Fanfiction in progress--"Stockpile"

Discussion in 'Storyline' started by Notepad, May 14, 2004.

  1. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    I'm working on some original fanfiction for this site, and I'd like it to be of a higher quality than the typical Team M94 fiction that I've written so far. If anybody is interested in reading this rough draft as it progresses, and giving some feedback/suggestions/questions on the story, please do. Any and all help is appreciated. Now, unto the story...


    ================

    Stockpile
    Original Fiction By Sean Roney
    kwbishop@hotmail.com


    "When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred." -Thomas Jefferson

    Synopsis:
    A tiny paradise town was set up on an island after the Phyrexian Invasion. A large cache of weaponry was stored there at the same time. Eventually, these two elements must mix.

    I: A SOLDIER AND HIS FEARS

    Gouin had been a farmer who sold his harvests to the Benalish military. His father had cultivated the land before him, as did his father, and his father before him. He had only owned the farm for a handful of years and only had two young children barely able to lift farm tools on their own.

    As all things did on Dominaria, Gouin's farm ended. The Phyrexians raided Benalia and all other nations, and doing what any good citizen would do, Gouin joined the ranks of a volunteer militia. As artifice had been a great advantage for his family in the farming business, he found himself transferred to the Coalition airship force. He had hopes of becoming a deck hand on the Weatherlight, but he was assigned the menial tasks of repairing cannons and hull breeches.

    With the end of the war came a painful time for Gouin, as he had to take account of all that was lost. His nation was in ruins, and his farm would be impossible to recover. Furthermore, he had lost his wife and children in the earliest days of the invasion. His friends and everyone he ever knew by face were also set to a quiet slumber in the soil during the war. Only when it was all done did he really have time to think about how much he missed everyone and everything.

    Gouin used what money and favors he had remaining and bought himself a tattered old flying vessel that could hardly be called such. He sailed off into the sunset, hoping to leave behind all the pain he knew. After some years he finally docked his rickety old vessel for good at a tiny island. Other wanderers, also trying to forget the nightmares of wartime, had come to the island, and together they decided upon the name of Providence for their township.

    In his voyage through the skies of the world, Gouin had picked up the hobby of weapon collecting. It started with insecurities over anybody ever threatening him again, so he bartered his services as a ship repairman in order to attain a pair of Phyrexian rifles and a month's worth of ammunition. He should have felt safe from anybody trying to sneak into his boat when it was docked, but Gouin's insecurities about another multiversal invasion grew from nightmares in his sleep to waking terror. He had to have bigger weapons. Cannons were soon installed on his vessel. Bombs eventually made up the floor of the cargo deck, sparkling in their sameness like a tiled floor. As time went on, Gouin's little vessel practically became a flying armory.

    Coming to Providence had no effect on the habit. While others build a township and set up trade with neighboring island cities, Gouin was always the busy little hermit in the island's towering mountains. He permanently landed his vessel at the peak of the highest mountain, and made it into a house. Some of the weapons stayed in the boat house, but most were transferred into a nearby cave.

    A wurm occupied the cave, and killing it was the only time Gouin ever used anything in his weapon collection. He used his various weapon-making machines to drain the green and black manas from the wurm before it went fully dead, and used that to make even more weapons. From his perspective, the wurm represented an evil that lurked everywhere. Though the Phyrexians had been stopped, there would always be an enemy around which required the presence of a well-armed populace. Battling the wurm only reinforced those beliefs.

    About twice every year, Gouin would come down from the mountain and trade off his trinkets made from the scraps of weapon creation. He would then attain every piece of material from which he could make weapons, and then hurried off to his mountain home. As Providence grew, so grew Gouin's barter opportunies, as did the selection of materials he had to choose from.

    Up in the mountain, Gouin brought all he had collected in trade and worked for half the year making everything he could. Pieces of junk he fashioned into earrings or necklaces or even toys and took down to trade for more materials. The ship became unrecognizable, as Gouin created extensions which eventually connected his house with the wurm's cave. Through Gouin's madness there came to be a labrynthine workshop at the mountaintop, where the world's most deadly weapons were built.

    Phyrexian rifles, Trokin air guns, and Coalition mana cannons were tweaked in the workshop until advantages from each replaced drawbacks in the other. He savagely murdered wildlife only sometimes for food, and mostly to fulfill the mana requirements of his bombs and artillery. He even took to mining, in order to increase the storage capacity of his cave, dumping the rock and dirt around his house until it became subterrainean. On that peak, nature was defiled for purposes of saving a man from his own fears, and it was forced to surrender on a regular basis, for fear he would go to the lower parts of the island if he ever ran out of resources to victimize.

