[Story] Miles deep and miles away

ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
edited November 2009 in TL General Discussions
Original story by: Jason D'Angelo (Based off the game and game-story.)

___________________( NOTES )______________________

Work in progress... (It may never be completed, but I will always be adding to it.)

Please comment if you like it, or dislike it. I appreciate the bumps.

The complete, as complete as possible, story is now hosted on my website.
http://www.liiiliiil.com

The latest posts here, will hold the newest updates, and then be moved off the forums. This intro will remain as long as they allow it to remain. (I am not sure how long it will allow me to keep editing the first post, and I don't want to waste space as the writing grows. It is more than several pages long now.)

_____________________( STORY )____________________________

I have taken this journey as many others have before me. The feeling of being able to offer a small town some assistance and help save them from corruption has long faded. My eyes now squint, even at night, when I visit the town above for supplies as I progress deeper into these caves. You would not imagine that one single person could have destroyed a few thousand creatures in such a short time. It is only by harvesting the same powers that created these creatures, that I am able to do what I do. The ember's call is unavoidable, it is the only way that I can progress.

I don't know how deep I am, but it feels like miles. These caves seem to continue to infinity. Perhaps that is true, there is no end, you just keep going deeper until it consumes you, until you become one of them. With nothing to do between battles, except heal and think, things like this cross your mind a lot. Perhaps I should change my focus to my surroundings. There may be clues here that will lead me to a more reasonable or realistic solution. The obvious solution of reaching the bottom is starting to feel like a fairy-tale, contrived by the creators. I hear them laughing at me as I progress deeper, through the ember, though it continues to call me deeper to see why they are laughing.

Even my trusty pet has become a creature of habit, fighting and healing without showing any signs of surrender. Perhaps all these miners are not actually miners, just other trapped adventurers attempting to help this town too. Could the towns people be the ones who are corrupt, could they have created this monstrosity to lure innocent people to try and become heroes. They seem to be reaping the rewards as much as I am. There is surely a greater volume of reward coming from my individual actions then there are from any of the surface miners in the upper levels. No, now my mind is wandering to the ember side.

Death is taking a toll on me. Each time I get brought back to life, I feel like there is less of me. I feel myself being more cautious then when I first entered the caves, but death still seems inevitable. One of these times I will not be able to return. I wonder if my soul will be damned to the ember if I am brought back to life by one of these creatures. The thought does not comfort me, but it does not disturb me that much. If my mind becomes lost, it will not matter in the end. At least I know there will be an end for me, at the hands of the next adventurer.

I have long since defeated the Overseer and Ordrak, yet the world below is still full of life. I laugh at the thought that Ordrak convinced the Overseer that he was the source of the ember corruption. He was obviously just another result of what the ember has done to an innocent person. It seems like a giant scam. Each person that has gone deeper and failed, fallen to the ember, tells the ones above that he is the source. Perhaps there is no source, and that is the last laugh of this horribly natural phenomenon. I must suppress that thought, or my journey is in vain. (No pun intended.)

The wizard in town has me searching for various gems in the ruins, could they be part of the solution to this problem? Even stranger is the fact that I am now getting orders to kill certain high powered creatures from one of the creatures themselves. She seems to lack the impulsive desire to kill, as does her accomplice who has me looking for random lost armor and weapons. I don't understand what he is saying, but he still manages to describe what he is looking for, enough that I can retrieve it. Could there be a future of balance between both worlds if the ember corruption can be removed?

The deeper I go, the harder it gets. Ages of fallen skilled warriors and powerful corruption has filtered the best of the best in the lowest chambers. Have they just gotten stronger because they are closer to the source, or are they keeping the lesser creatures from getting to the source they protect. Perhaps they are not going deeper, but rather, they are coming up and losing power as they get further away from the source. I don't think that will ever be clear. In the end, I feel it more, the deeper I go, while I am alive. It makes me stronger, as does all my experience from each battle. Though, without the magic that the ember provides, I doubt I would have lasted half as long.

I am constantly running into fallen adventurers, but I have not seen any living adventurers since my journey to defeat the Overseer. It is obvious that others have made it as far as I have, but not much further. Every dead adventurer I find actually offers me some comfort. Knowing that others did make it this far, extending my hope. Yet, they are not as often encountered as I venture deeper, allowing some slight fear and despair to settle in my bones. Just one living, uncorrupted soul, that is what I need to see down here for that second wind of long-lasting hope. But I would not actually **** anyone to this ****, just for my own personal comfort.

I am told that others are coming to help soon. Word has gotten-out about my progress below, and given others the will to participate. When I back-tracked up a few levels, I realized the creatures have repopulated the ruins. The ember must be holding them forever damned and captive to this endless life of death. It is not hard to imagine myself falling to the same fate soon, if others do not come to help me. I never thought I could get this far alone, but I know I can get farther with help from others. I would rest and wait, but there is still an urge to push-on, to go deeper.

This morning, I think it is morning, I heard yelling from the ruins below. It was unlike the normal moans and grunts and howls that I normally hear. The yelling sounded human, as faint as it was. Could this be another future dead adventurer, or just some mind tricks from the ember. I could be going crazy, but I would never actually know if I was, unless someone told me I was actually insane. My pet would tell me if I was crazy if it could talk, but if it did talk, I would already know that I was crazy. Perhaps one of those magic fish will give my pet the power to talk. No, I don't think I want to have that conversation, I'll just keep talking to myself.

The source of the screaming, which persists in the distance, has not come to be discovered. To taunt the creatures, I have resorted to whistling in the dark, just before falling silent to the kill. They know I am coming before they hear me, so this is just for my personal entertainment. My pet uses it as a cue to heel. He is not running ahead of me anymore. He could fear them, or just fear that I may get lost. Our paths have been split a few times, and regrouping is not as easy as it once was. The paths are getting more twisted and debris is more abundant now.

