Theme: You must write you typical, average, cliche, etcetera superhero story, except with one difference: it must set in a fantastical world. This world can be your typical Middle-Earth wannabe or a world that make Wonderland seem sane, it's up to you.
Mildly Inspirational Pic:
Barallen huffed as he looked at the workshop. Every surface was covered in an inch of dust, cobwebs in every corner which was also dust covered and a fine layer of mould that could pass for a fine carpet from the weavers of Ekbir City. He picked up the dustpan and brush and headed to the nearest pile of dust.
“Why doesn’t Garick just wave his hand and clean it up himself?” Barallen said out loud, mainly to stop his mind from imagining things watching him in the large magical workshop. “Abra Kadabra and clean! But no, get the apprentice to do it!”
Barallen shuffled over to the grime infested window with a pan full of dust, opened it and as he attempted to tip it out, a gust of wind blew it back inside over him. Barallen stood there coated like child’s sweet from the markets and groaned.
“Gods!” spat Barallen as he flung the pan to the floor. He was about to continue his tantrum when a rumbling of thunder made him jump. He retrieved the pan when he noticed drops of rain hitting the window sill. He looked at the trays of potions and elixirs near the now open window as a bolt of lightning ran across the sky.
“Don’t you dare!” he warned the weather as he grabbed the window and pulled down, to no avail. The window mockingly wedged itself to the frame. Barallen dropped the pan, put two hands on the window and pulled with all his scrawny apprentice frame could muster. Another crack of thunder, several more raindrops on the sill but the window refused to budge.
“For Heironeous’ sake!” growled Barallen he rattled the window as the rain became heavier. He grunted and scooped the pan off the floor, wedging it between the frame and the glass to attempt to prise it down when.
A bolt of lightning homed in on the metal pan. The volts of electricity sent Barallen backwards, smashing through the potions and elixirs of his master Garick. The young man lay twitching in the electrified chemicals, steam and smoke filling the air.
Barallen awoke, his skin tingly but alive. He rubbed his eyes and was horrified; the lab was in ruins! “Oh Garick will kill me!” he stated as he got to his feet and scrambled away to gather his head. But in what felt like three steps he was outside the Tall Tales Tavern.
Barallen stopped and scratched his head in bewilderment as the rain began to beat down on him, which until then he was dry.
“Get inside boy!” called a gruff voice behind him.
Barallen turned to see Eobard the innkeeper beckoning him in. Barallen entered the inn to see the usual cast of characters; Donald and his sister Dawn, Hartley of Rathaway playing his pipes by the fire, Solovar the beastman who kept the patrons in line and Snart the cold eyed assassin who’d seen better days, along with the dozen other travellers. He sat at a corner table and looked at his hands, vibrating faster than the time he had the pox.
“Ale?” asked Iris the bar wench as she arrived at his table.
“Um…hi” stammered Barallen as he hid his hands under the table.
Iris flashed a fake smile and returned to her blank face “Ale?”
She sauntered away, Barallen intently watched her every move. He was smitten, had been for years with Iris, but she barely knew he was alive. He sighed as his thoughts returned to the damage to the magical workshop and the beating Garick would probably give him. Barallen exhaled and looked around to see iris heading his way, his troubles seemed to float away. But a carelessly placed scabbard poled into the aisle and Iris tripped. Her heavily laden tray went up into the air. Barallen was up and there in a flash and realised something wasn’t right. He caught everything, stabled Iris and was back in his seat before you could say Vecna!
Iris slapped the adventurer across the back of the head “I nearly tripped, you son of a goblin!”
Barallen smiled but was concerned about what had happened…and also what to do about the workshop.
All characters owned by DC, setting in the world of Greyhawk owned by TSR or Wizards of the Coast.
Tales of the Fae: The Ascent of Thane
The hulking monstosity clad in the desecrated carcass of the deceased eunuch, an axe stuck in his back, turned to face the dark skinned woman dressed only in an emerald studded bra and matching hip scarf, clear blue eyes burning in a scaled reptilian face. With a roar that shook the small chamber the beast's hideous features smoothened into the face and body of a handsome man as a pair of identical girls peered from behind his nude body.
