wolven [Profile] 2013/1/26 - 14:28:0
It was less than a minute before Cane felt the heat from the depths of Blackreach. Having been so caught up in the door’s collapse and the sudden darkness, he simply pressed onwards. Now, as he was travelling down a long, winding stairway, where there was a deep orange light coming from the bottom, he figured he must have been in some kind of tower. The heat was intense, so much so he had to discard his wolf pelt as it caught fire. He also sheathed his tools.
Cane removed the mask on his face after some time, for he found it to have become clogged up with fumes. Resting his left hand on one of the cavern walls, he removed it. As he breathed in, he found himself spluttering uncontrollably, for he found the air to be distasteful. He quickly attempted to move, but was caught by his hand, which had sunk deep into the wall. He pulled with all his might to get it free, pulling a large chunk of clay out with him. The walls were treacherous.
Cane cursed silently. He wished that it was possible to do magic like Oriel, but he remembered the old tales that His half-brothers old septa used to tell them.
“In the years of old” She would say, as she used to begin all her stories that way, “We, the Krosnia were proficient in the art of magic. We had access to limitless stores within ourselves, for we had learnt secrets that even the Wood elves of the south could not even dream of. But we were flawed in that sense, for we grew arrogant in our power.”
“We crossed the sea from the west, from our long forgotten homeland, to find our cousins of Alagaesia. But we were cast adrift by a storm, for to the south, flames whirled like a storm, and a thousand thunders echoed across the sea. We came to Ignitia, our cold land of the wild. But we were not the first to land here.”
“They were known as the dark coven. A band of raven-like creatures, who had mastered the magical arts and had conquered the land. They saw us coming from the west, and they crippled us in the starfields in the Great war. They caused fire, and stone to rain down from the heavens, the ground turned to flae beneath us, and a void was opened that we could not seal.”
“Only when the last thousand of us crossed, did we realise their weakness. Our ancestors charged them and we beat them in the end, but at a terrible price, for as they retreated into the darkness, they laid a curse upon us all, that we should never use magic again. Only the seven Martyrs were spared the curse and it is on them who we lay our gratitude, for they gave their lives for ours.”
“So I am twice cursed.” Cane thought to himself, as he recalled it inside his head. The poor septa died some years back. Cane buried her in the crypts himself.
He tried his best to ignore the fumes, eventually resorting to casual breaths, focusing on the task at hand. The orange light grew steadily brighter, as he reached the bottom of the stairway. He pressed onward, until he came across a bridge, half crumbled with the orange light below it. He tempted fate, and walked over the bridge, looking down all the while. Below him, roiling like a storm on an ocean was a pool of molten rock and ore, with bubbles of the liquid bursting at the surface, and something, what Cane did not know, seemed to seep upwards through the orange mire, igniting on the surface with all the blazing light of a forge.
“Oriel,” Cane said, wishing with all his might that he might punch the old hermit as best he could, “This place is a death trap. I’m going to haunt you if I die here.”
As if in response, the ground began to waver, and Cane clutched to the sides of the bridge (which he knew were solid) for dear life, as the pool rocked from side to side like a ship on an ocean. A thunderous quake struck him from the other side of the bridge.
In fury, a pillar of lava burst from the pool, impacting on the roof, showering Cane with shards of rock. The roof began to crack, and soon, crags were clearly visible in the ceiling. With horror, he realised it was going to give way.
Despite the rocking, he released his clamp on the sides and set off, sprinting down the corridor, just as the roof gave way, and the bridge was obliterated. He did not stop to look back, he continued down the corridor as fast as his legs would carry him.
Eventually, he could see a clearing, and the ceiling of the corridor had risen, and the walls formed solid rock. He stopped for a breather as the air tasted slightly cleaner, before rounding a corner and stopping himself fearing he had reached the underworld.
