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Edited by Jphn 33: 4/16/2015 5:56:57 AM
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Jphn 33

Death is Just the Beginning (Short Story)

Seeing that everyone has decided to start writing, I figured: Meh, why not? This is not a Flood fan fiction, so nobody needs to apply for spaces or anything. I'm just going to put the opening here, and if you guys like it, I'll write more. Edit: Yes, this story is based off Dark Souls. :D Prologue: [spoiler][i]In a faraway forest, in a long-forgotten land, a bright light shines the way for many a traveler. It lights up the clearing it is centered in, illuminating the crumbling pillars and decrepit walls of what could only have been a mighty fortress in a time since passed. Now, it was all but destroyed, and the only thing to remember it by was the light that had been there from the beginning. The light is cast by a fire, but not just any fire. This fire has warmth like none other, and the flames rise lazily from the bones that fueled it. The energy simply floats up. It is not like a regular fire, where the flames hastily lick at and consumed all in its path. This flame lingers, takes its time. It does not have the need to consume or to rush along- this flame had been around longer than anything in the area, and the original flames had been the oldest of all. A single, warped sword rises from the middle of the bones, serving almost as a marker that this was something special. But the flame does not need any extra identification. All know that this is a special flame, and it is a beacon for those lost, both in themselves and in the vast world. The flame does not think itself special, though. It simply burns on, as it always had. It did not care for the wars that had brought down the fortress, or the cataclysmic events which had first formed the valley where the trees grew. The fire simply burned. It always had, and always would. It does not care what it is called. It is a savior, a saint, a beacon. It is hope, the object of desire, a guardian angel. It is called many things. But to all, it is known as a bonfire.[/i] [/spoiler] Chapter One [spoiler]The sun rose that morning, just as it had a million times before. Light peeked over the mountains, creeping across the land and shining upon treetops and roofs of the valley below. Birds chirped and sang and deer ran through dew-encrusted leaves. The sounds of a city only just waking followed soon after, full of shouts, cries, and the occasional laughter. The streets were soon bustling with people moving their carts and rushing to get to their respective places of work. Beggars took their posts as did the guards, and the merchants began crying out their wares. It was just like any other normal day. Just like the day before, and the day before that, and every day a month past, a bell rang in a local cathedral, marking the first hour of the day, the first hour of sunlight. This bell was a signal to many, and a friend to all. The bell began ringing that morning through the crisp spring air, causing a man to stir in his bed. His bedroom was quite small, and his possessions were few, but his bed was not usually empty. This morning, though, he awoke alone. The blonde-haired man got up and dressed, scrubbing his stubbled face with his only bar of soap. He checked the mirror as he did every day. His face was still chiseled from stone, his nose still pointed as ever, and his eyes ever a deep, dark blue. On his way out, he grabbed his keys, his dagger, and his reading glasses. After making sure the wooden door on his house was locked, the man stepped out into the muddy street. It was not crowded, just like always. His was a little city, not big enough to garner attention from the wealthy elites, but not small enough to be called a village. It had all the essentials; a cathedral, a library, a barracks, a prison, a mayor’s building, a school, and all the usual merchant shops. Nothing more, and nothing less. It was just the way the man liked it. Passing by the cathedral, he couldn’t help but peer inside. Ever since the bishop had moved in, things had been better. Things had been changing. The man did not like change. But perhaps this change was a good thing. Inside, he saw the kindly old bishop giving some bread to an elderly woman. Indeed, it might have been a change for the better. Then, the man caught something in the bishop’s eye, a little twinkle. His old doubts returned about the man, just like every time he had passed. The man walked up to the local library and pulled out his keys, unlocking the doors of knowledge for all. Just as the large iron doors swung open, many students rushed in, eager to find books for their upcoming classes. Then, the man felt a tap on his shoulder. “Hello Mr. Luke!” Luke turned around to see that a boy, not yet over five feet tall, was standing on the steps, wearing a smile that told the world of its splendor. “Hello, Bert. What will it be today?” The boy grinned even wider, clutching his books to his chest. “Well, I