Hey there! I feel inspired and motivated enough to write a book, or at least, a couple of chapters. I’m thinking of a fantasy setting that doesn’t take itself too seriously, where I’m thinking the main character or at least the central character is the comic relief. Feel free to give any ideas or suggestions!
How about someone who want to help others but manage to do just about everything wrong?
Any fights should fit in an absurd amount of dialogue between blows, a la the “incredibly verbose” parody videos.
What about a wizard who has to forget something in exchange for the power to do a spell?
UPDATE: I didn’t get much work done because I was procrastinating very sick and didn’t have the energy to write. HOWEVER, a quick character chart has been produced with a draft of the main crew, and I have finally begun production on the first chapter. Enjoy the little content you get, this might take a while. These are all early drafts, so nothing is set in stone.
Copy paste from my google docs
Protag/comic : Jordan Fecius
Age: 14 (make it relatable)
Likes: Jokes (he’s the joker!), animals, more will be discovered with plot-convenient flashbacks
Dislikes: snakes, wizards, bad jokes, people stealing his catchphrase
Special one-dimensional trait: catchphrase Dinkums!
Description: Jordan is a funny teen with too much energy and a thirst for an audience for his incredible jokes! Short and stubby, he doesn’t have many friends, but the few he does have are very good.
Wizardy guy: Harendall Greyfourth
Age: old man
Likes: cool spells, talking in deep voice, his cat mewthreeius (a secret demon overlord trapped in a furry cage).
Dislikes: children, terrified of lightning, beards, people calling him old despite it being the truth.
Trait: verbosis (senseless backstory filler will explain he traded coherent speech for cool wizardy powers)
Description: Unlike other default wizards, Harendall shaved his big ol’ beard. He also levitates around, but it uses more energy than just walking, but he thinks it’s “Kool BeanZ”. He has weird sith-yellow eyes and a grey-brown skin. He also has a pink and brown bandana on his neck.
Default female: Lizzie Tanks
Age: out of OPs league
Likes: things go boom, cats (but not m3), nature
Dislikes: loud noises other than boom, Jordan’s jokes, Haren’s verbosis
Trait: Demolady, very strong but also sensitive, “like an elephant’s trunk!” -Jordan, before being pummeled to the ground
As the only one with a normal name, that means she must be the most abnormal one. An outcast from her village, she lived in the forest, where she mined uranium 238 by hand and hand-crafted tiny nuclear bombs. Highly crude and ineffective, explosives are still boom toys.
Alrighty, here’s my first draft for chapter 1.
Is it too short?
Is Harendall too verbose?
Chapter 1: The Reckoning
Note by the author:
Hello, I’m Narratron 4k, the narration AI. I have been created to make up cool stories out of complex algorithms your brain is too puny to understand. This story is a special one, because it was edited by a human technician, so don’t expect perfection!
It was during the night of The Reckoning, when Jordan Fecius woke up in cold sweats from his straw bed. He laid in his straw pillow for a couple of minutes before taking off his straw blanket after getting bored and taking a walk. Little did he know that this walk would haunt him for the rest of his life… For you see, the night of The Reckoning happens once every year, and it involves the resurrection of a mortal enemy. Since Jordan lived in Jefferton, the most hated town in Scanadia, most of the graveyard rose up that night. And one of those dead forsaken souls, was Avalon Buderatch, or as the whole town calls him, the Ropethroat. The Ropethroat is a man who had hands so coarse and so tough, that they felt like rope. He also had a tendency to strangle people that he didn’t like, and he hated everyone. Thankfully, he passed away a couple of years ago in an accident involving a flower pot and a barrel of liquor.
Jordan always tried to avoid the graveyard during his walks, but tonight, he felt like destiny demanded he go there for his midnight stroll. There, he found Ropethroat, strangling the gravekeeper, desperate for vitality. When he saw Jordan, a young boy full of energy and radiating with life, he pounced on him, whereupon the gravekeeper hit him with the holy broom, casting him back to the realm of the departed. “Dinkums!” Jordan exclaimed. “That sure was scary, huh. Thanks for the rescue, by the way.” The grave keeper responded with: “I am deeply filled with a feeling of human emotion depicted with joy and assurance that a problem or potential threat that I have dealt with myself is gone, which I am exclaiming towards you, my fellow human child in the broad age range in which you start to morph towards becoming an adult Homo Sapien.” “Uh… thanks?”, responded a visibly confused Jordan as he went back to sleep, waiting for the night of the Reckoning to end.
