing to use (or at least a debased version thereof), Greek is rather harsher, and more foreign to our ears. The line 'lord of the east and king of Medina' would read in Latin something like 'Dominus orienti, et rex Medinae', whilst in Greek it would be the far stranger 'Anax tays anatolays kai basileus tays Medinas' (phonetically written.) Likewise the 'fire come' would be 'flamma age' whilst Greek it would be 'elthe deuro, o pneuma'. Even I prefer the Latin in most cases for sheer sound.