just finished ‘Kings and Queens’ last night, I was hoping to rent out ‘Ancient Kingdoms’ next!” Luke smiled and walked over to his desk. Checking his papers, he frowned and looked around his table. He looked at the boy, so eager to learn, and his heart sank. Luke hated disappointing those who were so eager to learn. “I’m sorry, but Mrs. Alkowitz has it right now. She takes a long time to read, so-“ Luke stopped when he saw the look on poor Bert’s face. It was of utter disappointment, not unlike the one he must have worn so many years ago. Luke cleared his throat. “You know what, I’ll go ask Mrs. Alkowitz if you can borrow it for a bit. You know her, she probably won’t mind.” Bert’s face lit up again, and he said a rushed ‘Thank you’ before dropping off his books and heading into the library, searching for more knowledge. Smiling, Luke leaned back in his chair and looked out the window, which granted him a marvelous view of the main street and the forest beyond. He loved his work, and he loved his town. He loved the people, and the weather. Everything was perfect. Then, he caught something that was out of place. Someone he had never seen before. Someone that made his skin crawl. Down the road, he spotted a man dressed in a black cloak and armor, his face hardened and heavily bearded. Over his shoulder was strung a greatsword, which Luke could only have guessed was just as fearsome as the man himself. “Hello!” A voice distracted him from his musings. Looking up, he had the biggest shock of his life. Before him was the bishop, smiling pleasantly, holding a book labeled: “Ancient Kingdoms.”[/spoiler] Chapter Two [spoiler] “Excuse me, sir?” Luke broke out of his trance, realizing shortly afterwards, much to his embarrassment, that he had been staring open-mouthed at the bishop. After composing himself, Luke put on a convincingly warm smile and greeted the man. “Hello, my name is Luke. How may I help you today?” “Luke? My name is Arnold, and may I say I am pleased to meet you!” The bishop extended a withered hand towards Luke, who shook it with a smile, all the while pondering the bishop’s ulterior motive. “I met with Mrs. Alkowitz this morning, and she is deathly ill. She wanted me by her side, for a prayer, in the hopes that it would aid in her recovery. I offered to perform a Miracle for her, but she simply smiled and said that a prayer was enough.” The bishop then lifted the book and handed it to Luke. “She said she wanted to give this back to you, just in case she did not make it.” The bishop smiled then, holding both his hands close to his chest, being as pleasant as any human being could be. Looking at the book, Luke nodded. “I am so sorry. Please, give her my regards. I really do hope she gets better.” The bishop seemed to glow happily, then turned and walked out of the library. Not one minute after the bishop left, Luke got up hastily and inquired about Mrs. Alkowitz. Everyone he talked to confirmed that she was indeed ill, and that her plight was a sad one indeed. Begrudgingly, Luke had to accept the fact that the bishop was not as vile as he had hoped. He combed the many well-worn shelves for Bert, who shrieked excitedly at the sight of the tome Luke held. Luke sat down once again, pondering. “Perhaps I should check on Mrs. Alkowitz...” he mused. But he knew he would not do it. Just like any other day, his extravagant plans and intricate thoughts would be put to rest when he visited the local pub, and he would drink to his merry life in his small town. Perhaps a girl would distract him, but usually, it was his own drinking that led to his forgetting. And just like always, he’d stumble home and sleep a content sleep. Then, a thought came to his mind. The traveler with the large sword. “Maybe I won’t go to the pub tonight.” Picking up his favorite book, Luke aimed to drown his worries with fiction, but was interrupted when Bert came to his desk. “Mr. Luke? I think there’s a problem…” Luke sat up, wondering what was wrong. Bert was not usually one to worry. “What is it?” Bert then opened the book and flipped through the pages, to reveal one smattered with blood. Astounded, Luke took the book. “Poor Mrs. Alkowitz…” Luke murmured. “She must have coughed up this blood onto the book. I wonder if I can even get this cleaned..” Luke rubbed the dried blood on the pages, and some flaked off, and something fell from the encrusted blood. Confused, Luke picked up the strange little paper and unfolded it, revealing spidery handwriting in a tongue he did not recognize. [/spoiler] [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/67704899/0/0/1]Chapter Three[/url] [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/68178027/0/0/1]Chapter Four[/url] [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/115808315/0/0/1]Chapter Five[/url]
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  • No idea who bumped this, but thanks! Sorry for the inconsistent updates. Been really busy as of late. D:
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    • Burn the world. Burn it all.
