Western Front Forum

Professional Services => Ask Ormsby => Topic started by: HappySinner on December 17, 2005, 12:20:04 PM

Title: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 17, 2005, 12:20:04 PM
An oily drizzle misted over the treeless plain, descending slowly as if reluctant to touch the ruined earth. The rain was tepid and rank, and did nothing to refresh or cleanse the two weary travelers picking their way between rocks and coarse grasses that caught at their cloaks and boots with every step. Pack animals were useless in this terrain, so the horses had been set free to meet whatever end awaited them. The travelers carried only their weapons and small packs containing the last of their supplies. They were nearing the end of their quest, and although night was falling there would be no sleeping on the Plains of Bezel, where the sodden ground and thorny vegetation offered no comfort or solace for bruised feet and aching muscles. Ahead lay the Living Forest, and then the final climb to the Mount of Orms, where the intrepid adventurers would finally achieve one of two things - the complete fulfillment of their souls (the very reason for their long and torturous journey)... or death. The pair, although from disparate backgrounds, were bound by this common quest, a bond as deep as any blood tie. Their fates were intertwined, both caught in a current not of their making, but one drawing them ever nearer to their final confrontation with whatever creature or being presided over the perpetually cloud-obscured top of the Mount of Orms. The entity had a name, though it was rarely spoken, and even then in a hushed whisper. The travelers knew it - indeed, it had been that very name that had drawn them together on this quest - but neither man had uttered it aloud since their first meeting, weeks earlier.

The taller and older of the two was known as HappySinner in his homeland, where he had been for years a wandering minstrel with very little need for or knowledge of weapons of war. His guitar was no longer hanging on his shoulder on this day, replaced with a broad two-handed sword and a longbow at journey’s beginning. His craggy visage now showed that he was a stranger to battle no more, the set of brow and jaw speaking volumes of the experiences that had led him to this place.
By his side strode a stocky man whose youthful appearance belied his determination and effectiveness in battle. He was WarNick, born into a warrior caste but employed as court musician to his chieftain, as he was an entertaining fellow, and as handy with a guitar as he was with a shortsword or spear. A favourite with the young women of his tribe, he left many a broken heart the day he left on his personal crusade for the ultimate instrument. He knew full well the perils he would face, and considered his meeting with this rangy, world-weary minstrel along the way a fortuitous one indeed, considering the skill with which he had learned to master his bow and blade.

The two had had their resolve put to the test shortly after leaving civilization behind when they were set upon by a rabble of grotesque troll/human bandits. That day, many bandits died, and a bond was forged in blood. HappySinner and WarNick were now nearing the end of their journey, but each knew without words what the other was thinking - no man had made it this far and lived to tell of what he had found. Already the two had faced creatures of ground and air that defied description, and only the occasional fragment of bone betrayed the presence of anything remotely human. Many a brave soul had ventured in search of the Mount of Orms and all that it promised, but none had returned with their personal musical holy grail, or even made it as far as these unlikely brothers-in-arms. Beyond lay unimaginable terrors this was true, but there was still that shrouded mountain ahead, beckoning the pair to meet their fates with a terrible fascination - a fascination that could only be satisfied by one of two things... To gain possession of the instrument that humbled angelsong...

or total obliteration.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick - Pt1
Post by: Ormsby_Guitars on December 17, 2005, 10:01:12 PM
lol, we are going to need a storytime section on my website me thinks :P
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick - Pt1
Post by: EvilElvis on December 17, 2005, 10:45:18 PM
just finish their fuckin' guitars already!  ;D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick - Pt1
Post by: DuskyBlackcat on December 17, 2005, 11:07:46 PM


Bullshit... but BRILLIANT... ;D :-*

Hurry Pez... he's going mad....

Eloquent work G.  8)
I can see the film clip now  ;)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick - Pt1
Post by: Nosaj on December 17, 2005, 11:55:50 PM
It's a fabrication, part of his Evil plan to take over WF and turn it into his Glam Empire. 8)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick - Pt1
Post by: LeOniuS on December 18, 2005, 03:21:28 AM
The man has a talent for writing I must admit..
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick - Pt1
Post by: chewie on December 18, 2005, 03:25:05 AM
funny fukka
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 18, 2005, 05:47:19 AM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 2.

The last vestiges of daylight had fled the sky when HappySinner and WarNick stopped to sup from their meagre supplies. There was nowhere to sleep on the rocky ground, which was sodden from the past days’ rains, but they would be at the Living Forest before dawn, and they would rest then. For now, the travelers ate and pondered the remainder of their journey.

“D’you think they’re true - the stories about the Living Forest?” said WarNick, as he twisted a handful of dry grass into a bundle and tossed it on the small fire they had built. “I’ve heard that the trees actually move like a huge wooden army when the mood takes them”.
“I have heard the tales” replied HappySinner, who sat sharpening the points of his remaining arrows. “But if there is a man who has returned with an eyewitness account of such a thing, I have yet to meet him. I would not discount anything, though - this land is full of abominations beyond the understanding of mortal men, so we had best watch our step through the forest”.
The young warrior nodded slowly as he gazed into the flickering flames. His thoughts drifted back to his village, to the buxom lasses who had tearfully bid him farewell as he left the safety of his lands for a destination unknown. In particular, the lithe and lovely Naoma. Ah, Naoma, who had hair of silk and skin like...
“Are you ready, lad?” HappySinner’s voice broke WarNick’s reverie, and he shook his head to clear the distracting memory as he gathered his pack and weapons together. “I’ll be glad to get away from these cursed rocks and onto level ground, even if it is full of walking trees” he said as he hefted his pack. “Lead on, Sinner.” As they broke camp, HappySinner looked back at the endless plain of rocks and wiry grass, and then turned to gaze at their destination, now covered by darkness. A night’s march would bring them to the Living Forest where they would encounter new obstacles, and probably new creatures of an ilk heretofore unimagined by mortals. There was no going back now, he thought to himself as he accustomed his eyes to the gloom. There was only one way to go, and that was forward - forward into he knew not what, but in the back of his mind there dwelt a melody, evanescent as a fleeting shadow that disappeared as soon as he tried to focus on its strains. Sinner knew that his companion heard a similar melody that drove him on, that could only be fully realized by being played on only one instrument - the instrument that was to be found at the very top of the Mount of Orms. To hear that melody finally played, each man would have to endure whatever lay between him and his goal, and that endurance had already been sorely tested by the trials the two had faced together. With grim determination, the minstrel and the warrior trudged on, each lost in his own thoughts as they marched towards their next challenge - to survive the Living Forest.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Samoth on December 18, 2005, 05:55:13 AM
Ahahahaha dude when the FUCK do you do all this?  ;D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 18, 2005, 06:00:49 AM
I just sit and type, and it comes out on the spot.
It's a kind of controlled mental diarrhoea.  :)

Now ssshhhh... there'll be more soon...
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 19, 2005, 02:05:49 AM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 3.

As dawn probed with tentative fingers through a murky sky, HappySinner and WarNick rested on their packs at the edge of the Living Forest. They had arrived in the pre-dawn dark, and had decided to wait for some sort of daylight before venturing under that ominous canopy. It was yet to be seen if any light at all would penetrate the dense foliage high above, and the two men prepared to find out as they shouldered their weapons and ever lightening packs.

“I don’t think it’ll be getting any brighter than this” said HappySinner, looking up at the overcast sky. “Let’s go”.
The pair approached the first of the trees and paused, examining the gnarled bark on the massive trunk. The bark was moist and slimy to the touch, and the trunk rose almost into darkness before the lowest of its branches spread to merge with those of the next tree. From the base of each tree sprung huge twisted roots that burrowed into the ground to find nourishment, and it was at such a root WarNick was looking when he said, “Well, they don’t look too mobile to me, Sirrah - I’d wager the army of trees is just the babbling of a drunken wanderer.”
HappySinner chuckled softly and turned a wry smile on his friend. “I’d wager you may be right, lad. But I’m thinking that the trees themselves might not have been the reason for this forest’s name.” He stepped back from inspecting the tree and settled his pack on his shoulders. There was no path between the trees, but there was one gap between two trunks that was noticeably wider than the rest, and lead directly into the heart of the Living Forest. This was the way the pair stepped, WarNick casting a last glance back at what he though might be the last sky he would see for some time.

They had not gone far when HappySinner said, “We may be able to make it to the other side of the forest before nightfall if we push hard, Nick. I have a feeling that this will not be a good place to spend the night.”
The young warrior looked up at the canopy of branches and leaves under which they walked. The interior of the forest by day was a perpetual twilight, with very little noise save for the occasional slithering or scurrying sound, and the sound of their own footfalls, muffled by a carpet of fallen leaves and creeping vines. “We’ll get not moonlight or starshine under this lot” he replied sullenly, then brightened. “I made some bundles of that plain grass and put them in my pack. They burn slowly, and we could make it a short way by their light if we had to.”
HappySinner smiled at his companion’s resourcefulness. “Well done, lad. We will probably need them, even if we get through this before nightfall. I really have no idea what lies beyond here.” He looked about them, peering into the gloom with tense concentration. “There’s something... I just can’t... There’s something.” HappySinner continued walking in silence then, but WarNick noticed that his pace had quickened imperceptibly. There was something troubling the lanky minstrel, and he was keeping it to himself.
Increasing his stride to match the gait of the taller man, WarNick said, “I don’t think there are any large animals in this forest. I have been listening and looking for signs of their passing, but all I hear is what sounds like rats and snakes.” He looked sideways at his companion. “Are you sensing something I’m not?”
“Something knows we’re here.”
“Something? What?”
“I haven’t seen or heard anything you haven’t” said HappySinner, stepping over a knotted root that thrust a gnarled finger into his path. “But I feel something here.” He placed a hand over his solar plexus and cast an uncertain glance about them. “There is something in this forest, but it may be neither beast, nor man. There is something else at work here.”
WarNick shuddered, pulled his cloak more firmly about his shoulders, and walked on in silence. Serves you bloody right for asking, he thought to himself.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: jarrydn on December 19, 2005, 03:42:46 AM
I'm pretty sure I've seen you throw solar plexus into another story of yours.

I admire that. I don't think I've ever even typed that word, let alone used it in any context.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 19, 2005, 04:22:17 AM
That would have been my little vignette, 'Herschel gets a new Solar Plexus'. ;)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: TnT on December 19, 2005, 10:47:10 PM

But the story just doesn't seem right without Nick's other travelling companion, and you seemed to just gloss over the eating part.

Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: WarNick on December 20, 2005, 05:09:49 AM
We didn't want to open that can of worms but when we ran out of rations we were forced to clock him over the back of the head and eat him, he was the obvious choice because he was the plumpest and also consumed the most.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 20, 2005, 06:40:34 AM

Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 20, 2005, 01:40:40 PM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 4.

After what seemed to WarNick to be an eternity of silent marching, HappySinner called a halt, judging that the day was perhaps half spent, and the two men ate a sparse meal of dried meat and hard biscuits washed down with a tea made from a bitter herb that gave the drinker stamina and strength. As they ate, they discussed their situation and their chances of success, or indeed, of survival.
“It’s hard to judge the time without being able to see the sky, but it must be close to midday, by my reckoning” said HappySinner as he gnawed on a piece of leathery meat from his supplies. “I’ve noticed the days getting longer as we’ve headed north, so we may have an extra hour or two to get clear of this forest.”
WarNick grimaced at the bitter dregs of his restorative tea and shoved the empty mug into his pack. “You judge us to be halfway through this maze of logs and vines, then?”
HappySinner nodded. “The ground started sloping up a little while back, so we’re well above the level of the plain now.” He let out a long, slow breath and sat quietly, listening to the forest. It was deathly still. Not even a rustling of leaves disturbed the damp silence. A frown creased the brow of the minstrel, and he turned to WarNick, his voice sounding unusually loud after the overbearing absence of noise. “There’s a sound that’s been missing the whole time we’ve been walking through this blasted wood.”
“What do you...” the young warrior began, then stopped. “Of course.” He looked up into the gloomy heights above them. “Birds. We’ve heard no birdsong. Not even a carrion bird screeching.” He thought a moment longer. “Come to think of it, there has been no airborne life of any sort since we crossed that godforsaken plain.”
“Not even an insect” agreed HappySinner. “I find that most unusual. Every living thing in this forest crawls on the ground. I haven’t even seen anything climbing a tree.”
“Maybe it’s not safe to be too noticeable in here” said WarNick. “I don’t see how anything could fly in amongst that mess up there anyway.” He indicated the twisted canopy receding to gloom far above them. HappySinner was about to answer his companion, but caught his breath and put a hand to the side of his head. A strange buzzing, just beyond the threshold of hearing, seemed to fill his skull with a dissonant subsonic thrumming. He looked at WarNick, wondering if he was imagining what was happening to him. The warrior had sprung up as if struck, drawing his shortsword with fear and alarm on his face. He looked around himself quickly then staggered with dizziness at the sudden movement of his head. HappySinner, not sure if he was ‘hearing’ or ‘feeling’ the mind-numbing vibrations, was struggling to find his feet when the vibration, as suddenly as it had appeared, vanished. The two travelers stared at each other, neither willing to speak. It was obvious to them that they had not imagined what had just happened.
WarNick, his breathing slowly returning to normal, sheathed his sword and looked at HappySinner, who was still leaning against the trunk of a nearby tree.
“Was that the something you were worried about? It felt like a thousand bees buzzing in my skull - but it wasn’t really a sound...” His youthful face was a study in confusion.
“I don’t know, but something else happened in the time that we were ‘hearing’ that vibration” said the rangy wanderer as he shook the last of the fog from his mind. “Look at the trees.”
“Huh? The trees?” WarNick looked at the colossal trunks surrounding them. His hand shot back to the hilt of his shortsword. “By all the gods, above and below... the trees!”
“That’s right” said HappySinner. “The trees... they’ve moved! In fact, I have a feeling that we’re not really looking at trees at all.”
“Not really...” WarNick was astonished. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“I think I should tell you about it as we walk, lad.” HappySinner cast a worried glance around them and shouldered his pack. “We may not have as much time as I thought.”
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Mago_Haydz on December 20, 2005, 06:06:30 PM
ooooh.....the suspense is getting greater as the warriors travel farther.....
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Ormsby_Guitars on December 20, 2005, 06:49:15 PM
Graham, just so you know, because it might effect the storyline....

