Writing Group: Castle in the Sky

Hello Deities, Angels, and Skydivers!

Are you ready to fly? I hope your wings aren’t made of wax, my dears, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Castle in the Sky

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

This prompt was inspired by Revolutionary Girl Utena’s upside-down illusion castle, one of many symbolic elements in the anime. It symbolizes the ideal fairytale ending for the main antagonist. However, it’s upside down because it’s been perverted by the antagonist shedding his godlike persona to become something more devilish. In addition to its true inspiration, it makes me think of several sky lands from popular media. The first thing it always makes me think of is the Studio Ghibli movie Castle in the Sky, about two kids who venture to a mythical land in the sky, all the while trying to keep its ancient technology from falling into the clutches of the villains. I can’t help but think of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and all the ancient sky islands to explore there as well. Also, of course, the giant’s castle in Jack and the Beanstalk. Cloud City in Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back is another strong example. As well as the Air Temples in Avatar the Last Airbender. I’d venture to guess there is a vast plethora of media which include fairy and/or pegasus castles in the sky. And that’s before we even get to the idea of Heaven. 

As you can see, the image can be used in many ways, and is strong enough to stick with one for years. You could easily take inspiration from one or many of these examples, writing about fairytale worlds, and either the quest to reach them, and/or the lengths heroes must take to keep them preserved. 

But, while the image of a castle in the sky might bring to mind a world of fairies and fantasy, it doesn’t have to be that. Perhaps your castle in the sky is a horrifying place, with gnarled black towers, which block out the sun below. Perhaps it houses a horror of eldritch proportions. The inverted castle in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a good example of this. Maybe the heroes aren’t trying to preserve the castle, but rather destroy the villain’s lair. 

You could also take this prompt in a sci-fi direction, especially playing with the definition of “sky.” A castle on another planet would be a castle in the sky to someone looking at it from Earth. Maybe an alien planet is itself a castle in the sky to the child stargazing and dreaming. A space station orbiting the Earth could even be considered a castle in the sky, in a way. 

In another sci-fi direction, in the movie Blade Runner, the rich live above the clouds, and the poor beneath, smothered in smog. Perhaps you could use this sort of idea in your story, where the castle in the sky is a hierarchical paradise. Maybe you want to focus on those who live beneath the castle in the sky. Or maybe it’s the poor who are shunted off to the sky, where the altitude causes sickness, and the paradise is the ground. 

The movie Belle also includes a sky castle, and a lonely beast in need of saving…all within virtual reality. Perhaps storing data in the cloud could be considered a castle of information. Maybe there’s a virtual world beneath the screen of a computer full of palaces of data. Even simply a room full of secret data could be considered a castle, as long as the room is somehow in the sky. 

The idea of a “mind palace” has been popularized by BBC’s Sherlock. Maybe you could find a way to connect the idea of the mind to the sky. Maybe, for someone who always has their head in the clouds, their head is a castle in the sky. Maybe you want to write about your characters delving into someone’s mind, and their secrets physically manifest as castles. 

Maybe it’s a matter of perspective. A castle might only look like it’s in the sky, but rather be in the sea, surrounded by fog. Mount Olympus is a mountain on the ground, but perhaps the ancient Greeks said the gods lived there because it looked like the top was in the sky. Perhaps it’s a projection upon the clouds rigged up by a magician—be they a true magician, or simply a master of illusion. 

There are even real life mirages that look like fairy castles. There is a superior mirage called a “Fata Morgana” which is the Italian translation of “Morgan the Fairy” aka “Morgana le Fey.” The mirage makes the image distorted look higher than it is, and often alters it in many ways, making parts of the image look upside down, to the point where it’s unrecognizable and otherworldly. In the past, it was often described as fairy castles, or false land conjured by Morgana’s magic. I’ve always been fascinated by this idea, and would love to read stories that use it. 

You could play with perspective in another way. Maybe, to a child living in the slums, an apartment looks like a castle in the sky. Perhaps, to an ant on the ground, a spider’s web looks like a castle in the sky. I could see lots of symbolic, animal, and inanimate object perspectives you could use to play with the idea of what is a castle, and what is the sky, with this prompt. 

A castle in the sky can represent a nearly impossible dream that you want to achieve. Perhaps your character has some sort of idealized dream about how things could be, and to another they are just “castles in the sky”—that is to say, not something that can ever be reached, or truly held onto. It’s something on a grand scale that happens maybe once in a generation. Flying too close to something that seems impossible and getting hurt in the process. This prompt can be dark but also cautionary. It could also be more hopeful in nature—a person finding their way out of darkness could be a castle in the sky.

Thinking of our last prompt, even songs could function as castles—with the lyrics as the parapets, and the music carrying it into the clouds. A castle in the sky could be a relationship finally coming to fruition—romantic, platonic, familial, work related. You can look at the sky as a sort of symbolic obstacle; how do you reach the end goal (castle)? And the achieving of the relationship, or whatever else your character is attempting to achieve, could be reaching the castle in the sky. 

You could play with where your characters are as well. Are they on the ground, dreaming of the castle, never able to reach it? Are they on their way to the castle, traversing through the sky? Did they just arrive? Or have they lived inside the castle their whole lives?

My challenge for you is to find something ordinary in the fantastical. This prompt leads one into fantastical worlds. But how could you use it in more ordinary ways? Can you elevate ordinary life somehow? Indulge in the mundane instead of seeking out the grandiose.

Remember, these challenges aren’t mandatory! They are meant to be a fun bonus if you’d like to have a little extra challenge. But, if you don’t want to use them, please don’t feel obligated to!

Stick close to me, and catch the currents! A world of wonder awaits! 

—Pearce, Kaylie, and Felicia

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

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    3. Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
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3 months ago

That Ancient Edifice

By CodenameRedKrystalMatrix

The Seat of the Arbiter stood at attention. Its turrets, erect and dutiful, saluted the knights that entered. The sun rendered its walls pallid against celestial blue. It could almost be called ethereal. But no matter how much it was scrubbed and repainted for its purpose, it would always be betrayed. The winds through its passages whispered the secrets of the stones. An acrid smell lingered on the currents.

Every year, its mouth would open to receive its claims. The guests would be marched through its halls. Thieves, liars and the most profoundly violent earned rooms among solemn pillars and grim stone guardians. Some shivered, some snivelled. Others walked on in silence, shame having left them a long time ago. The knights, their task complete, exited.

“Send ‘em up!” called the wardens.

In minutes, the propellors were started. Spells were chanted, and the Seat of the Arbiter began to rise. Wails ascended to the highest of heavens, as reality sank upon the shoulders of the damned.

All that was left was the waiting. The Seat wept, letters drifting to the earth from its many windows. Regrets, wishes, desires for Mr. X or Lady Y for to be cherished as greatly as the captives forgot to do.

The sky swirled. Cheery blue faded to pale, then deep grey. The mild winds began to howl. Thunder roared. It heaved and groaned, bowing in reverence to the gods that ravaged it. Powerless against their might, it offered up its charges. Flashes brilliant and terrible- burning- screaming – the crackle and popping and smell of sizzling.
The trembling folk below renewed their prayers for forgiveness. Oh, how the gods detested transgressors.

Silence. The world brightened once more, cleansed of those who dared defile it. The Seat of the Arbiter, that ancient edifice, stood strong- as it would for generations to come.

Danny Gilhooley
Danny Gilhooley
3 months ago

By Danny Gilhooley

The tone rang for passengers to put their seat belts on. It was the third time in the last half hour it sounded. Beth had her belt on since the plane took off.

When the turbulence started, she closed her eyes and tried not to think about how high up they were.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t doing too well.


“What, honey?”

“Are there parachutes on this plane?”

