Waywards Wandering – Chapter 3: Would Fall

Just in case you didn’t notice, the navagation bar above now sports a “characters” tab. This is to help you to keep track of the major characters in stories. This way, even if I get sidetracked and don’t write the next part of a story for awhile, you don’t need to reread what has come before to get a refresher on who the main players are. I’ll do my best to keep it up to date.

Speaking of next parts, this is the third chapter in a novel I’m writing called Waywards Wandering. You can click here for the first chapter, or click on the Waywards Wandering catagory link above and scroll down to where ever you left off.

As always, comments are welcome! This is not a final draft by any means, so criticisms could be very helpful.

Thanks for reading!
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Lashea Fallenwood held her bastard sword firmly with both hands in spite the slickness of her sweaty palms. Calluses had formed over the blisters that had first formed when she had been left at the temple with the monks of Brihaad many years ago.

“Are you well, sister? Would you rather we continue this when you are less tired, perhaps?” the bald, round-faced priest smiled and mocked as he circled with his mace held firm in his right hand. Lashea forced herself to ignore his comments as she knew he was trying to goad her into loosing focus.

Not this time. Lashea has been practicing, studying her master hard. She was surely beyond his tricks, even if they were tried and true in the past. Lashea allowed a small, sideways smirk to appear on her fair-freckled face.

Today is my day. The clerics will come for his wounded body.

Without giving Clavus the benefit of a reply, Lashea stepped forward and swung her heavy sword down in a mighty arc is if to cleave the middle-aged monk in two. Clavus started to move forward and to the side, to strike at Lashea’s now exposed stomach. Lashea’s smirk broke into a grin as she knew he’d fall for the bait, thinking that she was enraged and unbalanced. Lashea reversed her momentum, not having thrown everything behind that swing, and brought her sword sweeping to the side, one-handed to cut off Clavus’s advance.

But rather than strike him as Lashea has expected, the sword passed through air as the monk took to the air and leapt over the low swinging blade to kick Lashea square in the face. She fell back and somersaulted, landing in a crouching position. Blood trickled down the side of her face, bringing out the fierce green in her eyes as she glared at her master. Clavus stopped his advance to let out a light-hearted chuckle.

Lashea ran, full tilt at the apparently distracted monk, stabbing strait at his solar plexus with her oversized blade. The monk parried it aside easily with his mace and kicked out, hitting Lashea’s hand. To her credit, she did not loosen her grip on the sword. Instead she swept out her right leg hoping to trip the off balance monk.

Not only did her use of martial arts not catch her master off guard, but it allowed him to again leap over Lashea’s low blow and score another series of strikes to her already bloody face with his fists.

This time, however, her master did not come out unscathed as Lashea was able to bring her sword to bear and swing in time to place a deep gash along one of his forearms.

Sensing an advantage, Lashea let out with a series of swings and thrusts. Though her attacks were slightly slower than the monk’s dodging, it also did not allow Clavus a chance to counter-attack without risking loosing a limb. Lashea had him backing into a wall of the training hall. She hoped to back Clavus into a place where he could no longer dodge, but he surprised her by turning after one such dodge, and running at the wall and up it several steps. He spring-boarded off the wall and launched himself at Lashea with an outstretched foot. Surprised, she barely dodged the attack, not having time to bring her sword around. She retreated several paces breathing heavily.

Again they circled each other. Clavus’s arm was bleeding more freely now, but he still maintained an air of superior calm. Conversely, Lashea face sported only a few minor wounds, but she struggled to not show her excitement. Never had she scored such a hit. She felt an urge to rush in claiming victory, and yet she recognized that time was on her side as her nose bled but a bit, but Clavus’s arm would weaken him the longer they circled one another.

Lashea also recognized that any mistake would be enough for Clavus to end the fight as he had so many times before, with Lashea on the floor of the training hall and Clavus admistering the healing powers of Brihaad.

Out of the corner of her eye, Lashea saw a door open to the training hall and Father Salane, the high cleric of the temple, walked in. He was followed by a diminutive robed figure, who Lashea did not recognize.

