Saturday, 22 October 2011

Go here instead

This blog is effectively dead. Go read my webcomic at instead.
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Monday, 19 October 2009

Chaos On The Battlefield: Part 3

This one's a bit short, but it's just a first meeting between two major characters, so it's not like it's anything important.

Tai’kor felt the adrenalin surge through his body as he closed his hand. Electricity crackled around it, a small reminder of the power he had unleashed. He watched as the Space Marine Captain collapsed backwards with burn marks on his chest armour.
With nary a glance towards the Khorne Berzerkers Tai’kor dashed to where Qo’tar lay, barely clinging to life. Tai’kor looked at the mangled form of a man he had followed for over 4 centuries. Qo’tar’s blood had already clotted around his wounds and there was no chance of him going into shock. If Tai’kor could get him away from the battlefield in time, he would have even odds of survival.
Tai’kor reached down and hauled Qo’tar onto his shoulder. Without even the slightest sign of exertion he began sprinting away. Before he could dive into an alleyway, however, a flicker of movement caught his eye. He spun around, dropped Qo’tar and drew his Force Weapon in time to parry an attack.
The Black Knights Chaplain had attacked him from behind. Tai’kor pushed him away and drew his Bolt Pistol. Before he could fire a shot the Chaplain launched himself into the sky with his Jump Pack.
Tai’kor focused his mind, letting the power of the Warp flow through his body. Unlike earlier when he had fired lightning from his fingertips he concentrated the power into his mind. Opening his eyes he glanced at the Chaplain and saw images of the attack to come.
With a quick sidestep he dodged the attack. Tai’kor grinned to himself, knowing that the Chaplain had obviously never fought a Sorcerer of Tzeentch before. He stepped backwards, giving the Chaplain enough time to gather himself. Tai’kor ducked and dodged the Chaplain’s attacks.
After parrying an expertly delivered thrust from the Crozius, Tai’kor saw an opening. Raising his Bolt Pistol to block where the Crozius would be, he swung his Force Weapon around in an attempt to slice the Chaplain in half. But just as the Force Weapon dug into the Power Armour it halted, stopped by an invisible force.
“The Emperor protects all of his servants!” The Chaplain muttered. Tai’kor nearly laughed aloud.
“Protect against this!” He yelled as he head butted the Chaplain. As the Chaplain staggered backwards Tai’kor slashed his Force Weapon across his face, tearing through the Skull-shaped helmet like butter and overcoming the force-field. Once again Tai’kor focused his mind, this time sending the power of the Warp down through his Force Weapon and into the body of the Chaplain. The Chaplain slumped to the floor, shaking and gibbering helplessly as the Warp eroded his mind.
Tai’kor took the opportunity to kick his defeated foe once more, then picked up Qo’tar and fled the battlefield, issuing an order to retreat through his mouthpiece as he did so.
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Monday, 12 October 2009

Chaos On The Battlefield- Part 2

Notice that ad next to this post? I've been spending all week trying to figure out how to get that thing to work, but I've finally managed it (Turns out it was ridiculously easy). But whatever, here's the second part to one of the stories I'm actually serious about continuing.

