More fear a Lich- Chapter 4 complete!

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Seylamander
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More fear a Lich- Chapter 4 complete!

Post by Seylamander »

Hello! Chances are, if you're here, you're just here to just read and enjoy yourself. Chances are, you like a good fan fic just as much as I do. And chances are, if you're reading this here, you're still interested enough to give it a try. Sounds good to me!

I have a short intro, then the deal. PLEASE- I need some feedback! I hope this isn't just another mediocre fan fic, but that's for you to decide!

Cheers.
-Seylamander


-Introduction-
History tells us that nobody is born evil. Nobody begins life with hate, dark armies, or apocalyptic powers. No, evil must be made: either from the mind of man or the hand of fate. This is the story of one who held all of Wesnoth in the grip of fear through this self-made malice. One whose mind was too twisted with hate, pain, and desire for revenge to see the error of his ways.

Bishop was not a particularly fortunate human, despite fate’s attempts to make him so. Born in the town of Aldril, he displayed a knack for combat from an early age. So, logically, he was enrolled the local militia. However, Bishop proved too intelligent and philosophical for the do-as-you’re-told mantra that the militia so vehemently supported. The militia, after a year of frustration, directed him towards the path of the local mage guild, where he tried his best to excel. However, here, too, he seemed destined for obscurity. He disagreed with many of the magi’s ideas and principals. Here his “questioning” was met with even more distaste then the military, and he was quietly “excused” from the mage’s life.
Now he finds himself, at the age of eighteen, as a caretaker of a kindly old man, Hanshiel. Our story begins in Hanshiel’s home, in Aldril, as another morning rises in Wesnoth.

-Chapter 1: An Unexpected Victory-
Bishop’s heavy eyelids rose with the sun on a morning just like any other. No, not quite like any other. It was late winter, and that means the Orcs lurking in the fringes of the nearby Grey Woods are running out of supplies. This directly translates to more raids on the town, and a busier militia. Bishop felt fortunate he was no longer a soldier, as death tolls were higher than ever.

“Bishop? How’s my porridge coming along?” The shaking, aged voice of Hanshiel flowed through the crisp, cold morning air. “Any fresh berries on it today?” Bishop smiled. During the this time of the winter, any berries at all cost a fortune. But this daily joke got him awake every day. “Of course. I have berries all over your portion today, Hanshiel.”

“Most excellent!”

The day passed like any other, with Bishop helping Hanshiel with his banking job. Hanshiel was still a mysterious fellow, and even though Bishop had worked with him for a little over three years, he still knew almost nothing about Hanshiel’s past. Whenever he queried about it, Hanshiel simply said, “I was a woodsman for my life.” He was then silent for hours. Bishop did not want this, for Bishop loved his job. He enjoyed Hanshiel’s humor and his wisdom, and the two talked long hours as their candles burned low.

That is, until the sun got low in the sky that fateful winter's day. The two friends were just about to finish their work for the day, when the horns signaling an Orc raid sounded throughout the city, filling the streets with their urgent sound. Bishop watched out the window as merchants scurried under their stalls, and pedestrians dodged into nearby inns and shops, with some women and children risking the potentially deadly trip to their respective dwellings. Hanshiel and Bishop, fortunately, had the gold to live in a respectively sturdy building, so they had to do little but bar the door, and wait. Nevertheless, the two friends were always on edge during these raids, and conversation petered out.