Sensing the opportunity for an audience in high standing, Lashea, swung her sword above her head and in back of her waist one-handed, handing it off to her opposite hand. She then brought the sword back in front of her to two hands. The gesture did nothing to phase her master, if anything he seemed even more amused as a wide grin adorned his lips through the display. Lashea had expected this reaction and was not distracted by it. She allowed her display to give her momentum into a series of wild swings, linking one-handed and two-handed styles. This was a routine she had been practicing in the private of her own chambers for months, never near her master. In training she had allowed him to continue to believe she was still too weak to handle the great sword one handed for more than a few seconds. If this took her master at all by surprise, he did not show it, being there to parry, dodge, and even slip in a few attacks of his own! Still he did not score a hit either which allowed Lashea to continue with some measure of pride and keep her mounting frustrations at bay. She was beginning to tire, but was inspired to press on.

Her audience murmured at her change in style. Lashea again allowed her smirk to surface, and even indulged in another glance over towards the door as she and Clavus began to circle each other again.

Lashea couldn’t help but let her guard down a moment as she saw another figure had since entered, and he sported a thick, green tail trailing out behind him!

  * * *

Lashea, her humiliation complete, allowed herself to be introduced to Kanji Takimura and Deathwish, two adventurers, the former a monk of Brihad from the Eastlands. Lashea was not very tall herself, and yet the top of this monk’s head placed barely at Lashea’s neckline. Even so, he handled himself with the grace of a practiced warrior. He had also revived her after the conclusion of her mock-battle with brother Clavis, a conclusion which Lashea did not remember.

However, Lashea assumed it had not ended in her favor.

“Lashea was orphaned after the plague swept through our fair city some ten years ago. Alas, our temple was unable to save almost a hundred in that breakout,” explained father Salane a bit sadly, “Since then she has been one of our finest students, being one of the very few sisters to bear a Sword of Brihaad!”

Lashea was able to stand a bit straighter at that. It was true that very few of the holy order at all were able to handle the large bastard swords that Brihaad was often depicted holding. Even fewer were the women that could train their muscles the kind of endurance necessary to control the blade’s heavy swings for very long. Lashea had been brought to the temple as an angry, a vengeful spirit without a foe, having lost her parents to the sickness. Every other weapon they placed in her hand was often soon in too ill of a condition to use, as she broke staves, dented maces out of balance, and shattered lesser swords. When they placed the large blade in her hands she swung the sword about and nearly toppled over much to her own embarrassment. The sword forced her into discipline as she had to learn to control the awesome power of each thrust. In turn she learned to control her own wild flashes of anger with the same smoldering patience. The fires of her anger forged her fierce ability with this weapon, and it turn it taught her many things about the dual nature of justice. Just as she had to bide her time with this weapon to reap its rewards, so too would she have to wait for the right time to avenge her parents and put an end to the evils of this world, in service of The Great Protector: Brihaad. Brihaad would give Lashea the power she needed to fight the cruelties of the world.

Lashea suddenly realized in her recollection that she was staring at her sword and had not been listening to the rest of her introduction.

“This, Lashea, is entirely up to you whether or not you decide to accompany these two on their quest into the Eastlands,” Father Salane was saying solemly, “We know that it is a long way to ask you to go on your first journey, with strangers no less, but know that you would be in fine hands. These two were the slayers of the Lord of the Undead to the north in recent times, but also have been party to many great deeds to the present. Above all, they are followers of Brihaad. Kanji is a monk, meaning that he has been trained to use his body as his weapon. Deathwish here, if you look beyond his appearance is actually a paladin. Though you walk a slightly different path as a acolyte priestess, you would learn much from them, Lashea, much that we cannot teach you here in the temple.”

Lashea’s breath was stolen as she was looked at expectantly by the high cleric, a large, imposing looking human-reptile, and a small, serious monk. She was compelled to yell in affirmation and run to pack her things. Yet much to her own surprise, she protested, “What about the rest of my training? Beating master Clavis and learning more of the priest-powers of Brihaad and…”

Lashea was cut off by Salane’s waving hand, “You are more than ready. You more than demonstrated that this afternoon in the training hall.”

Yeah, you would’ve had him if you hadn’t gotten so distracted by my good looks.

Lashea suddenly drew out her sword and spun about at Deathwish’s mental communication.

