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Dragon's Quest

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#1 Paladin Wizard

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Posted 25 September 2004 - 02:20 AM

Dragon's Quest


Gabriel was standing at his forge. He cast a Frost Bite spell on the bars of freshly smelted mithrail. As the last bar cooled, the scenery changed, he was no longer standing in his smithy but in a wooded area. A tree loomed before him - nailed upon this tree was a single sheet of paper badly disfigured. Only three words were legible:

Wanted Hero
. . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . .
Spielburg . . . .

Gabriel was standing in his smithy once more. He teleported himself and the cart holding the bricks of mithrail to his dragon hoard, where he placed them in a cove with thousands of similar ones. Gabriel sent the cart back to its place and made ready to leave. It was time to start an adventure.

Chapter One

A small fox was struggling to free his paw from a trap. Without warning, a pyre of black flame erupted from the ground! The flames twisted as if in unending agony, and – although burning fiercely – gave out no heat. It seems that the ground itself shrank from the pyre. Then all changed. The flames vanished as suddenly as they had appeared. In their place stood a man clad in black dragon armor. For a moment the fox forgot the pain in his paw as his mind filled with fear and curiosity. He watched this man cast a spell.

After teleporting to the place in his vision, Gabriel immediately cast Detect Magic. Gabriel felt the haze of the peaceful aura cast upon the town by Erana. Despite the aura Gabriel’s mind filled with the vision of Erasmus in his mountain home. He then felt the foul, secluded presence of Baba Yaga in her hut. Gabriel sensed a third presence, so faint it barely stood out amidst the multitude of enchantments in the valley. As Gabriel finished the spell, someone called to him for help.

“Hey Hero, over here. Can you give me a hand?”

Gabriel turned to find the talking fox caught in a trap. With a mental sigh that failed to change Gabriel’s demeanor he cast the open spell on the trap. A loud “snick” was heard as the trap was rearmed. An eternity of minuet heroic acts was the price one paid for eternal power. The fox gave the trap a nasty look that was quickly replaced with gratitude as the fox turned his face to address Gabriel.

“Thank you. In return for the kindness you have shown me, I will give you knowledge and advice. First, Baba Yaga has placed a curse on the baron’s family. Second, it sometimes pays to be polite even to rude people.”

Sensing the fox’s intention to run off Gabriel healed his leg. The Fox looked back at Gabriel and bowed his head in thanks before vanishing into the bushes. While thinking of what the fox said, Gabriel tossed a rock into the trap to spring it, not wishing to be the savior of anymore forest creatures. He strode off to the town.

The Sheriff, a placid-looking man whose stomach had long since given in to the battle of the bulge, was sitting in a chair, idly watching the town gates. Every now and then, he puffed absent-mindedly on his pipe. It was a pleasant day, just right for his hard-working duty. Watching for criminals trying to sneak into town, yep, that was hard work.

His contented expression slipped abruptly and he dropped his pipe as he saw a stranger actually coming through the gates. At first, he thought it was Otto – the stranger was tall enough for that. But no, Otto was right here, playing with his yo-yo.

“Who the-?” He squinted, and saw that the stranger was attired in the sort of armor that would cost most kings their entire treasury to purchase. The armor was unusual – hard black metal of incredible shine. There was only one sort of armor that shone like that – dragon armor. He’d heard about it, but never even dreamed of seeing someone wearing it! The armor was finely crafted and fit so superbly that it was clear the armor had been made for the stranger, rather than come by as a ransom or won in a tournament.

Two great swords hung by the stranger’s side. The sheriff swallowed hard and decided that the stranger would probably not take kindly to being asked to hand over his weapons. The man was the noticing sort, too – his eyes scanned the town, taking in every detail.

A greeting, though – surely the stranger wouldn’t object to being greeted. And, thought the Sheriff, if I can’t discover a little something about this man by clever questioning, then my name isn’t Schultz Meistersson.

Taking a deep breath, the Sheriff called out a friendly greeting.