Chaplain Odiel landed among a group of Chaos Cultists, human followers of the Dark Gods. Although they were no match for the forces of the Imperium, the Chaos scum often used them to bulk out their numbers.
Chaplain Odiel tore through their ranks without a pause and fired a bullet through the head of their leader. As the scum fell to the ground the fortified encampment wall behind him exploded with astonishing force. As rubble the size of some houses crashed to the ground all around him, Chaplain Odiel took a few seconds to take in his surroundings. He begrudgingly accepted the fact that the Chaos traitors new how to build defences. Long, straight roads led to the Skyshield, but these had been blocked by rockcrete mini-fortifications. Behind each was at least one Chaos Marine squad, armed with the most devastating weapons they could bring to bear.
Through the new whole in the wall behind him a large tank moved through the dust. It was the 4th Company’s Vindicator tank. The large Siege Shield on the front of it pushed the rubble to the side, clearing the way for following vehicles. As the Chaos Marines at the next mini-fort unleashed their firepower upon it, the Demolisher Cannon mounted in the Vindicator’s hull fired. The Demolisher Cannon was developed specifically to blast its’ way through fortifications like these, just as it had done with the outer wall. The mini-fort proved to be no match.
Behind the Vindicator more Imperial tanks arrived. First came two Leman Russ class tanks. A mainstay of the Imperial Guard, this tank was the best that the planetary defences had to offer. Their Battle Cannons, while not as powerful as the Demolisher, had a greater range.
The three heavy tanks kept up a devastating barrage between them, sending the Chaos Marines into disarray. Chaplain Odiel smiled to himself as he saw the next two tanks to manoeuvre their way through the hole. One was a Rhino class troop carrier, which was undoubtedly carrying a full squad of ten Space Marines.
The other was a Razorback. The Razorback was essentially nought more than a Rhino with a large gun strapped to the back, at the expense of carrying capacity. Within this would be Captain Johan and his unit of veteran warriors. Both vehicles manoeuvred their way around the tank line and roared towards the remains of the mini-fort.
Chaplain Odiel fired up his Jump Pack and followed them. The Rhino ploughed through the rubble of the mini-fort without slowing down. The squad within would establish a beach-head ahead of them. The Razorback skidded to a sideways stop as the doors and rear loading doors opened, unloading the six-man squad within. The Chaos Marine squad had gathered what little courage was theirs and charged, ignoring the bullets bouncing off of their Power Armour.
The Chaos forces outnumbered the Captains’ squad by at least three to one, but Captain Johan and his veterans didn’t let this deter them. As they entered melee both sides drew their combat weapons. Most attacks were deflected by the armour, but some hit home. Two of his veterans’ fell, but Captain Johan more than avenged them. With his ancient sword in hand, he decapitated three Chaos Marines on his own, whilst the remaining veterans dispatched two more.
Neither side gave an inch, although the Chaos had lost their impetus. Chaplain Odiel gripped his Crozius Arcanum tightly as he approached them. He swung it with all of his might, backed up by the momentum of the Jump Pack. The Crozius slammed into a Chaos Marines’ midriff, snapping the man in half. The Crozius continued on its’ upward arc and into the face of another foe.
Within moments of his charge the Chaos Marines were broken, the survivors fleeing for their lives. Chaplain Odiel turned to see Captain Johan checking the status of his fallen comrades.
“They’ll live, but they cannot be moved for now.” Apothecary Tehir said.
“Very well. But we cannot wait. Send word for some Imperial Guard to look after them until this is finished.”
“Yes sir!”
“Chaplain, I thank you for the assist.” Captain Johan said as he rose to his feet.
“You could have handled them. My squad is injured and needs assistance. They are on the battlements.”
“Imperial Guard have secured the outer wall. They will have already received help. We press forward.” Captain Johan gestured to his squad to get back inside the Razorback. Another unit of Space Marines arrived to secure the location.
Just as Captain Johan was about to board the Razorback he noticed a loud rumbling from the direction of the Skyshield. He turned in time to see the Rhino explode in a massive fireball which engulfed the Tactical Squad around it.
Through the fires and flames strode a hellish beast. Its’ armour was a deep red and covered in golden spikes. The creatures’ massive head butted Space Marines out of the way as if they were nothing. Atop the great beast sat a Chaos Marine wearing matching armour and carrying a glowing axe. Accompanying him were more Chaos Marines wearing similarly coloured armour. Johan recognised them. He had fought their kind before.
Khorne Berzerkers. The most dangerous of all of the followers of Chaos. These men had devoted themselves to combat in all of its forms. They butchered their way through the Tactical squad.
Captain Johan drew his sword. “That’s him. The Chaos Lord. We cannot let him escape with his life. Marines, attack!”
As one man the veterans, the Tactical squad and Chaplain Odiel broke cover. Drawing their Bolt Pistols they fired into the enemy ranks, causing a few casualties. Even as they fell the Khorne Berzerkers cut off their own heads.
The Chaos Lord raised his axe above his head and spurred his monstrous beast forward. Captain Johan made a beeline straight for him. As the two warriors neared each other Captain Johan placed his left foot sideways, then spun around on it, swinging his sword in a wide arc as he did so. The beast narrowly missed him and continued onwards, only to slide to a stop several yards later.
Its head had been cut in half by Captain Johan’s sword.
The Chaos Lord roared with anger as he walked away from his dead mount. He pointed at Captain Johan with his left hand, “I am Lord Qo’tar the unconquerable, servant of the Chaos God Khorne, executioner of Chapter Master Sotariu of the White Lizards, slaughterer of an entire Company of the Black Knights and the last man you will ever face in combat,” he announced, “Make peace with your false god.”
“I do not care for talk,” Captain Johan replied “Now die like the dog you are.”
Qo’tar snarled in response and charged forward, his axe swinging above his head. Captain Johan parried the first blow, then ducked quickly to avoid the backswing. He twisted his sword, catching his foe on the left arm. Qo’tar hopped backwards out of reach.
They circled each other for a few moments before Qo’tar feinted an attack, which Captain Johan didn’t fall for. Qo’tar feinted again, but followed up with another feint, both of which Captain Johan ignored. Qo’tar feinted for a third time, but this time Captain Johan reacted. He knocked the handle of Qo’tar’s axe with a heavy blow, but Qo’tar used his free hand to force the sword down and followed up with a head butt. The two helmets clanged loudly. Captain Johan stumbled backwards, momentarily stunned. Qo’tar took a step forward and slashed his axe across Captain Johan’s stomach, cleaving through the Power Armour as if it was papier mache. Captain Johan roared with pain as Qo’tar slashed through his chest armour with equal ease.
As the axe swung towards him once more, this time at head height, he gathered himself. He had experienced greater pain back when he had been an initiate, during the process that transformed him into the Space Marine he was. And he hadn’t made Captain by giving up either. With new fire in his soul he caught the axe by the handle and swung his sword upwards, cleaving through Qo’tar’s shoulder.
With an understandable degree of shock Qo’tar stumbled, but recovered quickly. With his remaining hand he drew his Plasma Pistol, an ancient weapon he had kept ever since his days serving the Emperor, over 10,000 years ago. Before he could fire a bolt of super-charged plasma at point-blank range into his opponent’s face, the sword swung downward and removed his hand.
Seeing an opportunity that would not come again Captain Johan drew his arm back and rammed his sword point-first through the stomach of Qo’tar. After twisting it slowly Captain Johan ripped it out sideways. Qo’tar fell to the ground, torn almost in two. However, he was still breathing, so Captain Johan raised his sword and prepared to pierce Qo’tar’s brain.
That’s when Captain Johan was hit with a bolt of lightning to the chest.
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Monday, 28 September 2009

