• Got some models to paint? Want to do it as a challenge in a group who help and encourage each other? Join our Tale of Painters - Third Edition. Any models, any army!

Sable Scrolls: The best story ever told

Boo

Vampire Lord
True Blood
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
3,195
Sable Scrolls
Hello there! This is my entry to the short story competition, and I glad that you've taken time out of your day to read it through! :) I hope you will enjoy it!

All the best!


The Best Story Ever Told

”In a land covered with darkness and despair, where bravery is met by cold and horrible death, where righteousness is in short supply and where the fair are chained by the wicked is where our story begin.

The once fair realm of Gerendia, where the fields once lay in emerald green, the rivers flowed bright blue and the people lived in happiness, now remain only as shadow of it former self. Sacked and destroyed by barbarians who came from beyond the mountains to burn, pillage and rape. Wandering tribes of pagans, who worshiped strange and evil gods, laughed as they put towns and villages to the torch. The land, now wild and angry, is a dangerous place to traverse and most steer clear of the deep forests where the rays of the sun can’t reach…”

“Come now old man, do you take me for a fool? This story is of the kind you would tell to scare younglings! It is surely not a story fit to tell Count De’ Licateou!“

The old man wearing the tattered robes lifted his head and looked deep in to the eyes of Count Trey De’ Licateou. The dining hall, in which the old man sat, was old fashioned and draped with luxurious banners, flags, skulls from wild game, treasures stolen from some foreign land and all manners of weapons, ranging from crude bows to finely crafted rapiers. Sitting on wooden stools behind oaken tables all around the old man, the court and guests of Count Trey De’ Licateou laughed at the Counts witty comment. Some laughed because the wine had gone to their head, others because they wanted to keep theirs. There had been a dinner party, which all that were invited attended, some in fear of what would happen if they did not, some because the knew what splendour awaited. Wild boar, roasted to a crisp and other delicious meats were served, goose with garlic, cooked with feathers and all, wine from the finest wineyards in both Estalia and Bretonnia were passed around the tables. In the middle of the dining hall of Castello Licateou, sat the Count himself.

Count Trey De’ Licateou was wearing his favourite slashed doublet with paned sleeves. The fabric was coloured black, with red and golden linings. The brown breeches paired with tall, narrow boots, sporting turned-over tops were crossed over one another underneath the table and Count Trey De’ Licateou’s finely trimmed moustache, etched atop his upper lip, was crumpled together, with his lips, in a sceptical expression. The counts long dark curled hair was partially hidden underneath a huge, brown broadbrimmed hat. As was the fashion, the hat sported several flamboyant feathers. The wide reticella collar underneath Count Trey De’ Licateous chin was stained in some places from the vast amounts of wine that the count had digested during the dinner that had taken place before the make-shift storytelling competition.

It was really Sir Cantadou’s idea, the Counts adviser, a short, fat man, wearing a red shirt underneath a black tunica, sporting a huge moustache, his face powdered white with flour, a man which, despite his position at the counts side, had never really accomplished anything in his days, save for the fact that he would offer his not so very wise, bitter-sweet, advice to the count, to hold a story telling competition and the Count had agreed, partially from boredom and partially because Count Trey De’ Licateou was getting quite tipsy.

“I wanted a story that would… what’s the words…?” Said the count, waving his immense white cuffs of the doublet around in the air, as if trying to magically summon the right words.

“Blow you mind? Your greatness?” Offered Sir Cantadou, placed conveniently to the left of the count, near De’ Licateou’s one good ear, smiling broadly at the man in the tattered robes.

“Indeed! Blow my mind! You, old man, have failed in doing so. Remove him from my sight immediately!”

“But your highness, I was just getting started…”

“NOW!” Screamed Count De’ Licateou, dismissing the man with a flick of his wrist.

Two of the household guards soon appeared behind the old man and lifted him from the chair that had been pulled up and placed 20 paces in front of the count. The old man started screaming as he realized what had happened to the four storytellers that had gone through the doors in to the dining halls of Count De’ Licateou before he had. Another guard opened a trapdoor, revealing a deep hole with no visible bottom. Howling with terror, he was thrown down in to the darkness.

