View Full Version : The Monk's Tale, Chapter 2.

03-05-2005, 23:44
The man in the dark shroud watched the flames that sputtered about in the torch that rested on the wall. They were ungovernable, fire was a beast that man had only thought to have conquered… he had no by any stretch of the imagination succeeded. It alone possessed the unchained spirit, a being so untamable that man could not even touch it without feeling the burn of its power.

Oh, yes. Fire had its limitations. It was trapped where man put it. While it constantly sought escape, it often had no choices. And of course it had a mortal enemy in water. Enough fire and even water would not matter however… the water would disappear as quickly as it tried to destroy the mistress of fire.

Sotha Sil did not have these disadvantages. He admired fire for its power, its raw energy. However, he frowned on its limitations, limitations that he did not have to worry about now or ever. Never would he be so shackled. He lived in the now, and those who did could not be chained.

The fire was the epitome of living in the now. Only in the now were things possible. Yesterday was gone, you would never see it again. To look back would be to not see what was happening in the now. The future was not yet written. He could be struck with a random rock hurtling at speeds the human eye could not follow and die tomorrow, but in the now, he was alive. Looking too long at the future would cause you to miss the now as it was slowly written to history. Like him, the fire had no history, nor did it wish to look back even if it did possess one. Likewise, the fire would ultimately burn itself out, leaving only a charred reminder of its once great presence. Oh yes, the fire was in the now.

I am the fire, the secrets of life and death are mine to divulge to those whom I choose. I have that gift… Reaching behind his back, he could feel the katana still carefully in place in its reverse scabbard. He found the way most warriors bore their weapons to be horribly inefficient. Certainly there were advantages of wearing your weapon on your back, mobility being on. But having to reach up behind your head was a horribly slow and vulnerable way to pull it. More than one man had died who thought they would be faster than Sotha, but then, none were.

He imagined the torch was there so that prisoners in this cell could end their worthless existence with fire if things seemed too hopeless for them. Sotha wasn’t a prisoner however. To be a prisoner, you had to exist in more than the now. Now he was here. Who knows where he would be later.

He allowed the ghost of a smile to flit across his lips at his “capture.” A thousand of the animals had attempted to capture him. He had killed 6 of them before they had decided not to approach him. There were a large number of them, and had they all attacked, he may have been defeated. However, none of them wanted to be the one that did die in the process of capturing him, so instead they left him his weapons and escorted him to this tower. It didn’t really matter. That was the past, and not in the now.

“Has your warthog faced leader come to tell me what he desires? I told you I’m only speaking to him.” Only with the skill and training of a man who had spent a lifetime honing his senses would the two Charr that had approached his door have been heard. Sotha wasn’t even facing the door.

The room itself was nothing special. It was a small cell that he had chosen to be imprisoned in. There was a bed attached to the wall, although bed might have been too strong a word. It was more of a plank extending from the side of the wall with a thin layer of mold coating it that looked to be cloth unless you indulged in a close inspection. The ceiling had grate holes in it for breathing and so whatever fumes and vapors that were rising up from the floor would have a place to go. The door was a thick iron, dark and stained a rusty brown. The walls likewise were stained, although with feces or blood, Sotha could not tell, nor did he care. While this was not the most pleasant of places, there were worse places to be.

Like death… death would be infinitely worse. Sotha smiled. He wasn’t here because he was captured. He was here because it was his will. The Charr were beasts, he was not afraid of them. They were constantly squabbling over their portents and prophecies, and bickering over petty things that happened years before. The Charr didn’t know how to live in the now… they were anywhere but the now. They also were still outside.

“I said get him. I’m not going to count and I’m not going to ask again. Do it or I will assuredly end you.” It wasn’t a threat, it was a statement of fact.

The Charr recognized the danger and quickly left. He heard them walking away, muttering back and forth to one another as they went. They would bring their leader, and he would negotiate what they wanted. It was an interesting puzzle, which of course was the only reason he was here in the first place. Why the Charr would go to the extremes to capture him was a mystery, and mysteries always intrigued him. Revelations always occurred in the now.