Edited by Paladin Wizard, 25 September 2004 - 02:22 AM.

#2 Almirena


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Posted 29 September 2004 - 12:55 AM

It's looking good, PW - you've reworked it to reflect your further ideas of how to present your character and the story setup. Taking things in the chapter proper from the fox's point of view initially is cute.

And yes - the sign asking for a hero probably IS worn out by now! It's certainly been a while since the request was posted, and it makes sense that it's mostly illegible by this time.

Nicely done.
...bruiseless breath / Frosts the sweet solemnity of star-embracing night,
Purpled, music loud as silence; Is this dreaming death?

Sounds Sublime... Because Music Ought to be a Banquet for the Senses...

#3 Paladin Wizard

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 08:38 PM

Chapter 02

“Welcome to our town. You are lucky to have made it down from the mountains before the snow blocked the pass again. It’s gotten pretty dangerous outside of town, I understand.”

With his heart rate slightly increasing as the man approached them, the Sheriff continued his greeting.

“Many monsters have been trapped around here with the late snow. Between them and the brigands, we certainly could use a hero around here. I am Sheriff Schultz Meistersson. This is Otto Von Goon, my assistant. What do you call yourself?”

As the man neared, Schultz looked into his eyes for the first time. The Sheriff’s mind raced. Red eyes!? What sort of man possess’ red eyes? Especially eyes of elder men that hold the gaze of enlightenment acquired through passing seasons.

“My name is Gabriel. I have come to aid this valley.”

Schultz’s heart rate returned to normal as Gabriel continued speaking.

“Sheriff, where can I find the Baron who rules this valley?”

“When leaving the town take the trail left at the town gates. You will come to the healer’s house. In the distance you will see the Baron’s castle.”

Gabriel nodded to the Sheriff and walked down the left fork. He spotted the Adventures’ Guild and a magic shop. Gabriel entered the guild to inquire about the valley. Gabriel’s disappointment in the guild wasn’t wholly unexpected. As customary he signed the logbook with a flourished signature, I, Gabriel Dark Shroud, have come to rid this valley of Baba Yaga and the Brigands. As he read the notice board Gabriel chuckled to himself at the thought of the Guildmaster discovering the entry. He learned of the Baron’s missing children and saw the pictures of them. Gabriel then inspected the trophy heads and departed all without disturbing the slumbering guild master.

Stepping into the sunlight Gabriel realized that twilight was upon him. Not requiring any standard magic shop goods nor wishing to waste the last shards of daylight, Gabriel simply passed by the magic shop. Gabriel noticed the sent of Katta outside the inn as he passed by. The Butchers’ and Barbers’ shops seemed to have been closed for years. Gabriel noted the closed vegetable stand smelled of centaur as he headed towards the tavern. There was a strange light in the back of the alley as the extending darkness overlaid the valley. Of course Gabriel’s noise caught the stench of the two thieves’ hiding in the shadows where the town’s Peace Aura seems to miss.

Gabriel’s left hand grasped the dark Paladin sword that hung at his right side. This sword embodied darkness unparalleled in the mortal world. Christened Soul Crusher by the first to witness its powers. Unlike its counterpart, this swords dragon handle was carved as a skeletal from a flawless black gem. The mythically forged blade is of secreted craft. The fire in Gabriel’s blood crested in struggles with the peace aura’s affects allowing him to draw this sword. Unholy flames staining the nights’ obscuring darkness swept the length of the blade.

In a torrent of speed and precision grace Gabriel swept the alley with a severing motion of the sword. Two muffled screams were not heard beyond the alley’s opening. The black flames wrenched the souls of the broken bodies from the Reaper’s grasp. The sickly light of these wicked souls intertwined amidst the flames rescinding the blade’s measure ceased unto the dark void of the gemstone handle.

Gabriel sheathed the vile weapon in an all too familiar way as he made his way through the tavern’s entrance.

Edited by Paladin Wizard, 26 October 2004 - 08:39 PM.

