Discussion in 'Writers' Corner' started by Kephras, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. "But where did it come from?"
    Crosley looked up from his desk, closing the cover on the old tome in front of him. It blew a plume of dust into the air, making the candle flicker and causing his shadow to dance madly on the wall behind him. "That," he said quietly, "is not the question you should ask."
    His son's face paled in the dim light. "Then what is the question, Da?"
    The elder rose from his chair, the scraping of wood on stone painfully loud in the small study. Taking the candle from the desk, he beckoned his son to follow. Their footsteps echoed in the narrow corridor as Crosley lead the way down. The air grew cold and damp, mist coating the stonework under their feet. Green moss and algae grew in the cracks, and the hall smelled of age and neglect.
    The winding, decrepit hallways seemed endless, but it was the awareness of a low moaning noise that caused the younger to break their silence. "Da?"
    "Nearly there, Bartholomew," Crosley assured him. The moaning came and went, like a great beast breathing in and out. Drafts stirred the mist around their ankles and made the candle sputter. Quickly, the elder shielded it with a cupped hand.
    The corridor veered right, ending with a solid iron door. Behind it, the moaning had increased to an angry howl. "The proper question," Crosley answered at last, reaching for the door's switch, "is 'How do we escape?'"
    The door flew open, hurling a gust of wind at them that nearly knocked Bartholomew off his feet. The candle had no prayer and was swiftly extinguished, plunging the fetid hallways into darkness. But beyond the door, Crosley's son saw light.
  2. Full and bright, the moon hung low in the sky before him, resting on a patchwork of clouds. Cold wind whipped around him as Bartholomew steadied himself against the damp wall.
    The room beyond the iron door was sheared in half. Crumbling stonework stretched over empty space, the floor ending abruptly only a few paces beyond the threshold. Far, far below, he saw the moon's scattered reflection - whether this place was prison or refuge, it appeared to have been torn from the earth and set to float hundreds of meters above an ocean. Another question formed in the younger's mind, but Crosley dispelled it before the words were spoken.
    "Even if we survived the fall, where would we go? How long would we swim before finding land?" He shook his head. "We will not find freedom by jumping."
    Crosley pressed the switch once more. Somewhere behind the stonework, clockwork gears whined in protest as they forced the iron door shut. The howling gusts subsided to a dull moan. Inky darkness lingered a moment longer while he struggled to relight the candle.
    "I will find a way out," Bartholomew stated firmly. "We shouldn't have to be trapped here."
    The elder gave his son a thin smile. "My dear boy, have you considered that everyone else might be trapped
    out there?"
  3. The Shadow Orb floated just above the ground, giving off a soft low hum that set Bartholomew's teeth on edge and made his bones ache. Seated on the cold stone tiles in front of it, he reflected on his father's words. Was it possible these malevolent-looking artifacts were Wards and not Wardens?

    It was difficult to believe. He had heard its whispers in the darkness of a new moon - though spoken in a language he did not know, it was impossible to mistake the hate and malice in its words. Whatever lurked in the heart of this Orb did not mean well for anyone who called the Shadowspire home. The rest of them, hovering in chambers scattered throughout the floating mountain, were no more welcoming than this one.

    And yet, after what his father Crosley had shown him in the lower passages, Bartholomew understood it was the power of these Orbs that kept the Spire aloft. A theory, half-formed, danced on the edge of his thoughts.

    we are the Wardens..."
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  4. Crosley paced the Archive restlessly. The sight of a night sky with an actual Moon had startled him, even moreso when he saw an ocean of waves instead of nothingness below. Fortunately his son hadn't seemed to notice how shaken he was, but inside Crosley felt something was very wrong indeed. He could not remember the last time he'd seen the Overworld. More to the point, he knew he wasn't supposed to. "The seals are weakening, aren't they Ingram?"

    A soft 'voop' and a breeze of displaced air announced the Enderman's arrival. "What was that, Crosley?" he asked in a bored tone, brushing purple flecks of
    nothingness from his arms. "You know I don't listen until I hear my name spoken."