"As promised Occultist." The man snarled as the two girls ran out from behind him and embraced the woman, "Your daughters returned to you and the man responsible sent to the afterlife." The former beast man continued as a stone hand rose from the floor and presented him a set of armoured trousers and a blue tunic. "Now hold your end of the deal, where is my Nightingale, where is the Princess Valarie?"
"I will tell you nothing Thane, mightiest of the Northern Nobles." The Occultist hissed as a third girl appeared and was forced to stand back to back with her sisters before her mother drew a knife from the work bench. "And now I seal your loves fate forever." She screeched as she stabbed the blade into her hand and sprinkled the blood over her children. Rushing forward Thane caught a glimpse of Valarie trapped within the circle before smashing into the group and separateing the girls only to see the vision of his love vanish. Reaching for his axe Thane turned and held the blade against his own neck. With a cry of panic the Occultist dropped her knife and fell to her knees. "Please Thane do not do this, my love for you is truer then what the Princess will ever feel about you."
"If that were true you will dismiss the Fae you had me gather for whatever ritual you just performed and tell me where I can find Princess Valarie." Thane announced as he kept his hand steady to prevent the freezing cold steel of his own axe from cutting through his neck. With a wave of her hand the Occultist shooed her children away, their forms collapsing into pools of light before slithering into the darkest corners of the chamber. "Now speak." Thane ordered as he removed the axe from his neck.
"The Princess is being kept in the Baron's audience chamber but take care, her love for you if any no longer exists." The Occultist stated. "She has been accepted by the Morigan as a priestess initiate. If she kills a single person she will be lost, a member of the fae until the breaking of magic itself. My magics would have bypassed this if not for your intervention."
"And the Baron is responsible for this?" Thane growled, "First my father then my Nightingale. He will pay for taking those who I care about."
"Use caution, the Baron is not in control of his actions. The history you learnt from your sister is a falsehood. I care little for the princess but your safety is most important to me." The Occultist stated as he body erupted into smoke. "Remember the warnings I gave you Prince Donahue, Thane of the North." With a gentle gust of wind the Occultist was gone leaving Thane alone. Picking up his axe Thane strode out the door before heading up the stairs towards his love and the throne that was rightfully his.
The huge oak doors froze and shattered into wood chips as Thane removed his axe from the former obstacle before striding into the room flanked by marble column and the statues of kings and queens of the kingdom past. Sitting at the end of the room was his uncle, the Baron Uric Zola, his routand body covered in purple robes, his face ending in thick jowls that crept over his eyes. As disgusting as the man in the throne was Thane felt a twang of sorrow for the man forced to be a mockery of his beloved brother. Beside him stood the Princess Valarie her blonde hair now streaked with human blood, her robes replaced by a necklace of human skulls and blue symbols carved into her flesh. Gone was the kindness and modesty she had once possessed now replaced with a deadly predatory lust.
"Thane Lord Protector of the Prince Donahue, I have long awaited this meeting." The Baron wheezed from his ill fitting throne.
"Enough Lady Karla." Thane boomed, "I know the truth about your puppet. Now show yourself!"
"As you wish." The Baron purred in a feminine voice as a pale hand emerged from his stomach before a feminine figure pulled herself free. With long white hair and pointed ears the woman standing before Thane was different from the woman who had been a friend and confident mere days before. Dressed in a red bra and thong, the later holding a pair of holsted sacrifical daggers, the woman stretched now free of her human shell before shooting a look at Valarie.
"So this is your real face." Thane spat "What of the woman that came to me in the northern woods?"
"A shell like our former uncle." Karla stated. "The Morigan showed me my true form, that I was destined to be one of her witch elves just like your dear love is destined to become one of my banshees."
"Release her." Thane growled as he saw Karla draw her daggers.
"After what you did to the Knights of the Thunderbolt I knew that you could only be one person. Only an heir of Gill can command them Prince Donahue." Karla stated, "From their I knew that I had to utilise your weaknesses; your integrity, your friends and this woman. Thanks to my magics you know stand before me ready for your death."
"You forget that I looked into the Weird Sister's Cauldron and saw my fate, I die as an old man not as a homecommhomecoming at his sisters hand." Thane snarled, "This day is my ascension and the day where all the six kingdoms are free of the Morigan's influence and her Fae servants."
