Ten Things I would do if I were a Scarred, Self-Proclaimed King

This is a continuation of the Dazzlingly Hot Prince in a Fantasy Realm! post. After the good fortunes that came to shine upon our Dazzlingly Hot new King, his successful spree came to a screeching halt, when a Dark Lord entered the lands. A short skirmish ensured, during which Lerik–the new King– thought the battle his; that is, until the Dark Lord entered the fray.

Now, Lerik is scarred, and, as word of the crime that he committed to take the throne spreads, he faces civil war.

Rebellion!

Merely a week past, I sent envoys to my father’s–mine, now–vassals, in search of mages skilled in restorative magic. The disgusting scar that monstrosity left me with has turned me unrecognizable. When next he crosses my path, I will be prepared for him. My blade will not fail me again, not if I have a squad of mages to neutralize that magic of his.

Where was I? The envoys, yes. This is a foolish waste of time; my head councilor, Kiril, demands that I record my thoughts. “One must record one’s history for those that are yet to come, majesty,” he keeps telling me. I should skin him. How dare he demand anything of me?!

The scribe reminds me, the envoys. They returned with news of the nobles -my nobles!- refusing to send me healers, or assistance, or even bend the knee! Worse yet, they are preparing to move against me. Rabid, they call me. So tells me Kiril, and he would know; the envoys are his, after all. They have seen armies forming up. I must strike now.
I will not stand for open rebellion. I will not have what is mine be taken away!

*****

The battle for Daar Keep was but the first of many. I have already commissioned several artists to portray me as I was, my armor glistening and pure, the blade a lightning in my hand, as I struck the traitors down. Their fear exhilarated me, imbued me with such strength as I have never felt! Kiril tells me that it is the mark of great leadership, to awaken such fear in men.

I have struggled with the idea of this rebellion, but Kiril has helped me move past the pain of betrayal. I am grateful in truth, for all this allows me to become stronger. A finer warrior, by far. I used to despise the idea of battle after battle, with no end in sight. Now, I savor it, this taste…the smell of blood in the air.

*****

It has been weeks since I last had time enough to dictate to my scribe. The little man is positively shaken by the thought of blood, can you imagine?
I have done away with all those who would betray me near the capital. Braze is safe, and will remain so. My loyal subjects will not suffer at the hands of oath-traitors.

Time to turn my attentions to the South. I have dispatched Kiril to the North, where he will subjugate all those that have thoughts of betraying me; he will then strengthen the borders against the Dark Lord’s minions.

I will admit, the scar has begun to grow on me. My ladies-in-waiting tell me that it doesn’t turn them away, but merely accents the beauty I posses, and makes me more kingly. I still intend to remove it, once the opportunity arises; but not now. There is much to be done, yet.

*****

The campaign in the South has gone…well. My armies are being bled, however, and the need for fresh blood grows daily. The call for mercenaries has been sounded; what rats will answer, I wonder. Only time will tell; but there is promise. A number of warlords, still south to the southernmost point in my kingdom, have been known to killfor coin; and they are very efficient.
The news is that some of those are in motion. If they dismantle the Southern lords and their forces, I will make sure that they be paid accordingly…

 

Ten Things I would do if I were a Cave Troll!

  1. Grumbrum live in cave. Cave pretty. Sparkle much. Really pretty!
  2. Little men come in cave! They poke Grumbrum with tiny hammers. Legs hurt. Stupid little men–dwarves.
    Dwarf soup delicious. Grumbrum happy.
  3. Long time come since Grumbrum have soup. Grumbrum hungry. He go out of cave.
    He miss cave!
  4. Little men throw wooden sticks at Grumbrum. Sticks sharp. Unpleasant. So is sun.
  5. Little men come in different forms! Village is full of them. They tasty.
    Grumbrum just kidding! He only eat men-dwarves.
  6. Village is empty for long time now. No more tasty people come see Grumbrum. Grumbrum sad. He lonely. Maybe he eat shiny man who write list.
    Grumbrum just kidding! He likes man who use tiny feather. Man is funny, he use long words to talk to Grumbrum sometimes.
    Grumbrum will eat writing man last.
  7. Dark Lord come to re-krud Grumbrum. No want to go with him. Try eat him instead!
  8. Dark Lord make everything hurt, then leave. He laugh at Grumbrum! Mean Dark Lord!
  9. Grumbrum dying, he thinks. He turn to stone. Fall into earth. Unto dirt.
  10. A little she-child came today. She left flowers in Grumbrum’s hand, and sang songs to him, and danced under the rays of the sun.
    I am at peace, now.