In the morning, he heard the local village screamer yell: “The body is gone! The body is gone!” Jordan rushed to the scene, disappointed to only find an empty grave. “That’s it? I was hoping for at least a little gore…” sighed Jordan, as he tried to walk back home, only to be stopped by the verbose gravekeeper. “Young boy with an age similar to the target demographic of this shameless book, I have obstructed the path your mind had planned for you to take, for I have news I wish to share verbally with your conscience: I am a man of extraordinary power, and one of those powers is vision in the unforeseen time zone or space at which regular human eyes could not see because of the obstruction of physical obstacles. This information I have shared with you is relevant to the statement I am about to conjure: the corpse which the man this village has decided to employ as a man whose sole purpose is to exclaim facts at people with a higher decibel rate than that of normal human speech, has not vanished into the atmosphere under the form of unseeable particles, and has neither been transported by another being with malicious intent, but rather, it has risen up on its own, and walked with its corpse bones, corpse muscles and corpse skin, to the forest of trees, which it will traverse to scale the mountain of rocks, upon which it will enter the castle of walls, where it will sit on a throne made of solid matter composed of atoms of 79 protons, 118 neutrons and 79 electrons, upon which, after an arbitrary amount of the unit of time of his choosing, he will gain a tremendous amount of powerful new abilities, which he may intend to use to conduct malicious activities on a large scale.”
“Dinkums, you sure blurt out a lot of nonsense for a creepy gravekeeper. Go bother someone else.” Snapped Jordan before the gravekeeper could go on any further. “But young lad, you are the only human being capable of withstanding the pressure of the adventure I am offering you.” Replied the gravekeeper. “As proof of my capability of being trusted by you, I shall answer your questions which you had inferred but did not really wish for answers. I am incredibly verbose, for that was the price I had to pay to absorb the awesome wizard powers and wizard knowledge I am currently in the possession of. My nomenclature which you may address me as is Harendall Greyfourth, or simply as Haren, if the situation you may find yourself in does not permit you enough time to say my name. I also have a cat! Say hi, Mewthreeius!” Suddenly, a strange creature as black as the night and as swift as the wind leapt out of a bush: “Huursiikhhh!” shrieked the monster-cat. “She does that sometimes, it means she likes you!”, said the suddenly non-verbose Harendall. “Wait, why is your verbose speech not in effect when your uhh, “cat”, is around you?” Asked an intrigued Jordan. “It is? I never noticed.” Replied Haren. “So if I get this straight, a man which you do not have any information on, other than that he might be evil, has risen from his grave during the night of the Reckoning, found a way to not petrify on contact to the sun’s rays, and is on his way to his sinister abandoned castle where he will gain mortality and evil powers which threaten my village!?” Yelled Jordan. “Yeah, that sums it all up.” Replied a calm Harendall. “So what do you say, are ya in, or are ya out?” Jordan replied swiftly: “You’re the one whose out Harey, out of your mind!”. And he quickly pushed Harendall aside as he tried to run back home to his abandoned barn full of an obscene amount of hay, and nothing else.
But before gaining a distance, Jordan is lifted into the air and turned around, facing the levitating dark-skinned bandana wizard. “You are going to go on the adventure I have described to you moments earlier, wether you are going with me willingly or not! I will drag you through the forest of trees, the mountain of rocks and the castle of walls, all for the sake of protecting this awful village full of awful people from the evil corpse who may or may not have an ill will.” Roared Harendall. “I guess the cat’s gone.”, mumbled Jordan as he follows Harendall back to his nice home/brewery/wizard shop.
And here’s a bonus sketch of Harendall
Yeah, he totally isn’t a secret sith lord…
I really like it, but what I would at least try would be to be a little more descriptive. I found myself reading a little faster than I would have liked and filling the space with some nice descriptions would go nicely I’d expect.
Edit: is it alright with you if I do my own fan art of Harendall?
Go ahead! I’ll try to be more descriptive in the next chapter, but thanks for the feedback.
I quite liked the first chapter, there were many moments that made be exhale audibly through my nose
However, there are a few things I would change. Firstly, I feel like Harendall losing his verbosity around his cat was a little strange, as if he lost an important character attribute. That being said, when he is verbose, maybe tone it down a little. Remember that you are trying to appeal to teenage-ish people.
