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Thread: The Valiant: Book 1
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- Apr 2016
The Valiant: Book 1
Hello people of the playground! I am BlackSymphony, and I present to you a story which was in the making, which I named The valiant.
As of now, the story is still in progress.
Hopefully more chapters will come out as time passes, so keep checking back to see what's next!
When I was young, above all else, I loved the fantasy genre. I grew up with tales of questing knights, evil dragons, and damsels in distress, all from many children’s books i've read. The fascination still stuck after all these years, even with other people’s interests shifting to other things in this age. It originally started with me receiving a Nintendo 64 and receiving a game I still cherish to this day; The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This game had many roles in establishing my fascination in the genre of fantasy.
As I grew older, my love for this genre just grew even more. I was reading all sorts of books about Fantasy, Playing video games, and overall just enjoyed the tales that are told in this genre. As I grew even older, however, I found a bit more to Fantasy other than swords and magic and whatnot. I found the essence of the story, the great tale that can unfold cause of this. I then shifted my focus to games and stories that have more to it than just a guy with a sword against great evil. Games such as Final Fantasy, Fire Emblem, and others then appealed to me when I was enlightened about what fantasy could be, rather than what it is.
In early 2015, I then found something interesting when I walked through my local Barnes & Noble book store, a Dungeon’s and Dragons 5th Edition Player’s handbook. I heard of the game before, and took a tad bit interest, but never really got into it, due to it looking too complex for me when I was young. I thought to myself, that this could be something I could invest a lot of time into and make something productive with any free time I had. Knowing this, I purchased the handbook.
The handbook gave me several insights to the fantasy world that could be created within Dungeons and Dragons, namely that it’s a game that unfolds into several stories, going around adventurers who slay evil beasts, earn wealth and fame as they travel, and set right what goes wrong in the world. But this is just a baseline of what your heroes could be in D&D. You could make out any fantasy story with this game, as long as you and your friends had the imagination. Your group could be a group of questing knights whose valiance wins the day, or you could be a roving band of Barbarians, living off the land and facing tyranny. You could even be villains if you so please, It was that expansive.
After I played several campaigns and made several stories in D&D, I then saw what truly drives me to write this story. In Spring, 2016, I started thinking about a campaign setting I could devise. After awhile, it grew up to be about a group of adventurers who does not truly have a main leader among them, solely being a group who are all defined clearly, without any flatness to them. I grew to like these characters, and I thus instead of creating a campaign, I decided to create a story.
The story you will now proceed to read is about these adventurers who band up to set right what goes wrong, and develope as in-depth characters as the story goes on. I’ve taken many inspirations from other stories and games, such as The Lord of the Rings series, Xenoblade Chronicles, and the MARDEK RPG series. Hopefully the result will be to my liking; and to yours as well.
Spoiler: Chapter 1
The Sylvan Forest
It started out as a peaceful day in the Gnomish village located in these very woods they call the Ubr Wood. The village consisted of the Forest Gnomes, a very secretive race that hides away from the outside woods. The forest itself is peaceful for the most part, but does contain strange and dangerous beasts that haunt the woods at night. In the village, known to the Gnomes as Mistshell village, the Gnomes live peaceful lives for the most part, but must take care when wandering the perimeter around the woods, and must never leave the forest itself, for an ancient law forbade any Gnome from leaving the village, for an unknown fear.
“ Selwyn, are you up? “ An elderly Gnome asks another Gnome, whom was currently still asleep. Selwyn was reading a book last night that her Father brought with him when he came to this community for the first time. She cherished the book, although she never did read it that much when she was growing up. “ It’s time to make tea, do you want to help? “ The elderly Gnome asked Selwyn. Selwyn then sprung up, knowing that she would not miss out on making Gnomish tea, which is said to be simply divine to taste. Selwyn got up, straightened her copper-hued hair, and then walked outside, in the forest.
The forest community was the same as ever, with gnomes gardening, reading, practicing their famous illusions, and the like. Selwyn never did care for the illusions, and thus took up reading to make an escape from the world as her thoughts drift into her book’s story. “ I’ve got the water in the pot, Selwyn. All you need to do is add the leaves. “ The elderly gnome said. “ Thanks, Sazu. “ Selwyn said as she walked to the table next to the teapot and fire. As she was preparing the tea, her mind drifted off to her storybook she fell asleep reading. The book was a gift from her father, Grapos, before he fled the village, never to return.
Grapos fleeing all started when her mother, Trysis, was outside the village, picking leaves for the Gnomish tea she loved so much. After filling her bag up, however, she noticed something from the thicket glaring at her. She tried setting up an illusion of a small groundhog on the ground to hopefully drive this predator to attack the illusion instead, but it was of no use. This particular beast was a Displacer Beast, a vile monster which was almost unheard of in the Ubr Wood...
The gnomes were going about their day when noticed a blood-curling scream coming from the woods. Fearing for the worst, the gnomes sent a search party during the evening. What they found was a terrible sight, the fair Trysis, killed for sport by an unknown attacker. The gnomes were horrified to see that this was no ordinary beast that attacked her, judging by the injuries that were present. After they brought back her corpse, Grapos then saw the damage, and his fear of the forest became more clear than ever. He then rushed out of the woods, never to be seen again. The gnomes did not stop him, however. Grapos was a Rock Gnome, coming from the lands up north, which are home to the Dwarves. He was not a Forest Gnome, and thus left without anybody stopping him. Selwyn did not even realize he left until next morning, when he never showed up for tea. She wanted to leave to find him, idyllic in her thought that she could convince her father to stay, but she was forbidden from leaving to pursue Grapos.
Ever since that day, Selwyn has been raised by the Elders of the village. She remembered how scared she was when her mother died, and as she could have done nothing to stop it. Because of this, she never really did share the same enthusiasm that the other Gnomes derived from being alive and the comforts of the village. She loves her father, but because of this law, she could not leave to find him. Ever since, she got her joy from reading books about questing knights, and daring fighters. The book in particular was brought from the mountain homes of the Dwarves, detailing the daring quest of Dwarven warriors as they strive to fight off the foul Hobgoblins that took over their dwarven halls and used it for their own vile conquest. After her thoughts returned to her, she realized the tea was done.
