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Writing The Golden Race [PG V]


Umbra II
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Here is the first chapter of a story I've been working on for a long time now. Its pretty long but, I hope its worth it. Please tell me what you think of it and how I can improve.

The first thing Umbra knew as he regained his consciousness was pain. His vision was black, and his ears rang louder than anything that he had ever heard, as if the pain he was feeling had voice. Letting out an involuntary cry that he himself could not hear, he focused his attention on the point on his body where the pain was most severe. The area around his abdomen was on fire, but strangely the abdomen itself had no feeling whatsoever. He pondered this, wondering what it could mean. Searching his memory was a difficult thing to do, for the agony he was in was absolute and overwhelming, but still he tried. And he was rewarded for the effort. He remembered himself; an ancient Demon called Umbra, dressed in black robes and with a cape, which within the society of Demons meant he was high born and powerful, observing a village of humans with great revulsion during the mid-afternoon. He remembered why he hated them, because of their weakness, because of what they had done to him and his race, the Golden Race, treating them as monsters and giving them the vulgar name ?Demon?. ?Think,? he thought to himself. ?None of that matters right now. What happened!?? He thought this with such fury that he surprised himself. But it was for only a moment, and he found himself remembering the things that lead him into this predicament in the first place. His observatory from which he had viewed the village had been a high branch off a particularly old tree on the edge of both a forest and the town, and he could see the village in its entirety. He realized that he had intentions of attacking the village, because he could feel even now in his injured state how much it would please him to watch the buildings burn to the ground. In his memory, he clutched a weapon, which he realized almost by instinct to be a scythe, and leapt upon the unsuspecting village. However, he had only been able destroyed two houses with his Atrum Incendia when a figure emerged from a nearby house, wearing robes that would strike fear into even the most powerful of the Golden Race. The white robes of the Sigurd Preston, the Guardian Priests. ?How could I have been so blind as to not see him?? Umbra thought in his memory and in hindsight. ?Did my pride and my belief that no mortal could harm me caused me to be so careless? Damn it!? he cursed himself. ?That?s a mistake for the younglings, the inexperienced, and the weak, not myself!? He continued to view the memory, but under the current of pain he felt shame burn within him. He recalled distinctly that he ignited the Atrum Contego. His prediction had been true, for no sooner had the barrier appeared between Umbra and the Priest than the attack by the Priest, what Umbra guessed to be the Lumen Levitas, shattered Umbra?s shield. Using the resulting burst of light as cover, Umbra fled behind a large house nearby, and prepared again in one hand the Atrum Incendia, while in his other hand he clutched his weapon. Quieting his thoughts and his heart he listened for either the Priest?s footsteps, or the tell-tale crackling of the spell. It was the latter he heard, so he positioned himself to jump at the right moment. A split-second before the house exploded, he leapt into the air and, turning to confront the priest, unleashed the pent up spell. The spell, which had not been released upon it?s summoning and had therefore gained more energy, was even more powerful than those that had obliterated the two houses. Umbra felt himself become slightly fatigued as it passed from him, but he steeled himself to keep it from affecting his judgment. He saw the fire of the attack draw near to the priest with incredible speed, but as it reached the priest, their was an explosion of white, not black, and to late did Umbra realize that the priest had used the Lumen Consulo, and now his own spell was coming back at him with greater speed and ferocity. With no time to conjure the Atrum Contego and no way to avoid the spell in mid-air, Umbra was defenseless. The spell struck him, causing pain to erupt all over his body. As the resulting explosion rocketed him back toward the jungle toward the forest, he outstretched his arm to take hold of a branch on a tree. Feeling the sturdy limb in his hand, he used his momentum to swirl around the branch once, then leap to the ground, landing on his feet. He placed himself in a defensive stance, expecting the priest to attack any minute, but was instead confronted by the sight of the villagers coming from the town he had just tried to attack, now six yards away and closing the distance fast. ?If that Priest thinks he can finish me off with a mob of