Tag Archives: Fantasy

The Flash Fantasy Project 5: non-epic tales of other lands

WP_20151109_001 (2)The final descent into the valley was steep, and made trecherous by loose scree. Tired feet stumbled, and though their packs held only the last scraps of food, they still weighed heavily on their shoulders.

Silence lay thick amongst the ancient ruins. Bordin walked steadily at the back of the group, unwilling to intrude on his friends’ air of reverence. These were the homes of their ancestors, and they were the first of their people to walk these streets in hundreds of years.

Frembar halted the company a few times, checking his faded and worn map. He lead them through the remnants of the once-proud city, now just walls, paved sections of street and smashed statuary.

After a while they turned aside from the main streets, weaving through smaller ruins until they found themselves inside a building that backed on to the slope of the valley itself. Frembar pushed aside debris and rubble to clear the very back wall. Dusk was coming on, so torches were lit and the flickering light picked out a design, cleverly manufactured into the brickwork. Bordin gasped. It was the same symbol that had been carved into his father’s work chest, the very thing that had tipped him into this adventure.

The others were muttering now. A couple had fallen to their knees, and old Wargon was actually weeping. Frembar, however, seemed unmoved. Consulting the map again, he pushed hard at a number of bricks in the design and they sank back into the wall. Each brick made a satisfying “clunk!” and then the wall shook and folded down, becoming the floor of a new chamber.

The company cheered as one and stepped forward eagerly, pushing past Frembar who stood holding his map. Bordin wondered if they’d even need it again.

“Look!” called Wargon, “Ahgscript!”

He was at the far end of the new chamber, his torch held aloft and illuminating strange runic characters carved deep into the wall.

“Can you read them?” asked Frembar.

Wargon sneered.

“Better than I can read YOUR handwriting, you young whippersnapper! Just give me a moment to get used to the light.”

Everyone waited as patiently as they could while the elder waved his torch back and forth, muttering to himself and shaking his head. When he shuffled back to the beginning of the carving for the fourth time, Frembar burst out:

“For the love of Egbar’s beard, old man! What does it SAY?”

Wargon turned to face them, the picture of dismay.

“It says the door to the hidden treasury will only open on Vilbard’s Day each year!”

“So? When’s that?”

Wargon would not meet Frembar’s irate gaze.

“Six months from now.”

The shocked silence was broken by Bordin’s raucous laughter. Frembar turned outraged eyes upon him.

“What”, he demanded frostily, “is so funny?”

Bordin gulped and hiccuped his way back to sensibility.

“It’s just”, he said, hiccuping again, “that if we hadn’t taken that shortcut with the eagles, we’d be arriving right on time!”

And he was off again, his laughter ringing off the chamber walls and his stony-faced companions.

It was going to be a long six months.

The Flash Fantasy Project 3: non-epic tales of other lands

mega castle part two

Brin stepped out into the light at last. Here, in the one area of the hall where sunlight fell, no one could miss him. His mane of golden hair seemed to blaze in the last rays of daylight and he towered over the nearest goblins.

They shrank back, hissing, as they recognised their master’s mortal foe. Grimnok himself, however, seemed unsurprised by Brin’s appearance.

“Ah, Brin. The Chosen One himself honours us with his presence.”

Grimnok’s eyes flickered over the dark corners of his hall, and the cowering ranks of goblins.

“If we’d known you were coming, we might have made more of an effort.”

Brin stood tall in the face of the dark one’s sarcasm.

“You don’t scare me anymore, Grimnok. I’ve read the prophecy, and I know what it means. You can’t kill me, and if you can’t kill me then this war is over. No one else needs to die. I’ve come here to prevent any more bloodshed. It’s over. Get out, and leave Nimeria in peace!”

Grimnok stroked his thin beard as he looked at Brin. The boy had grown in his time with the Wizards of Nimeria, there was no denying it. And he had found out the truth of the prophecy. It was possible that this changed things, that his plan to crush the Nimerian resistance forever was, in fact, doomed to fail.

“Well Brin, I’m glad you read the prophecy. Reading is good for you, it broadens the mind. And it’s true, the Sage did foresee that the Wizard’s meddling spells would prevent me from killing you.”

Everyone in the hall saw Brin’s shoulders drop a little, as if he had let out a breath he had been holding. But surely even a great hero like the Chosen One would not come into the hall of his greatest enemy while uncertain of his own protection? Grimnok smiled and gave a carefree wave of his hand.

“Certainly, it’s possible that you have me at a disadvantage. Not being able to kill you myself DOES put a crimp in my plans. However, if you’ll indulge me, there is a little something I’d like to try before surrendering.”

This time he waved his other hand and a third of the goblin horde drew bows from under their tattered cloaks and fired.

For a second, Brin resembled a rearing hedgehog, but then his knees gave way and he crashed to the floor, a human pincushion.

“Thought so.” muttered Grimnok. “Arkleblog? Begin the invasion, would you? I’ll be in my study.”