Sample Fantasy Writing

Fire swarmed Avel’s body. Creator, he silently cursed. Had he reached his funeral pyre early? His hands and feet stung as though thousands of wasps fought for dominion over his body. A bitter ache resided in the pit of his stomach, but he quickly brushed it off to Hunger. When was the last time he had eaten? His mouth was dry and swollen, thick as curdled cream. He grunted, now questioning when he’d last drank, but that was an easy mystery. His current state was clue enough.

The body’s revenge for a night with the bottle. 

It was a feeling he knew all too well. He blessed it for fire purified. Too many nights Avel found himself curling up with the liquid that made his body burn, rather than with his newly wedded bride. Kalene minded little, he knew. Their partnership hadn’t been one made of desire or passion, but rather duty and necessity. He felt nothing when he pulled her into his arms. It was the beast inside him—the one with which all Egian men were cursed—that needed the woman’s body; Avel could find no contentment with her when he was himself. Maybe thats what drove him to the pleasures of the drink so often these nights.

What hour was it? How long had he slept? 

Did it matter? Surely, any obligations he had today could be ignored until tomorrow. Today he wanted only to return to the sanctuary of his dreams. He had seen her last night. He remembered it vividly, though most nights spent drinking led to memories scrubbed away. But, no, this was different; she had been there. He knew it, felt it his heart. It was alway her that he held while another was in his arms.

Andressa.

Avel had forced himself to forget. It had been so long since he’d allowed himself to think her name. Yet every night he lost himself, her visage haunted him. It was as though the beast inside him sought her, not knowing that she’d vanished over a year ago. He wouldn’t allow that feeling—that sense of security and happiness—to be once more stolen. Today, he would revel. Her name belonged in his head, in his heart. He wanted to utter it, feel her presence on his lips once more, yet his inflamed mouth stole that privilege from him. 

The burn in his hands and feet was slowly numbing his limbs, as his stomach continued to hollow. Avel had been a soldier in his younger years; pain meant little to him. Often his body would have to nag incessantly before he would acknowledge. Today would be no different. But his crying limbs were demanding to be heard; they could be disregarded no more. He silently cursed his body for not respecting his need to do nothing. A bath and food, he silently grumbled. It was a fair compromise. He stretched his muscles and reached his hands towards his face.

But his hands never met their destination. 

Avel’s eyes snapped open. His muddled mind still clouded and his vision blurred. Why had he ignored his situation? The excessive pain and numbing, the overwhelming silence, his arid mouth and lips—this was more than the mere symptoms of drunkenness. His eyes ached to be blinded by the sun trying to enter his home through blanket curtains, but he was instead met with darkness. He blinked, allowing the gasps of air to relieve his sore eyes. Despite his newly attained sight, he could still barely see anything. He enhanced his vision, a feat natural to him, and peered out with his now sensitive sense. 

The walls were made of dripping stone, drenched in rain water and a certain scarlet liquid. He didn’t need to sensitize his sense of smell to know what the liquid was, but he did so nonetheless; his nostrils were slammed with that familiar metallic stench. 

Avel deadened his nose; the wetness was dank, reeking of human remains and fecal decay. His imagination began to sprint; surely, this was the scent that would spew off of the Death Mistress’s minions. They were coming for him then. Davana had sent the Deists rather than the Lathraean Angels; he couldn’t imagine he deserved such a sentence in the afterlife. He wouldn’t go without a fight! He jerked his arms forward once more, but they remained dead. A quick glance revealed the dilemma: he was bolted down to a table. His teeth clenched and he found the cotton in his mouth was real, not a symptom of alcohol abuse. He took a breath and attempted to calm himself. 

Survey your surroundings. Memorize them

That would be logical. If he could pinpoint all areas of his current location, he could learn where he was, then in turn discover a way out. His nose led him to a corner of the room where a pile of bodies took refuge; flies swarmed causing the dead to almost appear alive. All unfamiliar men and women blackened with death’s bruises. Avel grimaced as a large fly landed on a mans unblinking eye and rubbed its front legs, anticipating the delicacy. He turned away and gave the dead their privacy. In front of him, an immense line of vials and potions lay on an alchemist’s table. To his left sat more tables similar to the one upon which he laid, as well as barred cells which currently appeared to be barren. A number of hooks and chains and tiny cages barely big enough to fit a man descended from the ceiling. To his right, a curtain hung, blocking his view from another hallway. His eyes shot around a few moments more, catching on the chains on the walls and death racks and torture instruments. 

A dungeon.

