Character Creation Contest #4 Voting Page!
Thanks to all that entered, we had a very varied contest this round with a poem style entry being written , an alien coming to earth finding a bow, an execution turning into a welcoming and Dracula even being involved this round.
This is what we had to do.
He is Robin Hood, But don't call him Robin Hood, base your story based on what he looks like in that picture. So in a way we are basing it off the picture and not the name. ( YOU MAKE HIS NAME UP ) , This is not robin hood.
It can revolve around anything but don't make him in a modern age or future, keep it in the era that picture looks like. ( Remember Robin hood for example was born in 1160 ) So use that as a reference to a time period.
1000 word limit.
Remember, this is not Robin hood, Don't make it relating to him too much ( saying give to the poor etc is fine. ) , its a Creating contest remember.
New rules For this round
No half votes like last time and no voting for yourself.
Shuffling forward every step I heard the crowd murmuring about the fate that awaited me, I began to walk forward, the rope that bound my hands together was tight, I could feel my pulse in my wrists. I looked around and saw family’s and guards looking at my every step waiting for me to do something.
I lifted my eyes from the cold floor and saw a warrior ready to do his duty; His eyes had seen much suffering and his hands were not from wealth, He told his men to back away from me.
I kneeled down to him and looked into his hollow eyes. He gestured to his men – The men grabbed my hair and pushed my head down, making me once again look at the floor. I heard an arrow leave its quiver and attach to a bow. I felt cold steel on the top of my head.
The night was cold, the bowstring made a crackling noise as it was drawn to full length. The arrow departed from my skull. His men once again grabbed me and turned me around, positioning me into an execution position. Pinning me down so I could not move, I could faintly see an unnatural light reflecting in the wet stone that was the floor beneath me.
The bowstring made a noise that was unique to this type of weapon. The poetic twanging sound that vibrated into the cold air around me, the sound so many had heard before meeting God, meeting death.
I looked up into the night sky; I was turned around by the men for a final time. The arrow lay in front of me, the shaft in two pieces, He had fired onto the ground. The man looked behind me and nodded to his men, they grabbed my hands and unbound them. I had done it.
The warrior opened his arms with the bow in his left and spoke to me.
“Welcome to the family of Sagittarius”
He bowed down and laid the bow in his hands outstretched, waiting for me to claim the bow.
I stood up, looking at the new members of my family. I clenched my left fist in anticipation. I relieved the weight of the bow from his hands. My hands shaking, I hardened my grip around the Yew bow.
The exotic colour of the bow complimented the carvings that the bow has sustained and received with every new owner.
“Is it…time?” I said without enthusiasm.
“Yes, we must follow through the ritual. Rejoice in your new family. Rejoice in your new status. Rejoice in sending me to the better world” Said the soon to be resting warrior with joy.
“If I must, I know what this means to you.” I looked at my bow and back up again, “Go to the room of departure and I will release you there” With a faint tear in my eye. The warrior began to walk.
I began to walk towards the door and seal his fate, and take his place and become a Sagittari, the greatest achievement for any archer in the kingdom. Just at that moment I could see a light, coming from the watch tower above the building. It quickly disappeared. “Go and investigate that” I asked a guard.
The guard appeared to walk towards the stone stairs; he stumbled and began to mumble meaningless words, He collapsed onto the stone floor. Triggering an immediate flow of everybody in the vicinity drawing swords. Another guard checked his pulse, “He’s dead” the guard exclaimed.
“There!” I screamed as I saw a faint figure with a torch in hand, I grabbed my bow and dived into the weapons rack, a throwing star darted into my thigh, I ignored it and placed the steel arrow onto the bow. I drew the bow with incredible speed, my eye started to twitch, was the star poisoned?... I am a Sagittari, the best archer in the world...nothing...ca…
* * *
“That was 27 years ago, that moment defined his life, I have just read you an extract from our grand master’s autobiography. “ Said Grand Archer Virtus.
"But Master, Did he hit his target?” Interrupted a young archer.
“I will leave that to your imagination”
“Now, take out your bows, inspection time, and remember why to wear your thigh guards at all times young archers.” The Grand Archer looked around at the intrigued faces.
Volatham-N slowly tugged the string back on his bow, a few sizzling lines of electricity arcing back and forth over the slender shaft of wood. It was a curious weapon, this human thing – an arch of ash capable of flinging tiny spears. So primitive, and yet so curiously sophisticated.
He was a foreigner in this place, not of England. Not of Europe.