The room was colossal, beyond the size of anything he had ever seen, and it’s size befitted the black mountain. He stood before a huge, round abyss, with one massive spire pod, shaped oddly like a moth’s cocoon and suspended from the roof and the world far below it. It was in the centre of the room, and despite its suspenders, was held in place by a web-work of bridges, each of which held numerous stalactites from their underbellies. The bridges themselves were thin, and seemed on the verge of collapse. Cane looked down, and despite the black void he envisaged, there were bright pools of lava far below, so far in fact it seemed impossible to think there would be anything down there to suspend the spire pod, which left it in the fragile grip of it’s roof and wall-based hangings. Beyond the bridges were further tunnels, which obviously led to other areas of the colossal labyrinth. The spire, he realised, was hollowed out, for the bridge closest to him led to the top of it, which had been carved so that the inside would be some kind of dome, with pillars to hold it up.
His amazement was diminished, when he decided to cross the bridge closest to him, and he felt a small vibration in the bridge, and the air, even in his nerves. When he was halfway across, he looked to one of the other bridges lower down, and he saw three figures.
“Cane!” a small one called in a voice barely recognisable as one Cane knew. He focused on the smallest, entrapped in some kind of cage. The others were garbed in black robes, and they were hooded. They turned as soon as Cane returned his call of “Yeersha!” which was in frantic tones. They hissed, and they removed their hoods, for Cane knew his enemies at last. Cane winced as a pair of piercing shrieks echoed through the abyss, letting him hear the cruel, alien likeness of the Ra’zac.
Then, as if in response to their shouts, the earth quaked once more, more violent and terrible than before, and a deafening peal of thunder came from somewhere within the Cavern. Cane’s hands went straight to his ears in a vain attempt to blot out the noise. The Ra’zac hissed and clicked frantically, and their heads flicked around in panic. The roar finally subsided, and the mountain was silent, though Cane knew deep down, that there was something there that was not to be reckoned with. For the first time in his life, Cane believed in demons.
wolven [Profile] 2013/1/26 - 14:31:29
So. Thats the beginning of chapter 8, and i really hope people like it and gimme comments. Also... Ouch. This picture really hurt my hands. this would be the colluseum-type room that is described. My original drawing of it on paper was much better than this. Pity i didnt have it with me at the time.
pumadragon [Profile] 2013/1/27 - 12:32:10
Well I can tell you that you achieved probably the effect you were going for with this picture, when I first laid eyes on it I actually found it rather intimidating (even though I didn't know what it was at first) I like the ingenuity of this place, the fact that you are able to come up with such cool (if deadly) places is really quite impressive. (And I almost feel bad for Cane having to run straight into the most dangerous situations and locations, but hey, he's got nothing better to do).
My only crit about the picture would be that you described the light as coming from below, and I do see that here, but I feel like even if the light from the magma was radiating all around the inside of blackreach, there would still be less light on the top of the rock formations and more reflecting off the bottom (hopefully that made sense).
And as usual, great writing, I always look forward to the next development of your plot, it just keeps getting more and more exciting. Keep it up Wolven!
miles [Profile] 2013/1/28 - 3:41:16
oh my gosh this looks so awesome... incredible work.
wolven [Profile] 2013/1/28 - 15:48:17
Well said Puma. I need that kind of constructive criticism once in a while, and you are quite right in what you said. just when i was drawing it, i wanted to make sure people could visualise what exactly the room was supposed to look like. I'm also quite glad you are enjoying the story atm Puma.The next post is taking longer than i anticipated. Finding the right scene is trouble, and given that the eragon movie was formerly my standard against which bad movies were rated, i got nothing to go on about how to draw the Ra'zac. I do have ideas though.
As always, Miles, i appreciate your comments. They mean loads to me man.
silvershadow [Profile] 2013/1/29 - 11:1:55
Wow, great chapter! I love your illustration here. I especially like how it's all so dim, but glowing at the same time... Very cool. :)
tayuyaxn [Profile] 2013/1/29 - 20:9:7
I like the use of a color lineart against the black. But may I suggest you post your work on a writing archive or a blog instead ? That way you could just post the link and it would be much easier to read on a blogsite.
wolven [Profile] 2013/1/30 - 1:57:41
I'll take you up on tha suggestion Tayu, but if its alright, I would like to finish up on this chapter the way i have done up until now. That should get me time to get a profile somewhere else (eg. writerscafe- top suggestion by miles), and i should be able to link it as it's done. It might even gimme the chance to re-post some things like edits etc. so yeah, I think I'll do that. Thanks for the comments guys, and I'm glad you like this third-to-half-chapter Silvershadow.