Okay, here is the new and improved Path of the Wizard sample chapter. I edited it, proofread it (sorta), and made the story less pokey. I’m be proud of this piece, because I actually gave a shit when I wrote it. Hope you like it.
(Thanks for the kind words, Godtisx. You helped me find some confidence that I had recently lost)
All ideas and concepts and all that other shit by Will Truex — The Disfigured, 2013
Tremors. Not an earthquake, tremors. A thin line of dust fell from the wizard’s ceiling, waking him from his nap and fouling his temper. “What the hell is this?” He said, looking up at the offensive crevasse. More tremors. At first, he thought he was simply feeling the quaking in a dream, but he was awake, awake and certain that something was wrong.
As if on cue, screaming pealed through the college and the alarm bell started to vibrate the very walls. More tremors, more dust. He snorted and tripped over his long cotton nightshirt. “Godammit!” He said, struggling to rise to his feet. “Godamn old bones, come on Melchas, get your ass up.” Finally vertical, he stretched his back and rolled his head from side to side. Again, tremors. They were becoming stronger, and the pace was even. Footsteps? He thought. Giants? He rubbed his bruised chin through his wiry, graying beard. He smelled his fingers afterwards, enjoying the odor of his skin and hair.
He tied his hair back into a long ponytail, and donned his robes. They were light black, almost a charcoal, with silver hemming and strange designs woven into the very fabric. He put on his hat, fixed its wide brim, and grabbed his staff.
Students, faculty, even the janitors were running through the halls, screaming in terror. Melchas grabbed a student he recognized from one of the classes he taught. She was wide-eyed with panic and gripped with fear. “What’s going on girl? Focus!” His tone was firm, but soothing. She locked eyes with him and broke free without saying a word. Alright then…guess I’ll figure it out on my own. The cold stone stuck to his bare feet, which he rarely washed. He hung them over the bed to prevent the staining of his sheets, and wore an extra long robe to hide them from view. Not because he was ashamed of them, but rather…he didn’t want people eyeballing his toenails.
He walked calmly amongst the rabble, gently pushing people out of the way. What could be causing this commotion? Truly, the College of Demonic Arts is located next to the Abyssal Maw, a black pit torn open during the dark civil war that created the Scar of Shame and divided this continent into north and south regions. What could possibly shake an entire college filled with talented Spellslingers and guards?
After a long walk that he regretted, he made it to the courtyard of the college. Looking at the battlements, he saw numerous archers nock and release arrow after arrow from their long bows. The commander screamed order after order, and the catapults were being prepared a few feet away from where Melchas stood.
Melchas floated up to the top of the battlements next to the commander, which didn’t notice him at first. “Uh, commander?”
“Huh? What is it- oh Professor Melchas, I’m sorry.”
“Never mind that my friend. What has the college in such a frenzy?”
“That.” The commander grabbed Melchas’ shoulder and turned him towards the eastern forest. The massive bald head of a rampaging giant drew closer and closer. Two more followed the one in the lead. One thing was obvious- their faces were twisted with blind anger and grim joy. They were well over two hundred feet tall. “I don’t see anything. I left my glasses in my chamber.”
“Oh, for God’s sake you old bastard, look!” The commander handed Melchas a spyglass.
“Fuck me,” he said, “there are Godamn giants out there!” The commander rolled his eyes.
“Yes, that’s why we’re scared!”
“Scared? You have arrows, catapults, and seven master wizards here including myself, why are you scared?”
“Magical theory and fireballs won’t save us from that, Professor!” The commander pointed towards the giants once more. When he turned to face Melchas again, the wizard was gone. The smell of his odd cologne remained. When the commander looked around, he saw Melchas outside of the college’s drawbridge, walking slowly towards the giants.
“Are you insane?!” he screamed down. “They’ll eat you alive!”
Melchas turned his lips into a frown, and furrowed his brow. He lifted his hand and flapped it vigorously, dismissing the obviously concerned commander’s fear. It wasn’t long until the archers stopped, and the whole college was silent, watching Melchas from the safety of the massive stone walls.
