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Writing A World in Despair (An Elements Story)


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[INDENT][FONT="Times New Roman"][center][img]http://www.otakuboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=26572&d=1210106439[/img]

In a world unlike our own, there was a prophecy written on a holy Stone Tablet passed down generation after generation. It stated that when darkness threatened the world 8 heroes each representing a different elemental force would appear and conquer all evil, a man known only as Shadow.

But before Shadow had become a threat to the world, he traveled to the Shrine of the Elements where the prophesied heroes were to be summoned. Using just a chisel and a hammer he chipped off a piece of the Stone Tablet and left, hoping it would be enough to stop the heroes from ever appearing. And it was.

50 years passed and the Shrine of the Elements broke off from the rest of the world, becoming an island far away. Shadow began to capture major cities and eventually was able to conquer the entire continent of Caltraia, the largest and strongest of the 3 continents in this world. Upon hearing about the fall of Caltraia, the two other continents both surrendered to Shadow giving him control of the world.

Unsatisfied with his power and size of his kingdom, Shadow sought to find the Shrine of the Elements and destroy it. He searched for 3 years sending out fleets upon fleets of scout ships but nobody ever returned with the location of the Isle of the Shrine. Some say that Shadow couldn't find it because he was pure evil and the island was pure good while others say it just sank to the bottom of the ocean. Either way, it was lost forever... or so it seemed.

As a warning to anyone who might oppose him, Shadow wears that piece of the Stone Tablet around his neck. A reminder to all of the prophecy that never came to be. But not everyone saw it this way. One woman, the previous Princess of Caltraia saw it as hope. When Shadow marched into her castle and single-handedly wiped out all of the guards and the King himself he had the nerve to ask her to be his wife and Queen of a new world. Realizing this would be the only chance anyone would ever get to be close with Shadow, she accepted.

Over those 50 years of strife and despair for the world, she got closer and closer to Shadow but never fell in love with the man. Finally on one night when the moon was full and the night sky glittered with a thousand stars, she got her chance.

Shadow was half-naked and sound asleep in their bed. There had been a huge celebration and feast that night as it was Shadows 70th birthday. The man had drank so much that he'd be out cold for at least a full day. Slowly and quietly the Princess slipped into her clothes and opened the balcony doors. Stepping outside she whistled into the air and turned around. She tiptoed to the bedside where she and Shadow had slept so many nights together and stared at him. His jet black hair and tanned, muscular features matched his name well.

And there it was hanging from his neck, the chipped piece of the Stone Tablet. She slipped her hands behind his neck and undid the chain from behind. She slid the chipped tablet piece off the chain and stuffed it into her pocket. She was ready to go but.. she had to do one last thing. With great pleasure the Princess took off the wedding ring Shadow had given her and placed it on his chest. Walking back to the balcony, she smiled.

There, standing proudly in the moonlight, was a snowy white horse with large angelic wings. It was rare breed of Piagusi with 4 wings instead of 2. She had raised and cared for it by herself in secret from Shadow for 20 years now. Gently, she patted its nose.

"You always come when I call, my sweet." she whispered. The horse snorted in response and stood proudly. Making sure not to make any noise, the Princess climbed onto the horses back and put her arms around its neck. She whispered once more into its ear.

"To the Island of the Shrine." And in one quick motion the Piagusi's wings flapped and off they were straight into the sky far away from Shadows castle.

The next morning all hell broke loose. Shadow was infuriated when he reached to touch the piece of the tablet like every other morning and found only his wifes wedding ring. In a fit of rage he pushed his hand towards the wall in front of him and a dark beam of energy blasted from his palm destroying that entire section of the castle.

The explosion could be heard from anywhere in the world and even the Princess, riding on her loyal Piagusi, heard it. However she didn't even wince. They were too far for him to catch and the only creature that could fly faster then a Piagusi was a four-winged Piagusi, which is what she had. She scratched behind her horses ear and hugged him tightly.

"We're almost there." she said. They had just flown out of Caltraia and were now passing over the ocean. Just as the beach disappeared behind her, a new land mass rose in front of her. It seemed that it was an island with 8 large monuments and it looked as if it was... it was! The island was rising out of the water in front of her very eyes.

