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S&S: The Battle For Chezmochezmadiak

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  • S&S: The Battle For Chezmochezmadiak

    What follows is an attempt to enliven Sword & Sorcery with a swarm of Flash Fiction pieces. The target word count is 150 to 200 words per piece. The main objectives of this experiment are:

    1) Build characters
    2) Establish setting
    3) Avoid world building
    4) Relate action
    5) Dispense with plot by going non-linear

    If any of it surprises you or makes you laugh, it's purely unintentional. :D

    The following titles can be clicked to take you to the piece you think might interest you. The titles are listed in the order they were written. It is suggested you read them in the order that seems most interesting to you. Reading them in order from this list is not the suggested reading order neither are the events sequential!

    Give me your feedback people! Which ones don't work? Which one's were most intersting? What order did you read them in? Did you find any errors that I can fix (spelling, grammar, logical)?

    THE BATTLE FOR CHEZMOCHEZMADIAK

    The Flight Of The Page



    "Drink this lad," said the black haired alchemist employed by The Captain's sorcerer.

    "I doubt your method Sahhaad," grumbled The Captain.

    "Yes master."

    The Captain must know the lay of the land, and with his aerials occupied elsewhere, a blistering fog between he and the Children of Misery, and his maps missing, someone must fetch replacements. Without those maps the day would be a rout. The page guzzled the potion and in a moment belched and turned towards home.

    A small scroll of parchment appeared and Sahhaad read aloud, "Antinum gahent taktosktahenen." He neatly stowed the scroll, belted the back of the page's head and said, "Run."

    Instantly the bald headed page's sand colored garments blurred as he raced to the distant bivouac.

    "When will he return?"

    "Soon, master."

    ***

    "So, that blasted Count has sent veterans to fill our ranks," bellowed The Captain at a trio of men. Two of the men supported a decrepit old man barely standing; the hem of his garments hung in shreds.

    "No master. I have returned with the maps."

    Rations



    "Blast you!"

    Servants backed away from the two men trying desperately to be absorbed by the walls of the small hall. Their feet scuffled against the floor as The Count gurgled and choked.

    "The rations man! Where were those fucking rations you promised me," asked The Captain in his gale of a yell. He seemed to have forgotten he was holding The Count the way a butcher holds a chicken by its neck. "I lost a dozen men!"

    The Count was pointing urgently at the fist around his throat.

    "Fool!" The Captain pitched the man to the floor where two of The Count's guard were laying, unconscious or dead.

    After a few moments of gasping The Count generally a composed diplomat rose to his feet scowling and gasping. "My dear Captain!" Each word was enunciated ever so pointedly. "I suspect you have gone mad. Whatever are you talking about"?

    The Captain buried his stony fist into the face of the count as he recalled the absence of rations and the rumors of the politician's gambling. Worms from spoils his company had taken weren't doing much for his usual tolerant disposition.

    The Great Wind



    From the ranks of The Children of Misery cut a sorcerous tornado lifting The Children into the air, but fixing them to the outside of the funnel instead of flinging them away like chaff. The tornado was silent except for the gradual and cumulative clashing of weapons.

    The funnel cut a rut into The Valley of Chezmochezmadiak as it bore down on Carvea Company; The Captain knew by instinct that tornado would hunt the largest formation, scissor it to pieces, and move to the next group if they dared to remain in formation. This would be his most frantic and galling retreat ever.

    "Scatter and retreat!”

    Horses and men turned towards the theater egress, the nearby end of the valley where Chachejellachek the wizard and his hirelings were making a great spell having seen The Captain's signal for "shield". The cavalry arrived safely as the first layer of shields materialized behind them, then the platoons of three retreating companies were protected by a second layer of invisible shields that separated them from the spell-casters, cavalry and encroaching twister.