“Next, I am getting bored!”

“Yes your grace! Bring in the next one!” Sir Cantadou clapped his hands and a guard stationed at the gates nodded, opened the steel reinforced oaken gates up and in walked a young woman.

“Who is this?” Demanded the Count.

The woman was wearing a white gown, with dirt splattered all across it. While torn in some places, it had probably once belonged to someone of worth. If this had been the woman or if she had stolen it from someone else, one could only guess. Her hair was blonde, almost boarding on white. Her skin was dirty, but underneath the filth, a fine, smooth and somewhat pale complexion hinted that this girl had not been spending that much time outside. The woman was young and while not beautiful, she was pretty enough to get some looks from various gentlemen strewn across the dining hall. As the guard closed the door shut behind the woman, the night air seeped in through the gate, like a ghost from times past, it drifted in, assailing the gathered nobles and knights alike. Outside, darkness reigned supreme, not even the moon was visible. Clouds gathered above and it started to rain.

At the question posed by Count De’ Licateou none answered simply because no-one knew. Trey De’ Licateou glared at Sir Cantadou, who simply shrugged, smiled and begun sweating a bit.

“Please girl, tell us your name.” Said Cantadou, his voice low and almost apologetic.

The girl smiled and said:

“My name is not important, but what is important is the story I have to tell you. It will be the best story you have ever heard in your whole life. It is simply the best story ever told.” The girl gave a slight bow and approached the chair, to sit down.

“How can you be so certain, young girl?” Sir Cantadou asked.

“Because it is a true story.”

At this the count did smile, revealing a row of perfect white teeth that gleamed in the dark, almost illuminating the insides of his mouth. Sir Cantadou also smiled but swallowed down hard as he begun to think about what consequences a failed storytelling competition might produce on his end. The girl sat down, sweeping her gown in front of her legs, which she then crossed, taking a relaxed stance in front of the count. The guests around all fell silent, some in anticipation of the words that would soon flow through the mouth of this frail young woman, some hoping that another usage of the trap door was imminent, not caring if it was Sir Cantadou or the girl who was flung down in to the dark. The count reached for another goblet of wine.

“Well then… go on.” Count Trey De’ Licateou’s voice echoed in the dining hall, none dared draw a breath. The girl smirked and then the she started speaking aloud.

“Forget all you have ever heard about magic, sorcery, witchcraft and spell casting. These are the dealings of lesser souls in to elements and knowledge they do not posses even the fundamental knowledge about. Those deep, arcane mysteries that the common man struggle to understand and truly no one have ever fully understood any of. There are mistakes, both lucky and horrible, that plague and bless the practitioners of the so-called wizards, sorcerers and other spellcrafters. The only one and true master of the arcane arts were the great conjurer G’Hal Marstass. A hermit-wizard living in the deepest cave in the old mountains. The elves shunned his company, dwarves spat at the slightest mention of his name and men feared him like none they have ever feared before.”

Sir Cantadou glanced at the Count, who sat perched on his chair, seemingly just waiting to hear what would next come out the frail girls mouth. Sir Cantadou shrugged and tilted his slightly to the right, why would the Count bother to listen to this, it was no better then the last stories that had been told under the roof of Castello Licateou. Sir Cantadou shook his head and turned his eyes upon the girl and then he saw it.

The eyes.

“G’hal Marstass was a man of deep intellect and a mind capable of the most marvellous things. He could go days without food or water, only sustained by the raw force of magic, channelled through his keen mind and perfect understanding of magic. So long he lived, G’hal Marstass, never dying, but getting more and more tired of his aging shell. Indeed not immortal, just really good at staying alive, G’hal Marstass one day raided the neighbouring Dwarf Keep of Ark’Matash, a name and date that is now since long erased from the records and memories of the oldest of dwarves. In this Dwarven keep, aided by his immense magical powers, G’hal Marstass did take only one thing before he brought down the mountain upon the blood soaked halls of Ark’Matash.

A silver mirror.”