"That's it, Hope! That's the Shrine of the Isle!" she shouted happily. She took the piece of the Stone Tablet out of her pocket and stared at it. Soon the Tablet would be complete again and the prophecy could finally be fulfilled.[/FONT][/INDENT]

[FONT="Tahoma"][COLOR="DimGray"]So as you can see this is a story about 8 prophesied heroes who will arrive into a world already full of corruption and evil, slowly degenerating. Obviously this is just the prologue so none of the main characters have been introduced yet.

Anyway, I'd like to make this more then just a random story on OtakuBoards so to do this I'm going to involve you guys! Basically at the end of each chapter I'll have a question or two that I'd like [b]everyone who responds[/b] in this thread to answer. Your answers will have a large impact on the outcome of each chapter.

Since this is just the prologue I'd really like to get into the story before I start letting you guys intervene so for now I just have one simple question:

What do you think so far? ^_^;[/COLOR][/FONT]
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I have two words: info dump. That's all this chapter was, and I think you would of have had been much better off if you had just revealed all of this info as the story progressed.

When I read your future chapters I'll just pretend the Prologue never existed, so I can enjoy it just like any other story. :)
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The beginning was like every other story that has elemental powers in it, but it got progressively more interesting. The portrayal of Shadow as a person instead of a dark cloud or devil or something like that broke the mold somewhat, and so did the princess.

But there's still not enough story to say anything beyond that. I just have my fingers crossed that the eight elements aren't plainly fire, water, wind, earth, thunder, ice, wood and metal, but knowing your Elements-RPGs, I assume they are. ;D

Anyway, I hope that in the chapters to come, you put some twist to this elements-theme, because you and I both know that it's been done before so many times. I'll definitely keep an eye on this story.

Oh, and interactivity with the readers is a marvelous idea, and I'll be looking forward to how much you let other people affect the story.
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[FONT="Tahoma"][COLOR="DimGray"][b]Ace:[/b] Thank you! :catgirl:

[b]Matt:[/b] I'll admit it was a bit of an info dump but I felt it necessary for the readers to know this stuff right from the get go (before the get go I guess since it's the prologue, haha).

[b]Sandy:[/b] Well the way the elements will work without giving too much away is the first four (Earth, Wind, Fire and Water) are the main elements from our world but the other four are the main elements present in this other world. So they'll be very different from each other. :D

Thank you all for taking the time to read and respond! I appreciate it a lot as it inspires me to write more. I'll have Chapter 1 -as well as your first chance to intervene- up [strike]tonight[/strike] tomorrow.[/COLOR][/FONT]

[indent][FONT="Times New Roman"][CENTER][b]CHAPTER 1[/b][/CENTER]

John Marco, a skinny yet athletically built, pale-skinned young man with shaggy dark blonde hair trudged his heavy winter boots through 5 feet of snow on his way home from work. He was 24 and on his own now yet somehow he ended up walking uphill for 30 minutes to and from work every week day.

After what seemed like hours of walking, John kicked the snow off his boots and entered his small town apartment room. His answering machine light flickered on in the corner of his eye.

Pressing play, John started to undress while listening to the machine. He was delighted to hear his girlfriends voice.

"Hey John, it's Tish. I tried calling you earlier but I couldn't get through. Just wanted to remind you to pick up the movie for our date with Nick and Amy tonight. No horror flicks, please." she pleaded. John's heart skipped a beat. He had forgotten to pick up the movie on the way home from work which meant he'd have to go back out in the storm. "Anyways, I've got my cell if you need me. Kisses!"


John reluctantly began to zip up his winter coat when a second message clicked on that caught his attention. It was just faint gibberish at first but it began to get louder and louder.

"Qua laiy yul sie desq wyone, werjta..." It was a gentle sounding feminine voice and it almost sounded as if she was praying. John closed his eyes for a split second and when he opened them he almost fainted when he found himself in some forest and not his apartment.

All around him was rich forestry with blue and red-leaved trees the size of skyscrapers. Every plant seemed to be dancing in the sunlight, as if celebrating. And that voice! Right in front of John, kneeling before a Stone Tablet was a lean, middle-aged woman with long curly blonde hair that touched the ground. John noticed her ears and nose were very different looking from regular people. They were tiny and circular and he probably wouldn't even have seen the ears if her hair wasn't tucked behind them.

"Um, hello?" John was a little worried about his current state of mind. The lady instantly stopped chanting and looked up at John. She clasped her hands together and closed her eyes, smiling from ear to ear.