“ Tea is done! “ Selwyn said, and the Elders did come. Selwyn poured the still-hot tea into little cups for the elders and herself. The elders then took a seat near the fire, and started drinking their tea. “ Selwyn, you did a good job at preparing the tea this time. We thank you for this. “ Elder Sazu said, as he took another sip. Selwyn then went on about her day, lounging while reading her book. Sazu worried that Selwyn might be growing rebellious, due to her not particularly enjoying her classes about magic, something that many gnomes of the Mistshell village practiced, particularly illusion magic. He grew worried due to her lounging most of the time, reading the literature that her father brought from the outside world, but thought nothing of it for the moment. Sazu then went on about his day, managing the village and making sure nobody is in need of help.
That evening, Selwyn then finished up her book. It took her several nights, sleepless ones in fact, to finish the book, but she finished it, and was itching for more. She dreamed of being just like the valiant warriors of her stories, particularly the Fighters, who are martial masters of combat, and a common sight in any adventuring party that she read about. She then slept, knowing that she might never put these thoughts to good use.
That night, she did have a dream where she was clad in the familiar armor of a knight, suited to her size. At her side was an ornate sword, which glistened under the forest light flittering above. She then saw the village under attack, by a vile, yet still young Green Dragon. She was scared, as the dragon was much larger than her, and if her books were anything to go by, these beasts are very dangerous and vile to the core. She shook off her fear for a brief moment, drew her sword, and charged at the dragon, sure that she will save the village. As she swung to attack, Selwyn then woke up with a startle. She turned to find out that dawn was coming, and that she had a very peaceful sleep. The thoughts of her dream still lingered in her head, however. She saw herself, a knight, fighting off a foul threat to a forest. She was not too sure what to make of it, but one thing’s for sure; Selwyn was not going to let any forest law get in the way of her destiny. She decided:
She was going to leave the forest and explore the outside world, out of the Sylvan forest.
Spoiler: Chapter 2-Chapter 2-
This morning was the day that Selwyn would finally see what it is like outside the village. As soon as she saw the first glint of sunlight, she gathered some essential belonging for the trek outside the village. She picked up some dusty coins that her father left behind; sure that this “treasure” could be used as currency outside, if her books were anything to go by. She also took a small dagger, a staff, and some bread and a waterskin filled with the famous Mistshell tea. Once she accounted for everything, she then realized that she had to make it seem like she was still there. A friend of her, whose name is Kriza, was approached by Selwyn, who is itching with wanderlust.
“ I don’t know, Selwyn, you want me to fill in for you in the bed all day? “ Kriza asked, confused.
“ I will be wandering the woods and trying to find some more appreciation for what the fey creatures of the woods gave us to admire. “ Selwyn said, deceivingly. She felt very dirty when she told Kriza this, as she knew Kriza would be shocked if she said anything about leaving the village and exploring the outside world. But one thing’s for sure, Kriza was not willing to disbelieve Selwyn yet, and thus followed orders. Kriza went to Selwyn’s bedroom, and made a clever disguise with the illusion magic that she was taught. Afterwards, she laid in bed, very sure that if she is disguised as Selwyn, the elders would not find anything wrong with her.
Selwyn grabbed her backpack and headed out into the woods, gnarled staff in hand…
The forest had a mystical beauty not unlike any other forest out in the world. It was said that the forest had very close ties with the Feywild, which is said to be an alternative world from the Material Plane. The Feywild was the home plane of the fey, a classification of wondrous people and beasts who are closely attuned with the natural world. Selwyn had yet to meet an actual fey creature, and wondered why they would show themselves to her. Just as she was walking down the forest, she heard the sound of woodwind instruments to the breeze. She was unsure what to think of the instruments, save for the fact that they did sound very nice. Unthinkingly, she walked down to the source of the noise, sure that whoever was making this beautiful music would be a very nice soul.
She then found herself in a clearing, with quite the bit of sunlight pouring it from the empty space between the trees. Utop a stump was what appeared to be a bearded person, who was playing a melody on some panpipes. As she approached the man, it was very clear this person was no Gnome or anything she has ever set eyes on. This person had the legs of a goat, and was very stout, and rather hairy, too. As the person’s side was what appeared to be a bottle, which had an unknown liquid in it.
“How do you do, Halfling!” The person called to Selwyn.
“Uh, fine, sir... “ Selwyn said, unsure of what to say about the person.
“What, never seen a Satyr before, lass?” The beast asked.
“Satyr? Oh, I know what you are now!” Selwyn exclaimed. Sazu’s teachings came to her in this moment about the various fey that roam the Ubr woods. The most common were the Pixies, who were diminutive fairies who adore fashion, and the Sprites, who unlike the Pixies, were staunch protectors of the woods, despite their stature. One of the most uncommon ones they went over were the Dryads, who were fey bound to a certain tree, either as their destiny or as punishment. And there were the Satyr… which were said to be raucous fey who are driven by curiosity and hedonism, more than anything else. “ That… was a very lovely song you were playing. ” Selwyn complimented, as the Satyr beamed with excitement, thinking he found a new friend who would share the same interests as him. The satyr then played a bit more on his panpipes some more, and danced around the stump from which he sat. Eventually he wore himself out with his foot shuffling ( It was rather hard to dance with hoofs, after all. ), and then sat down back on the stump, taking a gulp from the bottle.
“Say, Halfling, you lost ‘round these parts?” the satyr asked. Selwyn knew exactly what he means by Halfling, as these people were also described in Selwyn’s books. Their exact aspirations, if the books were anything to go by, are just simple lives in a comfortable home, near a comfortable fire. Selwyn wondered if these people would ever get bored of such a life, and wondered if these people were anything like the gnomes, what with their small builds and similar physiques.
“Y-yes, Mr. Satyr, I am lost… “ Selwyn said.
“D’aww, that’s a shame. You need to get back to that town outside of these here woods? “ The Satyr asked. Selwyn’s excitement then raised, knowing that there is civilization besides the village of Mistshell near the woods. She said without hesitation; “Yes, Mr. Satyr, I do! Could you show me the way?”
“Hehehe, sure thing, missy! A bit sad for you to go, I was beginning to have a good time!” The Satyr then said, as he lept up from the stump he was composing his song from. “ Just follow me, missy. I’ll get you to Maplevale in no time. “ The Satyr said, and Selwyn did follow.