Count De’Licateou could not look away from the eyes of this young, enchanting woman. Who ever she was she had some kind of lure about her. The eyes were glowing, a light ice-blue colour that pierced his retina and drilled far deep in to the darkest corners of his mind. It was a strange feeling really, as he sat there and listened to the girl speak, he could swear that instead of hearing the voice of the young woman, the words that were uttered sounded like they had escaped a tomb, ancient but not frightening, like rattling branches in the wind. It was the voice of the woman and this other voice at the same time. Collaborating, speaking to only him. Saying differing things, things that made him feel alone and surrounded at the same time. The voice probed his mind, feeling around inside.

“Hello Trey.” The voice said. “You are a special man, chosen for great things. Chosen by me.”

Sir Cantadou could not understand why he could not look away from the girl. It started to frighten him. He wanted to be nowhere near the woman with the scary eyes. But somehow he still had to keep looking at them. The girl continued with her story.

“… and the within the mirror did G’hal lay an enchantment so powerful it took him several years to place it…”

The voice grew in strength. Getting louder and louder, overpowering the sounds of the guests, the clanking of spoons upon plates, wine pouring in goblets and the sound of the forest outside. Count Trey De’Licateou was huddled up in a corner of his mind, the voice pressing in. De’Licateou felt trapped. He desperately tried to fight it, but was utterly powerless.

“Trey?” It was calling on him. “Trey? You have an important role to fill.” It was trying to locate him, searching all places of his entire being. “It will be over in just a second…”

Trey De’Licateou could feel that he was slipping, loosing grip on his own mind.

The girl suddenly stood up from her chair and slowly walked over to the table where the Count and Sir Cantadou were seated. Slowly, she pulled out a small, handheld silver mirror and held it up to Trey De’Licateou’s face.

“Trey? It is time. Look in to the mirror Trey. It will soon be over.”

Trey tore his eyes from the girl as he felt control of his body returning to him but soon he found that he was staring in to his own eyes in a mirror that the girl held up in front of him. Suddenly, a feeling of dizziness struck him and to his surprise he was looking down upon himself, sitting at his own dining table. Trey De’Licateou felt different somehow. He felt lighter, nimbler and very hungry, despite the massive amounts of food he had eaten during the banquet. He tried to speak but could not muster any words. He looked around and found himself standing in front of his own dining table, holding a small silver mirror. He slowly turned the mirror around and to his horror the reflection that greeted him was not the plump and dark of hair Count but the pale, nimble girl. He tried to scream but no sound was made.

“Well… this was indeed a huge let-down…” Said Sir Cantadou. “Don’t you agree with me, count?”

“I do… agree with you.” Said the count seated at the table, smiling the count continued; “as a price for your failure to entertain me I shall take your mirror and you shall be taken away.”

Trey could not comprehend what was going on but in his head he could hear the frantic laughter that would not stop. The mirror was snatched out of his hands as a pair of guards placed strong gauntleted hands upon his shoulders. Brusquely Trey was being dragged towards the trapdoor and soon his senses returned to him. He tried to kick, but the guards were strong. He screamed as he witnessed to his horror the trapdoor being opened. The strong hands holding his arms now raised him briefly from the floor and soon the sensation of falling overtook his mind.

As he fell in to the darkness, Trey De’Licateou, Count of Castello Licateou, howled in terror until his body hit the ground, crushing his skull, snuffing out his life from the harshness of the world all the while high above the great feast of Castello Licateou continued on throughout the night.
 

Bartel

Skeleton
Joined
Aug 17, 2010
Messages
56
You had me fooled there. I thought I'd read a wonderful story about the mysterious realm of Gerendia. Of darkness overtaking a lustrous land, of the fall of brave heroes in defence of justice and noble virtues. But then, the Count interfered. What a disappointment! (just kidding).

I'm not sure why, Boo, so forgive me if I just read the story at the wrong time or in the wrong frame of mind, but it failed to entertain. It lacks engagement, or suspense or athmosphere or I don't know what. My feelings during reading were kind of neutral and disinterested.