    "And sometimes not even then," the archivist answered wryly. "But answer me honestly - are the seals breaking?"

    Ingram's eyes fixed on Crosley, Reading him. The gift and curse of an Enderman was Knowing - looking into an Overworlder's eyes let them see the thoughts and emotions of the one they Read. All too often, they saw only fear and hate, and echoed it in kind. This time, Crosley was also filled with fear, but it was not fear of Ingram.
    He Knows.

    Honesty was the last thing from the Enderman's mind. He did not wish to confirm the old man's fears. The Shadowspire preyed on such things, and letting that darkness loose would only worsen things. Yet Crosley had been a good friend all these long un-years spent in the Timelessness of the void. He deserved truth. Even though it pained him to say the words aloud.

    "Yes Crosley. The seals will shatter, and soon. Xathen Ut'Phaere will return." The archivist turned deathly pale. Ingram could Read the terror eclipsing the poor man, and shivered as the fear bled into him as well.

    Crosley swallowed hard, trying to force speech past his throat. "Mojang help us all," he whispered hoarsely.
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  5. Woow..... This gives me goosebumps..
  6. "Xathen? Are you certain?" Father Petri's eyes were wide in horror.
    Crosley nodded solemnly. "Ingram's own words. It's been so long, Petri, I don't think we have the strength to seal him again."
    The two men, priest and archivist, sat in the Shadowspire's small chapel. Like many of the structures that encircled the large central chamber, it had started as little more than a cave carved into the jagged rock face and refined over the un-years of timelessness as they drifted in the void.
    "Does your son know?"
    "He may have guessed a few secrets, but I've never revealed the Spire's truth to him. No child should have to bear that burden." The old archivist sagged in his chair, weary. "What are we going to do?"
    Petri's thick eyebrows furrowed together as he considered. "There was a legend or prophecy of some kind, foretelling his return. I can't recall the details though, if there were any." The priest looked up, eyes fixing on Crosley. "Perhaps your library here might be useful?"
    "Essential, actually."
    Both men jumped as Ingram appeared in the space between them.
    "I didn't think you were listening," Crosley said flatly, adjusting his spectacles.
    "I'm always listening," the Enderman chided him. "I was just... indisposed." The priest raised an eyebrow. "All good things must come to an End, Father. Even lunch."
    Crosley neatly sidestepped the implications of Enderman biology. "You said the Spire archive was essential?"
    "Very. There are some particularly ancient texts from the legend Petri mentioned. Deciphered, and with the proper rites and blessings, they can be used to create a Tome of Unsealing, that will break the wards and destroy the Shadow Orbs here."
    The archivist looked at the Enderman as though he'd just grown two more heads. "Break the seals ourselves? Why in Notch's name would we do that?"
    "Because," Father Petri mused, "if left to his own devices, Ut'Phaere would pick his moment to break free."
    Ingram smiled. "Precisely. Fight him on his own terms, and you will surely fail. Force him to fight on yours, and you might succeed."
    Crosley nodded slowly, but his expression did not change. "Sensible, but we haven't the strength here to overcome him. We'd only be doing Xathen's work for him."
    "So dour! Chin up, Crosley, and follow me. You too, Father." Ingram patted Crosley's shoulder as he exited the Chapel, leading both down the well-worn main corridor. Before being cast to the void, this had been the Spire's main entrance. A rockslide had sealed the gate, but their path was now curiously empty.
    "You've been busy," Crosley observed.
    "More than you know," the Enderman replied cheerfully. The iron gates swung open wide, bathing the trio in brilliant morning sunlight.
    As Crosley's vision cleared, his breath caught in his throat. Weaving their way through the tangle of floating islands and debris was a flight of Enderdragons - dozens of them. Each seemed hell-bent on reaching the Spire's gate first. Ingram patted both men on the back reassuringly.
    "I found you some help."

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  7. I'm sorry for so many of my comments on your thread, but wow, I like this so very much.
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  8. Should never be sorry for giving feedback. :) Thank you for the kind words.
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