Character Profile: Minister Bennett

Full Name: Supreme Planetary Defence Minister Jason K. Bennett
Occupation: Planetary Ruler
Age: 80 Terran Years
Race: Human
General Description: Just above 6 foot tall. Bald, with two large scars across his face. Strong build. Dark blue eyes.
Birth Planet: Stekros, a minor planet located near the Cadian gate.
Personality: Disgruntled. Never takes a moment's rest due to his need to oversee the defence of his planet.
Special talents: Expert knowledge in warfare and strategy, particularly seige warfare and planetary defence. Highly accurate with his chosen weapon, the standard las-pistol. Capable close-combatant, with knowledge of the use and maintenance of several weapons, including Power Weapon and Power Fist.
Flaws: Due to the stresses of defending his planet, has never allowed himself to have emotions. Having said this, he is fiercely devoted to the defence of his world above all else, especially the lives of his men. But which is stronger? His loyalty to his planet or to humanity?
Anything else you think is important: Despite his long service, still shows humility in asking the Black Knights for aid.
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Chaos On The Battlefield

Well, I've been on hiatus for a while now. I'm not really sure why, but I just couldn't bring myself to get past that 30 post mark. Of course, this one changes things, and hopefully shall bring about changes in how I run this blog.

This story is set in the universe of Warhammer 40,000. Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, Space Marines and just about everything except character names are copyright of Games Workshop. That having been said, the characters themselves are copyright of me.