Additionally, I noticed that the plot progresses rather quickly, with a very fast pace. At certain points it felt a bit ‘clunky’. Like the spherical object of magic imprinted with the number 8 of the variety ‘04’ mentioned above, some more in-depth descriptions would be nice.
Lastly, many of the dialogue sentences follow a similar pattern:
"Dialogue", said the character.
While you have found alternative words for ‘said’, many of these talking segments follow the same structure, what is being said followed by who said it. A nit-pick, I know, but it helps with cohesion. For example, I would re-write this sections:
“Dinkums, you sure blurt out a lot of nonsense for a creepy gravekeeper. Go bother someone else.” Snapped Jordan before the gravekeeper could go on any further. “But young lad, you are the only human being capable of withstanding the pressure of the adventure I am offering you.” Replied the gravekeeper.
“Dinkums, you sure blurt out a lot of nonsense for a creepy gravekeeper. Go bother someone else.” Snapped Jordan before the crazy old man could go on any further. The Gravekeeper grew frustrated. “But young lad, you are the only human being capable of withstanding the pressure of the adventure I am offering you.”
If you could tie in more elements of cohesion and what-not, I’m convinced that this could turn into an extremely solid novel. Good work, I look forward to chapter 2!
Watch who you’re callin a sphere, Schrödinger’s crustacean
Thanks for the feedback everyone.
- Polish the first chapter
- Write the second chapter
Alright, I’ll polish the first chapter then. Patience, my lads. Jordan’s adventure will advance soon!
OK, chapter 1 polished in accordance with your critiques! How do you like it?
All it cost was my Spiderman 1 joke.
CHAPTER 1: THE RECKONING.
In the wonderful land of Scanadia, where the trees are always pretty and the oceans always sparkling, are scattered multiple pretty towns, each with their beautiful intricate architecture and different cultures.The people there are always smiley and always helpful, ready to lend a hand at a moment’s notice. Then there’s Jefferton, an awful slum comprised of all the awful people this perfect society rejected and secluded, surrounding the mud huts and the scraggly shacks with mountains and forests, giving a sense of desertion and remoteness to the town. And above the high peak of the mountain of rocks, lies the abandoned castle of Walls, constructed by King Edward Walls, a very narcissistic and self-centred prick. He was a very bad king, who would make unwise decisions “because I felt like it”, and always dismissed his people’s needs, who all starved to death, making Jefferton a huge graveyard of a stupid populace that couldn’t revolt.
And right over the corpse of farmer Franky José, layed an old barn, wherein a young lad, about 14, was sleeping. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, our brown haired little boy wakes up in cold sweats. Jordan was his name, Jordan Fecius. Other kids would tease him about it because it sounded like feces, but Jordan wasn’t bothered by it (he was only surprised those dolts knew about the word). He layed in his bed of hay for a couple of minutes, trying to fluff his straw pillow, before taking off his straw blanket and going on a walk. He was a small boy, and looked like a 12 year old, but he had the fiercest amber eyes a person could ever have. They were so fierce, he scared a few bullies, just by staring at them.
It was the night of the Reckoning, a weird night that happens every year, since the last 472 years, when a wizard cast a curse upon Walls’ kingdom, because the king had refused to give him shelter, for he would have “stained the rug with his muddy feet”. The wizard, furious, had cast a spell on the king, saying that he and his entire kingdom would be doomed to a life cycle, where he will always wake up one day, only to die again in agony by the next day. Of course, the wizard had forgotten to mention that it would only work on people who were despised in their lifetime, but he just assumed everyone was awful, which they were, since it was Jefferton’s predecessor. Jordan always dreaded that day, because his grandfather would always wake up, and Jordan hates old people. He thinks they’re too judgemental and not open enough to new ideas, like that perhaps it is possible that Jordan doesn’t like grandma’s sawdust cookies because they taste like sawdust.
