Hey all, here is a potential story that I am working on. Please give me some sort of feedback on what you think! Be honest! I want to know if the ideas in here stink!
The boy ran up the winding white marble stairs to the top of the tower. His footsteps echoing down the stair case, his shadow flickering in the lantern light. Outside the rumblings of heavy war machines could be heard along with the shouts of Military Mages barking out orders to the Makina. Explosions could be heard in the distance. The boy ran faster, tripping over his slightly oversized robe. He had to find his master. Three more turns of the stair case he was almost there. Screams could be heard outside, followed by the crash of walls crumbling. The vibrations from the destruction outside shook the tower beneath the boy’s feet. Finally he made it to the top most chambers.
Inside the spacious chamber, full of tapestries and books, large and small covered two entire walls on the opposite of the door. The master stood looking out a large and ornate window at the carnage of a city at siege. A huge plume of flame rose up behind the furthest city wall, lighting the chamber for a brief moment. The boy stopped for a second and then quietly and respectfully approached his master. He had a question burning within him. He needed to ask the master before all was lost and the city fell to the invaders.
“Master…I must ask you something of terrible importance…” the boy said shyly in hushed tones.
The master was still staring out the window, his kindly yet sorrowful face lost deep in thought. He stroked his beard absentmindedly. A soft gentle smile appeared across his face.
“Master…I must know…” the boy cleared his throat and spoke louder than before, “I must know the reasons why…why this all came about, why we are about to be overrun? There is cause in every effect…isn’t there master?”
The master turned to face the boy, his great blue robes made a swishing noise like a great bird taking flight. He looked deep into the boy’s eyes and thought a moment.
“No my boy, there is not necessarily cause in every effect. That is what those damn Will Masters want you to believe. No, no, cause and effect are what you make of it, boy. That is the cardinal difference between what is now, and what could have been.” He lightly patted the boy on the head and smiled.
“But master, I must know the history behind why this has happened, before it’s to late.” Said the boy who looked outside with wide eyed fear.
“My son, the past is not as important as the present. At least that is what we are told to believe. But, since I am one of the few surviving historians left in Occam, I suppose the story must continue on if anyone is to learn anything from this.” The master paced the floor, his robes like water flowing back and forth. “Where do I begin? Perhaps where the problems began? Ah, yes, perfect place to start.” He mumbled to himself. The boy sat down on an old stool and listened intently on the master’s account of the recent 500 years of Occam’s history.
“The school of Will Mastery was still in its young stages of development and met with great opposition from the people of the great capital city of Occam. For centuries the people were free to become what ever they wished to be. However, the recent Provost that came into power almost 50 years prior claimed that freedom was a dangerous thing. No one knows exactly why the 6 Deans from the 6 schools of magic chose him to be the new Provost, but the people trusted the Deans to make the right choice. Within 50 years of the Provost’s rule the school of Will Mastery was established as well as the creation of the Makina; nonhuman metal soldiers full of the sounds of whirring and ticking gears. Soon, the Magical Engineers had perfected a way to mass produce the Makina in a fairly short period of time. They were the new army, the new police; they were literally the Provost’s iron fist.
In no time at all, the Provost had expanded the country into an empire to be reckoned with. No one could stop the Military Mages and their Makina soldiers. However, for the people, the military successes of the Provost were bittersweet. They had now lost their freedom and were subjected to a caste system in which slaves and academics were separated by an impossible wall. There was a place for everyone, and everyone had their place. Those that oppose his fundamental law were thrown in prison or worse. Rumors of prisoners being tortured and used for all kinds of horrible experiments began to circulate through out the city of Occam. Thus, the shining white city of marble became like a giant tombstone on the landscape, full of decay and corruption buried beneath and within its walls.
No longer were the people free. The Will Masters took possession of their inner most thoughts, punished any they deemed fit, and became one of the most powerful and influential schools, even surpassing the school of Military Magic. Some Will Masters were so powerful that they could merely think harm on a person and they would fall to their knees in pain and agony. Although they could not control the Makina, they could control the minds of other men and women to keep their proper places. They only added fuel to the fire as the countless legions of Makina marched across the landscape, laying claim to more and more lands beyond their own borders. Thus, began the 200 years war, with another nation that even their goddess could not save them from.
A nation that held the ideology that there was some ultimate plan, that there was a force that moved men forward or backward. A force that had a density for all races and peoples, and the use of magic was a cardinal sin against the very fabric of this idea. Henceforth, a wise Mystic rose to power, claiming that all magic was evil and that anyone using it was condemned to eternal damnation. Her followers used their skills that she assigned to build cities, temples, and eventually armies. What was her secret to stop this now growing threat to the North? The answer was in a secret and newly discovered substance that obliterated all magic that it came in contact with. Thus, they entered into the 200 years war and fought to keep the land that they believed was rightfully theirs. The weapons of this small country to the South were its Mystic and the Holy Substance as it was called, which built a tiny empire to defend against the hordes of Makina that began to stream in like a great and powerful metallic flood.”