In the grim darkness of the far future there is no peace, no respite, no forgiveness. There is only war.

Supreme Planetary Defence Minister Jason K. Bennett was disgruntled. This was not an unusual state of affairs due to his Home world’s proximity to the massive Warpstorm known as the Eye of Terror. For his entire 80 year lifespan he had been either battling Chaos incursions or training for battles. But on this particular evening he was even more disgruntled than usual. The reason for this disgruntlement was standing before him, ordering him around as if he were some common soldier.
The man before him was no mere man. He was Captain Johan of the Black Knights Chapter of Space Marines and could be described as nothing short of superhuman. Standing at over 8 foot tall, Captain Johan wore an ancient suit of black-painted Power Armour. His presence was imposing to say the least. He was explaining his battle strategy to Minister Bennett and several other Defence Ministers.
Minister Bennett nodded politely as Captain Johan spoke, knowing that to disagree would be a folly of immense proportions. The Space Marines had arrived to aid thanks to a personal request, but they had made it clear that they would just as readily destroy the entire planet as save it. If he were to protect his home, he would have to accept humility.
After Captain Johan had finished explaining his plan Minister Bennett rose from his seat and strode over to the window. He sighed deeply and looked towards the horizon. Just beyond the walls of his city lay the Chaos encampment. After their initial attack secured them several Skyshield landing pads they had suddenly ceased hostilities, content to repel counterattacks whilst more reinforcements arrived.
After two days of ineffectual attempts to remove them, the Space Marines had suddenly made contact. Minister Bennett had all but begged for their aid, and they had agreed. It was barely an hour later, but the Space Marines were already gearing up for their assault.
“I take it you will not be joining us for the attack, Supreme Minister.” Captain Johan said. It was not a question.
“As you so delicately explained, I am required here in case your assault is unsuccessful. Do you really believe that a hundred men will be enough?”
“We have the blessings of the Emperor with us. The Chaos scum will not escape our rightful fury.”
“You say that with such conviction that it is impossible not to believe you. May the Emperor guide you.”
“And may He protect you as well.” Captain Johan said before leaving. Minister Bennett turned back to the window and sighed again.
“May He protect us all.”

Deep within the Chaos encampment a man by the name of Qo’tar was itching with frustration.
“I do not enjoy this waiting Tai’kor. For more than two days you have had us waiting. We should be out there in glorious combat, tearing the followers of the false emperor limb from limb. Why do you insist that we wait?”
“For reinforcements my lord.” The Sorcerer replied.
“We do not need any more reinforcements, we have enough already.”
“My lord, one cannot just charge at an entire planet’s worth of men. We must ensure that we attack precisely, destroying their morale. Only then can we charge upon the palace and take claim of this world.” Just as Tai’kor was managing to calm his lord’s irritable nature, a Chaos Marine by the name of Wallace entered their bunker.
“My Lord, we have reports that Imperial Space Marines have attacked the western defences.”
Qo’tar grabbed his helmet and grinned maliciously.
“You may keep your waiting games for a more cowardly Lord. For now, the Blood God calls me to battle.” Qo’tar pushed Wallace out of the way and left the bunker.
Tai’kor helped Wallace to his feet, “Well, it looks like the final act is about to play out earlier than expected.”