    The Captain and his men were the last to be protected, only after every single man slammed face first into the invisible shield did a third layer materialize inches behind them. The men turned around and observed the tornado bouncing against the last invisible shield, the twisted faces of The Children sneering at them, their blades breaking and bending in silence.

    The Bile Foxes



    Snapping and sniffing at The Captain were three large vulpine demons, each a twin of the others. Their mouths contained rows of diaphanous green teeth with four thin green tongues lashing the air. Six thick legs clawed at the ground as their hairless grey mottled bodies rocked back and forth in anticipation of the kill. The bile foxes would disembowel him if they could.

    It wasn't his father's sword. Or his grandfather's. He pulled it out of the belly of one of his troops in an engagement with The Children of Pain, a dismembered arm gripping the sharkskin bound tang. Now it was The Captain's and he was rumored to have killed five thousand men with it, though no one ever suggested that it had a glamor, which it had, of course. It was a fickle luck glamor. The Captain would disembowel the foxes if he could.

    Impatient for the end of it, The Captain leaned forward and hollered at the foxes, two of which were instantly at abeyance with surprise while the third more aggressive fox was lunging for his belly. The attacker was easily dodged and had its guts liberated by a sweep of the broadsword. One of the two remaining bile foxes beset the entrails hungrily while the other was being neatly quartered by The Captain, who stomped and mashed its spine into the ground.

    Spiders in the Spy Glass



    "It looks like a couple of your ticking horrors are having trouble," reported The Captain. He was observing from an ad hoc lookout with his field spy glass a battle in progress between several squads of Children and twenty mammoth clockwork spiders sent to destroy some troublesome Chok Chok. Members of the squads were being impaled by legs or smashed by abdomens.

    Perral the engineer accepted the proffered spy glass and watched with interest as two spiders were attacked by several squads. Each spider was missing one of their eight legs. "They will use the broken legs to pry the bellies open," he predicted.

    "What of the 'fields' that protect their gear works?"

    Several white razer beams were focused and sustained at certain points on the spiders. "Their wizards have overcome the fields," said Perral.

    The Captain took the glass from the engineer and peered at one spider just in time to observe the top of the clockwork arachnid burst a hundred feet into the air as a massive spring uncoiled slapping and lancing several nearby attackers. The second field within the abdomen propelled ball bearings into the flesh of the surrounding squads to devastating effect. Meanwhile, five more spiders were being attacked while the remainder had engaged the Chok Chok.

    The Standardbearer



    A nearby trebuchet emitted an explosive crack as the standardbearer witnessed The Captain widen the mouths of two crowing Children of Misery with his broadsword. The next attacker had his knuckles removed and fell shrieking onto a bed of debris with a smash of the standardbearer's post on the back of his neck as he fell. The Captain's men were in an offensive formation giving them protection and opportunity. The standard flipped and snapped in the humid wind.

    He thought he knew what it meant to kill men until he observed The Captain's relentless and ruthless cutting, slashing and crushing of the enemy. The gore flowed over his blade and amour. The Children had never before seen or heard of the mighty captain, but the standarbearer would attest to the undisguised fear visible on their faces when they encountered the menace. Sometimes The Captain would push his guard out of the way in frustration and take a brief lead, using the standardbearer's pole lance-like, furiously jabbing the end into the face behind the nearest Child who got the best part of a gauntlet in the teeth. He was unsure of the true tally, but from his perch across The Captain's shoulders it looked like the berserker had killed at least one hundred men.

    The Distracted Wizard



    Chachejellachek sent Drasmonidon with The Captain and his guard to a specific location in The Valley of Chezmochezmadiak for some intricate spell casting. He was sent because of his renowned concentration and expertise for the phantoms he would send against The Children of Misery.

    The platoons of men were attacked sooner than predicted and partway through the engagement Drasmonidon became aware of the mad horses, yelling men and weapons clashing one against the other. A flight of arrows pinned his spell book to the ground. Then a horse pounded over his kit scattering some ingredients and just tipping a vial over that was righted by his quick hands.

