Writing Group: Magic Won’t Save You

Hello, Down-On-Your-Luck Witches and Second-Rate Wizards!

Well well well… [INSERT EVIL LAUGH] It looks like you’ve fallen right into my trap. Best give up the fight right now, my dear, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Magic Won’t Save You

RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

Magic is often the catch-all of fantasy solutions. The most important and powerful tool in any adventurer’s kit—as long as one knows how to use it. But what happens when even the one thing that seems impossible to beat isn’t enough?

There are many situations in which magic could fall short. A villain who knows your character’s weakness might have them captured. Your character could stumble into a strange place which disables or otherwise interferes with magic. Fighting someone with the same level of magic could mean your character’s magic isn’t much of a trump card. They could be fighting an army, and maybe their magic simply isn’t enough to take all the enemies down. Or perhaps your character is still learning, or otherwise incompetent, and their magic simply isn’t strong enough to save them at this point. And there’s always the things magic usually can’t do: bring back the dead, and make someone fall in love.  

Perhaps it’s less about the fact that magic can’t accomplish the task, but rather that the cost—either to the one performing it, and the one it’s performed upon—is so great it’s worse than not working in the first place. Perhaps it can’t save you because, even if it works, it will only drive you further into darkness and despair—further back than square one. 

It could be more domestic. Perhaps a student wants to cheat on a test, and their magic solution fails, or else they get caught, and magic won’t save them from the principal. Perhaps magic can’t save a couple—be them a king and queen, or a lower class couple in modern day—from a loveless marriage. Perhaps someone loses an arm, or becomes paralyzed, and magic cannot heal them. Maybe someone is depressed, or struggles with some other mental illness which magic can’t fix. 

One of the most interesting aspects of this prompt is that the specific magic system within your universe determines how difficult the bar is to hit. Some magic systems are weaker than others. In that case, there are far more things that magic wouldn’t be able to fix, or save you from. However, for those systems in which it is extremely powerful, the situations it couldn’t fix would have to be a lot more rare, dramatic, and intense. 

Playing with different specific, classic types of magic could be fun too. Such as, what could make it so even true love—said to be the most powerful magic of all—isn’t enough to break a curse? 

So far I’ve been using the words “won’t” and “can’t” interchangeably, but that distinction could potentially be important. “Won’t” implies a will. What if magic itself is a sentient entity, and—while it can save you—it willfully refuses?

As Arthur C. Clarke once said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” In a science fiction story, perhaps the advanced technology— which for all intents and purposes acts as magic— is what cannot save your character. Perhaps, despite all their laser guns, teleporters, fancy spaceships, and force powers, they just can’t win. 

Or maybe it’s more real. There are some things in our real world that can be referred to as “magic.” People today often like to peddle solutions to problems that are too good to be true.  As The Mad Hatter in Once Upon a Time says “You know what the issue is with this world? Everyone wants a magical solution for their problem, and everyone refuses to believe in magic.” Perhaps you could write about a character who has to learn they’ve been scammed, or to stop chasing magic solutions to their problems, and either pursue something more real, or realize their problem is unsolvable. Or perhaps, instead, they learn magic is real…it just wasn’t what they thought it was. 

Many of us write about characters who are powerful beyond belief, who seem impossible to beat, let alone kill. Let’s see how they’re brought low this week, what situations even their immense power cannot save them from, shall we? 

Psst. While he’s distracted. Hand me that rope. Also the book, and the knife. Oh, and we’re gonna need that guy’s leg too. Magic might not be able to save us, but I think I can still get us out of here.

—Kaylie

Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Saturday at 3:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.

Rules and Guidelines

We read at least five stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!

  1. Text and Formatting

    1. English only.
    2. Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
    3. Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
    4. Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
    5. Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
    6. Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
    7. No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
  2. What to Submit

    1. Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
    2. Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
    3. Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
    4. No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
    5. Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
  3. Submission Rules

    1. One submission per participant.
    2. Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
    3. Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
    4. You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
    5. Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
    6. Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
    7. You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
    8. Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.

Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.

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Makokam
24 days ago

[Subversion] Well and Truly Conquered (Chronicles of The Dragon) By Makokam On a dark night, a car pulled off an unlit and heavily wooded road, through a heavy gate, and onto a long driveway. At the end, past dozens of neatly manicured bushes, stood an old mansion, wide as a city block and several floors high. The car stopped in front of the large double doors at the front and waited. A man with dark, ruffled hair and wearing a long coat stepped out of the back seat, looking up at the building. A woman with honey blonde hair, pulled back into a ponytail, and wearing a forest green cloak stepped out from the other side, looked at him, and could tell he wasn’t really looking at it, but through it. At what was inside it. “Now remember, Jonathan, you are a guest here.” she said to him. “I’m aware,” he replied, his eyes still roving around the building. “Of a Queen. You need to be polite.” “I’m polite.” She walked around the car, fixing her cloak. “You come across as arrogant a lot. You’ve developed an attitude of not caring because nobody can hurt you. That if they want to make a problem it will be THEIR problem, not yours.” “Jostica, I-” he stopped. “If you’re saying I invite conflict…I suppose you’re right. It makes it easier if other people pick the fights.” Jostica stepped over and started to properly straighten his clothes. “And you are NOT going to do that here. You are going to be polite, and you are going to be respectful.” She gave him a final pat and said, “Out of respect for me, if not for the Queen of Vampires.” He took a deep breath. “I’ll do my best to follow your example.” “Good,” she said, giving him a pat on the cheek. The Butler at the door cleared his throat. “Her Majesty is waiting.” “Yes. Thank you for your patience, Marquell.” The Butler “Hmm”’d and held the door open for them. Marquell led them to Her Majesty’s lounge, where she usually conducted her less than Official business. Jostica knew the way, and was familiar with the building, so she watched Jonathan to see his reactions to it all. And honestly, they were a bit disappointing. He definitely looked at everything, but he seemed less interested in the art, design, or architecture, and more in simply remembering the layout. She could also tell he was still getting a feel for where everyone in the building was. “There are a lot of vampires here.” “A couple dozen, yes.” “Closer to four dozen.” “Oh?” She raised an eyebrow. She’d never seen more than a dozen at one time, so hearing she’d underestimated the occupancy wasn’t a surprise. By how much however… “Her Majesty is waiting for you,” The Queen’s assistant, Adelaide, said as she held the door open and gestured for them to proceed inside. Jostica nodded and thanked her, and Jonathan followed suit as they… Read more »

Last edited 23 days ago by Makokam
Donovan Clark
Donovan Clark
26 days ago

Gone
by VioletWillow

Years of cold cricket song whistled through the window of his dark reading room. It had been one year since his mother died. The bottle of whisky sat empty and watching from the small varnished end table he kept for better reasons. The dim light bounced between book covers painted in strange hues. He had just finished the latest novel by Osamu Dazai, and he felt no better. When he started reading the sun had been bright and high, but now the moon shone blunted through thick and ugly clouds.

The clothes of prosperity coated every room of his house, ancient pottery and gilded portraits, and he looked at it all with disgust. Soulless imitations, they could do nothing for him now.

The last year had felt like a dream, he kept expecting that early morning text message, just checking in to see how her son was doing. It never came of course, his mother’s hands would never again navigate the latest iPhone update, with or without his help.

He tried to think of his heroes, his great inspirations and their trials. But reading a thing and doing it are never quite the same. He was not Hercules or Odysseus, he could not fight his enemies with strength and wit. It was nothing, a hollow left by an immature carver, and it weakened the entirety of the work. The world seemed to him a phrase that had lost its significance.

And of course there was the guilt, that he had not spent enough time with her. Guilt over all the times he shunned her, just to cavort with his hooligans, to waste precious hours in drink and debauchery. All the while she might have sat at home, waiting for him to open the door and enliven her evening, to talk for hours of things that didn’t matter, only to have their voices share in each other and ring throughout that dusty old room, just as he sat now.

The drink was all gone, and the memories were coming strong. It was time to go to bed.

Last edited 26 days ago by Donovan Clark
Sonia Tuffin
Sonia Tuffin
27 days ago

Magic Isn’t Everything

Sonia Tuffin

I was crouched down behind an unusually large, wooden staff with green areas. I was actually extremely curious as to what this object really was. As there were many of the sort in the area. But, I had no time to ponder because I was being attacked by a non-wizarding body. At the time, I was most likely the first witch to ever travel to another dimension. This dimension had an absurd title called, “Earth.” Everything here looked completely bizarre to my eyes.

“Boom!” went to the black wand that my attacker was holding. This object produced a loud noise that almost busted my ears. I positioned myself and tried very hard to cast a spell for the tenth time. Once again, I ended up dry. But, one thing I knew was that I was not about to be defeated by a non-wizarding man. I had to stay strong and think of a plan.

But in my life… the only plan I ever had was one word…. MAGIC! Now, in this peculiar place, I had no magic. Then, my attacker ran closer to me. A chill went down my spine.

“Please show mercy!” I screamed pleading.

“Ha,” the attacker guffawed, running towards me.

“I, Marilyn Tiffin, come in peace!” I reasoned.

Finally, I ran out of breath from all the running and came to a stop.

“Put your hands up, you filthy trespasser!” the man spoke clearly.

Once again, this made no sense to me. Putting my hands up is how I perform a spell. So, I followed his orders and raised my arms above my head. I vigorously shook my hands. As I was trying to perform my spell I noticed something in my peripheral vision. I noticed a tall looking staff with green parts to it. But, I believed that this magic could protect me more than this staff.

“Lorato Camara!” I shrieked while performing the spell. Nothing happened. The opponent pointed an oddly shaped staff to my head as a round object was about to hit me in the forehead.

“Noooo!” I shouted in my last attempt.

Last edited 27 days ago by Sonia Tuffin
Iosef Paramonov
Iosef Paramonov
29 days ago

Zeckyll and Dervius vs. The Door

Iosef Paramonov

The door wasn’t big. It was enormous. Eighteen metres of solid iron, black as the day it was forged deep inside Mount B’trunkn. Grim faces of Dwarvish heroes battling hideous monsters patterned its ominous visage.

And at waist level was a small brass doorknob, with an ordinary keyhole as found in any common household.

Zeckyll and Dervius stood before the towering structure, their mouths open in awe. Finally, Dervius rolled up his sleeves and began to wave his hands to form a simple opening spell.

“Derv…” said Zeckyll.

“Yeah, Zeck?” said Dervius.

“You sure that’s a good idea?” asked Zeckyll.

“Well ‘ow else are we supposed to get in? A bloody ‘airpin?”

“No but…” Zeckyll faltered.

“Yeah?”

“Well, you remember the vampire earlier? We tried to conjure a stake to drive frew its ‘eart?”

“Yeah.”

“In the end, we ‘ad to knock it out wiv a lump of meat.”

“It was you who did the spell. S’not my fault you can’t say the words right!”

“Okay, but you did the spell for invisibility. To get past the three-headed dog.”

“Well it worked, didnit?”

“Yeah, but it made our footsteps and breavin’ four times louder.”

“Well so what? You ‘eard me say the words, they were correct! What’s your point?”

“This place,” Zeckyll gestured to the cavernous dungeon behind them, “It does somefin’ weird wiv magic. Twists the meaning ov the spell, if you know what I mean.”