“For goodness sake, you need to distract yourself. Look out the window or something. Please.”

Beth wanted a window seat when they were on the ground, but she couldn’t remember why now that they were up in the air.

‘Okay. Distract yourself. Distract yourself.’

Beth opened her right eye. Her mom was still reading a magazine. The other passengers were looking ahead.

She challenged herself to open both her eyes and glanced out the window. They were over the ocean. The waves were mere specks down below. A giant cloud hung over the water, and she saw lightning strike down on the water.

She noticed some clouds closer to the plane, and she realized she never knew what clouds looked like from the air.

‘They look like ships!’

Yeah, battleships! A giant long row of them! All of them surrounding a larger cloud though not as big as the one shooting lightning.

‘Yeah, and that one looks like a castle!’

A giant castle under attack by the thunder cloud. But the castle had an Armada of battleships, each with a competent crew and enough firepower to defend their home. And their plane was arriving to the castle to provide reinforcements.

The tone sounded again. Beth gripped the chair tight, and smiled.

3 months ago

Faraway Gold
By Reidrev

The man never stopped starring. From the moment he learn how to dream his eyes never deviated from the golden castle standing on top of the clouds.

He made his first attempt at ten, with a ramp, a soapbox and some wheels. He lost a tooth that day. When he reached the age of 30 he was at his 40th attempt. The rocket exploded mid air and, from that day onward, he walked with a cane. At 50 he lost a finger to the maws of gears, 60 an eye to a dragon’s breath. He learned through each attempt, his dream fading more with each failure.

Here he was, the 413th attempt, the last one. The steam balloon braved the winds and the lighting, it resisted the cold and the monsters that roam in the skies, it reached the castle and the man stepped on its floor.

He was old, weary, in his eyes were only the cold remnants of where warmth once stood, the castle was silent. A decor plastered with a thin layer of gold shedding with time, no life or portrait, statues, books any trinkets. There was no fire to be found.

At least, until the man pushed the door of the balcony. The endless sky expanse welcomed him with old spider web like curtains. At the center of it, pointing almost straight up, stood a telescope. A simple wooden telescope.
The laugh of the man shook the walls as he looked through the lens. Twenty years lighter, hell fire raging behind the pupils and a ravenous grin on his face.

’’A castle !’’ he screamed ’’A castle on the moon !’’

The fire was lit anew and the first attempt toward a new dream began immediately.

3 months ago

In the shadow of providence
by Blinky

Benny lay in the golden grass and felt the sun across his skin. He spread his arms out wide and kicked the shoes off his feet. He focused on the steady rhythm of his breathing and the sunlight on his skin.

“Benny,” Someone called. “Your pa’s looking for you.”

He had no pa here.

“Benny,” they called again.

He took a deep breath and choked on it when they threw their book bag onto his stomach. He sat up, coughing his lungs out.

“You can’t keep doing this,” Iris said as she plopped beside him in the grass.

“Doing what?” Benny asked, still catching his breath.

“Disappearing like this. You’re Pa’s getting old, and he’ll give you the shop soon. You can hardly shape a nail. What will you do when he’s too old? You’ve still so much to learn.” She shielded her eyes from the light and looked to the sky. “Why do you come here anyway? We’ll never make it up there.”

Benny eyed the city looming above theirs. Providence. Pa said he would smack the color out his eyes if he ever said that name around him. Said it was a hammer waiting for the right anvil. It moved every so often but had settled over evergreen for the past few years. “We? You’re testing for their school soon” Benny handed her bag back. “You’re gonna be up there high and mighty for a long while.”

She rolled her eyes at him and hugged her bag to her chest. “I’ll never test high enough for that.” She leaned into his shoulder. “You’re gonna be stuck seeing me down here for the rest of your miserable life.”

“Can’t be that miserable then.”

She pushed him away. “Enough of that. Let’s get going. I still haven’t checked your pa’s books, and I need to study.” She stood and held her hand out.

Benny looked to the sun disappearing behind the floating city and felt the shade of Providence creep across his face. “Yeah, I’m done here anyway.” He took her hand and followed her into the city.

3 months ago

An Important Meeting
By Taja DaLeen

The windrunner’s eight hooves rhythmically hit the ground, galloping across the plains of Ba’al.

Asmodis was bored again, and craved some excitement, which was the main reason for their trip.

Well, that and the Ladies would probably be a little… miffed if they didn’t visit them, especially since they knew when they had a reason not to, and when they didn’t.

Once they got close enough to the flying isles they exchanged their steed for an airwhale. Sure, they could get to the Ladies’ home more easily, but this was more fun.

Wasn’t that thrill of feeling the wind on your face that every existing creature strived for? To actually know you were part of these beautiful worlds, to really feel alive?

When Asmodis arrived they were greeted by wholly black eyes seemingly staring right into their soul, seeing everything that was and would be.

It was a weird feeling. And very weird eyes. They had never really gotten used to them, unlike the fact they always spoke right into their mind. Somehow that was easier to handle than the looks.

‘Where is the cake?’

… so that was what the Ladies had been waiting for. Typical.

Maybe that was also why most of them chose to take the appearance of crones, except for two, who looked like little children.

Asmodis held up the bag they brought with them, after which they were ushered into the castle-like structure; this time they obviously were to have their little tea party right next to one of the nine springs that were scattered across the isles.

“So, how are you doing? Still watching everything as usual?”

‘You know we don’t interfere, ever since we took in that girl who ended up having an accident with our spinning wheel. We already talked about this.’

Asmodis sighed.

“Yea… but still. Is smalltalk that difficult for you?”

‘We don’t care about smalltalk.’

Squinting, they regarded the Ladies. Yes, they obviously only cared about the cake.

Who would have thought the Fates would be that much into the taste of human food?

Bree H.
Bree H.
3 months ago

By Bree H.

Hank stared at the trees as his bones broke, body contorting into inhuman form, the cracking deafeningly loud in his skull. There was a figure above him (or below?), suspended in air. He was, too. It spoke, but all he heard was bones cracking.

He woke up screaming.

A nightmare. Just a nightmare. Taking deep breaths, he turned his lamp on and took note of the room, just to be sure. It was his room, of course. Why wouldn’t it be?

He noticed then that he was soaked in sweat. He looked at the clock. 2:08 am. Crap. He had work tomorrow, but there was no way he’d go back to sleep. He decided to get up and have a grounder* to ease his nerves. Bad habit, but he’d quit some other time.

Getting some snuff from the can on his bed stand, he got up to put some clothes on, maybe watch some TV. He almost fell over trying to get to the cabinet. Felt like the damn house was floating. Had he been drinking again? Another bad habit.

He managed to get some clothes on and make his way to the living room, stumbling the whole way. He really should lay off the whiskey. Funny, he didn’t remember drinking at all the day before. Weird. And he didn’t feel hungover either, and Lord knows he’s familiar with that feeling. Sitting down on the couch, he turned on the TV. Static. He turned the channel. Static. He turned again. Static. Great. He got up, still stumbling like a drunk idiot, to get some water because there’s nothing better to do since he couldn’t sleep ‘cause of that damn nightmare and he had work tomorrow and-

His yard was gone.

The grass, the trees, the gravel driveway, gone. His porch light illuminated nothing. He went out onto the porch. He saw the outline of the Appalachian below him. Suddenly, work and sleep didn’t matter much.

He felt himself get lifted from the porch. He saw the figure from his dream. It spoke, but all he heard was bones cracking.

*”Grounder” is West Virginia slang for chewing tobacco.

3 months ago

By Koryan

There once laid a castle in the sky floating as if it were a cloud itself and not of stone. The very thought of it filled me with awe, it must be a sight to behold. I never imagined it existed, or I’d live to see it for myself, or hell, find myself imprisoned in it.

