Fantasy Writers

Fantasy Character Castle Chronicles n.1

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 486 total)
  • Author
  • #118517
    Rusted Knight

    Isaac watched as Ermordung cut through the stone wall. It was not a flame sword. It was closer to a laser or plasma blade. Whatever the case, if it cut through stone that well, a human would be no more difficult. Pushing the stone in, the man entered the wolves lair. Teagan followed. Isaac was going to stop him but stopped. Ermordung probably would not try something with him this close. The fear induced by his short return to the Fenrir would hold him in check.

    Kneeling by the side of the new entrance, he pulled a grenade from his coat pocket. Tying it to a jagged edge roughly at knee level, he ran a second wire across the way. If any other wolves came along, that would send them to the Pearly Gates. Of course, if he was using it on humans, it would be higher and better camouflaged. Hopefully if someone from their group passed by, they would be familiar with wire traps and avoid tripping it.

    Stepping over his work, Isaac jumped into the shadows beside the door. No good to stand where someone could see you and you not see them.

    “How deep is this?”

    “Sshh.” hissed Isaac.

    He could see Ermordung slightly in the dark. All accounted for. Feeling the ground, Isaac found a stone. Or was it a bone? Hurling it into the darkness, he listened. Echoes quick from the sides, delayed and faint forward. Nothing else.

    “How deep?”

    A few hundred feet, give or take. Quietly reaching into his coat, Isaac pulled out the flare gun. Surprise anyone down there. Fumbling through the pockets, he found the flares. What color to use? Red causes minimal damage to natural night vision. Green’s got a little terror to it. White is bright enough to blind anything in here. Twisting the round, Isaac set it to green and fired.

    The Devil saw me with my head down and got excited. Then I said Amen

    Joelle Stone

    This they did, and towards the end of their search, discovered an arch, burnt into the stone by some unseen force.

    “Rebere or one of the others must have been here.” Lytt murmured, tracing the marks with a wary hand. She didn’t want to get burned. “I think we should go through here.”

    “I agree.” Dharin replied, holding his sword at the ready. “Hopefully we’ll find someone.”

    He led the way, but Lytt noticed that her snowflake held very little light. They were running out of time.

    “Wait, don’t move!” Dharin bent to examine something. Lytt guided her snowflake closer. It was a wire, attached to an odd-looking rock.

    “What is it?” Lytt resisted handling the rock.

    “I don’t know, but I think this is Franz’s work. Which means I bet I know which people are over here. Don’t touch the wire.” Dharin stepped over it with no trouble, and offered a hand to Lytt. She accepted after a short pause, and he helped her over the trap. Her snowflake had dwindled so much that they could only see three or four feet in front of them.

    The pair proceeded cautiously, Lytt leading the way with her light, Dharin guarding the rear. The tunnel was just wide enough to allow them to walk single-file.

    “How deep?” A masculine voice asked. Lytt froze, and Dharin skillfully avoided running into her. She pressed herself against the wall, letting Dharin pass her as her snowflake completely vanished, plunging them into darkness.

    Except it wasn’t darkness. People were silhouetted against a red glow up ahead, standing at the brink of a cavernous pit. Dharin smiled, striding ahead, and Lytt followed cautiously. Her wingtip brushed against one side of the wall, then another, and she stifled vomit. Claustrophobia threatened to overwhelm her, but she forced it down.

    A brilliant green flash lit the room, not especially bright, but definitely eerie. As the light slowly faded, another masculine voice said, “A few hundred feet.”

    “Should we turn around?” It was the first voice.

    “No, the way is blocked.” Dharin spoke this time. Three men whirled in the light from the front’s fiery sword.

    Lytt instantly reached for an arrow. Delernious. He was here. Him or one of his minions. She should’ve known it was a trap. She tapped Dharin on the shoulder, and he paused.

    “Don’t tell them about the snowflake,” she whispered in his ear. “For my sake.”

    If the man with the flaming sword found out that she was the Keeper of Physical Ice, then she would be done for. Just like Indarra. A jolt rent Lytt’s heart. Dharin seemed confused, but nodded.

    “Dharin,” the first speaker seemed mildly surprised.


    @rusted-knight @anne_the_noob14, @kimlikesart 🙂


    A.N. Parker


    The gentle sea breeze flew through her hair, raising goosebumps on her skin – but she did not care. Her tan fingers curled around the familiar wooden knobs of the captain’s wheel. She relished every moment of it, her eyes closed as her mind wandered off to wonderland. She felt almost as if she were flying, with the wind at her back instead of in her face. The dreamy sense of flight was fueled by the distant call of seagulls, the gentle splashing of waves, and the soft flapping of sails.

    This was what freedom felt like.

    She could even smell it all – the salty sea, the wood planks beneath her, and the musty scent of old, mossy brick.

    Wait, brick?

    Esperanza’s eyes snapped open, suddenly realizing that she no longer felt anything but something hard against her back, nor did she smell anything but that musty smell of brick.

    Her eyebrow arched, her brown eyes adjusting to the dim light of her new surroundings. Just a few moments earlier, she was sure she was on her ship, the Rose de la Reine, basking in the sunlight and feeling the rush of adrenaline that a corsair captain would feel when sailing his or her ship; and now… Now, she wasn’t quite sure where she was.

    Well, this certainly isn’t the Bay of Biscay.

    She turned around, her instincts suddenly begging her – no, more like screaming at her – to touch that grey-bricked, moss-riddled wall. A green haze seemed to fill the room, making her insides twist and contort more than they usually did. Before she knew it, she found her hand already touching the wall – no… not touching…

    Inside the wall.