We came upon an interesting location today, fresh marks from a heavy battle on the walls and floors. No dead creatures or adventurers, but a lot of blood and scratches. Nothing could be heard in the distance except the echo from my whistling. This might have added some paranoia where none was needed. My pet even seemed to hold his breath as we creeped forward in the blackness. My whistling became like sonar to me, allowing me to see like a bat. The low-glowing fungus on the walls and floors acting as a mask to outline any approaching dangers before they could be heard.

With an hour of traveling, without running into any creatures, my throat began to dry. We had stopped only for a second to quench our thirst, and that is when I realized why it was so silent. They were gone, all gone. Not one single creature was within an ear-shot of me. I had explored in the darkness, but was now curious to see what some light might reflect on this situation. A small torch was lit and placed where I stood, another held firmly in my hand as I headed to a nearby wall. Continuing around the perimeter, torches were placed to illuminate the room in great detail to my sensitive eyes.

This room was untouched, as were the halls and corridors leading in all directions. The ages have taken a toll on the structure itself, but there was not even a foot-print other than ours here. My pet lay curled up near the torch I lit first. My eyes were glued to the paintings on the walls, and my mind held in amazement at this undamaged and unpopulated wonder. The ceilings all vaulted up into an endless blackness that seemed to focus in the center of the room. The floor patterned with glossy marble, under the centuries of dust and fungus. Pillars rose around each of the eight entrances, guarding halls that looked like natural caves.

Could this be the center of the ember mines? Were there seven more areas just like the one I had taken to get here? Why were there no creatures here? Perhaps this is just a side-room, one they have not discovered yet. There was no signs of anything related to ember, except the eight natural cavern entrances to this room. Could this room itself, be the source of the embers powers? The only thing that was for certain, was that this room was cold and dry. This deserved better investigation, but with a clear head after a good nights sleep.

I unrolled a portal-scroll and called out the enchantment. The scroll burst into flames and no portal was created. Confused, but not really, I reached into my pack and removed a wizard staff that I had found in battle. My focus was the entrance where our footprints led into the room, and I cast a fire-ball with no results. This staff should have worked fine, it was a lesser staff made for a first-year alchemist. Though there was nothing here to fight, I decided to try one last time, using a summon enchantment that didn't depend on physical props to harvest powers.

Nothing worked, I almost felt vulnerable for a second, before I realized that that is one of the reasons the creatures are not here. They are all fed and driven off the power of ember, which is neutralized here. I will have to journey back a little-bit, until I find a place where I can get a portal to work. But the last place that I knew for sure, was an hour away, back where I came from. The wizard staff could be used as a test, without draining all my energy, or destroying all my remaining scrolls. So, I head off to find a safe place to make a portal to town.

This time, with a torch in hand, I head back up the corridor which led us down here. The same debris and fungus which covered the floor, in the room behind me, was all over the corridor floor and walls too. The trail of our foot-steps, which originally led down, were being doubled-over by our new trail heading back up. This entire path seemed to be a natural formation, with the exception of the ground which was nearly a prefect comfortable walking incline. No hint of mineral-ore on the walls or the ceiling above, and the natural formed floor held nothing of interest below the layers of removed grime.

Half an hour later, nearly half way back to the location of the room which apparently had fresh marks from a heavy battle on the walls and floors, I started to notice small discolorations in the grime on the floor. Almost like a bread-crumb trail, where the fungus just seemed to grow different in small patches along the center of the trail. I had not seen this on the way down, as I was traveling in the dark, expecting to run into some creatures at some point, simply guided by my echo and the soft glow of the fungus. The torch revealed much more to my light adjusted eyes as I progressed.

Nearly minutes away from the battle room that led me down this corridor in the first place, I thought I heard a faint scream in the direction I was headed. Pausing for a moment to listen more intently, nothing additional was heard. The floor fungus and debris seemed to change when I wasn't paying attention. There was less rubble and more fungus. The fungus seemed to be more spotty and over-developed in random patterns, resembling a miniature overgrown farmers field. Between the bare patches were drops of fresh blood where the fungus seemed to grow taller. This looked fresh, but perhaps it was just preserved well and actually old blood.

Finally arriving at the original battle room, I decided to inspect it with a little more care. The room entrance was obviously built by the hands of a mason, which included a large open gate that had a working lock, still holding a key. The gate and lock seemed unused, though I am sure that both of them existed for a reason. The cavern outside the entrance to this room was too large to see the entire structure, as were many of the areas down here. These caverns were like giant blisters deep within the earth, harboring natural, man-made and creature-made floors, walls and paths. There were no markings outside the entrance to the room which offered any indication of its identity or purpose within.

I closed and locked the gate, keeping us potentially safer from anything that might come from the cavern side, but not from the strange and recently untraveled room below. This room seems to have been carved out of the wall of the original cavern, with the exception of the wall harboring the gate and the corner where the corridor begins its journey down. Looking at the marks and blood again, it is not so clear if they were created in a battle. They almost seem as if they were created by something, or many things, trying to escape or enter. This reminded me of stories about vampires who turned innocent people into night-crawlers, buried alive and had to claw their way out of the graves and tombs they were trapped inside.

To be continued...
Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
Story by: Jason D'Angelo
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Comments

  • Could the town be the ones who are corrupt, could they have created this monstrosity to lure innocent people to try and become heroes.
    Hello, I'll read your story!

    Are you asking me questions or reading a story?
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    Snoozers wrote:
    Could the town be the ones who are corrupt, could they have created this monstrosity to lure innocent people to try and become heroes.
    Hello, I'll read your story!

    Are you asking me questions or reading a story?

    It is a story... I am suggesting that it is the characters mind, thinking that thought.
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    Added a few more paragraphs... Sorry about the first-person writing. (Lots of "I" used in that style of writing, but I tried to limit it.)
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • Fantastic story! I really enjoyed it. A lot of natural thoughts going on that make sense when one stops to think about what the adventurer is really doing.