Rough hands threw me into the cell. “Hey watch it, I could’ve opened my skull against that corner there.” On the way in, snippets of hay, a blanket, bucket, and light behind bars flashed in my sight before I hit the floor with a hard thud.

“What a warm welcome.”

I quickly sprung to my feet and watched the two guards hang the keys just out of view. Smart. But how smart?

Seeing that the stairwell is the only way in or out, as far as I could tell, I thoroughly inspected my cell by turning ever so slightly to the right and left. I kicked the bucket then the hay. Lovely. The light trickling in held my attention. Obviously, this cell was meant for someone bigger as I could barely peep out the window on my tippy-toes. However, what I could see was nothing but white and blue.

I tested the boundaries within my cell by climbing into the little indent between the window and the bars encasing me in. I managed to look down and I couldn’t see any lush green. A sinking feeling sat in my stomach, even if I wanted to escape through this window it would only mean certain death.

“I thought the Castle in the Sky was supposed to be peaceful?”

No response.

I walked over to the entrance of my cell. “They still tell stories of the O’ Great Castle in the Sky, how they’re guardians of our world and keeping the Gods at bay.” With dark eyes, I glared at them as I continued, “Is that true? Have you ever met a God?”


Seeing as they’re not biting, I sat down on my makeshift bed. I scoffed, The Great Castle, “was a beauty.”

Last edited 3 months ago by koryan94
3 months ago

The Last King’s Castle
By Partran

Both bastion and spire, the vast tower stood mute sentinel above the sleeping world it guarded. To the scant few who still dwelt below, this ancient guardian transcribed an arc through the sky as a star that never stood still. The ragged souls that looked upon it now knew it as no more than a bright and wandering star, regular in its rounds. This forsaken fastness sang as it cut its long, curving flight above the ashen ground far below. It sang a duet with one lonely voice.

A century of men and women had lived their lives in the towers and courtyards of this metal keep when the burning light of the sun had danced across the surface of their world, but the last of the lights both on the world and in the station had gone dark centuries before. Now the glimmering guard against threats from beyond stood silent watch over the graveyard of the threats from below that it had been powerless to prevent. What few still survived amid the ashen and inhospitable lands the ancient castle guarded knew not what the passing star truly was.

“Connecting… Connecting… Connecting…” The sole voice within the castle said, a litany it had repeated unceasingly since the ground had shone like a hundred dawns. One might imagine a longing and loneliness to the endless chant. That modulated artificial voice was all that remained of the people that had painstakingly built a castle from hope as much as steel and wire. It had been with such optimism that the castle’s first and final king had stepped upon its ramparts, but now, in the endless night the castle flew, above the clouds, above the sands, above the ash, above the bones of those who had looked up at its building and felt a boundless hope for the future.

3 months ago

“Arka City” (Shadows of the Stellar Age Setting)

By: Arith_Winterfell

“You truly belong with us among the clouds,” he said charmingly as he gestured to the vista of the gas giant Arka V’s iridescent cloud banks. Of course, those cloudy vistas were held back by invisible forcefields because a gas giant’s atmosphere was quite unbreathable. Those clouds we’re among are rather deadly I thought, not exactly the clouds to belong among if we are being flattering. Still, that’s not the point I suppose.

Our host was already continuing his speech while I’d been thinking. “Arka City features some of the best restaurants and casinos in this sector. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the sights,” he continued.

This was all a nice introduction, really. Except my mind was on business, not pleasure. We needed our ship repaired in order to finish delivering much needed supplies to the hidden rebel base in the next star system. We also needed to avoid Imperial patrols and any probing questions they might have. We needed to move on quickly if we could, not enjoy the sights. Still, it would be good to maintain good diplomatic relations with Arka City’s leaders. It could be helpful in the future fights to come.

I noticed a crackling sound and glanced back out at the vista as colorful aurora washed over the scene. I realized it was just the deadly magnetic energy and radiation that permeates gas giants washing over the forcefields. Still, it was nice to look at.

I noticed my host was being a bit too enthusiastic at this point. And fidgeting a bit. Gesturing rather too broadly with his hands and walking faster now. Something was wrong. It dawned on me now. Something was very wrong. He opened a door revealing Imperial soldiers. We had been led into a trap!

Last edited 3 months ago by Arith_Winterfell
Ethan Jesse
Ethan Jesse
3 months ago

Under One Eclipse
By Ethan Jesse

On that day when the sun never rose, when the birds cut tongues and the rivers ran red, that castle in the sky held dominion over all. There, on that day, when the men in long coats rained with a heartbeat of thunder, no man could know a thing but the eclipsing new sun. It was a dark place to be, for our flags were naught but plain fabric in the wind. So, too, were our screams blacked out, for the knights of the castle beat far louder than we could fathom. Sovereign angels and intrepid infernos from the sky served as new light, though not ones as generous as the all-encompassing sun.

Now, beyond it all, I’m left to wonder of our fortune. Blessed were we to live by the river, yet forsaken once more when the dreaded army arrived. Attacked, beaten down, overtaken, wronged, we were done injustice, without a witness to pledge their crimes. Cared not, did they, for the customs we practiced. Never once did they question who we were beyond fodder! They took from us our sun, the light in which we basked, and they replaced it with their own and a hand extended in ruin.

We have no sun now that was not reborn from that turmoil, and not once can we think that it was risen by our hand. The sun by the castle of the mighty Revonär, that eclipse stretching outward with every passing day; It’s without question that the Sun Catcher’s strength rests above all. To catch the sun is a feat beyond the realm of men, yet it has seen final breaths of masses beyond count! If only we were stronger, if only we fought back. But nay, we are few, and our will is diminished beyond recognition. Now, our will is his will, and by spearheads and by might may it see conquest until the coming dusk.

Anton Kragh Paaskesen
Anton Kragh Paaskesen
3 months ago


It was with a heavy heart, that Severa entered the mist-cloaked ruin. It was of course understandable that much would change after 1800 years, and she had braced her heart for such an inevitability. And yet the sight before her was entirely too much to bear.

As she wandered through the ruin, slowly but surely she recognized her old home. The wide street was indeed the old market, that she and her mother had so often visited. In that nearby square, she had played with her friends and sister. And the elegant building that crested the ruin, was indeed the old council hall.

All of it crumbled mercilessly to nature and the relentless march of time, but Severa recognized it. This was the marvel of her people’s grasp of Magitechnology. This was unmistakably her old home. Alteraine the Floating City.

This fact became all the more ruthlessly apparent to Severa, the more she inspected the scripture of the old buildings. The mark of time did not betray them. These were the scripture of her people. Next to the building was the metal visage of a golem. Severa’s hand traced the runes that engraved its body but the golem gave no reaction. Disbelieving she gave one more attempt. Nothing. Time and time again Severa tried to awaken the ancient construct, and all with the same result.

Eventually, the truth became too much to deny. The magic was gone. The runes that had once animated the golem were as dead as the rest of the city.

Defeated Severa sank down next to the construct. And before her vivid images of what once was unfurled. Phantom feelings of the wind in her hair, high up in the sky. The images of all the humans below, form settlements like little anthills underneath mighty Alteraine. And she saw her friends. Brazen Helia loved to ride on the golems, that walked in the street. Sweet Eldra always with a nose in a book. And her little sister Chell, always with silly childish japes and weird fantasies. Her voice was the clearest in Severa’s head. And the most painful.

Where were they now? Where we’re all of her people? In stasis like she had been? They must be. Because if not, that would make her…

No. Severa dared not follow that thought to its conclusion. With tense hands, she clutched her own body, as if fearing to lose that too. What would become of her? Who did she have left? Slowly and clumsily she rose. And as she did one terrible realization hit her. That the once proud city of Alteraine would never again take flight.