“Come on Zeck, we’re nearly there. Untold riches, moun’ains ov treasure. We can’t give in now.”

“Yeah, but…” Zeckyll’s voice trailed away.

“Look, just stand back, will’ya? I’ve got this.”

Dervius flourished his hands in a series of complex gestures, muttering the ancient words under his breath. His fingernails glowed blue, his eyelids fluttered up and down. Finally, the glows faded, and Dervius opened his eyes.

The keyhole clicked.

Dervius grinned. “That wasn’t so-”

There was an achingly loud, metallic creak. The pair looked up in horror as the entire bulk of the eighteen-metre tall door began to slowly drop down over where they stood.

Zeckyll looked at Dervius. “Fu-“

Beelzebubble
Beelzebubble
29 days ago

Memoirs of a Brawler
By Kirk Putnam

The bell couldn’t have rung soon enough. I am getting destroyed in this fight. All the years I’d spent in the underground fight scene, the magical assault tattoos covering my body, and all the blood I’d spilled for victory could not have prepared me for a chintzy show like ‘So you think you can fight?’

I thought it’d be a walk in the park. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I stare through my swollen eyes at what was once my tooth at the bottom of my spit bucket as the gaudy television show host grabs the mic again.

“Welcome back from the commercial break. We return to the epic final fight between our contestants, Jimmy ‘the Eldritch Hammer’ Stevens and the Granite Granny, Sister Margaret Franklin!”

I look up through the haze to the opposing corner to see the warm smile of the 88-year-old nun and ask myself how she can be knitting at a time like this. Then I remember that she is unscathed. Her amulet has reflected every one of my attacks.

“Our fighters are really giving it their all out there. Hoping to lay claim to the coveted grand prize, the ultra-rare Fantastica doll from our sponsor, Fairy Queen Toys! Let us start the second round and see who will be victorious!”

I promised my daughter and this is my last hope of getting her that doll. I need to find a way to win. I just know that magic won’t save me now.

The bell rings. I stumble out of my corner and the old woman toddles toward me at the center of the cage. We bump fists as customary.

“You’re doing great, sweetheart,” Margaret says to me dripping with a genuine kindness.

“Thank you, Sister,” I say between swollen lips and loose teeth.

“Please, call me Margie. Now, put ‘em up, honey,” she says with a giggle. “It’s time for another lesson on the Golden Rule.”

A. Brunnert
A. Brunnert
1 month ago

The Shadow of Fire,
By A. Brunnert

My parents, by trade, were potion brewers. When they wrote a report detailing just how close they were to creating the ability to grant the ability of magic wielding to non-magic wielders, our home was raided. Our window shattered When my parents went to check what the commotion was, a man shot them with a gun. He entered the house and when I started to scream, he shot me too, crippling me from the waist down. I immediately blacked out. I should have died that night. The only reason I didn’t was because of our magical alert system. Police and medical professionals showed up promptly. Quickly enough to save me, just not my parents. I was immediately taken to a hospital and due to the nature of the situation, my blood had to be drawn. The only reason they didn’t give up on me then was because of what they found. My blood cells contained a remarkable amount of Pyros, organelles found within cells that allow control over the element of fire. In part due to my own promising abilities, and in part due to the scientific advancements of my parents, it was agreed that I was to be given a ring of healing. Rings of healing, as you might imagine, are terribly rare, but it allowed me to walk. I then went on to join a special task group of magic wielders that searched ancient ruins for magical objects. Which brings me to today. I walked up the stairs into the ancient keep. I immediately moved towards a ladder leading down. I lit a fire in my palm to illuminate the room further. But not all the shades receded. One stood still, in the appearance of a humanoid. It moved closer. I flung fire at it. It moved closer. I lit the room ablaze. It moved closer. I tried to run, but couldn’t. It moved closer. And grabbed me. On the arm, just below the elbow. I expected it to be cold, as shadows are. But it was hot, burning hot. The black fingers slid down my arm to my wrist. To my hand. To my fingers, before finally settling on my ring. The ring of healing. The heat intensified. I let out another scream, this one prolonged. The pain only increased, as did the heat. Then the ring melted. All of the trauma I had ever received was suddenly unleashed upon me all at once. My legs collapsed. The bullet wound reopened. My name is Emilia the pyromancer, and I am dead.

Iosef Paramonov
Iosef Paramonov
1 month ago

Zeckyll and Dervius vs. The Door
Iosef Paramonov

The door wasn’t big. It was enormous. Eighteen metres of solid iron, black as the day it was forged deep inside Mount B’trunkn. Grim faces of Dwarvish heroes battling hideous monsters patterned its ominous visage.

And at waist level was a small brass doorknob, with an ordinary keyhole as found in any common household.

Zeckyll and Dervius stood before the towering structure, their mouths open in awe. Finally, Dervius rolled up his sleeves and began to wave his hands to form a simple opening spell.

“Derv…” said Zeckyll.

“Yeah, Zeck?” said Dervius.

“You sure that’s a good idea?” asked Zeckyll.

“Well ‘ow else are we supposed to get in? A bloody ‘airpin?”

“No but…” Zeckyll faltered.

“Yeah?”

“Well, you remember the vampire earlier? We tried to conjure a stake to drive frew its ‘eart?”

“Yeah.”

“In the end, we ‘ad to knock it out wiv a lump of meat.”

“It was you who did the spell. S’not my fault you can’t say the words right!”

“Okay, but you did the spell for invisibility. To get past the three-headed dog.”

“Well it worked, didnit?”

“Yeah, but it made our footsteps and breavin’ four times louder.”

“Well so what? You ‘eard me say the words, they were correct! What’s your point?”

“This place,” Zeckyll gestured to the cavernous dungeon behind them, “It does somefin’ weird wiv magic. Twists the meaning ov the spell, if you know what I mean.”

“Come on Zeck, we’re nearly there. Untold riches, moun’ains ov treasure. We can’t give in now.”

“Yeah, but…” Zeckyll’s voice trailed away.

“Look, just stand back, will’ya? I’ve got this.”

Dervius flourished his hands in a series of complex gestures, muttering the ancient words under his breath. His fingernails glowed blue, his eyelids fluttered up and down. Finally, the glows faded, and Dervius opened his eyes.

The keyhole clicked.

Dervius grinned. “That wasn’t so-”

There was an achingly loud, metallic creak. The pair looked up in horror as the entire bulk of the eighteen-metre tall door began to slowly drop down over where they stood.

Zeckyll looked at Dervius. “Fu-“

Demon Nox
1 month ago

A Cruel Kindness
By Demon Nox

Brisk air blew through the dense foliage of the Enchanted Forest, perfectly weaving through the gaps in between the branches, brambles, and vines. All culminating in the forest’s center, a giant flower field filled with flowers from across the world. And near the center was a throne made of gnarled tree roots, more grown into place than shaped by hand.

And who sat upon it but Titania, the queen of the Fey. I continued to bow down before her as I await her response, on whether or not she’ll revive my son. I could hear her humming, deliberating on if my payment would be enough. “Rise dear, it’s time to conclude this meeting.” spoke the queen, I do as I’m told.

She sat straight, emanating the peaceful and regal presence she had before. Her smile was much the same, but it was sadder somehow? “I apologize dear, but I won’t bring them back.” Said the queen, in the same gentle tone as before.

“What’s wrong? I believe,” the queen brought a finger to her lips, “my payment was…” my words die in my throat.

“Dear, the payment is not the issue here. It’s your request, I will not bring any creature back from their next life.” the queen explained, holding the same act as before.

“That’s bull and you know it! Your the mother of all life in this world! Your the only being that can revive the dead, what possible reason could you have for not doing so?!” I yelled, exasperated, tears collecting at the corners of my eyes.

“For the same reason I’ve always have, the act of dying to a soul is much like a fire to a piece of parchment. There is no return to what was, now please, dear. Return home, David misses you.” at that the Queen rose from her throne and walked towards me. She knelt down and embraced me, rubbing circles into my back. And before I could ask why she kissed my forehead much like a mother.

“I…” and like that, I was back in my home, next to my husband.

Last edited 1 month ago by Demon Nox
Sevau Cilla
1 month ago

He—lp
Sevau Cilla

Howls and eerie laughter filled the room. As the man in tattered black raised his sword to it’s highest peak and brought it down in quick succession. Culling the monster infront of him.

He asked himself, “How long have I been fighting.…?” His face rugged and pained, muscles torn apart. An arm torn from the elbow and a leg mangled by the beasts he just culled.

He wanted to rest. His sword chipped, broken and dull, armor ridden with holes. Th man took out the watch he kept in his breast pocket, counting the time he has been in this abyss.

6 days, 28 hours and 63 minutes.

It has been that long since he got trapped in this god-forsaken place. All hope of rescue lost like the last embers of a fire when the 3rd day passed. Most he use to sustain himself with is the raw gamey meat from the monsters he has killed.

“It seems like the area is clear. For now.”

With heavy breaths, locked himself inside the room hoping to get a quick respite in the likelihood that it is his last day. The man mustered all of his strength to drag himself to a corner. “Magic would be really nice right now.”

He wonders why he kept fighting.

He wonders for his survival. But washed it away after hearing howls running down the labyrinthine hallways coming closer.
He knows he won’t. He knows no one will come. Afterall, this is the abyss. A graveyard that knows no gravekeeper.

As his heavy eyes persist to close from the fatigue and blood loss. He fights the urge, the howls creeping nearer. Resigning to fate he hums the tune of Oh, Heer Fair, Maiden of Yll”uierk.

As the vestiges of consciousness leaves him bit by bit. He could hear whimpers and growls from the beasts, slight footsteps pitter-patter and orders rang out. He leaks out a smile, flicks a coin out the door. Whispering the words, “Help.” before completely passing out.

“….. Oi! Some..—one is h$#e! He’s st..l b—hing! Call the su—rt”

Hyperion
Hyperion
1 month ago

The Ravens Last Flight.

In a forgotten forest two animals are locked in a stare match. The adult fox had lustrous red fur and approached the raven slowly, without blinking the scarred eyes that almost lost its sight a long time ago.

Raven was against a sheer cliff face. Its feather lost its glossy blue-black shine and became dull and gray, and its wing hung limpy and trembling to its side. However its blue eyes are as icy and imperius as the time it fought the fox when it was still young.

Ubeknowsty to them at top of that cliff another impasse was taking place. A woman in full plate armor, the blood falling on her eyes couldn’t put out her fiery gaze or her heroic beauty. She approached a fallen man that smiled at her.

At first glance he looked like a middle aged man, but his blue eyes betrayed a weight of time longer than his grizzly hair would give credit. His black robes flickered weakly with magic energy fizzled out of it, he didn’t have enough energy to even stand, but he could still talk.

“Warrior honor to see a Valkyrie such as yourself.”

“You are no warrior, a warrior wouldn’t have fled and force to go after”

“What can I say? I couldn’t let my wings get rusty. Imprisonment would be worse than death to me.”

These words made her stop her step and close her trembling fists. Emotion escaping her voice.

“So is that what we are? Wardens? Is that what I’m for you?”

His easygoing voice was gone, but pain and resignation flared in its place.

“Your beautiful eye that stolen my heart all theses years ago, pity shouldn’t color then”

“Why couldn’t you wait? There was hope for a cure yet! But you left us and rushed alone. Why didn’t you take me with you?”