I am moving the workshop from the top of Orms mountain, to the other side of the scary forrest. When you get through, you'll see a sign giving directions to turn around :P
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 21, 2005, 12:13:06 AM
Storyline, schmoryline... You'll meet your grisly end when and where I decide, humang...  :P
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Boginator on December 21, 2005, 09:54:11 AM
Have you ever the of changing the name of the story to somthing like Lord of The Strings.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 21, 2005, 01:47:45 PM
Actually, that very name has come up in connection with a musical project I was discussing with a friend - maybe the soundtrack album?  ;)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 21, 2005, 01:52:40 PM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 5.

The pair set off at a brisk pace, spurred on by their short but harrowing experience. The trees had indeed moved, drawing closer together and seeming to increase in girth, making the spaces between them noticeably narrower. Although the men still had a reasonably clear passage through the trees, neither one wanted to spend any more time under that vile canopy than was absolutely necessary. The strange, disorienting effects of that mysterious vibration had shaken them both to the core of their beings, and the realization that the Living Forest was much more than it appeared added urgency to their stride. Creatures that slithered and scurried were forgotten as a bigger, more immediate danger made itself known.

WarNick carried his spear across his chest now, ready to defend himself against he knew not what. His eyes flicked left and right as he regarded the slimy trunks around him with obvious distaste. They hadn’t moved - not that he’d noticed, anyway - since the vibration, but he was beginning to feel claustrophobic, as if the trees were drinking up more than their share of the humid air in the forest. Sinner’s last words were playing on his mind - if these things surrounding them weren’t actually trees, then what were they? How could they move, being rooted in the ground? As if hearing his companion’s thoughts, HappySinner said, “I think I know why this place is called the Living Forest now.”
WarNick turned his attention fully upon his friend. “You think?”
“I can’t be sure” replied the older man, not slackening his pace “but I don’t think these trees are individuals. I think they are all part of a whole.”
“You mean they’re all one tree?” WarNick was sceptical.
“Not exactly. When we were eating back there, I was looking up at the lower branches of the forest canopy. I saw branches joining the trunks - not tangled together, but growing between them. I wouldn’t be surprised if every tree in this forest is connected in the same way.”
“So this... forest is actually a single organism?” WarNick looked ill. “And we’re walking though its guts.” He spat on the ground and shook his head. The ground had an obvious upward slope now, and the muscles in his legs were feeling the strain. They had not slowed since their midday meal, and the effects of the restorative drink were waning.
HappySinner stopped suddenly, putting out a hand to halt his partner-in-arms. “Wait” he said.
“For what?”
There it was - WarNick felt/heard a faint buzzing in his head, the same one he’d sensed before. This time, however, he could also hear a humming around them, filling the air with a deep dissonance. He tried to locate a source of the sound, but failed. Looking at HappySinner, he followed the minstrel’s gaze upward. The vibration was stronger in the forest canopy. WarNick’s head swam, and he shook it to clear his senses. HappySinner spoke between clenched teeth.
“The forest is moving again. We have to hurry.” He made to stride off, and pitched face forward into the thick leafy covering of the forest floor. While they stood talking, a thick, sinuous vine had looped an exploring tendril around Sinner’s boot unbeknownst to him, and it had held fast when he tried to walk. Reeling from the effects of the vibration that filled his senses, WarNick struggled to free his shortsword from its scabbard as HappySinner lay stunned. Finally managing to draw his blade, the young warrior hacked the vine clear of his partner’s boot. Sheathing the sword, he helped HappySinner to his feet and looked around. The forest was showing alarming signs of animation - the trunks were pulsating as if drawing breath, and a hissing sound came from overhead, blending with the infernal vibration that clouded their thoughts.
HappySinner’s eyes cleared, and he focused on his young friend. “Thanks, Nick. We’ve got to be nearing the far edge of the forest - do you have the rest of those grass torches?”
“Right here.” WarNick shook his pack. The vibration was getting stronger, filling the air.
“Have them ready” said HappySinner grimly, drawing his gleaming broadsword. “If we're not as close to the edge of this... thing as I hoped, we’re going to need them to fight our way out.”
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on December 22, 2005, 08:17:49 AM
This is very enthralling.  :o
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: nihilist on December 23, 2005, 12:58:23 AM
Is it?
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 23, 2005, 08:23:09 AM
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 23, 2005, 10:44:58 AM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 6.

Swords drawn, the adventurers plunged through the Living Forest. The air was now thick with sound as the forest itself seemed to be the source of the all-pervasive vibration. A sheet of sibilance like the buzzing of a million bees emanated from the gloomy canopy overhead, and a lower humming noise was coming from the trunks as they started to pull deceptively shallow roots out of the earth. The organism that was the Living Forest was awakening, and it was from the innards of this organism that HappySinner and WarNick were trying desperately to escape. They followed the upward slope, slashing at vines and roots that threatened to block their dizzy progress, their breath coming in ragged gasps, their senses dulled by the insidious vibration all around them.

“This thing wants to swallow us whole!” said WarNick, raising his voice above the cacophony. “We’ve woken it up, and now we’re breakfast!”
“It would have felt us long before now, if that were so” replied HappySinner. “It has been summoned by whoever or whatever it is that watches us. Now save your breath for running!”
There was now barely a full arm’s breadth between the pulsating trunks, and the ground was a maze of grabbing roots and tripping vines. The low hum was now the dominant sound, and shook the earth as the escaping men struggled to keep their feet. HappySinner had sheathed his broadsword when the going had gotten too close to use it and now slashed at the encroaching vines with a long dagger. WarNick was close behind, hacking his way through the rampant undergrowth with a steely determination. He had come too far to think of failure now, especially since the Mount of Orms was supposed to be just beyond this forest - or whatever it was.

HappySinner hacked at a festoon of vines that hung in his way and staggered momentarily, using the point of his weapon to push himself upright. Gods! That infernal noise! It made it hard to place one foot after the other, let alone swing a sword.
WarNick had seen his companion stumble, and called out, “Are you alright, Sinner?”
“I’m fine.” HappySinner slashed at another vine. “It can’t be far now.” The slope had grown more acute, and the pair were now struggling uphill with blades swinging. WarNick cut a wedge out of a trunk that had moved within arms reach and was nauseated by the foul-smelling sap that oozed from the wound. He also noted with surprise that there was a change in the vibration emanating from that particular trunk, which pulsated rapidly around the area that had been struck. It had felt his attack, and was recoiling from it! On an impulse, he sheathed his shortsword and swung his pack off his shoulders as he ran, calling ahead to the rangy minstrel, “This thing can feel pain! We can hurt it! How far to go?”
HappySinner stopped and looked back. “I think it’s getting lighter up ahead - I’m hoping it’s daylight, but the trees are almost too close together to get between - Did you say we can hurt it?” He stowed his dagger and drew his broadsword, swinging it against the nearest trunk and taking a head-sized hunk of wood out with the blow. Roots tore from the ground as the trunk shrank upon itself and pulled back from the agonizing attack. A high pitched shriek rent the air, making the two men flinch at the pain in their ears. Fetid sap gushed from the hole in the slimy wood. HappySinner coughed at the stench and turned to his comrade. “If they it can feel a blade, it will feel fire, by... Ah, good lad - you read my mind!”
WarNick had grabbed two of the bundled grass torched from his pack, and was striking his flint and tinder to light them as the minstrel spoke. The first torch flared to life, and the young warrior handed it to Sinner, who now stood armed with flame and sword. WarNick, torch ablaze, joined him.
“Time this glorified topiary got some fire in its belly” Sinner growled, and the two musician warriors turned uphill once again, towards the light, towards safety (they hoped), and towards an enemy they now knew they could make pay for its evil. The trunks had almost closed ranks and the pair fell upon them, with blazing fire and cold steel flashing in the cacophonous gloom.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Mago_Haydz on December 23, 2005, 06:30:53 PM
As Im reading this, Im getting more and more into it, and Im beggining to read it faster and more intensely as the story goes on. I understand you're an awesome guitarist, but fuck man, go write a book!
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: TnT on December 24, 2005, 12:12:53 AM
I think he is before our eyes!  ;)

Maybe he should publish it.. the sales could pay for the long awaited guitars.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 24, 2005, 01:12:45 AM
but fuck man, go write a book!

If I had a dollar for every time I'd been told that... 8)

I could probably afford to buy a book... :-[

A little paperback thingy... :-X
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: DuskyBlackcat on December 29, 2005, 10:32:28 AM
go write a book!

At least give us the next chapter!  ::)
I'm hanging to read it too now.... dammit... hooked!
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Boginator on December 29, 2005, 10:09:13 PM
Yer stop playin with ur new toys and start writing. Im starting to loose my mind wondering whats going to happen to our heros.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Ormsby_Guitars on December 30, 2005, 02:56:45 AM
i know whats going to happen. He kills all the evilness (PRS/Gibson and Fender players) saves a fair maiden (keyboardist) and gets the magic guitar, plays a song, and all the enslaved minions are free to dance around once more.

Standard Ormsby client daydreaming...

Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 30, 2005, 03:51:36 AM
Standard Ormsby maker daydreaming...
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on December 30, 2005, 08:27:53 AM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 7.

The air was filled with the shrieking of tortured trunks and severed branches as HappySinner and WarNick waded into the fray, spilling rancid sap and burning slimy bark as they drove in to the midst of the forest that barred their way forward. The injured trunks recoiled from the onslaught and the unlikely pair of gladiators pressed their advantage, hacking and burning their way through an ever-widening gap in the encroaching forest.
“You’ll not be devouring any son of Giskall D’Rem this day, you sniveling son of a drall goat!” growled WarNick as he sliced through a writhing branch. “To the depths with you!”
HappySinner fought on in grim silence, but had noticed a lightening in the gloom that shrouded the underside of the dense forest canopy. It was hard to tell in the torches’ glare, but the light definitely had a different quality.
“I - think - we’re - almost - through!” he grunted, kicking a dripping piece of trunk off his sap-coated blade. “I’m sure I can see some light ahead - Aah!”
A swinging branch caught the minstrel a glancing blow on his left shoulder, striking with such force that he was knocked to the ground. He retained his grip on his trusty broadsword, but the grass torch he was wielding flew from his grasp and landed in the fork of a quivering trunk directly in front of him. The trunk added its injured screech to the din, and a clump of moist vines fell from above to smother the torch, and writhed in turn as its fleshy leaves turned to ash before the flame was extinguished.
WarNick, who had leapt to his friend’s aid, shouted, “This thing is trying to protect itself, but it’s no match for us! Are you alright?” He helped a shaken but otherwise uninjured HappySinner to his feet.
HappySinner grimaced as he rubbed a bruised shoulder blade. “I’m fine. We’re nearly through now - I can feel it!” He stepped forward to the pulsating trunk that had been burned by his torch and kicked it over. The upper part had been withdrawn into the darkness of the canopy. “You’re right, lad. This thing is powerful, but it never reckoned on fire and steel - let’s move!”
The pair pressed to attack again, clearing trunk branch and vine with their blades. The forest was thinning, and the hideous vibrations were fading into the depths of whatever lay behind them in the gloom. They stopped their battle, realizing that the trunks were no longer trying to close in on them. Ahead lay a brighter glow, silhouetting the trees between the travelers and their freedom from the Living Forest. As they walked forward, WarNick looked back over his shoulder at the dense forest they were leaving. A low hum still vibrated through the ground they walked on, and a hissing could be heard from the maze of foliage above.
“Well, it’s still daylight” said HappySinner, “but let’s see how much we have left. There’s something funny about that mount up there - somehow, I thought it would look closer once we passed the Living Forest.”
The branches and leaves above their heads was becoming sparse, allowing them their first glimpse of sunlight - albeit from a sun obscured by low overhanging clouds. The Mount of Orms was visible as well, but the lanky minstrel-turned-warrior from the North was right - If the Living Forest encircled the mountain at its base, they should be looking straight up at an imposing wall of rock. Instead, the forest was thinning out into what looked like open ground, although the wall of trees had been replaced by a wall of thick, grey fog. A light breeze stirred the dank mist as HappySinner and WarNick cleared the last of the forest and stood peering into the miasma before them. The ground beneath their boots was firm enough, but still had the moist, heavy look of the forest floor. Through the mist floated eerie sounds - a deep slurping sound followed by a dull thud that reverberated for a moment in the thick air before giving way to the sound of something large and sodden dragging over waterlogged earth. HappySinner shuddered and looked at his friend. WarNick was looking into the swirling fog with his sword still drawn, listening intently with fascination and disgust playing across his youthful features. The wall slowly began to dissipate under the persistent pressure of the breeze, swirling around the weary pair and gradually giving them a better view of what lay ahead. HappySinner muttered a low oath and said, “I thought this place was just a fancy of legend - a storyteller’s myth to make the mount look scarier for the children. Gods below, it looks like I was wrong.” He thrust his sword into the ground and sat heavily on a nearby rock, dropping his pack and bow beside him. WarNick found another rock and did the same, silently watching the minstrel now, the sounds temporarily forgotten. “Not good, Sinner?”
“Not good, Nick.”
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Mago_Haydz on January 05, 2006, 12:24:40 AM
eeeek. Im scared now.....
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on January 05, 2006, 04:43:19 AM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 8.