The room was dark now with the coming night. The boy sat in awe of the story his master had told him. Outside, fires around Occam burned bright through the large window. The master heaved a great sigh and look sorrowfully into some unknown point in time.
“Now my boy, I believe it is time for bed. Rest now while there is still time to do so. Rest before the fire consumes us all, in which time we are all eventually consumed, ah but no need for me to start reciting the creed to you, boy. Now off to bed!” he said with a faint smile, but his eyes had a look of hopelessness to them.
The boy hurried down the stairs and to his bed where he dreamt of the things his master had spoken of, and even something more.
Swimming through the mist he stretched out his hands into the gloom. Strange unearthly sounds filled the air with a cacophony of humming and swishing. Had he gone insane? Perhaps so he thought. However, a tiny but powerful thought kept him moving along the streets and back alleys, unnoticed by the people in the marketplace, nor the shop keepers, even the beggars took no note of his presence as he stumbled blindly on. Everything appeared so strange to him in this state. People appeared to be as living corpses with small glowing things located near their heart. He knew what he had done, but yet he did not. He was young, curious and open to new experiences. Nonetheless, the Will Masters would hear of this soon enough. They would take him and lock him away, or worse. Only disturbing tales escape those prisons. These thoughts haunted him as he trudged on, not altogether sure where he was going or what he was about to do.
He soon noticed how cold it was in this weird place. The mist would come and go and he would trip over bumps along the cobblestone streets as he walked on. On particularly unlucky stone what the one that changed his life forever. If only he had side stepped a bit to the right to avoid the oncoming cart, if only there was not a Makina guardsman standing where he fell and lost all concentration. Worst of all, if only the man that he accidently grabbed hold of as he tumbled towards the ground was standing selling meat some other place, the poor merchant would not have met his untimely end. And why of all times to lose connection with his own Will did he suddenly appear again to those who have eyes? Caught red handed, lying next to a now dead merchant he was escorted away by two Makina to be sentenced to life in prison, possibly even his Will completely obliterated so that he would become a soul without purpose. A punishment worse than death he thought to himself as he heard the Makina close the door to his cell and as he gazed back at the empty helmet, and listened to the quiet ticking and whirring that faded down the corridor as the Makina walked back to its post.
The field was all silver and gold on this particular midsummer’s afternoon. It was gold with the sun shining on ocean of wheat and silver with the army of Makina marching down the main road like a long and winding snake that glistened brightly in the sun. Several Military mages could be seen at various points along this massive serpent riding proudly on their mighty steeds, their crimson well pressed robes flapping and fluttering in the breeze. This war machine was known and feared throughout the neighboring countries as well as internally. However, one country was not so afraid of this monster, this metal lifeless beast that sought to devour or subjugate everything and everyone. This defiant country to the South was ruled by a Mystic who preached that all magic would bring about the end of mankind and ultimately the world itself. Seasoned Military mages knew better than these novices who were fresh from the academy to keep their heads down and stay out of range the plague that this Mystic used as her rapidly growing military force.
The long and toilsome march continued farther and farther South. The young mages were growing tired, their concentration began to wane. The Makina started to slow their mindless pace down to a crawl; some sections stopped altogether, their limbs swinging like scarecrows in the breeze, while others from behind began to pile up. A senior officer could be seen riding at a hard clip from the front toward the lazy young mages. His crimson robes whipping back and forth like a great banner, his silver staff shimmered in the sun light. The officer looked to be in his early 40’s, tired eyes that had seen too many battles, accompanied by the typical scares of war on various areas of his face. His name was Argon, celebrated hero of the 200 Years War. His voice boomed and filled the valley as he made one of the young mages partially deaf.
“What the hell do you mean by stopping here?! We have another half a day’s march towards the mountain pass! Wake up you fool!” Argon’s spit covered the poor lad’s face.
“Sorry sir…” the youth stammered, “I thought uhh…this m-might be an uhh, well, a good place to stop sir…that is if it’s a-alright with you s-sir.”
“Well it’s not you damn idiot! By the goddess you and your fellows have much to learn about war, and most of all your focus. Those stuffy academics are more interested in their research than they are in teaching any of you the science and the art of war.” Argon took his long silver staff and extended it out like a long metallic arm. His armor glistened from beneath his robes. Suddenly, the Makina began to walk at a faster pace than before. “If this happens again, mark my words, some of you will be left behind for the wolves to devour! Now march! We must make the path before dark!” And with that, Argon galloped off towards the front of the line while the young mages stood dumbfounded.