"Others would disagree." Karla purred as Thane turned to block the mace swung at his skull by the man dressed in a white hood, tunic and trousers. "What did you see in the cauldron Montague?"
"Me standing over Thane's broken and bloody body." The mace-man snarled as he punched Thane in the face knocking him back a few steps towards Karla. Turning the Witch Elf clucked her fingers causing Valarie to twitch before grabbing a long handled scythe from the floor beautiful dawn pink wings spreading from her back as she leapt into action. Wincing Thane ignored her and blocked Montague's follow up attack only to see his axe shatter under the force of the blow. "Without the Hatchet of the Spring Frost your nothing!" Montague bellowed as Thane ducked under a swipe from Valarie's scythe.
"There is more then just Fae Magic." Thane announced as a jet of freezing water shot out of his hand knocking Montague's mace away before slamming an ice covered fist through the handle of Valarie's scythe, the sheer coldness shattering the handle. "My travels took me to the land of the North Men and there after slaying a horde of Orkney Trows that had abducted Swanwhite, the fair queen of the Arctic, I was taught their ice magics by their relieved that elders." As he finished Valerie took a deep breath and released an ear splitting scream that caused Thane to drop to his knees and add his scream of pain to the dread chorus
"North Magic or not Thane, you can't change fate." Montague snorted as he slammed his reclaimed mace into Thane's chest. With a grunt he slammed the weapon down again and again, each blow shattering muscles and splintering bone. From behind him Valarie stood and watched her face turning from an evil smirk to a look of pain. Deep inside something strained against the Morigan's seductive whisperings of power and freedom. Something that loved both Prince Montague for his kindness and Thane for his bravery and now knew that she no longer needed to chose between the two. As this feeling surged through her body the cold claws of the Morigan fought back forcing the feelings deep inside as she picked down the cut down scythe and got ready to strike.
"Then what?" A woman's voice asked.
"That's as far as Donnie got." A second woman announced as the sound of a book shutting rung around the chamber before causing the image to fade. "Its a shame because he got so far." A woman dressed in a blue SHIELD jumpsuit stated.
"So how does this become a real book?" The massive blue figure asked as he carried a pair of fifty kilogram fuel pumps on each shoulder to the pickup truck parked outside the prefab shelter.
"It can't Orka." The Indian woman dressed in gold armour stated. "It wasn't finished. Still," She purred as she took the notebook away from Victoria Hand and added it to a pile of boxed equipment, "I'll try and give it an ending. Donnie deserved that much at least." She added before heading outside and incinerating the book. "Or maybe it will be the story that's never told."
(This piece is set between Marvel Mayhem: Thunderbolts #19A and X-Men/Thunderbolts #1)
Ernold Shillington grasped desperately to the rock face. He looked down at the rocks displaced by his boot, as they fell into the oblivion below. He gulped.
He stared upwards into the distance and caught a sight of the towers and docks of the great floating city of Kasperia. He wished he was up there and not clinging to a nearby floating rock near the bottom of the hovering landmass.
The roar of arcane engines kicked his senses back into gear as he leaned closer against the rock. His eyes widened as the huge flying ship silently glided around from the far side of the rock. It seemed he was lucky though as the ship continued to sail past. He took a sigh of relief, but it was misplaced. The sky pirates weren’t ignoring him, they were lining up a shot.
He instinctively leaped. The sheer power from his magical armour allowed him to easily clear the gap to another floating rock. Behind him, his former hiding spot was decimated by a barrage of cannon fire. He began to initially lose grip, however the crystalline armour reacted to his thoughts and the gauntlets formed a claw shape, allowing easier grip.
He didn’t have much time before the ship faced him and reloaded the cannons, so he eagerly scurried up the rock side.
He reached the top and immediately surveyed the nearby area. He spotted a cave into the interior of the floating city’s landmass beyond a large gap.
The sound of exploding gunpowder cuts his thoughts short as he swiftly ran towards the gap, the armour’s powerful legs thundering across the rock’s surface. His ears waited for the right moment as he heard the whistling sound of cannonballs in the right position. He quickly jumped forward as he heard the noise of the cannonballs destroying the surface behind him. The flying debris harmlessly rebounding off the armour. His reflexes, enhanced greatly by the mystical armour, kicked in. He gracefully directed his body leftwards as a ricocheting cannonball glided by him.
