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Consigned to Oblivion

Discussion in 'Creation Station' started by CodasterTheDisaster, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. --Consigned to Oblivion--

    Synopsis
    After the fall of their city, the knights of Lodthr flee the war tearing apart the Vansyri surface. Aiming merely to survive, and perhaps form a small settlement, the knights look to Vulka Urochyon, the exile princess and ex-knight captain of the Lodthr order for leadership. Even as the gods lose their own war against unspeakable monstrosities, Vulka remains convinced she can restore some semblance of a peaceful life to her remaining comrades.

    Chapters

    Chapter 1: The fall of Lodthr
    Chapter 2: Let her tears show the way
     
  2. The Fall of Lodthr

    No amount of experience could change the unsettling nature of utter silence on the battlefield. The black-clad knights of Lodthr stood, unmoving and hopeless. They were a small number--before the battle they were numbering only thirty, including their leader, Lord Parzif DeLaney. Now they numbered but ten.
    Lord DeLaney's head rolled from his shoulders, his body falling backwards as the heavy plate dragged him to the ground. One of the surviving knights ripped off his helmet, dropping on the ground. His watery blue eyes were wide with desolation, his lips parted slightly. His lined face sagged with exhaustion and disbelief. "No," he whispered hoarsely. Several small tears rolled down his cheeks, but he seemed too shocked to even cry out. He just wept silently.

    "Luca, lay down your sword," responded a quiet, deep voice. A large hand was planted on the helmetless knight's shoulder. "We must live for Lord DeLaney."
    Luca turned back, his sorrow turning to bitter anger for a split second.

    "Nehra, how can you--" he stopped, keeping a glare at the massive man for a moment. "No, nevermind." The old knight's previous expression returned, and the heavy broadsword slipped from his fingers, landing softly on the blood-soaked grass. A third knight collapsed to his knees.

    "Emile, stay on your feet," Nehra warned. He was cut off by a fourth knight, who's helmet also clattered to the ground. A woman's face, as harsh and cold as the North, with alabaster skin and eyes the color of a violent storm stared at her hulking comrade. Her bronze-colored hair was plastered to her skin with sweat.

    "No, our fight is done." A look in the woman's eyes showed that she knew what was going to happen. "The last time I witnessed a battle like this, I was a child, and my father was slain. You know what happened to my family when they stopped fighting and surrendered."

    She stepped forward, drawing a thin, leaf-bladed sword and staring down the shieldwall that as marching towards the remainder of the knights. The fierce Northern woman stepped forward, baring her teeth in a ferocious snarl. Emile pulled his helmet off and looked at her, shocked. His expression slowly twisted to determination, and he got back to his feet. "Lady Vulka," he stammered, green eyes shining with a mixture of sorrow and determination. He wiped his brow with a gauntlet, tossing his medium-length auburn hair back. He drew his blade, an ornate cutting rapier.
    Luca scrambled to pick up his dropped blade. The other knights drew their swords too, stepping forward to form a line. Vulka couldn't help but smile.

    The shieldwall crashed against them, but the knights held. Vulka swatted away a spear head, thrusting her blade along the shaft of the spear. She stabbed twice more, then shoved a shield away and stepped inside the wall, charging through the enemies in a deadly twirl of steel. Two other knights broke through, and the wall was done. The men inside were quickly and efficiently slain.
    Vulka roared again, and the other nine roared back. They were defeated, but they would live. They would be free.




    The final battle was the last chance for the city-state of Lodthr to remain sovereign--but Lord DeLaney was slain, and the troops were thus decimated. Most of the soldiers were not trained for actual fights--most were reserve troops or guards that policed the market square, or watched the gates. Only the knights had true combat experience--and they were painfully inadequate in numbers. Lodthr never stood any chance in a battle against a true nation. But with the wards of the gods leaving the land below barren, land and resources became precious. In a way all of the death and horrors of the war might lead to the survival of civilization.

    Several years ago, the light of the gods flickered--a sign of their power rapidly waning. With the weakened powers of the divine, the unseen horrors of the world returned.

    Leviathans.

    And so, the five races fought. Not for the gods, but against each other.

    It had been weeks since the tragic loss of the battle of Viknr. The remaining knights put up a valiant effort after the death of their leader, but in the end it was for naught--and they knew it. Vulka Urochyon, the exile princess of Aenyr and knight-captain, led the survivors east, to the elvish lands. Normally, the elvish patrols would not allow humans to enter their lands, and would fight against them, but even the numbers of elves was beginning to dwindle. It was a good thing for the knights; the sparse resistance allowed them to move mostly undisturbed through the forests. They'd only encountered resistance once, in the form of a pack of wolves and wolf-like forestkin. Luca's arm was in a sling and Emile was wrapped tightly in bandages on his limbs, but no casualties were sustained.