They waited, with bated breath, to hear the screams of dying men and the harsh voices of Orcs, the fear of all townspeople. After an eternity, they heard not screams, but cheers of victorious human soldiers. Bishop and Hanshiel were perplexed. “Go, my boy, and find out what the devil is going on!” Hanshiel said. Bishop did not need telling twice, as he was already on his way out. What could be happening? Always, the militia plodded slowly into town, weary from losses of brethren. What could be the cause of their celebration? Bishop approached a wild-eyed halberdier. “What in the world has happened?” The halberdier laughed heartily. “My boy, it was the easiest skirmish in memory! Most of their forces were small and runty; they had the most ridiculous battle plan we have ever seen! They were cowardly and underfed. It wasn’t a battle, it was a butchery.” He patted the long handle of his halberd. “We will pile their bodies in the center of the square, and burn them tonight!” He headed off to join his comrades in their merriment. Bishop stood there, perplexed, and returned to Hanshiel’s home, and related what he heard to the old man. To his great surprise, Hanshiel was elated. A broad smile covered his aged face, with hints of ambition in the folds of his skin. Suddenly he hid it, and went off to bed without a word. Bishop thought about going after him, but he didn’t want another round of awkward silence to ensue between the two. Bishop, not knowing what to do, went to sleep early. "Why could he be so excited? An unexpected victory, yes, but I've never seen him smile so!" thought Bishop's perplexed mind. Too tired to think it over, Bishop resolved that Hanshiel had always had a deep dislike for the orcs, and was simply celebrating justice. Still unsatisfied with this answer, he fell into a strangely light sleep.

-Chapter 2: A Late-Night Walk-
Bishop, barely asleep, was having troubled dreams. Images flashed in his mind: A book, a headless goblin, a cave, all wreathed in mist. Finally, a creature, vaguely discernable in the gloom, blotted out all other items, people, and places. It had the form of a man, but twisted, mutilated, decayed. But it was not its appearance that mattered. It was a name. A name that was coming to him like it was being mumbled underwater: “Mll-Shhr” is what it sounded like. No matter. Bishop wanted out. Out of this mist. Out, away from this creature. But most of all, out away from this name! “Mll-Shhr, Mll-Shhrrr, MLL-SSHHRRR!” It was a roar now, filling his eyes, his ears, and every orifice in his body! With a great effort, Bishop wrenched his eyes open, and the dream was ripped from him like a snakeskin.

Bishop lay panting for a few minutes, as the horror and disgust and fear slowly evaporated from his conscience. He had to talk to Hanshiel. He knew how to interpret such dreams. “A powerful dream is a powerful message from the soul,” Hanshiel always said. “Only a fool would ignore such a message!” He turned out of bed, his bare feet cold on the floor. He padded softly to Hanshiel’s room, and with the slightest pressure, coaxed the squeaky door open. He felt bad for waking Hanshiel. Heaven knows that the old man needed his sleep! But he would be understanding, Bishop reassured himself as he walked in. However, all that greeted his eyes was an empty bed.

Bishop gasped aloud. What! No! He had heard stories of old men going insane; taking strolls like this to never return, forgetting whom they were and where they lived, their wits stolen from them by age! Searchers would find only corpses, skeletons, even bodies clubbed to death. Bishop cursed the crude sport of highwaymen and outlaws. He would not let his mentor and friend end up like so! Without thinking, he flung open the door and tore into the street, his feet and heart pounding. Through the small town he raced, his mind working furiously. Bishop knew the route that Hanshiel always took when he went out for a walk. Surely his brain, even though it may be age-addled, should remember that! Besides, it was Bishop’s only chance. Still dashing headlong, he followed Hanshiel’s path by memory and hope, past the city limit guards (asleep, of course) and through the forest path that made up the most of Hanshiel’s walk. He crashed through the brush, noticing that Hanshiel’s fresh footprints were visible in the loamy earth. A surge of hope flooded through him. He increased his pace, racing around an ancient oak…

And crashed headlong into a fully-grown Orc warrior.

“Oof!” Bishop fell on his backside, looked up, and froze. To run would be death, yet to stay would be suicide. No doubt this monster was the end of the track. Hanshiel’s assassin, and Bishop’s soon killer. No! Bishop would not die to this vagrant, this murderer! A surge of energy welled up in him. He would die, but not without a fight! His hand scrabbled for a weapon. A chunk of wood! He leapt to his feet, raising it above his head with a yell. He was about to bring it down on the warrior’s stout head when he realized something.