    The captain stayed there for five long seconds, her mind ablaze and her mouth agape. She forced her mouth to close as she swallowed, waiting for the slightest sign, the smallest little motion…

    Abruptly, the brick wall shattered – shattered? – into millions of tiny glass fragments, exposing a mirror on the other side. A smirking Esperanza Plateaux stared directly at the young captain, her sly smile mocking the corsair’s fright.

    What in the name of King Louis is going o–

    Esperanza’s thought was cut off by the sudden, familiar touch of skin against her hand. It was Mirror Esperanza grabbing her hand and before she knew it, pulling her into a world that she doubted she could escape from.

    Pitch darkness enveloped her.

    Esperanza’s breaths came in quick, uneven inhales and ragged, forced exhales. She had never found herself this terrified before, but then again, she had never found herself in this predicament before either.

    Tricks of the mind, she reminded herself. They are just tricks of the mind. I am most likely in a dream, with Jacques and Isaiah standing over me, bickering about who should wake me up and tell me we are getting close to port.

    Her breathing calmed, a small smile making its way onto her face as her mind conjured up images of her loyal, intelligent quartermaster and her paranoid, slightly pessimistic first mate. Just the thought of her crew filled her with more contentment than she thought it would.

    Réveille-toi, Esperanza,” she forced herself to whisper, hoping that the simple phrase would force her to realize she’s in a dream and wake up. “S’il vous plaît, réveille-toi.

    But even as much as she pleaded herself to wake up, nothing happened. Pitch blackness still engulfed her like the distracting ink of a frightened octopus.

    Aidez-moi…” she whispered even quieter, knowing no one would hear her desperate plea for help. No one was there – not Jacques nor Isaiah; not Kian the cook nor the sail-savvy Chinese twins; not her father nor even her mother, perhaps risen from the abyss of death. No one was there but herself, and even that seemed to be fading.

    Abruptly and without warning, a loud, deafening boom resounded in Esperanza’s ears, coupled with a bright light that filled the void; so bright and so loud that Esperanza squeezed her eyes shut and instinctively whipped one hand up to her face in an attempt to shield her eyes from the hot, white light, and the other hand simultaneously zoomed to her left ear. After a few moments, she slowly lowered her hands and cracked her eyes open in a squinted sliver, her ears still ringing from the blast’s audial impact.

    Back to the mossy walls.

    It wasn’t as dim as before, but she was certain it was the same room she first arrived in, with the brick walls covered in the green algae.

    “Uh… hello? Guys? Anyone?” The voice of what sounded like a young male teenager suddenly echoed throughout the hall, gaining Esperanza’s attention.

    English? Esperanza remarked internally, her eyebrow arching. So now I certainly know I am not in France.

    “Hellooo?” the teenager said again, and this time, the voice sounded very close-by. Esperanza’s heart rate picked up speed. Maybe this man is my way out of here.

    Allo– Erm… Hello?” she called back. The faint clacking of shoes against the old stone floor was muffled yet still perceptible by the young pirate’s ears.

    “Is anyone there?” she pressed in her thick accent, half-scolding herself for the rather silly question. Of course someone is there. Why would I hear words if no one was–

    “Uh… yeah?”

    The response came out more of a question than a statement, but the voice sounded like it was nearby – very much nearby. Esperanza whipped her head to the right, her deep brown eyes widening when she noticed a young man standing there, his hand on the brick wall beside him.


    She instinctively reached for her rapier in its sheath, but swallowed as she realized neither the sword nor the sheath were resting at her side.

    Can I trust him? Well, I suppose I’ll have to.

    Esperanza’s eyes dug into the man’s, her signature adventurous smirk making its way onto her face. “It is nice to finally meet you face-to-face.” Her auburn-red eyebrows cocked quizzically as she added, “And your name is?”


    ~ Jaylin Storm

    Grammar Geek | Steampunk Enthusiast | Published Author | Winged Warrior | Avatar by RedPhoenix15


    Teagen’s heart jumped as the green pierced the night. Creepy. But it was empty. Like some alien termite tunnel in ‘Star Trek’… Teagen got chills a second. Then Franz took a step forward to where all three of them were in a triangle.

    “It’s should only take a minute, maybe less, to walk to the end.”

    Teagen was silent and nodded. Er. nodded as well, yet, stillness reigned, both the warriors seemed hesitant to be the one in front of the other.

    Teagen sucked on his teeth as the flare died down…looking from one to the other. “Welp, I’ll see ya’ll later…” and he sauntered on. Even as he stepped away he could feel his chest caving, Why did you ##*# do that?

    Teagen glanced back over his shoulder. The two others were glancing at each other, then the last remnants of light went out.

    “Okay.” Franz whispered.

    Why doesn’t Er-something turn on his light? But Teagen wasn’t brave enough to ask.

    He walked on, left hand running along the wet wall, the smell of mold making his breath come quicker. There was no light.

    The scuffing of shoes behind him, let him know he was not alone…but,..? He couldn’t help the fear that came crowding in with the dark.

    What if the floor gave way? What if an underground river burst through the wall? What if it was all a dream and he could just wake up?

    More doomsday speeches went on in his mind. Hadn’t they been walking longer than a minute? How long had it been? Five? Ten?

    Teagen glanced behind him, though there was no reason to. He couldn’t see his two companions.

    When he put his head forward again he heard Isaac tell him to stop.

    “How deep is it now?” Er.’s voice was even, the last few words so low one could have missed them.

    Teagen didn’t have to imagine Franz’s tightening brow as another flare was lit. Red this time. It was also creepy, but not nigh as hard on the eyes…

    The trio’s eyes met.