As Selwyn and the Satyr treked through the woods, they finally arrived at the treeline of the Ubr woods. Catching a glimpse of the open plains was a very special surprise for Selwyn. She never saw this much open space when she was growing up, and it just kept going on and on. “ Well, Im’ma gonna go back to me special spot. Hopefully me other friends will come soon. Thanks again, lass!” The Satyr said, as he gave one last look, and then trotted back into the blackness of the woods. Selwyn was still too busy looking at the massive land that sprawled across her eyes. Just a distance away, however, was what appeared to be that town that the Satyr mentioned. It looked big from a distance… but she knew this place was another stepping stone in her path to her destiny...
Spoiler: Chapter 3-Chapter 3-
Selwyn took a good 10 minutes just staring at the open field when she first laid eyes on it. It took her some getting used to, what with it being brighter than the forest floor outside, but it did not took very long for her to get her eyes adjusted. After she was done looking all around her, she then began a walk towards the town ahead, which if she is not mistaken, is known as Maplevale. After 20 more minutes of walking, she then reached the town walls. She found it rather strange that this place would have walls, due to the fact that the village she grew up with never had anything of the sort, mainly due to the Gnomes relying on illusions and hiding, rather than real protection.
As she walked through the gateway and into the city, she was amazed to see all of the town up close. There were people of all shapes, sizes, and appearances around her, with none looking anything like anybody else. The most notable being that all these people were around 3 or more feet taller than she was, which really irked Selwyn, as anything live that is larger than a Gnome is rather frightening to them. As she walked, she noticed a group of guards, armed with spears and wearing a breastplate walking through town. She knew these people might have some whereabouts of whoever is in charge around here. Knowing this, she approached the group and asked;
“Excuse me, sir, but do you know who the elder of this town is?” Selwyn asked.
“Elder? No such thing here. You want to know where the noble is, eh?” One of the guards asked back. Selwyn was not too sure what a noble is. If the reaction of the guardsman was any indication, this “noble” was exactly like an elder; the person who leads the people.
“Yes, sir.” Selwyn said.
“Eh, Lemme show ya…” The guardsman indicated, as he led Selwyn into the heart of the town. As Selwyn walked around, her thoughts then raced about why on earth the elders would forbid associating with the outside world, if these are the things the Gnomes would miss out on? Why must they be confined to this forest, never to leave? Selwyn’s thoughts kept racing through her head as she walked to the noble’s manse.
“Well, miss, here we are. The manse of House Stagshield’s son, Graham. Be sure to mind your manners ‘round him.” The guard implored, as he walked back to his group, to continue his patrol. The manse was unlike any gnomish home she ever saw. It was large, larger than any house that was in Mistshell village, and it looked very beautiful too. She approached the door of the manse, and knocked on the door. It took a minute to wait before somebody eventually came to the door. It was what appeared to be one of the tall people Selwyn has seen out in town as she walked through it, even though this particular person’s ears were pointed, almost like a Gnome’s ears. Selwyn then thought that these were the elves, whom the Gnomes held a light bond with. These mysterious people were said to be descended from the Fey, and thus as their books described, were very much different from everybody else. The elf was rather simply dressed in brown clothes and trousers, and wore some glasses, which she thought looked rather funny...
The Elf looked around for a bit, but then looked down to notice Selwyn at his doorsteps.
“Y-yes, may I help you?” The elf asked.
“Hello! I’d like to see if Graham is here… if he’s not doing anything important” Selwyn asked. This elf was rather surprised to hear such a forward question. Not many people had the gall to just simply ask Graham if he was here, and even as sociable as his master was, this Elf was still wondering if he should ask his master to come by…
“Y-yes, he is home currently… would you like to come inside?” The elf asked, nervously.
“Yes please!” Selwyn said. The Elf then let the Gnome in, and shut the door.
“So, a halfling in town, eh? Must be the caravan coming for supplies!” The elf said.
“Caravan? No, I came from the woods.” Selwyn said. She felt rather dirty from saying that she came from the woods, and was very sure that if Sazu ever found out that Selwyn went outside, he would have a conniption for sure. She quickly got the thought out of her head and wanted to ask a question…
“So, what’s your name?” Selwyn asked the elf.
“M-my name? It’s R-Riben…” The elf then said.
“Riben? Funny name. Are a few elves like you named like that?” Selwyn asked.
“Actually, I'm a Half-elf, descended from a Elf and a Human…” Riben said. It was hard for his to get the words out, since he had to endure much due to his heritage. The half-elves were very sociable, but were seldom seen, and not well liked in Elf settlements, likely due to most Elves’ superiority complex. Thus, he found himself welcomed in Maplevale, which is a town of sharp contrasts with every kind of person imaginable. He truly appreciated that about this town…
“Oh, I almost forgot... I will go fetch Graham.” Riben said, as he walked into the other room.
“Graham, a Halfling is here to see you…” Riben said.
“Eh? That’s odd, not a whole lot of people visit me…” Graham presumably said. “Hang on, I’ll see her…”
What came out of the room was a rather simply dressed, but burly man. From the looks of it, he seemed very peaceable, but rather unrefined, nothing that she expected. His rather clean-shaven face seemed rather funny to Selwyn, mainly due to many male Gnomes in her village having some form of beard or whatnot. “So, you want to ask me something, lass?” The man said.
“You must be Graham, right?” Selwyn asked.
“That would be me. What do you wish to ask me?” Graham asked.
“I was wondering, if I could find some way to learn the basics of combat…” Selwyn asked. Riben and Graham were rather surprised to see somebody this little asking if they knew a place to learn combat basics, Riben especially.
“Uh… There is a martial combat training school right in the shopping district of town… I can show you it, if you like…” Graham said.
“Oh, yes please!” Selwyn exclaimed.
“Riben, I’ll be back, just make sure the manse does not burn down.” Graham said to Riben.
“Y-yes sir!” Riben said.
Selwyn and Graham then exited the manse and walked through town to eventually find the training school. It was rather modest, but Selwyn knew from the looks of it, it was everything she could asked for. “Well, here we are. You sure you still want to go through with this, lass?” Graham asked.
“I dreamed of this for a long time. I know now what I wish to be. Thank you Graham.” Selwyn said.
“Well then… goodbye. Maybe we will see each other again.” Graham said.