    The caverns behind the little metal door to Gouin's workshop extended, and his weapons grew deadlier. After a few decades, he grew tired of going down the town and took to making materials himself. He had created the machines to craft weapons, and altering a few of them to craft mined ore into metals was no great task for his adept artificer mind. At first people missed his comings, and his eager sales of pretty pieces of jewelry. By the tenth year, everyone assumed he had fully become a hermit or had died.

    Alone in the mountain, the growing town of Providence eventually forgot about Gouin. He became a faded memory in the minds of the town elders, and existed as a humorous monster tale to the children. Then those images fluttered away with time, and Gouin ceased to exist in story or memory. He died without anybody knowing he even lived at the top of the tallest mountain, his body strewn upon his most prized Phyrexian rifles.
  2. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    II: A BOY LED NOT BY HIS BRAIN

    Like most young men who were outcast from the social group, Barden took to things that involved as few people as possible. One of his passions since his family took passage to Providence was exploration. The island, though small by cartographer's standards, was bursting with natural beauty to be discovered. As a crafty young man, he used this to his advantage.

    Many a young woman was led to the peaks of the island's ranges for adventures in romance. This, of course, only fueled the anger of the boys in the town, who battered him into becoming more of a social leper. But, he was always proud to be a social leper who could win over any girl with the promise of taking them to see the most stunning sunsets in the world.

    Lake Hope, found three miles out from Providence at the foot of a large mountain and nestled within jungle-filled foothills, provided a mirror effect to a tropical sunset. It was like seeing paradise as a visual sensation. It was pure ecstasy to watch the golden orb turn orange, then red, then settle over a pink-purple sky with the jungle birds singing the day into a finish. Any and all complicated belt buckles or garters provided by the most protective of parents could not withstand the awesome sensation that was watching a sunset at Lake Hope. In the dimming light, a rowboat set on the lake itself provided the perfect place for people without clothes to be.

    The prize of Providence was within a newcomer family, the Nalates. Their daughter, Juna, knew she was beautiful. Her hand belonged to a famous general from her homeland, and she would have been happily married already if not for her parents taking her from their barbarous ruined homeland to the paradise of Providence. She had a chance at being the next de facto queen of her nation, and having that taken away was a savage offense. She knew she could command the island with her looks alone, but she fell to hurting her parents the only way she knew how. Thus, she ended up the prize of a bitterly fought, unspoken competition between all the young men, and even some old, of the island.

    Barden had managed to charm Juna Nalate with the promise of seeing the best sunset in the world. He knew things would be problematic when she asked just how he knew the sunset was the best. He promised her, as a man of romance, that he had met young women from all over the globe, and all had testified before him that it was the best sight of all the world. Upon seeing the sunset Juna, a former resident of human townships in Shiv, compared the sunset to a magma spill amidst a bloodspill from a dragon. She then went on to tell a tale of her former fiance having bested a squadron of Viashino and a pair of dragons in one fight.

    Still, Barden was not offset by Juna's indifference to his romantic splendor. His wines, fresh cheeses, and even drugged candies had no effect on that tight bodice. Before he had thought the sheer amount of Juna contained within would cause it to burst open. After the failure of his candies, his final and most potent trick, he figured the bodice must have been fashioned of an indestructable metal which only appeared to be fabric.

    "That there looks somewhat like a volcano from home," Muttered Juna with an air of discredit, "But, it has no smoke. It is nothing but a mountain covered in weeds." She waved an angry hand to the peak, and seemed to continue the gesture to Barden.

    Not only having to defend himself, but the island beauty as well, Barden sat up next to the laying Juna. "That there is Benalia, tallest mountain of all ranges for a thousand miles!"

    "So?"

    "Just look at it! It stands as high as the sun travels in the sky! It scrapes against the moon at night, blocking its sight for half the night every spring! Up there is the...the..." Barden wondered how he could work what he knew of the mountain into somehow getting Juna to loosen up.

    "What are you trying to say? So it's big. I saw bigger volcanoes at home." She folded her arms in protest. "Damn, we even had bigger hills than that pile of weeds."

    "Don't let such filth flow freely from the lips of an angel!" Barden tried to touch his gentle, forbidding finger upon her lips, as if he were trying to soothe her out of cussing anymore. She jerked her head away from both tries. "Do you, as one so beautiful, have doubt for that which is nearly as beautiful, only because you know these sights can never compare to you?" His attempt at romancing her into cooperation was met with a growl of intolerance.

    "Bye!" Juna took to a bolt as soon as she stood, heading right for Providence and away from the bumbling Barden.