I’m over here. No need for another demonstration. I think you can swing that thing around well enough for now.

Lashea’s jaw dropped as she regarded the scaled, armored humanoid waving at her and speaking directly into her mind. She then suddenly remembered herself and picked up her mouth and put away her sword. She stood up strait and nodded.

“I would be honored to accompany such fine warriors.”

Continue to Chapter 4

Inspirational Video Game Quotes Part Deux

Breath of Fire SNES Shoop!I felt like there needed to be a second edition once I started reminiscing. Playing roms and giggling should be shared! So here is the sequel, the quotes that I remember and love for their charm, wit, or plain old badness. Click here to see part one.
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“Hmm, don’t have time to play with myself!”
– Duke Nukem 3d, Duke Nukem said when using action button on arcade game of the same name (PC)

Chrono Trigger SNES Nu

Guybrush: “You fight like a Dairy Farmer!”
Pirate: “How appropriate, you fight like a Cow!”
– Guybrush Threepwood, Monkey Island 1: The Secrey of Monkey Island (PC)

“Hmm, a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle. What possible use could that have?”
– Guybrush Threepwood, Monkey Island 1: The Secrey of Monkey Island (PC)

Breath of Fire 2 SNES Die

“Am I butterfly dreaming I’m a man? Or a bowling ball dreaming I’m a plate of sashimi? Never assume what you see and feel is real!” – Doreen, Chrono Trigger (SNES)

Dragon Warrior 4 NES Counter

“In our world, every storm has an end. Every night brings a new day. What’s important is to trust those you love, and never give up. We must never give up hope!” – Priestess in the Cathedral, Chrono Trigger (SNES)

“How do I get out of this chicken outfit?!” – Marine, StarCraft (PC)

“I really have to go… number one.” – Battle Cruiser, StarCraft (PC)

Dragon Warrior 3 NES Pepper

“E=MC… d’oh let me get my notepad.” – Science Vessel, StarCraft (PC)

“This is not Warcraft in space!” – Artanis, StarCraft (PC)

“Besides humans, dogs also sleep at night. Why aren’t you asleep?” – Dog, Earthbound (SNES)

“Run, run, or you’ll be well done!” – Kefka, Final Fantasy 3 (SNES) 6 (PS)

Earthbound SNES Nausea

“I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate HATE YOU!!” – Kefka, Final Fantasy 3 (SNES) 6 (PS)

“Terra. . . Please wait for me. . . And. . . please. . . don’t let a lecherous young king, who shall remain nameless, near you!” – Locke Cole, Final Fantasy 3 (SNES) 6 (PS)

“Thou are so… odd.” – Cyan, Final Fantasy 3 (SNES) 6 (PS)

Final Fantasy 1 NES FIEND

“I’m working for the Empire. But, don’t worry… I’m not going to garrote you!” – Shadow, Final Fantasy 3 (SNES) 6 (PS

“This monkey’s going to give you a spanking, Shupkay!” – Sten, Breath of Fire 2 (SNES)

Natsume: “Thanks! But I have nothing to give you in return..except, maybe myself…”
Kite: “WHAT?!?!”
Natsume: “No! I meant I could help you out if you need it…”
– .hack//MUTATION (PS2)

Goonies 2 NES Ouch What

Man: “Here’s your question. ‘What’s the secret to success in business?'”
Hero: “…”
Man: “That’s right! Silence. Silence is golden.”
Hero: “?”
– Dragon Warrior 4 (NES)

“Sure.. hope this is not… Chris’s blood.”
– Barry says stilted like Kirk in Star Trek, Resident Evil (PS)

Lufia 2 SNES Master Catfish

“One more wrong move and you would of been a Jill sandwich”
– Barry says to Jill, Resident Evil (PS)

“That’s a face only a sledgehammer could love, and has!” – Morte, AD&D: Planescape: Torment (PC)

Fall-from-Grace: “You know, Nordrom, you are perhaps the cutest little rogue modron I have ever encountered.”
Nordom: “‘Cutest’ is a subjective term. I prefer the designation ‘fearsome clubed warrior’.”
Fall-from-Grace: “Of course! That’s why you’re so cute.”
– AD&D: Planescape: Torment (PC)

