Monday, June 6, 2016

Chapter Two - Gift

This series is a gift for a twelve year old boy who loves roleplaying games. I hope you enjoy it as well. Link to chapter one

 Scott's memories began to come back like a glacier growing. Slowly accumulated memory by memory tiny crystals but many at once sifting together like cards being shuffled into a deck. Scott's memories were being shuffled with Malmir's. Memories of playing on a farm or fishing in Alaska were being shuffled with working in a small workshop with a Zwerg or Dwarven father. They were surface dwarves outcast from the mountain for becoming Christian. Scott remembered boot camp and Afghanistan while Malmir remembered brutal training in the Iron Guard and the horrific and painful surgeries replacing his bones with moon silver and cruach órga, his teeth with dwarven forged steel, his muscle tissue and ligaments replaced with other more esoteric and magical material. Then the implants beneath his skin. Mail mesh, plates, and even spider silk woven by Dark Elves that was nearly undetectable but when struck it took on the properties of steel plate armor.
Scott remembered meeting his wife, Shandra and her child, a quick romance and a wedding at his family's farm. Salzherz remembered meeting his wife, a human! While serving the Order of St Michael in ridding a town of ghouls Salzherz met Branwen a Barbarian Berserker from the forests of the North. Fighting by her side and joined by her family, Connor the Shadow Warden her father, Nashira the Paladin her mother and Brother Imhotep, her brother along with Kantrus the Wizard his partners Dodge the Unlucky. Later they joined Minda the Balladeer and Thalia the Ranger they formed the core of a team that fought the enemies of God and free-folk everywhere.
Scott worked as a computer technician. Salzherz became one of the most devastating fighters ever. And as his worlds were shuffled together he realized he was now one person with two lives, lives that never met, never touched and yet were fitted together like the parts of a jigsaw puzzle or a restored Ming vase. Then he felt himself fall into a deep comfortable sleep.
Shandra saw and felt an onrushing whirlwind a storm of memories and experiences then felt the whirlwind fit the memories together with brain-numbing force and the deft hands of a juggler or surgeon.
Branwen remembered an active childhood with her older brother, mother, and father following the herds and the seasons. A member of the Tuathe De tribe she was like all Tuathe De, tall, beautiful and as athletic as a mortal could be. The Tuathe De's bardic historians insisted they were descended from the off spring of a brave and virtuous warrior tribe that had been taken into the Heavenly realms to serve was warriors and messengers for the Good God. Branwen could ride a horse nearly as soon as she could walk, taught the way of the sword by her mother and the bow by her father and the fist by both. Shandra remembered going to Catholic school with her brother, learning to read and write, spending weekends at her grandmother's house or on a road trip with her family. Finding a talent for basketball and martial arts before other interests took her time and attention.
Branwen learned the ways of the wilderness, toughened her body and spirit a learning to make herself a warrior savage, feral and strong. Eventually, she tamed the inner beast and became a Berserker fighter with great strength, speed, and durability but she lost a measure of self-control and paid a price physically and mentally afterward. As she grew older she became a master of the two handed sword and learned to wield heavy weapons without tiring or losing her focus. She set off on her own and became a wandering adventurer, a freebooter, mercenary, and pirate she traveled for a few years before her adventures took her to meet her Salzherz a Dwarf once a centurion of the Iron Guard, the thief Dodge and a wizard named Kantrus.
Shandra remembered going to college, becoming a nursing assistant having a child and working at a local clinic. And all of her memories whirled back together like a snowman assembling himself from a blizzard. Then she fell into a deep dreamless sleep.
Justin felt the world crack ringing like a silent bell all vibration and no sound. He spiraled into a dark vortex of energies, the event horizon of a black hole where all space, time, and the laws of the universe converged, changing, running together like ink and milk then freezing into a shattered chaos. He remembered his early years living in different homes with different caregivers. He remembered school and friends, winning an art contest, and learning to ride his bike.
All the early memories were vague. The strongest memories were of his adopted family and his own room. The pets and people. Grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins that loved him like their own.