Chaplain Odiel crushed the skull of yet another Chaos Marine beneath his Crozius. He glanced at his Assault Squad. The Power Axe of Sergeant Zeik tore another foul warrior in half. Around them the rest of the squad dispatched their remaining foes. Chaplain Odiel bellowed an order. As one, the squad activated their jump packs and soared up the side of the sheer wall.
As they approached the top they came under heavy fire. A unit of Chaos Marines wielding Heavy Bolters were protecting the battlements above. Though most shots bounced off of their Power Armour, some hit home, slaying three Space Marines outright. They fell back down to the ground below, but the squad did not falter. Instead they aimed skywards with their Bolt Pistols and unleashed a salvo of their own. Unfortunately the Chaos Marines were also wearing Power Armour and only one fell as a bullet punched through his eye.
Before he even hit the ground the Assault Squad had reached them. Chaplain Odiel wasted no time in smashing an opponent’s skull beneath his Crozius, which he then swung around to break the ribcage of another foe. Odiel dodged a return attack and head butted his foe in reply. The Chaos Marine staggered backwards, leaving himself open for the Crozius to sink into his chest.
To his right Sergeant Zeik hacked through two more Space Marines. He spun around like a mini tornado, his axe a whirling weapon of death. It tore its’ way through both flesh and bone alike, its’ crackling blue energy field making a mockery of any armour it encountered. Sergeant Zeik was therefore surprised when it came to a sudden and very definite stop. Looking down he discovered it was stuck halfway into the barrel of a Heavy Bolter. Looking up he stared as the Chaos Marine pulled the trigger, unleashing three huge shells into Zeiks’ abdomen from point blank range. Gritting his teeth, Sergeant Zeik punched his fist into the face of his enemy, who stumbled backward and over the parapet.
Chaplain Odiel turned to the sergeant and leaned in close so that their helmets were almost touching.
“Can you fight?”
“I’m afraid not sir. I’m unable to feel my lower torso.”
“Then wait here. I’ll send an Apothecary as soon as possible.”
Chaplain Odiel lay his old friend down as comfortably as possible, then activated his Jump Pack and dived into the encampment below.
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Saturday, 25 July 2009

Fiction Battle: Bloodkind Chieftain Vs Magdalena

Thanks to having to cycle 13 miles to work and a further 13 miles home every day this week, I've been too exhausted to actually sit down and write. Since I'll be cycling all next week too, I may have to switch to weekend updates.
Anyways, I won the previous round of my fiction battle, so I got to go on and face off against Calamari with her character Magdalena, from Magician. I'll add links later.

Magdalena Blackwood was furious. Her two young children were causing a ruckus in the back seat, which would have been flat out dangerous if the car had actually been moving. As it was she was stuck in a traffic jam. She glanced at her watch impatiently and noticed that her kids would be late for school. If it weren’t for her children in the back she would have gotten out to investigate the cause of the hold-up.
After five minutes of honking her horn she finally got fed up and got out of her car. Clambering up onto the roof she cupped her hand above her eyes to protect them from the glaring sun and peered as far ahead as she could.
“Kids, get out of the car.” Magdalena said as she jumped down. As she practically dragged her son out the fleeing crowd reached them. Magdalena ran around to the other side and grabbed her daughter by the wrist, then she began running.
“Mom, what’s happening?” Her step-daughter, Vivi, asked. Before she could reply Magdalena threw herself and her children to the ground, barely dodging the car that hurtled over their heads.
“Mom, that was our car!” Zach screamed as he got back on his feet.
“Zach, Vivi, listen carefully. I want you to run home, don’t stop, not for anything.”
“But Mom, what-?”
“Just run!” Magdalena drew her pistol and left the two children in the middle of the fleeing crowd. She didn’t look back.
Once she returned to where her car had previously been she saw the cause of the traffic jam. A red-skinned man dressed in furs was throwing cars around like plastic toys. He had his back turned to her, which gave her a good look at the rather large sword he had strapped to his back.
She pulled her police badge from its’ position on her belt and held it up in front of her. Holding her gun next to it she accosted the man.
“Halt! My name is Officer Blackwood and I’m placing you under arrest! Come quietly and I won’t hurt you!”
The red man turned slowly towards her. His face was hidden by a red and white mask, but it didn’t cover his mouth. He smiled to himself, then calmly picked up a car and threw it towards her. Magdalena once again found herself barely dodging a flying car. As she rolled to her feet she gripped her pistol tighter and unleashed several rounds on hot lead at his chest.
He didn’t seem to notice.
Instead he casually reached over his shoulder and drew his sword. Then, weapon raised, he charged at her. Magdalena holstered her weapon and focused. She dodged at the very last moment that she dared and fired an ice spell at his flank. The ice smashed against his skin harmlessly.
Magdalena hopped over the crash barrier and onto the other side of the highway, then began sprinting in the opposite direction from which she had sent her children. With the red man hot on her heels she fumbled in her pocket for her cell phone. Before she could find it, however, a loud honking caught her attention. Looking up, she realised that she had run straight into oncoming traffic.
She barely jumped out of the way of the bus in time. The red man wasn’t so lucky, taking a bus to the face at +50MPH. Although the bus came out far worse, crumpling around him as if it were made of tin foil, he didn’t have any leverage against it. He found himself crushed between the bus and the crash barrier. The bus scraped its’ way along the barrier until it hit a bit of rubble, sending it over the barrier and onto the remains of a truck.
Magdalena picked herself up and gaped in shock at the wreckage before her. The bus had been completely decimated from the impact.
“Well, I guess I won’t be needing to call for backup after all.” Magdalena said to herself as she slowly wandered closer to inspect the man. Before she reached where the bus had ended its’ final journey a police helicopter descended above it. It trained its’ spotlight on her and turned its’ loudspeaker on.
“You there! Put your hands over your head.”
“Hey, I’m one of you guys!” Magdalena searched her pockets for her badge but couldn’t find it. With no other option she slowly raised her arms. At that precise moment the bus suddenly hurtled sideways. The red man untangled himself from the wreckage of the truck by means of ripping it in two with his bare hands.
“Holy! What the heck is that thing?” The man in the helicopter shouted. The red man glanced up at the source of the noise and growled angrily. He then picked up a piece of the truck and threw it skywards, only just falling short of the helicopter.
“Okay mister, you asked for it.” The helicopter had a mini-gun attached to the underside of it, a sign of the times they lived in. It unleashed a hail of bullets at the red man, who simply shielded his eyes with his arm and let the bullets bounce off harmlessly.
The helicopter man obviously got annoyed because he fired a rocket at the man instead. This time he batted it away with his sword. With the helicopter still shooting at him he paced over to a motorbike, the owner of which was lying in several different places. The red man gripped it by the engine and felt its’ balance. He then squinted at the helicopter before spinning around in a circle. After two spins he released the motorbike, which spun through the air in an upwards arc. It slammed into the tail of the helicopter and continued on through. The helicopter, now missing its’ rear stabilising propellers, spun in circles before crashing into the side of a nearby building. With this interruption removed, the red man turned to face Magdalena once more.
“I am so dead.” She muttered to herself under her breath.
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Thursday, 16 July 2009

