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The Serpent King


suckingdoge
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A fan fiction short story I wrote.

Do tell me if you like it and/or if you've got any tips.

 

(BTW, I've also got the story up on my blog: http://myimaginatedtales.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-serpent-king.html for those who want to read it there)

 

 

 

The Serpent King

 

"I hate patrol duty. Why must we be here again?"

 

"Because we were assigned to guard this Tree."

 

"Yes, I know that. But isn't it safe right now? They can't attack us."

 

"That is true. Only must I remember you of that mountain battle two weeks ago?"

 

"The battle of Peak2Crush? Yeah, I remember that. That was a slaughter."

 

"Right. And the reason it was a slaughter was because the enemy was able to tunnel straight through the mountain walls into our fort."

 

"Yep. We got crushed from the inside."

 

"That's why the boss has assigned two patrols to each major objective. To keep it safe from any attempts at setting up an invasion."

 

"But why this one? This place is hell. There is hardly any warmth nor resources and it is easily defensible by a small groups such as ours. What would the enemy want with this fort?"

 

"I don't know. But that's also why we're just on patrol duty and not leading the armies. There's always a reason for a guild leader to make a certain decision."

 

"Well, I don't like this one. It's cold, monsters are swarming the place and there aren't even any lone wolves to kill. I need some loot before this world will come to an end."

 

"You've got better things to worry about... Hang on. What is that there?"

 

The two men stood before a large tunnel that seemed to go through the long way of the mountain towards the fort.

 

"A tunnel? How fresh is it?"

 

"Must be quite new. Haven't seen this one here a few hours ago."

 

"Should we alert the others?"

 

"No. Let's check it out first. Make sure they haven't just abandoned it."

 

"Let's at least wait for the other patrol."

 

"That would take too long. We don't know how far they've gotten already."

 

"Very well. But you go first."

 

"Well, obviously. I've never seen a Ranger tank anything with any form of decency."

 

"Show-off."

 

The Ranger and his companion ventured into the tunnel. Into the darkness that lay before them.

 

"God, it's dark in here. You've still got a torch Ranger?"

 

"Yeah. One left. Should give us fifteen minutes of light."

 

"Light it. I don't feel like getting jumped."

 

The Ranger lit the torch which gave off a faint green glow.

 

"Did you have to get the green torches?"

 

"Yeah. They look fancy as hell."

 

The Myrmidon sighed.

 

"What, you like the red ones more?"

 

"Yes. It's less annoying for one."

 

"Just stop complaining already and just..."

 

"Hush. I heard something."

 

"Is that, a light?"

 

"Quick. Extinguish the torch."

 

The Ranger put out the torch.

 

There they stood, the Ranger and his close friend the Myrmidon.

 

Together in the dark, against the unknown.

 

Anything could be awaiting them in that tunnel.

 

A new sort of tunnelling mob?

 

A group of enemies planning to siege their fort?

 

Just a random person trying to spook them?

 

Or something, far worse.

 

The Myrmidon signed at the Ranger, who could barely make out the frantic waving that told him to keep going.

 

Slowly but surely they made their way towards the light.

 

It was strange.

 

They both knew it couldn't be anything good awaiting them at the end of that tunnel, yet they felt comforted, in a way.

 

"Myrmidon."

 

"Yes?"

 

"I believe I can see them."

 

"How many are there?"

 

"Ten, at least."

 

"Can you see what guild they are?"

 

"Only one of them. The rest has their emblems removed."

 

"Damn. Mercs. We should call for backup now."

 

"Wait."

 

"What is it Ranger?"

 

"There is something odd."

 

"What?"

 

"They aren't digging towards the fort. They seem to digging into the mountain's core."

 

"What? Why would they do that?"

 

"I don't know. But Myrmidon, look. Look at the stone they are mining. What is that?"

 

"I don't know. I have never seen such a type of rock before."

 

"Let's wait a little while, Myrmidon. Let's see what they do."

