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Master Neverdead

Antigo By Samster

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Part 1

 

The musky aroma that rose from the plant-life around her was overwhelming. Each step could prove fatal if made incorrectly. These rich types often made their Pagodas into indoor gardens.

The woman had practised this skill for many years. The art of stealth, of tracking, of death. Her precise movements made it easier for her to approach her prey.

A cough, and the sound of a chair scraping across a wooden floor came from the room next. Deftly, Antigo sprung to the ceiling, pressing herself into a groove on the wall. One of the oldest tricks in the book, but it worked, and therein lay it's beauty. Simplicity.

The man waddled towards the door. He was wealthy, that was plain enough to tell from his attire, and wide girth. He lived a rich, quiet life. Luxuries were common for him. Luxuries that he had taken from the people of Antigo years ago.

She carefully, quietly drew a dagger from a hidden slot in her clothes. Sliding it up her body, she grasped it tightly.

He stopped at the door and yawned. For a moment, Antigo thought he saw her out of the corner of his eye.

Perhaps not. He continued walking and entered the next room, a dressing room. What she had heard today was vital information to the Guild Orion. Once Antigo had disclosed the Warden's plans to her Leader, they could finally take a stand against him.

Just as Antigo was about to drop, she heard more footsteps. A platoon of guards stormed into the room, all holding what seemed to be pikes. The Warden re-emerged from the dressing room in a fine silken gown.

"Glad you arrived. Search the Pagoda, I have received word that there has been a price put on my head, and the death is planned for tonight. I hope my spies proved worth a buck," he said with conviction. This was a man who was sure he was going to die, and feared death. The perfect mark.

"Yes sire! Men, fan out into the rooms. Johnson, split off and search the second floor. We'll rejoin you soon," the Captain said.

Half of the pikemen took to the stairs, and the other half spread out, storming into rooms, poking through walls with their pikes.

Antigo waited. The Warden followed the pikemen. This complicated things a lot.

She dropped, her arms seizing up from the pressure. Her knife was out, ready for action. She'd have to take down several at a time.

She strode to the door that the Warden had entered.

Suddenly, a hand shot out of the darkness, and seized her arm. She swung around, poised to attack.

Antigo brought the knife close to the attacker's throat, ready to split his trachea in half.

"Hold Antigo," the voice said.

"Engel! Jesus, you scared me," she whispered. They were in a very dangerous position.

"You can't do this alone, I thought you could use some help," Engel replied.

"Ever the hero, Engel."

Silently, Antigo and Engel opened the door. The pikemen were pre-occupied with tearing the place apart. They needed to act quickly.

Stepping to the left, Antigo lay a deft blow to the spine of one of the soldiers. A loud crack resounded across the room, causing the others to turn. The soldier lay dead on the ground.

His fellows looked menacingly at Antigo, but she only smiled. Engel had snuck up behind them.

Kicking out the legs of several pikemen at once, he disturbed the line. Like a coiled snake, Antigo sprang forward, taking her chance.

Together, Engel and Antigo danced around their foes, striking and dodging to stay alive.

Killing was just a game of chess, only the stakes were higher. Corner your opponent, and strike when the opportunity presented itself to win the game in one move. Cutting off the head of the proverbial snake was the job of the Assassin.

Soon, other pikemen began to spill into the room. Engel and Antigo continued to take out their enemies, making sure to leave the Warden alive for further questioning before he dies.

A gasp of pain came from her left. It wouldn't of bothered her, had the voice not been familiar.

"Engel!" she shouted. The Warden had run Engel through while they had their backs turned.

Antigo took down the last few pikemen with extreme prejudice. Rage bellowed inside her.

She sprung at the Warden, but he was already outside the palace, followed by his unholy minions.

Antigo turned to her dying comrade.

"Engel! You're hurt. Can you make it back to the Hall? We can get the healers to mend you. They can fix anything!" She said frantically.

"No Antigo. This is the way of things. As the seed becomes a mighty tree, it one day must return to the earth. It's the Circle of Life," Engel said in his calm tone.

"Stop your crap Engel, you're dying!" Antigo shouted.

"Goodbye Antigo. Gurk!" Engel replied, as he quietly passed away.

Antigo began to hum. It was her custom. Her humming was a Guild tradition, to carry Engel's soul safely into the Mists, and to ensure a peaceful afterlife.

 

An hour later, Antigo emerged from the bloodstained Pagoda, tears in her eyes.

She knew the cause of her pain, and she was willing to do anything to take him down and claim her revenge.

 

Antigo trudged back to the Guild Hall. Somebody had ratted her out, and she needed to know who. Could it be one of the guild-mates?