Fortunately for him, once he got to the graveyard, which was really just a converted animal pen with holes, his grandfather was already gone. Instead, he found Ropethroat, a serial killer that died earlier that year, who would kill people by strangling them with his coarse, rope-like hands. He was really physically fit, and had a cunning, sharp mind, but his demise was an unforeseeable accident, involving a flower pot and a liquor barrel. Ropethroat was strangling the gravekeeper, a strange, creepy old man who shaves his beard and wears a pink bandana with brown spots, all over an ugly orange robe. In his life, Ropethroat strangled people he saw spitting on the street. He was a bit of a neat freak, and his mind wasn’t exactly the most stable, so he resorted to extreme measures to make sure those people would never spit on the street again. Some people had even speculated that other Scanadian towns specifically sent Ropethroat here instead of jailing him, because they are sadistic monsters. Anyways, the man was strangling the gravekeeper in search of vitality, because there’s this rumour about breaking the curse by absorbing the essence of the living, to inject it into the dead, bringing them back to life, and so, free of the painful curse. But when Ropethroat saw Jordan, a young boy radiating life and energy, he instantly dumped the old brown-green skinned weirdo for the young boy who probably has more life essence. Jordan was scared, but also angry that he chose to jog on such a dangerous night, and scrambled towards the nearest corner, cowering in fear. Suddenly, Ropethroat was hit by a broom, the Holy Broom, an indispensable asset to any cursed graveyard keeper. Ropethroat moaned, as he descended back towards the crust of the earth, seeping through the cracks, until nothing was left, but a pile of smoke, from the magic sparklies.
Jordan was relieved the threat was over. “Dinkums!” he exclaimed, “That was pretty scary. Thank you, gravekeeper.” The gravekeeper responded with: “Young boy, I am filled with gratitude that the situation that was dangerous to your life was quelled by me, for I care about your wellbeing.” “Uh… thanks?”, responded a visibly confused Jordan as he went back to sleep, waiting for the night of the Reckoning to end.
In the morning, he heard the local village screamer yell: “The body is gone! The body is gone!” Jordan rushed to the scene, disappointed to only find an empty grave. “That’s it? I was hoping for at least a little gore…” sighed Jordan, as he tried to walk back home, only to be stopped by the verbose gravekeeper. “Young boy with an age similar to the target demographic of this shameless book, I have obstructed the path your mind had planned for you to take, for I have news I wish to share verbally with your conscience: I am a very powerful human, with abilities beyond that of the normal, or rather, paranormal. For example, I can see beyond the space at which a normal human’s vision would end, and this is important, for I have news for you that will shatter your perception of reality: the body which the employee of high decibel human expression was referring to has not vanished into particles in the atmosphere, neither was it moved without permission by a person with malicious intent. Rather, with my superhuman sight, I have perceived the corpse climbing out of its pit of post-mortal dwelling, and crawl through the forest of trees, to then climb the mountain of rocks, before entering the castle of Walls, in which he will sit upon a throne of pure negligence, where he will sit, waiting, gathering power, until, after an arbitrary amount of time has passed, he will rise and wreak havoc upon the entire land!”
“Dinkums, you sure blurt out a lot of nonsense for a creepy gravekeeper. Go bother someone else.” Snapped Jordan before the old man could ramble on any further. The gravekeeper grew impatient. “But young lad, you are the only human being capable of withstanding the pressure of the adventure I am offering you. You also contain hidden powers beyond human comprehension, but I cannot reveal to you what they are, for I cannot comprehend them! Tell you what, I shall tell you about myself, so you can better trust me. You may have noticed, but I am incredibly verbose, for that is the price I had to pay to gain my wizard powers and magic arsenal, like the Holy Broom.” “Hehe, ARSE-nal…” giggled Jordan, like the childish teen he is. “I’m not done yet! My name is Harendall Greyforth, but you may refer to me simply as Haren, but only if the time which you have at hand does not permit you to spend any on blurting out my full name out of your primitive jaw. I am also in possession of a feline of unknown species, which I find cute in its own way. Mewthreeius! Go formally present yourself to your soon-to-be travel mate!” Suddenly, a strange creature, as swift as the wind and as black as the night, with crimson eyes, leapt out of a nearby bush at unbelievable speed. “Huursiikhhh!” shrieked the monster-cat. The wizard continued. “So you see, Jordan Fecius, this is what you have to work with for the next couple of weeks, for you have to traverse whatever the corpse traversed to stop his quest for power and domination.” but Jordan was still reluctant to go, stating that he still doesn’t know why he should go, while Harendall can clearly handle him and his demon of a cat better. To that, Harendall simply responded by lifting his hand, and subsequently lifting Jordan, while he levitated towards his wizard shack/potion lab/brewery.