Zokusho: Terra Raiga Chapter 2

You may notice something familiar about this post. That's because the second half of it is the fiction battle from last week. Well, I liked it so much that I decided to make it canon.

The white panther stalked through the woods. It had tracked its’ prey for nearly an hour now, waiting for it to split from the herd. It moved stealthily closer to the waterhole. The young deer finally moved, leaving its’ mother behind. The white panther made no move. It waited patiently while the deer manoeuvred through the difficult terrain. It was barely ten yards away. The white panther tensed, ready to pounce. Five yards.
Just as the white panther made its’ move, three arrows thudded into the side of its’ head. It crashed into the young deer, snapping the small creature in two with the force. The nearby herd of deer heard the crash and bolted.
Yilinan landed next to her kills without making a sound. The two other members of her hunting claw landed next to her. They were Wood Nymphs, the elite of her clan. Yilinan was the daughter of Lielae, the Lady of the clan. All three Nymphs had bright green skin and dark green hair. Brown pigment had been painted onto their bodies in complex clan patterns. They wore no clothes or shoes, except for the pouches slung over their shoulders and belts around their waists, which held their hunting equipment.
Yilinan instructed her two claw members to ready the kills for transport back to their clan. As they busied themselves with their tasks, Yilinan kept her ears pricked and her eyes keen. They did not wish to share the same fate as the white panther. Just as Rhihali had finished wrapping the deer, Yilinan heard a great crashing sound. All three readied their bows and jumped into the trees silently, leaving the half-wrapped white panther where behind.
All three Nymphs exchanged nervous glances as the crashing sound came steadily closer. For fully twenty-two minutes the three Nymphs didn’t move even in the slightest, even their breathing was synchronised to the gentle rustling of the leaves. Not that they needed to, the crashing sound drowned out everything else.
Suddenly the crashing sound stopped. The three Nymphs glanced at each other, confused. They listened intently but could not hear anything coming from the direction the noise had come from. There was no audible sign that there had ever been a sound. Still, the three wouldn’t risk moving closer until they new what they were dealing with.
Endra slowly placed her hand against the trunk of the tree she was hiding in. Once her palm was flat against the bark, she closed her eyes and concentrated. She became one with the tree. From there, she sent her mind along the roots until she came in contact with another tree, into which she transferred. She continued in this manner until she had reached the location of the noise. Her mind raced up the nearest tree trunk and she looked out.
She did not recognise what she saw, it was like a man, but as shiny as an arrow-head. Before she could take it all in, the thing turned its’ head toward the tree that currently housed her mind and punched., breaking the tree in half.
Endra’s body let out a brief scream before collapsing to the ground. Both Yilinan and Rhihali jumped out of their respective trees and began running. Behind them, the crashing sound started back up. However, by the time the thing had reached Endra’s lifeless body, they had long since vanished, leaving no trace of their passing.