She was but one step away from him, her eyes filled with tears and blood.

“I couldn’t save myself, so I saved who I could.” his trembling hand caress her face.

“You idiot.” she embraced him.

The raven was gone.

Kenji
Kenji
1 month ago

Aura
By Kenji

The look of arrogance in his face was finally gone after he saw me standing without a scratch.

With a frown he cast another fireball at me, which I ignored again.

As the spectators giggled at me, the fireball exploded against my arm, stinging a little through my armor, the aura-covered steel slightly charred now, he was getting serious now from the looks of it.

I unsheath my sword for the first time since the battle started, hesitation and nervousness visible in his eyes, something I took advantage of.

I smirked, before springing forward with my sword raised, he was startled, and cast a shield followed by a gust of wind that pushed him backwards, just out of reach of my sword.

Or so he thought…

I broke the shield with one arm before springing forward again, faster this time and slashed at him, his body barely able to cast an earth wall between my sword and his neck, giving him enough time to duck as my sword sliced through the rock like butter, his battle experience showing with every movement, not that that would matter in the end.

I kicked at his chest as his balance was lost due to ducking. He tried to cast another shield, however that didn’t save him.

His body was flung into a wall nearby, bouncing off a corner and falling to the ground, the audible gasps of the spectators almost drowning his pained groans.

He struggled to get up after this, clearly injured from the kick, and with one arm cast as much attack magic as he could muster.

Everything from stone spears to ice projectiles flew toward me from all directions, the spectators now running away from the collateral damage the spells caused.

And then I let my aura show.

Every spell heading in my direction melted away into pure mana at that moment, the mage finally understanding my position, fell to his knees and looked at me in disbelief, while I sheath my sword once more.

I slowly walked over to him, crouching in front of him, and smiled.

Magic System
Magic System
1 month ago

Regrets
The Magic System

“You know, I don’t think I agree with you on that,” Zakke says, leaning against a railing and ignoring Kate’s glare. He’s fully aware of the drop behind him. “There are a lot of ways magic could save me!”

“The fuck are you talking about?” Bamon growls. “There isn’t any- oh whatever. Just die, punk.” The grunt pulls the trigger and a bullet slams into Zakke’s chest, throwing him backwards over the railing. It’s nothing like the night where Kate showed him the night sky from so very close; there isn’t any weightlessness as Zake tumbles through the air, any sense of beauty in what lies below him.

That bullet just really hurt. The wind whips inside Zakke’s head as he falls, wondering if it broke a rib or if it somehow got past his vest, or if—God forbid—the grunt decided to shoot Kate too. That would really suck. Zakke’s entire plan kind of depends solely on it not happening. Zakke winces as he falls, the pressure on his chest sending throbs of pain through it. The vest was supposed to help, dammit.

It’s right about now that Zakke realizes how close the ground is getting. It was a tall building, sure, but he’s been falling for a while too, and the wind pressure is not making the wound play any nicer. Begrudgingly, Zakke takes a moment to accept that all his debts might just be finally catching up to him. He’s owed too many people for too long, now. It’s been a good life, though. A fun life.
A few moments away from death, and Zakke realizes he would regret dying here. He hasn’t—

The world blurs, and his momentum changes direction: still down, but at a much different angle as Kate’s arms wrap protectively around him, keeping him close while she bounces off a wall and lands them safely on the ground where Zakke might otherwise have just been a pile or organs.

“Zakke,” Kate snarls, her eyes feral with fear, of all things. Zakke didn’t expect that. “Never do that again.”

Pumpkin
1 month ago

Snowball effect
By Pumpkin

Things didn’t become this shitshow overnight.

Trade magicians were screwed first, of course, the ones who sell charms and curses to eager customers.

There was even a time when people believed it wasn’t ‘that big of a deal’. Sure, you couldn’t hex your ex anymore.

So what?

But then the crops started to fail.

Wonder-drops™ and mega-crops™, magic additives we added to the soil and water to make them grow all year into giants were running out.
And we can’t make any more.

Heroes from far and wide ventured out to solve the drought. They visited temples carved from mountains, deep jungles and active volcanoes but no one even knew where to start.
How do you fix a magic drought?

The seers couldn’t see anything, bloody useless lot.

There was not a single prophesy on file.

It came outta nowhere for no reason.
And then we were boned.

The winter that year was the worst.
No food, no fire magic, we stopped using electricity centuries ago and the infrastructure was so damaged there was no other solution than to start over.

Beating rocks together begging for a spark.

Telling the girls mister cuddles ran away so they wouldn’t stop eating the little food we had.

I count myself lucky we never had to resort to eating people.
I know many who were less well-off.

When spring came it was just to give us unearned confidence.
The only way to get these plants to grow now is using the old ways, farming techniques long obsolete and forgotten.

The government, for what little power they still had mandated a grow policy.
Every garden, every park, every bit of bare earth must become a victory garden if we’re to survive next winter.

It was an uphill battle.

Still is really.

But we’re getting better at it.

The magic school is a greenhouse now. With beans climbing up the walls and courgettes suspended from the ceilings. Mushrooms have taken over the cellars and pumpkins are sprawling their way through the lecture hall.

It’s slow and frustrating.

But my daughters are still with me.
Thankfully.

Babs
Babs
1 month ago

There Is No Other Word for a Tear
By Babs
(plz don’t judge me I did this one in 5 minutes)

On my knees. Salt stings my eyes, trickles into my mouth. My throat closes up.

I’ve never been one to believe in fate. Things don’t happen for a reason.

Your baby didn’t fall ill because some god was calling her home. The love of your life didn’t leave you just because they weren’t “the one.” Your life didn’t go to hell to teach you some shitty lesson.

No wonder I’d never had any problems denying the way of things. Curing the sick, healing the wounded, it was all second nature to me now. I’ve become renowned for never letting a patient slip through the stone-cold doors of death. Never have I tasted defeat. Never dreamed of failure.

Why now?

On my knees. Salt in my mouth, teardrops fall. Salt, water, and blood mix in my lap.

No… I try again.

My hands move like a hurricane, my mind is a spring breeze.

Over and over again, I work my magic.

Over and over again, I cast my spells.

Over and over again, the lifeless body in front of me lay unchanged.

The battlefield has all but died out around us. I use everything I have left just to heal his wounds. Darkness fills my vision as I slump over onto him.

All that’s left is me and him.

I wake with no spells left to try, no tricks up my sleeve.

On my knees. Raining tears. There’s nothing to do now.

I pull his body closer.

“I’m so sorry, brother…”

The first patient I’d ever given up on…The only patient I’d ever give up on, was the only one I knew.

The only one I loved, my own flesh and blood.

I know it now, fate must be real, and a sick bastard he is.

My remaining companions have found me by now, they come to take me away.
I try to resist, push back…but it takes everything I’d left myself just to beg…

Decades later, in that very spot, lies a brother’s body, never to rot.

Norman Gray
Norman Gray
1 month ago

One Foot Planted on a Razor Blade
By Norman Gray
(warning, contains themes of depression and self-harm.)

I keep this notebook in my back pocket. . . It contains creative writing and journaling, in equal parts. On bad days, I journal. On good days, when my imagination allows, I create.

Today, I’m doing both. I’m sitting in my local Café as I write this. They know me by name, here.

My imagination and depression are my oldest companions. For decades they’ve been battling over my mind, demanding my thoughts and attention; memories of mapping out fantasy worlds at seven years old. Remembering being hit repeatedly at age eight. Learning early on that there was nowhere to run, except for where my mind could take me.

Like the magic and curses contained within my stories, my imagination and depression are both mysterious to me, and I desperately search to gain some agency over them; each seemingly beyond my understanding or control, acting almost of their own volition, taking me on a rollercoaster ride that never stops.

I take a seat and flip open my notebook. Wedged between the last page and back cover, there is a disposable razor blade, and as I open my notebook it falls out and clatters onto the floor.

I quickly, but calmly, plant my right foot on it, then I go about writing as if nothing happened.

I don’t know if anyone saw it. The possibility kind of thrills me; the potential of being exposed, being dragged out of the darkness.

I look to my imagination to keep me alive; it brings me some meager sense of accomplishment and self worth, some confirmation that I’m not completely worthless. But deep down I know that this is only escapism, and that ignoring my problems won’t save me.

But this is all I have, all I really live for. So I continue to write, one foot planted on a razor blade, hoping that the magic of make-believe will break the curse of depression. . . While I’m literally on a razor’s edge.

I don’t know whether I should laugh, or cry.

“Hey Norm, how are you?” The Café owner asks.

“Not too bad,” I lie.

Contract
Contract
1 month ago

More Than It Seems
By Contract

After days of walking, Douglas finally came across a small village.

It looks like a nice place to live. Twenty-five wooden houses were built next to a small lake, with a large forest offering its shadow to the inhabitants just behind.

Only one of the houses was sticking out of the rest. It looked much fancier than the others.

“Probably the chief “, thought Douglas.

As he was going to ask the chief for hospitality, he saw a man in blue clothing shouting at an old man.

He decided to see what was so important to disrupt the peace and quiet of this beautiful landscape.

Before he could say a world, the man in blue spoke to him :

“You are the stranger, aren’t you ? Just go away. I don’t have time for you.”

Douglas wanted to protest when the rude individual pulled a knife and started to threaten the old man with it.

“What are you doing !? Stop this now !”, shouted Douglas

“What do we have now ? Some kind of hero ? What are you gonna do ?”

Douglas revealed his scepter. The man was unphased.

“Magic ? Is that supposed to scare me ?”

He turned back and started to punch the old man.

Douglas let a small fireball out of his scepter. It missed the man but touched a nearby tree.

“Not even able to aim ?”

Douglas tried again three times. Nothing touched his target.

Finally, he went for something that couldn’t miss. He gathered rain clouds to strike with lightning.

“Stop.” simply said the man.

Douglas stopped moving, and dropped his scepter, against his will.

The man in blue approached him, slowly. He started by punching him in the face before pulling out his knife once again.

Douglas couldn’t move at all.

“Magic. Something impressive. For spectacle, I mean. You possess a rare power. You think you are superior. But simple mind manipulation and you are useless. Well, time to start the vivisection, don’t you think ?”

DaLeen
DaLeen
1 month ago

Falling
By Taja DaLeen

I am falling. Deeper, and deeper.

And nothing can save me.

I am watching you, like I do a lot, lately. There is not much left to do for me. I do not have any other choice.

You are praying, again. Praying for a miracle, an angel to save you. And your belief is strong; strong enough that your prayer called upon me.

I am no angel though, I am one of the Valkyrya. But would you even know the difference? You do not know about the Other World. And even more, would you care?

Still, I do not dare approach you. It is forbidden for us to mingle with nonmagicals, even though I want to.

Oh, how I want to.

For you are the first being to make me feel like this. To make me fall.

Now you start singing. It is an odd habit you have, to just break into song during your prayers, but so endearing to me.

You would think me an angel, if you saw me, but your voice… it makes you the angelic one. And it makes me believe there is a heaven.

And it is right here, with you.

All those countless times I have watched you by now… they make me wonder. Maybe I should just not care about the rules. They do not care about me, after all.