For a moment, he let his confusion overtake his irrational fears. Had he committed a crime of which he wasn’t aware? He recounted the past months clearly in his mind and found no reason to warrant this treatment. Now in his forties, Avel was no longer an Alcaro; he’d been released from his Alcarian duty due to a sparring injury that never fully healed. Yet hed been allowed to continue serving his brothers as a smith and he furnished armor and weaponry. There was no crime in that—only honor. He paid his dues to his debtors, albeit usually late, but paid nonetheless. Though an Egian Alcaro for many years, he’d never Raged at a man who didnt deserve it. Despite his devotion to the bottle, he’d never lashed out—not even at Kalene.

In fact, the only matter hed ever encountered that might involve a Sero’s—or even the King’s—judgment, was a year ago when Andressa had disappeared and Avel had refused to seek out a new marital partner. Yet against his own personal desires, he had remarried. He found no reason to warrant his captivity.

As he familiarized himself with the room, another thought began to brew in the back of his mind, one he wasn’t yet willing to acknowledge, but as the moments passed, he realized the question needed to be asked: whose dungeon was this?

He’d been taken prisoner at a number of Balo’s palace dungeons throughout his lifetime—arrested for questioning, his Breaking as an Alcaro, or even various miniscule crimes—but he could recall none that matched this one. It was too big. There were too many prison chambers. There were too many devices. This wasn’t the dungeon of a lower nobleman who handled menial misdemeanors. No, whoever owned this dungeon—and the above castle, Avel assumed—was wealthy and handled a vast number of criminals. 

Was it Kilvarock’s dungeon? It was a fair assumption to make, but he knew he hadn’t committed any crime worthy of that voyage. 

The province of Trent housed the castle known as Kilvarock; it was where the King of Egis took up residency. Only criminals that the King himself needed to condemn were brought to Kilvarock, and if contact with the King could be avoided in criminal cases, it certainly was. His appointed noblemen over each province could handle unruly peasants or Released men; not every criminal earned a royal declaration.

Yet as Avel continued to scan the room, he became more aware of the simple details. There were various tools and instruments he’d never before seen, ones that he couldn’t recall anyone ever describing, and some whose purpose he could not imagine. The bars on the cages and cells appeared to be made of steel, rather than the customary vare of Egian dungeons. Was he even in Egis?

The question slammed him with a force that sent his head back down to the hard metal. No, he had to still be in Egis. Where else could he be? 

His musings were interrupted by a faint crying. He enhanced his hearing to focus on the sound, hoping to determine from where it came. His head snapped to his right towards the muffled shrieking, yet his view was obscured by the thick curtain he’d earlier noted. The cry came once more, a high pitched wail. His teeth clenched.  

There was a woman down here. 

He grunted loudly, wanting to assure her that she wasn’t alone. Avel pulled against his restraints in a fit of fury, causing his bed to lift from the floor and slam down once more. Could he help her? What could she have done to find herself down here? Movement came from behind the hanging cover. He strained his neck, eager for a glimpse of the scene beyond, yet all Avel saw was the figure that stepped out. 

The male figure that stood before him did not appear Egian. Avel enhanced his vision as high as his eyes would permit and studied the man’s features.

He was tall and lean, lacking the bulge of muscle. He had short brown hair and brows that seemed to point to the sky in a constant state of questioning. A smooth smirk sat on his face underneath a sharply pointed nose. All of his features seemed defined and sharp as a blade. Yet what irked Avel was the man’s eyes. They were as blue as ice and gave off a faint glow; Avel suspected that even if he couldn’t enhance his vision, he would still be able to make out those eerie eyes in the darkness. He wore a long, black apron that gleamed with a mixture of various liquids. He enhanced his nose, hoping against reason that he could identify the mixture on shining shield, but only the smell of rotting flesh and blood greeted him. His skin was pale, as though he hadn’t left the dungeon in years. Was this the dungeon keeper then? He didn’t look the part. Not muscular enough to fight prisoners attempting to escape, and while vicious, he certainly didnt carry the same fierceness that a dungeon master would.

“Avel Bodiam.”

At the mention of his name, the female voice echoed muffed cries. The man had a heavy accent—belonging to which nationality, Avel couldn’t be sure. Despite being an Alcaro in his youth, Avel had done little traveling. What nation would dare war with Egis? Egians could enhance their senses and reflexes, becoming superhuman with their abilities, and their men were of a dual nature, argued to be more demon than man. With those strengths combined, the Egian military was a force no nation could touch, and no nation dared tempt fate by striking.

Yet despite his lack of knowledge of other nations, Avel could be certain of one thing: this man was not of Egis.