Theodora Tonks was sitting inside the library once more, buried among a pile of books. Without warning a knife appeared at her throat, poised to deliver a killing blow. Before it struck home, however, it became a sardine.
“Since when could you do that?” Geri asked, dropping the sardine.
“Since I began studying transmogrification.”
“You do realise that everyone else from your class is busy celebrating their graduation right now, don’t you?” Geri cocked an eyebrow. Normally her eyebrows and eyes were hidden from sight by night-vision goggles and a bandana, but her parents had made her ‘dress nicely’ today. Instead she wore her goggles around her neck.
“Bleh. I’ve never been one for parties. You remember my fiftieth?”
“No. I remember our entire family waiting around a table with a massive cake proclaiming ‘Happy Fiftieth’ on it, but I don’t remember a party.” Geri pushed some books aside and sat on the table.
“I found you in this exact seat. The exact same seat you’ve been using for over thirty years.”
“It’s a comfy seat.”
Geri sighed, “You know, one day you’re going to wake up and realise that you’ve become a 560 year-old spinster with a house full of books and no friends.”
“I will also be the most powerful mage in history,” Theodora curtly replied, “And if you don’t mind I’ve got some practising to do before I receive my first assignment.”
“Pfeh. You’ll probably be cleaning up garbage from the duct works. That’s all Manipulators are good for.” Geri bounced away from the table and ran back to the party outside. Theodora picked up the sardine from the table and used her magic to place it gently in the rubbish bin.
“At least it’ll give me time to study.”