Strong Berry
Strong Berry
3 months ago

Flame to the Moth
By Strong Berry

When his son entered to check on him, the astrologer looked as if he died on his desk near his telescope. But once his son got closer, he could see his father’s back moving up and down rhythmically. His black and blue robes, the standard uniform for an intermediate astrologer, looked dirty and dull in color.

“Father.” His son shook his shoulder. His father opened his eyes and looked at him. “I brought you some tea.”

His father sat on his chair and petted his son on the head. He has been working hard, trying to understand this mysterious new phenomena.

“Don’t worry, father,” The son tried to cheer him. “I’m sure you are right in your calculations.”

The astrologer let out a sigh. Yes, he was right. All the calculations are correct. He couldn’t run from it any longer.

All of his life, he has been fascinated by the stars. The mysteries of the never-ending blackness in which thousands of little, colorful gems make for the most beautiful image. When he was a boy, still on Earth, he would stay up all night with his tiny telescope, trying to look closer at this magnificent kingdom, in which the moon ruled supreme.

That is why when he heard rumors of the Astrologer’s Tower, the floating school of astrology up in the sky, he did not hesitate to join. Since then, that was his life’s duty and purpose: Studying the stars, the cosmos, the moon.

Which is why it was so heartbreaking for him to discover, that the moon is falling.

It started three years ago. An unexplained decrease in the moon’s orbiting speed, that made it get closer and closer to Earth. The closer the moon got, the more powerful its force of gravity became, and earthquakes started to follow all over Earth. They were mild at first, but became increasingly powerful. And this was just the beginning.

He wasn’t sure the Tower would survive the inevitable collision, as higher above as it was.

He didn’t dare to think about what would happen to the people of Earth.

Last edited 3 months ago by Strong Berry
3 months ago


By: Hastaw

When do you see the castle on the sky? Is it even something that is formed with the human eye? Is it a palace of grandeur, with lavish parties every night?

Or could it be something more grand, that gives you a fright?

The breeze felt erratic and pleasant. When the weather beats against the sand, it’s as if the grays and whites of the storms dance together. People, you are right to run…unless you flow with the winds. Precious air can weave in and out, not so different from music.

Wind was the most beautiful part. Thunder and tsunami get together to try and appease the onlookers, but they cannot withstand them. They cannot dance with the wind like everyone else.

The waves try to be graceful, but it clumsily crashes against the rocks and the boats. It rushes towards people, unable to see them. It cannot dance, but it tries anyway.

The lightning tries to join in with the choir, only to create raucous beats that don’t music like the winds do. It furiously tries to tie to the soft whistles of the winds. Lightning hits anything it can get its hands on. It has fun being the wild music of its kin.

Regardless of the people of the land, these things want to dance and sing haplessly. The sky doesn’t understand how the people of the land would ever want to restrict the loves of the wind.

They cannot see the havoc they wreak, just like children.

Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
3 months ago

Dungeons and Detonators
by Lee Strangely

There was no word big enough to thoroughly describe the blast that now showered the land with blood, scales, and bricks. The shockwaves alone woke up several animals, peasants, and even the local lord.

“What the hell have you done?!” the lord yelled as he hobbled his way to the cliffside, where the mage and barbarian he hired were currently patting themselves on the back.

The barbarian greeted him, “Ah, good morning my lord, we are pleased to say that the dragon has been vanquished! …You’re welcome by the way…”

“Sent him all the way to the heavens,” the mage assured.

“You sent my castle into the bloody heavens you idiots!” the lord barked.

“And thank goodness we came along and did,” the barbarian started again, “those ruins ought to have been condemned.”

“Condemned?! It was ancient, it was an historical landmark!”

“A bloody death-trap was what it was. All those rotting corpses, rusty spikes… and good heavens, those floors were so crumbly we may as well have been standing in a sandcastle. Somebody could’ve died in there!”

His veins bulged, “It’s a DUNGEON! People are supposed to die in it!”

“Look, I’m no interior decorator, and you clearly were going for a theme… but there wasn’t a single brick in the entire structure that you could so much as look at without getting tetanus.”

“Do you think this is some sort of joke?!” the lord spat as he tried to strangle him.

“No sir,” he choked, “tetanus is no laughing matter…”

3 months ago

By: Gunpowder

The castle appeared suddenly one night above the town as it slept.

Of course, the people thought at first it was a mirage, an illusion, something to distract them from their day. But as the weeks wore on, doubt began to simmer.

Some of the braver ones decided to climb to the top of the town‘s cathedral. They threw rocks at the base to get the attention of whoever lived up there. When that failed, they brought scientists with various flying contraptions and sent them up. They watched their machines grow smaller as they flew up towards the castle. Eventually the machines fell back towards the town, having gotten no closer to the base of the castle.

Frustrated, the mayor called a town meeting. He decided to pass an edict asking everyone in the town to donate their spare time to his project: a tower so tall that the people could walk into the castle itself and have a word with those living inside. Months went by as the people labored, building the mayor‘s tower taller, past the cathedral, the trees, even the clouds. They dug deeper into the earth to gather the materials for building. The people gave more and more of their time, their work for this tower, until it became the focus of their lives. Everyone worked on the tower, from sunup to sundown.

And the castle stared.

When the town had been picked clean of material, the scientists again went up to try and gain a glimmer of understanding. They screamed in confusion at the tower, as it would not give them answers. When they grew tired, one by one, the townsfolk who labored for so long came up the tower to scream at the castle. Some wanted answers, others wanted rewards. Others just wanted to scream. Finally, the mayor went up the tower, but he did not scream. Instead, he sat down and talked to the castle. The next day, the people blinked and the castle was gone. All that remained was the tower they so painstakingly built.

At the top of the tower was a single sheet of paper.

3 months ago

The Places I’ll Go

“And then in the far east there are these mountains, and nestled between the two tallest peaks it says there’s a kingdom that rises into the clouds!” Juderia excitedly turned the pages of his book to show Rheesa the wonders of the world.

“Oh? And what is this kingdom called?” asked his crimson-haired friend.

“The book says it’s….” Juderia stared at the page for nearly a minute. “I’m not even going to try that. But it says it translates to ‘The Kingdom of the Sun’!”

Rheesa leaned over his shoulder, her hair falling in front of both of their faces. If his skin had been any lighter shade of blue, she might have noticed him blush at how close she was.

“What other interesting places does your book talk about?” she asked.

Juderia quickly flipped through the pages before the hormones clouded his vision, trying to find something that would catch her interest. Instead, he found something that caught his.

“It says here that to the south of us is a great body of water called the Elusian Sea.” He tried to imagine a vastness of water that covered all of the land he had ever walked on, but even that felt too small for how the book described the immensity of the sea. Water that expanded past the horizon and to lands he had never seen sounded too good to be true.

“I don’t.. Like water,” Rheesa said, slightly disappointed. “Daddy can’t go near it, and it makes me itchy.”

Juderia had nearly forgotten with how excited he’d been. There were things Rheesa could not do, with her sharing part of her father’s curse. They’d known each other for so long he had difficulty of thinking of her as a monster like he saw himself.

“I would like to see the sea,” he muttered.

Rheesa looked at him, thought for a moment, and responded.

“I think…I want to see the kingdom in the sky.”

The two sat there, one dreaming of the heavens, the other the deep. Both resolved to grasp what was just out of reach.

3 months ago

200 years ago, an irate wizard had worked his magic and ripped a chunk of earth from the ground, purely because the local ruler claimed he couldn’t. After it failed to plummet to earth several years later, the palace had been built atop it. With its location being deemed sufficient defense, the palace had forgone traditional design, featuring large, ornate windows and copious edifices within its abnormally short walls.