Here’s chapter 2! Sorry it’s a little shorter, but I was busy with school. To make up for it, here’s some bonus concept art.
CHAPTER 2: An Unexplainable Journey
The wizard’s old shack was dusty and cramped, much like all the other village huts. It was full of colourful potions and jars with weird animal parts and plants that were crawling all over the walls. The walls were packed with bookshelves full of magic books, and there was a storage room with all the neat wizard accessories at hand, like the Holy Broom, the Flying Broom, the Sentient Bucket-carrying Broom, and so on. And right in the middle of the stuffy one-room house, was a boiling cauldron, full of thick, green goop.
“This small dwelling I own is where we will use our intellect to plan our inevitable journey before partaking in it.” explained Harendall. Jordan was finally put down on a chair. “How about you start by telling me thoroughly why I should go take on this clearly dangerous mission?” The wizard was growing frustrated. “Jordan, take a look at yourself. Have you ever subconsciously had the vivid emotion you attributed to the fact that you thought you didn’t fit in? That this ugly, disgusting, dehumanising failure of the human race of a village wasn’t the place you thought you deserved to grow up in? Think about it, Jordan. Are you as bad as the villagers of Jefferton?” “That still doesn’t answer my question you old fool!” snapped Jordan, now longing for his comfy straw bed in his straw barn. As Jordan grew tired of Harendall’s cryptic half-baked answers, he decided to just go home, but he couldn’t get up. He tried again, but his muscles stopped responding. He felt his heart stop beating, and his lungs stop inhaling and exhaling. His throat was closing up, and his body was weakening. He looked at Harendall, squeezing his fist like he was holding a banana, and that was when Jordan noticed the man’s dark, yellow eyes, devoid of compassion, unstable and harsh. Suddenly, he let go of his fist, releasing the boy from his choke hold, and restoring his body functions, although not without a little struggle. After Jordan recovered, Harendall spoke up. “I am now feeling drained of my energy, so I do not feel like babysitting you through childish treasure maps. Come back here tomorrow, at around noon, when I will be fully rested, both mentally, physically, and magically”. After this incident, Jordan decided it is best not to get on Haren’s bad side. He may look nice, but Jordan has to remember that everyone lives in Jefferton for a reason, and Harendall Greyforth definitely belongs there.
The next day, Jordan, fully recovered and ready for action, went back to the wizard’s home, more out of fear then out of dedication to join him on his journey to stop an evil maniacal warlord. The magic gravekeeper explained everything to the inexperienced teenager, from the itinerary, to the time it’ll take, and even down to the creatures they’ll face. “Our first obstacle shall be the forest of trees. It’s full of trees, but also vines and shrubberies. As for the little critters we might encounter on the journey we shall partake in, their taxonomie will vary from sentient fungus, to man-eating mandaloids.” What are mandaloids?” asked Jordan, curious about this exotic fauna. “Mandaloids” replied Harendall calmly, “aren’t your typical vicious hunter out for blood. These creatures resemble a big plant, with root-like legs, and a big gullet, used for capturing prey that wanders too close to it, wherein it’ll break down, until there’s nothing left but a smoking pile of carcass and bones… But let us bring this discussion back towards the subject of our journey, which takes us to the second location we must traverse: the mountain of rocks.” “Dinkums, who named these stupid locations?” blurted Jordan out, now wishing he hadn’t said anything at all. The wizard remained calm and replied “These locations were named after the early settlers of Jefferton, Jeffery Trees, and Tony Rocks. The mountain of rocks is most likely the most dangerous location on our path to the castle of Walls. From its toxic gases from the active volcano on the other side, to the high altitude, minimising our air supplies, there are also remnants of magic, that have taken the form of mountain guardians. After we traverse the guardians and get through the volcano, we’ll finally reach our destination: the castle of Walls.” Then, one thought came up to Jordan ”Hey Harendall, if this journey is so dangerous and tough, how will the weak corpse of the evil guy I know nothing about get through?” Harendall, not prepared for that question, answered hastily “He may or may not get through, but are you willing to take the chance of letting a warlord gain power to wage magic wars once again?” Jordan didn’t need to answer that one. He felt like he should go, since he seems like the most competent and sane person in the village, making him a vital companion on the journey.