farmers, he?s sorely mistaken? he recalled thinking. Umbra saw that they mostly carried pitchforks, while only a few were rich enough to buy a sword. He readied his scythe, which was uniquely crafted for him. Made of a peculiar metal which was lightweight, hard, and pure black, its handle was straight, the blade curved upward, then downward, so the point was at the same level where the blade started. Also, an addition he requested, the tip was fashioned into a point, so as to be ideal for goring. It was this feature he had used against the crowd of people who charged at him. The first one was simple enough, for the human had attempted to put the metal of his pitchfork into a blade lock with Umbra, thereby allowing the others to cut him down as they pleased. Umbra swiftly battered it aside, then let the villager?s own feet, which had not stopped moving forward during the entire encounter, to propel the villager straight into the sharpened tip, killing him instantly. The other villagers, seeing this gruesome death, hesitated, their resolve wavering for a moment. A moment was all Umbra needed. Slashing horizontally, he cut down every villager within his range, spilling their blood on the forest floor. The surviving villagers, after just seeing their friends and family slaughtered in a matter of seconds, stood dazed, then, dropping their weapons, they turned back toward the village, screaming as if they would be spared if they made enough noise. Umbra knew he would have struck them down, if a thought had not occurred to him at that time: Where was the priest? Umbra looked this way and that, imagining every way he could be attacked from any given angle, all the while scolding himself for forgetting the real threat. There, walking through the remaining villagers who parted around him like water flowing past a stone, was the Sigurd Preston, aiming an arrow drawn and pointed at Umbra?s heart. But as he peered at the arrow, he saw a glimmer of light that sent a chill down his spine. It was the light of the Lumen Eradico, fused into the arrow. And now it was well on its way toward him. Digging into his reserves of energy, he summoned the strongest Atrum Contego he could muster. A pitch-black wall appeared between the arrow and himself. He remembered thinking that this wall was much stronger than the previous, but as the Lumen Eradico pierced the wall and continued on its path undeterred, Umbra?s feeling of security instantly turned into white hot pain when the arrow carrying the deadly spell pierced him. Nearly falling to the ground, he caught himself by using his scythe to hold himself up. His vision blurred, but he could still hear the footsteps of the priest drawing nearer, and the crackle of the Lumen Levitas. Letting himself slump over so as make the priest have a false sense of victory while simultaneously hiding from view of the priest his hand, he called up on his last bits of reserved power and summoned a final Atrum Incendia. Because of the blows he had taken, he was not able to muster enough to kill the priest, but even if he had been able to he would not have, for the noise would surely have alerted the priest. Just as the priest came close enough to touch him, Umbra let loose his final attack in the priest?s face, burning his face and blinding him permanently. Umbra could barely recall what had happened next, but he was under the impression that he spun around on the scythe and took off in the other direction, into the forest, arm around the hole in his abdomen. He ran onward, only faintly aware of the screams of the priest, and even less so when the priest stopped. He came across a river, and remembered that he was about to leap it when pain again shot through his entire body, what he now in recollection realized to have been the Lumen Levitas, which the priest hadn?t had a chance to use. He was falling, falling, the water rushing to meet him. Then, just before he hit the fast flowing waters, he blacked out.
So, I fell into the river? he thought. Then, why am I not wet? For that matter, why am I still alive? Where am I? He could not think, could not remember what had happened after he had fallen in. His vision had not returned in an amount to see his surrounding, for now he could barely make out shapes, and only when the shifting black thinned over any spot. His coming to had caused the pain in him to increase ten-fold, causing his entire body to tremble rapidly, as one trembles from the cold. Although unsure of the events that had lead him from the rapid waters of the river to this place, wherever he was, he forced himself to sleep.
Sorry for the lack of paragraphs but every tim eI try to add some, this stupid computer eats away the previous one.
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What is there is fairly good, but it is hard to read. Not just the lack of paragraphs,but also all the speech marks and apostrophes are question marks, which makes it hard to follow.