The man leaned down; the ice in his eyes froze Avels veins. There was something more in those frozen eyes: a cold, burning hatred that Avel could feel pouring into his very being. Avel saw a golden flash from the corner of his eye and glanced towards the man’s neck. Around it, he wore a pendant crafted from ancient gold of a sword that transformed into a key with a dragon protecting it. An intricate piece, one that would take a skilled craftsman weeks, even months, to craft. Whoever employed this man saw that he was paid handsomely for the work he did. The man grasped Avel by the throat and thrust his head to either side, examining him. Avel growled, a warning to his captor, but the man only laughed in response. 

“You Egians are always so quick to threaten, aren’t you?” he mused. The man’s voice trailed on like an echo that the walls didn’t create and held a hiss to it as though each word he spoke was in a foreign tongue. “Even when you’re completely helpless, you’re always the first to threaten and the first to attack. That will catch up to you; your time is coming.”

He stepped away and glided towards the alchemist’s table; the man moved with a careful grace that Avel had never before witnessed. Avel watched him closely. Under his heavy smock, his clothing was pristine, yet he didn’t wear heavy leather that most dungeon keepers wore to protect themselves from fighting captives. Instead, he wore a white shirt with its sleeves rolled to his elbow, a tight black vest that halted at his slim waist and freshly cleaned black pants. Avel felt his brow rising. He’d never known a butcher to wear his finest suit to slaughter a cow. 

His captor picked up a vial containing a white concoction. With his enhanced eyes, Avel peered at the liquid, yet lacked the knowledge to determine the elements within. 

“I am your host. You should treat me with respect,” the man murmured, studying the mixture. He glanced at Avel with a grin. “For you are quite a long way from home.” Then he stepped back towards Avel, ripped the gag from his mouth and pried Avels jaw apart with a powerful grip. The man tipped the vial and let the liquid trickle downwards towards Avel’s awaiting mouth. Avel choked and sputtered, the vile contents burning him. Quickly, his muzzle was replaced, removing his ability to yell for help. 

Avel’s eyes were on fire. He whipped his head towards his nemesis, vowing that he would return the favor someday. But the man was back at the blocked off room. From beyond Avel’s vision, the man pulled a table similar to the very one upon which Avel laid. Yet atop this one laid a woman.

And the tears in Avel’s eyes blazed greater.

Andressa. 

The creature within him cried out, remembering that familiar face. It knew her too; it had been the driving force that pulled them together. All of him wanted her. It was as though the Creator, the Celestian Eldreth Himself, had separated Avel into two separate beings, and within her, he had found the other half. She’d vanished so long ago. For over a year, he’d believed her dead. For a year, he’d mourned, only wanting to embrace her once more. He’d taken for granted that her hazel eyes would always be there to seek him out. He trusted that he could watch the sun entangle itself in her long, black hair until it turned silver. 

Now she sat before him on a table similar to his. She wore only a tattered, bloodstained skirt upon her hips. Her eyes were not hazel as he remembered; they were now stained red and black, darkened with a year’s worth of bloodshed and tears. She saw him; the recognition hit her and for just a moment, he could have sworn he saw relief. Tears gushed from her eyes as she attempted to rip herself from binds to no avail. Her mouth frothed, as shrieks died on her own mouthpiece. Her ebony hair that had once earned the favor of the sun was chopped, leaving only strands and stubble.

Avel’s heart rammed against his ribs as he stared at her stomach. She was heavy with child, yet her expansive stomach was a mess of bruises and welts, and the spawn within her beat against her stomach with such force that Avel himself could see its fists and feet. What was she carrying? 

Avel grunted, throwing his head to the pale stranger once more. He growled, bearing his teeth against his gag. He thrashed against his binds, a man driven insane. Rage ate him—Raging was the only option left. His head began to waver, as his sane mind began to swim.

He was losing himself to the creature that lived within. 

He shook, his bed quaking underneath him. Pieces of cotton dripped down his throat as his teeth tore his gag. The stranger glided over to him with grace, as though he hadn’t even lifted his feet off of the floor.

“We are going to have such fun,” the man smirked, revealing a frightening array of teeth. He leaned over Avel and placed the stranger placed a pallid hand on his temple.

Though losing control of his head, Avel could sense that something was amiss. His head filled with horrifying images, a mess of carnage and death; heavens swelling with rage and a kingdom in ruins. His insides began to burn with fury hed never once met. Everything within him rose and swelled. All of his senses flared out beyond his normal range. His sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste—they all bulged outwards, heightened beyond their limits. His reflexes honed themselves; his concentration was thrown on everything in the room, yet he focused on nothing. His body was no longer his to control, yet the beast didn’t dominate either. 

The King. Somehow he had to warn the King. 

He started to seize. The room swirled around him. His torso rose, then fell hard against the metal bed repeatedly, until finally he gave into the darkness.