    At an inopportune moment The Captain was sent backwards flat onto his back by the hooves of a rearing horse. He exchanged places with the totems Drasmonidon was casting the spell upon and the wizard's famed concentration was further disrupted. The Captain's form became outlined by a blue glow and his figure shifted; his arms, legs and body took on feminine proportions. His face acquired a more womanly appearance as did his breasts and buttocks.

    "Oh my. That's gone a bit wonky, hasn't it?"

    "What happened to my balls," asked The Captain.
    Last edited by Reinart der Fuchs; 03-25-2008, 09:08 PM.
    The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

  • #2
    Re: S&S: The Battle For Chezmochezmadiak

    Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
    Any thoughts you have are welcome. I'd really like to show these chaps that we might breath some life into this stuff and maybe Flash Fiction is one method of enlivening everyone's interest.
    I think you're probably right on that score. The first entry certainly suggests that you're on to something. I've locked myself in to the "ongoing series" mode of thought, but "flash fiction" does allow you to throw any number of interesting ideas at the reader without having to figure out how much bread and water everyone is carrying. Distilled sorcery! You're a sneaky one, Mr S. :)

    Not that any stories have been green-lit yet, but I think we (as an Enclave) are already showing that there's life in the giant-spider yet
    (or Clockwork Spider, if you prefer). Where that will get us, I'm not sure, but it's an interesting turn of events...
    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

    Comment


    • #3
      The Flight Of The Page

      The Flight Of The Page

      "Drink this lad," said the black haired alchemist employed by The Captain's sorcerer.

      "I doubt your method Sahhaad," grumped The Captain.

      "Yes master."

      The Captain must know the lay of the land, and with his aerials occupied elsewhere, a blistering fog between he and the Children of Misery, and his maps gone missing someone must fetch replacements. Without those maps the day would be a rout. The page guzzled the potion and in a moment belched and turned towards home.

      A small scroll of parchment appeared and Sahhaad read aloud, "Antinum gahent taktosktahenen." He neatly stowed the scroll, belted the back of the page's head and said, "Fly."

      Instantly the baldheaded page's sand colored garments blurred as he raced to the distant bivouac.

      "When will he return?"

      "Soon, master."

      ***

      "So, that blasted Count has sent veterans to fill our ranks," bellowed The Captain at a trio of men. Two of the men supported a decrepit old man barely standing; the hem of his surcoat hung in shreds.

      "No master. I have returned with the maps."
      The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

      Comment


      • #4
        Rations

        Rations

        "Blast you!"

        Servants backed away from the two men trying desperately to be absorbed by the walls of the small hall. Their feet scuffled against the floor as The Count gurgled and choked.

        "The rations man. Where were those rations you promised me," asked The Captain in his gale of a yell. He seemed to have forgotten he was holding The Count the way a butcher holds a chicken by its neck. "I lost ten men!"

        The Count was pointing urgently at the fist around his throat.

        "Fool!" The Captain pitched the man to the floor where two of The Count's guard were laying, unconscious or dead.

        After a few moments of gasping The Count generally a composed diplomat and a man skilled with complex planning rose to his feet scowling and panting. "My dear Captain!" Each word was enunciated ever so pointedly. "I suspect you have gone mad. Whatever are you talking about?�

        The Captain buried his mighty fist into the face of the pompous count as he recalled the absence of rations and the rumors of the count’s gambling. He’d caught worms from some spoils they’d taken from The Children of Misery that weren’t doing much for his usual disposition.
        The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

        Comment


        • #5
          The Great Wind

          The Great Wind

          From the ranks of The Children of Misery cut a sorcerous tornado lifting The Children into the air, but fixing them to the outside of the funnel’s wall instead of flinging them away like chaff. The tornado was silent except for the gradual and cumulative clashing of weapons.