WarNick remained in his attitude of expectancy, waiting for his rangy companion to continue. HappySinner gazed silently into the mist, lost in thought. This place was just a figment of some mother’s overactive imagination he had been sure, but the scene before him bore too many similarities to the stories he’d heard as a child to be mere coincidence. As the mist slowly thinned a marshy flatland was revealed, pock-marked at intervals by what looked to be shallow craters or pits. Ragged weeds - the only plant life to be seen - dotted the grey terrain with dull smudges of green and ochre, giving the land a diseased look.
In the distance could now be seen the darkness at the base of the Mount of Orms, featureless and sombre. Without slope or foothills the mount rose directly out of the ground and almost vertically up, as though forced through the planet’s skin by some huge vindictive hand. The flatland mist merged with the omnipresent low clouds to prevent further observation from his position, but HappySinner had seen all he needed to. He heaved a heavy sigh and turned to look back at the now silent forest, recalling their narrow escape from the heaving mass of slimy wooden flesh. His gaze then returned to the cratered flatland ahead, and he sighed again.
WarNick shifted restlessly on his rocky seat, and cleared his throat. He had expected to be climbing the Mount of Orms, but instead was faced with a quagmire full of holes and weird noises. Sinner knew something about this place, and didn’t look pleased. How bad was it?

Roused from his ruminations by the sound, HappySinner straightened and turned to his youthful partner.
“We may be a way from climbing that wretched mountain yet, but at least I know where we are. This is K’Rul - the land that devours.” As if in acknowledgement, an obscene belching sound issued from the pit nearest the pair. The puff of vapour that accompanied the noise from the bottom of the pit carried the taint of decomposing flesh, causing the men to cough and cover their noses and mouths with their cloaks.
“K’Rul... I’ve never heard of it, but then it must be a Northern legend. We had nothing like that on our side of the Great Range.” WarNick’s voice was muffled by the thick hide of his cloak. “I guess we don’t fall into those holes, for a start.” He uncovered his face and wrinkled his nose against the remaining traces of the foul odour, then started walking cautiously towards the nearest pit, craning his neck to look over the edge and see what lay at the bottom. It seemed at first glance to be a few inches of muddy, rancid water.
“I wouldn’t get too close to that pit, lad” called HappySinner from his seat. “There’s a couple of things about those children’s stories that I...”
The remainder of the sentence was cut off by a startled cry from WarNick, who leaped backwards. The water at the bottom of the pit exploded in a foul spray as a barbed spear of grey flesh shot up and out, falling a hair’s breadth short of piercing the warrior’s stomach. The tenticular limb relaxed its rigid posture and whipped around, searching for its escaped prey. Finding none, it retracted into the water, leaving WarNick standing in mute shock and horror at his near demise. That thing was grotesque, and whatever it was attached to would surely be worse. Slowly he turned to look at HappySinner, who was on his feet, an arrow already in his bow. Sinner relaxed his bowstring and replaced the arrow in his pack, shaking his head and smiling, although his eyes were cold as they lingered on the rim of the pit before focusing on the trembling young warrior.
“There’s a couple of things about those stories” he continued, “that I haven’t mentioned yet. What you were just nearly impaled by, by my reckoning, is the tongue of one of those things.”
“The tongue...” WarNick’s knees appeared to lose some of their strength as he walked unsteadily back to his rock and seated himself heavily. “By the Gods! What sort of... monstrous... would have a... you mean I was nearly eaten by that thing?” He drew his cloak tighter about his shoulders. That breeze seemed to have a chill to it now.
“Again, it’s only by my reckoning, lad” said HappySinner as he seated himself and glanced at a darkening sky. “But you may be the only man in living history to have survived a meeting with one of the nasties that dwell beneath this flatland.”
“I find that cold comfort, Sirrah.” The young warrior was not so easily mollified. “...Nasties?”
“Count yourself lucky, my friend” replied the lanky northerner as he reached into his pack for some food.
“You have survived an encounter with a Filth Slug from the Pits of K’Rul.”
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Samoth on January 05, 2006, 04:44:58 AM
Haha, geez HappySinner if instead of Post Count there was Word Count, Nihilist would be left miles behind!  :D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Paigie on January 05, 2006, 04:48:15 AM
Haha - I love this!  ;D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Boginator on January 05, 2006, 05:09:22 AM
More dammit more. And dont  leave us waiting days like you did for part 8.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Ormsby_Guitars on January 05, 2006, 05:13:35 AM
hurry up GG, stop recording songs!
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on January 05, 2006, 06:46:14 AM
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Boginator on January 05, 2006, 06:51:43 AM
I think Ive figured why GG hasnt been writing. Theres no motivation he has his guitars now he has nothing or little to lust for. So i think a WF mercenary needs to go and take his guitars untill he finishes the story
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on January 05, 2006, 07:10:51 AM
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Boginator on January 05, 2006, 07:21:54 AM
Damn u and ur photoshop >:(
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on January 05, 2006, 09:32:09 AM
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: nihilist on January 05, 2006, 05:46:13 PM
If there were a word count Catalyst would be leagues ahead of us all.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on January 11, 2006, 02:47:22 PM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 9.

The light was beginning to fade as the adventurers gathered dead wood and dry weeds to start a small fire. At HappySinner’s suggestion, they camped closer to the edge of the Living Forest, away from the Pits of K’Rul and their hideous Filth Slugs. The time for facing that challenge was the morning, when they had all their energy and their wits about them. Near the forest WarNick startled a small, deer-like creature that was quickly dispatched buy one of Sinner’s well-aimed arrows. Judging the animal to be safe for human consumption, the pair built their fire and settled for the night, fresh venison to add to their meager rations.

“So - if these Pits of K’Rul are full of harpoon-tongued Filth Slugs, do we simply fight our way to the other side of the flatland? A slug - even a giant one, by the size of its tongue - can’t be that hard to kill.”
WarNick was feeling much better with a decent meal inside him and some distance between himself and the foul-smelling pits beyond.
“I’ve never heard talk of this place outside of children’s stories, so your guess will be about as good as mine at this point” replied HappySinner, “But I’d say we make our way in a straight line towards the base of the Mount of Orms, and cleave asunder any creature that bars our way, yes.” His eyes glittered in the flickering firelight. “There’s more to the tale about K’Rul... I remember a person - or creature in human form, anyway - in the stories... some sort of sentinel or overseer... of course. The Keeper. The Keeper of the Pits of K’rul.” HappySinner looked across the fire at his companion, who was still enjoying the last of the venison. “We saw no people or demons today. If there is a Keeper, we may encounter him on the morrow.”
WarNick tossed the remains of his meal into the fire. “The Lord of the Slugs, eh?” he chuckled. “What sort of person could live in this intolerable place? It must be one of The Orms’ demonic minions, this Keeper.” He breathed a resigned sigh. “But how do you kill a demon?” Looking towards the flatland, with its fetid pits, now obscured by night, he added; “And where do the slugs come from? Do they live in those holes, waiting for a meal to walk by?”
“From what I remember of the stories, the Filth Slugs actually live in regions under the flatland, and the pits are the way in and out. If the stories are true - and so far, they have been - a Filth Slug can lay in ambush or approach injured prey, impale it with that strange barbed tongue we saw and drag the body down into its pit to feed. In the stories, of course, the prey was always little children who were too curious about things and wandered off where they shouldn’t have.” HappySinner paused, reflecting. “And The Keeper collects all their souls. That’s where he comes in. He collects the souls of the children and delivers them to The Orms. I’m not so sure about that part, though. Even as a kid, the Keeper stuff sounded as if it had been added on afterward by an over imaginative mother trying to scare her child to sleep.” The minstrel looked up at the sky. No stars were visible through the clouds, and the mist was clammy on his face. Tomorrow would indeed be an interesting day. Perhaps even a good day to die, he though to himself with a wry smile.

WarNick had made himself as comfortable as he could by spreading his cloak on the ground and using his pack as a pillow. He was, however, wide awake. Sinner’s doubts about The Keeper did nothing to convince him of its non-existence. “D’you think the slugs will attack us in the night?” he asked. “Maybe the night time is when The Keeper collects his souls.”
“I don’t think we’re in too much danger tonight” said Sinner, shaking his head “I haven’t heard anything moving out there for a while. But we’ll keep the fire lit until dawn. Slugs don’t like fire, just as forests don’t, and we’d best not take any chances. As for The Keeper, he can wait ‘til the morrow before he collects my soul.” He placed a large piece of wood on the fire, watching the flames take hold and lick hungrily around the wood. This place didn’t exist, he had thought. He was wrong. What else had he been wrong about? He took out his broadsword and stuck it in the ground, then put the last of his supply of restorative tea on to boil. He would have the night to think about it.
“We’ll take turns to sleep and keep watch, just in case our next mistake is our last” he said to WarNick. “I’ll wake you when it’s your time.”
“Right, Sinner. Goodnight” Nick composed himself for a light sleep but kept his weapons within easy reach, should trouble strike from the surrounding darkness.
HappySinner seated himself and prepared for the vigil ahead. His gaze fell on his traveling companion, whose breathing was already slow and regular.
A brave lad, that one, thought the minstrel. May he live to tell his own children this story!
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Boginator on January 12, 2006, 11:24:57 AM
Marvelous stuff keep it coming and dont make me wait longer than a week this time the suspence is killing me.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on January 15, 2006, 12:26:47 PM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 10.

As a pale dawn sun struggled to illuminate a steel grey sky, HappySinner and WarNick prepared to meet what would surely be their last challenge before facing the Mount itself. Finishing the remains of their previous meal, they fastened their packs and weapons with due care - there would be no time for going back for dropped items on this part of the journey. Nick tightened his sword belt an extra notch, noting that he had lost condition since their quest had begun. He was far from fading away, but the pair’s travels had been hard on them both. HappySinner was always on the lean side, so the effects of the adventure showed less in his lanky frame than in the deepening of the lines that crossed cheek and brow. Nick watched the rangy northerner as he trussed up the carcass of the flatlands deer and dumped it near the ashes of last night’s fire. He then donned his heavy cloak and came to stand by his traveling companion before looking out over the flatland, still shrouded in morning mist. The nearest of the malodorous pits was barely visible through the haze, and sodden noises of activity floated to their ears from the middle distance.

“We need to know something about these slugs before we get amongst them, so I’m thinking to toss this carcass over near that pit and see what happens. It would be good to get one out of its hole to see what we’re really up against.” HappySinner returned to the carcass and picked it up. It had not been a large beast, and its remains could be thrown to the edge of the pit from a safe distance. At least, what Sinner judged to be a safe distance to keep away from a harpoon-like slug tongue!
The mist was starting to lift and the pit was now in plain view. Sinner swung the carcass around his head and launched it. It was a good throw, the bundle of bones and offal landing two men’s body lengths from the edge of the hole. If there was a slug in that pit, its tongue wouldn’t be long enough to grab the bait - it would have to show itself, thus revealing to the men what sort of adversary they were facing. WarNick joined his friend at his safe vantage point and looked beyond the pit and into the slowly clearing gloom. Large, vague shapes could now be made out through the greasy veil that still shrouded the flatland - formless, heaving lumps of shadow seeming to ooze out of the muddy ground and fade into the fog as it swirled across the pitted landscape.
“I can see things moving out there, but I can’t see anything clearly yet” said the young warrior. “Whatever they are, their silhouettes aren’t any too attractive.” He strained to make out any detail though the curtain of grey. “I’ll feel better when we can see where we’re going, at least!” Not seeing or hearing anything nearby, he skirted the edge of the mist, looking for the next nearest pit. If there was enough distance between the pits, they were less likely to be trapped and surrounded as they made their way across the flatland.
A cry from HappySinner spun Nick on his heel and had him running back their position, every nerve aware and tingling with alarm. As he ran, he could see why. A huge bulk had heaved itself out of the pit and lay on the edge, slimy water running of its leathery back and onto the ground. It had no head as such, but a large toothless mouth gaped at what was definitely the front of the creature. A series of labial slits opened and closed above the mouth, obviously part of the slug’s respiratory system. Apart from those external features, the animal was a heaving mass of grey-green rippling flesh, crawling on its single giant foot like a common garden slug. This slug, to Nick’s horror, was the size of a small cow and possessed a weapon that made it far more than a garden pest. The slug lifted its front section and the elastic mouth gaped open. The tongue, ramrod straight and lightning fast, shot out and impaled the deer carcass as neatly as the thrust of a javelin, the barbs catching the flesh and holding it in a deadly grip. The slug retracted its tongue, dragging the deer easily towards its slavering mouth as it slid its grotesque body backwards into the watery pit from which had lunged.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on January 15, 2006, 12:27:20 PM
HappySinner’s broadsword rang from its scabbard as he drew it and leapt forward, swinging with all his sinewy strength. The blade flashed down and struck the slug’s tongue near where it entered the deer carcass, severing the appendage and causing the thick, mucousy fluid that served as the slug’s blood to spray from the stump. A loud gurgling grunt issued from the creature as its front third thrashed around in agony as it still attempted to slide back into the safety of its pit and away from the source of this unexpected pain. Sinner’s sword flashed again, and the front end of the slug containing the mouth was separated from the rest of its body. With a final guttural grunt, the slug’s bulk collapsed, still sliding slowly backwards under its own weight into the pit. A vile odour emanated from the wounds on the slimy corpse, and there was already an increase in the noise coming through the thinning mist as other slugs reacted to the scent. Splashing, grunting and dragging noises increased around HappySinner and WarNick as the Filth Slugs of K’Rul sensed an easy meal in the offing, and followed the scent - directly towards the two brave travelers from the lands of men beyond the Treeless Plains of Bezel.
“We know two things for sure, my friend” said Sinner as he was joined by Nick, spear at the ready. “They bleed, and they die. That’s good enough for me. Are you ready?”
Nick looked across the flatland at the Pits of K’Rul. The Filth Slugs were starting to appear, and the land was now dotted with the bulky shapes of the vile creatures. These things were deadly, but they could also die. Mortality was playing no favourites this day, so the young warrior musician smiled grimly and hefted his trusty spear, flexing his throwing arm.
“We have a battle to win, a mountain to reach and some holy guitars to claim, Sirrah, or our souls to lose trying. We have come too far to become snail food. These Filth Slugs of K’Rul will find me a bitter meal, and one none too easy to swallow - we fight!”
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Ormsby_Guitars on January 17, 2006, 12:06:24 AM
hurry up and kill the evil wood chipper!!

Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on January 17, 2006, 12:09:22 AM
Methinks Darth Luthier has the bloodlust about him...
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Ormsby_Guitars on January 17, 2006, 03:07:44 AM
YEs, who do you think inspired the BLOOD RED Vortex of DEATH on nick's guitar??
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on January 17, 2006, 04:44:22 AM
Sure - Darth the Vegan...
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on January 17, 2006, 07:57:36 AM
At the risk of ruining the plot. I'm in this story somewhere apparently.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on January 17, 2006, 08:26:56 AM

Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: chewie on January 18, 2006, 02:28:56 AM
add me!
i'll be a corpse rotting in a corner
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Samoth on January 18, 2006, 03:34:24 AM
Haha you can be like a boulder or a gum tree. Part of the scenery.  :P
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: chewie on January 18, 2006, 03:37:09 AM
damn mouthy postwhores ;)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on January 18, 2006, 08:09:36 AM
You speak as if being put in the story is a good thing...

How strange...

Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: chewie on January 18, 2006, 08:12:31 AM
nick should kill me cos i think ive coveted his guitar the most
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on January 21, 2006, 09:50:49 AM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 11.

Weapons drawn, the pair started off at a brisk jog across the flatland, keeping a keen eye on the approaching slugs. They kept as far away from the pits as they could, seeking the wider spaces between the holes as they ran. Behind them, the first slugs to arrive at the decapitated corpse had begun to stab and slash the free meal with their deadly tongues, dragging pieces free to be sucked whole into slavering, toothless mouths. Ahead, the pits were more numerous and spaced much closer, so the men’s path would no longer be a clear one. HappySinner looked left and right and saw no better route than the one they were taking, which was blocked by a huge Filth Slug. The slug was heaving its way between two closely spaced pits, its slimy bulk taking up most of the narrow passage. HappySinner and WarNick stopped their advance at a safe distance and surveyed the scene. On either side slugs were approaching, having sensed the presence of potential food. They were not fast but they were numerous, and the adventurers’ options for maneuvering had all but run out as they were being encroached upon on all sides by the blind, slithering slugs.

Sinner came to a decision. “Straight ahead is as good a way as any, and we’re out of time for speculation - I’ll draw the creature’s tongue, lad, and you see what you can do with that spear”. He took off to his left, and approached the beast. Sensing him, the slug reared up on its rear third and turned to face the threat. In this position the slug had a height advantage over the human, and reached out a questing tongue, probing the air for its enemy. Sinner, broadsword extended, circled warily and flicked the end of the slugs tongue with his blade. “Here, you sack of excrement!” he cried as the slug turned towards him. “Move your carcass out of our way and go slobber on the feet of your master... Hey!” A rod-like tongue shot directly at the minstrel’s head, missing by a hair’s breadth as he ducked to the side. The slug was in attack mode, and its razor barbed tongue was as fast as lightning. Its full attention on Sinner, it turned an unguarded flank to WarNick, who was crouched waiting his chance to strike.
“Now, lad!” cried the rangy northerner as he parried a snaking blow from the slug. “Now’s your chance!”
The young warrior needed no second bidding. Leaping forward with a bloodthirsty battle cry, he drove his spear with all his might into the side of the slug, just behind the featureless head. He had no idea of the internal workings of these things, so didn’t know where a vital organ might be, if indeed the creature had any as such. The slug’s hide was as thick as an old saddle, but Nick’s spear was sharp and slid deep into the heaving bulk. The slug grunted in agony and tried to turn to face this new attack, but with all his weight behind his thrusting spear, Nick used the movement to completely impale the beast. The spearhead, dripping mucousy blood, broke through the skin on the other side of the slug’s upper half and caused the huge body to ripple in an ecstasy of pain. Unable to move properly now, the slug lashed aimlessly in the warrior’s direction, flailing about in blind rage. Seeing his opportunity, Sinner leapt and struck. Swinging from below, the northerner’s keen blade sunk deep into the underside of the slug, just behind the front section. The slimy bulk toppled forward, and was dead before its flesh had stopped quivering from its impact with the earth. Withdrawing his sword from the dead pile, Sinner noted the other slugs were now attracted by the stench of the new cadaver and had stopped their advance on the men, preferring the easier meal. He called to his companion as he scrambled past the dead slug and into a clear space between the pits.
“Well done, lad - these other slugs will feast on their friend for a while before they come after us again. Time to make some ground!”
Nick was already running towards the passage between the pits previously occupied by the Filth Slug. The other slugs were too close for comfort, and he had no desire to feel a barbed tongue between his shoulder blades. A slimy feeding frenzy was underway as the pair set off again, weapons at the ready. The flatland was now almost clear of fog; save for a few tendrils of foul vapour that wafted up out of the pits. The rocky slopes at the base of the Mount of Orms were visible in the distance, and it was towards that objective that the travelers drove. As they passed a small pit a medium-sized slug, feeling the vibration of the men’s passing, probed out into the air, tongue extended into the path of their flight. In one movement, WarNick drew his shortsword and swung with an accuracy born of endless hours in the training halls. The tongue fell to the ground, still twitching with nerve activity, and the grunting slug withdrew into the pit with a splash. HappySinner’s blade was active also, decapitating anything that appeared above the edge of a pit as he ran between them. The men’s breath was coming in ragged gasps as they pushed their aching bodies to the limit, both knowing full well that if they were caught amongst the Pits of K’Rul when the sun went down, they would not live to see the dawn!
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on January 26, 2006, 11:18:04 AM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 12.

“How’s - our - progress?” Asked Sinner between breaths as he removed a slug’s head, complete with probing tongue, with a swing of his blade and shoved the twitching body back into its pit with a bloodstained boot. He did not look back at his young partner, but ducked past an ominously bubbling pit and into a space of ground that was relatively free of both holes and slugs. WarNick took a quick look over his shoulder and judged the distance back to the now indistinct Living Forest, then turned to look past his friend to the far edge of the K’Rul flatland. The tiny foothills that encircled the base of the Mount of Orms were becoming clearer, although the view was uninspiring. Grey rocks - among which grew some scrawny, stunted trees and a few tussocks of wispy grass - were all that was visible to the eye at this distance, apart from what appeared to be a concentration of slugs right at the flatlands’ edge. His attention was then drawn to the pit that Sinner had avoided as it suddenly discharged a cloud of pungent vapour and a small slug, no bigger than a large village dog. Sheathing his sword, Nick used his spear to vault over the back of the juvenile beast and join his friend, who was eyeing him with a quizzical expression. Sensing his question, Nick said, “That thing’s obviously a baby. If I kill it, we might have to meet its mother”. Sinner chuckled, and nodded for him to continue. “I judge us to be a good two-thirds of the way there” said Nick, “Although that crowd of slugs looks ugly”.
“Fair enough, lad - a good thought about that slug” replied Sinner. The slug was lying quiescent at the moment, and seemed unaware of their proximity. “I saw those slugs, too. It looks to be around the mid of day, although these clouds make it hard” he continued. “We’ve made good time, but I don’t know if we can go around those slugs and still beat the sun. Straight ahead is the only way”.
Nick nodded in silent agreement, and then smiled grimly as he drew his sword. “Straight ahead it is. We’ll slay those slugs when we come to them”.

Sinner cast a glance around them and noted the positions of the nearest slugs. Only a few had sensed them and were lumbering to investigate, but a few was enough to warrant a quick resumption of their crossing. The pair set off, heading directly for the Orms Foothills and that curious gathering of slugs at the edge of the flatland.
A slug rose from a pit in Sinner’s path, heaving its bulk onto the pit’s rim and probing the air with a snaking barbed tongue. The minstrel’s blade flashed, but the blow was misdirected and severed a mere forearm’s length from the tip of the questing organ. Enraged, the slug grunted in agony and raised its front third, turning to face the source of its pain. Ducking to his right, Sinner circled the wounded beast, looking to get past it and leave it to be cannibalized by its slimy kin. Turning his back on the writhing creature, he could now clearly see the edge of the flatland, where the pits ceased perforating the earth and the ground was solid and safe. He could even see a stretch of land just to left of the gathering of slugs, where he and Nick could safely... Sinner’s view of the foothills sudden became a flash of overcast sky as his legs were struck from under him with such force as to make him fall heavily to the sodden earth, the breath knocked from his body. The slug had dropped and struck out low with its injured tongue, deeply slashing the thick hide on the backs of the minstrel’s heavy boots. Sinner had dropped his broadsword when he fell, and was lying, temporarily immobilized, on his bow and arrows. Glancing up, he could see the approaching slug still had a few razor sharp barbs left near the tip of its bleeding tongue, which was almost within striking range. Gasping to regain his breath, he struggled with his stunned muscles, urging them to life-saving action. He raised himself on his elbow and frantically looked around for his sword. Where was it, by the gods? Too late, the winded minstrel saw his weapon, lying just out of reach. The slug was almost upon him when he remembered his dagger and drew it from his belt. Hopelessly under armed, Sinner climbed to his knees and raised his puny blade to ward off the blow he knew was coming. If he got lucky, he might hack another few inches off that deadly tongue and buy himself enough time to escape. If not - well, Nick was a brave and resourceful lad, and he would make his way as well as any man...
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on January 26, 2006, 11:18:38 AM
The slug had raised its front section again to strike at the downed human when a blood-curdling cry erupted from behind the attacking creature. WarNick had dispatched an encroaching beast and turned to see the slug take Sinner’s legs from under him. Seeing the broadsword go flying and the northerner’s body collapse upon hitting the ground, he immediately dashed to his friend’s aid, sheathing his sword and readying his spear as he ran. As he approached he could see the slug raise its head to attack the prostrate Sinner, and knew he could do only one thing if he was to save his friend. With a battle cry worthy of a chieftain, he leapt upon the heaving back of the slug without breaking his stride and thrust with every ounce of his strength into the back of the slug’s head as it drew back to strike. The impact of the blow nearly threw the young warrior from his precarious perch, but he hung on grimly to the shaft of his spear as the slug, now mortally wounded and unable to lower its head to attack, threw its bulk sideways in a dying effort at counter-attack. Withdrawing his spear and nimbly leaping off the back of the rolling slug as it writhed in its death throes, Nick rushed to his companion’s side, concern showing through the grime and caked blood on his face.
“Sinner...” he began, then stopped as the minstrel held up a restraining hand.
“I’m fine, lad... now” he said, slowly finding his feet and recovering his sword. “I owe you my life for this one, I think”. With that, Sinner extended his hand, which Nick took and clasped with a smile. “If that’s the case” he replied, “I’m sure we’re even, after all the times you’ve saved my tail on this journey”.
“Done, then” said Sinner, and looked at the now-dead slug. “I wonder...” then, looking towards the foothills, “Yes - they heard the commotion, now they smell the blood... look”.
The slugs that were gathered at the edge of the flatland had been attracted by the vibrations of the battle between slug and man, and now could smell the blood from the slain Filth Slug. The crowd was dispersing, the slugs spreading out as they tried to find the quickest way through the pits to get to the slimy carcass.
“If we’re quick, we can skirt around them and make that clear ground over there” said Sinner, already turning to move as he spoke. “I don’t know what was so interesting for them in the foothills, but it obviously didn’t stand a chance against a free feed - here they come”.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 01, 2006, 03:53:50 AM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 13.

The slugs from the edge of the flatland were now halfway to the dead bulk that was to be their unexpected meal, and the men wasted no time in choosing a course that took them around the heaving beasts. A chorus of slobbering grunts reached their ears as they made their way at an angle to the flatland’s edge, aware also of the slugs closing in behind them. HappySinner’s condition was improving with every step, but WarNick still had a steadying hand on his arm as they made haste to escape the grunting, slimy obstacles - He was taking no chances on losing his companion at this last stage. The approaching horde’s attention was fixed firmly on one thing, however, and the bulk of the dead slug was soon surrounded by a frenzy of heaving, bloody activity as it was cannibalized. Neither man spared it another thought, but focused on reaching the foothills, and safety.

“They’ll make short work of that thing, but I think we’re clear and clean, providing none of these pits spit up a problem for us” observed Sinner as he eyed the distance to the foothills. Both men jogged along with swords drawn, as they had learned that danger could spring from any direction at any time as they traversed the Pits of K’Rul. Nick cast a glance skyward, noting that they had ample light to see them to the foothills - a collection of low rocky outcrops, really - and settled into whatever shelter they could manage for the night. The barren rocks looked like they would offer little comfort, but they did offer protection from the slugs, and a chance to regain some energy before attempting to scale the almost featureless sides of the Mount of Orms.
“They’ll be well fed, which is more than I can say for us” said the young warrior. “I’ve not a scrap left in my pack, unless you fancy chewing on that last grass torch I made.” The water skin tied to the side of his pack would not hold more than a few sips either, he knew. Best not to dwell on that now, he thought to himself. Time enough for finding provisions when we’re past this.