Not of Earth.
But he had come here for a reason, he was sure. Stuffed into the humanoid vessel of meat and bone and juice, his ship crashed into this emerald forest, and this strange weapon – this bow – placed into his hands. For Volatham-N had seen how these people worked, their commerce and their trade. Their royalty. Their corruption. Humanity was foul, praising status and possession, and on his home planet they would never stand for such decadence and monarchy.
His only option as a proud Lzarahan was to take matters into his own hands. He would take up this weapon he had found himself with. Conceal his face with a hood. Stalk the shadows of this foreign, corrupt place. He could make things right.
He would rob from the rich, and give to the poor.
Volatham-N inhaled softly, setting on dark-booted foot in the soft, moist moss outside of the castle dungeon. Thick bars closed off the grate that the sewer flooded forth from, but the human-skinned alien knew where the foul river led into. The dungeon, the prison. If he could get inside, he could slip into the castle unseen.
His back straightened, his posture becoming firm and rigid, as if he had trained with this weapon his entire life. He raised his bow, pointing the simple wooden arrow at the massive iron rods closing off the stone wall from the earth below. A release of the string, and a thin, supple line of energy traced the rugged bolt forward in a darkly-gleaming arc. Reenforced by the gleaming, eldritch energy, the arrow sunk directly into a single bar, beginning to vibrate before that crackling force seemed to focus, drawing itself inward.
Volatham-N was already crawling into the sewers by the time the bar had sunk in on itself.
Nobody witnessed the Alien Archer. Nobody could detect his soft footsteps. No guard came to stop him as he slipped from shadow to shadow throughout the dungeon. Doors did not stop him. Gates could not resist the energy that oozed from Volatham-N's fingers, into his arrows. Not even when he had entered the king's bedroom was he paused in his mission to redistribute order in this strange world, where birth was valued over talent, where connections were valued over skill.
Only when the Lzarahan wanted to be seen, did the people see him. Only when he stood atop the castle walls, surrounded by unconscious tower guards and sacks of gold, did the people lay eyes upon their dark-hooded savior. Volatham-N, the man who had come from the skies to bring balance to this twisted world, to impress the rules of his home planet on England. Only then did they see his glowing violet eyes, and the sparking, spitting bow that he held in his hands. Only when it was too late for anyone to stop him from firing off the gold to the townsfolk, letting everyone take of England's wealth and be their own king.
A slow, blank-eyed smile spread across the alien's face as he watched the people scramble and cheer, gathering up that which he had made theirs. “Never again allow yourself to be treated as a lesser person,” the alien whispered, though his words were heard by all. “Never again allow the balance to be broken. Or Volatham-N shall return.”
He crouched in the window.
Silent. Strong. Impressive.
It was quiet, almost too quiet. Slowly he drew back his bow, his fingers locked around the arrow as the bowstring drew tight. He raised the bow, the string to his cheek, eyes narrowing on the target.
Stanley Scott walked from behind the camera up to the actor “What was that?”
Taylor Reynolds looked back at the veteran director “What was what?”
“That smell the fart look on your face!” Randall threw his hands up “Seriously Mr Reynolds, can you just do it the way we discussed!”
“But this felt more natural, like what he’d do it”
Randall’s jaw dropped “He’s a fictional character! He wasn’t even real by what the historians tell us! Just do it my way!”
“Now look Stan”
“Stanley! My name is Stanley!” the director of 2001 Space Gladiators and A Clockwork Duellist fumed “You will do this my way or I’ll throw you off my set and cast some other teen flavour of the week!” He stormed off, pushing a gaffer out of his way ranting to himself.
“You okay Mr Reynolds?” Kelly the make-up girl was up beside Taylor in a flash, checking his face.
“Oh sweetie, don’t be sad. He only yells because he’s a perfectionist”
“He’s been yelling since I was cast”
“That’s because you’re fabulous!” Taylor turned to see his agent Ari Ackerman walking towards him, arms outstretched, smile like he just got blown “How is the hottest thing in Hollywood? You, sweetheart, hit the bricks!”
Kelly scoffed, finished her touch ups and left. Taylor sat, scratching his beard.
“Lovin the fuzz Tay”
“What do you want Ari?”
“Next project Tay. Seems comics are all the rage and Eszterhas came out of retirement to pen this epic that’ll knock that blue Pocahontas movie off the number one all time money maker” He unveiled a poster for Super-Spider “They want YOU as Clark Parker!”
“SHUT UP!” Taylor stood and pushed his agent “Really?”