“Goodbye, Graham! I might see you again tomorrow!” Selwyn said. Graham sighed, thinking he might have gotten himself into a unforeseen friendship, something he’s not too sure of going though. He had enough business in managing the town already, but he simply just kept walking. It can’t be all that bad, can it?
Selwyn took in a deep breath, and walked inside...
Spoiler: Chapter 4-Chapter 4-
The path of a Fighter
As Selwyn walked into the training school, she noticed several people, all rather hardy looking, training outside. Selwyn wondered if her training here was going to be anything like what she is witnessing right now, what with the trainees constantly jabbing, slamming, and bashing the training dummies repeatedly with their wooden weapons. Selwyn then made the resolve to train as hard as the trainees, and walked inside. Her life was going to change just then.
When she walked inside, she noticed a few gruff, but well-toned people sitting on a few benches inside the lobby, with each one towering over her. Selwyn analyzed these people for a moment, then made the assumption that the majority of these people were the Humans that were spoken of in her tales that she heard. If the books were anything to go by, these Humans were ambitious, and short-lived compared to the other races. This seemed like a curse to some races, but these humans ensure that their lives will be known, and joyous, by making sure many remember them when they are gone. Still, the fact that the Humans are here, alongside with the Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings are testament to their social nature.
“Uh, sir, I’d like to ask you; do you know where I can find the person in charge of this school?” Selwyn asked.
“Eh? You want to see about learning the basics of combat, lass?” One of the gruff Human’s said.
“Yes, I would love to.” Selwyn said.
“Righto, just lemme’ show you where you can sign up for it…” The man said, as he got up from the bench and led Selwyn to a separate room. The scent of sweat and the noise of the trainers barking orders went through the school as Selwyn walked to the room, and she was having some thoughts about how tough training will be for her if this is truly what she wants to do.
“Here it is, this is where you sign up. Just have a word with our headmaster and if you got the coin and the time, we can get you into fighting shape.” the man said, as he walked back to the lobby, as to talk with his friends.
Selwyn opened the door and looked inside to see another Human who is sorting through papers. The man noticed Selwyn as she came in, and thus stopped looking through papers.
“Yes, lass? What can I do for you?” The rather busy man said.
“Excuse me, headmaster, but if you are not too busy, I would like to join your training school…” Selwyn said, with each word rather meek. She was afraid to ask this question, as she was expecting getting into this school to not be so easy. She closed her eyes as she awaited a response…
“D’aww, don’t be afraid. We don’t discriminate here. Anybody is welcome to learn the ropes of swinging a sword here. So take a seat and let’s get started.” The man said. Selwyn then hopped up to a rather high chair in front of the headmaster’s desk.
“So, let’s begin with the basics… How old are you and what kind of person are you?” The headmaster asked.
“Selwyn… I am a…” Selwyn stopped for a moment. She was very certain that if she said that she was a Gnome, then there would be trouble. But she had to be honest, she lied just to slip out of town, and she thought it was not like they would care anyways…
“Selwyn… Gnome.” She said.
“Gnome? Well now this is a sight. Never seen many of you around in my life, lass.” The headmaster said. He started marking things down and asked another question.
“Alright, so let’s see here… what days do you wish to train for?”
“Each weekend would be nice…” Selwyn said.
“Ah, ok. And how much coin do you got? Classes are not free, y’know. A class a day costs you 2 silver pieces. Do you got that much?” The headmaster said.
“Yes, in fact, I do.” Selwyn said, as she pulled out the coins she took with her when she left the forest.
“Alright, that’s set… Well, we’ll fit you in, lass. The weekend classes start tomorrow, so be sure to get a good rest before coming in with a fighting spirit.” The headmaster said. “Just be sure to pay your dues when you come in for training.” The headmaster added, as he returned to his paperwork.
Selwyn then came back outside the school. She decided that before she left, to go back to the forest, that she might as well do a bit of training right now. She then walked to the trainer who is training several people outside, and asked a question.
“Excuse me, sir, but do you have a bit of time to give me some training?” Selwyn asked.
“ Aye, but it’s not free, you got the coin?” The scarred trainer asked. The trainer looked rather gruff, with many scars around his arms and face.
“I do.” Selwyn said as she pulled out some silver pieces. “How much would 2 hours sound?”
“Hmm… 2 silver pieces. Deal?” The trainer said.
“Agreed.” Selwyn said.
“Righto, now grab whatever weapon from the rack you want so we can get started on the basics.” The trainer said. Selwyn went to the rack and seen several wooden training weapons on the rack, all well-carved. She wanted so badly to emulate one of the heroes she read about, and once she laid eyes on a training longsword on a rack, her eyes lit up. She picked up the sword and carried it to the trainer.
“Good girl, now let’s get started.” The trainer said, as he picked up a training longsword from the ground. “Now, take a swing at me, girl.” The trainer demanded, and Selwyn obeyed. She took a swing at the trainer, sure that this blow would knock him down. Instead, the Trainer parried the blow with no effort on his part, and knocked the sword out of Selwyn’s hands.
“You must be greener that I thought if it was that easy for me to stop you. No worries, we all start out something like this.” The trainer said. He picked up the sword and handed it back to Selwyn. “Now, let me ask you, does this weapon feel comfortable in your hands? You are a bit small for most weapons, after all.” The trainer asked. Selwyn did feel a bit unbalanced when she did swung that sword, as she was not used to the weight of such a sword. She then fessed up. “Yes, it did feel a bit heavy to me…”
“Aye, I understand, you wanna pick a different weapon? Maybe I’ll help you.” The trainer said, as he led Selwyn to the weapon rack. “Now then, you favor one of em’ swords, right?” The trainer asked.
“Yes, nothing else, sir.” Selwyn said.
“Righto, let’s see here…” The trainer said, as he shuffled through the weapons. Selwyn stopped him as his hand went over a weapon similar to the sword. It looked exactly like the weapon she had, but it was slim, and the blade of it got thinner on it’s way to the point of the sword. It might actually be a lethal weapon, if it were not for the fact that the tip of the sword is rather blunt, to presumably keep accidents to a minimum. “Actually, that one would be good.” Selwyn said.
“Ah, you want the rapier, eh?” The trainer asked. Selwyn nodded, and she exchanged the longsword for the rapier.