    “How deep is it?” Er. asked again.

    Franz’s nose twitched, he nodded to Teagen, “Hand me a rock.”

    Teagen nodded, jaw taut. He bent and after straining his eyes a second lifted a stone that filled his palm.

    Franz took it, and in one fluid motion sent it flying down the passage.

    When it stopped clattering Er. asked, “How deep?” once more.

    “A few hundred feet.” Franz’s voice stopped with the light. Though this flare was dimmer than the green one, it had died much quicker.

    But Teagen’s mind was still stuck on what Franz said. He hadn’t measured wrong. Teagen was sure of that. At either time. They hadn’t moved next to anything… What in the? “Should we turn back?”

    A brilliant green flash lit the room. Another flare. With all his combat, why so many flares used at once? But before his thought had finished both soldiers had pivoted and faced the entrance.

    “No, the way is blocked.”

    Teagen’s chest jumped as Er.’s blade lit in the fraction of a second.

    It was the bird thing, and a man. They were just dark shadows, but real.

    “Dharin,” the first speaker seemed mildly surprised.

    Franz recognized the guy’s voice? Which one from above was Dharin again?


    Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.

    Livi Ryddle

    “No, the way is blocked.” Dharin started to step further into the room, but Lytt’s hand on his shoulder stopped him.

    “Don’t tell them about the snowflake,” she whispered. “For my sake.” Her voice was laced with something… something like fear, but more. Terror, perhaps. Dharin nodded.

    “Dharin.” Franz seemed a bit surprised, and rightfully so, Dharin supposed.

    Looking at the three, Dharin recognized the second man as the one with the girl. Did he know the man’s name? If Dharin did, he’d forgotten. Thomas or the like, maybe. And the other man… had a fiery sword. Perhaps he had cut the opening in the stone with that… And he must be who Lytt was scared of. She had seen Franz and the other before, and had no reaction like that. Dharin furrowed his brow, wondering how she knew the man. Or maybe it was his sword that scared her. She had snowflakes, this man had fire. All the same, she hadn’t been scared of the torch she held. So it was the man himself.

    Dharin looked over at the men. They had returned to what they were discussing, and were ignoring him and Lytt. Dharin took the opportunity to tug on her hand and lead her back a few paces into the shadows again. There were things he needed to clear up.

    “Alright, what’s going on?” Dharin held up a finger as Lytt was about to reply. “Hang on. Let me organize my questions.” He looked idly at her wings as he thought. Slowly, he continued. “First thing… who, or what, are you? And who, or what, is the man with the sword? Why are you scared of him? Why does he pose a threat to you?” Dharin looked to Lytt’s face as he heard her sniff. Alarm and regret sprang up. He hadn’t meant to make her cry.

    Dharin took her hands in his own. “Hey. I didn’t mean to make you feel like I was confronting you. I’m just confused as heck about what’s going on in this castle. I know you are, too. But I have a few things I suspect, and I’m trying to confirm or disprove some.”

    Lytt sniffed again and nodded. “Continue, please.”

    Dharin waited until he was sure she meant it before saying, “What I’ve observed and concluded is that either a wizard or something else is bringing people in from all different eras, and possibly even different worlds or galaxies somehow. Franz and the other man… oh yes, Teagen. Franz and Teagen seem to be from the same country, but not the same era. And they’re both definitely from eras besides mine. In all my studies and travels, I’ve not once heard of a ‘gun’. Or a ‘comic book’.” Dharin paused, checking to make sure Lytt was still ok and that nobody was listening in.

    Taking a deep breath, he continued. “Also, I’ve never seen a flaming sword, or someone who can produce glowing snowflakes from her hands. So I suspect strongly that some higher force is at work here, testing us in some way I know not.”

    Dharin stopped again, and looked down at the wide-eyed face staring back at him.

    A cage on a boat. 

    The girl inside it, eyes as wide as a stew-bowl.

    Tears streaming down her cheeks.

    His own scream: “THERESA!!!”

    Dharin jerked back to the present and realized he’d taken in a sharp breath and was still holding it. He let it out, wincing.

    Lytt was looking up at him with alarm. “Are you ok?” she whispered.

    Dharin looked down at his hands in embarrassment, and noted with some surprise that Lytt hadn’t pulled hers free. “Uh. Yeah. I’m fine.” He sighed. “While… while I’m rambling… I might as well tell you about it.” He stole a quick glance back at the three men, and found Teagen standing awkwardly and somewhat annoyed-looking behind him.

    “How long have you been standing there?” asked Dharin.

    “I- uh… saw you freeze up and then sigh. And heard what you said after “I’m fine.” Um, the others want me to tell you that we’re moving farther down the passage. It’s up to you, I guess, if you wanna come with us or not.”

    Dharin nodded. “We’ll catch up in a few minutes. At the moment, we’re resting from a near escape we had earlier. Thank you.”

    Teagen waved slightly and turned to follow the other two.

    Dharin watched until they were out of sight, then let go of Lytt’s hands and sank to sit on the ground. It was dark now, yet Lytt was hesitant to light a snowflake. She did briefly, to see where Dharin was and to sit beside him, then extinguished it.

    Dharin sighed, then began…


    [Gotta go for now, but I’ll come back later and write what Dharin says next]

    “Enough! Be quiet! I can’t hear myself think! I can’t hear my teeth chatter!"

    Beth Darlene

    “Uh… hello? Guys? Anyone?” Jaylin shouted. He didn’t know where he was. He continued to walk down the stone tunnel. Where the heck are all the others?

    “Hellooo?” He tried again. When no one answered, he started to panic. By himself in a creepy tunnel was not what he wanted.