    Barden rushed after, having to go into a slight jog in order to keep pace with her fast walk. "Would you like to go up there? Upon the peak of Benalia, to look down upon the world as a goddess does? To see, upon legs, as angels do upon wings?"

    Juna froze. "Why not take me there instead of this large puddle?"

    "It's dangerous," He swallowed a throat full of terror. "The place was named for the old home of the golem that lives there. The war golem Goonin, built by the empire of Benalia, took that mountain as its home." His limbs almost shook in ice-cold fright with the idea that he might have to take Juna to that terrible place just to see her in all her natural beauty.

    She turned with a glare in her eye, one that seemed to remind of her stories told about her fiance, who slaughtered dragons and Viashino on a daily basis.

    "I will battle Goonin, and his army of wurms, for you, my lady. I would do that in service to you, the angel of grace." His voice cracked and shook as much as his limbs. He wished he were lying, but as he talked Juna breathed deeply, her bodice-encased bossom reminded him why he was telling the truth, each time she inhaled.

    "Well," said Juna, inching close to Barden's lips. "I would go, but I am not fit for battle. If you can bring the head of Goonin down from Benalia, I would know it is safe to travel there. If you can do that..." she was close enough to breathe right into his quivvering lips, "...I would be most pleased with your service." She moved in on his cheek, gave him the quickest of pecks, then set to a full run back to town.

    The sky was growing darker while Barden pondered what to do. He feared the rare stories he uncovered in old scrolls, of Goonin and his wurms and how they killed any who neared the peak he named Benalia. He also longed for nothing more than to win over Juna. Unlike other girls, he would not discard her once he found a new mark to pursue. If he could win Juna, he would propose marriage and father a house full of children with her. He would die an old and happy man with the most beautiful wife the world had ever known. Doing that meant he might have to die at the hands of a war golem.

    After a few hours of thought alone on his rowboat, he decided Juna was worth it. Then again, dying before even sampling her was not worth the risk. He would have to talk her into another night out at the lake, to tell her of his plans to raid Goonin's lair and win his head. He was sure such a planning tale would win her over at least a little. If not as much as he had won with other girls, at least enough to keep him content all the way up the mountain and back.

    Returning to town turned out to be a mistake for Barden, which he only found out when he passed through a quiet main street through the middle of town. Pole torches were lit magically at the edge of the road, and in the gentle glow of the lights stood nobody but young men known to be members of a troop. The troop, it occurred to Barden, was led by Haver, a brute of a boy feared by even the strongest of the island's immigrants. Haver, Barden recalled upon seeing his face down the road, was the one man publicly known to have come closest to winning over Juna. With steps ever closer to Haver, Barden was able to see Juna clutching Haver's arm in apparent fear.

    "There he is!" Juna pointed out to Barden, with a whimper accompanying her testimony. "There is the scoundrel who tore my bodice!" She buried her face deep in Haver's giant bicep while sobbing. Down the arm was held the tattered remains of Juna's bodice. She wore a cloak over her body, which by the emblem on the breast could only have come from Haver.

    "I didn't do such a thing!" He trembled as two dozen muscular young men encircled him from the street sides. "Listen! She lies to gain favor with you! She just wants to see you hurt a person in her name!" He would have said more, but his head was pummeled by three fists at once. He would have been battered into the ground, and in fact he did fall, but luckily for Barden he was a lanky young man. On the cobblestone road, managed to slither like a snake between the legs of his assailants, and managed to dodge a frontal attack from Haver. He ran right to his house.

    "You run, defiler! You will not go far!" Haver held an angry fist in the air, which soon glowed with red energy. Descended from Coalition battlemages who helped found the township, Haver held more in his arsenal than brute strength. "Come with me," he ordered to his men, "We will not tolerate any who harbor this unholy pig!"

    The gang followed Barden right to his house. They shouted profanities and some waved their fiery fists in the air. When Barden's parents and neighbors came outside in defense of the boy, they were battered down and taken into custody. As they were kicked and spit on, they were told they would be handed over to the constable in the morning for protecting a rapist.

    Barden hid in his house only until Haver's gang used spells to set it aflame. He escape out a back door, avoided being sighted by a growing mob in the streets, and fled to the hills.

    As an outcast, Barden had been attacked, chased, and called slanderous things. Every time, it only took a day or two in the wilderness before those things died down and he could return to town with everything fine until the next storm of anger. This time, with a crime being burdened on him and his family, he knew it would take much longer than even a week to come home.

    A month seemed insufficient once he thought it over. A year seemed too short. He recalled a wizard who came with a group of pirates and manhandled a baker's wife. The wizard left the same night to escape being hung in public view. The wizard returned two years later only to be recognized and strung up in the main street. His pirate friends were rounded up and also hung for harboring him.