“Now then lass… you are holding a weapon requiring some finesse for it to be any good for combat, so you gotta use hand-eye coordination instead of pure strength. Make sure you thrust exactly where you want the rapier to go for maximum results. And no swinging it either, unless you wanna knock something away. Rapiers are not meant for that. Now come at me!” The trainer commanded. Selwyn then thrusted her rapier at the trainer, aiming for the chest area. The thrust came out very swiftly and thus the trainer only knocked it aside as soon as it reached his chest. Selwyn took a strong grasp on her blade to make sure it did not get knocked out of her hand this time, and backed up once she knew the attack was deflected. “Come on lass, you gotta fight harder than that. Now get fighting!” The trainer taunted, as Selwyn charged forward and stopped dead in her tracks as the trainer swung his sword at her. She stopped in time, just to make sure the sword would not strike her, and took the chance to thrust the rapier towards the man. Still recovering from the miss that his sword made, he had no time to block the blow and got pushed back a little bit. “Not bad, good dodge.” The trainer complimented. “Now let’s keep at it!”
The training lasted for a good hour, with Selwyn almost passing out from the rigorous training she received. The trainer, on the other hand, was hardly sweating, with only a slight grunt out of him occasionally. “You going to stop there, girl?” He said.
“Y-yes, please…” Selwyn barely said, as she was panting.
“Ah, it’s fine. Just go home and get some rest, girl. And eh, just lay the coins down there on the table…” The trainer said, as he went back to his other students.
When she wiped the sweat from her forehead, she noticed that the sky was tinted yellow, with the sun setting, indicating that Selwyn needed to hurry home before the elder’s know she is gone. She gathered her things, and made a mad dash outside the city. She knew that if she was too late, the elders would notice that Kriza was only masquerading as Selwyn and thus would suspect that she deceived them just to not arouse suspicion. She could not afford getting intro trouble for exiting the village, let alone getting Kriza in trouble, so she bolted for the city walls, and the forest. In the middle of the dash, she was heedless of the things she put in her bag, which included the same training rapier that she used during training...
Spoiler: Chapter 5-Chapter 5-
A Painful Choice
Selwyn had to hurry back home, and she was sure that something far worse than her getting in trouble would happen if she was caught outside by one of the Gnomes. Her constant running caused her to constantly puff and inhale as she was running out of breath running, but she kept going. Eventually, she reached the treeline of the Ubr wood, and only stopped to take a breather, before sprinting in the same direction that the Satyr shown her. The only problem was, she did not know exactly what route she took to get back.
As she wandered around, she came to the conclusion that in order to get back, she had to retrace the steps that she and the Satyr used to get to the treeline. She then started looking for any signs of hoof marks in the dirt and mud. She was not very knowledgeable in this process, and thus spent a good few minutes trying to find the path. After wandering around for some time more, she then saw what appeared to be hoof marks in a mud pit, alongside small feet left by a Gnome. She knew that this is where they passed by, and thus followed the marks the opposite direction of where the tracks were facing. She had to squint and examine the ground for some time to figure out where these trails went, and thus spent precious time just finding them and making sure that these are still her tracks. After some tracking, she found the same clearing that the Satyr was playing his flute in. From the looks of it, the Satyr seemed to be still in there, dancing with what appears to be his friends, all gathered for a rousing dance. She knew she did not have time for such things, and kept going, this time, with the knowledge she was going the right way.
After even more walking, she finally made it, the Mistshell village. She had to sneak in to make sure nobody saw her walking in just then. After getting into a decent spot to come out of hiding, she emerged from behind a barrel, sure that nobody would suspect her of being gone. “Where have you been all day, Selwyn? Feeling bad?” A Gnome mother asked as she walked her children to the fire pit. Selwyn has done it; She made it back without anybody suspecting a thing. The first thing she had to do was tell Kriza that it is safe now, and that she can stop putting up the disguise.
When she walked into her room, she was still in the bed, reading one of Selwyn’s books. She only put up the book when she noticed Selwyn coming in. “Selwyn! Where have you been all day? I was getting very bored sitting around! Jeez…” Kriza grunted, as she got up, fixed her hair and stretched her arms out. After that, she dismissed the disguise and returned to her usual self. “I want to thank you again for going through all this just to allow me to-”.
Selwyn was stopped there when she heard a loud bellow from what appeared to be a horn. In all her years, she never heard such a loud noise, but knew it meant one thing; there was trouble outside.
“Selwyn, the alarm! Something is happening!” Kriza said. Selwyn did not say a word after that and hurried outside to see what the commotion was about.
When she rushed outside, she noticed what appeared to be complete chaos in the forest floor. Everyone was rushing to get back to the houses on top of the twisted trees and platforms above, without any regard for their safety while running. When she looked to the right of her house, she then saw just what everybody was screaming about. There was Kobolds. Several of them. As they scampered out to pick on the few Gnomes who are slow getting to the higher houses, they brandished their crude knives and clubs, making several guttural cries of war in their own crude language. The mages who were currently on guard were fighting the Kobolds with all they got, shooting rays of icy cold, blobs of acid, and the occasional shots of pure energy which seemed to home in on the Kobolds on the ground. When Selwyn tried to grasp what was going on, she saw Sazu, the elder, currently having tripped trying to escape. A kobold who was currently brandishing a knife rushed over to him, sure that this elderly Gnome would be a suitable victim.
“Sazu! Hang on!” Selwyn screamed, as she looked in her backpack to pull out the dagger that she put in her backpack for the trip to Maplevale. After grasping it, she sprinted towards the Kobold, with her mind set on protecting Sazu. The Kobold wasted no time in trying to stab Sazu when suddenly, Selwyn rushed the Kobold, and stabbed it in the arm. The Kobold gave a shrill scream as it got back into a fighting stance, and eyed Selwyn, with the determination to end her for her injuring his foul self. The Kobold got the knife and charged at Selwyn and brandished the knife, with Selwyn getting out of the way just to dodge. After that, she took the time to stab the Kobold once again when he swung his blade, and made a puncture in his chest. As the Kobold recovered from the stab, he tried once more to cut Selwyn, and swung his knife with full force, making a cut on Selwyn’s arm. Selwyn gasped with pain as she felt the burn that the crude knife made with it’s cut, but forgoed the need to treat it now and fight the Kobold to the death. Eventually, the mages of the village got sight of Selwyn fighting the Kobold by herself, and aimed a Magic Missile spell straight at the kobold. As the missiles of magical energy struck the Kobold over and over again, Selwyn grabbed Sazu and made a rush to the top floor of the village.