    “Allo– Erm… Hello?” Someone shouted back.

    His heart leaped. I’m not alone after all! He wondered who it was. Definitely a girl, but which of the other girls had accents like that? He headed in the direction of the voice.

    “Is anyone there?” The girl called again.

    “Uh… yeah?” He stopped walking. There in front of him was the owner of the voice he had heard.

    “It is nice to finally meet you face-to-face.” She said.

    He smiled. But before he could say anything she asked, “And your name is?”

    “Um yeah, it’s Jaylin. What about yours?”

    Jominkreesa! For the weirdos who know what it means! 😉 I love you guys!

    Livi Ryddle

    {WARNING FOR POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE SUBJECT. If you aren’t comfortable with reading about a child being sold into slavery, then you might want to skip this. I doubt it’s too graphic/emotional for comfort, but just wanted to give a heads-up anyhow.}


    Dharin sighed, then began:

    “My sister, Theresa, was born when I was 7. I loved her dearly, and she was my best friend as we grew older. Our father was a very respected bounty hunter of Eastrice, was loved by many people, and had even received letters from the king. But his fellow hunters loved to gamble, and our father became addicted. He fell into deep debt around the time my sister was 8, and I was 15. There was a man in town who my father was supposed to arrest. He was a slave trader, come under the pretense of a spice-vendor. My father, instead of arresting him, arranged to sell Theresa.”

    Dharin paused here. He hadn’t noticed Lytt produce a snowflake. She kept it shaded from the direction the others had gone, and only lit it enough to see each other’s faces, but Dharin found a surprising amount of comfort in the light. Lytt was watching him, her brow furrowed slightly, eyes pained. Dharin sighed again and continued,

    “I- I stood on the docks the day he closed the deal. I watched a sailor come and take Theresa by the wrist, leading her away from me and Mother. I watched… I watched them stuff her into a cage. I saw her finally realize what was happening, and look at Father in horror. I saw her tears and heard her screams as the ship pulled away from shore. But-” Dharin leaned his head back against the wall, closing his eyes. “But- I did nothing. I just stood there and watched.”

    Dharin felt his chest tighten, and he tried to take deeper breaths, but tears rose in his own eyes. He considered wiping them away, but couldn’t find the strength to pull his arm up. So he let them fall. He heard Lytt take in a breath, and clenched his jaw, waiting to be told to suck it up and move on, like so many people told him before. Like his father told him, as he backhanded Dharin across the face, his ring leaving a scratch that would later become the scar under Dharin’s right eye. Like his own mother told him, even as tears rolled down her own cheeks.

    But Lytt didn’t say it. Dharin flinched, surprised, as he felt her hand hesitantly cover his own. She left it there, and still she said nothing.

    Dharin finally broke the silence. “You-” he stopped, clearing his throat. “You know, the reason I’m having so much trouble right now, is that I’ve been reminded of that day so many times in such a short amount of time.” He turned his head, rolling it against the wall until he was looking at Lytt.

    “I promised myself that I would never lose someone like that again. That I would do my darndest to make sure I’ve done all I can possibly do to keep someone safe, if ever I came across a similar situation.” He stopped, and turned his head back to look across at the wall in front of them, hidden in the darkness.

    “And I did come across one. The minute we fell down that chute and were separated from the others, I knew I had found the first time I would need to keep that promise.” Dharin let his eyes fall to look at his feet, stretched out in front of him. He saw a scratch on one boot from a wolf’s claw. His eyes filled again as he imagined that gash on Lytt’s face instead. Dharin bowed his head, letting the tears drip onto his lap.

    There was silence, save for the sound of their breathing. Lytt took in a deeper breath, and Dharin steeled himself for her words.



    “Enough! Be quiet! I can’t hear myself think! I can’t hear my teeth chatter!"

    Joelle Stone

    Dharin was crying. Lytt’s heart broke for him, yet it was filled with anger at the injustice of… well, of it all. Why would a mere child be sold into slavery to settle a debt? Surely there were other ways!

    Lytt took a deep breath. Sorry, Rebere. She mentally apologized. But I think this is right.

    “You’re not alone, Dharin.” Lytt let the words come out softly. “Do you mind if I tell you about my good friend Rebere?”

    Dharin didn’t look up, but listened.

    “He didn’t reveal to me who he was or what his story was until recently. He told Alaia, another good friend, but his past pained him so deeply that he kept it to himself. He was haunted by thoughts of his sister, by fear of his father, and by an insatiable hunger he couldn’t ignore.

    “His father is Merol, a renowned marauder and outlaw. Merol became a mercenary not long ago and began working for our enemy, Lord Delernious. He expected Rebere to join him.

    “You see, Merol is considered the king of thieves. Criminals and outlaws everywhere look to him for guidance. Delernious promised Merol that if he joined him, Merol would become not only the king of thieves, but also the official king of Regne. That’s the kingdom in the center of the – of my world. If Rebere had accepted when Merol invited him to join him again, then Rebere would’ve regained his title of prince, and also become future ruler of Regne.

    “I’m getting off track.” Lytt took another calming breath. Rebere was touchy about his past, but she was almost certain that he wouldn’t ever meet Dharin, and Dharin needed comfort.

    “Rebere had a sister, Dharin. A younger sister named Miresia. They grew up together in their father’s ever-moving camp, surrounded by vile men with a lust for gold and blood. Rebere hated every minute of it; hated the raiding trips he made by his father’s side, hated the innocent blood shed at his hands – in short, he hated himself. He would’ve taken his own life was it not for his sister.