She entered the Inner Chambers, where her quarters resided. As one of the Inner Council, she had much influence within the guild. She was heading for the Leader's quarters. Filli would know what to do.

Filli was their wise leader. He had led them through many battles and to many triumphs. Retired from battle, he still knew more about the world abroad than anyone Antigo knew.

Antigo knocked thrice on the steel door. Filli emerged, sleepy-eyed.

"Antigo. Come in," he said.

 

 

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Part 2

 

Antigo stepped into the room. Filli's room was a marvel to behold, with it's odd assortment of objects and artifacts the man had collected over his time in the world. Popular rumour among the younger recruits was Filli's quarters was home to great dragons, or weapons with legendary power wielded by the strongest warriors known in history. It wasn't so. Filli was a collector of oddments. He often boasted that if he showed a person one different item in his livery every day, he could keep them entertained for a lifetime and a half.

 

Filli took a seat in his favourite chair, and gestured for Antigo to do the same. She preferred to stand.

 

"Filli, he knew. And he got Engel," she said, straight to the point.

"He got Engel... that's aweful. May his soul be accepted into the Mists," he replied. "You say the Warden knew you were coming?"

"Yes. He had a platoon of pikemen waiting outside his palace. It was that distraction which proved fatal for Engel. However, I got the information." Antigo replied solemnly.

"What of it, Antigo? You know how valuable this could be. By ending the Warden's tyranny, we could see that the people of Ea are saved from eternal oppression."

Antigo strode to the bizarre stone chair on the opposite wall, and took a seat. She closed her eyes, and concentrated deeply.

Momentarily, her sights and hearings from that night were displayed around the room. After some distortion, the Warden's smug voice could be heard clearly.

"Chancellor, I assure you, the armies are swelling. My plan is foolproof" said the Warden.

"It is unholy, and against the Gods' wills! It's un-natural, no matter how good you say it is." the Chancellor replied.

"What better way to achieve victory than by harnessing the power of death? These Death-Dealers, these mercenaries, they do their jobs as long as we pay them. When one of our men are struck down, they raise a creature from that soldier's lifeless corpse. It's the perfect attack plan!" the Warden said with conviction.

"I don't like it. I'm pulling your funding Warden. We will no longer back your operation. You've gone too far."

"Wrong! Fool, with this army, I will be unstoppable. This is higher than you. Once I've taken control of the artefacts the Guild Orion possess, I will be a God among men, and those that assisted me would be Gods too! But as you don't want to do that..."

At that moment, the colour began to drain from the Chancellor's face. His pupil's dilated. Blood spilled from every orifice in his body. He bled to death.

 

Antigo shook herself out of the dream-projection.

"That is most disturbing... most disturbing..." Filli muttered.

"Filli, what powerful artefacts? Let me know. As a member of the Inner Council, it is my right." Antigo demanded.

"No, not yet. Not ready for that knowledge, are you." Filli said.

"Have I heard that somewhere before?" Antigo replied.

"It matters not. What matters is that the Warden is stopped before he amasses an army larger than ever seen in Ea before. Antigo, gather a hunting party. I'm coming with you. We will stop the Warden at all costs. Spare no expenses. Money is no object!" Filli said.

"Erm... are you... feeling okay today?"

"LEEERROOOYYY JEENNK - gather your weapons, and three of your most trusted friends. Let's roll," Filli said, ending his insane tirade.

Antigo put it down to Alzheimer's, or just loneliness. Despite Filli's quirks, he was revered by anyone that met him.

She left the room. The Inner Council chamber was shaped like a circle, surrounding Filli's quarters. A path then led to the other Guild member quarters. It was structured like a dome.

As she strode around outside the Inner Council chambers, she knocked on three doors.

"Zulcara, Aember, Zaidra. Follow me. We're now on the hunt.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Part 3

 

Zulcara. A hunter. Once killed a pride of lions because they came too close to her encampment. Lethal with a bow, and a tongue sharper than daggers.

Aember. Pyromancer. A mistress of fire, she revels in destruction. If it can be torched, she'll torch it.

Zaidra. A Sage. Temper like the storms of the ether from which she draws her power from. Directs it at her enemies.

Together with Antigo and Engel, they had been brought up by the Guild Orion since they were each very young. All orphaned from the Warden's treachery. All had a personal grudge against him. The perfect candidates for the job ahead.

Careful to avoid the ears of potential spies, the warriors entered Antigo's chamber. Each took a seat.

"It has been a long time since we've been together, Antigo. What causes you to rouse us? Sounds exciting," said Zulcara, always the eager one for the hunt.

"Our orphanage was caused by the Warden. He took our families from us. He kills for pleasure, and he destroys lives for enjoyment. Engel is dead, and the Warden has escaped. He plans to raise a legion of undead minions to fight for him. He is a fool to believe such arts can be controlled, but a dangerous fool he remains. He must be taken care of," Antigo said.