Maybe I should fall for real, like a few of those angels you believe in did.

But…

Oh Asmodis, I do not know what to do. I am falling, deeper and deeper, and not even all of your magic can save me.

Lunabear
Lunabear
1 month ago

Do We Keep the Carpet?
by Lunabear (CW: vomit)

“Samantha Lilliana, you get back here and let me finish washing your hair!”

Atop the counter, Sam hurriedly stuffed another cookie into her mouth, her hair dripping shampoo on the surface. “Hmmph mmm!” She was across the room much faster than her father could keep up.

“And stop eating the cookies! You’ll spoil your dinner!”

Jacoby used a dry towel to clean up the lather trail. He covered the dessert.

A line of chocolate crumbs zigzagged from the kitchen through the carpet near the bookcase. He heard Sam’s giggles somewhere down the hall.

Jacoby huffed angrily and quickly vacuumed up the mess. After returning the bulky machine, he checked the food. Meanwhile, his ears tracked her pattering heartbeat from the bathroom to her bedroom.

Rustling.

Shuffling.

A tiny sneeze.

Suddenly, there was an enormous crash, like cymbals bashing together, and Jacoby’s heart galloped. He turned the fire low and raced through the house.

“Princess?” He snatched her bedroom door open. A loud, piano lullaby tortured his hearing, as it was badly off key. He protected his ears but kept his eyes open.

Sam squeezed through his legs, levitating a glowing turquoise orb that emitted the music.

Jacoby gave chase again, Sam outpacing him. “No musical magic in the house after 8!”

He lost sight of her near the dining room, and all was abruptly quiet.

Jacoby’s ears strained against faint ringing and the overall silence. He circled through the house, his lupine sight alert. Soap was everywhere. He’d clean it up later.

Back in the kitchen, he sensed that she was close.

His hackles raised. Pivoting, he spied Sam just before she snagged another treat.

“Aha!” His arms locked around her, and he hauled her back to the bathroom.

Sam kicked and squirmed and squealed, but her hair was washed in the end.

After dinner, all was clean. Peaceful. Jacoby sat snugly, reading.

A door creaked open, and Sam emerged, holding her gurgling stomach. “Daddy, I don’t feel so good.”

“Hmm. I wonder why.” He grinned.

Jacoby’s teasing became terror, however, when Sam doubled over and retched on the carpet.

MasaCur
MasaCur
1 month ago

The Hunter Clan
By MasaCur

Otsu crept through the bamboo forest, hunting for her lost friends. Her ears twitched at every sound that passed through the stalks of bamboo, her hand fiercely gripping the shaft of her shakujo staff.

The tracks ahead of her showed a story of a struggle. A body had slumped to the ground, leaving a clear indication, and beside it, a scrap of red ribbon that Mishonji wore in her hair. She was on the right track.

A flash from the corner of Otsu’s eye caught her attention, followed by the crack of a gunshot as a bullet struck a nearby bamboo stalk. A spell quickly came to Otsu’s mind, then her lips and hands. Two more gunshots, but the lead balls stopped just inches from Otsu’s outstretched fingers.

Otsu was being hunted. She knew that now.

Two riflemen rushed Otsu from the depths of the bamboo forest, bayonets attached to the muzzles of their muskets. She blocked the first thrust with her staff, using the momentum to hit the second one in the chest with the follow through. The impact knocked him back on his feet, and she reversed the momentum, thrusting the base of her staff into the first attacker’s leg, causing him to drop to a knee.

Where was the third rifleman?

A light sting hit Otsu in the chest. She looked down at the small iron dart protruding from her, too small and too slow to be stopped by her spell. The third rifleman charged in, musket in one hand, a blowpipe in the other. Otsu tried to raise her staff in defense, but it felt heavy in her hands. Poison. She quickly swept through her memory for the spell to counteract it, but her thoughts were sluggish.

The staff slipped from her hand. She crumpled to the ground, feeling like she was getting smaller.

Ryojin Kashiwagi looked down at Otsu, as the cat girl with two tails slipped out of her glamor. “Tie her up, blindfold and gag her. I’m sure my mother will be pleased to examine this one.”

Quobodo
Quobodo
1 month ago

Adrift
By Quobodo

Hannu stood on the bow of the ship which rocked with the consistent ebb of the waves beneath. Wind buffeted against the back of his leather cloak. The wind was picking up, accumulating water as it drew toward the Link.

“A bit nervous are we?” An gray bearded old man slapped Hannu on the back, his leather cloak salt stained and worn with faded patches.

Hannu jumped, surprised. “Master John, you startled me.” He placed his hands on the deck railing and leaned forward. He was nervous. This was his first real contract.

“Bah, you got nothing to worry about.” The old man rested a reassuring hand on Hannu’s shoulder. “Just gimme the nod if you need help.”

Hannu gazed forward. He could see the mists rising ahead. They formed the Link, a broad cone of sea water suspended between the Parallel Seas being pulled back and forth by the immense gravity of each Ring World as they spun around each other, interlocked like chain.

“Almost there. Steel yourself.” John pulled down his circular metal goggles.

Hannu did the same and turned to face the their clients with his master.

“Alright people,” John clapped his gloved hands and tried his best to throw his voice. The winds roared already and it would not be long before they deafened, “we’re coming up on the Link. Strap in, sit down, and shut up. We won’t hear your screams either way.”

Hannu felt the pull of the upper Ring. He stabilized himself by sending short burst gravity waves through his feet, weighing down his boot soles. John’s tandem rhythmic pulses echoed against his own. The ship jolted as the Link lifted the bow, knocking some crew backward. Hannu leveled the stern with a large gravity wave.

John nodded in approval and pointed up. The turn was coming. Almost time to heave.

Then a bang. Hannu jerked his head. Splinters of the ship’s hull scattered in the mist behind him. Where was John? Hannu couldn’t feel his gravitational imprint.

“JOHN!” Hannu’s screams were muffled in the wind.

A man’s shadow tumbled through the mist.

Last edited 1 month ago by Quobodo
Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
1 month ago

The Witch That Stole Her Heart (Nyx’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis

So, I may have made the mistake of picking a direct fight with a witch. She hadn’t looked that tough – I figured a couple of good strikes with my rapier could have brought her down…

…but I hadn’t been prepared for a single spell of hers to instantly paralyse my body.

Now, all I could do was watch. Watch as this ragged woman steps closer and closer, until she’s right in front of my face.

“Foolish girl. Did you really think your small share of your master’s magic would ever be enough to contend with us?” She tittered in delight. “You really are an abomination, little girl. But one we can certainly make use of.”

With that, her hand warped into a long-nailed claw, and punched into my chest with surprising force. I gave a strangled gasp.

“A heart both living and undead…oh, so much potential for our rituals!” Her claw twists agonisingly inside me as it burrows further within. “What were you to him? An assassin? Such a waste.”

She peered into my twitching eyes and smiled, almost reassuringly. “But with us, the magic inside you will finally be able to reach its full potential.” Her nails dug deeper, and I wanted to scream. “Really, you should be proud. It’s almost a shame that you won’t live to see-ack!”

Before my eyes, the witch’s body greyed, shrivelled and withered, and then collapsed entirely…and as the paralysing magic abruptly released its grip, I ended up falling right on top.

“Well, that was easy.” A sweeter, almost sing-song voice. “Just as my mothers say: ‘A mortal’s magic matters not – if their body be weak, then the Blight shall rot!’”

I forced my head upwards to find the source, and set my eyes on one of the strangest-looking people I had ever seen.

She stared back, slightly startled. “Oh! You’re alive.” She stepped forwards cautiously. “Are you a friend, my dear?”

I glanced at the unrecognisable pile of dusty bones underneath me. I didn’t need much convincing.

“Uh, yeah! Yeah, I’m a friend! A friend sounds good right about now!”

Samuel Gallew
Samuel Gallew
1 month ago

*Note: I will not be able to attend the stream T_T
Never bring a Gun to a Magic Fight
by Samuel Gallew

It had been a long journey, mostly filled with menial setbacks that were quickly handled by a small little trick, or a silly display that was fun in the moment, but not really something Jake would ever be proud of.

His fuzzy companion in this strange fantasy world was Vasha, a scholar who apparently knew the most about the journey they were taking, though they were more useful as a guide, having given directions and knowing the right kinds of magic for each situation.

They had entered into the Lich’s dungeon and already, Jake’s experience with adventure movies and TTRPGs from his homeworld were paying off. That, and the ballistic vest he wore was surprisingly effective against everything short of a .92 calliber round.

“So about this Lich we’re hunting,” Jake asked as he tested the trigger for an obvious saw trap. “Do we just have to destroy the vessel his soul is stashed away in?”

Vasha turned with an odd look. “Firstly, why would I know anything about becoming a lich? That’s forbidden knowledge. And second, how or even why would you know anything about it? You don’t even have magic!”

Jake rolled beneath the trap, and disarmed it with the lever on the other side. “I’m just drawing parallels to some fiction I’ve seen. You want to show this guy what happens when you try to cheat death?”

Vasha formed a few gestures as he spoke. “Best not to wait. However, I don’t think your ‘pistol’ will work against this.”

“Of course not!” Jake began to assemble the rifle he had, and loaded a few of the special rounds. “Just make sure you cover your ears.”

Vasha obeyed as the door slid open with a glow, and a low, rumbling sound revealing a lich sitting on a throne of bones.

Jake aimed right for the amulet around the skeletal figure’s neck and fired right through an arcane shield, shattering the amulet as the lich screamed and turned to ash.

He smiled in triumph. “And my DM always said: ‘never bring a gun to a spell fight.’”

VulpesRose
VulpesRose
1 month ago

Impending Arrival
by VulpesRose

Agatha had done the reading three times, to be sure. She’d changed the question slightly, making sure that the verbiage was as accurate as possible, to alleviate the normal misunderstandings that came with peering into the unknown. But there was no change in the outcome. The meaning was as clear as it was vexatious.

She ran through the rituals she could pull together in such a short time. A standard blessing was possible, although she wouldn’t have a full moon for maximum potency. She was out of fresh rosemary for summoning good fortune and she wasn’t sure she could get enough people together for a greater banishing of evil (it was a three day weekend after all, and her friends were likely to say she was overreacting).

Fleeing crossed her mind, but there were too many spies close to home who would notice her sudden flight and report her odd behavior. She had no definitive evidence, but she had long suspected that her movements were already being tracked. There were just too many “coincidences” and “chance encounters” for her liking. So there was really no sense in running (plus she’d promised to help Hazel’s daughter with her potions, and it simply would not do to shirk her commitments to her friends).

In the end, she straightened her shrine and put out a fresh offering, muttering prayers to the gods to give her the strength and wisdom to see this challenge through. But the gods she prayed to were the gods of her rival as well. They were likely to remain neutral in this encounter, assuming they wouldn’t be outright against her; her adversary’s shrine was always immaculate (a fact she had been reminded of many, many times).

Despite her lifelong well of knowledge, there were no tricks that could safeguard her, nothing to prevent the inevitable. Even though she knew it was coming, the sharp knock at the door startled Agatha out of her musings. She took a deep breath, put a smile on her face like armor, and opened the door.