#4 Paladin Wizard

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 05:37 AM

Chapter 03

The stench of alcohol and unwashed bodies permeated the air. A soul redeeming quality captivated Gabriel’s attention, Dragon’s Breath. A Goon guard stood in the corner guarding a cellar door. Out of mere curiosity Gabriel briefly looked into the Goon’s hazed mind. Only two scraps of information were obtained: the location of the Thieves guild and its password.

Gabriel walked to the bar and sat on the only clean stool. He tossed three blank gold coins upon the bar top.

“I’ll have a Dragon’s Breath and keep them coming until this run out.”

The bar tender let out a series of course laughs as he took the gold. He filled a pint tankard with the volatile liquid as he yelled to the goon guarding a cellar door.

“Hey crusher, he wants to try the Dragon’s Breath.”

The bar tender set the drink down carefully, not wanting the contents to spill and eat away the grim coated wood. To the bar tender’s amazement Gabriel downed the liquid in one breath. Gabriel set the tankard down before the silenced man to refill it. The bar keep watched in horror, as twice more the Dragon’s Breath had no noticeable effect upon this strange warrior. “Who in the hell is able to drink Dragon’s Breath, let alone three in a row?” Gabriel stood and turned to leave the tavern. The bar keep mustered the courage to question Gabriel as he reached the door.

“Would you care to leave your name?”

Gabriel glanced back before exiting. “Gabriel. Though most name me Gabriel Dark Shroud in my passing.”

Gabriel partook of the cool nights’ air as he walked to the town gates. Gabriel examined the barred gate that stood before him. The old planks may keep wild animals out and town’s folk in but one agile leap and they stood behind him. Gabriel took the trail leading right. He felt the presence of undead in this cursed forsaken valley. These undead had become his first target.

Following the guide of his senses through the woods Gabriel soon encountered a ghost wandering through the woods adjacent to the graveyard. Gabriel raised his outstretched palm to the manifestation; the holy light of the Destroy Undead ability laid the tortured soul to eternal slumber. As Gabriel journeyed onward the chains of necromancy binding the spirits to this world were shattered as the spirits of the graveyard gained their eternal rest.

After the last restless soul passed the gates of Hades, Gabriel walked to the center of the grove. The foul aura of Baba Yaga’s necromancy still enveloped the entire graveyard. Not able to automatically detect the exact source of the enchantment and not caring to take the time to do so Gabriel cast The Ritual of Release upon the forsaken grove.

A small eruption quickly followed! Black energy spiraled towards the sky from the depths of a pit in the corner of the graveyard. Not wishing the fiendish loose to aid in the destruction of the valley Gabriel drew Soul Crusher! A vortex of power quickly formed as the blade drew the remains of the spells into the depths of it’s void. A single foul symbol remained in this grove. From the sword’s hilt sprang a black serpent. Slowly it slithered through the grass to a lonely grave near the city wall. The vile serpent hissed at the growth upon this grave. A splinter of moonlight briefly cracked the moons clouded vale to reveal a mandrake root before passing once more into darkness.

The serpent coiled around the root and struck! The snake thrashed about in death throws as its essence surged into the mandrake root. Fulfilling its purpose unto the sword, the snake fell into silence as the dust of its remains were swept away in a hasty gale.

The sword had bound the ills of the mandrake root. Allowing Gabriel to pluck it from the earth for the last time. Gabriel sheathed Soul Crusher as he eyed the perverted child’s form engaged by the root. Disgusted by the deeds needed to create this foul root Gabriel thrust it into his inventory as his footfalls lead him from the deathly still grove.

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#5 Paladin Wizard

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 08:33 PM

Chapter 4 removed for rewriting, will be posted again soon.