As they came to the last of the pits they slowed to a walk and stopped, turning to see where their path had come. The dead slug was long gone, consumed by its own kind. The attacking slugs had dispersed, some crawling off to forage for more food, others sliding into a pit and underground with a heavy splash. Sinner heaved a long sigh and looked toward the nearest outcrop of rocks. They were safe from the Filth Slugs, but what lay in wait for them among the rocks at the base of the evil mount? For now, they would need some sort of protection from the elements once night fell. Off to their right, near where the slugs had been gathered, there was an interesting rock formation in the side of the mountain, a large depression framed by massive columns of rock on either side. The rocks around the grotto looked unnaturally worn, so with a gesture to Nick to follow, Sinner moved to investigate. “That place there looks like a safe spot” he said, pointing to the overhang above the grotto. “There might even be a bit of a cave between those pillars.”
Nick was examining the ground around them as they walked. “I’m happy with anything that puts distance between me and those slugs” was his reply. “You know, there’s absolutely nothing here that looks like it would attract a swarm of those things. Why were they crowded down there?”  He indicated with his spear, pointing towards the pits. “There’s nothing up here.” He sounded almost disappointed.
“Nothing we can see” replied Sinner. He was still looking up at the worn rocks near the grotto. There were definite signs of wear, as if things - heavy things - were repeatedly dragged over and behind the rocks and into whatever lay in the grotto. The rock ledge itself was about head high, so whatever was doing the dragging was big and powerful, or numerous. The rangy minstrel was in no mood to face more creatures out of his childhood stories, and the nearer the travelers drew to the grotto, the thicker the air grew with a feeling of dread. Sinner stopped and surveyed their surroundings, searching for any hint of danger. Behind him, WarNick cleared his throat and shuffled his feet nervously. He could feel it too, like a palpable thing around them - the feeling of being watched.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 01, 2006, 03:55:34 AM
“This place is or was used by someone - or something” muttered Sinner, regarding the grotto and its rock columns with distaste. “Those rocks are well worn, and it wouldn’t surprise me if those stains are blood.” Indeed, there were dark discolorations on the worn rocks, faded with time but still visible to the eye. Taking a few steps back, Sinner looked left and right along the outcrops that spread around the base of the mountain. As far as he could see in either direction, the foothills climbed to a modest height before abruptly ending with an almost vertical rock wall reaching up to the low clouds that hung perpetually overhead. No holes, no caves, no way through, save whatever lay inside and beyond the grotto, with its suspicious stains and wear marks. The place had the air of a sacrificial altar about it, and both men were on their guard, nervously eyeing their surroundings and fingering the handles of their swords.

Sinner had walked down towards the edge of the flatland where the sodden earth gave way to rocks and pebbles. Stopping to look back up at Nick, who had seated himself on a pile of boulders near the right hand column of the grotto, he said, “There’s no sign of the slugs being able to move onto the rocks. It must hurt them to crawl on ground so dry and rough. At least we’ll have no unwelcome guests in our beds tonight.”
“Thank the gods for that small mercy” chuckled Nick as he loosened his pack and let it drop to the ground next to his spear. “I’ll be looking...”
The warrior never finished his thought. A huge disembodied voice bellowed from the rocks around them and filled the air - stentorian, venomous in tone and at a volume that caused both men to flinch;

Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: 2006chasec on February 01, 2006, 11:03:15 AM

Too cool for words.  Looking forward to an ISBN so I can recommend your writing to the Federal Australian Education Dpartment.....

Love ya work...
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 01, 2006, 01:22:09 PM
Ta, Chasemund...

I would've been out looking for a publisher, but ISBN in my front room, writing...  :P

...get it?  eh?  eh?  :D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: DuskyBlackcat on February 01, 2006, 01:23:07 PM
boom tish*

stick to what ya know mate  ;) ;D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 01, 2006, 01:40:43 PM
Like... annoying you?  :-*
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: DuskyBlackcat on February 01, 2006, 01:43:25 PM
*looks left
*looks right

who stole my flame thrower?? ::)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Ormsby_Guitars on February 01, 2006, 07:51:24 PM

I would've been out looking for a publisher, but ISBN in my front room, writing...  :P

you idiot :P

Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 01, 2006, 10:48:33 PM
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Boginator on February 01, 2006, 11:09:54 PM
Great humour especially for 3a.m :P
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: -=[Cataclysm]=- on February 06, 2006, 03:02:05 AM
now thats dedication to the internet lol1!!
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 08, 2006, 11:50:05 AM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 14.

The disembodied voice blared and echoed around the rock faces of the foothills, chilling the weary travelers to the core. Nick leapt to his feet, stumbling in his haste to pick up his spear as he rose. Spinning to face the grotto, he saw wisps of mist rising from the grotto’s ledge - mist very much like that which shrouded the Pits of K’Rul. This had to be the source of that terrible voice, and Nick remembered with a chill that there was one character from Sinner’s legend whose existence had yet to be proven... As if sharing his thought, Sinner’s voice, low and rasping in a throat suddenly dry, came from behind;
“The Keeper.”
Nick felt his legs weaken, and leaned on his spear for support. His stomach was an icy knot, and his head was swimming. He stared in awe up at the rock columns of the grotto, which now seemed somehow more sinister as they framed the entry to what felt to be a portal to a thousand hells. A feeling of absolute hopelessness washed over the young warrior - They had crossed a barren plain where nothing grew, hacked their way through a marauding forest that wasn’t a forest, and fought a running battle with giant slugs... and for what? The promise of a sacred guitar, a direct line of communication to the inner muse? Nick shook his head at the futility of it all. Both men had only their visions - their visitations from The Orms - as proof that such a thing even existed for either of them! As if acknowledging their human folly, a tall, cloaked and hooded figure rose from behind the ledge and floated forward to stand upon it, looking down on the men and radiating a palpable air of disdain and predatory curiosity. Mist swirled around the bottom of the figure’s robes, which appeared to be made of a material so black as to actually absorb light. Its face was mostly obscured by the overhanging cowl, but what skin Nick could see was grey and leathery. A deep, sinister chuckle escaped the imposing form, and Nick swallowed hard. Nothing in the training halls or the war games had prepared him for this! With something that could bleed, feel pain and die on the point of a blade, it was always an even battle at best, but this...

“Your bodies have served me well to transport your souls to my keeping” hissed The Keeper.
“But I will have no use for them once I have your life-force in my possession... you may feed my slugs with your empty shells when I am done with you”.
Nick found himself transfixed, his eyes unable to break away from the shadowy features of The Keeper. His skin crawled at the thought of hideous Filth Slugs gorging themselves on his flesh - his empty, soulless flesh...
“The mighty Orms knows of your coming, human” continued the sibilant husk. “He knows who you are; he knows why you’re here, he knows what you want.” Again, that evil laugh. “I am here to greet you in his name and to relieve you of your essence, puny and insipid as it is - You may submit willingly, or you may choose to take the path of pain.” The Keeper’s hands (large, grey and calloused, Nick noticed as he slowly regained some of his composure) escaped the folds of his robes as he spread them in a gesture of futility. “Whatever you choose, the mighty Orms will have the final ingredients for your precious guitars” - the word was loaded with venom - “And the only useful part of you will live on to entertain him for eternity... or until you begin to weary him.”
Nicks heart, already in the pit of his stomach, sank even further. He saw what the Orms’ trap was now, and how they had walked - all this way - right into it. He shook his head again, but this time to clear his foggy senses as his eyes beheld The Keeper floating free of his rocky platform and glide gracefully and effortlessly down to stand within a few body lengths of the stunned and quaking warrior. This is indeed a demon, sent by The Orms! Nick was struggling to comprehend what he was seeing. No man or earthly creature can float in the air - how can I face a beast of the pits of hell? Nick could now see up under the cowl and observed The Keeper’s face - a heavy brow protruding over tiny black, deep-set eyes, and a long, hawkish nose over a lipless mouth containing jagged, yellow fangs. The skin - oily and heavy as the hide of a Filth Slug - was the same bloodless grey as the hands, which looked big enough to crush a man’s skull.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 08, 2006, 11:52:03 AM
The expression on The Keeper’s grotesque visage was almost benevolent as he looked down at his victim.
“I will give you a moment to decide how you wish to gift me with your soul, little human.” The Keeper’s hiss had become a seductive croon. “But know that my generosity and kindness only extend so far, as does my patience with inferior beings. Come now - perhaps we could play a game to decide your fate!” The Keeper took a gliding step closer, and Nick could smell the death and decay emanating from what he now knew to be a demon. Bracing himself with his spear he drew his short sword, knowing full well as he did so that it was a pathetic gesture before such a being. The Keeper’s breath was like opening a tomb - it reeked with the stench of death.
“Perhaps a riddle for you, human-thing.” The Keeper was enjoying himself now. “I shall ask you a riddle. If you answer incorrectly, I take your soul.” Again the blacker-than-black robes slid forward, and The Keeper smiled indulgently as Nick stumbled backwards, raising his sword.
“If you answer my riddle correctly, however...” The chuckle was evil itself, and the hissing tone returned with an undertone of the passion of anticipation.
“Well... I will still have your soul for the Master. No matter.” The massive shoulders shrugged. “You can play first, and then I will play with the other human.” The craggy grey face then turned to Sinner, who had remained silent and behind Nick as the tableau with The Keeper unfolded. At that moment, something in The Keeper’s manner changed; grew imperceptibly strained. Nick was still registering the change when he heard Sinner’s laconic drawl behind him:

“Riddles, eh? I make it a rule never to enter into a battle of wits with an unarmed man.”

Nick finally found control of his muscles and turned to face his friend, shocked and totally confused. Had the rangy minstrel taken leave of his senses? They were faced with a demon sent by the evil Orms himself, and the northerner, instead of fighting for his life with sword and arrow, was hurling insults! Sinner’s attitude did nothing to calm the young warrior’s agitation either. His broadsword was drawn, but the tip of the blade was nestled in a crack in a rock, and he was leaning casually on the long handle. The hint of a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth as he gazed calmly at The Keeper. Yet again, Nick shook his head. His friend, faced with certain annihilation, had gone mad. I will die alone, but with dignity, was his thought as he prepared to face his fate, as befitting a true son of Giskall D’Rem!
But before he could act, Sinner spoke again in the same lazy drawl. This time, his words threw Nick’s mind into total chaos!
“Put your weapon away, lad. You won’t be needing it to deal with this lackey.”
Nick was aghast. “What?”  If he shook his head again, he was going to injure his neck.
“We... the... won’t be need... you... Sinner!?”  The last word was almost a shriek. Nick then lapsed into a confounded silence as Sinner raised a casual hand. This isn’t happening! was his only coherent thought.

“I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me after all the strange goings-on, what with the existence of K’Rul and all, but now I’m sure. This is no demon, lad.” Sinner’s eyes were still steadily gazing past Nick, fastened on the robed figure that now stood, as still as if it had been carved from the very rock of the Mount of Orms.
Sinner’s voice was low and level, but with an edge of steel.
“So this is where you ran to - long time no see, Nosaj.”
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: WarNick on February 08, 2006, 12:07:21 PM
Oh.. Man..
Don't you dare hold out on the next installment for longer than 24hrs, or I double cross you! :P
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 08, 2006, 11:42:17 PM
What are you trying to do - intimidate my belt buckle? :P
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: WarNick on February 09, 2006, 01:07:56 AM

Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: chewie on February 09, 2006, 06:14:08 AM
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on February 09, 2006, 08:30:24 AM
Haha Classic. I knew I was in there somewhere. Didn't realise I stunk that bad tho. :-[
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Ormsby_Guitars on February 09, 2006, 08:24:35 PM
they say you are what you eat.....
NOSAJ is about to be a bucket of meat

Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 10, 2006, 10:05:01 AM
...or a Caesar Salad.  8)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 19, 2006, 01:26:42 PM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 15.