Her mother had arrived for an unannounced visit.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

What I Wish I Said

By Joe

I recieved my order from the carrier, and took it inside. I placed the cheap casing on the coffee table in my living room and sat on my couch to unwrap the product. Inside was a was a soft gel capsule that glowed an eerie red, but it didn’t unsettle me. I knew what this was. It was an infamous product in underground magic that shows the user their last regret before it kills them painlessly called Amendment.

I ingested it immediately, and laid back.

My mind immediately went into a controlled REM state, where I had full cooperation with my dream. What came before me was everything I had hoped. A girl who never reached her seventh birthday sat next to me, whimpering and holding me like she was lost for too long.

“Why’re you crying, kiddo,” I said softly.

“The kids at school bullied me again,” she teared up.

“Is it about that again?”

She didn’t answer.

“There’s nothing wrong with you.”

She threw her head up. “THEY MADE FUN OF THE WAY I TALKED!” She cried and then buried her face into my shirt. “I was t-trying to talk, and I lost my w-w-words. Then it was because I didn’t get a joke. Then it was because I was too quiet. Every thing I do! They just…” She squeezed my shirt tightly.

This was where I messed up. I wasn’t going to do it again.

“Lily,” I said gently this time. I held in my guilt as I pushed her off to look at me. “What you have isn’t a disability. It’s a different way of looking at things. And because of that you were able to do the more difficult tasks better than the easier ones. That’s not something to ever be ashamed of.” I held Lily close. “It’s not your fault they don’t know how to be patient with you.” I held her tighter and shed a tear. “And I’m sorry I didn’t know how to either.”

Her muffled whimpers became loud cries. This time those cries weren’t alone.

But I still was.

Thunder
Thunder
1 month ago

The End of an Era
by Thunder

A king came alone to a clearing. Surrounding a single rock was a council of those most ancient trees, gnarled and bent from the weight of years. Steeling himself, the king sat upon the lone rock, looking up at the oldest of the trees.

A voice, old a tired, emanated from it. “You look terrible.”

“As if I didn’t know,” the king sighed, rubbing the bags under his eyes.

“What happened?”

The king’s anger flared up. “You could say it began when I discovered my wife is allegedly having an affair with my best friend. My fool of a nephew urged me to action, and-”

“And you gave into your anger and sentenced her to death.”

“As follows the law.”

“You make the laws.”

The King bit back a pointless retort, just sighing as he looked to the ground. “Of course it didn’t end there.”

“Of course not. He would never allow that to happen. I take it the fellowship has been sundered.”

“Irrevocably.” Tears filled the king’s eyes. “And all for nothing. We fought, many died, and it was all a ruse to take the throne. We- I and whatever pitiful fools still follow me- go to end things soon but… what is the point? Everything is ruined, the kingdom, the fellowship, everything we built. Too much blood has been spilled, and even you could never raise the dead.”

“Not in any decent way,” the tree agreed.

The king looked up at it, tears flowing freely. “What can I do?”

The tree seemed to sigh. “I do not know. Our dream is dead and will not live again in our lifetime.”

“But you-!”

“Look at me! For all my magic, I enabled my own end and transformation. What use is my wisdom?”

The king stared up at his last hope, and finally stood, hand on his sword.

“What will you do?” the tree asked despite itself.

“I don’t know. Ride out, confront my enemy, salvage what’s left. The dream is dead, but I will not allow it to simply fade.”

“Fare thee well,” the tree whispered forebodingly as he left.

Last edited 1 month ago by Thunder
The Missing Link
The Missing Link
1 month ago

As the Fairy Flies
By: The Missing Link

“Are you there?” A young voice crackled across the crystal. Xander was glad they hadn’t taken that from him. They’d surely have found it if they searched more thoroughly, for all the good it did him trying to escape. At the very least, it had made him a friend… companion.

“Yeah, I’m still here. Is something wrong?”

Xander could hear her choking up, “Have you ever thought of how wonderful it would be, to be a fairy?”

“Fairies?” He’d heard stories of them, fanciful tales for children.

“It’s their wings. They can go where they want, see what they want. They’re free.”

Her words cut. Freedom, he’d given up on that long ago. How could he even tell her, who he was, what he was. He didn’t even know her name.

“Even the fairies have rules, don’t they? Surely…”

“I’m to be married,” she interrupted, panic filling her voice, “Father told me just this morning, Duke Thryll.” Thryll? Surely not. The old lecher was easily twice her age.

“And you don’t want to?” Xander guessed.

“It’s for the family, right? I should be happy, right?”

“No. Birds don’t take well to cages, I’ve found.”

“What do I do? My skin is crawling thinking about it, his wrinkled hands, his smile. I can’t take it.”

“I’m sorry. Fairies won’t save you.”

“Then what?” He could hear her tears dripping on her crystal.

“You have to think about what you can do yourself, fight back.”

“I can’t…”

He wanted to shout, but talking any louder might alert the guards. If his suspicions were right… “The fairies can’t save you, but maybe you can do it. This might be the last time we’re able to talk, princess.”

“How did you?”

“Run away. Leave this place behind and never look back. There’s a passage out of town behind the bookshelf in the Queen’s old room.”

“Who are you?”

“Nobody really, but if it helps, a fairy.”

Summit the Dragon
Summit the Dragon
1 month ago

Magic is No More
by: Summit the Dragon

Working with what he knew, he took the piece of wood and carved it. Carved it into a dragon. He then did it again. But this time, a cat.
Thomas knew that the animals talked. The others of his world believed magic was only for children, or that it will only lead to destruction. Many more come to mind. The most prevalent was that it just wasn’t practical.

As far as adults, and even most of his friends, thought Thomas crazy. For the dragon, whose name was Echo, was shy, and never wanted to be seen. Ever since her friend, the cat, was thrown into the oven, as fuel. Thomas had to decide who he loved more. Either way, magic would die, and so would his soul.

“Magic is only a thing that is there”, he said to himself, “does it feel? Is it similar to an entity? Or an entity itself?” All these questions. Some unanswerable, without belief.

Thomas saw the magic in the eyes of Echo, his friend. Who tried to comfort him most all the time when he was upset. Echo was too a wise-ish one. Though she socialized with others sparingly, she had knowledge. “If knowledge is power, and magic is nonsense. What does that make me? Unreal? Blind to reality? Or is magic, belief, just a thing that can save us, yet we neglect that help, and cater to our own pride.”

When Thomas had heard this, he felt affirmed in his belief. But most of the others are hopeless to convince, and will deny what has been said. It saddened him. It saddened him so, that, if other do not want magic, and only want knowledge from science. Should he even try to convince.

Thomas asked Echo this question. She had no answer. “I am not a god. I do not know everything.”

Because none wanted anything to do with magic, it will die. And the magic cannot help itself or you, if you do not believe it.

It is not the magic that cannot do it, or the price, but it is the human who neglects it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Summit the Dragon
Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
1 month ago

Raise the Dad (Life of Madness)
by Lee Strangely (with help in editing from RVMPLSTLTSKN)

Thunderbolts roared across the night sky as Buford trudged through steamy air with the suitcase in hand. He weaved around the wet gravestones as they appeared with each thunderstroke.

“Hurry up, my cursed clock is ticking!” Maddy hollered.

He lumbered his way to the edge of the grave. At the sight of his silhouette an ear-to-ear grin sprouted along her face, growing bigger as the case was lowered deeper into the pit. With it in hand, the work officially began. And like any hard worker, she operated best to music.

“From my heart and from my hand,” she sang aloud. “Why don’t people understand my-” she busted the old briefcase open, “-intentions!”

Her body moved to the beat in her mind.

The cables unraveled to her rhythm, “Plastic tubes and pots and pans.” She clamped them to the husk in the casket.

“Bits and pieces and the magic from my hand!” she sang as she lifted the artifact from the case. The entire hole and everything in it were bathed in an eerie green glow. Sparks flew as the cables connected to the crystal object. “We’re makin’ WEIRD SCIENCE!”

Still swaying to the song, she looked up at Buford.

“Buford,” she gleefully called, “the rod!”

With a single thrust Buford drove the metal pole into the ground, Maddy attaching a cable as he did. She covered her ears as the bolts got louder and closer.

It was like a scream. A single bolt of pure plasma screaming at the top of its lungs as it plummeted to the Earth, impaling itself upon the metal spear that it itself was drawn to.

Then…

There was a moan.

She smiled with a slight quiver, “Welcome back Dad… I give your curse back.”

She climbed her way back to the surface, practically running from the pit. Behind her a pale form materialized. A curse… Her curse… Moving slowly and consistently. Not slowing, not stopping, passing each tombstone one by one.

She shook with anticipation.

It eventually came to her dad…

And passed him…

Its direction still pointed to her.

“H-how?” Maddy croaked, “HOW?!”

Makokam
1 month ago

Savor All The Little Emotions (Chronicles of The Dragon) (Ver.2.0)
By Makokam

It was almost a shame how stupid her enemies were. Well, if she was to be generous, if not fair, not all her enemies were stupid. Jonathan, for example, was smart enough to sniff out her life and return it, and her mortality, to her. But even after telling him doing that only increased her power he still didn’t realize just how utterly stacked against him the deck was.

She’d seen him fight. She knew what he could do. She’d figured him out before even the League. But he’d never seen her fight. And he expected her to be scared?

Did he not understand this was her Lair, constructed to give her every possible advantage? Did he think she fought the brats here by chance?

Did he forget that she had acquired the power of the Goddess of Death?

Go ahead and keep tearing the bodies apart. There’s hundreds more where they came from. What did he think she wanted the bodies for? She didn’t even need them whole; their flesh and bone was moldable even in pieces.

She had nine daises in this room. NINE. Each with an independently charged shield, activated only by her presence, and with a teleport spell that could move her between them at will. The fool could bang on them all he wanted. It wouldn’t matter even if he did manage to break one.

It was almost boring. He was a quick one, she’d give him that. But she could continue channeling energies from the abyss to rend his body, mind, and soul with only a wave of her hand.

Even using the shredded remains to re-summon Zhar’Gul, The Old One, was trivial and prepared for.

If all else failed, Death’s Scythe would take his soul.

No, there was no part of this that hadn’t been anticipated. Planned for.

When the shield shattered and his hand closed around her throat, looking into his burning eyes as a smile formed on his face, she knew it was too late to be scared.

Last edited 25 days ago by Makokam
Danny Gilhooley
Danny Gilhooley
1 month ago

Just Be Yourself
By Danny Gilhooley

“An anti-love potion?” Kessler’s face contorted in utter confusion.

Nick sighed, “Well I thought that since there was a love potion, there must also be some kind of anti-love potion.”

Kessler had started shaking his head before Nick finished speaking. “No. No, no, no. What did you think? That Priscilla’s has potions that make people hate you?”

Nick said, “Well, yeah! I thought!”

“Who would buy that!”

“I’d buy that right now!”

The waitress filled both cups of coffee on the table before strolling away. Nick took a sip, trying to take his mind off how he could possibly break up with Wendy.

“Alright, well what am I gonna do?” Nick asked.

“Why would you want to break up with her in the first place?” Kessler asked back. “You had to have bought that love potion for something, right?”

“Yeah, she’s nice and all. But since she moved in, her quirks have been driving me crazy,” Nick said. “She showers with the bathroom door open. She always has the air conditioner on because she’s always hot. And the laugh…oh man, don’t get me started on the laugh.”