          The funnel cut a rut into The Valley of Chezmochezmadiak as it bore down on his company; The Captain knew by instinct that tornado would hunt the largest congregation of men, scissor them to pieces and move to the next group if they dared to remain in formation. This would be his most frantic and galling retreat ever.

          “Scatter and retreat!� Horses and men turned towards the only hope of retreat, the nearby end of the valley where Chachejellachek the Wizard and his hirelings were making a great spell having seen the flag for “shield�. The cavalry arrived safely as the first layer of shields materialized behind them, then the platoons of several companies were protected by a second layer separating them from the spell-casters, cavalry and encroaching twister.

          The Captain and his men were the last to be protected, only after every single man slammed face first into the invisible shield did a third layer materialize inches behind them. The men turned around and observed the tornado bouncing against the shield, the twisted faces of The Children sneering at them, their blades breaking and bending in silence.
          The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

          Comment


          • #6
            The Bile Foxes

            The Bile Foxes

            Snapping and sniffing at The Captain were three large vulpine demons, each a twin of the others. Their mouths contained rows of diaphanous green teeth with four thin green tongues lapping at the air. Six thick legs clawed at the ground as their hairless grey mottled torsos rocked back and forth in anticipation of the kill. The bile foxes would disembowel him if they could.

            It wasn’t his father's or his grandfather's sword. He found it in the belly of one of his fellow troops in an engagement with The Children of Pain an arm gripping the sharkskin bound tang. Now it was The Captain’s sword and he was rumored to have killed five thousand men with it, though no one ever suggested that it had a glamour, which it had, of course. It was a fickle luck glamour. The Captain would disembowel the foxes if he could.

            Impatient for the end of it, The Captain leaned forward and hollered at the foxes, two of which were instantly at abeyance with fear while the third more aggressive fox was lunging for his belly. The attacker was easily dodged and had its guts liberated by a sweep of the broadsword. One of the two remaining bile foxes beset the entrails hungrily while the other was being neatly quartered by The Captain who stomped and mashed its spine into the ground.
            The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

            Comment


            • #7
              Spiders in the Spy Glass

              Spiders in the Spy Glass

              “It looks like a couple of your ticking horrors are having trouble,� reported The Captain. He was observing from an ad hoc lookout with his field spy glass a battle in progress between several squads of Children and twenty goliath clockwork spiders sent to destroy several troublesome Chok Chok. Members of the squads were being impaled by legs or smashed by abdomens.

              Perral the engineer accepted the proffered spy glass and watched with interest as two spiders were attacked by several squads. Each spider was missing one of their eight legs. “They are going to use the broken legs to pry the bellies open.�

              “What of the �fields’ that protect their gear works?�

              Several white razer beams were focused and sustained at certain points on the spiders. “Their wizards have overcome the fields,� replied Perral.

              The Captain took the glass from the engineer and peered at one spider just in time to observe the top of the clockwork arachnid burst a hundred feet into the air as a massive spring uncoiled slapping and lancing several nearby men. The second field within the abdomen propelled ball bearings into the flesh of the surrounding squads to devastating effect. Meanwhile, five more spiders were being attacked while the remainder had engaged the Chok Chok.
              The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

              Comment


              • #8
                The Standardbearer

                The Standardbearer

                A nearby trebuchet emitted an explosive crack as the standardbearer witnessed The Captain widen the mouths of two crowing Children of Misery with his broadsword. The next attacker had his knuckles removed and fell shrieking onto a bed of debris with a smash of the standardbearer’s post on the back of his neck. The Captain’s men were in an offensive formation giving them protection and opportunity. The standard flipped and snapped in the malodorous wind.

