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Sykonee

New DWIV Novelization Sneak Peak!

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Not a hoax. Not a dream. I actually have finished the latest section (Part 3 of Alena's Book) of my preposterous attempt to novelize the game. As it currently stands, it's 80,000+ words, but I'm currently in the process of fine-tuning and pruning my prose, so that figure'll likely change. There's more details to share about this, but I'll wait until I've finished editing and have properly released it onto the web before I reveal them. For now, here's a look at the first chapter. Be warned: it's a bit... different. :wink:

 

 

Chapter 1: From The Other Side

 

The orc scout slowly returned to his companions, not the least bit anxious to report the latest information on the trio of humans they were tracking. Normally, he would tell his kin everything was going according to plan, that the humans were still unaware of the inevitable ambush. Unfortunately, humans normally would not suddenly disappear from the face of the world.

 

The scout had no idea how they could have done it either. Everything he knew about humans proved them to be inferior to orcs. If humans were supposed to be so superior, why could they not protect themselves whenever they came into orc territory? The only advantage they had was their numbers in the world. That would eventually change - once the orcs increased their numbers, they could easily take the humans’ territory. For now, though, they would have to settle for the foolish ones that wandered in and out of their land.

 

Still, none of it helped the scout's current situation. As this raiding party's human tracker, he was going to look execrable in front of his kin when he informed them he lost the trail of their current quarry.

 

Upon entering his kin's campsite, the scout was immediately greeted with the attentive stares of the six orcs making up the rest of the raiding party. All of them were huddled closely to a tiny fire with some sort of rabbit or weasel cooking on a spit across it (either animal would taste good to the hungry scout had his stomach not been churning with dread anticipation instead). Although their fire was strategically placed a small distance from the path humans tended to walk on and in the seclusion of tall pine trees to hide the smoke, the orcs were a species to never take risks, always alert to intruders. Superior hearing and night vision rarely left them at the mercy of night monsters, human hunting parties, or even rival orc clans anxious to steal whatever wealth they may have stolen in the first place.

 

Given some space between the rest of the scout's kin sat the largest of the group. His clothes were tidier than the ragged togas orcs wore and he sported several more rodent-skull earrings than the other members of the raiding party. The red stone in a human ring midway down the single horn protruding from his forehead glittered in the dim light of the campfire. There were many stories of how the large orc had gained the ring, all of them involving the jewel's former owner being a skilled human warrior. The scout did not know how true any of them were but it was not his place to question the word of his captain.

 

The large orc stood up from the circle and the scout instantly fell to his hands and knees, his head bowed low. "What have you report?" the captain harshly asked in the orcs' crude language of clicks and mild shrieks.

 

The scout's terrified eyes were hidden but could he contain the fear in his voice? He had to tell his captain something. A response was always demanded immediately and if none came forth, the scout would end up receiving a far more serious thrashing than the one he already imagined.

 

Could he perhaps lie about the situation? Lie about what, though? What sort of situation would be believable enough to fool even the captain?

 

An ambush! Yes, that might work. Granted, it would not look good for the scout to have been taken by a human ambush but if he added something about felling one of them before he could escape, at least his captain might give some approval.

 

"Captain," the scout started, his voice quivering as his fear still could not be completely contained. "Bad is my report."

 

"What?" the large orc roared. The rest of the raiders instantly backed away from the fire, none of them eager to invite further wrath from their captain.

 

"Ambushed, I was," the scout continued.

 

"How you escape?" the captain asked, slowly crossing the campsite. He unsheathed his short sword, a fine blade of shiny steel pillaged from a human caravan glittering ominously in the fire's light.

 

The scout swallowed nervously. This was it. If his lie was convincing, a promotion from scout to raider could occur. If not, his head used as a territorial marker would definitely occur.

 

"I kill one human," he replied, trying to make his voice sound as boastful as possible; a scout killing a human was something to be proud of, after all.

 

The captain was now standing directly in front of him, the cruel sword scant inches from the scout's horn. The smaller orc's body began to tremble, the nerves in his skin numb.

 

A slight jarring sensation on his horn indicated his captain was slapping the sword against the scout's bone. Wincing, the smaller orc could only receive the larger's bullying tactic. Such was his captain's way of making sure none in the raiding party tried to overthrow his command.

 

After a few seconds of this tapping, the captain asked, "Which you kill?"