Kantrus remembered growing up in a fair twilit realm of Faery one of the many in Faery but far, far from the world of humans. As an elfling he was not even aware of humans or their ways and only learned of them as he grew older. He grew up with the enchanted gardens and towers of elfland all around him. Glittering fountains threw back the light from countless stars. Strange stars with strange constellations never seen by mortal eyes. The gardens were filled with fantastical creatures, unicorns roamed the edges of the green fields and gryphons soared through the skies with eagles and egrets.
Kantrus' life was so much longer than the short life of Justin that while the boy was not forgotten there were far more experiences and memories, events from the life of the Elven Mage. Kantrus studied in several academies while learning a variety of magical spells and techniques. Then in an experiment that went awry, Kantrus found himself transported to the world of men.  After traveling and seeking one of the many gateways back to his own realm in Faery Kantrus settled down to the life of an adventurer. After joining with friends, Dodge, Malmir, Branwen, Nashira, Thalia, Minda, Brother Imhotep and Connor, Kantrus became a Christian like the others and joined their Chapterhouse of St Michael. Then as the centuries of life on one hand and barely a decade of experiences on the other came together. Kantrus felt the chaotic event horizon of the black hole freeze then turn back and the process of creation rather than destruction began with the memories of his lives taking their appointed places like that of the constellations in the spheres of Heaven. With that Kantrus felt himself settle into sleep filled with dreams of Elfland and his lost home.
Andy was running to grab his little (well big) little brother and head outside when the world cracked in half. He felt like the time he cracked helmets with the biggest meanest lineman on the opposing football team. For a moment that lasted from the beginning of the universe to its death when all the stars were nothing but cold dead hulks drifting through a rapidly contracting space Andy fell through the darkness without thought or sensation. Then Andy remembered his life living with his step father and mother and visiting his father on weekends and summers. Andy remembered going to his father's new girlfriend's grandma's house and having extra Christmas gifts and treats. He remembered school and friends and sports and his sisters at home. Then a baby brother!
Dodge remembered growing up in the worst neighborhood in Riverton, a human city but one where Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings could be found as well as normally hostile people like half-Orcs. Even stranger folk haunted the canals and sewers of Riverton. Built on an island at the edge of a river as a stopping point for riverboats, Riverton at first reachable only by boats grew and when it grew bridges were built from the bank to the island. First one bridge then another joined it. Soon the bridges became covered by buildings above and a maze of pilings and flooded tunnels beneath. The merchants of Riverton were soon joined by drifters, gamblers, river men, fishers, trappers, traders, grifters, thieves, and cut-purses, murderers and skull bashers, strong arm extortionists and beggars. The small landing became a small town then a small city. By the time Dodge was born Riverton was an old and wicked city.
Andy remembered bowling with his family, going to the park, riding the ferry. A whole summer was spent with his granddad.
Dodge vaguely remembered a mother who was gone before he was old enough to remember her name. He was taken in by the finest thieves on the river. Riverton was his whole world and his playground. Running across the roofs climbing below in the pilings and sewers from the island Dodge learned all the skills of a master burglar. Occasionally he was caught and needed to defend himself with his knives and fists.  No matter how large the size of the haul, no matter the quality of the take, somehow, someway Dodge always found himself broke by month's end. He seldom had two silvers to rub together and became known as Dodge the Unlucky. One day he owed too much money to the wrong men on the river and he had to flee. Joining with the Wizard Kantrus, Dodge soon found himself fighting side by side with the scarred and ugly dwarf, Salzherz and the Barbarian Branwen. Later joined by Nashira the Paladin, Brother Imhotep, Thalia, and Minda and Connor, Dodge became less and less unlucky. When Minda joined as a member he found someone who could keep up whether running across the rooftops or climbing the sheer walls of a castle Minda could keep up with Dodge and she could work magic with her voice, ocarina, or even with mystical dance. That talent came in handy when Dodge found himself particularly unlucky.