It had started as a residence, then an academy for magic. When magic had begun to fade from the world, the academy branched out to other subjects, producing some of the world’s most famous scholars and artists. And then the drums of war sounded, and it was seized by the military, serving as a communications and manufacturing hub for the entire southern half of the continent.

A series of pumps drew water from the lake below to feed the ever-flowing waterfall; tonight, no-one noticed five figures using them to gain access to the grounds. The saboteurs confirmed their objectives and scattered.

“Wow,” one of them said suddenly. He looked up at a fresco painted on the inside of the curtain wall, of a phoenix in flight, delivering a child to a waiting couple. “That’s a Cavolan. I didn’t think any survived.”

“What?” his partner asked, bringing down a prybar on the lock for one of the smaller buildings. She looked up at the wall then, and shrugged. “A painting?”

The two entered, quickly descending into the floating island’s bowels. “Eloisa Cavoli,” her partner explained quietly as they entered the chamber. “One of the greatest painters in recent history. She was labeled a dissident and most of her works were destroyed; that’s probably the last of her frescos. I wonder what else is here…”

“Did you volunteer for this mission purely to look at the art?” his partner asked as they finally came to a silver disk floating in the air.

“I wanted to study it before the war.”

“You might want to look around then,” his partner said, lighting a stick of explosive powder. “Ten minutes. Then it’s all gone forever.”

Other-other Nick
Other-other Nick
3 months ago

The Tower
By O.-O. Nick

The Tor Arnul et Yura, is the epicenter of the Aelai religion, and the focal point of countless wars. The Tower, as the men of Raethia came to call it, is a convergence for the Godhead, the divine energy of the planet. While the inherent divinity of Peor is known, the ability to find convergences in the currents of divinity is a secret lost to the ages.

The Tower’s Architect, Sulata the Celebrant saw the tower through its construction over Sulael, it would be his final act as king. Sulata was fueled by this singular desire; construct a tower spearing into the well of divinity itself. As the Tower crept closer to the heavens, upon affixing their stone blocks in place, the Raethian slaves would drop dead at the Tower’s apex and be cast to the stones below. To this day the paving stones are stained with the blood of Raethian slaves, driven to death by the will of a mad king.

Sulata never saw the Tower’s completion. His reign, arranged by Fae, was at an end. It was for a “reign to last until the moon swallows the sun,” he cursed his people. And such he received. For when his only son awoke in the night and walked silently into the Void Lake to be swallowed up by a reflection of the moon, King Sulata fell dead on his balcony, glassy eyes affixed at the looming obelisk.

Lijedri the Sunderer, advisor and mage to the dead king, oversaw completion of the Tower. As the last slave fell to the stones, Lijedri called forth the Godhead from atop the accursed structure. Broken souls of cast down Raethians cried out in anguish, a moan that shook the very foundations of Sulael. There, on the zenith of sorrow, congealed all of the pain and suffering of the broken Raethian people, their staining life-blood climbed the tower walls, coagulating at the rift between mortality and divinity into a crimson sphere. This Vile Pearl, the Seed of Madness, the Virulient Orb was all Lijedri needed to break the world, and break it he did.

Last edited 3 months ago by Other-other Nick
R J Chapman
R J Chapman
3 months ago

“Vivit Post Funera Virtus” by R J Chapman

Paul steadied himself on the castle wall before collapsing in a heap laughing. His companion plonked down next to him.

‘It were a good night wan’t it?’

‘Yeah. Pay for it tomorrow, mind,’ replied Trevor.

‘Hangover’ll be a piece o’ piss, ‘specially with what I’ve got coming.’

Trevor looked away, pretending not to have heard the last comment.

‘I really needed it. Ah, remember those lasses in Salutation? Stunning! It were good of ‘em to humour us. Probably reminded ‘em of their dads.’

‘More like grandads.’

‘Bootiful. Bright. Come to our city to do their learning. Whole lives ahead of ‘em. Makes you think.’

‘We’ve a got a while left yet,’ said Trevor, regretting it instantly.

‘True,’ Paul nodded.

Silence followed. The deep chimes of Little John let them know it was 3am.

‘I love this castle,’ said Paul after the chimes had stopped.

‘It’s barely a castle, more like a stately home on top of hill.’

‘Yeah ‘cause we tore down the original so no more royal scum could hide away in it. We don’t put up with tyranny. We’re a city of rebels. Just ask him,’ he said pointing to the statue fifty feet away.

‘He’s a fairytale.’

‘We’re a city built on that fairytale. Outlaws, all of us,’ Paul paused for a moment trying to find his next point. ‘It’s not just Robin Hood. Cloughie too. Took lil’ owd Forest to Europe and conquered it twice. Beat the odds. Give the big boys a bloody nose. We stand up.’

‘I can’t yet.’

‘No, I mean we fight.’

‘I know what you meant,’ Trevor replied, his voice cracking.

Paul looked at Trevor’s reddening eyes. ‘Stop being a mardy git,’ wrapping his arm around his friend’s shoulders. ‘I’ll kick its arse. I’m a rebel after all.’

They sat without speaking until Little John interrupted to let them know it was quarter-past-three.

‘OH NOTTINGHAM!’ sang Paul. ‘Come on, join in ya soft bogger!’

‘OH NOTTINGHAM! IS FULL OF FUN! OH NOTTINGHAM IS FULL OF FUUUUNNN! IT’S FULL OF…’ Together they chanted until they found the strength to go search for a cab.

3 months ago

Deep dream dissolution: a reverie of flight and flame (Private thread repost)
by Aracnarquista

I dream.

I dream of the glass castle and its highs. I dream of its soothing light, and its impossible distance. And the dream cradles me into change.

As I dream, my body dissolves. The one I once was, the one who couldn’t reach to the skies, will be no more. The dream invades reality and guides my transformation. In my slumber, I prepare to reach the skies and the glass castle lights.

My waking life feels almost distant now. Munching on garden leaves, bound to the ground. Even though I was a great climber, climbing was not something I could do without exposing myself. I was slow, and the flying beasts are not.

I could only look at the glass castle in the sky and dream. At night, its golden luminescence seemed to conspire with the pale light of the moon.

Maybe, one day, one of us will reach the moon.

Not me, though. I earn just for my castle.

Past comes in glimpses, in the dream. Almost as fleeting and inconstant as the lights inside the glass castle. Just as those lights become harder to see in the day, the past also becomes more indistinct as the dream progresses. The more my past self dissolves and gives rise to my new self.

The castle’s distant visage was never enough, so I prepared. Facing the dangerous climb was needed, once. Not to reach the castle – not yet – , but to build my dream bed in the heights. To invade the skies where the flying beasts reign supreme, unnoticed, and weave my silk shroud. Then, to infiltrate the kingdom of sleep, where potentiality reigns supreme, and build my new self.

The dream is almost over. My metamorphosis is at an end.

The silk cocoon that cradled my transformation has served its purpose. It is a shame to destroy such delicate craft now, but shedding the past is the only way to reach higher.

To invade the sky, now on wings. Fast, free.

To invade the castle and its flames, now on wings. Beautiful, fleeting.

To dissolve, now in glory. Now, forever.

George Kaplan
George Kaplan
3 months ago

“A Castle for the Dead” By George Kaplan

Dorf sipped distractedly at the cider as her world slowly crumbled. Her feet dangled over the edge of an impossible precipice of blue sky, broken here and there by the dry husks of vines snapping then floating atop the breeze. She set her cup down beside her, not caring for it any longer. It too had become tainted.