A sizable arrow was already sticking out of the warrior’s head! Stunned, Bishop dropped the wood. No Orc could survive that! Even more perplexing, the Orc had no swords, the evil curved blades that had spilled the blood of so many militiamen. Instead, its skin was pale, its body was hunched forward, and its skin was pallid and waxy-looking. It was clearly dead.

Then how was it animate?

The thing, the corpse, let out a moan then lurched forward. Bishop scrambled back, but too late. The thing grasped his arm, and began to drag him swiftly through the dark undergrowth, the arrow still sticking out of its head almost comically. Bishop curled up in a ball, unable to free himself from the monster’s icy grip. As he was pulled, scraped, dragged behind his captor’s lurching step Bishop’s mind was as tumultuous as his situation. Where was Hanshiel? He was not dead, as this monster could certainly grip, but Bishop doubted it had the capacity to kill. So what was his fate? For that matter, what was Bishop’s fate? Where was he going, and why? Most of all, how is this possible, the dead reincarnated to live again? Bishop was bumped and bashed, tossed and tousled, until the plants gave way to shorter grass, a stout hill illuminated by the waxing moon. He allowed himself to uncurl, his legs and arm sliding through the dewy grass and the cold night air. Suddenly, he was released! He fell on his face, at the feet of a figure wearing a tattered grey cloak. Bishop slowly raised his head…

-Chapter 3: Secrets Revealed-
Bishop stared upward into the wrinkled features of Hanshiel. “Impossible.” The word came out of Bishop’s mouth like a breath. How could his friend be responsible for these monstrosities? It was inconceivable. Unbelievable. “Impossible.” The word came again, like a brand on the old man’s face. Hanshiel spoke. “No, my dear boy. Far from it, in fact. Now please, before you pass judgment on my art and I, listen to my story and me. I will tell you nothing but the truth.” His blue eyes were tranquil and his words were calm. He seemed more natural than Bishop had ever seen him, and Bishop new from experience that he should listen. He sat down.

But couldn’t stop a question. “Is it really you?” Hanshiel considered. “Yes, and no. Yes it is I, the man you know as Hanshiel, the banker that is old and wise. That avoids his past. That likes berries on his porridge.” At this he smiled. “But no, that is not my true name. Once, I was Lae’Hnish, a powerful necromancer, aide of the most powerful man in existence!” Lae’Hnish’s eyes glittered with memories and power, and Bishop saw in him a power that had lay dormant for so long, that longed to spread its wings and be unleashed! But it was gone in a flash. The old man calmed. “But to hear my story, you must hear another’s story first.”

“Once, in the northern town of Parthyn, a child was born, named Malin Keshar. He was not unlike you, my boy, for he too did not fit into the mage’s way of life. Their… dogmatic, blinded view of magic did not suit him. Meanwhile, as he struggled with his studies, Orcs would again and again kill the people of Parthyn. Why? Was it for food, supplies? No. Glory. Malin’s neighbors, friends, and family died yearly when the hordes came to prove themselves in battle. Malin was furious at the Orcs, but even more so at his own ineptitude, his weakness. He sought a solution, power that he had yet to learn. He found a teacher, a Necromancer like myself, to teach him our ways.

“So one day, when the marauders came again, Malin summoned the dead, using his teacher’s knowledge, to protect the village they once inhabited. The attack was repelled. But how was Malin celebrated? As an outlaw. A villain. He was banished from his own home, the one he protected, for his unique power and vision. Malin was hurt, a deep wound gouged by his traitorous friends. But he only allowed his resolve to be focused. He and his master, Darken Volk, systematically hunted down huge Orc hordes for Malin’s training. Malin’s revenge was slaked, and justice was dealt. Two great Orc chieftains lay dead in the dirt, to join Malin’s armies in unlife. The ultimate humiliation. The third fled, and as Malin chased him, he came across Parthyn once more, his one-time home. How were his deeds received? How was he thanked? Not even by scorn this time, but by violence. Even his own sister was twisted against him. Malin fled, his wound reopened. But now he realized the truth. He had gotten his revenge against the Orcs. Now he would get revenge on those who had spurned him, banished him, tried to kill him.”