Eyes glistening with inspiration, Zaidra rose from her seat.

"The Warden is a powerful man, but I agree. I will aid you, Antigo," she said.

"And I shall to," Aember joined in, also rising out of her chair. "Together we will end his backseat tyranny once an for all. His payback has been long coming."

"Ambitious are our goals, but together, they shall be realised. Pack your things, and meet outside the Hall in ten."

 

Ten minutes later, the party was assembled. Zulcara's quiver bristled with new arrows, her vials of poison could be heard gently clinking inside her hunter's cloak. Zaidra and Aember both had their staves by their side. Aember bore a red crystal on her neck, displaying her training as master Pyromancer, and Zaidra wore the traditional white robes of the Sagial Order of Orion.

Slowly they set off, conserving their energy for the long road ahead.

 

 

***

 

 

Barry could see a man limping towards them at a rapid pace. There were another two larger figures behind him. Anxious at the arrival of this stranger in the night, Barry tensed. An old man, quite rotund, came into view. The other two figures had disappeared.

'My imagination running off again.' Barry thought.

"Evening boys. Mind if I barter passage on one of these ships?" He said. There was something altogether unwholesome about his voice.

"Sorry Sir, we have orders to detain anyone who comes here. Since I don't much fancy having a struggle, howsabouts you just walks away, eh?" the Soldier replied in an accent denoting Karthan birth.

'Some backwash conscript being paid too much. These hick soldiers are petty.' The Warden thought to himself.

"Perhaps you don't understand who I am. I am the Warden of Ruricu. I own this land. You will let me past." the Warden said menacingly.

"No, I don't think we will, will we Bazza?" the soldier said to his mate.

"Nuh-uh. Nosiree." Barry replied lamely.

There was a rustle in the bushes. It un-nerved the guard.

"Hang on. We make the rules now. We have our orders," Barry said, taking a step towards the Warden.

"We shall see," The Warden said, almost cruelly, as he let out a high-pitched whistle. The two grey figures Barry saw earlier lumbered towards them. They stood eight-feet tall, and bore great scimitars of steel. They didn't seem quite human. Their skin looked as if it was stretched across too much bone-structure. Then he realised there were large gaping holes in their legs and other parts of the body.

As the figures leapt upon Barry, he cowered. The large figure of the Warden striding onto a Corsair boat was the last thing he ever saw.

 

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Part 4

 

The companions scampered across the land at a constant but hasty pace, so as to not tire too quickly. This way, they were taught, would keep them battle-ready after many long leagues of travelling.

Antigo halted in front, and held up her hand.

"Halt! I smell smoke" she whispered.

She got down on her stomach, and crept forward to the brink of a ledge they were on. Below, they could see the smouldering wrecks of burnts boats. Splinters littered the grounds, as the docks were smashed to pieces.

Antigo analysed the scene. She noticed one of the boats was missing. She matched four boats to four docks, but there was no ship at the fifth.

Zaidra started down the slope, and the others followed her.

Aember strode forward to the remaining dock.

"Can I burn it? Can I, can I? Please please please!" she shouted, like a child at a candy store.

"Did she bring her meds?" Antigo said to Zulcara.

"As if she ever does" Zulcara muttered back.

Ignoring Aember, Zulcara looked upon the wreckages.

"A boat is missing. Footprints up there show three people came down this slope. The prints lead to that dock," she said, pointing to the one dock which was left in relatively good condition.

"You said the Warden had two companions?"

"Skeleton creatures of some sort, yes" Antigo replied.

Zulcara walked over to the dock, and kneeled, examining the site.

 

"How the hell are we going to follow him without a ship? All these Corsairs are destroyed, and it appears he made off with the last one," Aember said, her scarlet hair swaying in the breeze.

"Are you serious? You guys are always doubting my powers..." Zaidra said with a faraway look.

"Zaidra, how can you help us?" Antigo asked. A mischievous smile upon her face, Antigo knew that whenever Zaidra got pouty, she had a brilliant idea.

"Everything has a spirit, how many times do I tell you that? I can simply summon the spirit of one of these destroyed Corsairs!" Zaidra replied with enthusiasm. She loved her craft.

"Do it." Antigo commanded.

Zaidra set to work, summoning all her power to raise the spirit of the ship.

"Hell, I could even put wind in this baby!" Zaidra cried out.

Moments later, and ethereal-looking ship appeared. Zulcara, being of mundane mind, doubted it's seaworthiness.

"You sure this thing'll hold us?" she asked.

"One way to find out," Antigo said playfully. She leapt aboard, the spirit-ship bouncing under her weight like a real ship. The others clambered aboard.