Lufia 2 SNES Master Monster or Human

Nordom: “A query, Annah: is your tail’s purpose to indicate your current level of hostility?”
Annah: *angrily* “What kind of stupid question is that you pikin’ sod box?”
Nordom: “My analysis is correct. Danger! Danger!”
– AD&D: Planscape: Torment (PC)

Morte: “Hey Nordom, knock-knock.”
Nordom: “Why do you persist in addressing me as a door?”
Morte: “It’s a joke, you stupid polygon! You’re supposed to answer ‘Who’s there?'”
Nordom: “I know who is there. It is you. Why would I ask a question when I already know the answer?”
Morte: “Just forget it.”
– AD&D: Planescape: Torment (PC)

Lufia 2 SNES Confront Swell

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Let me end this with a quote about video games from the once upon a time president of the USA, Ronald Reagan made August 8, 1983:

“I recently learned something quite interesting about video games. Many young people have developed incredible hand, eye, and brain coordination in playing these games. The air force believes these kids will be our outstanding pilots should they fly our jets.”
Final Fantasy 2 SNES 4 PS Dwarves

So let us fly their jets.

Screen shots from the top:
Breath of Fire (SNES)
Chrono Trigger (SNES)
Breath of Fire 2 (SNES)
Dragon Warrior 4 (NES)
Dragon Warrior 3 (NES)
Earthbound (SNES)
Final Fantasy 1 (NES)
Goonies 2 (NES)
(next three) Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals (SNES)
Final Fantasy 2 (SNES) 4 (PS)

Waywards Wandering – Chapter One: Breakfast

This is the current draft of the first chapter of my non-existent fantasy novel called: Waywards Wandering. I will periodically post chapters that I feel are ‘pretty done’. That’s not to say I wouldn’t appreciate any suggestions and feedback (and other comments) from the peanut gallery. I like cashews better, but any nuts are okay with me. :)

Chapter One: Breakfast

“It’s been fifteen years, old friend.”

No. Sixteen.

The words that resounded in Kanji’s mind were deep and undoubtedly masculine. Less could be said for the strange figure in front of him. His scaly hide, vaguely snake-like head, and sizable tail gave away no indication of gender- not that his broad sword or polished armor were at all feminine.

“Whichever,” Kanji shrugged, looking up at the reptilian man and smiled pleasantly as he often did. When he did his mother’s ancestry showed through with his slanted eyes. His western father had given him his small pointed nose, his large ears, fair skin, and unrelenting ambition- but it was his mother that gave him his small, peculiar dark eyes that slanted to slits when he smiled. She also was kind enough, and ironic enough, to give him his slight build. The top of his small frame barely reached up to his friend’s chest.

Yes. It’s about time we returned home.

Home. That word must have a different meaning for us, thought Kanji. But he bit his tongue. While Kanji grew up in a monastery in Wenga, this creature was not of this world. One summer when Kanji was still a boy there, he had been out playing with his friends as he was often allowed on the hottest days of the summer when the masters said it was too hot for heavy training and too nice out for a boy’s wandering mind. There was a secluded valley along a nearby river that Kanji and his band of ‘warriors’ would set out to in search of adventure. They were to battle bears, and goblins, and yes, even dragons!

However when faced with an actual scaly beast all of them had fled, most screaming, some soiled.

All but Kanji… Kanji and…

“It will be good to see Lial again. We will have many tales to tell her.”

Lial was the reason for Kanji and Deathwish’s desire to return to the eastern lands. She had sent along a message to them- it was terse at best. It had told news of being married and being with child, and had requested that they visit. While the subject of the letter had been about happy things, the letter itself seemed strangely short and almost emotionless.

It had left Kanji feeling restless. When Deathwish had insisted they go immediately, Kanji wholeheartedly agreed.

That is if we finally get to tell her anything. It seems as if the Gods themselves are throwing boulders in our path.

Kanji grew grim, “I hope you’re wrong, Deathwish. For if that is true, and even Brihaad blocks our way. That would mean only serious trouble awaits us in Wenga.”

Deathwish smiled, Does anything else ever await us?

Deathwish’s stomach growled as if answering.

“Something to eat, hopefully.”