    "It's beginning to rain," spoke a gentle voice. It belonged to a short, blonde knight with a heart-shaped face and pouty lips. Several of the knights looked around, pulling up hoods or replacing helmets. Most kept their armor, or at least parts of it, but rather than the brilliant red and gold cloaks they wore before, they wrapped themselves in drab cloth, and covered the ornate silver enamel on their black platemail with dirt and ash.

    "We shall stop here, then," Vulka murmured. She kept only minimal parts of her armor--the breastplate, gauntlets, and boots, tossing out the rest of the armor, and even the chainmail. Perhaps not the most protective gear, but she did attach the plates to a set of leather armor. She would be protected from blades, but an axe or mace still carried the possibility of shattering bones. "Huddle together underneath the trees. It will be better for us to wait and see if the storm will be bad. I will find high ground."

    She set off at a light job, putting enough distance between her and her knights to be out of sight and earshot. She sighed, clenching her jaw and whimpering slightly. She barely managed to succeed in not bursting into tears. "Lady Naevyra, guide us," she whispered. She fell to her knees, looking up through the forest canopy at the dark grey clouds overhead. Truth be told, the knights were already on top of a hill. They would be able to wait out the rain there safely enough.
    Vulka closed her eyes, taking in several deep breaths. They were deserters, yes. But it wasn't the same. They couldn't bring themselves dishonor if the world was razed completely. Her mind drifted to her siblings.

    Occida may be okay. Nehrin was supposed to meet us at Viknr, but never showed. He must have been slain.

    The woman sighed again, slowly getting to her feet. She drew the heavy drab cloak across her shoulders, pulling the hood low over her face. "The only was is forward," she murmumred to herself.
    A crack of thunder suddenly roared through the forest. Vulka snapped to attention, looking to the sky. The storm was close, but only a few bloated drops of precipitation found their way to the surface. A gust of wind howled through the branches.

    Then a gentle rain began.

    Thank you.

    A smile formed on her lips briefly, and she immediately turned, walking back to her comrades.

    I know where we must go.

     
  3. I'm really enjoying the story, so far. A short, but sweet read in the first chapter apt for bursts of jumping into Creation Station and leaving satisfied full of pathos and a wonder for what's to come. Vulka is a strong, determined character that makes the reading even easier to flow right on through and the incorporation of mythology is scintillating. Keep it up. B|
     
  4. Thanks for the critique! Anything I should work on?

    Also, how about the length? Fine as is or should it be shorter/longer?
     
  5. The length is fine as is. It may be the case that, as you progress on, you will want to add or detract from your individual chapters to balance things out, but for now, keeping steady and just letting your heart flow out all over your keyboard is the most important thing. Same goes for any general critiques; without nitpicking, you have a nice pace going right now with a vibrant initial cast. From a grammatical standpoint, everything seems up to snuff, as well. So, nothing right now. I'd say just keep going and have fun with it!
     
  6. Let Her Tears Show the Way

    The gentle pattering of raindrops soon filled the forest. The gentle blonde woman pulled her hood lower over her face and tighter around her shoulders. The rain was quickly cooling the forest air. "Leona," came a voice from beside her. She turned, looking at the sapphire-blue eyes of her sister Annelie. They were similar in appearance--both relatively short and slender, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Annelie was sharper, in both appearance and personality, with her defined jawline and almost statue-like expression. Leona, on the other hand, was soft and gentle, the most unlikely to be a knight of the group. Yet all of the Lodthr order absolutely deserved their positions--Leona may not have been a fighter, but she was a guardian, an unbreakable wall that protected her allies.

    She stared at Annelie for a moment, waiting on her sister to speak. "Are you holding up?" Annelie whispered. She might have been the harsher of the two sisters, but Leona was a soft spot for her.

    Leona offered a reassuring smile. "I am doing my best," she responded in a quiet tone. "Just like everyone else."

    Annelie chuckled. "Vulka is holding up better than everyone else. I don't know how she is managing it," she mused.

    A reddish blob entered Leona's periphery. "This isn't the first time she's lost everything," Emile said, butting in to the conversation. "I'm sure you two knew that, but you weren't around when she first showed up." His green eyes were full of a melancholic nostalgia. "I was a squire to Lord DeLaney when she showed up. Luca was there too," he muttered.