 

This was a trick question. His captain was aware there were three humans in the group they were trailing: two men and a woman. While the younger man human would definitely be the wrong answer (most young human men travelling were skilled warriors), the possibility of the older man human being the right answer was not a certainty.

 

He'd already established the ambush probably consisted of at least two of the three but which of the other two would actually help the younger man human? The older one did not seem to be adept at fighting, yet the scout had never heard of a female human fighting.

 

Hoping his captain would come to the same conclusion as he did, the smaller orc replied, "The old man human."

 

The scout was suddenly and savagely yanked up by his horn. Despite the fear of knowing his life was at an end, somehow he fought off the instinctive urge to shriek; better to die with courage than like a coward.

 

Face to face with his captain, he was startled to see none of the bloodlust that filled an orc's red eyes before they killed.

 

"You fail me," the larger orc roared, his strong grip violently shaking the scout's head back and forth. "Fail me once more, you die!" At that, he slapped the scout across his face, sending the smaller orc flailing back to his hands and knees.

 

With his captain's back to him, the scout risked a glare in the larger orc's direction. Watching as he strutted so confidently to his rock, watching as the rest of the raiding party kept their respective distance from the intimidator, the scout could only feel a deep loathing churn within his gut.

 

How much more indignity could he take? Ever since he was forced into this raiding party when he came of age, the scout was pushed around, and his imposing captain was not the only culprit. If his leader decided to vent his frustration on one of the raiders, they would in turn let their frustration out on the scout, forcing him into degrading tasks like clearing away dirt so the ground they sat on was clean. And, when he would finally finish one of those degrading tasks, the raiders would kick the dirt back, ruining all his hard work and forced him to do it again and again, all the while chastizing his progress.

 

His role as the party's scapegoat filled the scout with so much loathing he at times considered slicing the throats of his colleagues as they slept. The sheer stupidity of such an act always kept him in check though. Even if he could manage to complete the task on such light sleepers, what would he tell his kin when he returned home? The chiefs would definitely ask him what happened and he would have no alibi. He couldn't tell them humans or something else killed his party because he would be asked to show them the bodies; slit throats were never a sign of a fierce battle, only deceitful treachery.

 

Almost moaning aloud, the scout sat up and took up his seat just outside the circle of orcs. Shivering as he tried to steal some of the fire's warmth from his greedy kin, only hopeless thoughts consumed his mind. I never get big to be warrior. I never leave my scout rank. I never beat my captain. I never escape. I never…

 

The scout's sinking into further despair was interrupted by a surprised curse from his captain, loosely translating into, "What the Hell?"

 

Looking up, the small orc's jaw dropped in surprise. The most he expected was his captain discovering there was not enough food available for him, and probably taking the scout's meager offering as a result. What he saw instead left the scout motionless amid the chaos that followed.

 

Somehow, the humans they were tracking had eluded their senses and ambushed them! The young man human, the old man human, even the young female human with short auburn hair was in their campsite; and there were dozens of them surrounding the area, even spilling into the forest! Everywhere the scout looked, he would see one of the humans standing in an unmoving position, ready to attack.

 

Despite their primitive society, orcs were not ignorant of magic. The fact only three humans seemed to be copies was a giveaway to the illusion. The only thing the orcs could not figure out was which illusions were the originals.

 

With the large captain harshly barking out commands, the raiders grabbed their clubs and rusty swords and chopped at the images. However, every swipe of a blade and every swing of thick wood yielded nothing but air. "Which one real?" the captain roared out of frustration.

 

His reply was a flying shaft of ice from the bushes. The deadly projectile found its mark as it pierced a raider's head, spraying the orc's brain across the ground as the frozen spear exploded out the other side.

 

Feeling no sympathy for his fallen kin, the captain pointed towards the large icicle's point of origin. "There," he said. "Humans there. Kill!" The five remaining raiders instantly rushed toward the bushes, leaving the captain and scout by themselves in the clearing. A moment later, the night was filled with nothing but the panicked cries of orcs.

 

Bloodlust consuming his red eyes, the large orc turned his attention to the smaller one. "You do this!"

 

"N-no!" the scout whined, cowering away in hopes of living a few seconds longer. He was in a hopeless situation now. The humans were obviously skilled warriors if they managed to ambush an attentive raiding party of orcs, and a mage definitely was among them for all of the sorcery about the area. The scout would not be surprised if his entire party was wiped out in this attack.