The mages were still fighting the Kobolds when Selwyn got Sazu and Kriza back to the top floor, inside the meeting hall. She watched through a window at the carnage outside and noticed that the battle was entirely in Mistshell’s favor. After a few more moments of the Kobolds being bombarded with spell after spell, a shrill shriek was heard all over the village, and the Kobolds retreated, with every one of them being on the receiving end of more spell firing as they rushed outside, back to the blackness of the woods.
In the end, there were several injuries to the Gnomes, some even critical, but nobody died during the invasion. Sazu then approached Selwyn and wanted to thank her, but he was called away by another Gnome elder. “Excuse me, Sazu, but I do not think Selwyn should be trusted anymore…” The Gnome said. This Gnome was known to Selwyn as Niser, a rather serious and cold Gnome. Selwyn knew very little about this Gnome, other than the fact that he is supposedly Kriza’s father. Selwyn was wondering why they would say such a thing about her, but then she knew…
Kriza told on her.
“What!? Cannot be trusted? You ought to have a good explanation for this, Niser!” Sazu said angrily, as he was restraining the urge to lose it for somebody even trying to frame his closest thing to a daughter.
“Well, Sazu, we had word that Selwyn only recently came to the woods a few minutes after the Kobolds arrived. If anything, she must have been outside the village perimeter. I’m simply afraid that we have no other choice than to just be rid of her.” Niser said coldly. Sazu then closed his eyes for a few moments, then opened them again.
“Selwyn, the elders of the village request you report to the meeting hall. Please come as soon as possible.” Sazu said. Selwyn waited for the meeting hall to clear out before talking to the elders.
“Now then, let’s begin, little Selwyn.” Niser said in a smug voice. “Due to you violating one of the village’s sacred laws and leaving the village, we have received a terrible, terrible attack from the Kobolds. You are being held fully responsible, and thus, we, as the elders of the village, must come to a conclusion of what to do with you. Excuse us while I talk with the rest of the elders.” Niser said as he walked with the few elders and talked with them separately. After waiting for a while, the elders then returned, and looked at Selwyn. The strange thing was, only Sazu seemed to look truly anguished from this. The rest of the elder’s, the 5 other ones, did not look the least bit sad to see Selwyn being punished, Niser especially. Sazu then said the words that Selwyn dreaded…
“Selwyn, by order of the elders of Mistshell village, you are hereby banished from the village.” Sazu said.
Selwyn could not believe herself. She was banished from the very village she grew up in. All thoughts raced through her head of the times she had here and what her future held in this village. Suddenly her dream of being a legendary hero sunk. She knew that her true place was with Sazu, helping the village, and living a happy life. And now, she knew that this future would never happen for her. “But why? Sazu, answer me! Why do I have to leave!?”
“Selwyn, it was a painful choice, but every elder here, save for me, agreed on this. I don’t want it to be this way, but I have no choice. I must send you away, and hope for the best for you now, and the village.” Sazu said. “Now, I will have somebody help you pack your belongings for departure. Please get ready and leave tonight.” Sazu then added.
After Selwyn packed her belongings; including her books, money, the training rapier that she accidently brought home, and the still bloodstained dagger, along with many other belongings, she then collapsed on her bed, weeping and sobbing. She knew she made a terrible mistake in even trying to leave the village. And it is a choice that will haunt her the rest of her life. Before leaving, Sazu seemingly left her something at her doorstep. It was appeared to be a box, in which contained a pendant. The pendant had a leather string which appeared to hold a alexandrite. Holding the gem in place was held in place by electrum, which contained the gemstone. Selwyn thought about why Sazu gave this to her, but then it occurred to her, this pendant was the very same one that her dad, Grapos, gave to Trysis when they first met. When she died, it then occurred to her that Grapos gave this to Sazu, most likely because this pendant carried too many memories to lose when he fled the forest. The only way Selwyn knew this is because her mother wore it at all times, and thus was never anywhere without it. It seemed cruel to not bury it alongside her, but Selwyn did not question why or how it was in Sazu’s hands, all that she knows now is how betrayed she feels.
Grasping her backpack, alongside her still bloodstained dagger, which she slid into a sheath, she then walked to the guards at the edge of the village. “Are you set?” The guardsman asked. Selwyn simply nodded.
“Alright then, by order of Mistshell village, you are now banished! Now, begone!”
Selwyn’s trek through the woods during the evening was as depressing as the moment she was told that she could not come back. All she did was just press forward, heedless of what was in the way. She heard a few giggles in the distance, most likely some Pixies who are eavesdropping on her as she trudged forward. She did not care. She had nowhere to go, nowhere to live for. Her only destiny now was the one that caused all this trouble, to be a hero...
Last edited by CrackedChair; 2016-05-06 at 10:45 AM. Reason: Chaper 4 and 5 is out, after a long writer's block!
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Re: The Valiant: Book 1
Starting up a new post for these chapters.
Spoiler: Chapter 6-Chapter 6-
A Grim Destiny
Selwyn trudged through the forest at a slow pace. Her thoughts just kept tormenting her as she went on, not even paying any heed to whatever was in the way. As a result, she ran into several trees, puddles, and bushes during the walk. And even as much as it hurts, the pain of this exile was even greater. After walking for only a short time, she saw somebody…
“Selwyn, you are leaving for good, are you?” Came a familiar voice. The voice sounded very somber and sad. But it still sounded like…
“Kriza?” Selwyn asked.
“The same. You truly are leaving now, are you?” Kriza asked. Selwyn said nothing. She knew that Kriza betrayed her trust and thus caused her to be exiled. She simply kept walking…
“Selwyn, please, stop… I want to speak with you one last time-”
“You just stop, now. You already caused enough for me today, first by going through all that to make sure nobody noticed I was gone, and what did you just do? You reported me as soon as the invasion was repelled, you snake!” Selwyn cried out, as tears came down her cheeks. “I’ve never felt so betrayed in all my life, and now my life there is ruined, because of you!”
