[Fan Fiction] "Prelude"

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CrazyBernie
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[Fan Fiction] "Prelude"

Post by CrazyBernie » July 11th, 2009, 8:28 pm

"Let's see what a little bit of this will do..." Using an eye-dropper, he extracted a minute amount of the turquoise colored liquid from the beaker. This he gently squeezed into a small mixing bowl that already contained another liquid, this one of a rose hue. He then stood back quickly, leaning on his staff for support. As the two fluids began to mix a small bit of vapor curled up from the resulting reaction, and then... nothing.

"What the devil?" The old man limped back toward the bowl and peered in. A purple mixture lie at the bottom of the bowl, perfectly still. "Well that was awfully anti-climatic." He tilted the bowl slightly and noted that the substance was still liquid, but seemed to have thickened a bit. With a reserved sigh, he picked up his quill and made some notes on a roll of parchment. Then he picked up the bowl and dumped it into the bucket of water by the table.

The resulting explosion threw him across the room like a rag doll. His body slammed up against the wall and fell into a motionless pile of limbs and a walking staff. A nearby guard who heard the deafening noise rushed into the shop. "Vekkar, are you all.... right?" The chainmail clad figure froze at the sight of chaos in front of him.

Stalagmites projected out of the corner of the shop where the bucket once lay. They were not stalagmites comprised of thousands of years of mineral deposits, however. These were made entirely up of water, of the frozen variety. Half of Vekkar's work table was encased in ice, along with half of its contents. Fragments of the bucket could be seen in several of the crystal clear spires.


Vekkar suddenly sprang to life, arms, legs, and staff flailing about. He jumped to his feet with a vigor in no way suggestive of his frail appearance. One look at the disaster in his shop and he kicked up his heels in glee. "Ha, ha! Great goblin gizzards! Not that goblins actually have any gizzards, that's merely just a myth... but this! Absolutely marvelous! Wait 'till that old coot Keldar hears about this! Ho, ho!" He began to dance around the shop.

"Okay... I guess... everything is all right in here. I'll just be heading out..." The seemingly ignored guard began to turn to take his leave.

"Wait!" Vekkar suddenly stopped in mid-jig, a look of confusion forming on his weathered face. "Did you feel that? That shaking of the ground?"

"Shaking? You mean besides when that happened?" A nervous hand gestured toward the ice formation.

"You're right, it was probably just my excitement." The shop owner walked over to his shelf of wares and plucked a healing potion, downing it in a single swallow. "I am getting a bit old for this." He turned to the guard. "Everything's quite under control, but I do appreciate the offer of assistance."

When the guard was out of sight, Vekkar hurried back to his table and grabbed a blank roll of parchment that escaped the frozen encounter. His quill was not so lucky. He retrieved another, and scribbled a quick note:

Keldar, old friend,
What was that phrase you coined while we worked together all those years ago? 'Alchemy: One Part Magic, One Part Science, and Three Parts Dumb Luck?' Well I've got a doozy for you this time! I can't wait to see how those damned gobbies react to this! I think I'll call it 'Icicle Explosion!' Or perhaps 'Frozen Stalagmite Surprise!' Well I suppose we can work out the name later. Here are the details...



After finishing the note, he walked outside and whistled sharply. Moments later a hawk floated down and landed on the nearby fence. One on leg was clasped a small scroll tube into which Vekkar inserted the rolled-up parchment. A second whistle commanded the bird to take flight. When the large bird merely cocked its head and looked at him in anticipation...

"Oh! Right, I almost forgot." He began fishing around his pockets. "Let's see, I'm sending you to Port Kuudad, so we'll want the fish flavor. Ah, here we go!" The hawk gobbled down the treat and finally took flight, climbing to the east. The warm air currents there would eventually take him north over the ocean.

The second time was unmistakable; the ground trembled noticeably. People in the streets stopped and began to look around in fright, unsure of what action to take.


"The Blazes... an earthquake?" Forgetting to limp in public, Vekkar ran inside just in time to catch some rather expensive potions that tumbled off the top shelf. He quickly moved all of the bottles to the floor. There hasn't been an earthquake in these parts since... since the formation of the Bottomless Lake! That was when Keldar sealed in... Merciful Luna!

