April 19, 2019, 05:37:57 PM

Author Topic: Two Bags of Fortune  (Read 45 times)

SirJasonCrage

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Two Bags of Fortune
« on: April 15, 2019, 07:32:11 AM »
Explanation at the start:

Some few people in the Mage Wars discord have urged me to put a story into written form. While I usually write in German, I'm trying to write in English this time. Since quite a few mage wars players asked me for this and I'm taking some inspiration from players to create my characters, I would like to post the story here.

The story does not take place in the world of mage wars. If this disqualifies the story because a rule or two, I'll have to accept that. I would like this thread to be purely for the story. Please, if possible, make a new thread for your replies, advice or complaints about it.

SirJasonCrage

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Re: Two Bags of Fortune
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 07:33:47 AM »
Two Bags of Fortune

Sajic

Courage fled Sajic as he stood before the cliff. Heights had long since lost their terror for him, at least he’d thought so. Turns out there’s a difference between flying just below the clouds and the prospect of plummeting down alongside a mountain’s face.
“I’m not sure I wanna do this any more.”
“Tough luck.” Uncle Uric could sometimes be nice. If he was drunk and in a good mood. He hadn’t had a drink in two days. “Might be Skeena can still carry both of us for a few months, but I’d rather not wait until she suddenly can’t any more. If you’re anything like your Father’n me, you’re just about to stumble into a rapid growth spurt. So get on with it. Or if you prefer to stay here and make a life among the dwarves, be my guest. I’ll just tell your mum you ran away, next time we’re at War’s. She’d probably even believe it.”
There’d never been any question about it before. He couldn’t stay at the fortress, father couldn’t take him to Galiria and the only other place for him was with the Sons of War, unless he wanted to live a beggar’s life somewhere as an outcast. He’d resolved himself to this over the last few weeks. Staying with them required him to fly though. And he couldn’t do that without jumping here.
“If you close your eyes, I’ll kick you over.”
The notion of getting kicked made his heart skip a beat or two.
“How about you stay fucking exactly where you are?”
“How about I don’t? You’ll find me at Marzyk’s. If I don’t see you until tomorrow midday, I’ll fly back on my own.”
Sajik was about to ask him to stay but his pride stopped him. Having Uric behind him wasn’t exactly helpful anyway. He suddenly thought of the opposite, about how he would just tell Uric later that he was the reason he couldn’t do it! And then, using spite instead of courage, he actually jumped.

He’d expected his body to not fully understand what’s happening. He’d thought the shock would only come after a few seconds. Instead, against his will, he began screaming the moment his feet left safe ground. Panic immediately overcame him and he tried to grab the empty air around him for some support. To his luck, anything solid was far out of reach. After a few seconds, he managed to stop his screaming and regained enough composure to look around.
The jumping point had been somewhat of an outstretched bit, like a needle that stretched away from the rest of the mountain. That way, he was in no danger of getting blown against the rock. The ground below still looked very far away, barely even growing as he came closer, almost as if he was falling very slowly. Looking back at the wall next to him shattered that illusion. The rocks passed by him so quickly, he could barely make out any details. As panic rose in his throat again, the stone suddenly gave way to an enormous cave.
Hundreds, no, thousands of gryphons were either flying somewhere in there or sitting in a nest on the walls. A big flock was down by a river that came from inside the mountain, drinking or just dozing in the shadow of some trees growing there. Marveling at the sight, Sajic now remembered all the advice for what he was about to do. “Get their attention, look helpless but not panicked,” Kijen had said. “Try not to look too tasty, you want one to save you, not to hunt you,” Sharbat had said with a huge grin. Sajic just hoped that one was a joke. “Scream too loud and they’ll be appalled. Don’t scream at all and they will think you’re fine. You need to awaken their protector’s instinct without chasing them away.” Cadosh’s advice had sounded more practical while on the ground. Not knowing how much of his voice could be heard through the wind, Sajic tried something he thought would be a loud but composed wailing.
None of the beasts reacted.
He tried some appealing shouting, also to no avail. Hopeful yelling just echoed back from somewhere and whenever he tried to actually get words across, the echo sounded so distorted that he might as well not articulate. When nothing helped and the end of the cave was already close, he was out of ideas and just howled like a wolf.
That actually made two of the closer gryphons turn their heads away. Then, suddenly, he was past the cave, back to seeing nothing but rock rushing by him, the animals vanishing out of sight above. His body tried panicked screaming again, as the ground visibly rushed towards him. There was a small lake at the landing point, but he’d heard that water, at this speed, behaved very similar to rock at the point of impact. As he realized how close death was, he frantically looked around whether there were any gryphons straying away from the big cave, but he couldn’t spot a single feather.
Unable to do any more for his survival, he resigned himself to hope and prayer, closed his eyes and, while yelling at the top of his lungs, waited for death or rescue.

Rescue finally came in the form of two huge bird claws, one of which caught almost his whole body, with the other one stabilizing his head, as to not break his neck in the process. Sajic opened his eyes again, happy to be safe and immediately let out one more screech when he saw that the lake’s surface was only an arm’s length away.
“Gnirfskn!”
That reply came from the back of the Gryphon and it immediately took all the happiness out of getting saved. He hadn’t been saved by a wild beast, ready to be tamed. He’d been taken by a dwarven gryphonrider looking for a reward. When they finally landed near the shore, the animal dropped him in the grass, sunk onto its legs and stared at him with those golden eyes behind the beak. A small person jumped off its back, armor and accessories tinkling as he walked towards Sajic.
Even without understanding all of the deep-dwarven he spoke, it was obvious that he was making fun of him and asking for a reward. When Sajic took some silver coins out, the dwarf got angry, or at least pretended as much. He immediately got friendly again when Sajic pulled out one of his dwarfcoins and even stayed friendly when he repeatedly pointed at the gryphon, the mountain and said “Marzyk’s” a few times.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 07:37:45 AM by SirJasonCrage »