 

"You wait and see. I'm going to get help."

 

"Fine. But return swiftly. I'm pretty sure they are up to no good."

 

And so the Myrmidon left the Ranger to study the Mercenaries' doings.

 

It was odd.

 

They were mining in a seemingly random direction.

 

Perhaps they were just lost?

 

Maps don't really work that well underground, but still.

 

That's when the Ranger remembered what his companion had said before.

 

"There is always a reason for a guild leader to make a certain decision."

 

There must be a reason for them digging here.

 

Suddenly, the Mercenaries stopped digging.

 

The Ranger looked close and could see a tunnel.

 

Not anything player made, it was far too neatly dug for that.

 

The enemies went in, and the Ranger followed.

 

The strange tunnel went on for quite some time.

 

He must have walked there for a good half hour when they finally reached a cave.

 

In the middle of the cave was something that made the Ranger jump of fright.

 

It was a body.

 

Not anything he had ever seen though.

 

It was Human nor Centaur, Fae nor Dryad.

 

It was massive.

 

A large serpent like body lay in the middle of the cave.

 

It was a stunning thing to look at.

 

Suddenly, he could hear chants.

 

The Ranger looked up and saw the only recognizable guild member standing in the middle of a large stone circle, surrounded by the Mercenaries.

 

He was chanting something in a language unknown to him.

 

That was when he saw a bright light emanating from the Mercenaries.

 

They started turning around, looking at each other frantically when they suddenly dropped to the ground.

 

Dead?

 

The light fell on the stone floor and seeped towards the serpentine body.

 

Slowly but surely the strange light made it's way towards the corpse.

 

Finally, it had reached it's destination.

 

"The eyes... Dear God the eyes!"

 

The eyes of the serpent had lit up, bright as the sun, and were staring directly at the Ranger.

 

It slashed the enemy guild member in half in one swipe with it's mighty tail.

 

He looked at the corpse, smiled and then turned to the Ranger.

 

 

 

"Oh come on now. That's nonsense."

 

"Indeed, Ranger. You're just talking out of your arse."

 

"NO! I speak the truth. This all happened."

 

"Then tell me, Ranger, why haven't we heard anything of this serpent."

 

"I-I don't know. Everything went black and when I awoke, I was back at the fort."

 

"Yeah right. You were probably just drunk again."

 

"I wasn't damned. Ask the Myrmidon. He will tell you the same."

 

"Well? Is it true?"

 

"The tunnel part is. I can't say for the rest though."

 

"See. You're just making stuff up to sound great."

 

"Gentlemen. I apologise but I overheard your conversation and I must ask you to leave. I wish to speak to the Ranger alone."

 

"Who are... Ah, boss. Yes, of course boss."

 

The three men left the little tavern, all that remained were the Ranger and the leader of his guild.

 

"That's a pretty strong tale you have there."

 

"But it is true! Why won't anyone believe me?"

 

"And you swear it to be true?"

 

"Yes. Yes I swear. I swear to my best set of gear!"

 

"I see."

 

The guild leader's tone of voice had suddenly changed.

 

It went from his normal deep, soothing tone of voice to one of despair in a matter of seconds.

 

It was odd, to say the least.

 

"Is everything alright, boss?"

 

"Do you realise what you have seen, Ranger?"

 

"What do you mean?"

 

"That, my friend, was the serpent king."

 

"The serpent king? Didn't he disappear? Together with Valkyn?"

 

"I thought so as well. But it seemed our enemies found out that wasn't the case."

 

"What do we do now?"

 

"Now? Now we wait. The world you found the serpent king on has been dead for three weeks now and no one has seen him since. We shall wait and see what happens."

 

"Wait?"

 

"Wait. Wait and pray to the Gods that they might aid us, for there are rough times ahead."

 

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

A solid quote, I'd say.