    “She was his one joy. She comforted him, made him laugh, cried with him when he returned from a raiding trip. When Merol drank too much or became angry, Rebere was the one to stand up to him and protect his sister. Rebere told us – my other friends and I – that his heart fairly burned with a fierce love for her. He received many wounds on her behalf.

    “Then Delernious came. He asked Merol to join him. Rebere was invited to the meeting as Merol’s heir, and heard all that transpired. Delernious was… well, I won’t get into that now. But towards the end, when Merol swore his allegiance to Delernious, something happened.

    “You see, Rebere didn’t really care who he served as long as Miresia was there to help him. When she was older, they made plans to escape their filthy life together.

    “But Merol had other plans. Delernious asked for a token of his loyalty, and Merol gave that villain his own daughter.

    “Delernious was experimenting with powers, Dharin. He tested materials, animals, and humans, trying to figure out how to give the powers to the object. Any living thing died, or the power was destroyed. The materials often disintegrated, but a few accepted the powers.

    “He took Miresia. Rebere fought as hard as he could with all the fire and passion and love in his heart, but he couldn’t save her.” Lytt choked back tears, remembering her own beloved sister. “Delernious took her.

    “Rebere stayed with the criminals in the hopes of Miresia’s return. When Delernious sent word that she had died at his hands, Rebere’s heart broke. He left the camp and didn’t return.

    “But when he told us this, a burden was lifted from his shoulders. He was floundering when he was alone, but when he let us support him, he found he was able to rise.

    “So I ask you, do you love your sister with a fire too hot to be quenched?” Lytt was surprised at her fierce tone. Dharin was staring into her eyes, completely enthralled. “What are you going to do with that fire, my friend? Are you going to let it tear you apart with the grief born from broken love, or are you going to harness it and use it to rescue a precious life? Rise, Dharin. Fight. Press on.”

    (That was really cheesy and definitely not the best post ever, but I didn’t have much time. I can’t figure out how to answer Dharin’s other questions without the writing being majorly jerky, so he might have to restate them…:/)


    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Joelle Stone.


    Livi Ryddle

    “Rise, Dharin. Fight. Press on.” Lytt finished her story.

    Dharin stared at her, half surprised at the strength of her words and voice, but more so that he actually felt better. Just like her friend Rebere, he felt lighter somehow. Maybe it was from finally telling someone the whole story. Or maybe it was the fact she actually listened and sympathized.

    Dharin suddenly realized he was crying again. But these… these were good tears.

    Lytt was looking at him, alarmed and worried once more. Dharin managed a smile.

    “Tha-” His voice broke, but he went on, “Thanks. That… that helped. A lot. I… uh…” He swallowed the lump in his throat. “I- No one has ever done that before.” He looked back at his boots.

    “Done what?” Lytt’s voice was soft.

    “Listened. Understood. Comforted.” Dharin looked back at Lytt. “Everyone I’ve ever tried to open up to… they either ignored me, or they laughed and told me to move on. So I became bitter towards anyone who even casually mentioned their own sister, or asked me anything about Theresa, unknowingly. I almost became bitter towards my own thoughts about her.” Dharin idly fingered his ripped sleeve.

    The two fell into silence, each gathering their thoughts.

    Lytt shifted slightly, twitching her wings around her shoulders, hands clasped in her lap. Her snowflake was running low of light, and Dharin knew they’d have to catch up to the others soon if they were to do it safely. But he still had questions. He cleared his throat.

    “I think I can ask my earlier questions in a better way, now. If you don’t mind answering them.”

    Lytt looked over at him and nodded. “Go ahead.”

    She rubbed her arms, shivering a bit, and pulled her knees up to her chest. Dharin reached for his cloak, but remembered he didn’t have it. All he had was his tunic and shirt. A quick glance at Lytt’s wings told him neither of those would be useful, as he didn’t know how she’d wear one anyhow. But then he had an idea.

    “Give me a moment.” He stood, grimacing as he stretched his legs. He walked into the shadows beyond the reach of Lytt’s snowflake. He took off both tunic and shirt, then put his tunic back on. Sitting back down beside Lytt, he drew his dagger and cut two gashes down the back of his shirt, running parallel to each other. He handed it to Lytt.


    She looked between him and the shirt, then smiled hesitantly and pulled it on carefully over her wings. Dharin gently guided one wing through a slit, and Lytt turned so he could reach the other. Dharin sat back and felt a half-smirk working its way across his face. The sleeves were way too long, and the shirt in general was huge, being rather long and flowy on Dharin himself. Lytt looked down at herself and laughed.

    “Thank you.”

    Dharin smiled back, and found a thought drifting around his head that he thought he had banished.

    “You’re beautiful.” His voice was soft.

    Lytt’s eyes widened, and Dharin took a moment to realize why.

    “OH! I said that out loud. I… I’m sorry. I mean- I’m not sorry you’re beautiful. I’m sorry I said… but I’m still not- I… I don’t know what to say.” He was sure his face was flaming. He was sure he crossed some line.

    Lytt was looking at her hands, cheeks red. “It’s ok.” Her voice was barely audible.

    Dharin shook his head. “I shouldn’t have said that. Sorry.” He fidgeted with his dagger. “Um. Right. Questions.” He took a breath.

    Lytt’s snowflake went out, plunging them into darkness.

    “Uh. Is that bad?” he asked.

    “I thought I should save what little I have left for later.”

    Dharin nodded, though he knew she couldn’t see him. “Smart. So… a summary of my earlier questions… Who are you? Or what? Who or what is the man with the sword, and why does he pose a threat? Besides the obvious “having a weapon” part. And what are your thoughts on this whole situation?”