                He thought he knew what it meant to kill men until he observed The Captain’s relentless and ruthless cutting, slashing and crushing of his foes. The gore flowed over his blade and amour. The Children had never before seen or heard of the mighty captain, but the standarbearer would attest to the undisguised fear visible on their faces when they encountered the menace. Sometimes The Captain would push his guard out of the way in frustration and take a brief lead, using the standardbearer’s pole lance-like, furiously jabbing the end into the face behind the nearest Child who got the best part of his gauntlet in the teeth. He was unsure of the true tally, but from his perch across The Captain’s shoulders it looked like the berserker had killed at least one hundred men.
                The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Distracted Wizard

                  The Distracted Wizard

                  Chachejellachek sent Drasmonidon with The Captain and his guard to a specific location in The Valley of Chezmochezmadiak for some intricate spellcasting. He was sent because of his renowned concentration and expertise for the phantoms he would send against The Children of Misery.

                  The platoons of men were attacked sooner than predicted and partway through the engagement Drasmonidon became aware of the mad horses, yelling men and weapons clashing one against the other. A flight of arrows pinned his spell book to the ground. Then a horse pounded over his kit scattering some ingredients and just tipping a vial over that was righted by his quick hands.

                  At an inopportune moment The Captain was sent backwards flat onto his back by the hooves of a rearing horse. He exchanged places with the totems Drasmonidon was casting the spell upon and the wizard’s concentration was further disrupted. The Captain’s form became outlined by a blue glow and his figure shifted; his arms, legs and body took on feminine proportions. His face acquired a more womanly appearance as did his breasts and buttocks.

                  “Oh my. That’s gone a bit wonky, hasn’t it?�

                  “What happened to my balls,� asked The Captain.
                  The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I like "That's gone a bit wonky."

                    I have no idea why, but it made me smile, particularly when it is written right before "What happened to my balls?" :D

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      wow. okay... these things are way too short for me. i'm intrigued as all get-out, but need more.

                      so that should mean: what you're writing is not icky or boring, it's exciting the reader and they want more. fill it in!

                      does that help, hopefully?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: S&S: The Battle For Chezmochezmadiak

                        Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                        The first entry certainly suggests that you're on to something. I've locked myself in to the "ongoing series" mode of thought, but "flash fiction" does allow you to throw any number of interesting ideas at the reader without having to figure out how much bread and water everyone is carrying. Distilled sorcery! You're a sneaky one, Mr S. :)
                        Thank you for these words of encouragement. I'm hoping that these little scenes will swarm in a non-linear fashion leaving the reader with an impression of the main characters and settings sans the world building and dispensing with the overall plot (which can be inferred by the relationship between the pieces), allowing them to assemble the story themselves (in a dynamic and personal way). Darren's "cognitive fiction" really is a challenge to be met, I feel, and I'm expecting a lot from my reader here.

                        I mean, does it really matter when the maps were lost or when the clockwork spiders explode? :)
                        The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Doc
                          I like "That's gone a bit wonky."

                          I have no idea why, but it made me smile, particularly when it is written right before "What happened to my balls?" :D
                          I'm glad you got a laugh out of this. Nothing like a chuckle to loosen the chest and shoulders, eh?
                          The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Poetgrrl
                            wow. okay... these things are way too short for me. i'm intrigued as all get-out, but need more.

                            so that should mean: what you're writing is not icky or boring, it's exciting the reader and they want more. fill it in!

                            does that help, hopefully?
                            It helps a great deal. I'm really glad to know that more than one person is finding these interesting and even a little exciting. This swarm of flash fiction pieces are doing what I hoped they would. Piquing interest, not putting the reader off because of the abscence of a more cohesive structure.

                            It begs the question, what is it about them that excites you. Are you intriqued by a particular character? Is it the action; do you get a complet picture in your head when you read? Do you want more pieces or the same pieces with more words?

                            Or are you wanting a chapter of a novella?
                            The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm just popping into this thread to say I'm following your stuff too Berry. I'll be interested to see how you arrange/frame/sequence all the parts when you've finished. Cutting a story up into bite size flash fiction style chunks is an interesting approach and seems a really logical way to get some nice condensed story elements to play around with.

                              Comment

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