Finally he began to hear the labored breathing of a Charr approaching. This one sounded much larger than the other two had been, but of course that was to be expected. The Overseers tended to be the meanest, strongest, and smartest of the bunch. Given the nature of the one they believed was a prisoner, he likely would be high among Overseers… so somebody completely unpleasant.

“It’s about time you showed up. You kept me waiting. And pray tell me that you have actually learned the language of the common people… I certainly don’t want to waste my time with yours.”

The big Charr snorted a few times, sizing him up. “We have work must be done. You must do.” It stumbled a bit over the words and spoke with a very thick accent. Sotha was already bored with this exchange.

“Really. I’m delighted. What’s in it for me, and why should I help the creatures that seek to chain me? This doesn’t sound like the best of plans to me.” He let a smile float to his lips as he spun slowly to face the Overseer. His hand moved to grip the katana concealed behind him as his eyes bored holes into the Charr.

The Overseer had not become a leader among Charr for no reason. While Charr weren’t always the brightest of creatures, those who managed to claw their way to the top certainly were steps above those beneath them. The Overseer began to feel his own mortality in jeopardy and spoke hastily.

“Difficult task to be done. Much gold will be given to you.” Sotha had no use for gold, but the idea of a difficult task intrigued him.


“Human mages have storm casters… strong casters that can defend against magics. Storm casters must die, or Charr fall. MUST DIE!” The Overseer spoke with sudden passion, his eyes alight with something deeper.

Sotha sensed that the Charr was holding something back. He assumed that by storm casters, the Charr meant a guild of elementalists. Charr were always limited in their perceptions, it was why they could not exist in the now.

The most powerful of the elementalist guilds were the Hammers of Thunder. He knew of the Hammers of Thunder, self-styled defenders of Ascalon against the forces north of the wall. He knew that they were the ones ever watchful for sorcery performed by the dangerous Charr fire-callers. Were the Hammers not around, the fire-callers might craft a powerful ritual to bring down the wall, and thus invade all of Ascalon. Such an act would undoubtedly decimate the lands, leaving ruins and rubble.

However, slaying the Hammers of Thunder would be a task worthy of his name. To slay a guild of elementalists, elementalist who no doubt were constantly watchful for intrusions, especially since most of them were already north of the wall. This would be a challenge that warranted his skills. It was something he could not recall having done before, and a new opportunity to test the now.

He smiled, “Very well. I will destroy your … storm callers.”

Let us see if there are elementalists in the now…

03-05-2005, 23:44
The rest of the chapter is coming! Hang in there!

04-05-2005, 03:30
Typically all chapters of a story go in the same thread. Otherwise people spend their time chasing lost posts, and without the help of a search function... (at least currently)

Anywho I guess I'll come back again after I've actually read it :) and have something else to offer. Oh, except that one chapter is from "A Monk's Tale" and one is from "The Monk's Tale". Lol, sorry. :rolleyes:

06-05-2005, 17:55
its a great story keep it up man. :happy14:

23-05-2005, 04:06
Really enjoyed it, I especially liked how you've gone from a likable character to an evil one.

Can't wait for more, put this chapter with the other though. :)

Maul Junior
31-05-2005, 07:19
I have several complaints, among them is grammar, but I don't think I spotted any spelling mistakes.

All right...you skip tenses around (present<->past), and sometimes the wording is awkward.

Your characters aren't very believable. Yes, you've done a pretty good job, but..the "oh poor me, I'm trapped in a life of drudgery" character is WAY over-used in all areas of fan-fictiondom. Trust me, it is.

And what's this about hte Charr being afraid of a single man? Dude, they're powerful. If there were a thousand coming after him, they WOULD have attacked. Strength in numbers. It's a simple tactical/strategic concept, I mean, really!

if they didn't attack, then they'd be REALLY bad warriors...and Charr are NOT bad warriors. They're excellent warriors.

so, all in all, I think that this is rather implausible.

31-05-2005, 20:42
... Anyways. I love this story. Hurry up and finish the rest of chapter two, please! I read the first one chapter and love the amount of detail spent on it. I also enjoyed the first part of chapter two as the 'main' character of the chapter seemed very... How should I put it? Awesome. I can't wait until the rest is posted!