“Oh yeah! But we gotta walk on this one”
Ari smiled as he pulled his phone from his pocket, opened it, read the number and slammed it shut “This crossbow & catapult thing is owned by Dark Image right. Super-Spider is owned by MC and the new rule is, you pick a side coz you can’t cross the streams. So…”
Taylor sighed “If I want to be one, I can’t be the other!”
“Bingo! That’s why you’re hot kiddo! Smart & sexy. So we walk, do the circuit saying blah blah and boom, you are in the big leagues! Stiller, Cruise, Bale BIG!”
“But I have to go from this one?” Taylor rubbed his forehead
“What’s to think about Tay? This poor man’s robbing the rich or THE BIGGEST MOVIE IN THE HISTORY OF EVER!”
“Ari, I’m working with Stanley Scott”
“Is he still alive?” Ari chuckled “You’re call Tay. But they want an answer today. You snooze on this and that pouty vampire kid or that stripper guy with silly names…”
“Yeah what kind of a name is that? You’re call!” Ari walked backwards “Call me by four!”
Taylor Reynolds looked down at the bow and sighed. Stanley Scott marched back behind his camera.
“Right! Let’s reset and go again!” he bellowed as he sorted himself behind his camera “Are we ready to go Mr Reynolds?”
“If it please the King, then listen, Sire.
Listen knight, and listen squire!
Listen court, and listen all!
Listen, dear guests of the King’s masked ball!
* * *
“Come one! Come all! Gather round, good friends!
Lean in close and do attend,
As my words pull gently back the veil
To reveal to you a wondrous tale
* * *
“Of adventure and magic, and a quest for right –
Of a hero familiar, and yet… not quite.
For this is the ballad that so few know
Of Arthur’s Arrow and the Excalibow!
* * *
“Young Arthur’s story does begin
With a call from the Lady of the Forest Glen,
Offering a bow the hue of sun bleached bone,
If he could draw matching arrow from yonder stone.
* * *
“Arthur knew well of this stonebound shaft:
Lusted after by the kingdom’s 'nobler' half.
Searched for by peasants. Dreamed of by the fool.
For legend claimed its bearer would one day rule.
* * *
“Yes! Laugh, dear friends, and toast your king!
For it might be of him whom the minstrels sing!
Could he be this tale’s hero? Sire, is it true?
Dear friends, a nobler man, you never knew.
* * *
“But back to Arthur, and the offered prize,
The arrow in the stone, before his eyes.
Many had tried, and many had failed.
Yet, he was invited – might he prevail?
* * *
“He considered long moments what this could mean –
Deciding if, truly, he could be king.
Though unexpected, there was the Lady’s call,
And finally, that fact overshadowed all.
* * *
“Stepping forward, he felt his life’s path narrow,
Grabbing his destiny as he grabbed the arrow.
Then, with deceptive ease, it slid right out,
Leaving no room for further doubt.
* * *
“The white bow then shown like a harvest moon,
And the Lady smiled as she gave his boon.
With a gentle sigh he could barely hear,
The Lady faded, then disappeared.
* * *
“A slight breeze blew that made Arthur shiver,
And he wondered that there was no quiver.
Notching the arrow into the bow,
He took careful aim, and let it go.
* * *
“He had not yet seen his arrow land
Before another appeared in Arthur’s hand.
Many times, he did thus fire,
And never did his supply expire.
* * *
“As he retrieved each shaft, their magic done,
They left in wisps, until back to one.
He could not break the bow or shaft,
And thus delighted, the archer laughed.
* * *
“He hid his face with a cloak and hood,
And travelled ‘round, doing all manner good.
Making allies, and fighting the damned,
Including the Sorcerer of Nottingham.
* * *
“Mordred by name, dragon by spell,
To Excalibow, the sorcerer fell!
Be it dragon’s marrow, flesh, or scaly shield,
To that enchanted arrow, all things must yield.
* * *
“With a final roar, the dragon was felled.
Crowing triumphant, the archer yelled.
‘That’s the might of Arthur’s arrow!’ he did proclaim,
And this was how our archer received his name.
* * *
“The news and legend of Arthur spread,
And eventually, a price was put upon his head.
Long outlawed, he roamed the wood,
And still showed the people just where he stood.
* * *
“This enraged the King, as you might have guessed.
He would not endure this hooded pest.
He raised the reward, as well as the taxes.
Hung the hero’s allies, or took their heads with axes.