    “Enough! Be quiet! I can’t hear myself think! I can’t hear my teeth chatter!"


    Er. turned to Franz, and jerked his chin toward the newcomers, “Who are they?”

    “Some of those we were separated from.”

    Teagen didn’t follow their conversation after that. But it was low, short. He instead felt the wet walls again, then knelt on the ground. Feeling again. It wasn’t stone, but dirt, clumpy along the wall.

    “Why didn’t we move?” This from Er. and Teagen glanced in the voice’s direction.

    “Because the castle didn’t want us to.”


    Teagen shrugged, then realizing Er. couldn’t see, “It might want to kill us all at the same time,” He then made the sound of a rushing wind that was suddenly silenced.

    He then attempted to crawl foreword a ways. After going what he thought was ten steps, he could still hear the two men’s voices at the same level. He reached out a hand and grabbed a leg.

    He almost lost something. Whoops

    “Why don’t you go get the others Teagen? We should stay close.”

    Teagen’s face turned purposefully blank. Ah, really? Errand boy am I? “So we can all go whoosh together?” Then not waiting for the answer he jumped up, “I’m going, I’m goin…”

    Teagen was good at sneaking. Moving silent, and un-noticed. Ears wide open if he chose. And he chose. He stood on the other side of the bend Dharin and the girl were hiding in.

    The man Dharin was speaking to the bird thing. Teagen’s brows lifted higher and higher all throughout:  “concluded is that either a wizard” At first in humor, “I’ve not once heard of a ‘gun’. Or a ‘comic book’…….glowing snowflakes,” then in shock they lifted, “suspect strongly that some higher force is at work here, testing us in some way I know not.” and finally a solemn agreement.

    Teagen swallowed hard,  and ran a finger through his collar. Why him? Why did he end up here?

    Then the conversation between the two seemed to get too personnel, and he stepped into the open, planting his feet directly behind the soldier.

    Dharin sighed. “While… while I’m rambling… I might as well tell you about it.”

    Teagen nodded, lips puckered as he rubbed his chin. Indeed, indeed sir

    Teagen’s mocking face dropped as Dharin looked back to the two warriors, then, with a briefly paniked expression snapped his gaze to the interloper.

    “How long have you been standing there?” asked Dharin.

    Whoops, about that… “I- uh… saw you freeze up and then sigh, ya know? And heard what you said after ‘I’m fine.'” Teagan hoped that sounded as confusing as it was to say. He cleared his throat and pointed down the passage with his thumb, “Um, the others want me to tell you that we’re moving farther down the passage. It’s up to you, I guess, if you wanna come with or not.”

    The guy nodded. “We’ll catch up in a few minutes. At the moment, we’re resting from a near escape we had earlier. Thank you.”

    Teagen nodded a few times, then gave a eighth-hearted wave as he walked away. “They’ll come in a bit…” Teagen mumbled upon reaching the other two.


    Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.

    Joelle Stone

    Lytt was startled, and that was an understatement. No one had ever told her she was beautiful, and she didn’t care for her looks enough to make herself think that. She wasn’t sure if Dharin’s compliment mad her feel bubbly and happy – excited, even, – or scared. She wasn’t ready for a relationship. Was she?

    No. Lytt scolded herself.

    “OH! I said that out loud. I… I’m sorry. I mean- I’m not sorry you’re beautiful. I’m sorry I said… but I’m still not- I… I don’t know what to say.” Dharin sounded completely flabbergasted and humiliated, but also kind of… what? Apprehensive?

    “It’s okay.” She studied her hands, a nervous habit.

    Dharin shook his head, twiddling with the handle of his dagger. “I shouldn’t have said that. Sorry. Um. Right. Questions.” He took a deep breath.

    Sure her face was a brilliant red, Lytt extinguished her snowflake. Not only was her energy running out, and she was sure she would need her powers later, but why let the situation get more awkward with both her and Dharin blushing like idiots.

    “Uh, is that bad?” Dhairn asked.

    Lytt shook her head, hair swishing, before realizing he probably couldn’t see her. “I thought I should save what little I have left for later.” She didn’t bother voicing the other reason.

    There was a sound like Dharin moving, although Lytt couldn’t tell what he was doing. “Smart. So… a summary of my earlier questions… Who are you? Or what? Who or what is the man with the sword, and why does he pose a threat? Besides the obvious “having a weapon” part. And what are your thoughts on this whole situation?”

    Lytt took a deep breath. This is going to be long. “First off, you already know my name. My parents are Pinon and Talaine, chief and chieftess of my tribe.” She paused, unsure if she wanted to mention her sister, Tala. Deciding against it, she skipped that part and plunged ahead. “The mankind classify my kind as a Feathered Ave; that is, a flying creature with feathers.” A smile flickered across her features as she realized how odd this would sound to Dharin.

    “As for my thoughts on this, I honestly don’t know. I agree with you that this castle is testing us in some way, but I don’t know how. I must admit that I’ve never encountered a wizard and only heard of them in legends and fairy tales, so I don’t know what they act like. My guess is that either Delernious has found us and transported me here in some way, or that another phenomenon happened, or that some teleportion went awry.

    “I don’t know who or what the man up there is. His sword is frightening because it looks like how a sword ingrained with powers would appear. I told you that Delenrious was experimenting with powers. Well, he unearthed the Ancients’ secret of how to ingrain powers into weapons or other things, thus creating disaster for those who oppose the wielder. But there are only three fire powers in all of VaSerBoan history, and they belong to my friends – Rebere and Alaia among them. For Delernious to have ingrained a sword with a fire power, he must’ve… must have killed one of my friends to gain one or used another extraction method I don’t care to contemplate. Whatever the case, I have to get back to VaSerBo, and I have to keep my power hidden. Only those on Delenrious’ side would use one of his weapons, and thus I must not let that man find out who I am.”