The soil had been leached of all moisture and become sand. Then the very stones had caught the sickness: oozing a putrid black mucus as if their very souls had been corrupted beyond their immortal bearing. The air had grown heavy with the stench of rotting fruit. The sickness spread to the holy trees, stretching their bark in grotesque fashions until they stooped and grew scowls and grimaces like monsters out of a children’s fairytale.

It was the child; she was sure of that. Why it had come, she did not know, but its presence had brought something with it… something sickly, something deadly. When the great vine had plunged through her world, it had brought the little imp with it, for such were ground dwellers to her. It was not what it had stolen from her, but what it had brought with it that made all the difference.

It had brought death.

First her husband by way of a biting ax, then second, again by the ax, far below. It had cut into the vine, turning the broad emerald stalk into an oozing mess, poisoning and corrupting everything it touched. Dorf looked down at her shaky hands, which were assuming an ashen pallor dotted here and there with brown and black splotches like drops of ink carelessly dribbled on a sheet of parchment. She mustered what little strength was left in her to stifle the racking cough that started deep within her soul and threatened to wrench her life from her trembling grasp.

She wished it had stolen a thousand harps, a thousand geese. Why her husband, her world, her life? She peered down upon the imp land below.

There would be a reckoning.

Last edited 3 months ago by George Kaplan
3 months ago

Welcome to the sky.

By Galer.

Leonardo came back to his house after his job of maintaining the antigravity runes beneath the city. He used his enhanced biology, enchantments, and augments to see the space stations circling Earth’s atmosphere.

The reason why he did this? It was because he was bored out of his mind to the point of melting into a puddle of body parts.

“Benefits of having total control over your cells I guess?” Leonardo thought it was one of the few ways he could entertain himself in the sky city, besides the hi-tech self-modifying towers and the beautiful chunks of the landscape taken from the surface.

His ancestors would likely see this as a miracle of engineering, science, magic, and a symbol of salvation from ecological disaster but for him? It was just another day.

Just like he was momentarily living in the underwater cities, or the surface cities, where then this synthetic cloud would dock occasionally for supplies and people that wanted to live their dreams.

Now that he thought about it, he was always on the move, traveling from place to place until he settled in this lazy voyage amongst the skies.

He himself didn’t know the reason why lived here. Was it the novelty of it? or the dreamy atmosphere?

He didn’t know, and he probably didn’t care much.

“So Leonardo what are you looking at?” Brenda asked

“Nothin’, just the space stations,” Leonardo said.

“Sometimes I need to remind myself of how nuts your body is even if I have enhancements,” Brenda said.

“Says the woman that has superheated claws that go through metal” Leonardo pointed out.

“Oh shush mister, I became a human poodle because I am bored,” Brenda stated.

Leonardo responded with a chuckle.

Brenda just smiled, perhaps this friendship was the reason he lived welcomed in this sky.

3 months ago

The Standing City

By Jacob

Ah, lofty Triverthalis, the Standing City. An almost surreal sense of hope it instilled in Isaac, the lone traveler, as he gazed at the imposing network of floating bridges and parapets on the horizon. The sensation may have been amplified by the months amid the withering plains as he crossed the desolation and fought off the necrotic phantasms that plagued the surface, but it was hope well-placed, regardless.

It was called the Standing City because, in order to avoid the deadly, magical plague covering the earth’s surface, the humans had built it high in the clouds, an island atop overwhelmingly colossal pillars of marble–pillars so wide that even at a distance, Isaac felt a sense of smallness. Yet, the sight was also invigorating. He was close.

With a renewed lightness in his stride, he pressed on, traversing the distance between him and the City with almost unnatural speed. He cared no longer for the necromantic miasma or the horrific monstrosities it conjured; he was determined to reach the City and nothing would get in his way. Monsters assailed him from all sides, but his sword sliced effortlessly through them all as if by a will stronger than his own, as the Standing City grew ever closer.

As he approached, a shadow accumulated before him, and a dark, amorphous shape spewed from the blackened earth. With a horrific noise like cracking bones, it took the form of a huge wolf, wide eyes glowing with violet flame and a gaping maw screeching and roaring. Isaac was not deterred–he was so close. He could not fail now. And so he fought the fell creature, his sword and the beast’s teeth exchanging blows at lightning speed as determination flashed in Isaac’s eye. But Isaac was gaining ground.

Finally, as his sword carved one last great blow through the wolf and tore it apart, he was there. There at the feet of the city’s looming pillars, gazing high into the clouds at the haven he had been seeking for so long.


All that remained to be done was to climb the stairs.

The Missing Link
The Missing Link
3 months ago

By: The Missing Link

Aster fastened her mask around her ears as she uncomfortably tried to shift her jaw to pop them. Pressure headaches were nothing new back home in the highlands. She had never known the true name of her homeland, though many drifted through the ashes and tatters of the records from before the fall. Her favorite of these was an older one, Axum, but she thought back in sadness as she climbed.

Hers and every other land she was aware of were in bitter conflict for Earth’s resources, and every time she thought of climbing back down, of returning home, she had to remind herself that it was no longer there.

There used to be more climbers, but even when they spoke the same language, few spared the energy to talk. She was the odd one for bringing a friend, a small goldfish she had mutated together with in the fallout and come to understand.

One day on her climb, Aster discovered a young boy, pale and thin, hanging from a harness rope, hardly even grasping for a foothold. She knew it was a bad habit, holding onto pity. It would get her killed someday, but she pulled the boy back to the tower and put one of her last biscuits in his pouch before continuing on her climb, as likely an offering to the dead as to the living.

And still she continued her climb, determined, but wavering, to find what secret the long dead ancestors left at the top of the tower.

After several more days of climbing on an empty stomach, she saw several climbers gathered around. There was a hatch in the tower.

Looking up in a sigh of what she chose to call relief, she finally laid eyes on their destination, a white and gold capsule crowned in stars.

Aster followed her companions inside the tower, now almost floating as they pushed towards the capsule bearing old earth symbols she couldn’t make sense of, “ISS.”

It was a treasure trove of lights and machines, but what it didn’t have was answers, only more questions.

3 months ago

Misty Smoke above the Clouds
(The Adventures of Kjell Serkailj)
By Quetzalcoatl

It has been a long time since the winds took a turn of stranger fate and grew strong enough for the “Moon Lady” steer above the seas into the ocean’s sky across the cloudy isles to the unknown regions hardly ever visited by human beings. It was here where Kjell Serkailj once met his good friend the Persimmonk, and it was him he was to visit by fate’s grace. Soon enough, the giant monastery came in sight, with smoky roots of incense, its aethereal misty arms, touching the sky’s fabric and holding it in place.

The Persimmonk greeted the crew joyfully, but after briefly showing them the facilities, he pulled Kjell by the arm and guided him to the yard, under the blossoming plum tree, where they drank tea together for the first-time. It was all, as if Kjell had never been away, as if not a single day had passed since then. A beautiful flowery fragrance danced with the smell of burning incense, as the vapor of our tea rose towards the sky gracefully. The Persimmonk’s baldness reflected the glistering sunset as his kind eyes closed to savour the tea.

After sitting for a while in silence, simply enjoying each other’s company, Kjell began to tell his friend about his travels. He told him about the infernal week they were stuck in the ice at McMurdo Sound tortured by the never ending “Tekeli-li!” cries, about the forbidden paths they took when they sailed under alien stars, about those other times they had sailed not on the water, but neither above, in search of the deepest darkness, and many a tale more.

“And what did you do?” Kjell asked, once he finished with his travel stories. The Persimmonk took a long sip out of his teacup and sat there in silence.
“There three things, that have revealed themselves to me during your absence.” He said with his slow voice. “The first: There are only two joys in life, oblivion and curiosity. The second: Loneliness is pain, and pain stimulates the mind.” He paused absentmindedly.