* * *
“And still Arthur gathered a band of fighting men
At a great, round, stone table in his forest den.
So weapons were gathered, and pacts were made,
Deep within Sherwood Forest, in a secret glade.
* * *
“Through a winter quite bitter and a summer quite hot,
Plans came together to free all of Camelot!
Those plans led to now, to this festive proceeding.
This very moment is where my tale has been leading.
* * *
“Now, dear friends, this last part might get a bit gory,
But I thank you for your patience with this humble bard’s story.
We have almost reached midnight, where we will all unmask,
But before we do, dear guests, I charge you this task:
* * *
“If you will direct your attention to the walls, and beyond to the yards,
And take notice of the Lincoln green masks on the guards.
That’s the merry band of fighting men that I did bring.
They belong to me, and not to the King.
* * *
“For those of you who don’t follow, or may be a little dim:
This Arthur’s Arrow that I speak of? That’s me; I’m him.
You see, when we heard of this gathering of all the noble class,
It was clearly carpe diem – we couldn’t let it pass.
* * *
“As my men draw their bows, it is time for decision,
And I suggest you make it wisely, with sudden precision.
The choice is yours: you can bow down, or you can be dead.
As for you, king: surrender your crown, or surrender your head.”
"I don't care!" the rich brat shouted tossing a chalice at the floor beneath his seat, "I want it!"
"B-b-but sire," his man-servant stammered, "The Grail is the holiest of holies! It belongs in the temple-"
"Squire, seize this man!" screamed the child, "I want his head on a pike! Bring me the cup! Bring me immortality!"
He'd been warned but he didn't listen; to drink of the cup was to damn your soul but your body would live on. He'd learned much over the years but archery, archery was his favorite. He donned his hood and tunic, a deep set black that clung to him as the moon would the night. He'd set about to make his fortune under the name of William Ichabod Strongarm. It was a joke to himself; Will I strong arm this town and take from it what I need? The answer was rarely "No."
Tonight, Will had his eye on a jewel. A black diamond, to be exact, one so valuable it could continue the war effort for another 30 years if the government ever sold it. They never would, and so it was high time someone took it off their hands for its value on the black market.
He hopped from the rooftop he stood on to the next building, he had a better shot for a zip-line. He snapped the arrow outwards and it dug into the wall. He flicked the rope, almost as tight as a drawn bow string. He smiled, flicked the bow up and over the line.
The building seemed ungaurded, odd because it held France's greatest treasures all under one roof. He knocked an arrow and followed the tile path to a large hallway. Strange, he thought, I've snatched from churches more heavily gaurded than this dump. He found the room at the back of the hall, pulled the draw string all the way back and gave the door a hard kick.
It popped revealing a dark room. He stepped inwards, the door slammed shut behind him then the tources lit startling him, "Alright, who's the-!" he started.
An old fat man sat behind a table, hands folded, "Mr. 'Strongarm,' I believe you're going by these days, please sit." He motioned to a seat across from him.
Will looked about the room, it was just the two of them, "And if I refuse?"
"I'll take you into custody and will have you pay for the crimes you've commited over the last 162 years," The fat man said matter of factly.
Will snorted a laugh, "What'll you do? Give me the noose?"
"Oh, no, Mr. Strongarm," the fat man smiled, "There are worse things than death. Worse things to do to people like you."
"People like me?" Will said stiffeling another laugh.
"Yes, Mr. Strongarm. People like you," he said in that mono-tone voice, "Whipe that grin off your face, do you really think you're the only one to ever drink from the Holly Grail? Drink the blood of their fallen enemies? Sacrafice the lives of others to one diety or another to gain immortality? No my friend, people have been doing it for ages."
Will frowned, "So what do you want from me, Fat-man?"
The man simply smiled, "Your life."
The archer smiled, "Sorry I'm just here for a jewel."
Fat-man frowned, "Thats a shame. Ner, Shu!" The walls fell inwards, a beautiful middle-eastern woman and an incerdibly fit asian man in flowing pants and a talisman.
Will pointed to the asian, "I'm guessing your Shu? That is so-"
"I am Ner," the asian said.
"Ah," The archer said, "Of course you are."
Ner leapt across the room towards Will with his head down like a bull towards a matador. However, unlike a matador Will was armed. He knocked an arrow quicker than he could even see and loosed it into the other man's skull. Ner just kept pushing onwards though, slamming him into the stone wall. Ow! Oh, right, immortals.