    “Who are you, Lytt?” Dharin’s voice was soft. “Not your family line or your species, but who?”

    Lytt straightened. I trust him. “I’m a Power Keeper, one who stands against Delernious the Traitor and Malvat the Tyrant. I’m the Bearer of Physical Ice, one who keeps the rebellious power under control. But it’s getting stronger, Dharin. And that means that I am a danger to myself and everyone around me.”




    Livi Ryddle

    Dharin mulled over what Lytt just said, trying to get it to fit with his observations and everyone else he’d met here.

    Feathered Ave… Only heard of wizards in legends and fairy tales… Powers into weapons… Power Keeper… “danger to myself and everyone around me.”? Dharin frowned.

    “Ok. So, taking this in order… You’re a Feathered Ave; got it. From VaSerBo. Never heard of either of those, so this could fit with the ‘different worlds or eras’ theory. Wizards only in fairy tales… that could also fit. Infusing powers into weapons? That happens a lot where I’m from, all over the world. So I think that… think that we’re not from the same world. Maybe not from the same universe, even.”

    Having voiced the thought aloud, Dharin fell silent. It was one thing to suspect something, but a whole other thing to actually say it verbally, after offering substantial proof. But a wizard couldn’t be strong enough to move people across universes, could he? Even if one found the power, there would still likely be things that go wrong; someone missing a body part, or arriving dead… Dharin grimaced, and moved on to one more thing that was bothering him.

    “And… you said you’re a danger to yourself and those around you. What do you mean? Are glowing snowflakes really that dangerous?”



    “Enough! Be quiet! I can’t hear myself think! I can’t hear my teeth chatter!"

    Joelle Stone

    “And… you said you’re a danger to yourself and those around you. What do you mean? Are glowing snowflakes really that dangerous?”

    Lytt would have laughed had the words not been so dire. “In a way. I-”

    “Hey, we’re gonna go. Are you coming yet?” It was the younger man again.

    “I’ll explain later,” Lytt whispered, quickly sliding out of Dharin’s tunic. “Thanks. We should get going.”

    Delernious’ follower, the man with the long coat, and the young man were waiting at the brink of a pit. Around the pit, a tiny trail spiraled down it. Lytt shuddered involuntarily. Not down again.

    “Who’re you?” Dharin’s voice held a threatening note as he looked at the man whose fiery sword lit up the dirt tunnel.

    “Ermordung,” the man replied, without missing a beat. “And you are Dharin?” It wasn’t a question. “Who’re you?”

    Lytt struggled to keep her mixed fear and anger out of control. She knew she was a good actress, but she also knew her power wanted to explode into this man’s face. She clenched her bow in an effort to keep it under control. Not yet. We must wait.

    Wait? An accented voice in her head protested. Lytt had finally gotten a response out of her power. Why?

    Trust me.

    “My name is Talaine,” Lytt replied, keeping her voice even.

    Introductions were made, although Lytt could tell Dharin was tense. “So, are we going down there or what?”

    “We don’t appear to have much choice,” Ermordung answered. “Especially since that wall over there just moved.”

    Lytt whirled, wings lifting slightly, dread rising. Really, you stupid castle? Truly, the wall behind them was beginning to inch forward.

    “What about up?” Lytt asked, pointing to where the pit rose. Apparently they were in a sort of shaft. The path continued to wind upward.

    Ermordung and Franz considered it carefully. “We might be able to make it,” Isaac concluded.

    Dharin nodded briskly. “Then let’s try.” He glanced at Lytt, and she realized he was probably doing this for her benefit.


    Teagan and Ermordung seemed a little wary, but the group proceeded to head upward, Franz leading the way with Teagan right behind him. Lytt flew, for she knew that, with her wings, there was no way she could fit on that tiny ledge. Dharin was bringing up the rear, with Ermordung right behind.

    That was when the floor appeared. Literally. Out of thin air, a solid layer of rock shut right behind Lytt, barely missing her heels. She called up to the others in alarm, then landed on the floor, ready to take to the air again if it broke.

    But it didn’t.

    “Dharin? Ermordung? Can you hear me?”

    “Yes.” It was Ermordung.

    Lytt felt like her nerves were about to snap. She needed to get out of this underground prison. “Are you okay?”

    “We’re fine.” That was Dharin. “And you?”

    “In one piece; Franz and Teagan as well.”

    Teagan dropped onto the stone beside her and groaned. Frowning, he commented, “I don’t think this castle really likes us.”

    “I don’t think we have any option but to continue going up,” Franz remarked after surveying the area. “Ermordung, Dharin, you guys will have to go down.”

    There was a shuffling sound, then Dharin replied, “Alright. We’ll try to meet up soon.”

    “Be careful,” Lytt admonished. She suspected Ermordung might try something while he and Dharin were alone.

    Dharin caught the message, as his tone indicated. “And you.”

    They began the ascent again, and Lytt had to admit that she felt a lot less secure without Dharin around.


    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Joelle Stone.


    Rusted Knight

    Isaac looked at the new floor. Once more, the castle was trying to kill them. The others were ok. He could hear the conversation between them and Lytt. Teagan flopped on the ground.

    “I don’t think this castle really likes us.”

    Isaac nodded in agreement. The walls now lacked any path. Most of it now was ledges. Blasting through the floor wouldn’t work with the others below. They would be injured. The walls held no clues as to whether there was a hidden tunnel or not. Randomly blasting would only use up a now short supply. Going up was the only way.