“And the third?” Kjell asked, before his friend lost himself in thoughts.

The Persimmonk sighed, then continued with oddly sounding resolve.

“The third: I can’t stand the smell of incense.”

3 months ago


by Reinkarnitor

Finally they have arrived. The city with golden roofs laid before them in the giant crater.

“Minerva” the baron sighed.

He was so close. Soon the king would fall, and he would take his place. It serves him right, after all this was the rightful punishment for giving him that barren wasteland as a province.

The baron turned and looked at his men. His army. They looked back at him with stern faces, obviously willing to go through hell and back to fulfil his goal.

“We will strike when the fog grows denser!” the baron shouted, and his men cheered.

It would not take long, after all the fog already filled the crater, like it always did in the evening. The time was nigh.

One hour passed, then two, then three.

And then, finally, the baron gave the command: “Give the signal!”

One of his men nodded with a grin and stepped to a catapult. He lit a flaming ball on it and then without another word launched it towards the golden city. The army cheered as the flaming ball made its way through the air, cutting through the dense fog and getting closer to the golden roofs of Minerva.

But then the fiery weapon bounced off something and fell to the ground, not even passing the city walls.

It was then when the cheers stopped, as a faint glow shined through the fog. Soon the glow formed visible runes, which seemed to approach steadily.

“No” the baron whispered. “That is impossible.”

An enormous shape cut its way through the fog and soon they could all see what they were facing.

“Skyfortress” the baron said, his voice nothing more than a breath.

Home of the Archangels, the most powerful of all races.

Home of Omnix, the one who created all.

It made no sense. Why was it here? Why now?

As the giant gates on the flying islands side opened, it didn’t even matter anymore.

None of it did.

All that mattered now was this one simple and unchangeable fact:

Skyfortress was doom.

3 months ago

She’s a maneater

By Sniperaxiom

Corra inserted a needle into her victim’s arm as he stared on in dumb horror. She smiled as “Maneater” came on the radio, not noticing he was awake.

She mouthed along with the words of the song while bopping in her chair as she went about her work, giving a nod of satisfaction as dark blood began running through the tube.

She found herself enthralled by the blood flow, mesmerized by the thick substance. Corra unintentionally began staring hungirly at it.

She was snapped out of her trance as the chorus began again. Joining in on the song, she glided over to the blood container where she saw it had reached the fill line.

“That’s just about done-.”

Corra flicked her suction device off and went to remove the tube but was interrupted by someone’s voice.

“Oi, why are you stopping?”

She turned to see Sasha frowning at her.

“Oh! Hey Sasha!”

He walked slowly around the man, who followed him with fearful eyes from where he was restrained, over to the radio. He glanced disapprovingly at Corra for her song choice and shut off the music.

“Don’t stop! There is still plenty of blood in there!”

She shook her head and turned her chair to face him.

“No Sasha, if I take any more from him he would be going straight to that big castle in the sky.”

Sasha paused in confusion and crossed his arms.

“…You mean Vinni’s place?”

“No! I mean it will kill him!”

“So? We need more blood than that! What you have in the canister is barely enough for the two of us to survive on!”

“You know if people start going missing the humans will catch on. It’s better to swipe a drunkard off the street, drain them a bit, then drop them back. That way, no one suspects a thing and we don’t have to kill anyone.”

“-But he sees us!”

“What do you mean?”

The man jumped a bit as Corra turned and made eye contact with him.

“Oh! Whoops- I guess I missed a step-“

Last edited 3 months ago by Sniperaxiom
3 months ago

Fortress of Suspension

By Joe

“The world is cruel. There is no hope for it. When the bombs launch, our worries will be over. No more having to convince one another of what’s right or wrong through committee. We will finally be on our own in this fortress suspended over a remote island untouched by human avarice. We’ll finally be free.”

My father’s words echoed to me everyday as I wandered every hall and room, alone. He left me this fortress and a library of all human history and science for me to play with, and I’ve spent all my time learning, applying, creating new inventions and discovering new things.

But I was alone, unconvinced, and afraid.

I hated those words. They kept me here when I learned of the atrocities, unconvinced that my father really knew that it was hopeless to fix anything, and afraid that humanity’s stubbornness may have proved him right.

I’m stuck.

My father’s archive possesses knowledge needed to solve current problems. But reading the horrific events, listening to the debates quickly falling apart, and watching all the effort to subjugate has left me in a state of suspension. My thoughts list in the liminal space in my head, as if waiting for something to hit them.

The objective is to find a better way to present what I know, and learn how to strengthen it. Some thoughts I’ve become irrationally afraid of as they exhaust my nights. It’s odd, because I don’t know a thought to be evil, and the cause of them is based on the evil I’ve learned and the presumptions I created myself. But once I knew what to say, I fell into a deep sleep, and awoke from my father’s defeated words.

“I love you father. But my fear of staying here is stronger than your fear of the world. You didn’t prepare me for staying here, you enabled my curiosity. No matter the time we have left, no matter the disaster endangering humanity’s existence, it’ll never change the fact that we had a chance for betterment. And it won’t change my nature. Goodbye, father.”

3 months ago

The Rainbow Princess (Chronicles of The Dragon)
By Makokam

High above the clouds, high enough that even the largest cities turned to sparkling smudges on the land, flew a shimmering castle of metal and glass.

This castle was the home for the greatest heroes of the world. They gathered together so that no disaster or villain would go unanswered, no matter where or when. Staffed by hundreds, the castle was like a small town. It had places to eat, and gardens to walk through, or sit in, or sleep in. There were places where people could live, and places where people who were hurt or sick could be healed. There was a place for the heroes to train, though some were too great to exert themselves within its walls, lest they destroy the castle.

But hidden and kept secret in the tallest tower, was the Rainbow Princess.

She was destined to be the greatest of all the heroes, but her power was too great and she could not control it. So she was taught by the greatest of the greatest, training her mind and body until she was ready to meet her destiny.

But until then, she must remain in the castle, far above the world. Only able to see a handful of the heroes, and the scientists, and the doctors. Only able to look out at the lines and sparkling smudges across the land below that marked the rest of civilization.

Surrounded by people, yet very alone. So close, and yet so far.


“Your vocabulary is improving.” Sol said, setting the paper down on Scribe’s desk. “But if you’re feeling lonely, you know the only thing you need to do to be able to go to the surface is get control of your powers.”

“I HAVE control of my powers!” She said, lifting herself up out of her chair and swinging her feet under her to squat on the seat as she pouted up at him.

“The accident report I get every day says otherwise.”

Her fingers clenched and the arms of the chair began to smolder under her fingers.

Last edited 3 months ago by Makokam
Berith Quinn
Berith Quinn
3 months ago

The Lady of the Black Tower
(A Tale from Aetherion)
By Berith Quinn

Wyndham stared at the sky as his eyes scanned the clouds, wondering if he’d see it. To be honest he wasn’t sure what he was looking for, or if it was even real. A part of him wondered if it was merely nothing more than a delirious nightmare filled with rapturous delights and sensual enticement.

He shuddered as the memories of the pervasive dream washed over him, like a viscous shadow that warmly embraced a lover in death. It felt like icy needles crawled over his skin, as though spidery talons caressed his arms. And then, just like in his dreams, he heard her.

Her silken voice seemed to whisper into his ear, as unintelligible words echoed in his head. He couldn’t focus on a single word, let alone a single voice. Instead, it was a myriad of screams harmonising into a siren song filled with the euphoric moans of the wailing dead. It filled his soul with a mixture of revelry and disgust, as noxious bile rose in his throat.