On the positive side, it looks like you have some interesting things to put into the future chapters and this one could well draw you in, particularly if you sort out the punctuation and grammar.
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It seems that my story didn't take off as I had planned. Ah, well, there's always the next chapter. Speaking of which, here it is.

When Umbra awoke from his bidden sleep, his vision had returned. The first thing he saw was a low wooden ceiling made of oak. Casting his gaze around, he determined that he was in a small dwelling, human by design, presumably made by the trees in the forest Umbra had been in. How did I get here? he asked himself. Was I captured by some human from the village? No, surely any of them whom I attacked would have killed me if they had found me. Or do they have something worse stored for me? This last thought came not out of fear, but a chiding, bitter sense of humor. They?ll be surprised when they find that I?m not as easy to break as others of my kind before me. Although most humans weren?t given to torture, word had reached many a demon of the cruel and almost sadistic methods that the Sigurd Preston practiced. The bed I lie in, he thought, although nothing more than a simple layer of sheets, is a far more hospitable accommodation than what I would be given if I were in their custody. When he moved his arms, though, he found he was not bound to anything or tied down. Furthermore, when reaching for his wound to gage the severity of it, he found that someone had wrapped the injured area with bandages, now turned dark red with his blood.
Although it pained him to move, he stood up and, finding his scythe resting on the opposite wall, he moved to explore his surroundings and find who had rescued him (for that was the only possible explanation). Using the scythe like a walking stick, he ventured into the next room, which had a small table with two chairs. Limping into the next room, he found a chair and a fireplace connected to a chimney. But more importantly, he found a door standing ajar which sunlight streaked through. When he had first awoken, his internal clock had told him it was morning, and now outside, he could see that by the position of the sun in the sky and the relative coolness in the air, he had been right.
A noise startled him. It was a faint noise, that of feet crushing grass, but instead of an attacker as he expected, Umbra was surprised to see a woman tending to a vegetable garden. She was young, had a small frame, fair skin and even fairer hair, and wore the clothes of a commoner, a simple brown shirt and shorts. She had a small and delicate waist, small yet firm breasts, and slender legs. She heard him come out, and turned to look at him, slightly surprised. It was then that he saw her eyes, light hazel, perfectly complimenting the rest of body. But her beauty was diluted by stress that had worn lines into her face, and her hands were covered in the dirt of the garden dirt. And in her eyes there was weariness, deep and profound, mixed with despair. Still leaning on the scythe, Umbra moved toward her in a staggering gait, while she went back to gathering the vegetables in her garden. He stopped when he was at the edge of the garden and stood there, watching her. ?Was it you who rescued me from the river?? he asked eventually, his voice a rich tenor. Without stopping what she was doing, she responded, ?Do you see any one else around here who?d be able to save you?? her voice was a light alto, but it was harsh, as if she resented talking to him. Ignoring her callous remark, he continued. ?Why did you rescue me?? ?You were bloodying up the river where I get my water.? she said, though the coldness of her first answer had died somewhat in her second. ?But why not just leave me there by the river bank to die, why bring me all the way here and treat my wounds?? he pressed, though it was still the same, smooth tone he had used before. ?My conscience wouldn?t leave me alone if I were to just leave some poor fool to die all alone like that.? Now all harshness and disappeared, and a slight smile played at her lips, and for a moment she looked almost radiant, no sign of stress of care diminishing her features. Still smiling slightly, she put all the vegetables she had gathered in her arms and set them in a basket outside the garden, and not six feet away from where Umbra leaned, then, turning back to the garden, proceeded to pick up the remaining vegetables. Without saying anything, Umbra picked up the basket with his free arm and went back to her house to set the basket on a certain table with to chairs.

As for the grammer problems and punctuation, this is diectly from Microsoft Word, so go figure. Please tell me what you think of it, and how I can improve.
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Well, since no one has posted, and I wish to continue the story, I guess I have no choice but to double post. At least if I do, then I'll get SOMEONE to post here besides myself and the one person who seems to have taken intrest in it.