Ten Things a Moderately Influential Warlord does!

  1. A moderately influential warlord is only as influential as he is capable at the task of carving up his colleagues, i.e. other warlords. This one would be one hell of a stickler for the collegial spirit; and when I say that, I mean that his belief in killing warlords in order to consume their spirit is deeply held.
  2. The best Warlords are masters at the art of war. This one, while adept at killing, often finds himself blundering his way through the finer points of war — tactics are one thing, strategy–something else entirely. What’re these tiny wooden figurines doing on his dining table, anyway?! Better remove them before the roasted pig servings arrive, else he’ll swing one thick arm and break them all!
  3. His influence can reach high places…but more often than not, it does so as a joke than as threats that kings would flinch at. The moderately influential warlord isn’t aware of this, of course but if he was, he would use his axe as way of diplomacy.
  4. The Moderately Influential Warlord is not apt at the art of diplomacy.
  5. Much can be said about his moderation; but not where alcohol figures. In that here topic, our warlord is most impressive indeed. Why, he could outdrink a squadron of heavily outfitted dwarves; and we all know that all dwarven warriors are drunks.
    Except for Bub. Bub hasn’t had a drink since his fourth wife left him. I’m worried about the poor guy, he’s been through a lot since that happened.
  6. A warlord like ours, he’s good at leading a small population but ambition is far from his mind (if we were to accept that he had a mind, which is a questionable hypothesis on several different levels). That is why he serves this here old king Patrick, for Patrick has treated him well and with some respect, unlike all other monarchs nearby our warlord’s lands.
  7. This here warlord is moderately emotional, as well; ’tis why he tears up so at the news of ye ole’ king Patrick’s death and succession.
  8. Sorrow is a tough emotion to crack, and a confusing one at that. How’s our warlord to let go of it? Simple enough; as he oh-so-often does, he’ll bathe that beautiful axe in blood. The handles, made of ivory are more thirsty than ever, and it is his great pleasure to feed them!
  9. After a good slaughter, a warrior like this one is all too happy to take a romp in his quarters; it’s up to a few certain types of women to go off with a man such as he, all muscles covered in blood and gore — but in a culture that often births moderately successful warlords these types of women are never far away!
  10. But the thirst for vengeance is not yet sated. Funny old thing, that — desire for vengeance sometimes ends up ruining perfectly good mediocre warlords. Sometimes…it gives birth to far scarier men, intent on taking it out on would-be successors.

 

Hello, Monday! For some strange reason, I’m feeling less than motivated today…whatever could it be? Oh, well! Take heed, kids! Keep at it, even when you feel like crap!

The Unintentionally Helpful Villain, Vol. 08 — No Patricide goes Unpunished

Read the previous Volume here.

Diary Entry #0160

I am told that  I have entered the first of many identical free human kingdoms. This one shares a border with mine lands. That is what makes it special. Bah, humans are strange folk. So glad am I that I no longer fill their ranks that I could incinerate a dragon with but a blink!

The stench of mine wife of before grows ever-stronger. We are a mere few days away from catching up with her. She smelled well, once. Her perfumes were sweet beyond measure, beyond imagining. She enjoyed the flustered looks of men fool-enough to take a breath within her sweetly vapors, mere moments before they expired.

What man could not love such a woman?

Diary Entry #0161

The trolls I adopted unto mine armies in mine infinite army have once again tried to eat a village. Not even the villagers, this time. The damnable brutes started munching on buildings as we passed by. I found myself forced to summarily execute them.

The structures within the village were historic! Fifty years old, I hear. I felt that the villagers deserved some recompense for the grief given to them, and so I turned all their elders into statues of pure gold.

They did not seem too pleased with this development.

I couldn’t imagine why.

Diary Entry #0164

We have come upon a wondrous and most tranquil pond, which feeds into the great river Kraln, that gives easy access to the very shores of the continent, and I find myself considering the very real possibility of plundering this kingdom single-handed and turning this land to near-eternal darkness.