Yet, as I said, I'm not sure why, because you have all the ingredients of a great story: I didn't see what was coming until I read it, so that scores on originality; you had the necessary descriptions to paint a mental picture and draw the reader into the imaginary world (athmosphere); there was violence, beautiful women and a plotline; and your style is descent, though with a few too many language errors.

So I guess it was just me being in the wrong mood or something. Pitty. But objectively spoken, I reckon this is a good tale, if you could get someone to read your text and remove the errors.

e.g.
...where our story begin (begins)
...because the knew (they)
The girl smirked and then the she started (remove the)
among others...

Maybe, and that's just a thought, you could have given the girl more of a purpose, i.e make her good or evil, and played that out against the Count? I don't known.

Anyway, hope you don't mind too much about my little review.
Thanks!
 

Boo

Vampire Lord
True Blood
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
3,195
Hey Bartel, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment on it! :)

I agree with most of what you wrote here, I do have loads of errors in it, as I am very "text-blind" to my own writings I often do not catch errors like the ones you pointed out, perhaps I should have had someone else read it through as well.

But as I think in swedish and write in english, many language errors occurs, something I've been trying to work away by writing lots in english.

Too bad I didn't catch you in your good mood ;) No but seriously thanks for pointing out errors like that, I shall strive to make future texts better (as I understood it, there is no changing this one, that is posted).

All the best,
Boo
 

Lynks

Lord of RAW
Staff member
True Blood
Joined
Dec 29, 2010
Messages
2,262
Quite Interesting! Shame It couldn't have been longer, the story could have used a bit of expanding. Unfortunately while initially the story left me questioning where it was headed, given my love of the character Constant Drachenfels from the 'Genevieve' book series led me to sort of guess where the story was going (super powerful mage from a long time ago, changes bodies (in a sense anyway) to keep himself alive for an indefinate ammount of time) If only Drachenfels was cannon!
Otherwise the story was quite good and I felt compelled to keep reading (always a good thing) even when i could sort of see where it was headed. Given that I had thogught I had spotted a language error right near the beginning, only to realise it was a mistake on my part, I just focussed on the story. Keep writing!
 

Zephyr

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
2,523
Originality: 8 Considering the amount of words we had to work with I think the character of the count was well developed. I would have loved to know more about the girl's background but there's something to be said for mysteries.
I'm a sucker for these kind of stories so maybe that's why I really enjoyed this one.

Writing Style 7 Nice flowing writing style, but some sentences felt a bit too long(which I'm personally also guilty of so hey not being too strict here).

Overall: 8 Very few errors for somebody who is not a native English speaker. I read right over them until I read Bartel's post...that's positive as I tend to overlook spelling mistakes when a story is good.

I'd say keep writing!
 

Mello

Hasn't left TVC for the rest of the forum
True Blood
Joined
Oct 26, 2010
Messages
3,483
Er.... I know I'm stupid, I don't get it :slapface:

Ok, woman with epic eyes, got it. Talks about mirror in story, got it. She has the mirror, ok. And then, the dude goes into the girl's body, and then goes back, and gets executed?? Why did the girl do it?? Confused.. Sorry for my imbecilicness.
 

Boo

Vampire Lord
True Blood
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
3,195
Haha! No worries!;) read it again. I might have been stretching this one too far, too few words to really explain the story :)
 

Mello

Hasn't left TVC for the rest of the forum
True Blood
Joined
Oct 26, 2010
Messages
3,483
I've only just noticed, but every four of the Sable scroll pieces have the main character dying at the end of it :P

A nice piece of writing here, although I get it, uk not too sure of the motive.

Originality: 6. I don't know why what happened did, but it was interesting if a tiny, tiny bit rushed, that's just my personal opinion, seeing as I prefer huge narratives :)

Writing: 8 nicely done, with some neat writing tricks and engaging writing style, only 1 spelling error I think. Sometimes what the characters said seemed a little 21st century (like "really") but otherwise it's cool.

Overall: 7/8. Good story, if a bit odd, and not sure why everything happens, but I enjoyed reading it and it expanded the warhammer universe for me, which is what a story is about.

Hmm, maybe if you had less words during the stories, especially the old mans at the start, you could flesh everything out. Just my no one advice xD
 
Top