    *thumbs up*

    Love it!
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    GetaVe wrote:
    Fantastic story! I really enjoyed it. A lot of natural thoughts going on that make sense when one stops to think about what the adventurer is really doing.

    *thumbs up*

    Love it!

    Thank-you, I am trying to keep to the actual events, and imply some future events in the process. (Had to mention, or suggest the MMO.)

    I am headed to work now, but I will be back with more. Feel free to add to it, or branch-off, as if you were another player entering into the story.
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    edited November 2009
    Content moved to first post...

    Link to HTML version following shortly.
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • Just.

    Awesome!

    Love it.

    Keep it up and keep it coming please if you find time between play sessions.

    It's really refreshing to find such a gem between all the recent whine posts.

    The atmosphere in Torchlight, the ambient music, the detailed and different settings, asked for something like this.

    And boy, did you deliver ;)

    Rock on.
    "The psychology of the alchemist is that of reveries trying to constitute themselves in experiments on the exterior world."
    -Gaston Bachelard

    "A clockwork heart can't replace the real thing."
    — Dru Pagliassotti
  • Good story, keep it up.
    "If a guy says he's not book smart he's street smart, what he's really saying is I'm not real smart but I'm imaginary smart."

    http://www.dragontavern.com/?ref=shaggy-lock-37 Check it out, fun little 5 minute time killer.
  • very cool! I am curious to see what happens next. :) I like hearing about the relationship between the hero and his/her? pet.

    I would branch off, but I am afraid I am a terrible writer, especially compared to the job you are doing already. You deserve the spotlight here :)
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    This is just some free-form writing, but my brain thinks in extended loops, so expect that everything will be connected at some point in time. I have not decided if the pet is going to be a dog or a cat yet, but I am leaning towards a cat of some form. I like things that are quiet and can prowl. But dogs are more social in a close way...

    I didn't want to put too much into fighting, as we all see plenty of that in the game. I want it more about the adventure. Something to add between the lines of the game. I am glad you like it. I will do more tonight after work again.
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    edited November 2009
    Content moved to first post...

    Link to HTML version following shortly.
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • very nice. Seems like we are progressing a bit more in terms of location. I really like the parts where the adventurer is reminiscing and pondering, for me, it helps flesh out who the hero is/might be and what his goals are.

    The game did a good job of this for the main villain but left a lot to be desired for the hero. This story fills in a lot of the blanks with logical assumptions :)
  • i must say , ive never been much for fanfiction , usually i just glance at it and go meh.

    but this really REALLY captivated me , wonderfully written awaiting the next part with anticipation
  • LokiLoki Posts: 38
    I must suppress that thought, or my journey is in vein. (No pun intended.)
    GAH!

    If you don't intend for it to be a pun, you should spell it 'vain'.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vain
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vein
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    edited November 2009
    Good catch, I thought I had that "correct"... (I failed English because I couldn't memorize Websters dictionary. You know, that book of words that someone made-up as a "guide", not a "gospel" of how others should use words to write, but it does not actually hold truth to how everyone uses words to write. That doesn't matter to me, because I have not met anyone who has ever been truly correct by any one standard. But that is off topic. LOL.)

    LOL... (Is that correct? Just kidding.)

    Yes, I did have many fights with my English teachers. Mostly because they used Webster as some sort of literary gospel hero of "the only way". Nothing was a word until someone wrote it. It is not the word which defines the thought, it is the context which defines the noise a word captures. If I spoke that line, would you have questioned it?

    Drisgatlebum is not in the dictionary, but it is a word, since I wrote it. The definition is... The ability to draw logical deductions beyond the limitations of others presumed deductions and suggested facts. Lots of words are not in the dictionary. The dictionary has lots of errors. The dictionary cheated and shortened itself. The dictionary was used, by those who had one, to belittle those without one. The dictionary is not correct, it is still just a suggestion.
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/correct

    The real definition of the word "Correct", 2010 (American/IM/Net English)...
    Correct: (May also be spelled as... Korrect, Korrekt, Correkt, Corect, Korekt, Korect, Corekt.)
    1. To use a fact to replace a non-fact. (Fixing an error.)
    2. To bring negative attention to another's actions or character, using personal perception or learned habit as proof of fact, where no facts can be provided as proof. (Scolding, belittling, pointing-out, calling-out, mocking, to attempt to change anther's perception to your own perception.)
    3. To substitute with a replacement that is believed to be better. (Perceived fixing of a perceived error.)

    I don't speak "English"... The English don't even speak English! I speak "American", LOL...
    I saw that in a movie or something?!?!?

    Which is correct? 14th century (Latin) words, or the new-age (Old English) 16th century version of the word, or the (English) Websters 18th century version, or mine (New American) 20th+ century version? No dictionary needed, just spell it the way it sounds, like they did back when they created the first words, as they do now, with new words... We are all spelling wrong... Just ask the Cambodians! Their alphabet is the largest alphabet in the world (Guinness Book of World Records, 1995). It consists of 33 consonants, 23 vowels and 12 independent vowels.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_language

    :mrgreen: :roll: :twisted: :lol: :oops: :shock:

    But I will change the statement, as it was the statement which was the pun, not just the word itself. (Got to go to work first, be back tonight. Can you tell that I hate being wrong! Which I clearly am... at the moment. TY.)

    P.S. If I put this much effort into my home-work... I might have more than a GED under my belt! (And possibly a better job.) :?
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • lol.

    I am kind of a stickler for spelling also, but I can put aside my pet peeves long enough to enjoy a good story, and taking in to consideration the length of the first post, and the fact that you probably made it up on the spot (with perhaps a previous inkling of thought behind it?) I can forgive an error or two (but not three!). :P

    Anyhow. :)

    All in good fun. :)
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    Hehe... That post was completely in good fun. (I actually enjoy being corrected, as much as I pretend to resist it!)