Chapter 3

It felt good to be hunting in the late afternoon light, racing through the forest without the slightest sound, moving with inhuman speed, though it was somewhat diminished because of his injury. Earlier that afternoon, he had spotted a herd of deer and, telling Aroha (the name of the woman that had saved him) to expect venison, he took off. Now, after an hour of pacing himself to keep out of sight from the family of deer, he came upon the place they had chosen to graze. Slowly, carefully, he circled them until the largest one, a buck, was thirty feet in front of him. Hiding himself behind a tree, he picked up a medium sized rock and, aiming carefully, he through it so that the rock hit a tree somewhere behind the buck with considerable force. Almost instantly, the heard scattered, and the buck when straight forward, as Umbra had planned. Still behind the tree, Umbra listened to the footsteps of his prey, waiting until it was about to pass him. Then stretched his arm out, grabbed the buck by the neck, and used its own speed against it by steering it into the tree itself, breaking the tree and rendering it unconscious. His hand still on the neck, Umbra used his other hand to twist the head until the spine broke, killing the deer. Leaning to rest on what remained of the broken tree, he placed his hand on his abdomen, now covered with a thin layer of skin but still damaged on the inside, to determine if the struggle had caused it to reopen. It had not, so, picking up the body of the deer, he turned and walked back to Aroha?s home.
By the time he returned, the sun had just begun setting in the sky. Aroha had made a fire in the expectation that Umbra had been successful in trying to hunt deer, but it was more than that. She had taken the time to build the fire without any guarantee that Umbra would not run from her, trusting that he would stay, and upon seeing this, Umbra smiled slightly. His smile broadened when he saw, lying next to sturdy tree, was a rope to hang the carcass up, so that cutting the meat out of the kill would be easier. Tying the buck to the tree, he called to her, ?You?re quite the prepared one, aren?t you?? ?When one has Demons over as household guests, one must always be prepared.? was her reply as she fed the fire. Umbra was still grinning somewhat even after he had carved the meat out of the body and was roasting it over the fire. The meat was placed on large, flat stone, carved to be thin, and the stone itself was suspended by two other stones so low that flames of the fire regularly went higher than the stone itself. Soon, the fat sizzled and the smell of cooked meat filled the air, until Aroha finally came out and said, ?Are you trying to torment me? You know I haven?t eaten for hours, and that aroma is making me realize just how famished I really am.? ?I killed this animal with my own two hands. You don?t get to eat it for free.? Shaking her head, Aroha walked back into her house, but Umbra had seen the barely suppressed smile on her face. He placed the cooked meat into a large stone plate left out for him, and took it into the house.
Inside, the table was set, with Aroha already seated. There was boiled vegetables, bread, and water to drink, with an empty place in the center large enough to set down the stone plate Umbra carried. Gently he set it down, then took the other seat, which was seated opposite of her. Neither of them had eaten all day, so immediately they began to devout their food ravenously. The food was plain enough, but somehow Umbra found himself enjoying this food like he had not for longer than he could remember, if at all. At their rate of consumption, it wasn?t long before the entire meal was gone, not even a scrap of meat left. Not fully sated, Aroha stared at the table, as if to find some unnoticed piece. After awhile, Umbra broke the silence.
?You live alone, but this table has two chairs. Why is that? Surely you didn?t know that I would dine with you.? This had been on the back of his mind, but an appropriate time where nothing urgently needed to be done until now. But upon saying this, Umbra regretted it. Aroha?s face suddenly saddened, and she turned her gaze from the table to her own plate. When he saw the changes I her, he quickly assured, ? If it pains you for any reason, you don?t?? ? It?s alright,? she interrupted softly. ? I wasn?t always alone. I lived here with my husband, who built this entire house and furniture by himself.? Then, not waiting for the inevitable question, she continued, ?About a month ago, he went to the village to trade. But he didn?t come back for days, so finally I went to the village myself, not knowing what had happened to him. I asked around, but they said they hadn?t seen anyone fitting that description. Then some one told me there had been a body found matching the description I had given. They said that he?? she trailed off, then gathered herself together and finished. ??that he had been attacked by demons out in the woods, and had been run through the heart. I couldn?t believe that, wouldn?t believe that so I went to check for myself?? she trailed off again, this time not resuming. Her eyes were moist, but her face had hardened. ?I am sorry to hear that.? he said, not knowing what else to say.
Standing up, he picked up all the dishes and put them away without a word, then left her, all the while deep in thought.[I] Why did she save me? If her story is true, wouldn?t she hate all Demons? I can pass as human easily, but she must have known when she saw that I had recovered so quickly[/I]. He left for the room, thinking these things and, consequentially, why he had not killed her, not even thought of it. He could find no answer, and this troubled him. Never before had he acted irrationally like this, and if his Demon brethren knew what he was doing, he would be exiled or executed immediately. Yet it seemed none of this mattered anymore, these consequences. And why he didn?t, he didn?t know. Frustrated, he went back into the room where he had first woken up, and, preferring to sit leaning against the wall instead of lying down, he fell into an uneasy sleep.
He was awoken by a faint sound, that of a person walking toward the house. Umbra sat and listened to it, prepared to attack if it entered the house, but it stopped fifteen feet in front of the house. Then a voice called out, a voice that Umbra thought vaguely familiar but could not place. It said, ?Demon! Come out at once! You may have tricked the owner of this house into thinking that you are harmless, but you cannot fool me.? There was silence, then, ?If you do not come out, I shall use my spiritual power to destroy this house, and you with it.? Umbra bit his lip involuntarily. If he walked out there, he might not survive another encounter. But the alternative was worse. If he stayed, the Priest would surely do as he said. The Sigurd Preston were known for their ruthlessness and that they would sacrifice the lives of others in order to kill Demons. Without any other choice, Umbra made his way over to the door, but he was surprised too find Aroha stepping out. ?You, woman, get out of my way so that I may destroy the house and the evil that lies within.? the priest said. ?NO!? she called out. ?He isn?t evil. I won?t allow you to do this!? ?You must know that he is a Demon. He has deceived you. I warn you, if you don?t step aside, I will kill you. This is your final warning!? ?I don?t believe?? her voice was cut off instantly, replaced by the sound of an explosion. Umbra?s blood ran cold. He stepped outside, and to his horror found a small crater, blackened with heat, and in the center of it lied the charred skeletal remains of Aroha, which Umbra?s eyes saw but didn?t register. Slowly, his mind going numb from anguish and fury, he turned to face the priest.
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