Grabbing a key from underneath the shop counter, he tossed aside his staff and went to the back door of the shop. Beyond the door was a room with bookcases full of leather-bound books, rolled-up parchments, and piles of documents, save a single case that was completely empty. On a shelf to the left of the empty case he reached for a book titled 'The Bottomless Lake' and tilted it back. An audible "click" was heard and the barren case swung open, revealing a stairway leading into a concealed basement. He hurried down the steps.

Several moments later after a third, even more powerful tremor, a small storage shed and the surrounding earth behind The Enchanter's Philosophy collapsed inward, leaving a large hole in the ground. From out of that hole, something began to rise.

A child was first to notice. "Look mama, a giant ball!" He exclaimed while pointing at the object floating up from behind the alchemy shop. Indeed, it did look like a giant ball, made of tough hide stitched and glued together. Four belknap ropes were attached to the middle and held a basket suspended underneath. In that basket was the figure of a man.

"Look mama, its the Potion Man! Mama, I want to ride on the ball! Maybe the Potion Man has some candy!" The child's mother simply stared in disbelief.

I seriously hope this is a false alarm, although explaining the presence of this flotation device is going to put a damper on my week. Vekkar tossed a large bag full of sand out of the basket, reducing the weight and allowing the vessel to float higher. The bag of sand was impaled on a lamppost, breaking the lamp and spraying sand on some guardsmen.

"Sorry, sorry about that. I'll pay for that," he called down to the dumbfounded guards. Reaching into a small compartment on the inner basket wall, he produced a small spyglass and began scanning the horizon to the north. Eventually his gaze rested on the small pass that lead toward Vela. Perhaps the activity is from Crackamir Rift... wait, what's that? Twisting the spyglass allowed for sharper focus. As the view of the pass became clearer, what little color was left of his pale face quickly drained away. Goddess help us all...

*****

Lotarg was bored. Why me have to guard stupid village? No humans left to cut up, and Lotarg not fan of water. The goblin warlord sat on the docks of the southern island of Vela, throwing pebbles into the water. He inserted a scaly green finger into a large pointy ear and began to twist it around. The finger was then extracted and examined briefly before being thrust into his mouth. I no sign up for this. What to sign up mean, anyway?
When organized and properly commanded, goblins are ruthless killing machines. When left to their own devices, they are generally inefficacious and prone to petty squabbling amongst themselves. Though a warlord, Lotarg was one of the least competent of goblins, obtaining his position through strength alone. Blissfully unaware, this was the main reason he was left guarding the remote, deserted village.

The first tremor went unnoticed. The second created some minor rippling of the otherwise calm waters of the lake, which captured the leader's interest. That look pretty. The third quake shook the dock on which he was sitting and small wave crested over, drenching him where he sat. Aw, now me soaked! What be going on? Tauraxes be fighting giants?

Deep below the surface of the Bottomless Lake, chaos was brewing. Something was resonating against the fault line that ran along the northern shelf. This caused and unusually large amount of shifting between the rock above and below the massive underground river. The increasing stress finally became too much to bear, and a thunderous crack rippled up the shelf. Once it reached the surface, it shot along the north shore in front of the Bastion Spire, not more than twenty meters from the nearest houses. A section of shoreline comprised of millions of tons of rock and sand quickly began to slide into the lake.

Lotarg slowly uncovered his ears and looked up at the sky. Lotarg no see any clouds. Me no see any lightning either. Where thunder come from? The rest of the goblins under his command were milling about in confusion as well. As he stood on the dock, the water suddenly began to recede, until the drop-off where the shallows suddenly ended was visible. Huh? Who be drinking all the water? Maybe lake have drain, like bathtub? He looked off into the distance, and his beady eyes began to widen at the most amazing sight.

The sinking of the north shore created a giant void that the waters rushed to fill in, causing a temporary recession along the other shores. Waves crashed over the new shoreline and flooded the houses closest to the lake. But as the giant, scoop-shaped piece of land neared the bottom of the lake, the water in front of it had nowhere else to go... but up. Water began to swell upward into what appeared to be a hill made of liquid. As it grew up it was guided to the south and began to pick up speed as well. Eventually the combination of height and speed caused it to crest and form a gigantic wave... that continued to grow and increase in velocity.

As the wall of water that was taller than a thousand goblins bore down on the former fishing village, the goblin warlord named Lotarg had a most brilliant epiphany.

Hmm. Me thinks that this might be bad.

*****


"Everyone run to the west! Hurry!" Vekkar yelled from his basket above Blackwater. It's probably too late. But I have to try. "There's a giant tsunami!"