They decided to journey the next day, to give time to prepare supplies and such. On the day of the expedition, Jordan was getting really stressed out. He was about to leave the only place he ever lived in, and he might never come back. But he was more afraid of Harendall than any adventure they might go on, so he was resolved to leave. Saying a final goodbye to his hay barn, he left towards the edge of the town, near the forest of trees. At the town gate, the guards asked them where they were going. They said they were going to the forest, but the guards didn’t actually care. No one’s ever allowed to leave Jefferton, and those who do, never come back, although it’s probably because they found a better spot to live in. Harendall simply gave them a couple money coins, and the guards let them pass. “The other Scanadians probably didn’t think employing bad people in a bad town was a terrible idea that was doomed to fail.” Haren told Jordan while walking. Once they finally reached the forest, their journey was finally about to begin.
Also, do any of you have an idea for the book title?
Any criticism, or should I move on to chapter 3?
I must say, this is looking to be pretty good novel! But be careful, here you’ve broken out of third person. Also, there are points in the dialogue where you accidentally skip the odd quotation mark. Aside from that, good job.
Chapter 3 is up now. I tried using a different format to try to ease up the brick paragraphs, does it work well?
CHAPTER 3: A Forestful of Surprises
The forest of trees was your typical generic boreal forest, full of maples and pines. Some were huge, with roots the size of a bridge, while others were little saplings, struggling to claim what little sunlight wasn’t blocked by the massive oaks. There were also mushrooms of a wide variety, like the big edible browner’s mushrooms, or small toxic spore-spewing Neckbacks, and even sentient button-top mushrooms, scurrying to their hiding spot at the slightest sound.
“So, what’s so dangerous about this forest again?” asked Jordan, while staring around at the different flora.
“Mandaloids are probably the creature you should fear most in the forest of trees, for an ill-prepared adventurer cannot escape its maw…” Harendall replied without even looking at him.
The forest was dense, full of thickets and fallen logs in the way, but Harendall would levitate himself and Mewthreeius over those menial obstacles, while Jordan had to work his way around them. Soon, they encountered a big nest carved into a giant oak. Upon closer examination, they found a person napping! It was a young woman, with scraggly brown hair, which may or may not be from the mud she was sleeping around, and dressed in tattered rags, stitched grotesquely and amateurly, although she was pretty tall. When he realised someone was in that nest, Harendall swiftly lifted hand and woke her up, startling her like a fawn seeing a hunter.
“Human, can you speak?” Boomed Harendall, not worried by the woman’s emotional state.
She finally calmed down. “Yeah, I can speak, I’m not a Button-top! Now unhand me, ruffian, so I can teach ya a thing or two about waking up a napping hunter…”
Harendall, impressed by her tenacity, let her down, and presented himself and Jordan. He then offered her to join them on their epic quest, but she wasn’t interested.
“You think,” She started, “You think I’ll leave my comfortable tree-hut to join some cranky old-timer with a demon-cat and a kid on their field trip to the castle of Walls? No way! I left that place 12 years ago, and I’m not coming back!”
Jordan had a realisation. “Wait, you LIVED in the castle of Walls?”
“Well, yeah,” She shrugged, “I was scavenging around and then found this neat castle, and decided to stay a couple of nights. But then the doors closed in on me, and I had to survive for TWELVE YEARS on rationed stale bread and the occasional rodent. I had to chop down the furniture to survive the cold nights, with my BARE HANDS. And do you know how I left? I broke the only window in the entire castle, which was at the top of the only guard tower, and had to drop down a four metre DROP! It took me twelve years to find that window, TWELVE! Do you KNOW what twelve years stuck in the same place DO to someone’s MIND!?”
She started whispering gibberish to herself, and our two travellers, creeped out, decided it was best to leave this unhinged hermit alone. They made good progress, but then Harendall realised he left his supply sack back at the hermit hut. They had a miserable walk backwards, sometimes turning in circles, but, when the sun set, they found her hole, and the bag. Since it was night-time and she had a bit of humanity left, the hermit suggested they sleep at her place, while she would stand guard.
They weren’t sure, but she comforted them. “Don’t worry, I sleep in the day, anyways. After all, if someone has to watch out for mandaloids, it should be the most rested of the bunch. Oh yeah, I didn’t tell you my name. I’m Lizzie. Lizzie Tanks.”
Harendall and Jordan both went to sleep, but Mewthreeius refused to rest, and in the morning, they found Lizzie making breakfast. “I’m making pancakes!”