“With his master’s help, Malin infiltrated the manor of the corrupted mages. He recovered a book that was once Volk’s, fighting and killing countless mages in the raid. He narrowly escaped, only to have his master turn on him. Abandoned twice, once by his home, once by his master, Malin was filled with rage. He struck down Darken Volk, retrieving the book from his broken body. In the process, Malin caught the eye of his sister, who had been pursuing him since their last encounter. He saw her hate. He saw the mangled bodies of the slaughtered Orcs, mages, and townspeople in his wake. He felt nothing, however. They had brought this upon themselves! He fled into exile, finding a cave that would suit him well for the coming months.”

“There he stayed, absorbing the contents of the book. As Malin studied, his wound healed, the sting of his betrayal almost forgotten. This neglect for his betrayal let to his mistake. He attacked a huge Orc army advancing on Parthyn, for the third time. He was vastly outnumbered. His forces were utterly destroyed, and Malin crawled back, barely clinging to life.”

“’To become a Lich, one must first die.’ That is what the book said. Malin uttered the hardest, most draining of incantations, sacrificing himself on a crude altar at death’s door. And success rewarded him. Malin was now a Lich, Mal Keshar! A creature of cunning, immortality, and endless power. There he stays to this day, attacking the Orcs that he vowed his revenge upon so many years ago.”

The old man seemed to draw breath. “Malin Keshar sent me here, at Aldril, because he sensed the coming of one so powerful he may replace him if his end were to come.” Lae’Hnish’s clear blue eyes gazed unblinking at Bishop from the folds of his aged skin. “Bishop, I believe he saw you!”

Bishop staggered back, as if struck in the chest. The dream. Everything in it connected. The creature. The cave. The book. The voice. “Mlll-Shhrrr.” It hissed in his dream “Malll-Kshhrr” “Malll-Keshhrrr” Mal Keshar!

His mind whirled. It seemed his life was sliding into a slot made for him in the great puzzle of history. All the similarities between himself and Mal Keshar. The dream. Hanshiel, no, Lae’Hnish’s prediction! There was to much to be a coincidence. Lae’Hnish spoke to him again, this time with more force. “You must choose!” said the old man. “You must choose to accept your destiny, or to continue your life, and in doing so wake up from this as you would a dream!” Bishop opened his mouth to speak. “I… have to think, my old friend. At the moment, things are moving too fast!”

He looked up at his friend. Lae’Hnish was just like Hanshiel for a moment, like the old man he knew just a few hours earlier. “I know, my boy. This is quite a lot for one night.” His face crinkled into a smile. “The choice is ultimately yours. All I can do is tell you the options. Now come, it is awfully late, and I’ve done what needs to be done. You have a lot on your mind, I wager! We’ll discuss it in the morning.”

The two walked to the treeline. The walking corpses were now on the ground, inanimate, as if that was the way they had always been. Walking, Bishop realized how tired he was. Maybe this WAS just a dream, he thought. I’ll know either way in the morning. As the two friends walked off the grassy hill, into the forest again, many things suddenly happened at once. An armored arm shot out from behind a tree, grabbing Lae’Hnish. Two knights rushed out from behind additional trees, grabbing Bishop's arms to prevent him from helping the old man. As he kicked and flailed, Sir Greaven, Aldril’s Captain of the Guard, rode out of the foliage on horseback, accompanied by a party of men-at-arms.

“Well, well. Look what we have here. I thought no necromancer was stupid enough to raise the dead under my very nose.” He turned to the knight holding Lae’Hnish. “Take this slime to the prison.” Bishop’s eyes grew fiery. “NO! Let him go! Please! He's a friend!” One of Bishop’s captors tutted. “Listen to him. Clearly under some dark spell. He’ll be taken to the infirmary, Sir.” “Thank you, Williams,” said Sir Greaven. “He’ll need proper care before release.” As Lae’Hnish was gagged and bound, and Bishop kicked and struggled and yelled, the men-at-arms dragged the two off to town. The night seemed to close around them, and the corpses lay there still, like discarded toys in the moonlight.