 

If somehow they defeated the humans, though, his captain would surely kill him out of suspected treachery.

 

The scout scurried away but the larger orc was upon him within moments, grabbing him by the leg and easily lifting him in the air upside down. A restrained yelp of terror escaped the small orc's mouth, despite all attempts to remain brave in the face of death. His captain would probably not even wait for the humans to attack. If they were indeed doomed, the larger orc wanted at least the satisfaction of killing the suspected traitor.

 

The captain raised his sword and inched its blade toward the scout's stomach, anticipation of watching the smaller orc's entrails spill down in the scout's face glimmering in the captain's bloodthirsty eyes.

 

The voice of a female human interrupted the grim proceedings.

 

Both the scout and captain turned their heads in the voice's direction. They were equally surprised to see one of the female illusions moving through the clearing, a thorn whip carefully coiled in her right hand. Quickly they realized this one was not an illusion, if anything because the humans around them were starting to fade away while this one remained.

 

She shouted at them but neither orc understood what she said. However, the gesture she made afterward easily clued them in: she wanted a fight.

 

Revealing jagged teeth as he smiled, the captain tossed the smaller orc like a rag doll and faced the female human. They squared off, each studying the other to get a feel of their opponent before engaging in combat.

 

The scout crawled away, hiding behind one of the human illusions. He so desperately wanted to run into the woods and escape his torturous captain. His greater fear of human warriors surrounding the area kept him in place.

 

The sound of something crashing into the ground brought the orc's attention back to his captain and the female human. The scout fully expected to see the female sprawled out, the large orc having bowled her over with no trouble. The sight of his captain face first in the dirt with the female's legs wrapped around the orc's ankle left his jaw slack.

 

What just happened? Had his captain misjudged the force to charge with, his extra momentum causing him to stumble, or perhaps he tripped? Or maybe… was tripped? It certainly appeared the female had done so, but such a notion was absurd. Still, just the fact the female had somehow gained the upper hand in the first exchange intrigued the small orc and he found himself watching the battle.

 

The captain was seething mad and pushed himself up quickly, easily tossing his lighter opponent aside. Grabbing his sword on the way up, the large orc spun around and swung the weapon in a downward chop, eagerly anticipating the satisfying impact of metal and flesh. Empty ground was struck instead and the vibration jarred him.

 

It was a minor shudder, though, compared to the impact of the female's fist in his jaw that followed half a second later.

 

Many battles against human warriors and rival orc clans had conditioned him to handle pain without consideration of the actual damage it was meant to warn him of. Yet, after the blow from the female human, the large orc found himself reeling back, his head swimming with nausea as the shearing pain of a broken jawbone sliced its way through his head. This female was unlike anything the captain had encountered before. He had to re-think his strategy to defeat such a strong and agile enemy.

 

Forcing his pain into the back of his mind, the large orc turned around in time to find the female lashing her whip at him. He raised his sword up to block the attack and succeeded. Unfortunately, the deadly strip of leather wrapped itself around the blade and the two combatants found themselves at a deadlock.

 

The captain tried yanking the female toward him but found her footing solid and unmoving. At the same time, he could feel her tugging at him as well. She was strong but the large orc knew he could still overpower her when it came to brute force. If he put all of his energy into a single yank, he could bring her closer for a killing blow.

 

Yet, that was exactly what the female was expecting, wasn't it. The advantage was her's for this entire battle. With the advantage now in his favor, she was undoubtedly expecting him to take it, all the while with some sort of sneak attack in store for him as well.

 

The large orc nearly smiled. She was in for one painful surprise.

 

He suddenly let go of his sword and the female went flying back. Upon seeing her shocked expression, he charged, the horn on his head aimed for her chest.

 

Letting go of her whip and allowing both weapons to fly from her, the female was quick to regain her bearings. She even had enough time to dodge. However, the captain anticipated her quick agility and raised his arms, tackling her by the waist.

 

They wrestled in the dirt for a moment, each trying to gain the upper hand. The large orc's strength won out this time and he managed to pin the female down. She tried to buck him off but his massive weight proved difficult to remove. Her head lashed out quickly but the captain made sure any target on him was too far away for the female to damage further.