    For the moment, night called for sleep, and Barden chose his old rowboat as his bed. He found it in the moonlight and paddled it to the far shore before falling asleep. All night he dreamed of Juna's beauty and Haver's ferocity. If only there was a way to deal with both, he wondered in every dream.
  3. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    Note: This section is in progress, which is why it doesn't end like a chapter/section should, and is missing a title. I will edit this post and reload the entire Section 3 once I finish it.


    III:


    With the first signs of the aproaching dawn, Barden's fearful body forced him into waking. In the waning darkness he could see the glowing blue outline around Mount Benalia. He remembered his oath to Juna to bring back Goonin's head.

    He began to wonder about Juna, and her lie. He thought maybe she felt he was a weakling or a coward, and that was why she set Haver upon him. She could be won over, but he had to prove he was worthy of being her man. Goonin's head would prove he was not only strong but also brave. Juna would have to tell the truth about the past night upon Barden's return with the golem's head. She would not only be truthful, but probably marry him. He would win her over from Haver.

    Haver, on the other hand, would have to stand down. Every man in town would bow down to Barden as they would to a king once he walked through town with proof he bested Goonin. He could not only take Haver's woman, but his gang as well. Commanding the street thugs appealed to Barden just as much as the idea of standing over Haver's bowing form.

    With the goal in place Barden left his boat with the small packets of stale bread and a bottle half-full of wine. There were no candies or cheeses in the boat left for his trip. When he journeyed halfway up a nearby foothill, he glanced back to see the torches in the morning light surrounding the far shore, and the tiny blaze that must have been his rowboat.

    For five days Barden walked on the shoreline hills, moving to the beach cliffs to capture seagull eggs when hungry, or to stop and fish when both hungry and tired. He quickly cooked whatever he ate and immediately buried the ashes of his fires in case anybody was following him. For drink he finished his wine before the first day's noon, and took to drinking from the water collections in jungle plant leaves. Sometimes, he was lucky enough to run into a fruit-bearing tree which bore cirtuses full of juice. Sour though they were, they provided a nice drink during so much fleeing.

    On the sixth day, Barden sighted an Erne nesting ground, guarded by hordes of the huge birds. From that point on he walked much more inland and gave up his diet of gull eggs and sea fish. Fruits and leaf water became his mainstay for the next week as he trudged through the smaller mountains. After spending another week circling around to the opposite side of Mount Benalia's base, he found that no face of the mountain was any less steep than any other. He would have to just go straight on and hope his climbing could keep up with the treachery of the peak.

    After a day of making slow progress through the mountain's jungles, Barden came upon a horse-sized wurm plowing through the brush. His first thought was that it might be a servant of Goonin. Hunger overtook his fears, however. He had already fashioned a spear out of a stick, a sharp rock, and a lot of vines. It had been created to stab at jungle rodents in an attemt to get some meat for dinner. The wurm, being a clear meat container, looked mighty tasty to Barden.

    Knowing the stories that wurms hate humans and know their smells, Barden urinated on a tree trunk and quickly climbed up an adjacent tree with his spear ready. Within the hour the wandering wurm came upon the smell of a human and headed to the marked tree. A spear stabbed downward into the back of its assumed head, catching enough of its brain to send it into spasms and then paralysis.

    Barden had never speared anything other than fish, and even that he was terrible at. He felt some pride in having killed a wurm much larger than his tiny rowboat. That night, he ate a feast fit for kings. From the wurm's frightening panel-like teeth, he fashioned a pair of bucklers to put on his arms, and strung together a pair of shoulder pads and even a makeshift breastplate.

    With two more day's time, he waited as the jungle rodents came to the wurm carcass at night. Hiding in trees above like a stealthy cat, he found it much easier to kill the oversized rats. With their pelts he sewed together a vile hat and a greasy tabbard. Covered in the pieces and scents of jungle fauna, Barden found that the jungle around him was much more accepting. Animals were no longer suspicious, and chattered about much more than they had when they thought a human was present.

    There were no predators other than the wurms on Mount Benalia, and Barden was glad for that. Most that he encountered were dog-sized, and it made him curious until he found a nest littered with broken shells the size of small dogs as well as slither lines leading outward. All he had seen were the babies of Goonin's wurms. He wondered if the adults would be at the peak, guarding Goonin personally.

    With three more days of hiking mixed with strenuous climbing, Barden made his way to the peak. He surveyed the place from a high tree, and seeing no war golem or army of wurms, he assumed it was safe to look for the lair entrance.
  4. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    Well, never had time to copy edit, and it don't look like anybody's gonna make a suggestion, so I'll just post part one now. :D

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