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      • Edited by Jphn 33: 4/16/2015 5:56:29 AM
        Chapter Five [spoiler]The sun rose that morning, just as it had a million times before. Light peeked over the mountains, creeping across the land and shining upon treetops and roofs of the valley below. Birds chirped and sang and deer ran through dew-encrusted leaves. The sounds of a city only just waking followed soon after, full of shouts, cries, and the occasional laughter. The relative peace of the town was a disquieting backdrop for the personal crisis at hand. Luke’s hands trembled and his eye twitched as he rushed to get his things together, groggy from a lack of sleep, haunted by paranoia. He simply splashed water on his face, refusing to look at it. He snatched up his keys and his dagger, which he nearly cut himself on. He’d need it that day, he was sure. In his rush, he nearly forgot to grab his reading glasses, one of his most dear posessions. He walked hurriedly through the quiet town, attracting a few strange looks. Luke paid no mind to the disturbance he caused, though. He knew that word would travel quickly, as he could not silence his mistress from the night before until she passed out on her own. And in such a small, quiet town such as this, word spread like wildfire. Fear, like the mark, had begun to consume him. So much so, that he did not notice that the priest had given him a strange look when he walked by. Luke dropped his keys in the dust several times before his jittery hands finally got the key in the lock. The key was turned with a quick twitch, and Luke rushed inside. “Darksign, Darksign, Darksign…” he whispered to himself, rambling on about the newfound mark. He had learned the word after a sleepless night of reading, not worrying about the woman who had fainted on his bed. He knew that she knew her way home, and she would probably think it was a bad dream. But those thoughts only occupied the busy space of his mind for a second. Luke scanned the shelves, fingers moving and twitching with worry. He would pause at the occasiona book, quickly flip through its contents, then throw the yellowed pages to the floor of the library. One after the other, book after book, shelf by shelf, nothing. Luke began to panic, repeating what he had read from his late night studying. He began sobbing to himself, nearing the last bookshelf. “Mr. Luke?” The panicked man stopped himself short, then spun around to see Bert standing at the end of the aisle, clutching his ‘Ancient Kingdoms’ book to his chest. “Oh, good morning Bert, I-“ “Are you okay Mr. Luke? You look different.” “Different? How?” “You look like you haven’t slept.” Bert then gazed down to the books strewn so carelessly about the aisle. “Something’s wrong, Mr. Luke.” “Oh Bert, don’t be silly!” Luke gave a nervous laugh. “The Mr. Luke I know would never throw his books on the ground like this.” The boys words struck true. Luke looked down at his hands, and then his books. “Oh, what have I done?” Luke lamented, falling to his knees to pick up his books. “How could I be so short sighted, these books hold so much knowledge…” He caressed the books lovingly, a tear rolling down his stubbled cheek. Luke stood, containing his panic, and put everything back in order. It was the least he could do for the boy, who so reminded him of himself as a child. It would do him some good as well, to not panic. People might suspect something. Out of the corner of his eye, Luke spotted Bert putting down his copy of ‘Ancient Kingdoms’ and placing books back in their places. It brought a smile to his face, despite his grim disposition. After everything was cleaned and put back in order, Luke sat down at his desk. He knew very well that the last bookshelf he didn’t check would not hold the information he would have wanted. Better to save himself the disappointment, he reasoned. Bert then walked up next to him and tapped his shoulder. “Mr. Luke, remember yesterday?” Luke sighed. “No, I don’t, unfortunately…” “Remember the little note?” “Little note?” “Yeah, the one you found in my book!” Bert proudly held up Ancient Kingdoms for emphasis. “Wait, Bert, your book…” Luke snatched the tome from Bert’s hands, quickly flipping to the first entry. Luke smiled to himself and laughed. “Lordran,” he read, smiling to himself. He’d found what he had been looking for. “Mr. Luke?” “Not now Bert, this is very important…” He read the entry on the most ancient kingdom of all very carefully. Even though it was only rumored to be legend, even legends held some truth. “Mr. Luke!” Bert shouted, making Luke jump. The boy was normally so soft-spoken, he’d never thought the boy could even raise his voice. Bert then took out a small scroll and the note that Luke had found the day before and laid them both on the desk. “I figured out what was on the paper, Mr. Luke.” Luke decided to entertain the boy. After all, it was not like the book was going to disappear any time soon, and it seemed that it was very important. “Corruption of the soul, eat away at the victim. Cloud the air with a dark fog to envelop my foes.” Luke read from the parchment, then looked at the small note. Concerned, Luke asked, “Bert… Do you know what this means?” “Yes Mr. Luke. This is an incantation for a hex.” [/spoiler]
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      • So, apparently, the OP can only hold so many characters. So, I will be posting the chapters in this thread from now on. Chapter Three [spoiler][i] In a faraway forest, in a long-forgotten land, a bonfire lights the surrounding forest, serving as a beacon for those who would seek comfort in its glow. Not unlike moths to a flame, travelers would come and go. Some would think that they were the chosen ones, the next kings. Others felt that they had no right being there. All of that did not matter to the bonfire, though. It simply burned, and aided those who needed aid. One particular traveler, though, is much more noticed by the bonfire than the rest. He storms into the clearing, bathed in the blood of his enemies, souls practically leaking from his disheveled corpse. And when he uses the bonfire to bind those souls to his ever-growing magnificent soul, the bonfire could see strength that the others had lacked. Perhaps this one would end this cycle, and enable things to begin anew. Or perhaps his soul would become a fragmented and sad shell of what it once was, hollow just like the body he used to possess. Perhaps others would tear his soul apart, piece by piece, and add his power to theirs. The bonfire offers what comfort it can give as the traveler cleans his spear. The traveler, no, the knight, cleans the blood off his armor after he is done honing his blade, and sets out once again, a confident and powerful soul. He is gone, and may not return. The bonfire does not care, though, if the knight returns. The bonfire simply burns on, as it always had. [/i][/spoiler]
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      • I'll favorite it to bookmark Prologue seems engaging
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      • Bumping for more.