These notions are premature, I reckon — there is yet the thunder to be reclaimed. It must be safely brought back in mine citadel. Only then will I–what’s this? I hear the blunder of idiot horse-creatures coming towards mine camp. They will not enjoy mine great mercy for this interruption!

Diary Entry #0165

A princeling and its servants attempted to run through mine camp with their filthy animals. Whilst I reacted with great alacrity and cut into a squadron of these pampered noble-born, some of mine young lads lacked such experience.

Twoscore of mine loyal subjects have died. A dozen of those were promising Librarians…there can be no forgiveness for such crime.

This land will burn. It will all burn.

I did not kill the wretched princeling. He was damn skilled for a human, I will grant him that; I did leave him a parting gift, however — something to remind the boy what is coming for him.

A cut across that face will certainly serve that function.

Diary Entry #0166

I have learned that the man to have attacked mine loyal band of servants has recently killed his father and has taken to calling himself king.

He will have difficulty doing so with no tongue. Patricide fills me with disgust I can not logically explain. I will punish this fool boy in the stead of this dead father.

But first, my thunder and my wife await!

Ex. Ex-wife.

 

 

 

Top Ten Things I would do if I were a Dazzlingly Hot Prince in a Fantasy Realm!

  1. Look at my reflection on every possible orifice in my luxurious manor or castle – mirror, guard armor, pond – you name it, if it reflects my face, I will stare at it for hours!
  2. Save any and every helpless princess I can find *authorly groan*, marry her and consecutively order her assassination. I am charming, after all– but not kind-hearted. Not by far.
  3.  Father enough wee bastards to make my own polo team.
  4.  Win several border skirmishes against enemies on all sides — The EVIL Dark Lord and his minions on the northeast; the annoying elves and their Tyrant to the northeast; monsters of darkness and unimaginable nightmare all throughout the west…and worst of all, other human kingdoms to the west and to the south.
  5.  I’ve been told that I have also won battles against dwarves under mountains…but I have never deemed to look below my belt to see the truth of these claims.
  6.  No wars, however. Those would take far too much of my “me” time. This dazzling smile, these stunning cheekbones…they take a lot of care, you know. A lot of virgin blood, also.
  7.  Prove my loyalty to humanity by challenging the Dark Lord to a duel, only to get refused for lack of sorcerous might.
  8.  Go on a quest for magical items!
  9.  Finish the quest. Claim a magical sword from a lake, or a pool, or even a little pond. No mountains, though. Those are nasty, and people can break their necks when tumbling off them. Deathtraps, I swear. When I become king.
  10. Succeed my father. By running him through. With my sword. My magical sword.

Bit of world-building in this here Top Ten Fantasy List! Hope you enjoyed it; you’re very welcome to come back for more!

Ten Things I’d do if I were a Vampire Lord!

  1. The connection between a vampire and his progenitor is a sacred one,  akin to that between a parent and a child.
    Naturally, I began plotting the murder of my maker in order to claim his influence and authority for myself as soon as I was turned…once I were to get my predatory instincts under control and my maker’s knowledge safely within my gap.
  2. The older a vampire is, the more difficult to kill…but the bloodline is also of great import, and mine is potent, powerful. My Lord progenitor is old; too old, perhaps. His guard is down and his will to live barely binds him to this world. Would it truly be a crime to aid him in his transition? He hungers for death nearly as much as I hunger for his power.
  3. A stake in his heart as he rests during the day sets the body aflame. His pain and disappointment at my betrayal reverberate through my entire being and I am lost and regretful for a moment — a short moment, as my maker’s essence withers away like the roots of a poisoned oak.
  4. The power sings to me like never before; my form changes, my consciousness expands, and the face that is reflected by the mirror is all-too unfamiliar; pale and red-eyed, lips twisted into a predatory sneer. It is difficult to believe how these changes have affected me so.
  5. Thus begins a downwards spiral into a near-constant hunt for pleasure and escape from boredom. It is the way of immortality — humans chase it all their lives; whenever they get it, they hardly have any clue how to fill their time up.
  6. Centuries pass as I gradually begin to realize that I am a pariah to my kindred. The physical changes that overtook me shortly after I killed my maker are a sign of what I have done, the line that I have crossed. Who’d have thought that the demons of the night from my childhood had such honor amongst themselves?
  7. It hardly matters. For seven centuries I have walked this world alone and have left my mark in more ways than one and I have consumed the very lifeblood of thousands. My power grows ever stronger. Why should I wince at lesser creatures and their morality?
  8. A thousand years have passed me by. I am alone.
  9. In my life, I have never created another. Never given the gift of eternal life, fearful that the betrayer shall suffer betrayal in turn.
  10. A young woman has caught my attention. I have looked upon her life for some weeks now, and find her ambition, her drive, to be unlike any I have come before. She is confidence personified…and she is alone. Perhaps it is time that I introduce myself…