Nick’s head swam with a maelstrom of conflicting information. The Orms had dispatched one of his demons to steal some souls for him, and Sinner was treating it with a disdain that one would reserve for the town drunk. Did supernatural creatures warrant no esteem in his village? This Keeper certainly did not look human - he was too big and altogether the wrong colour for a living being - yet the minstrel’s words had stopped it cold and struck it dumb, for it glared in mute fury at the speaker, its face showing recognition through a rictus of hate. Nick, no longer the focus of The Keeper’s attentions, regained some of his composure and scrambled back to stand with is friend, scooping up his weapons and pack as he ran. Joining Sinner he dropped his pack and drew his sword, turning to face a certain attack armed with blade, spear, and a thousand unanswered questions. The Keeper (Nosaj?), however, hadn’t moved. Instead, it spoke in a venomous rumble;
“HappySinner... A curse on your bloodline, you homeless wastrel! Surely you can’t believe yourself worthy of an instrument from the mighty Orms? Your soul will be hardly worth taking!”
The murderous intent in the words was unmistakable, but the robed figure still did not move to attack. Nick flashed a look at Sinner to judge his reaction. The northerner was unmoved, still with a half-smile that didn’t match his steely gaze. A movement past Sinner caught Nick’s eye, and he saw a number of slugs returning to the spot where they had gathered earlier. That spot was dangerously close. He cleared his throat to voice a warning, but his companion broke the silence first.
“My soul?” Sinner placed a hand to his chest. “You’ll be taking nothing from me, you motherless goat.”
He then hefted his sword and stepped casually to his left, hissing to Nick in an aside; “Stay at my left shoulder, lad. When I’ve taken a few more steps, get back up towards the rocks.”
Nick understood. Sinner had seen the slugs too, and didn’t want to be trapped between them and what - or who - faced them here, seething with rage.
“You think you know me? You know NOTHING!” The grey visage of The Keeper was taking on a purplish hue as blood suffused his face. The shock of being recognized had thrown him, and the long-forgotten insult from his past had stung him to instant rage. He had left Nosaj behind forever, taking on his rightful Lordship of K’Rul under the command of his new master - He was The Keeper, and this wandering hobo from the past had opened deep wounds long thought healed and gone!
“You will regret mocking me, human scum!” The Keeper raised a huge hand and pointed at Sinner.
“My master has given me much, of which you know nothing! Your weapons are as useless as your words!”
The pointing hand formed a fist the size of a man’s head, and shook as The Keeper took an ominous step forward. Sinner shuffled sideways and Nick was quick to maintain his position, keeping the lanky minstrel between him and The Keeper, who was still advancing with bloodlust in his black, deep set eyes.
“Your bodies will be a meal for my slugs yet, when I have your souls!” he growled as he came. He was now totally focused on Sinner, Nick saw as he backed up the slope. Clearly, Sinner’s presence had disturbed The Keeper, and there was a history between the two that was beyond Nick’s present understanding. Whatever it was, The Keeper was now oblivious to the existence of the young warrior and had but one thing on his corrupted mind - the total obliteration of HappySinner!
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 19, 2006, 01:30:18 PM
The rangy northerner had taken one more shuffling step sideways and stopped, squarely facing The Keeper. Nick leaped up on a low outcropping of rocks and turned to watch the confrontation, spear at the ready. He could hit The Keeper from his vantage point, but he didn’t know what harm he could do against such a... well, what was he? Sinner was speaking to The Keeper, as if reading Nick’s thoughts;
“Again with the souls, Nosaj. What have you done? Become an errand-boy for a false god?” Sinner had sheathed his sword and slipped his bow from his shoulder. “What has The Orms given you? Domain over some rocks, some smelly holes in the ground and a - a snail farm?” An arrow was now notched in the bowstring, but Sinner held the bow loosely as he continued in a conversational tone. “Power? Power to do what? If you had the powers of a demon, we’d both be dead by now, and you’d be trotting off to your lord with our souls like the good lackey you are!”
At this insult, The Keeper was apoplectic, his eyes bugging from their sockets, colourless lips pulling back over broken, carnivorous looking teeth.
“POWER?” he roared, his oily skin seeming to run with venom. “I’ll show you power, you germ!”
Arms swung wide, The Keeper floated bodily off the ground a full arm’s length. The hood of the blacker-than-black robes fell completely back, exposing The Keeper’s huge domed skull, devoid of hair and heavily veined.
“I will eat your flesh myself, you... you... Aah! What’s this?” As The Keeper had floated free of the ground, Sinner quickly raised his bow, aimed and loosed his arrow. The projectile traveled swiftly and true, piercing The Keeper’s chest and causing him to float backwards, almost directly over the slugs that had gathered at the edge of the flatland. The wound was deep and bled freely, the blood soaking invisibly into The Keeper’s robes. Still floating mid-air, The Keeper looked down at the arrow protruding from his chest, then at Sinner.
“An arrow? You think to fell me like you would a bird? How quaint!” The Keeper laughed as he grabbed the shaft of Sinner’s arrow, tearing it out with a violence that made Nick wince. The result was more blood, which The Keeper ignored. The slugs on the ground below The Keeper had picked up the scent of the fresh blood and were probing skyward with tentative tongues, seeking the source of the enticing smell. All of a sudden, Nick saw Sinner’s plan, and raised his spear.
“Enough!” The Keeper tossed the arrow aside. “I tire of this! I remember you, HappySinner the homeless. I should grind your bones to powder for what you did to me when I was... human!” The word was spat out as if its taste was acid, and The Keeper floated closer, fingers twitching. “But I will enjoy your eternal agony more as your soul toils for the mas... AAAGH!!”
As one, Sinner loosed a fresh arrow and Nick threw with all his might. The arrow hit the exact same mark as its predecessor, sinking into the Keeper’s existing chest wound until only half the shaft protruded. Nick’s spear caught The Keeper squarely in the throat, piercing the windpipe and jugular vein before twisting out and falling away. The combined impact of the two missiles drove The Keeper backwards and down, but he somehow remained floating in the air. A gurgling bellow erupted from the wounded Keeper as blood spilled into his lungs and splashed over the now frantic slugs just below. A barbed tongued lashed out, and The Keeper fell to the ground with a heavy thud, screaming and cursing through destroyed vocal cords. The blacker-than-black robes disappeared under a heaving mass of grey, slimy bodies and the screaming cut off abruptly. A sudden silence fell, broken only by the sliding and squelching of feeding Filth Slugs and the laboured breathing of the two travelers.

Dropping his bow, Sinner turned and walked slowly away from the feeding slugs. His face was drawn and haggard, but broke into a smile as he shook his young friend’s hand. Nick regarded the minstrel for a moment, then nodded towards the slugs, his face one big question.
“So... friend of yours, was it?”
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on February 22, 2006, 07:28:48 AM
This is brilliant. My demise in this story is almost similar to that of Anakin Skywalkers in revenge of the sith.(when he gets cooked by lava) :D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 22, 2006, 11:31:44 AM
Glad you enjoyed your death, dude.  :D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on February 23, 2006, 07:48:21 AM
*nod*. You know a cool twist would be that the keeper(being me) turned out to be Nicks brother whom of which Nick was made to believe long dead,ironically killed by the keeper or by the filth slugs after running recklessly in the pits.  
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 23, 2006, 09:39:39 AM
Actually, I was considering a 'Brokeback' moment next...


...KIDDING!!!  ;D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: WarNick on February 23, 2006, 10:42:38 AM


Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Boginator on February 23, 2006, 11:14:48 AM


Dont lie nick you luv it. :P
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on February 24, 2006, 07:17:47 AM
Ewww. Should have Longi in the story somewhere as a beast that eats everything in it's path. ;D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 24, 2006, 11:19:48 AM
They've changed your medication recently, haven't they?
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Ormsby_Guitars on February 24, 2006, 05:56:53 PM
Let that be a warning to all those potential guitar denters out there....
>:( >:( >:(


Now, this is technically when the Nasaj death theme music should roll.... BLUDLURST. Say, GG, when you going to post that song up? Oh, actually, dont answer that....  :(
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 24, 2006, 10:17:15 PM
Love yer werk. :D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 27, 2006, 02:38:26 PM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 16.

Sinner turned his head to look back at the seething mass of grey slugs on the edge of the flatland. When we turned back to face Nick, his smile held a trace of sadness.
“It’s a long story lad, but one you’ll hear. Later.” Sinner looked up at the sky, then up towards the grotto from which The Keeper/Nosaj had emerged. “For now, we need to find shelter and food. It won’t be light for too much longer, and I don’t want any surprises from whatever nocturnal life inhabits this place.” Pausing to gather their belongings, the pair made their weary way up a gentle rocky slope to the ledge and pillars that framed what was almost certainly an entranceway of some description in the sheer face of rock. Reaching the ledge, they paused. Nick was unsettled, and glanced up at the rock columns with a nervous eye before speaking.

“Sinner, I know now that The Keep - Nosaj wasn’t a demon, but he still... well, we both saw him fly, and he didn’t look much like any man I’ve met. That skin...” Nick shuddered, then shook his head. “He didn’t die like a demon, though.”
“He didn’t look like that before - the last time I saw him” replied Sinner. “Granted, he had some new tricks, and The Orms had definitely done something to him, but nothing that would make him a threat should he think of turning on his master. Whatever The Orms is, it’s not stupid.”
Nick nodded. “I see. Fair enough. But do you think...” He frowned up at the ledge, fingering the handle of his short sword. “Do you think he has any... friends back there?”
Sinner chuckled and nodded. “I get what you mean, lad. Nosaj never had any friends, even before The Orms gave him skin like slug hide.” This drew a laugh from the young warrior. “Even if this is the way to Nosaj’s lair, I don’t think we’ll find any more trouble. Not down here, anyway.” Sinner slapped the rock next to him, then tossed his pack up on to the ledge. “Not that we have a choice, but let’s go find out for sure before we lose the light that’s left to us.”
The pair scrambled up and stood on the ledge. The grotto contained an entrance, all right - a large hole in the wall behind the ledge framed a stairway, hewn into the rock, leading down into darkness. Four men could walk abreast down those stairs, by Nick’s reckoning. A big door for one person, even if he was oversized and grey.
Sinner was peering into the gloom that swallowed the descending stairway. “We’re going to need light to find our way down there. And not a twig to be found in all this rock.”
Nick pondered for a second, then suddenly brightened. He reached into his pack. “Good thing I didn’t throw this away, then.” He withdrew his hand with a flourish, brandishing the grass torch he had kept since their battle with the Living Forest. Sinner grinned and clapped his young friend on the shoulder.
“Good lad! I’ve some flint here, so we’ll see how far this torch will light our way. If we’re lucky, we won’t have too far to go.” The lanky Northerner crouched down and found the flint in his pack, taking the torch that Nick offered.
“And if we’re unlucky?” said the warrior.
Sinner paused in striking the flint and glanced at the entrance. “I haven’t been scared of the dark since I was a young ‘un, but I don’t fancy pushing my luck in this land. We’ll move as fast as we can with safety, and hope that we find some sort of shelter.” As the subdued daylight started to fade an icy breeze sprang up, sending eddies of frigid air into the semi-shelter of the grotto. The torch was lit, and the travelers started down the stairs as swiftly as they could without stumbling or risking blowing the torch out. The stairs formed the floor of what amounted to a large tunnel that descended into the base of the mountain at a gentle angle, curving to the right as it went. The walls of the tunnel were glassy, as if the rock had been exposed to terrible heat.
Did The Orms make this tunnel? Thought Nick as he trotted to keep up with his longer-legged companion.
Is he some sort of Dragon, to blast a lair out of the rock with his fire? The light of the torch cast myriad reflections in the uneven walls of the tunnel, like the eyes of a thousand small night creatures staring from the darkness.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 27, 2006, 02:39:28 PM
Nick came out of his reverie just in time to avoid running into the back of Sinner, who had suddenly halted. The minstrel handed the torch to Nick. “Here, take this. I think it’s getting lighter up ahead, but I can’t tell in the torch light.” Sinner took a few steps down into the dark and waited for his eyes to become accustomed to the gloom. There did seem to be a faint glow ahead, around a bend in the passage. Returning to Nick and taking the torch, he drew his sword and nodded to his friend to do the same, saying; “There’s light around this bend, so we won’t have to worry about this torch running out. Whatever it is, we’re there. Be ready for anything, lad - I know what I said earlier, but let’s not take any chances on disturbing something unpleasant.”
Drawn blades glinting in the torchlight, Sinner and Nick slowly rounded the bend in the tunnel, ears and eyes straining for the smallest hint of danger. The tunnel narrowed rapidly as it curved, and now had the proportions of a normal passageway, though still with the heavily-glazed walls. Sinner trod on the torch to extinguish it, and hefted his sword in both hands. Nick, silently cursing the loss of his spear, was armed with sword and dagger, and was sweating despite the chill in the air. Creeping forward, they saw that the passage ended abruptly, save for a door-sized entry to what was obviously a large room. The doorway was hung with strips of animal hide, and a soft glow emanated from within. As they drew closer a draft of warm, fragrant air wafted against their faces. Still no sign of activity could be seen or heard.
“Watch my back, lad” whispered Sinner as he stepped towards the doorway. “Now we find out if we have to fight for our night’s lodging.” Flicking the hangings aside with the tip of his blade, Sinner leaped through the doorway. Nick was hot on his heels, dagger and short sword at the ready. Quickly scanning the room, Sinner lowered his sword and exhaled a long breath.
“My friend, this is almost worth all those damned slugs...”
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: jarrydn on February 27, 2006, 07:19:08 PM
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 28, 2006, 02:56:22 AM
Having a Beavis & Butthead moment are we, Spider? ;)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on March 12, 2006, 10:21:55 AM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 17.

Before the men lay a large domed room, dimly lit and with the same glazed rock walls as the passage they had just traversed. In the available light Sinner could make out several large wooden chairs set around a massive table and a small but ornate altar cut into the rock of the far wall, the source of the faint illumination in the room. Other furniture formed indistinct shapes in the gloom, and doorways and wall hangings showed as opaque squares in the slightly reflective walls of what was obviously a well furnished living area.

“I think we’re alone” said Sinner, but his step was nonetheless cautious as he crossed the room, scanning left and right. Nick took two paces into the room and stopped, his eyes on the shadowy doorways in the left wall. To his right was a large fire pit surrounded by cooking utensils and various small knives, and a couple of dilapidated old wooden stools. The room ended there with no doors or other features save for the reflective sheen of the glassy wall.

Sinner had reached the niche containing the altar, and was inspecting the objects laid upon the altar’s highly polished stone surface. An ornate wood cup filled with a dark, viscous fluid sat next to the skull of a small rodent and a stone bowl half filled with water. Across the front of the altar lay several small burnt twigs and two narrow strips of dried meat, each with a piece of thread (one black, one white, Sinner noted) tied at one end. Sniffing in distaste, Sinner turned his attention to the source of the illumination coming through the top of the niche. Leaning into the niche and looking up, Sinner saw that the top of the niche was in fact a narrow tunnel, extending straight up the height of two good-sized men before ending in a highly reflective surface, not unlike polished metal or glass. Sinner smiled to himself. Ingenious, he thought. The light’s coming in via a series of mirrors and lenses set in a tunnel reaching to the outside of the mountain. Nosaj had help with this.