He had to think quick, there had to be some way to at least stop them for a short time. The man had him by the throat though and it was making breathing a wrather difficult task. "Hey, Lumpy," he choked, "How'd you get your powers, eating a mystical goat?"
Ner smiled, "The gods bless me through my talisman."
Will coughed and squeaked, "Oh really, what if I where to-" he cut the rope holding the talisman with the tip of an arrow. The big man croaked in surprise as he let go of the wise-cracking archer. It hit the floor and shattered, the asain man screamed as light pulsed through his body and he collapsed in on himself, decaying and rotting almost instantly. "Well," Will said, "That was dissapointing, what about you Dame, what'd you do?"
She smiled, shifting into sand quickly and appearing infront of him, "I sacraficed my entire village to the god of the earth."
"Bet your fun at the beach," Will said, "I didn't even know we had a god of-"
She shoved her hand of dirt into his mouth, "Do you ever shut up?"
He tried to cough up the sand flowing down his throat but it just seemed to keep coming. He reached for another arrow and she laughed at him, "Go ahead shoot me, I'm to close for that. Besides I can turn my body into sand." She grabbed his arm and pinned him to the wall.
The fat-man stood, "Oh, Will I do think you should reconcider my offer."
He broke the tip of the arrow in his hand off and tossed it at a cup on the table. It jumpped upwards splashing water down drenching Shu. She screamed and pulled away, melting slowly into a puddle of mud and goo.
"Lady," he said, "You picked the wrong god." He turned to Fat-man, "Where were we? Oh yes, the jewel, now."
This is a story that has been told and retold. And with each telling it changes. Perhaps it is fitting that Robert of the hood has become legend. Notoriety is not something he ever sought, though it found him. And so in my last days i sit here to record for future generations the real story. The one that started all the stories. the birth of the legend....
Robert of Hoods Kneels quietly on his elevated perch. Arrow notched and bow string taunt. He would only get one shot at this. And it was not an easy shot in well light, let alone in shadow.
"Help! Someone help me!" Mary screamed as she runs semi-blind through the forest, keeping to the path more from memory then sight. Her lines were rehearsed but the panic was real. The ravenous Noble behind her certainly wasn't playing. If she slipped or if Robert missed there would be no help for her.
'If he must miss, let him hit me' She prayed silently. She had heard tales of what the Noble did when enraged. And it would be quite enraged if it realized it was being led to a trap.
Robert sits at the ready, blinking sweat from his eye. Willing his tired arm not to tremble. Any second now....
Mary rushes into the clearing and immediately dives to the ground. A bee buzzes past her ear. No, not a bee, otherwise she would be dead.
Robert's arrow flies straight and true, finding its way into the demons dead heart. "AAAAAAARRRRRRHHHHH" The Noble Blood roars as its body erupts in a hot red flame. The flames of Hell, Friar Tuck believed. The demon was quickly reduced to ash and bone.
"Alright, that infernal noise will alert any Noble in the area, so we need to break camp post haste". Robert calls down to his companion John Little.
"Aye mister Locke, and a foine bit of shooting i might add". Robert couldn't see John, but knew from experience he was giving the thumb of approval. A silly gesture he had came up with and was convinced it would catch on if repeated enough.
'John and his ideas'. Robert shook his head to himself. Where did he get such notions?
"Cutting it a bit close Mr Locke. Any closer an i would need another earring" Mary huffed, angrily.
"As if you needed another" Robert replied dryly. She wore three rings in each ear. Another in her nose, and another in her lip. There where rumors of others, but a gentleman did not entertain such thoughts. Around the camp she was known ironically as 'Maid Mary'.
Despite her unladylike nature, or perhaps because of it, she had proven quite useful. As an information collector and as bait. She was also a capable fighter.
"Learned anything of interest tonight?" Robert asked as they walk back to the camp.
"Learned something very interesting, though i'll need a bit of rope--"
"About the Nobles, woman!" Robert cuts her off. She did love to play her games.
"Ah, well yes actually, though its not as interesting......"
"Well?" He asks, becoming exasperated.
"I learned if you cut off the head the body will flounder". She smirks.
At first he assumes that is another lewd comment. Then it sinks home."You mean....?"
"Correct. Kill the first and the rest will follow" She says very slowly as if speaking to an idiot.
"Any word on where to find this head?"
"Oh yes. The demon lord is expected at castle Nottingham in three moons for a costume ball in his honor. One Lord Vlad Tepes"
"Tell me Maid Mary, do you have a dress in your wardrobe?"
Three moons later....