Trees snapped and cracked, leaves, limbs, and other forest debris flew high into the air, a strange wake in the destruction the giants left behind them. The two in the rear looked dull- but they were bulkier than the one in the lead. The brains, and the brawn. Melchas thought. He remembered the leader’s bald head and changed his thought with a snicker. More like a cock and two shriveled balls. The giants breached the tree line, and Melchas flew with incredible speed towards the bald leader, stopping the beast cold in its tracks. Perplexed, the giant stared at the wizard, unable to process why a human was flying without wings. Melchas spoke to the leader slowly.
“Buddy. Listen. What are you doing? What’s going on?”
The giant looked behind his shoulder at his comrades, and then cast a wary eye back to Melchas. “You…you don’t plan on destroying the college over there, do you? A lot of people live there, you’re not gonna kill em’ all, right?”
The giant stared at Melchas with an expression of anger and awe. Melchas had gotten used to seeing this on people’s faces when he spoke to them. A massive bead of sweat rolled from the giant’s brow down to the bridge of his nose. It fell to the ground, making an audible slap as the bone white sand below accepted the sudden moisture with greed. The giant gritted his teeth in a snarl. “Now, now, now, easy my friend. There is no need-“ the giant grabbed Melchas. The sudden force hurt his back and ruined his pleasant mood.
“I’m guessing, boy, that you understand English?” The giant grinned, flashing massive, yellow teeth. The head and leg of some poor cow was wedged in-between his two front teeth, crammed up against the gum line. “But you can’t speak it?” Another nod in confirmation. “Okay, you speak Giant, yes?” The beast squeezed Melchas a little bit. He felt a rib crack and his wrist break. He remained even and calm, not showing the agony. “Then listen to this.” Melchas begun speaking to the beast in a perfect stream of fluent Giantspeak, “Put me the fuck down maggot or I’ll break your Godamn legs and choke your friends back there with your fucking intestines.”
All three giants let loose thunderous bellows of laughter. The leader looked at Melchas and struggled a phrase in broken English- “Time you die!” And started to tighten his grip. Melchas shot his hands out and snapped the giant’s finger’s back. The beast roared in pain as the wizard floated to the ground. Enraged, the two other giants rushed forward, screaming with their clubs high in the air. Melchas turned his palms up, and then snapped them forward, his fingers outstretched towards their targets. Two translucent spheres flew from his hands with incredible speed, blowing back his sleeves and pushed his beard to one side.
The smashed into the top of the clubs, ripping them from their owners hands and back into the forest. While confused, Melchas launched two more projectiles, aiming at a knee each of the assaulting giants. Both joints broke backwards with a loud pop, and the two giants fell (thankfully away from the college), howling in pain. The leader, now infuriated, roared and charged Melchas, aiming to trample him underfoot.
In a split second, Melchas crossed his hands in front of him, one palm in, on out, and then extended his limbs towards the giant’s face. Two massive columns of twisting white fire roared forth from the vacant space in-between his two outstretched hands, a hose of flame, burning the giant’s face. When the spell was finished, the giant stood, still in shock, still not dead, with his skin charred down to the skull. The beast started to fall forward towards the college which would have crushed almost half of the structure under its incredible weight.
Seeing this, Melchas threw a fist at the beast, launching a massive translucent sphere which smashed into the giant’s chest, and flung him like a rag doll several hundred feet backwards. A massive plume of sand exploded off in the distance, indicating where the carcass landed.
The two wounded giants looked up in fear of Melchas as he hovered above them. He said, very clearly in Giant, “Never. Ever. Come back here. Or I’ll harvest your organs for potions. Now go die somewhere else. Got it?” The beasts blubbered in agreement and hobbled off back towards the forest. Melchas watched them disappear amongst the titanic trees. Still floating, he turned back towards the college. He cast a healing spell on himself, and then took a bow.
Everyone celebrated his name.