He soon landed and continued his gallop across to the cave. He began accelerating quickly towards his goal, preparing for the large jump. The edge began to get closer and closer, until he used the full power of the armour as he did a mighty leap. He heard the familiar sound of cannon fire and momentary turned to see his oncoming obstacles.
He quickly realised they were now using chain shot. They hoped to catch him mid-flight and cause his demise by the unimaginable fall below. He gracefully turned to his attackers to fully comprehend the oncoming assault. He relaxed his breathing as the sets of twin-cannonballs arced hurriedly towards their target.
He began to dodge and squirm mid-air as he barely dodged the oncoming fire. He lifted his knees slightly as a chain-shot spun underneath. His elbow was nearly destroyed by one of the menacing spheres as he pulled it in fearfully. He felt the cold breeze on his face as another arced near his face.
He noticed the quickly darkening shadows and adjusted accordingly for the landing. His feet landed safely as he continued to face towards the quickly approaching danger. He lifted his right leg to dodge a cannonball as its chain caught his opposite leg. His powerful legs eagerly dug into the ground as they began to be swiftly pushed back. The strength of the armour overcame the chain-shot as its momentum died down and it slumped lifelessly at Ernold’s feet.
He began to run into the cave system but stopped as he seen the pirates gave up on chasing him and turn away. They assumed he wouldn’t last long down here, no one does, but he had no choice now. He slumped tiredly against the cave wall and sighed. The helmet began to disappear and blend into the rest of the armour to reveal the tired, sweaty face of Ernold.
He wondered, should he chance changing the armour into a ring, to allow him comfort for a while, but decided against it as he peered into the darkness ahead.
He remembered how he came upon the armour. He had discovered a crystal ring out of chance. Being a middle-class citizen, this was a lucky find for him and planned to get plenty of nights at the pub out of it. By chance, he was mugged one day while carrying the ring. It instinctively turned into an indestructible, crystalline armour and weapon and he easily overcame the criminals. It also made him the perfect warriour, increasing his agility, strength, swordsmanship and reflexes among others. The unexpected appearance of the claw gauntlets proved there was still more to learn about the armour and that he was still mastering all of its uses.
He then realized the potential of the “ring” and how he could improve Kasperia with it. He began to use the helmeted warriour as a soldier of justice, clearing Kasperia of scum and villainy whilst Ernold Shillington was the eyes and ears, finding out the chief bottle washers hidden in the shadows.
None of this would matter anymore if Ernold didn’t escape from here. He breathed heavily before the helm once again covered his face. His right hand began to grip the air and in its place a crystal blade began to form from the gauntlet. As the grip lengthened, his other joined in holding the broadsword. Through the helmet, determined eyes looked towards the dark depths and marched forward.
In a large flooded cavern, there was a settlement. It was just towers of shacks slowly rotting into the watery depths below, connected by rickety wooden bridges and other unsafe modes of travel. On one of these bridges, a mysterious hooded figure was carrying a sack across. He scratched at his scraggly beard, bits of dirt, debris and currently unknown substances had stained his once grey beard a dirty brown. His moist raggedy boots made sloshing and creaking noises with every step he took on the decaying bridge. He took one unlucky step and his foot crashed through the rotten timber. He watched as the broken step crashed into the water as it was followed by air bubbles and splashed as the local fauna checked has another unlucky meal fell in. He winced as he lifted his leg from the small hole and continued his journey home.
He soon arrived in the small meager room that he called a home. He began to cough heavily as he dropped the sack onto the crowded table, knocking various instruments and utensils over. He took a large key from the pocket of his cloak and locked the front door, a necessity in this town.
He began to quietly unload the contents of the sack onto the table. A large creak broke the silence, as the floorboard under a table leg partially split after years of use. This caused the sack to crash to the ground and the various glassware inside to break, spilling a mixture of chemicals onto the floor.
The hooded figure began to curse and mutter as he walked over to the strangely coloured puddle on the floor. His curses were silenced as he noticed shapes forming in the puddle.
He began to study the figures in the puddle.
“A ring? Most interesting… This artefact is indeed of interest, it appears my luck is quickly changing.”
A grimy grin was seen beneath the figure’s mud coloured hood.
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