Prologue Part 3

The sound of rain greets Geralt as he wakes, a heavy grunt escapes as he sits up, another night of restless sleep taking its tole. Body sore and head pounding, he pushes through the morning routine, and waits for the medics to come drag him to another day of simple exercise exhausting him. How many weeks, months would he have to endure nightmare after nightmare, sore after sore? Lost in his thoughts, ten minutes pass, then twenty. Without realizing it, an hour had gone by from just his own self pity, and those bastard medics were late.

Impatient and in desperate need of some form of stimulus, Geralt grabs his cane and steps outside to see his squad waiting in the rain to confront him. After a brief and awkward silence, Geralt takes a step back and closes the flap to his tent, maintaining eye contact. Another brief moment of silence, and swords stab through the fabric, cutting a hole into the front of the tent. “Well then,” Geralt says, gesturing for the group to make themselves comfortable, “Seeing as I get no choice.”

Leeroy, the tent stabber, looks to Geralt and sniffles, “Sorry ’bout that, sir,” another sniffle, “But it’s damn cold.”

Lough is the last of the group to step into the now overcrowded and soaked tent, shivering hard, too cold to speak properly. “You know,” Geralt begins, “Warding off rain is an elementary grade magic trick.” A mortified look of realization crosses the group as Lough moves in to huddle with the rest for warmth. “And they call us elites… Well. I assume Lough’s filled you all in.”

Standing up to speak for the group is Leeroy again, “Aye, sir. We’re all agreed ya can’t go off on your own in your condition. Take us with ya.”

Geralt looks fondly on the group for a brief moment before replying, “I want to… But I can’t. Libernth is going to be a target because of that hobo looking bastard, the militia needs all the strength it can get. I can’t fight like this, and fell in a battle with no other casualties or injuries, as far as the top cares, I’m more than worthless, I’m a liability. Now with or without me, you all need to stay and fight, or civilians could get involved.”

A shadow hangs over the everyone, none able to raise a voice in protest. A weight finally off his shoulders, Geralt picks himself up, “Alright ya bastards, enough’s enough. Leeroy, fix my damn tent or I’ll beat you stupid. The rest of you, take me to the healers.” Finally seeing their usual commanding officer for the first time in weeks, the group excitedly stands at attention, a shivering Lough stuttering behind a step, “Aye sir!”

Shambling along with his squad, Geralt wonders to himself how long he can maintain the act of confidence, how long he could satisfy his subordinates in this state. A question for another time, perhaps, it really is damn cold.

Thanks for reading.

Prologue Part 2

Sweat crawls down Geralt’s face. Four weeks have passed, and he’s finally moving on his own again, a rate the healers examining him consider amazing. Despite their compliments and attempts to reassure him, Geralt is racked with anxiety and self doubt, all the confidence and pride he’s built over the past six crumbling away, leaving emptiness. The healers end the therapy session, and a pair of medics help Geralt dry off and escort him to his tent, where he sends them away.

As Geralt opens the worn fabric separating his tent from the outside, a familiar face is there to greet him. Lough, Geralt’s second in command, a half mix between a human and one of the scaled races. She slowly raises a hand, almost as if apologizing, to greet Geralt, “Hoi, boss.”

Overcome by shame from appeaing in front of his second in this state, Geralt quickly takes a seat and returns the greeting, avoiding eye contact, “Hoi, Lough… Wasn’t expecting you.”

Lough casts her eyes down, “I’m sorry I haven’t been here, boss. I’m your second in command, it’s my duty to support you, and I haven’t-”

Geralt cuts her off, “It’s fine, Lough, stop apologizing. How are the others?”

Lough shifts uncomfortably before responding, “Mostly good. The older members are waiting for your return, but… The newer ones are questioning your authority.”

Geralt leans back in his seat and stares at the tent’s ceiling, “Yeah, I suppose they would, huh?” A long silence fills the tent before Geralt speaks again, “Lough, I’m going to tell you something important, listen close.”

Lough looks up, and for the first time in four weeks, the two make eye contact, Geralt’s eyes empty and cold. “Sir.”

“I can’t use magic, the ties to my source have been severed somehow.”

Lough lets out an exasperated “Bwah?!” as she jumps out of her seat.

“Furthermore, I’ve been discharged. I’m allowed to stay at this camp until it mobilizes, or I complete my physical therapy.”

“Sir, when were you planning on telling us this?!”

Geralt breaks eye contact, and after a moment, Lough falls back into her seat, processing what she was just told. “Sir, just how much longer will you be with us?”

“I can’t say. The healers are guessing that at the current rate, another four weeks for a full recovery, maybe less.”

Not knowing how to react, Lough rushes out of the tent without another word, and Geralt is left to himself. He lays down to rest and recollect on the past two years, but before long the fond memories of time spent with his subordinates fades into insidious whispers of his weakness. Waking in a cold sweat, Geralt takes a chair outside and gazes on the night sky.