“Let me get this straight,” Kessler started. He took a sip from his cup of coffee, grimacing as he put it back on the table. “You see this girl on the bus, have a nice conversation, and before you even know her last name, you buy a love potion to get into a relationship.”

Nick shook his head. It sounded romantic at first. Of course, it sounded ridiculous now.

“So, you’re sure there’s no anti-love potion?” Nick asked.

“Oh no,” Kessler said. “If you want out of this, you gotta do it the old-fashioned way.”

“Old-fashioned way? How am I supposed to do that?”

“Simple. Just be yourself.”

Nick thought it over. He realized he was being insulted. But he knew Kessler. He knew Kessler was onto something.

“Myself?”

“Trust me. When she gets to really know you, she won’t want anything to do with you.”

sam
sam
1 month ago

Hogwarts vs England By Beefsquatch
On a hot day in England the government saw satellite photos that showed an unknown train going to an unknown castle called Hogwarts. The government took it as a threat to the Queen of England. So the army was ordered by the Prime Minister to raid the castle.
They sent out tanks, helicopters, infantry, and trucks full of men. When they got to the castle, they loaded thousands of men out of helicopters and trucks. The soldiers were told to shoot down the door with the tank it hit with a “boom”, so they did as they were told. Then they heard people running and yelling gibberish. When the men could finally see, there were hundreds of kids and adults dressed up in cloaks and weird hats. They also held a short wooden stick.the English stood there and laughed at them charging into battle with a cloak and a stick. Then their men fell, flew in the air, or shrank every time they waved their stick. The English yelled “hold your ground men.” Then they started firing and shooting their tanks.
Both teams were losing men fast. A man from the army was ordered to call America to ask for reinforcements and tell them the location. Thousands of men fell out of planes an hour later with U.S.A. parachutes. The wizards were winning at the time but then a U.S. bomber dropped its load on the castle and blew it to smitherines. As the armies pushed against the wizards, there was nowhere to retreat to and when there was only one left they looked at him, he raised his hands, dropped his wand and stuttered “My name is Harry Potter.” Then an American laughed and with a wretched voice said “Bye.” Then shot him in the stomach, Harry’s last words were “holy crap.”

Charlie Ford
Charlie Ford
1 month ago

The Vampire by Charlie Ford
The priest walked closer to the vampire with his cross extended. As the vampire got swallowed into the corner of the room it hissed in a rasping voice, “Put down your cross and it will be a true battle of fates, your God versus my power.”
The priest put down his cross and stepped away from the vampire. The priest made the sign of the cross and began to pray, ”Our Father, who art in heaven-”
“Your prayers mean nothing to me,” the vampire interrupted as he began to walk towards the priest. When he walked, it was a slow trudge, like the prayer was pushing him back.
“Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth,” the priest continued.
“My power is much stronger than your God’s weak magic,” the vampire exclaimed, “You will receive no mercy.”
“-as it is in heaven. Give us this d-d-day,” the priest began to tremble as he headed back away from the vampire, “Our d-d-d-daily bread and forgive us our t-tres-s-spasses”
“My power is older and stronger than you can imagine,” the vampire warned as he continued to step forward.
“As w-we forgive th-those who trespass against us,” the priest mumbled as he began to run out of space to retreat, “and l-lead us n-not into temptation.”
“Your demise is here and now!,” the vampire announced. With every step the vampire took the floor groaned.
“But deliver us from evil,” the priest finished as he hit the wall. The vampire grabbed him by the neck and smashed his head into the wall. The wall was splattered in blood and the back of the priest’s head flattened. The priest’s eyes rolled to the back of his head as the vampire sunk his teeth into the priest’s throat. The warm blood rolled down the vampire’s chin as he devoured the priest’s flesh.

Aracnarquista
Aracnarquista
1 month ago

“Sufficiently Advanced Magic”
by Aracnarquista

Some strangeness is to be expected when you have Rod as a roommate. I have even got used to some of his particular inclinations. But the chanting always gets on my nerves. There was just something about how it could start at absolutely any random moment, and its droning made it incredibly difficult to focus on anything else.

And I have a very difficult test tomorrow. University life is hard enough even if your roommate is not a practicing occultist.

“Rod, we had an agreement. You were supposed to give me notice if you were to… what is going on here?”

His room was an interesting sight in the best of moments, but the laptop at the center of the chalk lines and candles was not something I was prepared for.

“Tim, I’m really sorry. I know, I screwed up. But I need to save my thesis.”

I tried to process it all, but it was no use. Rod’s major was in law, so I was not certain how ritualizing his laptop could influence it. I think my confusion was apparent enough to pierce through his despaired state.

He started explaining after a deep sigh.

“Backup files, I sort of don’t have them. Didn’t make them. And the computer… well, it’s screwed. I’m pretty sure the hard drive is corrupted. So, it is dead, and my thesis, what I have of it, was all in there.”

After a brief pause, he must have noticed that I was still confused and trying to connect a busted hard drive with the magic circle and candles in the room.

“No time or resources to try to repair it. Also, there is a very real possibility that the files are lost. But there’s this ritual to consort with the dead for information…”

“Rod, that’s just nonsense. Necromancy wouldn’t work on a computer, to begin with. Not a living being, you know? You don’t really…”

I was cut short as the laptop screen suddenly lit up the darkness we were in with a “transfer complete, magus” message.

“Let’s just hope it is the right version…”

Purge, Bearer of Wrath
Purge, Bearer of Wrath
1 month ago

Phoenix, Darling
by Purge, Bearer of Wrath

The first few days were like a new heaven. Like the world had been reduced to a simple joy of moment and flow. How could this be? Her girl. Her little girl. Who had been taken. Who had been given up for lost.

And then one day there she was. Just sitting there, eating her lunch.

And yes, the diet that Mr. Thausius had outlined was… well… it was a lot of raw meat for a child. And yes, the way her eyes looked off into the distance was a little disconcerting. And there was the pallor. There was that odd pallor… But, it was her girl. Her Phoenix! Returned. Like a tiny prophecy.

Shona could not have believed that such magic existed in the world. All through the Rite of Raising, she had been in awe of Mr. Thausius; his bearing and care and elegance. And after that incident with the insects. Well, that was unsettling. But. He had come as soon as she’d called. What did he say: “There are always adjustments.”

He gave her such peace of mind.

It was a lot of beetles for a child to eat though. But that was weeks ago and things were a lot better since then. There was the green bile and the frothing, but those were small things. Almost nothing. And now Phoenix was able to hang out with her friends again. She was in there with Junie for the last hour. Playing away. You’d hardly even know they were there.

They were being oddly quiet now she considered it…

When she opened the door to Phoenix’s room, she knew she was not to look. A few moments passed and her mind understood the blood by the iron smell of it.

Shona stood frozen in the lullaby sound of the slurping, the feeding.

After some time Phoenix raised her head from what remained of Junie. Her eyes widened when she saw her mother.

“Is bad Mom?”

Shona stood still and silent.

“Mebbe you call Mr. Tausius?”

Reinkarnitor
Reinkarnitor
1 month ago

The Chasm

by Reinkarnitor

The Chasm was a dangerous place, that was clear from the beginning. Not many who have entered it also emerged again. There are creatures in it, which you never want to meet.

It came as a big surprise when the adventurer’s guild decided to host the biggest expedition into the Chasm that has ever taken place in history. Up to a hundred adventurers joined, warriors, knights, wizards, witches and wayfinders. All of them wanted to be part of this legendary team, that should press further into the Chasm than any other had before. In search of gold and glory humans seem to often forget their sanity…

When the expedition started, all went well. The huge number of people was able to beat every monster that stood in their way easily. They would cheer with each fallen beast, which symbolized a step closer towards unreached hights…or depths in this case.

And so they ended up here. Yes, right here in my chamber. When they saw me, they attacked me of course. They swung their swords, mazes, spears, and axes and hailed me with all kinds of spells. But my hive was thick. Thicker than the strongest shield. And so, one by one they fell. May it be because of my claws, teeth, or my fire breath, it does not really matter, does it? Death by cutting, death by broken bones, death by burning…there is no real difference…they died in the end.

But even with all of that, they should be happy that they didn’t get past me. Because my sisters, who wait below are not like me. They don’t just eat you and grant you a quick death. Well…best not to think about that now.

Hm? You want to know why I am telling you all of this? Well, because now you are in my chamber of course. Even though I am not one to unnecessarily torture my prey, I wanted you to know how many have tried before you. And now that you stand in front of me…not even magic can save you!

Thank you for the meal!

JP WC
JP WC
1 month ago

Punchbag Mage
By Swapjon

The fist is the size of an anvil, coming toward my belly. I use magic to fortify my body, but it is in vain. I’m hit as if I hadn’t even tried to defend myself, a choked grunt escapes my mouth and I lose my breath. The punch is so powerful I go flying through the stone gateway, landing sliding across the muddy floor of the castle courtyard. My enemy walks toward me slowly. A reanimated orc, portly, taller than a carriage. Its eyes blaze in cursed green, as do the runes carved into its skin. The symbols are familiar, a necromancer has raised this creature as what they call mage eater. I see saliva dripping between its fangs. After effortlessly resisting my fireballs and ice spikes, the monster must know that I have no tricks left. For all the power I thought I possessed, in the end I will die in the mud, like a pig.

Suddenly, I see my father. A memory long suppressed to ease the pain of being torn from my family. We are playing chess, I take the queen, but father smiles. “Sometimes my son, a good plan can overcome absurd power imbalances. Checkmate.” This is not the end. I look around, then close my eyes, and using my last strength, I take my mind to the arcane realm were thoughts exist beyond time. My magic is now completely depleted, but I took a good look on what’s around me, and I will find a way to survive, even if it takes planning forever.

Last edited 1 month ago by JP WC
Kino
Kino
1 month ago

A True End

By: Kino

Under a crimson sky, with billowing orange tinted clouds, lay a man in the grass staring into worlds beyond sight. The wind blew slightly, shifting the clouds and furrowing his clothes. Save for the wind, no sounds filled the silence left by the single man, and he had no intention of filling it. Having fought many battles with skills beyond man, his body’s limit at what it can take has long been expended, leaving just a man, alone, ready to give in. In days past, he would have had many clever ways to run from death, and for many lifetimes he did. But every soul only has so much of itself it can give away before it is little more than a thin shadow of what it once was. When you make a habit of cheating yourself outside of the laws of nature, things always return to take a toll.

In this case, with no real soul left to speak of, this man has nowhere left to go. He will die soon, but has nothing to be reaped, no soul to take to the end. In this case, the end will truly be the end. One would think this a sad end, one melancholic tale to ward off others from such a life. But this man never saw it as such. As he lays there, waiting for the end as he enjoys the last thing he’ll ever see, he’s happy. He dictated the life he lived. With a content smile on his face, he has no regrets. A true quiet fills his lungs, and a sunset seen only in dreams satiates his hunger. Though at the doors of death, he’s never been more alive.