They descended the steep narrow stairs of the inn and into the stuffy haze-filled common room below. Kanji did so gracefully and silently, his many years of training and sneaking through dank dungeons showing through. Deathwish grabbed the ceiling overhanging the staircase to steady himself as he bent over and crept down precariously, his talons and scales scraping, slipping on the worn wood. He briefly regretted foregoing putting on his oversized, custom-made leather boots, but realized they may have not of helped at all.

“When you die, Deathwish, it will not be at the icy touch of the undead nor in the fangs of some beast, it will be at the bottom of a stairwell.”

Well that’s all well and good as long as its not in this over-priced, dung-ridden excuse for a-

“Mornin’ yer holiness- shall I be fetching ye some breakfast.”

Even though Kanji knew the woman had not overheard Deathwish’s telepathic comments, he blushed and stuttered as he turned towards the voice and stared strait into the young serving girl’s cleavage which was a mere few inches away and right at eye level to Kanji‘s small frame. Kanji continued to stutter as he quickly corrected his line of vision by tipping his head up at an awkward angle to stare at slightly confused pair of eyes.

-excuse for an inn and it’s with a *real* woman, one with firm scales instead of over-ripe melons-

“Uh- uh- Deathwish!”

-melon… now wouldn’t that be nice for breakfast-


What? Did you want melon too?

Deathwish looked smug- or at least he looked smug to Kanji who knew him well enough to translate the combination of odors and facial twitches he emitted.

The serving girl had backed off a few steps and started to edge away looking frightened.

“N-no! You don’t understand! Deathwish is his name!” Kanji pointed at his reptilian friend which did not seem to help the mental state of the young woman. She tentatively looked up the staircase to what must have looked like a dragon to the eyes of a sheltered serving girl. She stood eyes wide and paralyzed in place.

Hi there.

That single projected thought into the woman’s mind was all it took to send her off screaming to the kitchen, a tray of some patron’s breakfast launched into the air. Other patrons turned to look as Kanji’s training sprung him into action, quite literally. He leapt kicking to the side, sending back up a plate of potatoes, catching a sloshing mug in his left hand, and the tray in his right, which landed a moment before the potatoes again touched down upon its surface.

Now that’s what I call service.

A round of applause quickly followed, but just as quickly ceased. Deathwish finally finished his descent down the stairs and stood by his diminutive friend. A moment’s silence followed before Kanji thought it best to take the attention off of Deathwish, his largely imposing form no doubt emphasized by Kanji’s opposite stature.

“Who ordered the potatoes and cider?” Kanji asked as casually as he could muster. A hand tentatively rose from a table by the bar and Kanji gracefully hurried over to set the tray down. He tossed and spun it the air on the way over for added effect as Deathwish slipped into a seat at the end of the bar with only a bit more than a few worried glances. Kanji soon joined him holding a few copper pieces.

“Well, if nothing else we once again avoided a major incident,” Kanji began with a sigh as he slid into a stool, “and I got tipped. That doesn’t normally happen.”

Deathwish nodded a bit perplexed, Yes, but what about the serving girl?

He barely finished forming that thought as the kitchen door swung inward and an irate cook carrying a mean looking meat cleaver stalked into the room. He took one look Deathwish’s way and growled, wiping a plump, greasy palm on a meat-sauced stained apron and passing his meat cleaver over from hand to hand over his pot-belly, “No one messes with Miss Bessy without answerin’ to me- be ye a devil spawn or not!”

“W-wait,” sputtered Kanji, nearly falling out of his stool, waving his hands, and approaching the man, “There’s been a misunderstanding!”

The cook eyed the small, simple robed man with an unrelenting glare and grit his teeth, “And who might you be? The monster’s sympathetic mid-mornin’ snack?”

Deathwish’s stomach growled in the following moment of Kanji’s stuttering. The enraged cook boiled over at the sound, pointing and waving his meat cleaver in Deathwish’s direction, “I’ll have no hungry monsters in my inn, licking their chops at ladies- I’ll have none of it!”

“Now, now,” Kanji patted the air nervously, “No one is licking their chops at anybody-” Kanji again was interrupted by a loud growl from Deathwish’s stomach.