"Take us out of here, and after the Warden," Antigo said.

Zaidra summoned a wind-spell, and the flags were filled with gusts, propelling them over the glassy waters, and towards peril.

 

--------------------

 

Copywrite of Samster

 

Contact him for information.

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Wow Samster, a great first addition to the book club!

Keep up the awesome work and make sure you keep writing great work like that, stuff I would love to write like. Any pointers for a fellow author? :aware: kudos

 

POttsy

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Amazing story....When will the sequel be ready? I can't wait to read it. :aware: Wow this book club sure separates the wheat from the chaff. :aware:

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Congradulations, Samster! You really deserved the first place in the book club, well done!

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Guest Samster

It's not finished. Hex messed up. I'm only a little bit into it. Not going to give anything away though :aware:

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That is truly amazing. I can't wait for what happens next. However, there are some little things that can be fixed, a couple spelling errors that I had to re-read once or twice to figure out what was going on. But, overall excellent story. Keep at it.

Edited by Headshot212

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That is truly amazing. I can't wait for what happens next. However, there are some little things that can be fixed, a couple spelling errors that I had to re-read once or twice to figure out what was going on. But, overall excellent story. Keep at it.

 

If Samster wrote one mistake in that he'd kill himself. As much as I hate reading anything, I actually read all of this one. Congratulations, Samster.

 

P.S. Your avatar is highly disturbing.

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I agree, it is kinda disturbing....

 

The way that you introduced your characters in part three was not really the way you should do it when writing a story. Some are not even sentances

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Guest Samster
The way that you introduced your characters in part three was not really the way you should do it when writing a story. Some are not even sentances

 

orly!? li3k im toally sry 4 not ritin mi stry liek u wud i do beta nxt time kthxbai!

 

I was under the impression this was my story and I could do with it whatever the hell I wanted to.

At least I can spell properly.

Edited by Samster

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The way that you introduced your characters in part three was not really the way you should do it when writing a story. Some are not even sentences

 

orly!? li3k im toally sry 4 not ritin mi stry liek u wud i do beta nxt time kthxbai!

 

I was under the impression this was my story and I could do with it whatever the hell I wanted to.

At least I can spell properly.

 

Well sorry for offending you, I was merely pointing out some errors that any english teacher, author, editor or scholar would point out. I was just trying to help make a great story better. And yes, I can spell I was just in a hurry to write that message. Be nicer to those who read your work and realize that I was just trying to help!

Edited by Pottsy6

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You were a little unreasonable... But that's not why I'm writing this. Good job on the writing Samster. But it seems like your parts are getting shorter as you go along?

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I agree, it is kinda disturbing....

 

The way that you introduced your characters in part three was not really the way you should do it when writing a story. Some are not even sentances

Its UNIQUE. None of the CLINCHED STEROTYPES that plague "good" authors. Read Leo Tolstoy? He's a genius..and doesn't use the CLINCHED STEROTYPES you seem to advocate.

 

Good tale Drokarus.

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You were a little unreasonable... But that's not why I'm writing this. Good job on the writing Samster. But it seems like your parts are getting shorter as you go along?

 

For the last time, I am sorry. I don't mean to sound harsh and mean, that's the problem with emails: no expression is derived from words. I'm sorry for being unreasonable, I just try to find at least one slight error in everything I read because nothing is perfect.

 

Sorry Let's never mention my post again.......

 

Pottsy

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Guest Samster

I've sent the next part off to Hex to add. Keep an eye on this thread.

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i can't belive how good these are! This is incredible. Drok, this is definetly something you should be proud of.

Edited by Ouranos

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Guest Samster

Thanks Ouranos. It seems that although I see little of your posts, what posts that I see, I respect a lot.

 

Hex r bein lazy.

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For the last time, I am sorry. I don't mean to sound harsh and mean, that's the problem with emails: no expression is derived from words. I'm sorry for being unreasonable, I just try to find at least one slight error in everything I read because nothing is perfect.

 

Sorry Let's never mention my post again.......

 

Pottsy

 

I meant Sam

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two things... first, it's great. second, was the name stolen from antigone? cause I just read that. Third, why did you post it instead of Samster? And last... it would be kinda nice if the culture and geography of the world in which this takes place was made a little more clear... semiorientalish, but also some medieval and other. oh, and lastly (really this time), you spelled "copyright" wrong.

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//- Good story. It's a bit slow-moving at times though. It's random too, with the Leeroy Jenkins stuff. Maybe cut down on that.

 

Jeff :beret:

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Guest .Drokarus

That's the point. It's called Character Quirks, to help identify and give that character a more defined personality.

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I'll close this one since the other thread about this story has the whole thing.

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