Kriza did not know what to say. Her friend was truly this upset with her, despite herself having a valid reason for telling. “Selwyn, let me explain, just calm yourself…” Kriza asked. Selwyn was restraining the urge to just end Kriza there with the still bloodsoaked dagger that she used to repel the kobold that threatened her guardian. Her hand was shaking near the handle, ready to pull it out, all the while Kriza started explaining…
“Selwyn, I was under duress. My father came to your house and saw me still disguised as you. I don’t understand how he saw through the disguise, I am the greatest illusionist in the village, and he still saw it was me…” Kriza said. She took a few seconds to regain her train of thought to explain even more. As she was, Selwyn’s hand stopped shaking, and was at peace. “And as soon as he saw it was me, he threatened me and wondered why I was disguised as you. He was truly not in the mood for any dishonesty, so he threatened to give me several lashes if I was not truthful about your whereabouts. As soon as I told him that you left to ‘see the outside world’, he took a few bits of hair from one of your brushes and left. I don’t know why, but I guess that’s how weird he is…” Kriza then explained. “So, Selwyn, I did not want you to be this way with me. I knew that you would know it was me that told them, since I was the only one who knew where you were at. Please, Selwyn, just stay, please… stay!” Kriza said, as tears then poured down her face. Selwyn then knew; Kriza was not to blame here. Selwyn then approached Kriza, and gave her a hug…
“Kriza, I understand… but due to my actions, I can never return, and thus will most likely never find them again. It’s a grim destiny, but it’s one I must endure for the rest of my days…” Selwyn said.
“But please, at the very least, take this…” Kriza said, as she pulled out a flute. Selwyn knew this flute, it was the very same one that Kriza used to play when she was a child. All sorts of fun were to be had from that little instrument, which was highly prized in these woods. The flute itself was carved out of wood, and was carved very carefully to ensure the maximum quality sound was made from blowing into it. At the end was a sprig of mistletoe, which added to its design.
“Kriza… you want me to take this?” Selwyn asked.
“Yes, I do. I hope it will come in handy one day, just play the tune we used to play together occasionally, and remember me…” Kriza said. As she said these words, she then walked back into the woods, back into the blackness to return to the village. Selwyn’s betrayed heart was healed then; not completely, but enough for her to move on. She then proceeded back out of the woods, following the Satyr’s footprints again, this time with a destiny she must live out, like it or not…
It was approximately midnight when the last light in Graham’s manse was blown out, and it’s staff to bed. Graham was still up in the guest room, reading a book detailing the exploits of six adventurers whom banded up to stop the plans of a Lich whom was using gates spread across the world for his nefarious deeds. Graham did not know exactly why he picked this book to read tonight, of all nights. He was just simply bored and felt quite alert, and needed something to make him a bit tired. In the kitchen was Riben, who was just cleaning up around before he turned in for the night. He then heard a rather sharp knock at the door, and hurried to answer it.
Riben opened the door, and looked ahead. He saw nothing there, and wondered if the delinquents of the town were playing a prank on him again. He then looked down and saw Selwyn, right at the doorsteps.
“Selwyn? What are you doing here this late at night?” Riben asked.
“I can’t explain all of it outside. Could I share this with Graham, if he is up?” Selwyn asked. Riben simply nodded and allowed Selwyn in. After letting her in, he led Selwyn to the guest room, where Graham was still reading a book by the roaring fire in the fireplace.
“Riben, I don’t want to deal with those snot-nosed kids now, just boot them-” Graham was about to finish when what he thought was the delinquent that kept pulling this prank at night was actually Selwyn, who was mysteriously at their doorstep this time of night.
“Oh… erm… sorry... Did not mean to mistake you for somebody else…” Graham said, rather embarrassed. “So, what brings you to the town at night?”
“I would like to explain to you in detail of what happened to me tonight. Would you listen?” Selwyn asked. Graham really saw this as a good way to tucker him out, so he simply nodded and allowed Selwyn to take a seat in one of the velvet chairs in the room.
“Graham, I must be honest, my meeting with you this morning was not at all a simple visit to town. I left the village located deep in the woods down from the town to see the outside world.” Selwyn said. She continued with her tale of what happened up to the time she met Graham and to the point that Kriza stopped her outside just before she could fully leave the woods. Graham kept nodding, but was not actually close to falling asleep. He found the whole tale intriguing that the village she grew up in was so closed off from the outside world, and thus wondered why it was deemed it necessary to keep anybody from leaving. After hearing the tale, he got up from the velvet chair and stretched. “Selwyn, I see… well, Riben, what should we do? We can’t let her just sleep in some dank alley at night, it’s pretty dangerous…” Graham said. “How about you prepare the guest room for this girl?”
“Y-yes, sir!” Riben said, as he rushed upstairs. After that, Selwyn approached Graham, gave a deep sigh, and then put her arms around Graham’s legs as far as her arms would allow her to reach. Graham was rather taken back to see her showing such gratitude for his actions, but he then thought about the hardships that she went through when it came to her return to the woods. He simply kneeled down and gave her a pat on the back. “It’s ok, no need for tears… let’s just focus on resting for tonight, go upstairs and lay your stuff down there…” Graham said. Selwyn then grabbed her backpack, staff, and the flute that she received from Kriza, and then went upstairs.
Riben was very quick, Selwyn though, cause it did not seem that long ago that he went up to the guest room and now, the room is set up for Selwyn to sleep in. The room was massive compared to her living arrangement back at her true home, but she was amazed at how much detail was put into a simple room to sleep in. Back at home, not much detail was given to such places, due to them serving just one purpose; to sleep. Thus, the surprised look on Selwyn when she walked in. “W-well, madame. It’s made up for you to rest. Shall I put up your belongings?” Riben asked. Selwyn nodded and allowed Riben to take her gnome-sized gear and put it up.
“Are you going to bed now?” Riben asked. Selwyn jumped up into the bed, and nodded.
“Oh, o-ok, good night…” Riben said, as he blew out the candle. Selwyn adjusted to the bed and got into a comfortable position to sleep in. She was too tired to think about what happened today. All on her mind now was just how to rest...