He needn’t move, he needn’t try. Every single step he has taken has been his, and every step he now chooses to forego is his. Could he walk, though he can’t he wouldn’t. He’s reached his own foregone conclusion and welcomes it with the pride of someone who outlasted the rest. He can be happy

Last edited 1 month ago by Kino
Sanguinerus
Sanguinerus
1 month ago

A Deal is a Deal
by Sanguinerus

A man stood in darkness with a mysterious light shining down upon him and the air was cold and stagnant. He was old in age with a white beard down to his waste and his clothes were regal, yet casual.

“Light!” He commanded in an attempt to cast a spell.

“That won’t work here.” Uttered a raspy whisper from a spectre in the void.

“Fireball!” Commanded the man, gesturing with his arm as if to throw a magical ball of fire. After a pause, he stood tall and shouted once more. “Teleport!”

“Stop embarrassing yourself.” Said the voice as the light slowly started to dim. “It’s time to pay your dues.”

“My what?” Asked the man.

“Do you remember, as a boy, encountering a being deep in the woods?” Asked the spectre. The man looked askance at the void. “I offered you your heart’s desires and you wanted powers to change the world as you saw fit… magical powers. You were delighted at the opportunity and what was asked in return wa-”

“My soul.” Interrupted the man, as realisation washed upon him and the light continued to fade. “But, it’s too soon.”

“They always say that.” Replied the spectre.

“I’ve so much to do.”

“You’ve done enough.” Insisted the spectre, circling the man in the darkness, churning the air around him. You seized control of a kingdom, married a princess, you brought long lasting peace and prosperity… you lived your best life.”

“It was a wonderful life.” The man conceded as the light grew ever darker.

“Did you not preach that one should always keep one’s word, no matter the circumstance?” Asked the spectre.

“I did.” The man concurred as he clenched he fist in fear and anticipation.

“Then come.” Said the spectre, as the darkness finally consumed the man.

Faustini
Faustini
1 month ago

Do you have faith?
By Spawn of Faust

“Do you believe? Do you have faith?” The same series of questions was showering me from the mouth of my jailor. And yet I had yet to answer. Day after day, he would come and ask me those questions.

My jailor left me alone in the darkness. As soon as the door shut, rats crawled into my cell. Their teeth were chattering, their tiny paws were tapping on my uncovered skin. And yet I endured. I kept my faith.

Talisman was clasped deep in my palm, giving me strength, helping me to survive. Light entered my cell and rats fled. Iron door creaked and my jailor entered once again, but this time he wasn’t alone. Step behind him was a man dressed in a ceremonial gown.

“Do you believe? Do you have faith?” My jailor asked once again. I refused to answer. “Silence again? Do not worry. My friend here will make sure that your eyes will loosen.” Jailor waved his hand towards the priest, who uncovered his torso, adored with tens of knives and other tools.

Clasped talisman burned my hand. It burned and burned. Flesh of my hand was sizzling and evaporating, and so did the metal of the cuffs. Flames erupted from the rest of my hand and I hurled myself on to be torturer of mine. Man died in a single heartbeat, his face caved in and the brain burned out of his skull.

My jailor just clicked his finger and the fire died out. “You were hiding this from me? This trinket? Do not worry it won’t save you.” He smiled, clasped my hands into the cuffs once again and left with my amulet.

Time was flowing. Day after day. Rats in, rats out.

At last the building shook with an explosion. The door to my cell was kicked in and for the first time in so many moons I saw a friend’s face.

“If magic won’t work here. Science will.” He said as loose rock fell from the ceiling, darkening my view forever.

Yes, my jailor. I’ve kept my faith.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Gunpowder Spell (Frontier Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)

The sect known only as the Spear-Carrier was in trouble. More and more of their safe houses had been raided by Keene’s law enforcement officers and this one would be no different. As the door was broken down, many of the brothers and sisters above defended the entrance to the basement to the last, as they had been taught to do.

The sorcerer was attempting to clean up beneath. He doused the papers in oil and set them on fire, while destroying the bronze-coloured machines that held the digital knowledge. He couldn’t let them find anything. It was vital for their sect’s survival.

Upstairs, he heard spears clatter to the floor and people being arrested. Those cowards were surrendering, instead of fighting. In his mind, he was already preparing curses for some of them, as an example to others. But first, he needed to destroy the altar.

Footsteps sounded behind him. He turned and saw a young woman, dressed in an enforcer’s uniform, her long hair in a single braid, descend the stairs. She was holding a revolver.

“You’re under arrest,” the woman said.

“Come and take me, then,” he challenged, retreating behind the safety of several markings on the floor.

The officer stepped right up to the magical barrier and held two fingers to it. Symbols began to glow on her hand and arms, as the protective barrier shimmered and tore open.

The sorcerer couldn’t believe his eyes. She was ripping his magic apart, like it was mere fog on an autumn morning.

“Last chance,” she said, her eyes glowing in the same blue light as her symbols.

The sorcerer roared and, using the power of the altar, tried to burn her alive. The air heated up rapidly. He shouted out a prayer to his saviour, preparing the curse.

She shot him through the head.

As the sorcerer lay dead on the floor, Talia stepped up right next to him, holstering her gun.

“Prayer and magic? Really? You but too much faith in this little cult of yours. Don’t underestimate a powered. Least of all, one like me.”

Maxer4000
Maxer4000
1 month ago

That’s all you got?
By Maxer4000

After a long gruelling battle, bodies piled up into a mountain, but finally, they done it, victory is their. The general walks over the carnage left in it’s wake, to face the leader of the enemies, a man resided inside a black power armor that is crumbling down around him.

The man keeps crawling, leaving a trail of blood and hydraulic fluid as the pistons in his armor struggle to barely keep him together, let alone movements, yet he keeps on going, not to the bunker his men retreated to, but to a rifle, intending to continue the fight. The general strolls pass him, picking up the gun “Persistent one, aren’t you?” he stares down the pile of black scraps that was once a walking arsenal that tore through his men by the hundreds.

The armored man keeps crawling to grip the general’s leg “Up… yours” only to receive a kick to the face, shattering the helmet, revealing the mangled face of a blond one-eyed man underneath. The general walks over and put a foot on the man’s throat “Now tell me, what was your thought process there?” he points at the bunker and the bodies riddling the field “You brought 6 of your troops, 2 warriors from a race we thought were long extinct and what… ever that mass of living obsidian was, I admire what you have, I wont lie. But did you think that was enough to fend against an army of 6 millions Hamornian troops alongside their greatest mages” the man just laughs between bouts of blood coughs “Yet… it took you… this long.. to…to stop us…” He then just start cackling.

The irritated general lifts the man up by the collar “did it matter? you still lost. Were you that confident with what you have here?” the man begins to wince from his laughs hurting him “nah… nah… just keeping casualties down.” A click, the general looks over the detonator he hid in his palm, then a bright light. It was too late, 6 millions empire troops and their mages, wiped out by nuclear fire.

Last edited 1 month ago by Maxer4000
Charcoal
Charcoal
1 month ago

The Sacrifice
By Charcoal

The cultist stepped up to the altar, ready to perform the sacrifice. She held up the dagger, and when it pierced her chest, it was unlike any pain she had felt before, and as the toxin flowed through her veins, she was brought down to her animalistic instincts. All she could think was “Pain”, and though her mind was reduced to this intoxicated slop, she still knew deep within that it would be over soon, and she would transcend from these mortal concepts into a higher state of being. She was promised it, after all. Then it all turned to darkness.

Moments later, she awoke in a barren, white plane. Just the sight of it hurt her eyes. The cultist, confused and exhausted, looked around for answers. As she turned around, she saw a pale figure adorned in a silky cloak of white and gold. She immediately understood what had happened.

There was no transcendence, no godlike powers, no lovers beyond death, not even a heaven or hell.

This was it. She was just.. Dead.
“No. No, that’s- impossible. The lord would never lie to us! This is simply one of his tests of our faith!” She attempted to stab her chest again in order to achieve the transcendence she was promised, but as she looked down, she realized she had no dagger, no hands. She was simply a voice. “No, please, let me go back! It can’t end here, it can’t! I had so much more to do!” At the verge of tears, she was ready to do anything. She’d know, she had done anything hundreds of times.

The pale figure looked down upon her, and finally spoke. “..I’ve seen it a thousand times, you know. It never gets any easier. It would be best for both of us if you let go already so I can send you on your way.”

“Where? Where are you sending me? If this is the final step for me, where does that leave me to go?”

“Nowhere.”

Had she any heart left to stop, it would have frozen.

Galer
Galer
1 month ago

Soul salvation.

By Galer.

two biomechanical creatures looked at the patient, he was among the many survivors of the vessel from the Scorpio constellation, pirates attacked the spaceship, they may have wanted the ship for ransom, but due to the quick actions of the captain things didn’t go as planned, however, the pirates didn’t leave without brutally assaulting the ship in the middle of opening a wormhole.

luckily they Jumped into Morforian space in which their biomechanical ships, hail them for rescue, however, the damage was so extensive that several people were dead, the few that survive were critically injured and the worse part some were already departing this mortal coil, their connection the soul has with their bodies was being severed, dragging along the consciousness.

Even with their biomancy no matter how powerful, it was only capable of delaying the process not stopping it, the morforians were experts in Biomechanical magitech, but they have limits went dealing with the soul and mind. However, even with over sixty percent of his body damaged, including the brain the patient was still fighting on, giving them more time to save him.

“How is the patient?” asked the alien nurse ” did we fix his consciousness?”

“We are lucky that we manage to stabilize his soul connection to his body with the implants, ” said the doctor “however his mind was damaged is unlikely he will know who he was”

The Nurse winced as his comrade answered, they successfully saved his soul but the man he once, was effectively all but dead.

“What is a consolation is that the soul would still have some snipped of memory” the doctor continued” but like I said he is not going to be the same person he once was”

“looks like an event with our expertise we still have our limits “the nurse soberly declared. “if only we could do more on the esoteric, level this poor man could have lived with his memories intact”

“We saved his life,” said the doctor, putting his arm on the nurse’s shoulders in consolation, “and that’s what matters.”

Last edited 1 month ago by Galer
Sniperaxiom
Sniperaxiom
1 month ago

Where magic lies
By Sniperaxiom

Matthew looked out from the homemade hunting tower constructed of mismatched wooden planks. Music playing in his ears from his Walkman he leaned on the thin railing zoning out.

His first hunting trip seemed like a bust. Matt didn’t believe any game would come their way and secretly hoped it wouldn’t.

His grandfather leaned back in his chair with an inaudible sigh. Russ looked out through the foliage toward the tree line with a weathered countenance. Matt removed his headphones.

“Did you say something Da?”

Without turning to look at him, the older man said,

“Matty shut off that music. A hunter has to be in tune with nature, not plugged into electronics.”

Russ seemingly was aware of everything around him. Matt nodded and obediently placed his bulky device on the railing.

Just then a white buck bounded swiftly and almost silently into the clearing.

Russ sat up, scooped up the gun, and handed it to Matt all in one motion. The older man didn’t take his eyes off the deer.

As his ancestors before him, Matt’s grandfather knew taking down a white buck was an incredible testament to marksmanship. Its skills and agility akin to magic, the creature was a spirit of the forest.

Caught in the moment, Matt raised the gun and pointed it toward the buck. Behind him his grandfather breathed,

“Cmon Matty. Alright beast, your magic won’t save you now.”

Matty got the deer in his sights. The words his grandfather just whispered echoing in his head. They had been said with such a strange excitement.