    I am working on the next part now... Might double the size of the first post, so I may be linking the story to one of my websites, or buy another one to host the story... and others, if they come. ( http://www.isawhim.com ), is my personal website.
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • Shameless plug! :P

    Do you have any portfolio site for your art?

    :)
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    GetaVe wrote:
    Shameless plug! :P

    Do you have any portfolio site for your art?

    :)

    Working on that at the moment... (My IMVU link on the top-right, should take you to my 3D chat profile page. There is all sorts of old things on that page. Where it says "Chat with me in 3D.")

    I just setup a special site for just this story, for now... It may take a while for the new name-servers to direct to the actual website, but when it does work...
    http://www.liiiliiil.com

    (I also got the .net .info and .org names, just because... LOL. Had them for a while now, with no purpose. Should be an upside-down bar-code. Could be an ISBN bar-code! LOL.)
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    Continued...

    With the gate locked, I unrolled another portal scroll and read the enchantment aloud. The scroll instantly ignited into flames and created a portal back to town in front of us. Now, I could get that good night’s sleep that I needed so bad. The portal continued to stay open after we passed through and arrived at the edge of town. There was a realistic fear that the portal might close after seeing it fail in the lower chamber. The glow of the portal illuminated the path to the tavern under the blanket of the freshly darkened sky. Though it was nearly noon, a storm had shadowed the sun’s rays.

    The tavern owner set us up with a free room, since we were partly responsible for the additional business he had been getting. The room was the only one left, and it was just large enough to fit both me and my pet. A small detour would have to be made before we crashed for the day, as there was not enough room for our supplies to join us. The inn next door would be our first stop, as they gave us the best offering of food in exchange for our potions. The rest of the small collection will be exchanged for gold at the general trade-post. I think she gives me the best deals because she has thing for me. Then again, perhaps that is just part of her tactic to get first pick of my collected goods.

    Now that our packs are empty, and our bellies and pockets are full, we head back to the tavern to clear our heads. The storm has not cast one single drop yet, so the tavern has not consumed many towns-folk. There should not be too much disturbance while we enter our slumber, but the same could not be said if we had come back a little later in the day. The door to the tiny room is shut and my pet takes his usual position, sleeping at the foot of the make-shift bed, on the floor. This big beefy lynx is really just an overgrown cat that can't seem to purr, but it can surely growl!

    Nearly half a day later, apparently sleep was needed badly, we both awoke to the sound of a brawl in the tavern. Though everyone outside our room was tired and drunk, we were sober and well rested, ready for some community serving. After quickly getting dressed, we exited the room and walked down the hall. Plaster, my lynx, let out a completely unrestricted and powerful roar that would have made the devil stop and look. Silence, followed by carefully executed slow exits of the drunken patrons, left only the three of us in the tavern. A smile and a nod from the tavern owner followed by a, "Good morning to you too Plaster! Now I know how he got his name. I have never seen so many red faces turn that shade of white so fast!"

    He gave my pet a bowl of fresh water and then he joined me while I extended a hand, helping clean the mess from the brawl. "I hope they didn't disturb your sleep?", said the tavern owner. I replied, "No, we were well rested. They did us a favor, and kept us from over-sleeping." The owner continued, "Thank-you for your help. You know that isn't needed." I just smiled and nodded back to him, while continuing to help him get things back into order. He looked like he could use a good rest too. I was not going to keep him from that, due to a bunch of ale-sponges with short tempers. Once we finished, I set a few gold coins on the bar. I told him it was for the water. It could have been used to purchase water for a year, but I really had no use for half the gold I had collected over the past few months, so it was not a loss to me or my pet.

    To be continued...
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • So you went with the cat eh? Nice name ;)

    It is nice to see some interaction with the towns people above. What class of hero is he by the way? (I probably just forgot.. :P)
  • This is a fantastic story, I really liked reading it.

    Keep it up, hopefully more chapters to come! :)
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    Thank-you Teldurn,
    I am trying to add more every day. I already have several chapters finished in my head. It is only a matter of filling-in my own blanks, and laying out the format now. (Time is not on my side here, due to work.)
    GetaVe wrote:
    So you went with the cat eh? Nice name ;)

    It is nice to see some interaction with the towns people above. What class of hero is he by the way? (I probably just forgot.. :P)

    I figured that, in the name of irony, a cat was more appropriate.

    I think I may be leading towards the fighter guy... Mostly for reasons of future events in my head. (Besides, I am most familiar with that style of character.)
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    Continued...

    Though it was early in the morning, almost three o-clock now, we needed to visit Vasman the ember scholar. He seemed to have a greater understanding that he only shared as riddles, if he volunteered to share anything at all. Though a great deal of his studies was from collections of other peoples knowledge, he had the unique ability to confirm most accounts with the crystals I had collected for him. History has recorded many truths buried between the lies of time. This new information might help us understand what we are dealing with, at the deeper levels.

    Vasman had digested the information I had collected, but didn't have much to offer at the moment. He was going to have to consult some older archives in his library before more conclusions could be drawn. His interest was peaked enough to ask if he could venture down into this area with me. Though he would not admit it, I believe he feared the creatures and only asked to join me because I informed him that this area seemed devoid of any life, and was secured. When I mentioned the untouched room with the paintings initially, his body language showed that he was slightly discomforted and almost scared.

    Once we teleported back down to the battle room, we were greeted by an unusual situation. One of the goblin creatures seemed to be trying to get the gate open. Perhaps he was drawn to the magic energy of the portal. Our arrival seemed to startle him, more than his presence had initially startled us. Once the portal collapsed, Vasman directed me to unlock the gate, but additionally instructed me to not harm the creature. I told him to charm my pet, as he would surely interfere with whatever plans he had for this creature once the gate was opened.