 

The large orc had her at a disadvantage and he quickly glanced around for a weapon to finish her off. He saw the female's whip nearby but not his sword. He wasn't surprised, as the force she'd yanked his sword from him had probably sent it well out of reach.

 

It didn't matter. An equally deadly weapon lied in the center of his forehead. It would be far more satisfying having the female's blood gushing from her throat and drenching his face, anyway. His head rose to deliver the final blow.

 

A piercing pain in his gut unlike anything he'd felt before distracted the captain. He did not cry out in agony, nor did his face grimace. Rather, a look of complete befuddlement appeared. The female took quick advantage and easily bucked the large orc off her. He rolled to the side but found it difficult to stand up and square off.

 

In fact, the captain could hardly be bothered with the battle at hand. As soon as he was on his feet, the large orc's attention was immediately drawn to his stomach where a dull, queasy pain persisted. He touched a hand there and the moment he felt hot liquid streaming through his fingers, the captain knew what happened. He had been stabbed through, a mortal wound as his lifeblood emptied from his body.

 

How, though? How had the female delivered such a crippling blow when she was at his mercy?

 

Fighting an overwhelming wave of fatigue, the captain looked up. Expecting the female to be looking at him with arrogant cockiness with her victory, the large orc was surprised to find her with an equally stunned expression on her face. She wasn't even looking at him, though; rather, the female was focused a few feet from his side.

 

Though the captain's vision grew foggier, the moment he saw his sword, dripping with his blood and in the scout's hands, everything cleared up.

 

"You did betray!" he roared, pointing at the small orc as he took a step forward.

 

The scout backed up, struggling to raise the weapon that was a third his size to defend himself. He felt obliged to let his captain know he really had not betrayed their party to the humans, that stabbing him in the back with his own sword was something he dreamed of doing for a long time now.

 

What did it matter, though? His tormentor was slowly dying, struggling to reach the scout in a futile attempt at revenge. All his captain needed to know was this puny runt of an orc had killed him. Figuring the humiliation the large orc was undoubtedly feeling was stronger than the pain in his gut left a satisfied grin on the scout's face.

 

The blood loss soon became too great and the captain tumbled over, the strength to stand on his legs far too taxing with his growing fatigue. He continued to try and reach the scout though, slowly dragging his dying body across the ground, but even this required an enormous effort. The large orc eventually stopped, lying in the blood-soaked dirt in exhaustion. His coarse breathing continued for several minutes afterward.

 

Ignoring his captain for the moment, the scout turned his attention to the female human. Her expression was no longer so surprised but the small orc could tell his actions left an impression on her. Although she could easily kill him at any moment, the scout trusted his instincts that she wouldn't. She appeared to be an honorable warrior and probably realized she owed him her life. For that reason, she would let him go. He only hoped any other humans in the forest would do the same.

 

However, before he took off, the scout had one more thing to do.

 

Although the blood loss was so great it'd rendered the large orc unconscious, he was still slightly breathing. The scout doubted there was any danger though, so he moved towards his captain. If he did suddenly spring back to life, the female human would probably finish the task off before anything happened.

 

The scout reached out and pried the ring off the large orc's horn. Holding it up, the scout smiled again. This little jewel would easily protect him from any incarceration when he got back home. Everyone within his clan knew of the ring and how it was his captain's pride and joy. If the scout returned with it on his horn, it could only mean he had killed him in a duel to obtain leadership of the raiding party. When the rest of the raiders would not fall in line, it would be assumed the scout killed them as well.

 

Under most circumstances such a story would be ridiculed. However, his captain's ring was all the proof he would need.

 

The scout turned to face the female human again. She seemed to be curiously observing his actions but remained still. Not wanting to take any chances, the small orc slowly backed away into the forest, making sure she would not try any back stabbing of her own.

 

Once she was out of sight, the scout spun on his heels and ran, the ecstatic feelings of freedom forcing a broad grin on his face.

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You are a brave soul for attempting to novelize all of Dragon Quest IV.

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Awesome, you had to post this one the day I finished making the Shrine's fan fiction page nice 'n even!

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You are a brave soul for attempting to novelize all of Dragon Quest IV.

Brave, or insane? :ws-slimecrazy:

 

Actually, I've seen a lot of attempts at novelizing RPGs, but far too many of 'em read like walkthroughs with dialog. Dunno why anyone would want to write, much less read, such fics. It's so much more fun to go 'off the rails'. :devil2:

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