It was then that he saw it. The very thing that filled his waking nightmares.

The Black Tower from his dreams.

It was a sight that was more magnificent in person. None of his visions did it justice. It rose out of the clouds, like a moment to the dead gods, as its polished exterior shimmered in ethereal beauty. A solitary edifice of black stone, floating on the clouds as sinuous dancers twirled in the light of sunset.

Despite the distance, Wyndham could see her. The lady of the tower. The one that called to him. His whisperer in the darkness. His goddess of forbidden pleasures. His face contorted into a twisted smile of giddy delirium as she beckoned towards him. Without a thought, he walked towards her.

As the sound of a solitary body crashed upon the rocks below the cliff face, the Black Tower retreated back into the distant clouds. Its glistening exterior shimmered in grotesque beauty. A solitary tentacle of inky shadows, writhing amongst the clouds as eldritch cherubs giggled with sadistic glee.

C. M. Weller
3 months ago

The View From the Bottom [KoshDelia Ever After]
C. M. Weller

You couldn’t really see it properly until you got just past of the first crest of the hills past Arilber. Even then, the weather frequently interfered. Just like it was doing for Tarril Lorebinder, Olikent envoy, as she approached.

The crown of Threespire Mountain, the seat of the Thrice-Sworn King, was embraced by clouds as Tarril beheld it for the first time. Heavy clouds in deep blue and dark grey washed against the white stone that gave the city its name, but left the distant castle standing alone like an island in the sky.

For just a moment, it seemed like Castle Whitekeep floated on that cloud. Far above all others. Far above the rest of the world.

It seemed terribly unfair that such a grand capital building should be so abominably ugly.

Even from a distance, the structure on the misty mountain peak was a lumpish conglomeration of clashing architecture. Looking exactly like it had simply suffered additions instead of being created as a work of art.

The castle of a king should be grand. Sweeping arches. Towering spires. Confectionaries of architecture. Not…. some white blob made of smaller blobs that huddled on the mountain like the monster who reigned within.

The only high point was the titular keep itself. A stumpy thumb, visible above even the tallest of the castle’s walls. The stubby middle finger towards Olikent that had stood unbroken and unbreakable since a dozen slaves slipped Olikent chains.

She was not here to fulfil any Olikent desire to take those slaves’ descendants back into bondage. She was here to plead for the life and welfare of her master.

She was here to beg for mercy at the feet of the Thrice-Sworn King.

Tarril turned her eyes away from the building on the clouds, and focussed her attention on the long and winding road ahead. Already turning her prayers towards the gods.

Both she and the gods knew that the Demon Lord of the Mountains would have little mercy for ANYONE who kept intelligent beings in chains.

3 months ago

Hope for a Dying Species
by Shinigama

Mars is bright tonight. He peers out of the thick black sky, glaring down at our wretched planet with disgust.

As I stare back into his unblinking eye, I think of my princess, and wonder how she is faring. I hope Mars is taking care of her. There’ll be hell to pay if anything has happened to her.

Hell from Earth.

I lean back against the charred stump of a tree and wrap my filthy blanket tighter around my shoulders. My teeth chatter in the chill air – with my gums the way they are, they’ll knock themselves out of my mouth. It’s already difficult enough to find food as it is.

Still, with any luck, I’ll have frozen to death before dawn comes.

As I close my eyes, I think of the last time I saw my darling child. Not the best memory – full of fear, despair, horror, anguish, and grief. But weird as it sounds, it’s a happy one. Because even remembering the sight of my crying child’s face grip my arms as tightly as she could, all while the soldier dragged her away and onto the ship off-planet, I know that something precious has been saved. If there was one good thing I did with my pathetic life, one good thing I did for this godforsaken world, it was bring her into the world. Knowing she’s up there, safe from the irradiated plains, scorched forests, and drowning coastlines of this pestilent tumour of a planet.

Safe from this cancerous blight of a species.

We who built monstrous weapons of mass genocide. We who poisoned the earth, water and air with plastics, chemicals, and fumes. We who slaughtered billions of our kind and others.

Live on child. Forget about me, and this miserable rock. Be kind to others and help those in need. Teach them not to repeat the mistakes of their forefathers. Lead the survivors of humanity’s reckoning to a brighter future.

If humanity can create Hell on one planet, maybe they can build Paradise on another.

I have one hope that they can.

Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
3 months ago

Mommy Clearest (Reagan’s story)

By Tamela Redfin

Reagan woke up to the blaring cry of her daughters. “Ugh, I just want to sleep. Why can’t they just shut up?”

Was this her punishment for not being a good wife? Where was her husband anyway? Probably asleep. She flicked on the light and walked over to the cribs in the nursery.

Since cypha babies lived underground, they were far more active than their human counterparts. They were reaching out for Reagan with their tiny claws.

“Oh come here you little troublemakers.” She cooed while picking up both of them. This was her life. One stared up with yellow eyes and the other scratched at her chest.

“Are you hungry, Zirconia?” She asked, getting her bottle. Zirconia quickly suckled the bottle, while the other, named Sapphira, seemed to slowly calm down.

“What am I going to do? I’m not mother material but stupid Edison…” She thought, patting her twins. This was far from her dream; her mother forced her to marry Edison, a man who used and violated her wants, and now she was left with no dreams, but instead a nightmare.

What was she thinking?! These were innocent children! But… this wasn’t what she wanted. Was her life over now?

She watched the twins yawn and she gently rocked first Zirconia and then Sapphira to sleep.

“There, I was a good mother. Now I can go to sleep?” Reagan walked to her bedroom. She could hear Edison snoring and saw him sprawled out on the bed. Bastard.

“Guess I could sleep in the nursery.” Reagan reasoned. But she didn’t want to. But it was better than waking Edison.

Less than a second after she landed in the chair, she was out. What happened to her dreams, anyway? Her dreams were as distant as a castle in the sky.

3 months ago

Song as Old as Rhyme
By Marx

“So, humans also have this ceremony in a flying temple?” The Old One asked, looking out the window at the breathtaking sights.

Yelena shook her head with a giggle. “No. Though with humans, it’s usually a holy place. This temple seemed… appropriate. Also, I missed the view from this high up.”

The Old One raised an eyebrow. “You flew us here.”

Yelena smiled somberly as she looked back at her singular wing. “With magic. It’s… not the same.”

He caressed her cheek. “The you I see is the only you I’ve known. And the you I see is perfection.”

“…thank you.” A blush colored Yelena’s cheeks as she looked into the Old One’s eyes. “Are you ready?”

“Of course, my love.”

Yelena took his much larger hands into hers as she began, “So, in human culture, they would say vows to each other now. But we… already did that part…”

The Old One gave a knowing chuckle, which Yelena returned, smiling back coyly.

“So instead… I’ll tell you a story. You know of my fascination with human culture.”

“Yes, of course…” The Old One sighed.

Yelena gave him a stern look in response. “Don’t judge me! I just find them interesting. Regardless… they put meanings on many things. Including minerals they find in the Earth.

“With one, some cultures thought it housed a demon. But later generations saw it differently. That this black stone protected them from the evils of the world by taking that darkness into itself.”

The Old One looked at his pitch-black skin and back at Yelena with a smirk. “I’m not seeing the connection.”

Yelena playfully glared again then continued, “The humans have a name for this stone. It was said to have originated from the goddess of love.”

“I thought you said they originally thought it was evil.”

Yelena scowled before waving off the comment. “Humans are fickle. Anyway… My protector. My Old One. My soulmate. My love. My… Onyx. Do you accept this name I offer you?”

“I do,” Onyx replied.

Yelena grinned from ear to ear. “Then kiss me, my beloved Onyx.”