    With my pet subdued by Vasman, they waited near the mouth of the corridor that led to the untraveled room. I drew one of my swords as a precaution, while I unlocked the gate. Once unlocked, I joined them by the corridor entrance. It was not long before the goblin had opened the gate and began to approach us with caution. He was not as aggressive and seemed to be expressing caution with his slow actions. He could have bombarded us with any number of enchanted attacks, but he seemed more focused on the tunnel which was to our side.

    Without warning, the creature took one last step towards the corridor and began to scream like a human. Both my swords were instantly drawn, and Vasman even raised his wand, but neither of us moved. Our eyes frantically searched for the presence of another being other than the ones we saw here. Eventually, both our brains realized this was the creature making the sound. He fell to the ground, wailing and kicking and clawing at the solid stone floor. His body began to drag itself into the direction of the corridor. Claws dug new scratches into the ground, and the serrated ground wore through the creatures finger-tips as his nails wore away in the process.

    Unseen forces began to lift the creature into the air as it continued to **** him slowly into the corridore entrance. No longer able to reach the walls or the ground, flailing arms splattered blood drops in every direction. The screams only faded when the creature ran out of breath, but they persistently sounded more and more human as he was pulled deeper. Within a few more moments in time, the creature stopped moving, and began to deteriorate into particles of dust. The dust continued to travel out of sight, leaving behind nothing that indicated any life just entered the corridor. Small glittering fragments could be seen drifting slowly down to the ground, under the disappearing particle trail.

    Without having said a word, Vasman already explained so much to me, through demonstration. Though, by the look on his face, even he seemed to have learned something. I was afraid to break the silence, but the charm spell had worn-off, and Plaster broke it for me. He followed the silence-breaker by pinning down Vasman to the floor. Even to this event, Vasman's focus was undrawn from the events which just unfolded before him. He lay on the ground, peering down the corridor, as if he was expecting to see something more happen, or unhappen. Plaster, having made his point, joined me by my side. I reached a hand down to Vasman and asked, "So, are you ready to head down the corridor with us?"

    To be continued...
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    Continued...

    Vasman stood, with the help of my offering hand, and refused to release his grip. He looked down the corridor as he said, "I must tell you something before we descend, but please, lock the gate first." When I had locked and closed the gate, he continued to tell me everything he knew about what just happened, and what he was expecting below...

    Vasman continued to say...

    Years ago, before the mines were discovered here, I was given a book believed to be lore of ancient times. The person who was in possession of the book could not translate it, but said his great grand-father knew the stories within. The man was in desperate need of some money, so I offered him what I could. He said that he had tried to sell the book to shops in several towns, and they refused to give him a second look. I told him that I wanted to hear what he knew of the stories, so that it might help me translate the book in the future, in exchange for the additional gratuity I had extended him. I didn't think the book was anything special until he began telling me what he could remember of the stories his grand-father told.

    When he was finished telling me all he could remember, I was sure that this was more than lore, but unsure of its actual importance. Until now, I had not even realized it was connected to the ember. Back then, ember was called cold-ash, in the book. This cold-ash crystals and minerals resembled glowing coal ashes, but did not generate heat, and ultimately led to the cold deaths of thousands who harvested it for its powers. The ember, when it was known as cold-ash, was originally used for lighting the caverns where miners were already harvesting iron and copper. The effects were discovered by accident, as miners were exposed longer and longer to the ember.

    Within a short time, everyone knew how to harvest the power in the ember. Once they discovered the ruins, as we had, the book became more cryptic. It began to mention evils, demons, creatures, and lost civilizations. The writing seemed to exaggerate what I knew as reality, even accounting for all the magic I know myself. Stories soon turned into gospel preaching about falling into the fate of the cold-ash, and turning into cold-ash as punishment for this mortal crime that was created by the demons. It talked about a group of saviors who had slain thousands of creatures, immune to the effects of the cold-ash.

    These saviors vowed to cleanse the world of the evils, led by instructions they had stolen from the creators. They gave little information about the creators, but noted that they were the result of everything that the cold-ash was not. The saviors originally intended to starve the creators by building gates at the source of their powers, since that was responsible for the turning of humans into cold-ash creatures. This corridor is the edge of the power which is responsible for consuming the turned souls and feeding the creators below. However, this plan failed. The starving creators seemed to be turning twice as many humans into cold-ash creatures, and killing the creatures only delayed the inevitable. Each creature that had been killed, came back twice as powerful.

    Eventually, as the story goes, they opened the gates and began to force as many creatures into the gated corridor room as possible. Hundreds of thousands of souls were consumed, and eventually the entrances to all the mines collapsed, trapping the savior's miles under the earth for eternity. The cold-ash crystals and minerals stopped working, and were destroyed and forgotten, until the last few years. This is our ember, our cold-ash, another new generation of death for our civilization. You must be one of the saviors, immune to the effects of the ember. This must be why you were able to get this far without turning into one of the creatures. This is not a place for me. I can go down to the room below, but I cannot stay here or go any further than that room, or I will not be of any use to you, or us.

    I just wanted you to hear that before we go deeper. If something does happen to me, you will have enough to continue on the correct path. If nothing happens to me down here, in the room ahead, I will do my best to assist you from above. I can get word out to the right people, to help locate those other saviors and stop bringing innocent people here as food for the creators. I doubt that you alone, can get what is need from the creators. It was not believed to be important, as they thought they had the answer. Unfortunately, they just sealed their fate, and ours. We will not make that same mistake. We are already one step ahead of them, being armed with the knowledge in this book.

    Vasman heads to the corridor and looks back as an invitation for us to follow him...

    To be continued...
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • Just wanted to quickly say that I will be reading all the new pages tomorrow at work (not that that is the best place to read but I hate working... LOL).

    Man, I am following your liiiliiil page and yesterday there were 2 pages, I refresh tonight and BAM 5 pages. Woo!