"I don't like this" John Little commented uneasily.
"Grow up you baby. The demons ash covers our living scent". Mary whispers fiercely. She was nervous herself, and him being nervous was making her more nervous.
Their mission was to mingle with the Nobles and find Vlad.
"Here, have some virgin blood. Aged 27 years" A Noble sniffs the wineglass with pleasure, and hands another glass to Mary.
"Only the best for the lord eh?" She takes a sip.
"What else?" The Noble licks lips with a black tongue.
"Indeed". She gently leads John away before he could turn green.
"You, ulp" He gags quietly "You drank blood".
"I've drank worse". She replied cryptically.
Other merry men were dressed as jesters, and were acting as servers.
"Fellow Nobles" A vampire clinks one long nail against a wineglass. "Our lord and master, Vlad of Tepes"
At first there is nothing to see. Then a mist cloud drifts in through an open window and swirls about before solidifying into a giant bat creature which spreads its eight foot wing span theatrically. "Good ev'ning my children" It grins before melting into a more human form, the wings becoming a flowing cape. The ears remain pointed.
It seems recon was a bit unnecessary after all.....
"I have heard the cry of you all. This, Robert of the hood, has been hunting us and encouraging human rebellion? I intend to feast on him for many days. But... i suspect he is closer then you all know. A sheep among wolves". His meets Mary's gaze and beckons her with one finger. "You can mask you scent, but not your heartbeat. You soul is a filthy thing human. Do you think it will go up at your passing? Give yourself to me and live forever as one of my brides".
"Nooo!" John Little charges the Demon lord, only to be swatted carelessly aside like a fly.
"Up here demon" Robert calls from the elevated walk way, letting fly a burning arrow.
Vlad catches the arrow with one hand and casts Mary away with the other. "I'm afraid you'll need to do better then this Mr Hood". He gloats before the arrow explodes in his face. A gray cloud enveloping him.
Robert grabs a chandelier rope and swings himself down at the demon lord....
The castle stood in its glory, basking under the moonlight with its sheer size with guards surrounding the area, begging to go home. The air was crisp and cold, with the birds singing their evening songs. However, unbeknownst to the occupants of the castle, an army was approaching. An army of change.
Maddock was the leader of this army. He was the leader of the people. People who were oppressed, who had no say, no power, no hope. Maddock was that hope. Because of him, with his words he gathered an army of those who wanted this oppressive kingdom gone, and the only way to do it was to destroy it from the heart of it.
They were at the verge of trespassing the King’s castle when Maddock motioned his hand upwards. They stopped.
“We are this close to change history” Maddock began to speak towards the crowd as they listened to them attentively.
“For us to win this battle, to win this war we must divide. Divide and conquer.”
“Victoria aut mors”
His followers looked at him smugly, they had faith in him. They would gladly put their lives on the line, knowing that they would be one step closer to freedom.
Donning his plain garb and unsheathing his bow that alone was the cue to strike. The army went left and right, suddenly swarming the castle like locusts. Their cry for battle blared throughout. The sounds of swords clashing, the endless screaming and the cries of terror and anguish engulfed Maddock as he charged through the guards, using the limbs of his bow to crush the guards’ heads.
Getting inside the castle was easy enough considering there was an entire war already happening just outside. This gave Maddock a lot more room to breath as he sprinted towards the throne room, knowing he’ll win. Seeing the door, he slammed into it, aiming his bow at the King.
But there was no King.
Rather, a man the same age as Maddock arrogantly sat on the throne, his cold laugh filled the empty room.
“Looking for my father I see?” he began to speak, enjoying the surprised look on Maddock’s face.
“You peasants honestly believe that killing my father will do anything? Even if you did, that would make no effort. After all, our empire will just go stronger, while you peasants will just carry on rolling around in the mud.”
“You’re all pathetic”
Dropping his bow, anger coursed through Maddock as he charged towards the prince. His punches were raw and powerful. So were the Prince’s.
Ribs were broken, blood was spilled and the flesh of both men were being destroyed blow after blow. Maddock’s throat was suddenly taken hold of. The prince was strangling him, laughing as every breath Maddock took to escape the iron clutches were fading.
“YOU’VE LOST ARCHER!” the Prince shrilled at Maddock.
“MY FATHER AND I WILL LIVE TO SEE A NEW AGE, WHILE YOU SHALL BE DEAD! “WITH THE WORMS DEVOURING YOUR VERY FLESH!”