Withdrawing from the niche, Sinner was careful not to disturb the objects on the altar. The room grew suddenly brighter, and he turned to see that Nick had relit his torch and used its light to find a cache of oil lamps. In a short time the room was well lit and the weary travelers were exploring what had been Nosaj’s lair, starting the fire in the fire pit and finding a surprisingly large and fresh supply of foodstuffs in a well-stocked pantry. Whatever Nosaj had become, he still had the requirements and needs of a normal man - a very fortunate fact for Sinner and Nick, as it had turned out!
The doorways - there were three - led to a sleeping room, a store room and a steep stairway spiraling up and out to a huge ledge cut into the side of the mountain. Upon reaching the ledge the pair found that night had fallen so they had decided to leave any further exploring for the safer daytime, returning to the main area to prepare a much needed meal. Nick found some wineskins, completing a repast the likes of which they had not seen since leaving their homelands. Cured meat, baked tubers, fresh leafy vegetables and a coarse but nourishing bread were washed own with goblets of the potent fruity wine, and the strain of the past weeks slowly eased. Here, at least for now, Sinner and Nick had a chance to revive their battered and weary bodies and minds without any immediate threat from man, beast or demon.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on March 12, 2006, 10:23:48 AM
Nick lay on one of the heavily padded lounges, his goblet balanced next to him. The effects of the wine had eased some of the aches and pains, and he smiled to himself as he watched the lamps’ myriad reflections on the walls. Sinner was standing in front of the altar niche, goblet in hand as he idly examined the stone surface of the altar. He had said little since their meal, and Nick what it meant when his friend was in one of his thoughtful silences. However, there were still some questions that had gone unanswered from the past day, and he was in no mood to wait any longer. He made an exaggerated show of clearing his throat, bringing a glance and a smile from his companion. Sinner knew that Nick had been patiently bursting with questions, so he took a seat across from him and drew deeply on his wine as Nick sat up to face him.

“You know, Sinner, I nearly coughed my heart up when you said that stuff to Nosaj out there today. What a stroke of chance to befall us! How do you know him? Is he - was he of your people?” Nick thought for a second, and then looked at his friend, who had sat without answering. Nick realized that there was a lot he didn’t know about this man with whom had shared this incredible journey. The real question he wanted to ask flashed into his mind. Blinking twice, he looked at Sinner again. Sinner was smiling slightly, as if he knew what was going on in Nick’s head. He was waiting for the question, Nick was sure of it.
“Come to think of it, Sinner - who are your people? I know you’re from the North somewhere, that you travel widely, and that you are welcome in most places, but where are you from? Who are your people?”

“Sinner - who are you?”
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on March 13, 2006, 08:16:57 AM
Oh sure . Just go and MAKE yourselves at home in MY home and take all my food just because you killed me. ::)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on March 13, 2006, 10:49:53 AM
Since you're here...

Where's the pickle?  :D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on March 14, 2006, 07:48:56 AM
I had those with me when you and Nick killed me. So it's in the filth slugs belly. 8)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on March 14, 2006, 10:33:58 AM
Gross.  Oh, well - good thing Nick found the chutney.  :D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: chewie on March 15, 2006, 04:07:17 AM
any rum?
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on March 16, 2006, 06:35:13 AM
Nope - just this wine that's a cross between Lambrusco and Avgas.  :D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: chewie on March 16, 2006, 06:41:51 AM
" it tasts like... BURNING"
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on April 02, 2006, 11:56:05 AM
This needs some serious updates.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on April 02, 2006, 04:14:38 PM
Sorry dude. Some family matters to take care of, and I'll be right with you. :)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on April 03, 2006, 08:30:05 AM
Fair enough. Can't argue with that.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on April 28, 2006, 09:48:49 AM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 18.

Sinner chuckled softly as he leaned forward and placed his goblet on the low table between them. Leaning back in his chair, he regarded the young man before him. They had traveled far together and risked many perils. Nick deserved at least some of the truth.

“My people are from the north, yes. Far to the northwest, near the Mountains of the Rim.”
Nick’s hand stopped halfway to his mouth, his wine momentarily forgotten. “The Mountains? There’s only one place out there that I know of, and you - well...“ He paused to sip his wine. “You don’t look like the type of man who would be one of... those...” Nick’s voice trailed off into silence, a quizzical expression crossing his face as he looked at Sinner, who was nodding slowly, an enigmatic smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
“Indeed, lad, I am by birth a citizen of the kingdom of Merrin.”
“But Merrin is full of Priests and Priestesses of the Sphere of Music, and besides, legend says that it’s the kingdom without a king - or at least, a kingdom ruled by a ghost.” Nick took a long draught on his wine and shook his head - something he seemed to do a lot when talking to Sinner.
“Surely, you can’t be one of the Priests of Merrin - They never leave their homeland. Legend has it that they perish if kept away from their crystal cathedrals for too long.” Nick rose to retrieve the wineskin hanging on the wall. When he was seated again, Sinner spoke.

“First of all, no - I’m not a Priest. Not in the literal sense, anyway.” Sinner held up a restraining hand to stifle Nick’s quick response. “I know, I know. That wasn’t the complete and final answer you wanted, so let’s leave it at the fact that I am not a Priest of Merrin. If I was, I could not have come on this journey past the boundaries of civilization, and not just because of the crystal bleed. A Priest of Merrin cannot commit an act of violence, for any reason, for to do so would be to sink too deeply into the third dimension, and connexion with The Spheres would be lost forever. That is something the priests must avoid at all costs, for all our sakes. It’s a lot to explain, but...”
“Sinner, wait... just - wait.” Nick interrupted, his brow knotted with questions. “Okay, the priests can’t get into a fight, but did I hear you right before? Did you say crystal bleed? What in all the hells is that?”  
Sinner heaved a deep sigh and took a sip from his drink. “Like I said, lad, it’s a lot to explain. There are many things that you would have to be a Merrinite to fully understand, but I will tell you this. It is not a thing we share with men, therefore I must ask for your blood oath that this knowledge dies with you, never passing your lips to another soul.” Sinner’s voice was kindly, but there was no mistaking the seriousness in his eyes.
As a warrior, Nick understood the meaning of a man’s honour. “We have been through too much together for there to be anything between us but trust and loyalty to the death. You have my word.” Their gazes met, and a tacit agreement was made in that moment. Sinner nodded slowly and accorded his friend a satisfied smile.
“I value nothing more. Here is the thing, Nick. The priests are not originally of Merrin. They are... different from the rest of the Merrinites.”
Nick was intrigued. “They originate with another tribe?”
Sinner looked at Nick intently, as if judging his resilience.
“Not quite. They originate with another species. Another world....”
Sinner stopped and sighed again. Nick was staring, mouth agape. If he could handle that much, he would live through one little bit more.

“The Priests of Merrin are from another dimension. Their cathedrals’ crystals sustain them in this world - without them, their cells break down and they simply internally bleed to death. They are the reason that men have no real knowledge of The Orms. They have been protecting our world from his influence, with a little help from some special friends on this side. I am one of those friends.”
Nick was still staring wordlessly. It was not just the import of Sinner’s words that had struck him dumb, it was Sinner himself. As the minstrel spoke, he seemed to begin to glow with an inner energy, as if the duress of their long journey had fallen away, far more than a meal and a few hours rest could account for. A new suspicion began to grow in Nick’s already overloaded mind.

And he wasn’t sure if he really wanted to know the answer.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Ormsby_Guitars on April 28, 2006, 10:38:11 PM
... maybe i dont know how this ends after all...

Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on April 29, 2006, 02:51:26 AM
...that makes two of us...
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: TnT on May 02, 2006, 04:22:57 AM
I sense the biggest sham since The Neverending Story.. PART 2 !?

Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on May 02, 2006, 08:34:06 AM
Sense this. We have a mountain to climb yet.  ;)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: chewie on May 30, 2006, 05:31:05 PM
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on May 30, 2006, 10:48:14 PM
I recon.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on May 31, 2006, 03:11:30 AM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 19.

The two men sat in silence, each watching the other. Nick was visibly distressed. He had on this adventure encountered things that he had never dreamed existed in the heavens or earth, and the one constant throughout his travels had been the tall, quiet minstrel from the North. Sinner was his contact with reality in these hellish times, and that contact now seemed gossamer-thin as he regarded his companion with something approaching awe, tinged with fear. The aura of energy surrounding his friend was no phantasm. If he was not one of the Priests of Merrin, then...

“Nick” said Sinner, rousing the warrior from his stunned paralysis. “Listen to me. Carefully.”
Nick blinked several times and took a sip of his wine. His mouth had become bone dry. Taking a deep breath, he focused on his friend. The aura was gone now, and he wondered briefly if he had indeed imagined the whole thing. Sinner’s voice had a soothing tone, emoting calm and comfort as he continued.
“I am a man, just like you. You have seen my blood. It is as red as yours. What you just saw was a communion with The Spheres. It is one of the benefits of my... association with the Priests.”
Nick was feeling more in control now, and was trying to assimilate this amazing new information. “Communion?” he said. “You communicate with these - spheres?”
“Not exactly” replied Sinner. “It’s more like a transfer of energy on a spiritual level that manifests itself in the physical. That’s as close as I can come to explaining it. The Priests say that it is an infusion of the life-force, the basic essence of our existence.” This time it was Sinner’s turn to shake his head. “I get something more, though. I feel something else coming in with the energy. Every time it happens, I think that I’m about to grasp the meaning of the message, but it never quite crystallizes in my mind.” Sinner looked at Nick and chuckled, a warm, familiar sound to the younger man’s ears.
“I think I’m being prepared for something by the Priests. I’m damned if I know what it is, and they’re not telling me, but they know something I don’t.” Sinner drained his tankard and motioned for his companion to refill it.
“You said ‘message’ just then” said Nick as he upended the wineskin. “Do you think the Spheres are telling you something? Who - or what - are these Spheres anyway?” The initial shock of the evening’s revelations was fading, and in its place were countless unanswered questions.
Sinner thought for a second. “The message - if that’s what it is - is not in words, but feels like more of a concept, an understanding of what is going to happen to me.”
“Happen to you?”

“Did I say that?” Sinner smiled, half to himself. “Hm. I don’t know. I guess... I guess I’ll know when I’m supposed to“. He took a deep draught of his wine and placed the tankard on the table.
“What about the Spheres?” Nick asked. He was still feeling out of his depth, and was trying to understand a situation that seemed to him to be straight out of a fairy tale - or a nightmare.
“The Priests tell me that the concept of the Spheres cannot be fully expressed in terms that we would understand. I can tell you that the Priests are intimately connected with whatever the Spheres are, and might even be Third Dimensional extensions of that same energy.”
Nick stared blankly at Sinner. This was all too much. “I don’t get it, but if you understand some of it, then I shall trust your judgement and your word, Sirrah.” Nick smiled crookedly and raised his tankard in a salute to his friend.

“You may have had a little more experience with these things than you realize, lad” said Sinner as he returned the salute with a grin. Then, setting down his tankard, he leveled an unreadable gaze at Nick and asked a question that seemed to instantly sour the wine in the young warrior’s stomach.

“Tell me about your visitation from The Orms.”
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on July 21, 2006, 01:54:55 AM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 20.

Nick flushed and looked away, his cheeks reddening with the memory.
“I - don’t think it was The Orms himself, Sinner.” Looking back at his friend, he slowly shook his head. “I just don’t think it could’ve been... well... oh, hells!” Nick looked decidedly uncomfortable, but Sinner made no move or sound to prompt his agitated companion.
“The Orms sent one of his demons for me. Only I didn’t realize at first... She was just so beautiful...” Nick’s eye’s focused on a time before the beginning of their journey, a time, in fact, that precipitated the chain of events that brought the young warrior and the enigmatic minstrel together, and to this place. It seemed a lifetime ago, though - almost as though it was the memory of another person leaving a ghostly image in his mind.
Sinner finally broke his silence. “A woman, then? A Demon in female flesh?”
Nick took a deep breath. “It was the end of the young men’s final training, after which they were accepted at the warrior’s tables as equals. There was a bigger celebration than normal, because I was leading the group of new warriors before the chief - my father - to receive the oath of protection from the head of our clan.”
“The son of a chief should receive no less” chuckled Sinner, sipping his wine.
Nick smiled in return. “I had presented the new warriors, and after the celebrations were underway, I slipped back to my pavilion to change my parade uniform for one more suited to - ah - socializing.” Sinner’s eyes twinkled, but he said nothing, nodding for Nick to continue.
“I was about to leave my pavilion for the celebration, when I suddenly became aware of someone in the room with me... someone with an incredible aura of energy about them.” Nick’s eyes again took on a far-away look. “I reached for my sword as I turned, but was struck still by what my eyes beheld - a vision of loveliness such as I had never seen! A warrior Princess by her garb, but with a softness and womanliness unlike any of the warrior women of the Southern Plains. She looked at me as if she could see into my soul, and moved without a sound. She said to me; You are not the killer your father is. Your soul is in music.” Nick shuddered at the recollection. “I had never told a single person about my feelings about taking on the War Chieftainship. Everyone knew I played, but many of the warriors have a musical bent. It never affected their efficiency as killers. I wanted to be the first Music Master of our tribe since the great Ruenthal, generations ago. I had never uttered a word of it to anyone - ever.” Nicks eyes now held a pleading look as he wrung his hands together. “She was standing in the entrance to my room, then she was in my arms - like that.” Nick snapped his fingers. “And I don’t mean she was eager to be with me, Sinner... I mean, I didn’t see her cross the room. But when she was in my arms, I... I couldn’t quite control what happened. She had... she knew what was in my head and my heart, and she knew how to make a man forget his own name, by the gods below.”
Nick’s brow was glistening slightly with a thin film of perspiration, and he drew a ragged breath before going on. “I don’t know if I took her, or if she took me, but my sleeping furs were all around us, and all I could hear was her voice, telling me I had a destiny to find the instrument that was the extension of my soul - even as she took my body, she filled my mind with the image of what could be, and I was almost gone. I would have handed my soul to her on a platter at that moment. But then...” Nick stopped, and closed his eyes. “For some reason, I noticed something that turned everything around. As she whispered my name, kissing my face, telling me of my destiny, I... realized... she had no breath! She spoke, she sighed, she moaned my name in way that... but she wasn’t breathing!” Nick’s eyes opened at that moment, and were rimmed with unshed tears of remembered terror. “She saw me realize this, and let me see then in her eyes what she was, without letting me leave her embrace or her body. I was in congress with a - a creature not of my kind, that had planted the seed of my soul’s instrument in my heart, to tear at me from within until I sought it out.” Nick’s face twisted into a grimace of disgust and he spat on the floor. “Aaach! I leapt up from her and found my sword, but she just lay there on my bed and laughed! You have all of me that you need now, my little man-thing, she said, And soon enough, I will have all of you
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on July 21, 2006, 01:57:09 AM
Nick looked ill. Taking a long, slow breath to calm himself, he then took a long draught of his wine. “Then she just faded into the night air, like a whisper of mist. The smell of her - it - was still in the room, like sickly perfume. And in my head, a sound... the sound that was to drive me to the Inn at which you met me. The sound of my guitar. The instrument of my soul.”
Nick held his cup to be refilled, then; “If I can claim my instrument and vanquish The Orms, then I may go some way to washing the stench of that demon whore from my body and my soul. If I have to slay an army of his minions, I will get to him! I will revenge the taint on my blood from his succubus lackey bitch!” Nick made as if to throw his cup across the room, then thought better of it and leaned back in his seat, smiling shakily at Sinner.
“Sorry, Sinner. I have never spoken of this before, and it turns my stomach to know that I have been used by a creature such as that. I will save my vengeance for The Orms, when I meet him.”
“You have no reason to apologize, lad - I have knowledge of what you have faced, and you have fared better than most I have seen.” Sinner was still looking intently at Nick, concern and uncertainty playing across his craggy features. “That is why I am glad that it is you I am on this journey with. The Orms chose you, because he knows that you were the son of a warrior chief, and your bloodline has qualities that he wishes to assimilate into his own being. He has already started.”
Nick started. “What? What do you mean? His demon took some of my essence back to her stinking master for a taste?”
It was Sinner’s turn to take a deep breath. “I know a little more than most about The Evil Orms, lad, and I have an idea what he ultimately is after. Your bloodline has something he - or it - needs, and The Orms must vanquish me to complete his mission and achieve mastery over this world and all the souls on it.” Sinner hesitated, then went on. “The Orms is a very powerful creature, and only the Priests of Merrin have his measure. That is why the priests have connected me to their energy source, albeit a very subtle connection. What I do know is that we are nearing the end game as far as this world goes, and The Orms will take the souls from this world, then move on to another. He is that powerful. I have to tell you... The Orms inhabits this mountain alone, as he is shunned by his kind, as well as by all other sentient beings. Among other things, he is a shape-shifter. That - demon that you...” Sinner’s voice faded as he watched intently as a horrible awareness dawned on his young friend.
Nick paled, his cup dropping from numb fingers with a clatter on the stone floor.
“No... don’t tell... oh, my... aagh!”
Nick’s mind rejected the very idea of what had happened to him on that night in his pavilion, as his stomach rejected a meal and several goblets of fine wine.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: chewie on July 21, 2006, 07:50:34 PM
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: nihilist on July 23, 2006, 03:24:36 PM
Change some names and publish this.