    Will comment more after I read tomorrow. :)
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    Continued...

    We followed him down the corridor, helping him collect some samples along the way. The ashes had formed the smooth floor of the cavern, solidified by the fungus that fed slowly on them. Each few hundred feet, we collected more samples, taking note of the thinning layers. Our torches would begin to sparkle like a fuse when we placed them near the ground to inspect with better clarity. The fungus seemed to be unlike normal fungus, consuming bad air and releasing fresh air. Only the coolness of the air which surrounded us could not be explained. Most of the other caverns down here were warm and well lit by the combination of ember and phosphorous minerals that lined the walls.

    Two hours later, we came to the large room at the other end of the corridor. I headed back to the center and placed a torch in the same hole as before. Vasman focused on the paintings along the outter walls, between each of the eight exits. Plaster, once again, decided to take a nap. After two hours of walking slow, and nothing to fight, he was surely bored. I decided to inspect the floors again, to see if there was more than just the glossy tiles that were revealed by our foot-prints. Starting near the torch, I used my foot to brush aside the centuries of collected dust and fungus.

    Markings and seams, where the marble tiles changed colors, indicated that there was more to uncover here. There was nothing here that I could read or identify, but it did look like some form of instruction or guide. Vasman was nearly half way around the room when he called me over to join him at one of the painted sections. As I approached him, a faint screaming could be heard coming from one of the other corridors which were unexplored. This was ignored by me, as I had a good idea what it was from, but the occurrence was recorded in his notes.

    Vasman was standing in front of a painting of an orb and a large gem. The orb was connected to the gem with waves of energy. Around the large gem was a bunch of smaller gems, connected to the large gem by smaller waves of energy. On the top of painting was a town filled with people. Vasman said that this is how the ember works. Energy is harvested by the smaller scattered crystals, from the earth. This energy feeds the larger crystal, and that is balanced by the orb below, powering the orb.

    The next painting had a line separating the large gem and the orb. The energy changed colors as it passed through this line, and the painting indicated that the energy which was once gathered from the earth, was now pointing up to the town. The people in the town were shown digging holes and holding pieces of these smaller gems that were releasing energy that pointed down at the earth. He told me that this is how it began for every civilization that was here before Torchlight.

    Continuing on to the next painting, this was more familiar to me. It showed the bubbles of caverns under the earth, and humans and creatures within. Ember gems were covering the surface of the town, with lots of energy pointing back to the large gem under the earth. There were few indications of any crystals under the earth, and now many holes leading to the caverns. This room was not in the painting, and only the orb was still shown below the line.

    With each painting, more of the story unfolded. The ember seems to like a bee, harvesting nectar for the larger hive below. The energy stays contained below the surface when that line is not there, and pushes up into our grasp when the line appears. This negative force repels it into our reach, and once reached, it draws on our life for energy. Nothing indicates why it does this, nor does it mention the creators, only the creatures. Eventually, it shows all the ember coming back under the ground, and all the creatures trapped and consumed by this room.

    Once consumed, the line disappears and the holes on the surface disappear. The ember that is not returned, is shown without energy waves, and people are shown as normal again. This must have been the reason that the saviors had ultimately resorted to the fate which was written in the book. They saw this, and tried to prevent it. If this is the same fate we will have before us, the town of Torchlight will not survive. There are not enough people in Torchlight to allow the fate happen. Vasman adds, "Not yet. This just started."

    To be continued...
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    Continued...

    Once he had finished recording what he needed, we headed back to the gate room. Our conversation continued as we walked back. He wanted me to keep the gate open, for fear of aggravating the situation beyond any possible control. I was also asked to explore the other areas, to see if one of them led to the creators. He didn't think it would be that easy to find them, and expected that there was some other way to reach them. The markings on the floor would most likely reveal more in time, as we both naturally assumed. Finding the creators, and any other recorded information was critical to any success at this point. There was too little to work with at the moment, though there was a lot to decipher into a real history of events.

    Vasman was given the key to the gate, and he disappeared through a portal, headed back to town. Plaster and I, once again, descended back to the grand picture room. Each passage through this corridor seemed to take less time. Now our only decision is to determine which entrance to try first. Each one seemed as ordinary as the next, except for one. Two entrances away from the one we exited, was a corridor which had a rough floor. There was still a presence of dust debris on the ground, but not much. Fungus was also not as abundant, so this would be a torch-lit journey. Without the glow of the fungus to outline any possible creature’s silhouette, I was not going to take a chance whistling in the dark.

    The path was more jagged and had more of a downward direction, which was both a blessing and a curse at the same time. Plaster was not having as difficult of a time as I was, with his contour conforming paws. My boots were getting wedged into crevasses and sliding on unsecured footings. Almost no dust debris could be seen now, and not one single fungus patch was near. Ahead, the corridor began to widen and take a more man-made shape of a hall. The floor looked as if it would possibly be faster to travel soon. In this whole travel-time, not one scream was heard. This may not be a path to the creators, but it sure didn't feel like a path to any of the creatures either.

    Only a few minutes down this man-made section of the corridor, and things began to change dramatically. The temperature rose to a more comfortable level, a non-fungus ambient glow made the torch light useless, and a deep calming feeling rattled within. The walls held the ambient glow, with the light colored stone surfaces which were smooth to the touch, but not polished. The high-arched ceilings seemed to offer a naturally visual and mental invitation to continue, resembling a religious cathedral in design. Even the floor, though it was darker and hard, seemed to comfort each step as if it were a field of low growing grasses.

    Almost forgetting to try, I pulled out a portal scroll. There was no rush to get to town, but I was instructed to try my magic, to see when it would work after heading down any other corridor. The scroll failed but the ember gem in the fire-wand, which did not work, was glowing an unusual color. This may be where the ambient light was coming from in the walls. There may not have been enough magic power for the ember to work as magic, but it still functioned as a good light source. Ahead, that light could be seen brighter, so I expected magic would begin working again soon.