 

Thank you for reading! I enjoy writing diary-like entries from different characters’ perspectives; trying on the shoes of villains, vampires and monster-hunting inquisitors is a great way to exercise the imagination!

What a Crazy Hermit does in an Epic Fantasy Setting!

There are many whom the world dubs heroes. Men of courage and of passion, and of such strength as never would you imagine! But there are unsung heroes, men remembered by no one. These men? Hermits hidden in forests, gathering herbs, picking mushrooms!

Look closer at the Forest of Whispers, now! Look and you will see, squinting amongst thick vegetation, hidden behind three layers of linen vestments, woolen shirts and remains of what-have-you-s…a most assuming man. You would think that years of stuffing himself with roots and semi-poisonous berries would have put a dent in Klacius’ unabashed self-certainty.

They have not.

This man — and you would not know this if you judged him by the colorless rags he wears — was once a trader усшгno small amount of influence. His word, ’twas said, was weighed in silver; or sometimes, in gold. Well, not anymore.

Klacius speaks to himself often enough — as he picks these here poisonous mushrooms, he argues with himself, using three voices, all of them different in pitch and accent. Occasionally the languages shift, too but that happens less and less often; only when some fractured memory of the past lodges itself into the hermit’s chaotic mind do such skills of old manifest themselves.

He speaks of morality. Nay, not speaks — but argues; a never-ending argument that only ends in tears for him, which between us, are of no effect but to soften the hearts of such innocent observers foolish enough to believe in them.

Klacius argues with himself and then he mocks himself, and he is never quite certain why he does any of it but since when has that stopped anyone? As he keeps his tongue busy, dexterous fingers pick at herbs, foul old things intent for killing. A scratch, just a bit of skin breaking, would be enough for the poison within these leaves to take effect.

The band of trespassers that has proven a most inadequate neighbor is in dire need of a lesson in manners and he, Klacius, will teach them an important lesson. It will take some time for the herbs to dry but there is patience to this old hermit’s madness. A sprinkle of dried up bolchrash in their meal or in their ale, and the problem will solve itself.

He only has to wait.

And see.

 

Thank you for Reading! I started out with the intention of writing just another humorous piece, but ended up doing something a little different. I do think it ends up alright!

Ten Things an Inquisitor would do in a fantasy world filled with evil, vile, no-good things (#1 of the Crossleg’d Chronicles)

Be warned! The following Inqusitorial Scripture takes place in the world of The Unintentionally Helpful Villain and, quite possibly, of a few other entities I have written about, in this here blog.