In sheer desperation, Maddock had no choice but grab the blood ridden face of the psychopathic prince and attempted to gouge out his eyes with his bare hands. The pain that the prince endured was enough for Maddock to grab his bow and fire the arrow blindly in the direction of the prince.
Maddock saw the white in the prince’s eyes before the arrow pierced through his throat.
The prince was killed.
Maddock breathed heavily, his body broken and his spirit crushed. He may have killed the prince, yet the king was still alive, plotting more ways to cause suffering and pain.
And Maddock’s army was destroyed – all in vain.
He had lost.
Light shone down on the executioner’s block. The executioner himself was a large, heavy set man, who held a large axe in one hand. Unlike the axe most people were familiar with; this was of the single bladed variety. If one were to look across from the block, a silhouette would be seen stood upon a roof. How he had gained the rooftop perch was quite simple. What he intended to do next was infinitely harder. The Sun crested over the hill directly behind him, giving him a perfect clarity of shooting. He stepped back from the ledge and reached behind himself for one of the arrows he had laid down, and for his bow. The arrow was long, thin, and the head glinted evilly in the Sun’s rays. The bow, however, was a masterpiece, in scale and design. It would dwarf any other projectile weapon one would encounter on these streets. It fit into the man’s hand perfectly, and he smirked. He felt invincible whilst holding the bow, like nothing could ever go wrong. His hand touched an arrow, and he stood up, notching it to the string. “It is time.” He announced, the corners of his mouth twisting up into a small self-indulgent smirk. Most of his face was hidden in the shadow of his hood as he raised the bow, but one got the impression that he had the eye of a hawk. He lined up the first shot, dropping to one knee, fully drawing.
The door of the shack near the executioner’s block creaked open, and a chained man was led from the hut, still pleading with his tormentors. He looked starved and haggard. The archer spared him not a second glance. He knew nothing of the man, and he was not a target. As such, for now, he was inconsequential. As the man was led to the block, the hooded man took in a long breath. The man’s head was laid over it, and an almost silent gust of wind escaped the archer’s mouth. The axe raised into the air, and a thrumming sound was heard, then a whistle, followed by the sickening sound of metal hitting flesh, and then grinding against bone. The executioner gurgled, an arrow shaft sticking from his throat. The massed crowd looked around, but the archer was already in motion as the guards spotted him and began firing their crossbows, short thick arrows missing him by mere inches. Another arrow found his string and then left it. The target this time was somewhat less sentient, the arrowhead parting a length of rope that the archer leaped from the roof, and grabbed the rope.
He flew a good length of the courtyard while holding the rope, then flipped off the end acrobatically, his training coming back to him as natural as breathing as he aimed for the crossbow men with his own, far more powerful weapon. He knew a few of his arrows missed, but at the speed he was traveling, it was acceptable. He landed with his feet on either end of the executioner’s block, everyone shocked by his sudden appearance and perfect landing.“Good morning, all!” He said, raising his arms over his head with a light chuckle. “Very nice weather today, isn’t it?” He remarked in the same tone. Sword wielding guards appeared from nearby buildings. “All this just for me? Consider me flattered.” He said by way of retort, stepping down, spinning his bow like a staff. They ran at him, and he ducked under the first sword swings, driving his bow into one’s gut, spinning it into one’s cheek with a solid crack and deflecting a sword with a third attack. “While I’d love to do this all day, I’m on a bit of a tight schedule. So I guess I’ll just be grabbing what I came for and going.” With a grin, he ran back to the executioner’s block and leaped over it, neatly tucking over the chained man’s head. He pulled the chain between the man’s wrists over his head, and hoisted him up. The man instinctively wrapped his legs around his saviour’s waist, and the man took off running, outpacing the guards even with the extra weight, due to his extensive knowledge of the backstreets as well as his far superior agility. The two disappeared into the early morning city.
The hooded archer let his passenger get down, and pulled a small axe from a belt loop, parting the chains with a sharp CLINK! A dark haired woman ran from the near domicile and embraced the emaciated former prisoner, and turned to the tall hooded man. “How can we ever thank you?” She asked, her eyes beginning to tear up.
“Get out of the city as soon as you can.” The man replied. “I’ll await my payment in the usual manner.”He nodded to his rescue, bowed to the woman, and slipped the axe back into his belt, then looked towards the sky. If he left now, he could get to his next deal a few moments early. Punctuality was an excellent thing to be known for in this business. Without another word, he turned towards the city and walked towards the increasing rush of bodies. Just another citizen going about his business; and what it entailed was entirely his own concern.