    The hall began to narrow, layered in steps that reached up the walls and across the cathedral ceiling. Each step formed a new level that extended for several feet, before it rose to the next platform. The narrowing hall reduced to an opening the size of a doorway, but without any obvious door present. The solid wall behind, offered no sign of mobility or collapse. This was the perfect location to try using another portal, and the fire-wand. I was over two hours away from the grand picture room, which was one hour further than the gate room was from that location.

    I read the portal scroll, and the scroll disappeared into a ball of flames, as it always does once used. However, I could not say that "nothing" happened, as something did happen. There was no town portal, or any portal, but there was something unexplainable happening. Deep inside my body, and apparently in Plasters body, something could be felt. Plaster looked up at me, bringing notice that I had done something that he could also feel. Though it didn't feel bad, I was not going to risk endangering ourselves to further scroll experimentation.

    I was hesitant to try the fire-wand, knowing that the feeling of the portal somehow ended up inside us. Though the portal might feel pleasant inside us, or whatever that was, I was unsure if the fire-wand might have a similar reaction. The last thing I wanted was a fire-ball to burn me from the inside-out, but I promised to test the magic, and justified it in the name of hope. With a steady hand, and unsure thoughts, I triggered the wand. Again, something happened, but it was not the internal fire-ball I anticipated as the adverse effect. This feeling was inside, but seemed to be more chilling, without being painfully chilling. This was a failed attempt, all the same, and that ended my experimentation for the day.

    To be continued...
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • ISAWHIMISAWHIM Posts: 235
    Continued...

    Just to be sure that I had not missed anything, a walk around the door-shaped area and some wall tapping with the end of my sword was done. Everything seemed as solid as it looked and there was nothing to indicate that anything unobvious might exist. There were no markings, no foot-prints, no scuff-marks, no hollows, no levers, and obviously no functional magic. Wait, I almost forgot to try an enchantment magic spell. The series of thoughts that flashed through my head, at the idea of trying a summon-creature spell, was more disturbing than the fire-ball. The last thing that I wanted the summon-creature spell to do, was work, but be inside me when it did work.

    For a safe measure, I decided to try a heal-all spell. If the portal or fire-ball magic did cause any internal harm, this would at-least heal that. I turned to Plaster and asked, are you ready boy? The words rolled off my tongue and echoed down the hall...

    ...

    ...

    Vasman's voice could be heard faintly in the distance. "Can you hear me? What happened? Come on, take a sip of this." I felt something press against my lips, and tried to consume what was being given to me. My body felt consumed in a blanket of hot needles, yet it was numb and cold. The unrecognized and distant voice continued to have a one way conversation with me, "I am so sorry. I should have had you come up with me. Where is Plaster? Did he come up with you?" My eyes opened and they were greeted by Vasman who was holding me upright, trying to get me to drink some potion. My lips still hurt, but I could feel them taking the nectar into my mouth and swallowing it. His voice now seemed to be present to his position, no longer sounding like it was off in the distance.

    I raised a hand and helped him feed the rest of the potion to me, by tipping it up more. The questions stopped, as he must now see that my eyes surely say I am not in a position to answer a thousand questions. My body went through some strange feelings as I regained consciousness to my surroundings. Attempting to stand, I gracefully returned back into the feeble arms of Vasman. He seemed to be observing me now, like an alchemist observes rats eating an unknown substance, to see if it has negative reactions. My condition was rapidly improving, and the last thing I remembered him asking me was about Plaster.

    I cried out to Plaster, as if he was around the corner. I was unsure where he was, as we were both in the cavern below, in the glowing hall without a door. Vasman replied to my cry, "He is not here, you arrived in town alone. You collapsed out-side the tavern. What happened down there?" My eyes drifted around the room, trying to make sense of my lost time and my new location. The questions were being processed randomly in my disoriented head. I told Vasman that I tried to do a portal and it failed, and also a fire-ball. Both could be felt inside my body, but they were not a portal and a fire-ball inside my body, just energy or something.

    When I told him about the heal-all spell, he seemed only partly puzzled. He said he had an idea what might have happened, but we needed to find Plaster first. I agreed, and put all my effort towards standing up, to begin the search. I wavered and nearly fell down, but I was standing. Vasman told me to use my healing spell on myself, now that I was not in the neutral-zone below. The spell worked instantly, and a little faster than normal, bringing me back to nearly instant full recovery. This observation also didn't seem to stump Vasman, and he commented that he expected that something like this might happen. He just didn't expect it to be so dramatic and potentially dangerous and rewarding at the same time.

    We headed out the door, and were greeted by Plaster, who seemed a little confused but unharmed. Vasman was a little confused though. I told him that I did the same heal-all enchantment spell, just in case Plaster was near-by. The lack of mud on Plasters paws indicated he was farther than they thought. He must have still been down in the chamber. The ground out here was all covered in mud from the rain last night. There was a trail going from the tavern to the front door here, where I was dragged by Vasman and the tavern owner. However, there was not one single paw-print outside the door, except for the ones where Plaster stood now.

    "Get inside, both of you, I have more to tell you.", said Vasman.

    Vasman continued...

    Remember all those stones I had you retrieve for me? I had sent others to get those same stones, only two were ever retrieved by anyone other than you. The two gentlemen who did retrieve them, I have not seen since. Originally I thought they had run-off with the last stone I sent them to get, but then you returned the next two stones, which were the two I sent them down to retrieve. I suspect that they were turned, and I expected a similar fate for you. Nothing I could have said would have stopped you from going down there, everyone has a reason that they use to justify going down there, and you were no exception. Well, you were no exception until you found that room.