    “Ermordung, Dharin, you guys will have to go down.”

    “Alright. We’ll try to meet up soon.”

    “Be careful,” said Lytt.

    She was worried. Dharin must have gained some influence.

    “And you.” replied Dharin with a similar tone.

    Reaching into a pocket, Isaac pulled out two knucklers. He had had them modified with small claws below the fingers to assist in climbing. It was simpler and quieter than rigging up a scaling rope in most cases. Now he could test them. Taking off the trench coat, he rolled it up and tied it to the back of his holster. Isaac looked at the Kevlar vest. Should he remove it too? No. While removing it would greatly aid his movement up the cliff face, removing it would also mean losing his armor in a proven, hostile environment. Now, what to do about Teagan.

    “Can you climb a cliff freestyle?” asked Isaac.

    The Devil saw me with my head down and got excited. Then I said Amen


    “Can you climb a cliff freestyle?” Franz said while staring up at the massive wall.

    Teagen’s brows bounced up on his forehead, lying on the floor still, his eyes strained to see the ceiling. His head lifted so he could better see Franz, “Cliff yes, wall….”no. He looked at it again, teeth visibly clenching. “Won’t hurt to try.” Unless it does, and you fall and break your neck. THAT would hurt…

    His throat gave a nervous laugh before he rolled to his knees, and pushed to his feet. He nearly bumped into the bird thing again.

    She looked scared. Worried.

    She and Dharin had been awfully close…Crying to each other, and spilling their hearts.  Did they know each other apart from this place? Or were they both just insanely trusting? “I’m sorry about Dharin.” Teagen muttered, foot shuffling. He glanced down to her.

    Libby’s face touched his mind. She was gone. Then Tryna’s, You gonna let this girl get hurt too?

    Teagen sighed, shoulder’s straightening. He held out his held for her to take and rise. He would not give any of his heart to her. He would not like her. But one didn’t have to like the other to wish them life.

    She hesitated a second, staring at his hand.



    Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 486 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Enroll in Our Seven-Day Mindset Challenge Course

Enter your email to begin taking the course. We'll send you a link to begin the mindset course along with emails to help you grow in your writing craft!

You've joined the course! Check your email to watch the first video.

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Knowing your character's favorite ice cream flavor won't help you write engaging protagonists.


Our questionnaire is different. Use it to discover your character's core fears, longings, hopes, and needs.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the character questionnaire in one moment...

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

 You can download the entire Tricky Subjects for Christian Storytellers series in e-book form for free!

 Learn how to wisely handle subjects like violence, language, and sex as a writer.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Worldbuild Smarter, Not Harder

 Some worldbuilding questionnaires force you to answer as many questions as possible about your world.


Ours doesn’t. Answer targeted questions that reveal what’s actually important about your world.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the worldbuilding questionnaire in one moment...

Take Your Style to the Next Level

Take Your Style to the Next Level

The written word matters to God.


Does it matter to you?


Learn how to develop an eloquent, practical, and personal style by downloading our free e-book.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Every Year, Thousands of Writers Give Up

Every Year, Thousands of Writers Give Up

 Don’t be the next.


We understand how exhausting writing can be, so download our free e-book and find inspiration to press on!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

So You Have Clichés in Your Novel...

Thankfully, we’re here to help!


Enter your email below, and we’ll send you a simple process for smashing clichés.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the cliche worksheet in one moment...

Sign Up for Updates

Enter your email to receive updates on the 2023 Summit, along with emails to help you grow in your writing craft!

You have successfully subscribed for updates!

Does Christian Fiction Need to Be Clean?

Our Tricky Subjects for Christian Storytellers e-book examines how to depict sensitive topics like violence, language, and sex with realism and wisdom. Sign up to download it for free!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Poetry Isn't Just for Poets

Poetry Isn't Just for Poets

It can also help novelists write better stories!

Get our Harnessing the Power of Poetry e-book to learn how techniques used by skilled poets can enrich your storytelling.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

You can download the entire Harnessing the Power of Poetry series in e-book form for free!

Learn what surprising insights and techniques novelists can glean from poets.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Uncover the Secret to Relatable Characters

Uncover the Secret to Relatable Characters

Learning how to help readers connect with your story's characters doesn't need to be a mystery.

Get our Evoking Reader Empathy e-book to discover how successful authors build empathy.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Knowing your character's favorite ice cream flavor won't help you write engaging protagonists.


Our questionnaire is different. Use it to discover your character's core fears, longings, hopes, and needs.



Congratulations! Redirecting you to the character questionnaire in one moment...

Plotting Is Hard

Plotting Is Hard

That’s why we created a worksheet that will help you make sure your story hits all the right plot beats.


Sign up below to learn how to ace story structure.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the plot sheet in one moment...

Learn What the Bible Says about Engaging Plots

Learn What the Bible Says about Engaging Plots

Enter your email to get your guide, along with other resources to help you grow in your writing craft!

You have successfully subscribed for updates!

Learn How to Write Christian Themes that Resonate

Enter your email to get the worksheet, along with other resources to help you grow in your writing craft!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the theme worksheet in one moment...

Get Free Writing Resources

Sign up below to gain immediate access to over a dozen ebooks, story worksheets, and action step guides.

You have successfully subscribed for updates!

Overwhelmed by Self-Editing Your Novel?

Our Ultimate Self-Editing Checklist breaks down the process with probing questions to ask about your manuscript. Make editing simple and successful.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the self-editing checklist in one moment...

Pin It on Pinterest