'He trudged. Perfect word for it. Trudging through a lifeless plain devoid of any noticeable landmarks except for the softly flowing Grey, giving the name to the land he found himself in. He ignored it and focused only on moving his feet forward.'
Konnor is a forgotten scion of the House of Maelchanar, son of the infamous Enock Maelchanar, the would-be usurper of the Illyrian Empire. Driven from his home in the Shaar River Valley by his father's killers and into the Grey Plain, Konnor is certain that at any moment, his pursuers will fall on him and finish what they started in Shaar.
'Instead of a lance in the back, three men on horseback suddenly blocked his path. Cursing inwardly, Konnor lifted stony gaze to peer at the riders. The Grey Plain was aptly named; it had concealed the thunder of hooves and allowed the strangers to close without Konnor at all aware. Hefting battleaxe wearily, he waited for the end.'
The House of Maelchanar's blood is Power. Their Scion are gifted and cursed in even measure of greatness. Konnor is a hulking beast of a man, towering over most with a flat face and steel gaze. Wielding a massive battleaxe in combat, he cut his teeth as an Amasasari during the Wild War against the Drakharchun, a rite of passage that all that bear the name of Maelchanar must endure. He had been away from the battlefields in the East for less than a fortnight when his father was betrayed. The sins of the father followed Konnor, barely able to survive the culling that followed.
'The horsemen made the first move, one of the men bursting from the saddle and unfurling hidden wings. A Dark Seraph. Lance held aloft, the Dark Seraph dove straight at Konnor, no doubt expecting the man to be driven to shock by the flurry of wings. Instead, Konnor roared and sidestepped at the same time, lance passing by at a hair's width. With one hand, he snatched wing and hurled the Dark Seraph back and around towards his compatriots, normal men who were not prepared for their companion to become a flying missile launched at them.'
Konnor, like most youths not yet honed in the forge of war, was a naive and compassionate boy. The horrors of war against the Drakharchun and what the elves of the Great Wood endured was enough to shatter his idealism. Letters from home were infrequent and did little to delay Konnor's descent into darkness. When he returned to an empty home, the only solace he could find was in drink. His father, an enigma of a man busy in the capital with his political machinations, was unaware of the transformation his son had underwent.
'The Dark Seraph knocked one man completely from his saddle while the other shouted and lunged towards Konnor, scimitar swinging from his free hand. Konnor surged forward, stepping to the right and forcing the horsemen to swing across his body, difficult at the best of times. Instead, he met the blade of Konnor's battleaxe crunching through the soft boiled leather of his jerkin and lifting him bodily from the saddle. Slamming into the ground in a welter of blood and crunching bones, Konnor turned towards the other two foes in time for a blade to saw across his scalp.'
Despite the fame his surname carried, Konnor was left to find his own path while his father played his games. For a warrior with no war, this meant bounty work. Luckily, outlaws and bandits roamed the Grey in their droves, mostly preying on the trade to be found along the busy waters of the Shaar River. Due to the Grey being technically Karn'a territory, it fell to freelancers to clean up the plain. And Konnor excelled at this. When not dragging back the corpses (easier and less risky to kill them), Konnor spent his time in the disreputable bars and brothels of Shaar. It was in one such decrepit locale when the Guard came to arrest him.
'The blade cleaved across the top of his forehead, a line of fire that meant hell later. Instead of falling back and being cornered by the two men, Konnor once more struck out. A steel boot caught one of his would be killers in the gut. With a rush of air from forced lungs, the man doubled over while his winged friend went on the attack. His fate was sealed when Konnor's battleaxe ends up buried in his face. Konnor had no time to relish the death of another enemy. The last was recovering and, from the look in his eyes, saw his death approaching in the grim titan before him.'
Meeting the Guard in a drunken stupor, still wearing arms and armor from the latest retrieval, Konnor was incredulous at first at the accusations the Guard threw in his face. The Hero of the Illyrian Empire, his father, a traitor to the realm? He had no time to dwell on their fell words. They were on him in a moment. His battle instincts, along with the heavy liquor coursing through his veins, meant he did not hold back in fending them off. Before he fled Shaar for the Grey, he had killed two of them.
Suddenly, the bounty hunter had become a bounty.
'They were dead. But more would follow. After cleaning the blade of his battleaxe on the tunic of the dead man before him, he rose from his crouch to cast eyes about him. The horses had fled, gone into the swirling mists of the Grey. Hefting battleaxe to shoulder, ignoring the stinging sensation of his cut scalp, Konnor began to trudge once more.'
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? Responses (6)
Colorful, and a well executed introduction. Plenty of vistas to see, lots of room to expand outwards, which is excellent. There are a few moments where you shift from past tense (correct) to present tense (incorrect) while writing the narrative.
A steel boot catches one of his would be killers in the gut.
Catches should be caught
A minor issue and easily corrected.
The real question I have, with this noble blooded battleaxe swinging fantasy noir barbarian, what would you have us do with him? His trudge through the Grey (fantastic) feels like a literary device for his lack of purpose.
I have issues with tense so thank you for catching that. They will be corrected momentarily.
As for the purpose of him, I imagine he would be an interesting character for a party of players exploring the Grey to run across or they could be paid to capture him.
Update: Grammatical errors fixed. Please point out any others needing mending.
An enjoyable read :)
I like the basic arc here, a guy loses touch with proper society, loses touch with his father, and tragically it is the flicker of his former self, a last tug on that last threadbare connection he still has to his father that tips him over the edge and completely sends him into exile. Classic.
This is nice compact piece that load up a lot of information-you give us a setting the grey. A Character-the hard drinking, battleaxe weilding PTSD nobleman and finally we have a plot seed-is his father a traitor? Or did Konnor become the traitor by defending his father become a traitor. The narrative pieces really bring it to life. Useful stuff.
Thank you both for the kind words.
As shown in the above, Konnor is merely one character of many set up in an expansive world I have steadily clobbered together throughout the years.
I hope to show more and more of it as the days go by.