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        • Bump I need to read this in the morning
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        • Chapter Four [spoiler] The tavern was alive with the sounds of merriment and jovial drinking, yet one man did not partake of this happiness. He dwelt in his particular corner, normally surrounded by books. But that night, he was surrounded by an air of melancholy, mired in the stench of paranoia. He furtively looked around the room again, his thoughts returning to the paper he had seen earlier that day. The memory of the iron stench made his hairs stand on end. He did not know the handwriting, and he could sense something terrible about the note. Yet, when Bert had asked to take the paper and translate it, he had allowed Bert to take it. Perhaps to get the thing out of his possession. “Luke, big boy..” A busty woman approached the table, but Luke did not look up. The woman slid into his lap and kissed him gently, and stroked his hair. “I’m so glad to see you…” Yet, Luke’s expression did not change. The melancholy deepened. The woman frowned. “Orville! A drink for the two of us, please!” She then sat in the chair next to Luke, studying his face. “What’s wrong? I’ve never seen you like this before.” Luke finally seemed to notice her presence, and his face lit up when he saw her. “Oh, it is nothing, my dear.” The woman smirked. “Don’t call me ‘my dear’. I know you’ve been sleepin’ around. Girls like to tell stories, after all.” Luke grimaced. “I’m sorry, I-“ He was cut short by another kiss. “Stop apologizing. I know how you are. And if what the girls say is true, then you’ve gotten a lot better. So, I should be thanking you.” Luke forced a smile as two drinks were set in front of the couple, and the woman gave a few coins before Luke could even react. “My treat,” she said, with a sly smile that suggested she expected to be paid back in another fashion. Warmth filled Luke’s heart. He began to forget his worries, and poor Mrs. Alkowitz. Before long, he had completely forgotten he was worried in the first place, and had brought his woman back to his house. He felt alive again as he kissed her, and felt he was on top of the world. His crown of glee was soon shattered though, as a scream filled his apartment. The woman, in her drunken stupor, only managed to stumble and bumble for minute before Luke finally learned what was wrong. He rushed to his mirror, and turned his left shoulder to it. Surely enough, upon his left shoulder blade, was a mark that many had feared, and many more had dreaded. Kings fell kingdoms for this mark, and crusades were mounted against it. Burning in his skin was a small circle of flame, and in the center, the beginnings of a deep dark hole. [/spoiler]
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          • Love Dark Souls. Will bump and favorite for later.
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            • It's just the beginning *bass drop
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              • Haven't played dark souls but will read this when I have time. Favoriting it for a book mark and bumping for the cause
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                • :/))
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                  • (͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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                    • I just came to say that jphn is cool.
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                      • awesome love a good story. never played the game so this is much more awesome to me. keep it up =3
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                        • Put 300+ hours into dark souls and its amazing! Great story!
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                          • Just got to read this, got any more coming?
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                            • I'm gonna have to read this when I get more time.
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                              • Edited by Coconut Marty: 8/11/2014 7:13:24 AM
                                Considering narrating this via SoundCloud if you don't mind. It could be like an audio book. PM me if you're interested.
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                                • TL;DR [spoiler]<3[/spoiler]
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                                • Put me in, I wanna be the guy you summon to help fight bosses. [spoiler]I'm a rebel![/spoiler]
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                                  • Didnt read
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                                    • *inconspicuous Cough* Dark Souls *Inconspicuous cough*
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                                      • Me like :3
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                                        • Chapter one is up
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                                        • Very descriptive. Held my Attention the entire time. Awesome.
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