  1. In a world filled with a host of monsters, demons and an entire Council of Darkness, Brezt Khleid, Inquisitor of the First Order, thrives. Why wouldn’t he? See that crystaline wolf-like spirit, laying on the ground, two expert cuts having even more expertly shattered the magics that held the foul intruder’s body together?
    Ay, ay! That’s his handiwork. Impressive, isn’t it, for a man such as he, crossleg’d and decrepit.
  2. Come now, use thy eyes to look upon him. Do you see that figure, far below, moving slowly, with the determination of a serpent, old and ancient, grasping towards ephemeral rays of sunlight… Down he goes, down the streets of old Feshemar, the city ever-lit by emerald flames, a gift–some say–by a goddess to a mortal lover.
    She had many such lovers, alas. As she grew bored with him, the gift turned to deadly trap, and even now his soul is used as fuel.
  3. Brezt Khleid has little time for legend, but he knows that one. Little does he doubt that, were he to ever find himself against this goddess, he would present upon her a just reward.
    The Inquisitor is not a godly man.
  4. That is not to say that he does not believe. See now as Khleid bursts into the merchant Olivan’s home, as he draws loaded crossbow and points it at shocked Olie’s face! There it is. The moment of truth.
    Shock runs through the face of this most voluminous merchant’s face; shock, then fury — and as metal bolt pierces skin, rends flesh, breaks ribs and shatters the stuff of life, one final moment of peaceful revelation. What is revealed, only a certain few could say, and –nay, don’t look at me with such ardent expectation! My lips are sealed!
    Instead, look upon the scene of this murder most foul.
  5. Brezt Khleid reloads his crossbow calmly, with the expertise of a man much too familiar with routine. He knows his work in the house is not yet done. Sounds from the house — sounds that make the hairs on Khleid’s neck stand on ends — become louder, as if attempting to force the Inquisitor to retreat.
    He has no such intent.
  6. The house resists every step Brezt takes. It is a foul place, in need of cleansing and the Inquisitor is the one to do it. He is the only one who can; Brezt Khleid has, after all, a divine mandate. A few flying trinkets and baubles won’t stop him, inconvenient though as they are.
  7. A door is all that stands between the Inquisitor and the source of evil that has made this dwelling its home. Khleid doesn’t know what awaits behind that door, but he is not a young man, prone to illusion. A merchant with Olivan’s reputation – that of a good and honest man – will only protect this corruption if he has a personal stake in it.
  8. So Brezt Khleid reasons as he breaks through the door, using his shoulder as most man would a battering ram. His sword flashes in one hand, illuminating soft light that parts away the darkness. Figures slide towards him with incredible, impossible speed. He tries to turn to his side, using his side as defense.
  9. Claws dig into Brezt Khleid’s flesh, leaving searing pain behind, rending his right arm useless. The hand-crossbow falls to the side, still loaded. None of this fazes Khleid. To allow distraction is to die. He thrusts his sword at the creature, as its claws are still running down the length of his arm. It — whatever it is — goes limp; as the Inquisitor pulls his sword, the body falls to the ground. He takes a deep breath trying to calm the fire running through his body, and allows himself a moment of reprieve.
  10. It is the face of a woman, far from old, but not young either. There is beauty to her, even as she lay dead; the Inquisitor has seen that many of those touched by evil are beautiful to behold. He does not trust beauty any longer; it is a sign of vile infestation.
    A pair of snarles forces him awake from his reverie. Two figures, child-sized, stand not twenty feet away from him. Watching. Their eyes are cauldrons of fire.
    Brezt Khleid raises his sword, a wan smile playing on his face.

And cut! How did you enjoy this story? Let me know if you’d like more!

Top Ten Things I would (NOT) do if I were a Royal Squire (#2)

Catch up on the adventures of the young Squire Roche  here.