The mountain pass acted as a giant funnel, channeling it from a southern course a more southwestern path. A path that lead the roaring wave directly toward the town. At the rate it was traveling, it would be upon them in several minutes, at the most. The townsfolk seemed oblivious to his warnings, content to stare curiously at his most peculiar mode of transportation. Suddenly the guards from the northeast gate sounded the alarm.

Thinking there was an attack, the inhabitants began heading for their homes... until the water became visible over the fortifications. Panic ensued, and everyone began fleeing in the opposite direction of the approaching mass. Vekkar could only watch helplessly as the chaos unfolded, and dump another bag of sand to ensure he cleared the height of the traveling wave.

While watching and waiting for the imminent destruction of Blackwater, he noticed something... unnatural. For a brief moment he could see a face in the water, an angry, bestial face that was looking directly at him. It seemed to be roaring in frustration at his increasing height. Indeed, as he looked on he noticed that the wall of water was beginning to lose much of its energy due to the large distance and relatively wide area that it had entered. Unfortunately it was traveling too fast.

When the monster wave slammed into the northeast wall, it was less than half of its original height. This meant it was still several times higher than the wall, which was swept up like matchsticks in a torrential downpour. Building after building was carried away, and nothing that was touched by water escaped its wrath. The river of destruction continued on its path, finally reaching its end at Crackamir Rift, into where it plunged itself and all of its contents.

Miraculously, only half of the town was destroyed, though all of it was now flooded. At the last moment the mountainside that the wave was traveling along veered south, which had redirected the flow of the rogue waters. This also saved the townspeople who had fled westward. Many were seen clinging to floating debris, waiting for the waters to subside. Well, somehow it looks like there wasn't heavy casualties.

I need to reach the Council and inform them of this occurrence right away. He was fairly certain that it was not caused by natural means. The face he saw convinced him of that much. Hey, my shop is still there! Hopefully there's still some healing potions that can be of use. I just need to land and... oh.

The ballooned transport he had been working on was incomplete. In his haste to take off he had forgotten that it did not yet have a method of descent.

"Hey guards... excuse me! Yes, up here! Ah, hello, do you think you could fire an arrow at this?" He gestured at the balloon.
Last edited by CrazyBernie on July 14th, 2009, 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [Fan Fiction] "Prelude"

Post by Randomizer » July 12th, 2009, 12:01 am

Great story as usual. I can't wait to find out whose behind it.

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Re: [Fan Fiction] "Prelude"

Post by Painted Lady » July 13th, 2009, 1:52 pm

Just great fun - as usual. Makes me really, really anxious for Book II to come out..........

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Re: [Fan Fiction] "Prelude"

Post by dare49devil » July 14th, 2009, 4:47 pm

-Cool, cool. Did you workk with BW a little for this shows a..'monster bad person guy'? Or is this just all your own thoughts and just story-telling that doesn't relate to Book II?

-And...typo. =)
While watching an waiting for the imminent destruction of Blackwater,

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Re: [Fan Fiction] "Prelude"

Post by CrazyBernie » July 15th, 2009, 12:20 am

dare49devil wrote:-Cool, cool. Did you workk with BW
Right back at ya! ;-) And thanks... this new keyboard of mine has its... quirks. I love the tactile, laptop-style feel of the keys, but sometimes the keys just don't press right... if at all. I really should be typing the stories in Word, but Google Docs is so much more convenient since I can type wherever I have internet access. Hopefully they'll start beta testing a grammar check. Of course there's also the upcoming free web version of Office 2010, but that's not out until next year. None of those solutions beat the trusty and uber portble pen and paper for scribbling down ideas. 0_o

I'd really rather not comment on what does and doesn't directly relate to Book II... because that would spoil the surprise... ^_^ Let's just say we've exchanged an idea or two, and reiterate BW's own words:
BasiliskWrangler wrote:So far nothing CB has written contradicts Book 2 or Book 3, however he has introduced ideas that are not directly part of our previously written world lore. I'm sure some of what he has written will make it into the upcoming games, especially since he is helping create some of the in-game books that you will come across in Book 2.

However (this is just to cover our own butts) remember that this is still considered fan fiction, not canon. If Book 2 contradicts anything Bernie has posted here, you must assume we are correct. 8) :wink: :D
A little mystery to help build anticipation... as if it was needed. >.<

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