Sorry, Deathwish shrugged helplessly at Kanji, I‘m hungry and you said chops. Like lamb chops…

“We are but two weary travelers,” Kanji began again in a soft, non-threatening tone, blocking out Deathwish‘s thoughts best he could, “looking for a warm bed and fine food to fill our stomachs- food from your kitchen, not your patrons!” Kanji was quick to clarify.

The cook looked skeptically to Deathwish who attempted a smile, but instead only succeeded in showing off a row of pointed canines. It was then that Deathwish noticed the barmaid peeking out through the kitchen door, when she saw him looking at her with his teeth bared, she shrieked,

“Kill it, Dell! Kill it, kill it, kill it!”

It? Deathwish projected loudly to the entire common room. I’m not an it. Furthermore, I am not going to be killed by anyone, Deathwish rose from his stool and placed has scaly palm on the hilt of his broadsword, Not by anyone here.

“Deathwish, please!” was all that Kanji got to say before the common room erupted into a combination of shrieks of fear and shouts of challenge. The inn door opened and patrons rushed out, while others took to the common room furniture.

“If yer thinkin’ were the type ‘o folk to be pushed around by some scaly, slimy, arse-sucklin’ demon-spawn, then yer thinkin’ wrong!” shouted the enraged cook, shaking his meat cleaver.

Kanji attempted to answer, but was forced to cut off his train of thought as a chair began its descent towards his head. He sidestepped it easily, hopped up onto the chair still being held by a disgruntled patron. The patron didn’t quite register that he’d missed before Kanji lept over him and kicked him squarely in the back. It sent him tumbling into a table, sending the table on its side, flipping drinks, and launching food flying into the air. In general, it began an old fashioned common room brawl.

While Kanji was coping with the brawl, one patron weilding furniture at a time, Deathwish was engaged with the meat cleaver and the cross man who owned it. The cook crossed the cleaver over his mound of a belly back and forth as if it were a nervous twitch. Deathwish stood calmly, not bothing to draw his sword. This seemed to only anger the short, fat man and he flew up a stool and ran down the bar to swing his knife into Deahwish’s skull.

Deathwish had other plans as the cook came for him. Deathwish easily backed off from the blow and backhanded his opponent’s large overbalanced body off the counter and careening into the floor with a loud, satisfying fwap.

It was then that Deathwish felt a sting of pain in the back of his neck and shook off shards of crockery from his scales and shirt. Behind him Bessy hovered over the broken pieces of pottery. She panicked and screeched,

“Oh, what did ye do to Dell ye demon?”

Deathwish sighed, picked up the screeching girl under his arm, and made his way back into the kitchen. A few patrons tried to stop him, probably thinking he was going to cook her or worse. Deathwish grabbed one man by the shirt and threw him across the bar, leaving him to slide several splintered feet across it face first. Another two he swatted with his over-sized tail into the inn wall where they caused a goblin head trophy to fall into one of the poor men’s lap. He shrieked like a small girl when he looked into his lap and saw the goblin staring back. He went to stand, making the trophy fall to the floor and his head connect with a mounted over-sized spider carcass that had been magically hardened and preserved. He senslessly slid back to the floor. The other seemed to know better than regain consciousness.

Once in the kitchen, Deathwish put the kicking, screaming, biting woman’s head into a sink full of luke warm soapy water she had been scrubbing pots in all morning. He then pulled her greasy, sudded head out of the water to ask if she had cooled off yet.

She sputtered and shrieked, and again Deathwish repeated the process adding how all he wanted was breakfast and what did he do to deserve such poor service.

“Don’t eat me!” was all the woman managed to sputter out with a sob. Deathwish dropped her to the floor.

Like we said- I don’t want to eat you, Deathwish turned to leave the girl and return to the common room, Don’t flatter yourself!

When Deathwish returned to the common room the situation had worsened a hundred fold. Kanji had all but his left arm pinned and a large semicircle of locals was closing in on him with ropes, “Where in Brihaad’s name have you been? I could really use some help here!”

Deathwish felt something really solid connect with his skull before he sank to the floor. Bessy, with a cast iron skillet, stood over his scaly hide victoriously. She flung her hair back with a defiant snort,

“Yer order’s up!

Continue to Chapter 2