“Bu-but how did you get eggs, or flour, or milk, or anything that isn’t mushrooms and wood?” Asked Jordan, still groggy from waking up.
“Oh silly,” She told him, “It IS mushroom and wood pancakes! I grind some bark and mushrooms into a mixture with water, and pretend I’m baking it! See, it’s a pancake!”
Jordan was confused, but he was hungrier, so he tried the “pancake”. It was, as expected, horrendous, but it was filling, like porridge, so they packed a bunch for their trip. When offered a bowl, Mewthreeius simply ran away, seeking prey to munch on.
But before departing, Lizzie had something to say. “You know, I gave it some thought, and I came to this conclusion: I’m gonna join ya on this adventure, but only because if I don’t you’d totally be obliterated by the challenges. So, yeah. You’re travelling with ME now. Oh yeah, I’ve got something to show y’all.”
Lizzie climbed up the tree hut, and came back down with weird containers. “I call ’em missiles! See, you just put some of this sulfur and charcoal together, and then put some salpeter which I amassed stacks of during my scavenging days, and I just light it up with a flame, and zoom! Into the enemy’s face it goes, before exploding and tearing said face to pieces! Cool, right?
Both were impressed by Lizzie’s ingenuity, and they all went on to cross the rest of the forest. Most of the trail was uneventful, with a few Mandaloid ambushes here and there, and some mushroom Button-top scouting for lunch, until they reached the edge of the forest. Everything was fine, except it was all burnt up. Every tree, every bush, every flower, dry, crispy and charred, like a bad burger. Lizzie was devastated to see her home in this state, but Harendall paid no attention to it. Jordan, unsure how to react, just followed Harendall.
Soon, they discovered the culprit: The volcano recently became extremely active around this area, so the lava and the fiery debris burned everything up. This meant the forest of trees was now traversed in entirety, and the crew was now about to face the mountain of Rocks, where the real peril of the journey was going to manifest itself, under the form of magic. They all started climbing the mountain, careful to avoid the flowing lava, being lifted by Harendall if necessary, until they reached the top, near the open crevice giving way to the belly of the earth to throw up all of its content.
I’m sorry, but one month without someone draining my boredom with a sarcastic and yet wonderful chapter will not do. Good sir, this is nothing short of an outrage. I threaten to shower you with a gift basket filled with assorted praise, complaints that chapter 4 isn’t out, and croissants . You have one week. Do not disappoint me.
I’m sorry it’s been a while since I posted another chapter. I was hit with writer’s block, so I kind of pushed it aside for a while. Then, I guess I never really got back to it. But your comment is a good excuse if any to get me back into the spirit. Chapter 4 awaits!
Chapter 4, as promised.
CHAPTER 4: Cat of War
“We have to go in.” Harendall stated with conviction. “It’s the only way through.”
Jordan wasn’t buying it. “Can’t you just fly us above the crevice? Or can’t we just walk around it? There are so many ways we could just avoid the volcano entirely…”
“No!” yelled Harendall, “We must enter the Earth’s molten core. We’re too elevated to ascend any further without dying of asphyxiation. And to add to that, the volcano is expelling tonnes of toxic gases, so trekking around the mountain of molten metal is near impossible without fatalities occurring. Now, extend your prehensile limb towards me, so we may enter the protective bubble together. You too, Mewthreeius.”
And with that, they all extended their arm towards Harendall, who smashed a bottle of the goopy liquid that was bubbling at the shack before their adventure. It exploded into a strange green bubble, surrounding all of the adventurers, stunned at first, but then relaxed. Harendall lifted his hand, as he always does, and lifted the bubble, now descending into the flowing magma.
“This won’t take but a couple of minutes” Harendall reassured them. “We just have to go from one end of the volcano to the other. Now, you’re probably wondering how we’re breathing.” The others nodded, curious to hear his magical explanation. “The air around us was pulled into the bubble as well as us. That means we have a limited supply of oxygen. However, it shouldn’t run out, unless we run into an obstacle that was unaccounted for.”
Upon hearing these words, Jordan saw something in the distance, through the smoke and steam. It was very big and shined brighter than the molten rock around it. He was warned that he would face such creatures. It was a magical remnant, taking the form of the environment around it, a magical Guardian!
“Magic beast! There’s a magmatic monster ahead!” Jordan was panicking, not sure what to do, other than fear for his dear life.