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#6 Paladin Wizard

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 10:10 AM

Chapter 04

For a brief moment Gabriel stood still taking in the valley. He let out a long sigh than began wandering. A brief meander brought him to goblin lookout guarding what had to be the entrance to their cavern system. This lone goblin noticed Gabriel and did the most foolish thing. He brandished his stubby club and charged. Gabriel was unable to stifle his laughter as the goblin stumbled, face planted into the not so soft earth. Heavy with anger and humiliation said goblin picked himself up and hurled his club. It bounced off Gabriel’s face and fell to the way side. A few smudges of dirt & grime, the only true damage done. Yet this smug brainless little creature regained his former bravado. Hurtling obscenities and taunts despite the wanting of his weapon. There was no more laughter or mirth to be found in this grove.

Fire, pure white flames consumed the little goblin. This goblin threw his head back mouth opened attempting to cry out the finality of his life his death. Only flames came forth eating away at the entirety of his being. The pyre ebbed away leaving a pile of charred bones. Gabriel’s outstretched left hand was the source of this cruel spell. He relaxed his stance while keeping his left arm out ward. Gabriel’s right hand drifted down to the sword at his side, finger tips touching the black gem handle.
Draining life from others is a power judged wicked by many. Yet to others it is simply survival in the chaos that is life. This was not survival for one such as Gabriel it was extermination. These goblins were nothing more than pests. The entirety of this goblin clan’s life force was drained away channeled into the darkness of Soul Crusher. When Gabriel has need it will be used. Gabriel loosened his stance turning his attention to the bone pile.

A blackened skull stared at Gabriel such that he bade it unto his hand. Eyes closed transitioning from mundane to multifaceted spell casting Gabriel recited arcane idioms. A feint sickly grey light emanated from the innards of the skull. Moments passed as naught materialized from the skull lantern.

Heavy footsteps were soon heard followed swiftly by the appearance of goblins laden with bundles. Their eyes lighted akin to the skull lantern. Their cargos dropped at Gabriel’s feet. Sacks baskets buckets and makeshift vessels filled with the wealth of the clan. Every gem every shard of metal gold to tin was carried forth by former owners in offering to the new proprietor. A long line marched forth each corpse dumping his containers contents into the grass then turned round returning home. The last goblin detoured to the bone pile collecting every last piece into his sack returning home together.

With a wave of his free hand Gabriel spirited the piles of wealth away to his horde to be counted later. The light of the skull lantern flicked as the ground shock. The light died away in congruence with the tremors. The goblin corpses had sealed the entrances to their caverns entombing their clan fulfilling the orders of the necromancy that called upon them. Gabriel placed the goblin skull on a large rock in the grove. A spell fixed the skull to that rock looking upon the grove for many seasons to come.

Gabriel sauntered from the grove there were places in this valley calling to him.

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#7 Rath Darkblade

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 01:00 PM

Hi PW, this chapter is looking good! I can grasp what you're doing here, broadly speaking. Gabriel is coming across as a formidable adversary, one that the goblins would definitely have no chance against. It is intriguing that he's set himself up as the goblins' new warlord. What's next on his agenda, I wonder?

The story is intriguing, but all we've seen from Gabriel thus far are intimations and displays of power - both physical and wizardly. Is this where you want your hero to go? A hero that can't be beaten or even scratched quickly becomes tiresome. Does he have any weaknesses? I don't mean a lack of power, but a weakness could be anything - greed for gold, a lust for women or alcohol - anything. It would make him more "human" and help us to relate to him more.

Also, think of what Gabriel looks like. What does he wear? What does his face look like, his arms, his hands? Is he scarred or cut in some way - if so, that could hint at a previous battle where he acquired this injury, and a former enemy that either got away or was defeated. Who were Gabriel's parents? What was his childhood like? Are his parents still living, and if so, where? What do they think of him and his adventures?

Please don't take the above as criticism. I am simply interested by your character, and would like to see how he develops! smile.gif So I'm just throwing out ideas and questions to help develop Gabriel further - feel free to do this however you wish. smile.gif

Also feel free to contact me by IM or email (or on the board) if you want to discuss this further. Best of luck! :-)
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There are many types of magic, but all require a sharp mind and a cool head. There is no puzzle I can't solve, no problem I can't think my way out of. When you feel confused or uncertain, you can always rely on me to untangle the knots and put everything back in order for you.