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You could very well be setting it this way to make the reader fill in the blanks, in which case disregard all 'tips'.  Also, disclaimer - not a paid writer, just a hobbyist who rarely actually finished what he starts.  ;)

 

That out of the way, tips!  Set the scene!  Try to have a 'hook' line somewhere in the first paragraph - something that draws the reader in and gets them interested, or at least reading further to find out what in buggery the line meant.  Adjectives are your friend, I usually write a scene, then go back through throwing adjectives everywhere!  The more descriptive your story, the more vivid it stands out in the mind of the reader.  Remember, you're trying to show your reader the story you can see clearly in your head.  They need all the help you can give them.  :3

 

Conversation-wise, I try to have a bit of 'fluff' description after, before, or during the speech.  Even something as simple as someone stepping round a rock as they're walking along a hallway.  If you can subtly indicate which speaker is talking with this fluff text, all the better.  Failing that, falling back on the good old 'he said', 'he asked', 'he stated', 'he proclaimed', etc, can help to at least give an idea of how the sentence was spoken, little modifiers like that can help alter how a piece reads quite a bit.

 

Finally, the thesaurus is your greatest friend!  If you find you're using the same word twice in a paragraph, look it up, and try to swap it out for a synonym that fits.  You may even find a word that fits better than the one you were using.  :D

 

Double-finally, whitespace.  A fair bit of the non-talky bits could have been compressed into paragraphs, making it a bit easier to read.  That's purely a presentation thing, but getting folk to read your stuff is hard work at the best of times in this visually-oriented world of ours.  As with the first paragraph, you could be deliberately doing it that way, in which case throw this paragraph away.  :)

 

All that out of the way, t'was an interesting read.  Danke for sharing :D

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You could very well be setting it this way to make the reader fill in the blanks, in which case disregard all 'tips'.  Also, disclaimer - not a paid writer, just a hobbyist who rarely actually finished what he starts.   ;)

 

That out of the way, tips!  Set the scene!  Try to have a 'hook' line somewhere in the first paragraph - something that draws the reader in and gets them interested, or at least reading further to find out what in buggery the line meant.  Adjectives are your friend, I usually write a scene, then go back through throwing adjectives everywhere!  The more descriptive your story, the more vivid it stands out in the mind of the reader.  Remember, you're trying to show your reader the story you can see clearly in your head.  They need all the help you can give them.  :3

 

Conversation-wise, I try to have a bit of 'fluff' description after, before, or during the speech.  Even something as simple as someone stepping round a rock as they're walking along a hallway.  If you can subtly indicate which speaker is talking with this fluff text, all the better.  Failing that, falling back on the good old 'he said', 'he asked', 'he stated', 'he proclaimed', etc, can help to at least give an idea of how the sentence was spoken, little modifiers like that can help alter how a piece reads quite a bit.

 

Finally, the thesaurus is your greatest friend!  If you find you're using the same word twice in a paragraph, look it up, and try to swap it out for a synonym that fits.  You may even find a word that fits better than the one you were using.   :D

 

Double-finally, whitespace.  A fair bit of the non-talky bits could have been compressed into paragraphs, making it a bit easier to read.  That's purely a presentation thing, but getting folk to read your stuff is hard work at the best of times in this visually-oriented world of ours.  As with the first paragraph, you could be deliberately doing it that way, in which case throw this paragraph away.   :)

 

All that out of the way, t'was an interesting read.  Danke for sharing :D

Thank you for the advice, good sir.

I'll take it to heart!

 

Also, I'm just a hobbyist writer as well and a fairly new one at that.

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

A solid quote, I'd say.

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My stories from when I started are like my art from when I started learning to draw, neither shall see the light of day.  Ever.  :P

 

But, as is always the case - in anything you do, you don't start getting better till you actually start doing it.  Practice is the key!  And for writing, lots of reading.  The trick there is to manage to stop enjoying the story long enough to realise WHY you enjoy the story, then try to figure out how to replicate that.  Which did lead to the unfortunate incident with the block of chocolate...  o.o'

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