-Chapter 4: Extracation-

Morning light came with memories for Bishop, belted to a bed in the infirmary near the center of town. His brain, which was most definitely devoid of dark magic, recalled with painful clarity the events of the night before.

He and Lae’Hnish had been separated soon after entering town. Bishop had, uselessly, struggled against the iron grip of the two knights. He only relented once he saw that the old man was receiving crippling blows about the head for his “continuing curse on the boy.” Now in town, Bishop had been taken directly into the infirmary, in a private room where a pungent herb administered by a freshly laundered nurse sent him into a feverish, dreamless sleep.

As the sunlight from an open window bleared through Bishop’s eyelids, he realized he needed to free the old man. But, how would he do it? In his presently immovable state, it seemed impossible. Bishop’s head flopped side to side, searching for a knife, a file, a candlestick, anything that might help him escape. Nothing. The infirmary had taken extra lengths to secure the unusual patient.

But Bishop was desperate. And a desperate man with basic skills in magic needed more than leather belts to contain him. I know full well the consequences of using magic outside the Academy, thought he. If I were caught, I would be skinned alive in front of the highest academes in the grey courtyard of mage’s guild headquarters. But I know my path, he thought to himself. On that hill last night, I know why Hansh- no, Lae’Hnish had taken an interest in me. He saw my potential. He knew I could succeed where Mal Keshar failed in beating back the orcs. The ultimate service to this town, and probably all of Wesnoth, is my destiny, and it lies before me.

With this quavering resolution, Bishop set about racking his brains to find a solution to his bonds. In his incompletely educated head floated snippets of everything from spools to spearheads, from lances to lobsters. This is why I chose banking, Bishop remembered ruefully. My blasted head is too cluttered for me to practice magic! But in that time, a cloud drifted in front of the window, mercifully shading Bishop’s eyelids from the piercing morning sun. Bishop, now focused, remembered a suitable incantation.

He reached deep in his mind, into the ethereal foam of the beyond subconscious. In this dreamlike state, he saw in his minds eye the dim outline of the ropes. Using the most basic of the words of power, he commanded the fibers of the leather to unwind. Slowly, as his words were not perfect and his mind was not as sharp as it once was, the belts unraveled. Bishop struggled to maintain concentration, as he knew that a distraction would cost time, and there was no telling when a doctor might show up.

But as fortune would have it, the belts finally fell into a mess of thin cords. Bishop snapped open his eyes and sprang to his feet. He looked wildly around. The exit? Where was it? There was a door, in the corner. He ran to it. Locked. Just great. Those nurses didn’t leave anything to chance.

He turned around, only to get hit in the face by the piercing light coming from the window. The window. Of course, there it was above his bed. Bishop climbed upon it, and managed to squeeze through the open window into the morning.

Luckily for Bishop, the infirmary was a one-story building as to look less conspicuous during raids from the orcs. He easily dropped to the ground, walking quickly toward the prison near the fort at the town’s center. He stopped, suddenly, and sat. How stupid of me, he thought. Running in without thinking… Lae’Hnish would expect better! I need a diversion for those guards around him… Many would undoubtedly surround the old man. He slowly turned around. It would have to be big, and important. The distraction would require the attention of all the guards, as none could be left. But how can I do it?

The infirmary. Of course, he was staring right at it. Very important. Very big. Very unexpected. He searched for ideas, and one came immediately. Very flammable.

He sat against a neighboring building, and closed his eyes once more. Again he dived into the dreamlike subconscious of his mind. He searched hard for the almost intangible heat of the building. Bishop perspired with the effort of maintaining concentration. I haven’t done this for years, he grumbled to himself. The belts at least were completely tangible! His hands shook with the effort.