In a field on a world far, far beyond the reaches of imagination as men know it, a small butterfly landed on a flower. It made its’ way past the jagged thorns and towards the delicate circle of red petals. As it approached the flower twitched and snapped shut, enclosing the butterfly completely.
As the flower began to excrete powerful acids, the butterfly laid its’ eggs and peacefully died, secreting a paralyzing toxin that would prevent the flower from opening until the caterpillars had hatched. All across the field this was being repeated as an entire flock of butterflies descended upon the unfortunate flowers.
In the middle of the field a huge explosion occurred, despite the lack of anything to explode. As the smoke dispersed a small child of roughly nine human years coughed. His crimson-trimmed silver robes stood out starkly against the green of the field. A few more coughs, then the child clambered to his feet.
“Note to self: Never listen when Raziel suggests combining time and teleportation magic. You will not, as he suggested, summon ‘Miss December’ from the calendar he found, but will instead transport yourself to a field of thorny plants.” Jack pulled the head of one of the flowers from his rump, wincing as he did so.
After taking in the landscape, Jack checked the jumping crystal he had used. He had carved a time displacement rune into it, but was now regretting that decision. The crystal glowed with a dull light.
“Well, at least there’s a strong magical field on this world, so it shouldn’t take long to recharge and go home. So all I have to do is find a way to kill time,” Jack glanced around the field once more, “Should’ve brought a camera.”
For a few minutes Jack sat and watched the butterflies getting eaten, but found himself bored. He walked over to the nearby woods where he sat down with his back to a tree and began to read a book.
He hadn’t gotten past the first page when the tree next to his exploded in a shower of splinters. Jack instinctively used his body to protect the book. When he dared to turn around he saw two massive monsters duking it out barely more than ten yards away. The first creature, which had thick splinters embedded across its’ back, was a mix of a gorilla and a wolf. It reached more than ten feet in height, but was crouched over, walking partially on its’ huge fists. It had a sword larger than most men sticking out of one shoulder.
Hanging from the handle of that sword was a humanoid. It too was larger than most men and more muscle-bound than any Jack had ever met. It’s crimson skin shined with gore, presumably from the creature it was fighting. With seemingly impossible dexterity it placed its’ feet against the raging creature and pulled its’ sword free. After a backwards somersault it landed in a crouched position. With its’ free hand it pushed its’ dreadlocks out of its’ face, revealing a white mask with red patterns.
The larger, wolf/gorilla lunged, but the red man spun quickly, slicing through the large creatures’ wrist and removing its’ hand. It was obvious that the battle had gone on for a long time.
The creature roared in pain, but was quietened when the red man plunged his sword into its’ face. With one hand he withdrew it and let the creature slump to the ground. Then he turned his attention to Jack.
“Fing! Fing gar rhuk creng!” He yelled. Jack had no clue what language he was speaking in, let alone what he was saying. Jack just shook his head and gave a theatrically large shrug. The red man charged.
Jack barely had enough time to choose a spell before the red man had closed the gap. He leapt to the side, barely dodging the swing from the huge sword. The tree he had been standing in front of was cleanly sliced in two. With trained speed Jack scrawled a symbol in the air and passed his hand through it. A sheet of ice sprang up at the feet of the red man. The ice rose up in thick stalagmites, trapping the red man between them. Jack turned and fled.
Before he had even gotten ten strides away, Jack heard cracking from behind him. He turned to see that the red man was already free.
“What? That can’t be right?” Jack muttered to himself. As the red man swung his sword over his shoulder and began another charge Jack scrawled desperately in the air in front of him. Unlike the hasty ice spell he had used earlier, this symbol was intricately complex, requiring great sweeping motions and small but precise scribbles. The finished symbol hung in the air, a blazing white against the green grass.
By this time the red man had nearly reached him, so Jack didn’t have a chance to admire his artistic skills. He hastily slammed his palm against the symbol, unleashing its’ power upon his foe.
Between Jack and the red man a great gust of wind had sprung up. The red man slammed his sword sideways into the ground and hung on for all he was worth. The wind only got stronger, lifting him from his feet with such force that he was parallel to the ground. Nevertheless, he didn’t let go of his sword, holding on with incredible strength. It was clear to Jack that his spell would run out of power long before his foe tired, so he tried a different strategy. He quickly drew another symbol on the ground, which glowed green. The ground holding the sword in place gave way. The red man was flung backwards by the wind, which had already begun to peter out. He still crashed into the forest with enough force to pulverise the first tree though.
Jack slumped to the ground. Despite using two spells at once, at a much higher power level than usual though, he didn’t feel as drained as he normally would have. He could feel the magic of this world coursing through him, strengthening him. Making his magic more powerful than ever.
A thought suddenly occurred to him. He reached inside his pocket once more and withdrew the crystal. It was shining as brightly as the day it was first charged. Now he could go home.
Before he did though, he heard a splintering sound from the direction the red man had landed. Jack stood up and watched as his foe flexed his shoulder muscles, a grin on what was visible of his face beneath the mask. He hefted his sword up and noticed something stuck to the end of it. He reached up and removed the offending item.
It was the book Jack had just begun to read.
The red man deftly sniffed it. Then, to Jack’s amazement, he took a bite out of it. After some thoughtful chewing the red man spit it back out and sneered loudly. He threw the remainder of the book into the air and chopped it in half with his sword. He then looked straight at Jack’s face. If he had been capable of fear, he would have been petrified by the expression of sheer anger emanating from Jack’s features.
“Oh buddy, you’re in for it now!” Jack said. Feeling the magic surge through him, he began drawing a symbol in the air in front of him.
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