    Leona and Annelie exchanged a concerned glance. "Her father was the Northern Warden, wasn't he? Emperor Yuukin expelled him after a religious affair, and it turned to a bloody war," Leona recounted.

    Emile nodded. "Correct. But they wanted Lord Urochyon's whole family eliminated, so they couldn't return with a legitimate claim. Vulka, her sister Occida who was a toddler at the time, and Nehrin, who was slightly younger. Lord DeLaney took them in, and because of an old treaty, Emperor Yuukin couldn't send his army, even though there were a few attempts on their lives." He sighed heavily. "Vulka never smiled as a kid. She wanted to train as a knight, even though they told her women couldn't be knights," Emile continued, smirking slightly. Leona giggled, while Annelie shook her head, a smirk playing about her lips.

    "Despite what everyone said, Lord DeLaney knighted me and Vulka at the same time. She fought like a demon, even when she was thirteen so by the time we were sixteen, she was already beating the full-fledged knights in duels. I don't think she would've made it otherwise. I don't think I've ever won in a duel against her." He chuckled, shaking his head. "Within a month they knighted Ulla and Bruna. Then you two came along..." he trailed off. "You've been with us for seven seasons now, yes?" Leona nodded.

    "That was two seasons after she was knighted," he stated.

    The rain suddenly picked up, a roaring downpour nearly drowning out Emile's voice. He turned to look towards the sky, a confused look on his face. It seemed the storm was picking around them. They still only felt the gentle drops of a soft rain, even as the sky opened up a raging torrent around them.

    "Lady Naevyra is with us," Vulka's voice rang out. She seemed to materialize from the mist. "We move now, and as long as we follow the path of her tears, we will leave a trail."

    Emile immediately stepped towards Vulka. Luca wasn't far behind. The rest of the knights followed suit, with Annelie and Leona picking up the rear.

    Vulka had a triumphant look on her face; she looked at each of her comrades with hope and pride. "Even during their war, Lady Naevyra has not forsaken us," she proclaimed, turning on her heel and marching off, using the intensity of the rain on either side to judge the shape of the path.

    ----

    The rain lasted for a very long time; the group stopped for several hours, so that they could gain a few hours of sleep before moving on. The clouds overhead darkened the surface enough to make telling time nearly impossible. Yet still they trudged on, soaked even though the rain was slight. They were about to break for a second time when Emile pointed out a light.

    "I don't think it is a torch light. It has been raining too much," he reasoned. "Most likely it is a lantern or window. Either way, I think it is a sign of someone living there."

    Vulka nodded. "Very well. We approach with caution. These are dangerous times, and we're entering in the dark of night in a storm. Keep your shields up and stay close. If we are spotted, we may be attacked. Do not draw your weapon unless I do first. Shields only."

    The knights packed together, holding up their shields as a protective wall. Leona pushed her way to the front, twisting her large rectangular greatshield sideways, supporting it with both hands. It covered not only her, but the knights on both sides, one of which was Vulka. They formed their formation around her, each knight using their shield to cover a comrade as well as themselves.

    As they inched closer to the light, they saw that it was only one of several; it looked like a small house with a candle in the window. There were several other huts like it, with a larger, two-story building in the middle. A stable was connected to it. "That must be the inn," Vulka said, lowering her shield and stepping out of formation. "Keep your shields up. It's too quiet," she ordered, taking several steps towards the inn, looking around apprehensively as she did so.

    "Halt!"

    Vulka lifted a hand into the air, and her knights stopped immediately. She turned to the direction she heard the voice from. Several men were posted on the roof of the nearest house, bows drawn. Several other archers popped up on other buildings as well.

    "What business do you have here?" the voice demanded. It sounded masculine, and it must have been their commander, considering he was barking orders.

    "We are but vagabond knights, fleeing imprisonment after our Lord was executed," Vulka called out. She dropped her shield, raising both hands into the air to show she meant no harm. "We will drop our weapons on the ground as a show of good faith." She slowly reached to her sword belt and unbuckled it, dropping the blade to the ground. She heard several thumps as her knights did the same.

    "Will you allow us to stay at the inn?"

    A moment of silence. "Aye," came the man's voice, and she could see the archers relax their bowstrings. The commander slid off the roof, a weathered man with black and grey hair. He looked to be about Luca's age. He offered a hand to Vulka, which she grasped firmly in a handshake.

    "I am Kaza."
     

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