  1. You wouldn’t see me excited over the prospect of becoming part of the Guild of Assassins. Just because Prince Kholin got himself into trouble doesn’t mean I sho–oh, who am I kidding, if I don’t go along with His Highness, he’ll end up in a ditch!
  2. There’s a stark difference between your common thug and the members of the Guild. The thug is less prone to stabbing you in the face with a dagger when you bump into him.
    If  Kholin hadn’t shoved a fist into that assassin’s face, I’d be a dead man.  Lesson learned: Never say ‘sorry’ to a killer. They’re really not into that.
  3. Not crawling back into that dung hole. To be honest, I’m not even sure I could find my way back to the Guild’s den if I tried. The slums, from which Kholin and I only now were led out of, are labyrinthine in the truest sense of the word. Dozens upon dozens of bleak, dust-covered passageways, which can barely be categorized as streets, lay the groundworks for the most miserable place I have ever seen. Dusty, soot-covered and grey-eyed urchin move like tiny apparitions in-between crowds of people who walk as if they’ve planted one foot firmly in the grave.
  4. No word from Kholin about why we had to go and join the Assassins’ Guild. I haven’t felt so…uncomfortable since Father sent me on my way.
  5. The Second Prince tends to jump into all sorts of messes before he’s taken the lay of the land. I try and make sure that his back is covered, but him keeping me in the dark half the time doesn’t help. We’ve been together for six months, but it feels like six years. Just thinking about what we’ve done during that time…
  6. Five months ago: I didn’t think I’d ever be in the position to gamble His Majesty’s signet ring at a game of cards in a seaside tavern. Imagine my horror when the bauble Kholin had thrown my way one hand back turned out to be one of the most precious pieces of jewelry in the kingdom.
  7. Three months ago: Outside the city, about ten leagues, is an abyss. So of course Kholin insisted that we had to go exploring. Jump forward one lousy, wet expedition later, and we and a pair of royal guards had to bolt as fast as our horses could carry us, chimeras thrice the size of the best-bred mares rushing after us.
  8. Six weeks ago: After the whole chimera debacle, both of us ended up cleaning the cutlery thanks to old Master Arbrus’ guiding, arthritic hands. The old Master of Ceremonies is like a rotten fruit – he’s only getting more rotten the closer you get to him.
    If I never have to polish another silver spoon in my life, it’ll still be far too much.
  9. Four weeks ago: We spent a month shining, cleaning and spitting spite and vinegar towards old Arbrus every time he turned his back on us.
    The King finally shooed the ancient hound away from our scent. Kholin demanded we celebrate by going back to exploring the city from above. I wasn’t about to go jumping up and down ceilings first chance I got…but you can’t exactly say no to a prince, can you?
  10. That’s how we met The Thief. He was a bulky man in his twenties; not the kind you’d imagine when someone screams ‘Thief!’ I would never have killed him…if he hadn’t tried to steal from Kholin. Turns out, that’s what got us an audience with the Assassins’ Guild Master.
    The Thief broke the rules. I killed him. Only members of the Guild can dispense justice like that. Maybe Kholin’s motivation isn’t all that complicated, after all.
    Maybe he’s just trying to protect me.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this little tidbit of fictional imaginings, leave me a comment, press that follow button and come back for more!

If you like the adventures of Roche and Kholin, let me know and I’ll write more!

Ten Things I’d do if I were a royal squire

  1. There’s a few things a near-bankrupt nobleman hates more than a fourth son. I’m that son. Guess who got the boot, with only twenty pieces of silver and a letter to the royals’ far-off court. That’s right, this here lad.
  2. On the road, I — displaying the uncanny luck of the Roche family — get mercilessly beaten up by illiterate thugs. They steal the coin; the letter, they show no interest in.
  3. It is only thanks to the goodness within an old bard’s heart that I get to the city of Srava, where I am to do my duty as Roche and serve as squire. Here does my story begin.
  4. Dusting. That’s what I do, hours at an end. The Master of Ceremonies is as uptight as his title suggests. I don’t much enjoy his company.
    On the bright side, when I’m not cleaning the citadel, I serve at the Second Prince’s behest. He is kind and warm, and seems glad to have the company of someone his own age. We’re very proper and official, of course – the difference in rank between us is too great for anything else.
  5. It has been a month since I began my new life in Srava. It might be that me and Prince Kholin did something stupid to celebrate the occasion. It’s…not outside the realm of possibility that the two of us snuck into the kitchens during a small, entirely harmless fire that someone started, and we added something extra sweet to the bread.
  6. I believe we just invented an entirely new kind of dessert…Taking credit will be difficult, on account of the King being furious. It would appear that the King really likes his morning breakfast. He’s been fuming and foaming, and it doesn’t look like he’ll stop anytime soon.
  7. The funny thing is, the sweet bread’s really good. The King doesn’t know what he’s missing.
  8. The Prince is fearless. I chase him around all day long now, making sure he doesn’t slip from one of the buildings he loves climbing so much; a broken neck would hardly suit his princely visage.
  9. It’s been a wild few weeks since I got here, but I’m happy with how things are going. Life is good, even calm…well, when I don’t slip up and almost fall to my death, trying to follow His Highness.
  10. It’s been six months. Me and Kholin might’ve joined the Guild of Assassins. Not where I thought the day would go.

 

When I was a kid, I loved reading about the adventures of Jimmy the Hand, Prince Arutha’s Squire from the Riftwar Saga. Something reminded me of him today, and I thought that a tribute to Raymond Feist’s classical fantasy series would be fun to write!

Thank you for reading, and if you enjoyed this – leave a comment behind, start a conversation! I love talking about all things fantasy, and it’d be loads of fun to talk shop with y’all!