Andy was a kid who loved dogs and would play with them for hours. Happy just to be with them. Dodge grew up distrusting dogs. Every dog was either a garbage eating scavenger as likely to bite as to wag its tail or a guard dog that made Dodge's life harder by barking or even attacking strangers. Not that dogs caused as many problems for Dodge as the other thieves he was just too good and sneaky.  He'd walk over sleeping mastiffs that could snap a thigh bone without stirring a whisker on their savage muzzles.
The solid clash of worlds like the solid clashing of helmets began to fade into a slow easy sleep as all the parts and memories came together. Andy could feel the surging worlds come together then he drifted into a slow quiet cat-like sleep.
Sean was just stepping out of his house when he felt something. Nothing he could describe except as a break in the fabric of the world. He spun quickly to return to his home and children and the universe cracked straight across and shifted like a broken pane of glass or sheet of thick ice pieces sliding past each other on the fracture. Then the world was spinning apart each piece flying away then reassembling itself bit by sharp edged bit.
Sean remembered growing up in a house in the suburbs pets, cats, dogs, watching cartoons and playing with his friends. Imhotep remembered growing up in the quiet wilderness with his parents and later little sister. His parents had other later children but that was normal as Tuathe De lived long vigorous lives and took in foundlings and lost children. Sean visited his grandparents nearly every day. Imhotep's family's camp included his grandparents aunts and uncles, cousins, and great grandmother where the wagons or tents were circled nearly every night around a comfortable fire. The sounds and smells of the tribe's horses, elk, sheep, and dogs. The food cooked over a fire by his aunts and grandmothers, meat, cheeses, fruits, nuts, wild honey mead that kids only received during Christmas and Harvest festivals. Sean remembered his grandmother ordering take out nearly every night except when his grandfather cooked. Sean worked with his grandfather in the summer, doing construction and plumbing when he wasn't playing with his friends or in the woods across the street from his house. Imhotep learned to ride almost before he learned to walk. He learned to hunt and track from his father, uncles, and grandfathers. He learned to fight the way of the bow, fist, sword, and lance from his mother and father but Imhotep favored the staff.
Even as a young man he knew he wanted to be Brother of the Order of St Michael. The bards and priests of the Tuathe De recognized the mystical skills of the young man and taught him their arts. The bards taught him the history of the Tuathe De mortals who were honored by a god of goodness represented by the sun. They were his 'Angels' and lived in the celestial sphere the god's own warriors and messengers. Then the Son of God revealed himself to them and they asked leave to serve the one True God. It was granted, they returned to Earth mortals, but changed by their time in the Celestial realms. They never changed their ways. They planted no crops taking only what God offered them from the wilderness and the bounty of their herds and flocks.
Sean joined the Marines fighting in far off lands came home and started a family. Imhotep became a master of healing magic and took the words of the Bible to heart. 'Thy rod and Thy staff, they have comforted me,'. He envisioned a flail with a hidden chain so the whole could be used as a staff until needed. Imhotep became master of both the healing arts and the skills of a warrior priest. His own grandfather made his staff, while his whole family helped make the armor of cruach órga that only the Tuathe De could create and work. Imhotep became friends with the big four-armed man Brother Frost who grew up with a magical quickness.
Sean became a police officer and investigator and remembered solving small crimes and battling the evil that lives in the souls of all mortals. Imhotep joined the Order of St Michael and battled evil both earthly and unearthly. In a tavern while on a mission he listened to a barmaid's stories for a night. He finished his mission but returned when he was done and soon a red headed woman joined the campfires of the Tuathe De and Imhotep became a father as well as a Father. And the lives and memories shattered and swirling came back together into one integrated whole. Imhotep settled into his wife's shoulder while a small foot shoved itself into his back. The last thing he heard was the sound of one of his children sigh in their sleep.
The others lives were all broken and scattered before being reassembled into a single whole.
If you have any comments about the stories let me know. The intended audience enjoyed the first chapter. 


  1. I like it thus far. 2 ?s
    Last line of the 2nd paragraph "...fought the enemies of God and free folk..." Did you mean "...for free folk"?

    Fifth line of fifth paragraph: "...into the Heavenly realms to serve was warriors..." Should it not be "as warriors"?

    1. Yes, all corrections gladly accepted. I will make those soon but not immediately. LOL However, sincere thanks.