    Those stones were part of a larger crystal, as are the smaller and more common ember crystals and minerals we are finding. Unlike the embers, these other crystals are part of a collection. Each crystal has unique properties, when paired with a special orb. Without the orb, the crystals are unfocused and unfiltered. The powers they emanate seem to accelerate the powers of any embers near-by. Sine you are one of the people immune to the effects, you were able to retrieve the crystals without turning down there. I have the crystals contained within a special silence, reflect, and defense orb, but that only allows me to contain the power by severing the crystals link to the embers.

    The book talks briefly about these crystals, but only mentions of some of them. The book is not from Torchlight. The book comes from a town miles away. The events in the book, and the room itself, suggests that there could be more of these things all over the world, all built the same, with the same effects. The paintings on the wall suggest that this is not the only location of ember also. However, the book and the wall paintings both show exactly the same fates. Though the room with the paintings looks to be almost eight-thousand years old, the book looks like it is only four-thousand years old.

    The chamber below describes a larger crystal and giant orbs that both repel and attract at the same time. The orb was originally created to filter out bad energy distributing good energy, while it suppressed bad energy below. The ember was the collector of all energy, and the large crystal was the distributor of this original mixture of good and bad collected energy. Because more people lived longer, due to this abundant good energy near the orb, population near the orb grew out of control. Those on the edges were having more energy drained and dyeing faster, and began to turn into creatures.

    The smaller crystals and orbs became prized by those who could not be near the larger orb, but those people were quickly turning into creatures as population continued to explode near the large orb. This caused an endless expanding cycle that caused those immune to the effects of both the small and large orbs to provoke wars. The people, who were nearly immortal to harmful magic and most natural events, were only susceptible to powers held by others near orbs of opposite powers, and also to physical death. The people immune to the effects of ember used this knowledge to wage wars, demanding a treaty from all who possessed the orbs.

    This treaty proposed resolution to return the world back to the way it was, before the orbs were created. They wanted everyone to return back to normal. However, that was not possible, as the orbs existences themselves, were the reason things went out of control. If the orbs were destroyed, nothing would suppress any effects of the ember. The ember would reach-out for energy, like a lode-stone without a matching pair or iron-core to bond with. In effect, draining everyone of all energy, and turning everyone into creatures on the surface. The powers of the orb could not be put back into the large gems.

    A second proposal was suggested, to dig-up the gems and place them into the orbs. The idea being that the positive and negative separated forces would now be within one another, or around one another. Like wrapping a lode-stone within an iron ball, containing all the energy. However, it was not the large crystal that contained the energy; it was just the collector and an emitter of the harvested energy. Every small element of ember would have had to been collected, and added into the orb. The orb was not that large, and it would have been physically impossible to dig-up all the dangerous life-absorbing and creature-turning gems.

    The third proposal was the final one used. They were going to move the orb below the large gem, contained under the ground, so it pulled all the energy away from the surface. Moving it just far enough that the attraction of positive and negative would remain strong enough to stop its destructive forces above. They would keep the large crystal supported, so it would continue to harvest the bad energy, while keeping that bad energy suppressed below the earth, just above the good energy in the orbs. Moving it lower would cause any embers forces near the surface to reach-up through the surface, making it more dangerous than before, as there would be no more good energy left to counteract the bad energy.

    This is where the problem gets worse. This balance has a neutral place between the large crystal and the orb. The room with the paintings is directly between both of them. The earth was opened to help ensure that the bad energy freely flows down to the orb. However, this balance of push and pull, keeping the bad energy below the ground seems to fail when there is not enough energy being sent below. Since the energy is not reaching the surface, it is not stealing enough of our energy. This causes the force to weaken, and now the reach of the ember rises above the surface, causing people to have an uncontrolled urge to collect ember.

    The ember begins to release energy to those closest, while it absorbs from those farther away. This is where our magic is coming from now. This causes more people to seek it out, bringing them deeper into the caves. However, now they begin to turn, being closely surrounded by all this negative energy. Others come, and fall into the same fate, for years, filling the caves with turned creatures. They become the final required energy needed to refill the orb with enough power to pull the ember forces back under the ground. Once balance has been restored, there is enough energy underground to keep balance for thousands of years. The surface holes close, ember fails to do magic, and the creatures slowly become consumed as they venture into, or are forced down into the gate rooms.

    The creators themselves, if they still exist, are still slowly feeding from and draining the orbs. They may be the original creators that the paintings show, or they could be the saviors that the book talked about. Once trapped, and all creatures were consumed, the saviors had to go somewhere, and they didn't come out. If they did stay, they could only have survived by the power of the orbs. If the ember forces we have on the surface here are the negatives of the orbs forces, that would make all the magic as you use, useless and backwards to some extent.

    I believe this is why you were stunned when you tried to use the heal-all magic, which still didn't work to its full power, or you might have killed yourself instantly. The fire-wand seemed to cause a mild ice-shield inside you, and the portal... well, I am not sure what the portal was doing to you. Perhaps it was just teleporting you slowly, and that feeling was what you would feel in a normal teleport, if it wasn't done so fast up here. I will have to investigate this further, along with you, this time. I seem to also be immune to the effects of the ember, as I have handled every crystal you returned me, prior to them being contained.

    I do not believe we will find the original orbs used to focus and filter the crystals, but we might be able to find information on them in the other caverns. In time, all who are immune, and called to the ember, will join us. As for the ones who are not immune and still come, there is nothing we can do. They will turn in time. It is better for all of us that they don’t turn until they are below, where they will not harm others. For now, we need some rest. Poor Plaster still looks confused, and I am sure your head is hurting form listening to me talk all afternoon.

    Vasman reaches over to his notes, and closes them, heading off to his room.

    To be continued...
    Looking for a break from the game? Waiting for more content?
    Read my short story... [Story] Miles deep and miles away
    Story by: Jason D'Angelo
  • LokiLoki Posts: 38
    Did you start this in November?

    http://www.nanowrimo.org/
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