All the sudden the rifle felt like lead in his arms and his finger heavy on the trigger. Under his breath Matthew repeated with uncertainty,

“Your magic won’t save you now.”

Last edited 1 month ago by Sniperaxiom
V3RU5
V3RU5
1 month ago

Demonic with hunt
By V3RU5

Abigail was sitting on the bench. She stared at the paintings decorating the walls of the church, depicting the final war when Beelzebub, the demon general will lead an assault against humanity, destroying the world with dark magic. Nowadays, many believed the end times were approaching.

Abigail, or Baal as her self proclaimed followers would call her didn’t know what she was. She wasn’t human, as attested by some powers called “demonic magic” that allowed her to see and hear things, humans can’t. There even was a real possibility that she had been created by the devil, unlike humans and animals, who are creatures of God.

The priests confirmed her to be Beelzebub, the demon general. Proved by her powers and the faith in her identity.

“Y-you!”

Abigail turned to see an elderly man stare at her. He stood there for a while, then clutched his chest and collapsed.

“Spare me, General Beelzebub” He forced out between labored breaths.

“Don’t touch me” He laboriously demanded as Abigail stepped closer

“Someone call an ambulance!” Abigail yelled at the crowd that seemed to come out of nowhere. “Get a doctor, he’s having a heart attack!”

No one listened to her. Everyone listened to the prayer of the priest. He was standing high on his pulpit, glaring down on Abigail with more hatred than she’s ever experienced before.

“Your vile magic can’t help you. His soul belongs to Him.”

Abigail watched helplessly as the old man, protected by a praying mob rasped his final breath. She couldn’t bring herself to harm people, even to save one dying man.

There were no torches, no pitchforks, only piercing looks and fiery prayers as the mob abandoned the corps and moved for their revenge. No one prayed for Beelzebub’s soul, as she was known to have none. They were praying for themselves, for protection for their own souls from Beelzebub’s clutches.

The priest talked down on Abigail, every single one of his words dripping with venom

“Your vile magic cannot save you now, demon general”

Unbeknownst to him, he was right. In a way

Old n Gold
Old n Gold
1 month ago

Countered
By Old n Gold

The mage charged toward the woman with thunderous speed, his body leaving a magical trail of shining yellow behind him. He threw a punch with his whole weight, his arm straining to contain the magic within it, but the woman effortlessly sidestepped his strike. He contorted his body to morph his momentum into a low kick, but she hopped over it like a child playing with skipping rope.

“Consolidation magic, again?” the woman asked, a sense of boredom in her voice, “don’t tell me that’s the only magic you can do.”

The mage fell to the ground, drawing heavy breath after heavy breath, the shining yellow around him slowly fading.

“Great,” he thought, “she’s a pathic. I hate pathics.”

The woman gasped and held her hand to her heart in an overdramatized fashion. “Hate is such a strong word. You know, you’re only hurting yourself with that kind of attitude, especially since it only makes you easier to read.”

The mage sighed in frustration as he stood up. He was gifted in consolidation magic, his only magic, but what use was his magically strengthened body against someone who could read his mind?

“Why do you continue to fight against me?” he asked firmly pointing in her direction, “you are a rogue mage. I will not be the first mage after you so long as you evade the Academy, better come with me now than live the rest of your life hunted down.”

“Well if the rest of the Academy’s enforcers are like you then I think I’ll be fine,” she laughed as he gritted his teeth. Suddenly her laughter stopped and a smile rose on her face, “I must admit, you are quite good at consolidation. I mean against me you are hopeless, but if I were anyone else, I wouldn’t be so confident.”

Taken aback by her sudden change in attitude he blurted out, “What are you trying to say?”

“I’m asking you to join me,” she said as if it was obvious.

C. M. Weller
1 month ago

Misplaced Trust [KoshDelia Ever After]
C. M. Weller

Lord Ravi Supera knew his enemy. The mountain lord who had declared war on anyone keeping slaves and anyone who tried to stop him from conquering slaver neighbours to his realm.

Allies of this enemy called him the Thrice-Sworn King. Allies of Lord Ravi knew him as the Black Warlord or, via whispers, the Crowned Assassin. Rumour had it that, if he had you in his sights, you could not stop him coming to deliver artisanal death by his own hands.

Therefore, Lord Ravi took EXTREME precautions.

His accommodation was a dimensionally transcendent palace that could collapse into a small box. It was coated with wards, lined with wards, and beset by diverse alarms. It was also surrounded by well-armed soldiers. It would keep everyone out except his own staff. Therefore, he relaxed with an evening tome and sent for the butler with a glass of his favourite wine.

The butler stood ready after the presentation of the glass. Just in case he wanted a refill. “One question, my lord?”

“Hmm?”

The butler snapped his fingers and was the butler no more. It was that devilborn mountain lord. The crowned assassin. “How do you know I haven’t poisoned it?”

Ravi stared into the dark reflection of his drink. “What happened to Mayberry?”

“Nice of you to be concerned. He’s taking a holiday for his health. I interviewed him a week ago and he let me borrow his ring of passing. He doesn’t like you very much.”

Lord Ravi suddenly recalled the Midwinterfeast incident, in which Mayberry wished to have time off to visit his wife and family. And Ravi demanded that Mayberry get a divorce. There were hundreds of other minor masters’ sins, where Mayberry was ungently discouraged from seeking his own happiness. He considered his wine.

Was it poisoned? Was it already too late? Had Mayberry been a contributing factor to his recent digestive issues? Or was it merely his continuing concerns regarding the demonic ruler in the room?

“I suppose,” said Ravi, “that an immediate surrender is out of the question?”

Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
1 month ago

In the eyes of the beholder
By Tamela Redfin

Cw: Domestic Abuse

“What did you do to Violet’s eyes!” Cora screamed at her boyfriend.

“Simple, I made them black to cover your tracks. Or do you want the tabloids to say ‘It’s just in! Sulfur Cora is a promiscuous wh-”

“No! Of course I don’t, Augen. But, Violet. She’s too young.”

Feldspar grabbed Cora’s throat, “Too young? Too young! No one is too young for science.”

“Well, I’m her mother. I can decide-” she then screamed as Feldspar pushed her to the ground.

“You decide nothing! Remember who put your foot in the door or made you president of Western Rolt? That was me!”

She summoned a flame from her hand and tried to burn him.

“My outfit is flame retardant, you imbecile!”

“Your skin isn’t!” But then his exposed skin turned to stone.

“Try to burn me now! Also this is the truth. If I didn’t love you, nobody else would.” He smirked, ready to lower his stone fists onto her skull.

“Dad, stop it!” Cora looked to see Engel standing there, teary eyed and shaking.

“Engel, what are you doing!?”

Engel said nothing but dragged Cora away. “Mum, are you ok? How long has he been doing this?”

“My little Engel, he’s not abusive. He is just trying to protect your ha- sister. He just gets angry sometimes, dear.”

“First off, I know he’s not Violet’s dad, and he almost KILLED YOU!” She tightly hugged Cora. “You need help. And your fire can’t save you, but I can.”

Cora slowly got up, looking at her arms and legs, sure they’d be bruised. She trudged to the bassinet where her youngest daughter lay, and looked into her now onyx colored eyes.

“I’m so sorry, Vi. I promise you someday, you will see your eyes once more.”

Violet of course, said nothing, but Cora wondered if she understood regardless.

Skeleton
Skeleton
1 month ago

Vicious Vixens (The Will)
By Skeleton (Edited by MelodyLuna7)

“Five against two ain’t bad odds in my book—especially with these babies!” The bandit captain laughed as he and his cronies affixed the ornate, wooden plaques to their upper arms. “That magic of yours won’t save you now, Witch, now that it serves us, too!”

Zaila took a step between Remianna and the men, raising her claws up to fight. She had to buy the mage enough time to retreat and get her colleagues, but five-on-one odds wasn’t something she was ready for yet.

Despite the dire threat on their lives, the White Witch began to giggle with a shake of her head. “Magic?” the dragoness began to tease, gently bringing the young girl back behind her. “Oh, please do give us a demonstration of this magic you speak so highly of.”

“You asked for it!” the wulack commander sneered as he reeled back his fist, thrusting it forwards towards the dragonesses.

Zaila flinched, but not much else happened.

The robbers’ overconfidence broke once they realize their inability to work said device, beginning to glance towards their leader anxiously. “C’mon… work damn it!” the leader seethed as the punched the air again and again in hopes that the magic would manifest itself.

“That Crystalline Reinforced Essence Stability Transmuter isn’t a toy, you know,” the White Witch continued to tease; moving forwards towards the men slowly with her hips and tail swaying entrancingly. “Those prototypes can drain their user’s life essence completely.” The bandit’s eyes immediately stopped ogling the radiant scales on her legs and filled with fear. “I hear essence sickness isn’t a very pleasant way to die.”

“Then we’ll kill you the good, ol’ fashioned way!” the wulack man gloated maliciously as he and his men reached for their swords.

“Please,” Remianna scoffed. “You’re about as proficient with those deathtraps as you are with those things on your hips.”

The White Witch raised her arm, the multiple gemstones in her ivory C.R.E.S.T. beginning to glow with colourless life essence. “But if you insist…” she began with a wink, several claws of stone rising from the dirt.

“Let’s dance.”

Last edited 1 month ago by Skeleton
Marx
Marx
1 month ago

Oh Sure, I’ve Heard THAT One Before…
By Marx (CW: Horror)

“You can teach me magic?” Murphy asked wide-eyed.

Cassie chuckled softly. “Normal humans can learn magic. And you’ve clearly got some incubus blood in you.”

Murphy’s face fell. “Not nearly enough to matter…”

Cassie closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. “Oh… trust me. It’s there…”

“Are you… sniffing me?”

“I just… need to get used to it.” Her eyes opened with an ominous red glow as she smiled back coyly.

Murphy immediately looked away. “I’ll… take your word on that…”

“Don’t worry. I have enough magic for the both of us. I’ll protect you.”

***

Murphy curled into the tightest ball he could manage and tried to cut himself off from his senses.

His closed eyes only made it worse. He could still feel the blood pooling around him and Lord knows he could smell it. And he could hear the wet crunching noises as Cassie’s fading voice apologized for failing him, pleading for him not to run.

As if he’d be able to outrun that thing if he tried. Besides, it was night. Demons were so much worse during the night and if he started sweating in the open air…

You only make that mistake once.

He’d just been lucky Cassie got him away that time.

The crunching stopped. It was eerily quiet now as he could feel its eyes staring at him.

“There there, pretty boy. Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you.”

Murphy forced his eyes open. She looked human. She looked beautiful. He knew that both were lies. Still, he pasted a smile on his face. “…hi. I’m Murphy.”

Despite her recent meal, her eyes were still wide in hunger, but the smile that spread across her lips was almost sweet. “Hi Murphy! I’m Nisha. It’s so nice to meet you. You… smell REALLY good…”

Even though Murphy screamed inside, he willed himself to keep smiling. “Thank you. You’re really pretty.”

“That’s so sweet.” Nisha licked her lips, slowly approaching him. “So… very sweet…”

“…please don’t eat me…”

Nisha smiled so widely it became uncomfortable to watch. “Silly boy. I’ll never eat you. I’ll protect you.”