Thanks for reading.

Prologue Part 1

A cold wind blows over the Astrid Desert as the sun sets in the distance, a popular field for battle. Two armies draw into the desert. On one side, Shiran’s Red Lion Army, a force ten thousand strong, one of the best trained militaries in the world. On the other, the Libernth Militia, a force not even one tenth that strength, cobbled together six years ago at the start of the war.

When day fades to dusk, a man in tattered robes takes flight, the representative of Libernth’s army. With the utterance of one word and the flick of a wrist, the battle is over before it can begin. All Shiran’s soldiers pulled together, hundreds dying at once, then melted from within, a miniature sun in the night. Four minutes that stretch for what seem an eternity, screams echoing through the desert, charred flesh and bone crumbling to nothing, and the sand below turning to glass. When the last breath is drawn, there is only silence.

The soldiers of Libernth tremble and weep as the ashes fade away, the enemy so feared now a mountain of ash and dust. All at once Libernth’s forces realize this was not what they wanted, that no amount of pain is worth this massacre. The monster behind this scene forms a grand throne from the ashes as he descends from the sky and takes his seat.

A young man steps out of the crowd of soldiers, Geralt Ackland. Conscripted when the war started, he rose in experience and rank, now in command of one of Libernth’s strongest units. “Why?” he speaks with a growl, “With power like yours, you didn’t have to do this! So why?!”

The ragged wizard analyzes Geralt, who was squirming before him. Something was wrong, he had checked each soldier months ago, none had this talent. Talent that could pose a threat should it be realized. In the wizard’s silence, Geralt unleashes a barrage of spells, to no avail. The more magic is thrown at the wizard, the easier it seems to deflect. Ignoring Geralt’s magic, the wizard pulls out an empty vial from within his rags and throws it at Geralt’s feet, where it shatters. Without any warning, Geralt collapses, and the wizard vanishes.

A long, cold darkness envelops Geralt, whispering to him, exhausting him. He stirs, trying to open his eyes, but the light is too strong. Geralt brings a hand to his eyes to block the light and forces himself upright. A hand rushes to steady him, he can’t make out who it is. A concerned voice calls out, “Are you okay, sir? Does anywhere hurt?” Geralt couldn’t recognize the voice, maybe one of the army’s medics.
He struggles to choke out a response, “What happened? Where am I?”
“You collapsed from severe overdraw, sir. You’re at an encampment, you’ve been out for more than a week.”

Thoughts blazed through Geralt’s mind like wildfire, about the war and what comes next. Above all else, he wanted to know what the wizard did to him, why he felt so weak. In all his life, Geralt had never experienced overdraw, even the magic he had thrown around was only a heavy workout. Something had changed, but he was in no condition to find out what. Too weak to stay awake, Geralt falls back into the rough sheets.

Thank you for reading.

Ackland Teaser

In the darkness of the cold, stormy night stand two figures; Geralt, and someone in a cloak, his would-be assassin. The wind howls like hungry wolves, and the rain rages down like angry bulls. No matter how hard the rain pours, it avoids the assassin, almost as though it were meeting a sphere of glass. Geralt, however, was weak. Rain he could have repelled at his weakest not two months ago now rendered him a shivering shadow of himself. ‘Focus,‘ he thinks to himself, ‘the rain is just a distraction, don’t let it own you.

The assassin is the first to take action, drawing an ornate sword made of silver. Even in the darkness of this storm, Geralt can see the blade shine with a brilliant light he has never encountered before. Thinking quickly, Geralt shoots a bolt of energy at the assassin before he can get close enough to use that sword. With an audible pop it lets loose, flying to its target, carving a path through the rain in the imperceptible time it takes it to travel such a distance. When it reaches the edge of the ‘sphere’ surrounding the assassin, there’s a sound of metal meeting metal, and the bolt turns away from the assassin and up into the sky. No good, whatever is protecting the assassin from the rain also reflected the energy bolt. Geralt clicks his tongue as he sees its faint trail of light fade to nothing in the darkness, struggling to formulate a plan as the assassin makes his approach.

Welcome to Corneria

Hello all who come, I am Chist, owner of this blog, and amateur writer. This is where I will be publishing most of my writing, be it amateur journalism, short stories I want to get out of my head, or entries into the web novel I plan to write here, Ackland. I hope to use this blog as an opportunity to grow as a writer, and with luck, an eventual source of income, so if you have criticisms or tips on my writing, you’re more than welcome to leave them in the comments of any post for me to reflect on.

The main focus of this blog, as was briefly mentioned, will be my web novel, Ackland, a story of action and fantasy. Ackland follows the path a young mage takes as he goes from a talented individual with a missing past, to standing at the pinnacle of magic power in his world. Look forward to the first installment on June 22nd, with weekly to biweekly installments on Mondays.