Spoiler: Chapter 7-Chapter 7-
My Home Sweet Home
Selwyn woke up this morning very early. It was not like her too get up at such a time, but she did not mind, not after all she has been though. Once her eyes got the first glimpse of sunlight pouring through the window, she got out of the bed, and to the floor. After making a big stretch, she then went to her bag to pull out clothes to wear. She opened up her bag and pulled out what appears to be a dark blue tunic and placed it on top of the bed. As she pulled off the still-dirty clothes she wore all day yesterday, she looked at herself in the mirror, and let out a sigh. “It’s still me… and no thinness to my name yet…” She lamented, as she pulled the dark blue tunic over her heavyset body, and made up the bed. After putting the traveler’s clothes in a corner in her room, she then walked downstairs, very quietly as to make sure nobody else is still sleeping. After passing the kitchen, she noticed that Riben was in there, behind a half-closed door.
As Selwyn peeked into the kitchen, she saw Riben staring intently at a empty kettle over firewood in the firepit. Selwyn watched before her very eyes the Half-elf whispering silently to himself. And in all but an instant, he lashed his finger at the wood in the firepit, and it ignited into a steady flame. Selwyn was not too surprised, however. She has seen this form of magic all over her village before she was exiled, and recalled it as a minor spell that many spellcaster’s know, which is called Prestidigitation. Her curiosity was piqued, however, and thus walked in to ask Riben a question about what he just did.
“Riben, that looked very good!” Selwyn said. Riben was very shocked to see Selwyn up this morning, but was almost ready to have a conniption, inferring from what Selwyn said about what just happened between him and the firepit.
“W-what? I-I did not do anything! I swear!” Riben said, flabbergasted.
“D’oh, don’t be coy with me! You are a wizard, aren’t you?” Selwyn asked. Riben then calmed down somewhat, but was still shocked to see her finally figuring out his innate casing abilities. Riben kept this secret from Graham, his family, and the rest of Maplevale town for quite awhile that he can use magic, and took great pains to make sure his tracks are covered. But now that Selwyn figured out, he was going to cut his losses for Selwyn, but still make sure it is still a secret only he and she knows. “Yes, milady… I do cast magic…” Riben said, defeated. “I want you, however, to make sure not a word of me casting magic gets out to anybody in this town, especially Graham. Please, for me?”
“D’awww… sure, Riben.” Selwyn agreed.
“Wonderful… so Selwyn… do you want to help me make tea?” Riben asked.
“More than anything!” Selwyn said.
Graham got out of bed a bit of time later after Selwyn got up. As he got up and went to the mirror to sort himself out to at least make himself look presentable if somebody wanted to see him this early, he passed by a simple greataxe, which was hanging right next to his drawers. The greataxe did not even looked like it would belong in a well-to-do manse such as this, what with it’s simple forged design; looking like it came straight out of the local smithy, and saw much use, too, from the looks of the notches in the blades of the axe. And yet Graham still saw a lot in that old axe. “Someday, Grandpa… Someday…” Graham said, as he passed it by, giving it a final glance. The axe itself was a gift from Graham’s grandfather, whom was wandering all over the continent of Shehira. It all started when his Grandfather had an attempt on his life from an unknown assailant. Knowing that he is unfit for this anymore, he left to wander the lands as a nomad, and took several tribesman under his arms. Graham’s meeting with him when he left to hunt wild pigs one day was not thought to him as a coincidence, but as something far more. Once he found his grandfather again, he spent a few days with him, learning all about the life of a nomad. But even Graham could not escape the duties of a noble, and had to leave him to go back to Maplevale, as to maintain it. But not before his grandfather gave him this very axe to remember him by…
“Tea is done!” Selwyn said as she poured the kettle out into a few ornate teacups. Riben then made sure to make Graham’s tea just the way he liked it, with very little sugar. After that, he put a couple bits of sugar into his own cup, while Selwyn dumped quite a lot into her’s, much to Riben’s shock. “Goodness me, Selwyn! That much?” Riben said.
“Just the way I like it.” Selwyn said. Graham then walked into the kitchen to pick up his tea.
“Thank you, Riben.” Graham said, as he took a sip out of the teacup and then moved to the living room.
After the tea was served and breakfast was had, Selwyn had to get ready to go to the training school to learn more about fighting. She took the training rapier she accidently brought with her and went forward to the school, giving Riben a goodbye before she left.
“What a sweet girl…” Riben said, as he walked back in.
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Re: The Valiant: Book 1
Are you seeking feedback? Is there anything in particular you'd like feedback about?
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Re: The Valiant: Book 1
All right. Well, for now...It's strange for Selwyn to have a flashback including events that no living gnome could have narrated (like how Trysis tried to distract the displacer beast). You should decide whether the narrative voice you're using is an objective third-person narrator, or Selwyn's perspective.
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Re: The Valiant: Book 1
So far I'm enjoying Selwyn's adventure I'm hoping to see more of the gnome villagers, too.
Quick question for you, how well known are monsters in your world? I delighted to read about the Satyr who was described to someone who has never seen such a thing before, but before that paused when you mentioned this displacer beast who is unfamiliar to most without saying anything more. I don't know if it's because Selwyn learned about the event from second hand or because she knows what a displacer beast is, but details like this might require a little more to immerse someone who wouldn't know what a displacer beast is, or isn't aware of the color differences between dragons. I'd imagine you would also like to immerse and capture new interest in fantasy with a story like the Valiant, so I advise thinking a little bit about what is known, and how well known. The way you described the Displacer beast killing Selwyn's mother, it strikes me as an event that out of the ordinary, making me wonder what it was doing there, but at the same time it felt like it could use a little more to complete the hook, you know?
I hope I'll grow to like Graham, He strikes me as having that unusual potential to have many memorable moments, I await to see what becomes of him. (he also reminds me a bit of an elf paladin I played by the same name, who so far seems like the near polar opposite of your Graham. I revel in the contrasts.)
All the best, keep going, Symphony!
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Re: The Valiant: Book 1
I thank you for your questions and compliments!
Monsters in this world are well known, as far as the more civilized places know. But the Mistshell villagers are very much separated from the world. To them, a monster such as a Satyr is known, but things that don't belong in such a forest such as a Merfolk is rather unfathomable, to say the least. As such, anything that's not a Fey creature, woodland beast or critter, or maybe even some well-known monsters such as a dragon would turn heads for the forest Gnomes.
Anyways, Chapter 4 and 5 is out, go enjoy!
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