The room was silent. Quietly the thief crept into the building, careful not to disturb the resting house. He had been staking out this manor for months. It was formerly the dwelling of a Lord, who had passed it down from generation to generation. The current Lords grandsons were in there now. The perfect time to strike. He had brought his bow along with him, although he doubted he needed it. He’d be in and out within half an hour. Still, one couldn’t be too careful. The news had been littered with stories of thieves who had come in unprepared. Hopefully he won’t be another one of those stories.
The thief rubbed his fingers together gleefully. He was in the money. This house was probably the storage of items of indeterminable value. Exquisite Italian art, fragile Russian vases, even the wine was worth more than he earned per year, back at the shop. Not today. The thief was after money. He needed it to keep his business afloat. Who cares if this manor lost a little money? There was plenty more where that came from. The thief scanned his surroundings. The walls were ornately decorated with the heads of hunted animals. Sickening. These people can go and waste their money and lives hunting animals for pleasure while he can barely afford enough to eat.
Looking to the floor of the room, he spotted a small bump in the carpet. Looking around to see if he was still safe, he gently padded over to the carpet. There! He saw it. A minute cut in the carpet, just enough to lift up. Underneath was a small brown box bearing the inscription “aurum potestas est.” Gold is power. The box didn’t lie, the thief thought. A battered old lock was all that separated the thief from the treasures within. Childs play. The thief simply jammed his knife into the box and twisted. Not the quietest or stealthiest way, but effective. The thief was overcome by lust for treasure, completely forgetting that he was in the middle of a strange house in the middle of the night.
The top of the box clattered onto the floor, swiftly bringing him back to his senses. He cursed to himself. So much could still go wrong. He held his breath, listening for sounds of stirring or movement. Nothing. He was still in the clear. Peering down into the box, the thief gasped as he saw a face staring up at him. Stumbling away from the box, he realised that there was no face in the box, but a mirror. He was not a child, he was a man. It was very stupid of him to scare like that. Shaking and sweating, the thief pressed on.
The house was a labyrinth. Doors let to rooms he was convinced he saw earlier, corridors led to dead ends, meaningless storerooms stretched on forever. The thief was lost. There was no point in leaving the house now. He was in, and another opportunity would not come round for months. He had started to make compromises with himself, to soothe his frayed nerves. First it was “Get a full bag first, and then I’ll go”. Now its “First thing. FIRST THING I find and I’ll get out of here”. Disappointingly, apart from the Box he found, there was no money to be found anywhere. The Thief’s senses were screaming. He was lost in a stranger’s house, in the middle of the night, with nothing to be found anywhere. He stopped. He heard a sound upstairs. Beating against the floor, like an ominous drum. It wasn’t the thief’s heart. That was beating about 4 times faster. As if on cue, the beating stopped, and then started again. It sounded as if it was coming in the thief’s direction. The thief ran, no time for silence now. Self preservation finally prevailed over his hunt for gold. Closer and closer, louder and louder. The thief tugged desperately at a door. Locked. He was trapped. The beating came closer and closer. What was it? A person? An animal? A ghost? Whatever it was, it was coming for him. He was reflecting on the events leading up to this moment. It was a long hard slog getting in here. Nights of sleeping on the floor, almost freezing to death. Nights of eating terrible food and stale beer.
The thief ran towards a heavy oak door. It didn’t open. It was stuck or locked. Tugging desperately at the door, the thief realised that he was trapped. He remembered his bow. Swiftly notching an arrow to it, he was prepared for anything that came his way. His mind was a blur. Why did he choose to burgle this house? His shop might have come good in the next few months. Why did he have to burgle someone, because of the simple and childish reason that they were richer than him? Even if the thief died here today, he would never be able to go to church again, he would never be able to serve on a court. Nobody would ever trust him, all because of this silly hunt for gold.
He was finally aware of his wrongdoing. Nothing mattered to him anymore. Not gold, not death, not life. He would wait. Wait for whatever this thing was and let it do what it needed to do. He waited, as if he was simply waiting for his crops to grow. At least his death would be dignified. But that was no substitute for what he did.
Gold does not always mean power.
That's all folks, Cast your vote, I will leave this open until next British Saturday, the 22nd of December. 1 WEEK.
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cbishop - 5
VyseCarma. - 2
batkevin7 - 1
Pyrogram - 1
Joygirl - 2
WhiteSGPlayer - 3
Wildvine - 6 - winner
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