Lizzie was excited, ready for some action. “Did you say magmatic? Whatever, I’ll blast him before he can say blegh!”
Harendall gave her a dark look. “Don’t shoot! We mustn’t burst the bubble, otherwise, we’ll tumble down into the magma! What we must do is escape. We cannot afford to fight this beast, we simply do not have the resources to do so without running out of air.”
Suddenly, Mewthreeius heroically leapt out of the bubble and dashed towards the roaming titan, almost like he was flying. He slashed at it, looking for flesh to shred and tear apart, climbing it with his claws, but found nothing but rock and hot sauce. When he went for the head though, he saw the fleshy eyes and dismantled them, blinding the enormity. It collapsed, sinking into the ever-rising magma, and the cat, its deed done, dashed back to the bubble.
“Dinkums, I thought the cat would be the least useful member of our posse, right after me!” Jordan exclaimed, starting to question if his feline friend is not supernatural. “Are you sure there isn’t a secret demon trapped in him or something, ‘cause that’s one badass cat!”
“Oh ho ho, no” Chuckled Harendall, concerningly. “He most certainly isn’t a secret demon overlord trapped in a cat’s body I banished long ago, and as a result, gained my powers from. No no, he’s just one of those discount “special” cats.”
Lizzie wanted to join the conversation too. “Alright, since you’re all sharing feelings, how about we all take a turn asking a personal question, to get to know eachother better. I’ll start. Jordan, where the hell are your parents? Aren’t they worried that you’re gone for so long? Wait, don’t tell me. They’re dead, aren’t they?
“Wow, first off, do you not have any tact? What a way to ask a question! Dinkums, what is this, an interrogation? Jordan was more shocked than angry. “If you really want to know, they’re not dead. They just don’t like me. As soon as I was 12, they dumped me into a barn, and told me, in those exact words: “Hey look, wheat! You’ll feel right at home with your animal friends, son. Well, you’re not my son anymore. I’m disowning you, because you’re annoying. Bye-bye!” And just like that, I was abandoned, living off 3 sheaths of wheat I would grind into bread every now and then, using a no-bake recipe my grandma taught me. I guess it’s my turn now. Uh, Harendall, how did you gain your powers?
Harendall was concentrating on navigating the bubble to the other edge of the volcano, and made it apparent to Jordan that he would strangle him if he bothered him again. So, Jordan asked Lizzie a question instead. “Hey, Lizzie, what was your life like before being stuck in the castle?”
“Bah, you know, typical Argus stuff. Walk around the park. Work in the factory. Study the history of Scanadia. Did you know that they tossed out all the bad people and quarantined them in a concentration camp known as Jefferton?”
Jordan felt awkward responding to that. “Yeahhh, umm, Haren and I live in Jefferton. I’m surprised you lived in Argus. Dinkums, living in the capital. It must have been such a luxury!”
“Not really.” Lizzie responded, “We work long hours at the factories to receive menial pays. Some say we’re at the dawn of a revolution, industrialising and all that. Honestly, if everything ends up looking like Argus, I’ll be really sad. I cannot wish for anyone to abandon their artisanal lifestyle for a monotonous employment in a cramped city. That’s why I left and started scavenging. Staying in an urban environment made me realise I wanted to rediscover nature, and relive history, and I did so by desecrating ancient tombs in search of treasure. It was awesome!”
The bubble halted, and started to ascend. “We’ll be back to the surface soon.” Harendall stated. They were about halfway there, when Jordan’s lungs started to burn up. He was running out of air! When Mewthreeius exited the bubble, there was a small hole that formed for a couple of seconds, sucking out a lot of the air.
“I’m suffocating! Help me! Summon air or something!” Jordan was blurting out, desperately trying to breathe.
Harendall, with a flick of his wrist, took a jar out of his traveller’s sack and handed it to Lizzie. “Open the container, it stores a lot of compressed air. Be wary though, as the pressure will be enormous, so you have to leave it open for only three seconds before sealing it back.” Lizzie opens the jar for an instant, letting just enough air out for Jordan to breathe again, before putting the lid back. After Jordan recovered, they finally reached the other side of the volcano, where they saw the wasteland ahead of them. Desolate, lifeless stone plains laid before them, and far away, they could see their final destination: the castle of Walls.
I still need to find a title for the book.