...so I don't have to hit "mark as read" on the bloody post anymore!
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on July 24, 2006, 08:38:30 PM
Just let me get to the end of this thing and have a breather, and we'll talk.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on July 24, 2006, 09:40:30 PM
Haha. Nihilist would have been more fitting as the Keeper than Me. He has an obsession with dead people. Then again there could be another character for him in this story. 8)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on July 24, 2006, 11:32:54 PM
The Keeper wasn't a necrophile - he just had a thing for gastropods.   :)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on November 12, 2006, 02:19:29 AM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 21.

*     *    *

“Better?” asked Sinner as he sat down once again opposite his friend. Nick had recovered his composure and control of his stomach, and Sinner had calmly cleaned up as the younger man sat in stunned silence, occasionally scowling and shaking his head.
“I think so” replied Nick. Sinner had poured a fresh goblet of wine, but the warrior had yet to touch it. “Sinner, I’m sorry that I...”
“Pah!” interrupted Sinner, waving a large, long-fingered hand. “For what? Lad, lesser men have lost their minds after an encounter with The Orms! This thing sucks the essence out of anything that takes his fancy. You survived. You are stronger than most. That is why you are here. That is also why The Orms wants you. Your bloodline holds something that he will stop at nothing to get - something he needs for conquest of this world - and... well, he wants me for a trophy, but most of all, to settle an old score.” Sinner smiled enigmatically and sipped his wine.

Nick stared at his companion for a moment, started to shake his head, and then stopped himself. There were so many layers to this lanky minstrel from the Northern Lands that it seemed to Nick that he may never meet the real person at the core of this man sitting across from him.
“You have had your own meeting with The Orms, then.”
Sinner looked at Nick over the rim of his goblet for a moment, then placed the vessel on the table between them. “Long ago, we had dealings, yes.”
That same enigmatic smile flitted briefly across Sinner’s chiseled features.
“The Orms didn’t get his way.”
“What happened?” Nick was ready for some answers. After his last unpleasant revelation, he had a deep need to know what had happened, and what was happening to bring them both to this point in time, to this place.
Knowing this all too well, Sinner spoke.
“When The Orms first became aware of and decided to enslave and devour this world, his desires were known in his realm, where it was decided that he not be allowed to destroy so many innocent souls. To prevent this, the world had to be protected from his rapacious appetite for the human essence, and so a plan was hastily conceived to connect with the planet itself, so that it may help its children survive and continue.” Sinner smiled, almost to himself.
“And so the priests came.”

Nick was determined to understand fully. “The other creatures in The Orms’ dimension wanted to protect us from him, so they made contact with our planet? How?” This was sounding incredible already!
“The crystals.” replied Sinner. “In and under the Mountains of the Rim there are vast deposits of organic crystal, and they form a conduit to the very soul of the planet, which is an amalgam of the essence of every living thing on it, plant or animal, seen and unseen. The Priests came to us to facilitate the connexion, and to guide the people of our world in ways that would keep The Orms at bay - and one day perhaps find a way to rid ourselves forever of his scourge.
When the Priests came, they had to make contact with our kind in a way that would not spark terror among the people. They chose the kingdom of Merrin, at the base of the Mountains of the Rim with its already highly developed spiritual society, as the point of initial contact with us. The person they chose to reveal themselves to for the first time was the King himself.”

Nick’s eyes widened. “So there was a king - the great King of Merrin!” He took a drink of his wine, not tasting a drop.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on November 17, 2006, 11:46:51 PM
The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Part 22.

“Indeed, there was, lad. And from an ancient line. Head of State, Spiritual leader, Protector of all Merrinites.” Sinner’s voice took on a singsong pitch as he recited the titles, and he smiled crookedly as he reached for his wine.
Nick smiled back, but silently noted the northerner’s almost mocking tone when referring to the man - the King - who had once led his entire people, and who had had first communion with the priests from another dimension, and then... what? A strange attitude from such a noble and righteous man, he thought to himself.
“What was his name?” Nick asked.
“Graywyn. King Graywyn from the time he was thirteen. He was well out of his childhood and an experienced ruler by the time the priests came.” Sinner looked at his wine as he swirled it around the goblet, but didn’t drink.

“King Graywyn...” said Nick, half to himself. “How did the priests contact him? Did they appear in a vision? Surely they didn’t appear as beautiful demons.”
Sinner chuckled. “No, lad, the priests are as the priests are - small and gentle as garden sprites, but powerful beyond belief. They appear to be children at first, until you look into their eyes. Then you see who they really are.” No longer smiling, Sinner continued; “The King was on retreat at the Royal Stronghold, a good ten days’ march into the Mountains of the Rim. During such a time, staff and guards are at a minimum, as the place itself is impregnable to attack, and the King is in no danger whilst within its walls. Beneath the Royal Stronghold, within the flesh of the mountains themselves is the Chapel of Ancestors, where the King could meditate and commune with his ancestral bloodline. Only a person of royal blood could enter, and it so turned out that the Chapel was in the perfect place for what was to become the nexus between the realms.”
“The Priests came to The King in his Chapel?”
“So it is said. Not long after that, King Graywyn left his kingdom in the care of the Priests and the power of The Spheres, never to return... in body.” Sinner paused, and sipped his wine reflectively.
“Never to return? Why? What do you mean, in body?” Nick’s head was spinning with new information and even newer questions. “Did he die?”
“No - you remember that there was a reason for the Priests coming to our world. The Orms had designs on us for his own gain, and was a powerful foe, even by the Priests’ standards. Already aware of our planet, he of course sensed when the Priests first communed with King Graywyn so close to the crystal core of the Mountains of the Rim. There was a psychic wave of energy that was felt in both dimensions. The Orms saw an opening to the very core of the world’s life essence in the King, and attacked. The first communion became a battle for the planet, and the King himself was the battlefield.” Sinner drew deeply on his wine and sighed.
Nick’s wine was forgotten. “Well, The Orms obviously didn’t win, because we’re still here. You’re saying the Priests had to battle The Orms for the soul of the King of Merrin?”
“Yes. Because it was a psychic attack, not a physical one, the Priests had to defend in a like manner. The Priests had the measure of The Orms, but they were also aided by an unexpected ally.”
“The King himself. The energy generated by the struggle within and around him infused him with a little of both forces, amplified by the enclosing mountain crystal. The communion with the Priests was almost complete when The Orms attacked, so the King was fully aware of what was happening, but unused to his new perception. It took him a while to gain control of his ‘new’ psyche, and realize that he was now in gestalt with the Priests, the Spheres, and the Planet. Once he focused that energy on The Orms, it was over. The Orms was driven out of Graywyn, off the planet and into hiding to lick his wounds, and the planet was now in harmony with the Spheres. The King, however, faced a quandary. His mind, while having survived the experience and gained great power, had been sorely tried in the psychic battle, and was still adjusting to its new level of awareness. He was still just a man - albeit a king - and he had to adapt to his new... condition.”
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on November 17, 2006, 11:48:58 PM
Nick had been watching his friend as he spoke. As Sinner had told the story of the King’s communion with the Priests, his features had taken on the same strange cast as when he had explained the Priests to Nick earlier. Sinner was now sitting silently, aware that he was being studied, his skin now almost glowing with that same inner energy. Nick thought that when he was like this, Sinner looked almost young enough to pass as his brother. That thought snapped a vague awareness into perfect focus. Nick placed his goblet on the table and leaned back in his chair, staring at his companion with a look of growing amazement.
Sinner raised his eyebrows. “Yes, lad?”

“The King” said Nick. “His quandary was that he could no longer lead his people, yet could not abdicate in favour of another.”
Sinner said nothing, but his eyes widened imperceptibly, anticipating.
“The King was now more than just a man” declared the young warrior, his thoughts becoming clearer - yet more incredible - as he continued. “He was the human part of the energy that protected the planet, and was even more than the Priests had reckoned on, or hoped for. But he couldn’t stay in Merrin. He had to find a way of spreading the energy across the world, among all the tribes and peoples, without exposing them to a reality - however benevolent - that would doubtless drive the less enlightened into a terrified frenzy. It had to be done in a human way, understandable to all men, women and children, and it had to be done by Graywyn. Yet how could a King travel amongst the peoples of our world and be accepted equally by all? Especially one that had to conceal his real gifts. No, he couldn’t be the King. He had to become someone else, someone fluent in a language understood by all. Someone who could come and go in a place without too much attention being paid to his whereabouts or destination, just that it was good when he was around, and he was good to listen to. He just felt good to be around. He had that good energy about him.”
The full realization had dawned on Nick now, and he was visibly shaking as he continued in a rush;
“This had to happen so that future generations - our recent ancestors - would be protected from the evil influence of The Orms. The Priests of Merrin are within the Mountains of the Rim, the kingdom without a king is protected as much by legend as it is by its physical attributes, and there is a man who is to this day accepted without question wherever he visits, whenever he calls... How long has he been doing that, Sinner? How long?” Nick gulped a breath of air, and realized he was sweating.

Sinner was sitting very still, his subtly glowing countenance wearing a look of... was it relief?
Under his benevolent gaze, Nick rose and stepped around the low table to stand looking down at his friend. “I had always assumed that it was your grandfather who taught my great-grandfather the guitar in return for a new bow. You say nothing, so I know I’m right. I now know why it is I who must accompany you on this quest.” Nick fell to one knee next to the radiant man in the chair before him, speaking with the pride and honour of a young prince who would one day be a Chieftain himself.

“I am your warrior to command - Your Majesty.”
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on March 13, 2007, 10:14:53 PM
Updates? Ihave already done the enitre 6 episode spoof of the Starwars saga based on the WF AND I have almost finished my own little Lord of the Rings type story.  ;D Mind you I probly have more time than you do. ::)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on March 16, 2007, 02:06:49 AM
Sorry mate. Life's been getting in the way.  >:(

'nuther instalment soon - promise.  ;D
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on February 21, 2010, 03:03:07 PM
I sense the biggest sham since The Neverending Story.. PART 2 !?

It looks like this IS the Never ending story.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: HappySinner on February 28, 2010, 08:11:16 PM
Sorry about the years of delay, guys. The thing that stopped my creative (?) flow so long ago was the death of my father, and the stream of thought kind of got derailed. However, I have recently been approached (read: hassled out) by a couple of people who have read the yarn so far and insisted that I do something with it. I promise that it won't be too long before I take up the keyboard to continue the story. There is a whole mountain to climb and an epic battle to be fought before we even think about the first draft and rewrite.  ;)
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: Nosaj on March 01, 2010, 02:39:46 PM
Thats cool. I have an unfinished story myself. Unfortunatly Westernfront went down and lost a year and a halfs worth of posts and my pc shat itself shortly after and I lost at least 5 or 6 installments. This was a couple of years ago.
Title: Re: The Tale of HappySinner and WarNick
Post by: TnT on June 01, 2010, 11:44:44 PM
It's insane to realise that this epic started 4 years ago. Where the hell does time go?!

P.S. Sorry to hear about your old man, Graham