At last, he found the heat of the roof. Only a small fire, he thought. Nobody must be hurt. Still, he concentrated on a tiny patch of roofing, and coaxed it into excitement with the magic-magnified force of his will. He clenched his teeth and fists, concentrating. Grow, grow, grow! The mages would surely see. No! Losing concentration is far worse than losing skin. More heat, more! It was almost there, and he could feel it! So close. Try harder. Blackness edged in to his mind’s eye: He had been subconsciously holding his breath. He couldn’t relax… There!

A tiny orange flame flickered to life on the roof. Bishop’s eyes flew open and he gasped on the pavement with forgotten effort. Remembering his place, he retreated into the shadow of the building he had been leaning against. From there he tentatively watched the blaze build.

Around him, people began to notice. “Oy!” yelled a portly man with a large brown beard. “Look yonder!” A crowd began to form. “It’s aflame! Get water!” came the cry. “Rescue the sick and wounded!” Bishop watched with a sort of satisfaction as the crowd of townspeople grew. Now is the time! he thought. Amidst the cries of confusion, calls for water and general mayhem, nobody paid heed to the eighteen-year-old youth running off to the prison.

Coming soon: Chapter 5, Jurisdiction!
Last edited by Seylamander on April 14th, 2011, 3:42 am, edited 3 times in total.
"There's no escaping reason, no denying purpose, because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist. It is purpose that created us."
-Mr. Smith, The Matrix Reloaded

revenant
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Re: More fear a Lich -Fan Fic

Post by revenant »

Very good introduction, but you might want to say were the story takes place. Great job! :D

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King_Elendil
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Re: More fear a Lich -Fan Fic

Post by King_Elendil »

So far a very good read, can't wait for the rest of the story! :D
I'm finally admitting that this will be a very long (if not permanent) Wesbreak. Thank y'all for the great times, and may Wesnoth rise to become one of the most popular games on the planet.

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Seylamander
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Re: More fear a Lich -Fan Fic

Post by Seylamander »

Hey! Chapter 2 is finished, technically. However, I want to see if I can net a few more readers before I release it! :P
Thanks so much for your attention, you two! It's so relieving that there are at least two people who like my stuff.

Cheers!
-Seylamander

P.S. Do you think I should include Chapter 3 in my next installment?
"There's no escaping reason, no denying purpose, because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist. It is purpose that created us."
-Mr. Smith, The Matrix Reloaded

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King_Elendil
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Re: More fear a Lich -Fan Fic

Post by King_Elendil »

Give us as much as you can as fast as you can :P .
More seriously, I do think that if you have chapter 3 done, you might as well include it so that people that want to see more before they make any comments, can make their judgments. In the end though, it's up to you :wink: .
I'm finally admitting that this will be a very long (if not permanent) Wesbreak. Thank y'all for the great times, and may Wesnoth rise to become one of the most popular games on the planet.

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Seylamander
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Re: More fear a Lich -Fan Fic

Post by Seylamander »

Chapter 3 is up. Oh man I just KNOW i got something wrong with the lore... don't hesitate to tell me if I did! Chapter 4 is when things start getting a little craaazy... So stay tuned! :wink:

Cheers.
Seylamander
"There's no escaping reason, no denying purpose, because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist. It is purpose that created us."
-Mr. Smith, The Matrix Reloaded

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Seylamander
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Re: More fear a Lich -Fan Fic

Post by Seylamander »

Like a necromancer, I've decided to, with time, revive this story. As it is during the school year, I may need some time. However, I do have a story planned out and plans of similar magnitude. Hope to pick up some readers, hold on!

Cheers (hopefully)!
-Seylamander
"There's no escaping reason, no denying purpose, because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist. It is purpose that created us."
-Mr. Smith, The Matrix Reloaded

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Boldek
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Re: More fear a Lich- Chapter 4 complete!

Post by Boldek »

if all it took to wield magic was concentration, how on earth did Alduin become such a monopoly?
Guys I never thought I'd come back to this forum after 8 years this is wild

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