"Uhh... are you alright?" John asked. The woman wiped her eyes and stood to her feet, bowing before John.

"Pardon my reaction, I'm just very glad to see you've made it here."

"...okay. And where is [I]here[/I] exactly?" he asked.

"Welcome to Caltraia, outsider!" she said pleasantly, throwing her arms into the air. She grabbed John by the ears and pulled him down, kissing him on the top of his head.

"Ah, what gives!" he yelped, pulling away.

"Sorry," she bowed again. "Standard greeting. Come, we must hurry and gather the rest of you." Suddenly her welcoming and gentle tone had changed to a much more serious one. Despite being older, she was very beautiful so when she picked up the tablet and walked away John immediately followed.

"My name is Silandu, by the way." she said.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Silandu. My name's--"

"John," she interrupted. "I know."


"I'm slightly telekinetic. A gift found only among the women of our world. Although the men have energy."

"Energy and telekinesis, is that so..." John replied. Secretly as he walked behind her he began pinching himself to make sure he wasn't dreaming. He even bit his tongue. "Ow!"

"What's wrong!" Silandu rushed to Johns side.

"Oh it's nothing, I just bit my tongue." he replied. She turned back around and continued walking.

"Don't scare me like that," she said. "You're a very important person here."

"Really? So why did you choose to bring [i]me[/i] here?" he asked. Silandu laughed.

"I didn't choose you if that's what you mean. I only prayed for help. The prophecy and the power of the Stone Tablet brought you here." she stated. John sighed and rolled his eyes.

"Okay, so why did the [i]prophecy[/i] bring me here?" he said with a hint of sarcasm. Silandu stopped immediately and glared back at John instilling fear into him. She was a gorgeous lady but she had dark purple eyes which shot right into his soul.

"Because for the past [i]55 years[/i] our world has been dying, corrupted by an evil man who has killed millions and tortured millions more and the prophecy deemed [i]you[/i] one of the eight worthy enough to stop his wicked deeds." she turned back around and continued walking. "And that is [i]not[/i] something to scoff at."

John trotted silently behind Silandu for the remainder of the trip. Wherever he was definitely was not on Earth. He'd never seen blue leaves before and he [i]swore[/i] he saw a small tree stump uproot itself and walk away.

"You said one of the eight, right?" John asked. "Does that mean there are 7 others like me?"

"If all goes as planned, yes. Speaking of which, we're here." she said. Before John could ask where 'here' was the forest opened up before him and standing not far from his position at least 50 feet tall was a stone monument of a warrior wielding a sword.

"This is the fire monument." Sila explained, placing the Stone Tablet in front of her. "Ready to meet your first companion?"

John stared at the statue with awe. Cracks and rust revealed its old age but that didn't make the sight any less magnificent. Silandu began praying and immediately the warriors eyes began to glow bright crimson.

John didn't move a muscle as he watched a miracle take place before his very eyes. As Silandu continued praying the glow from the warriors eyes began spreading across the entire monument. Soon the whole statue was a giant red light which then began to shrink and was sucked right into the Stone Tablet leaving no monument behind.

A few seconds passed and nothing happened. Then a dart of pure white light shot out of the tablet and began to take the shape of a human girl. She was a bit short and had brown hair tied back into pig tails. John watched in complete shock as Tish, his girlfriend, formed right before his very eyes. Although she was Johns age, she dressed like a freshman in College.

"I have to be dreaming."

"Johnny!" Tish screamed with joy. She raced over to her boyfriend and gave him the tightest hug he'd ever received in his life. Silandu stood up and smiled.

"I see you two know each other. How cute." she said sincerely.

"So, was there a big light show like that for me too?" John asked.

"I'm assuming... I had my eyes closed." Silandu picked up the Stone Tablet off the ground and once again walked away. Tish looked hopelessly confused and rightfully so. John put his arm around her.

"I'll explain as we walk, just follow her."[/FONT][/indent]

[FONT="Tahoma"][COLOR="DimGray"]So there we go! And of course that's not all. Time for interactivity! I have one simple question for you guys. You can go into as much or as little detail in answering it as you want.

[b]Do you think Shadow will find the Island of the Shrine? Why or why not?[/b]

Your answers [i]will[/i] have an effect on the story (it may not be obvious right away but it will eventually).[/COLOR][/FONT]
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Hmm... So this is how it works, it's a classic "Earth-people transported into a fantasy world to save it" -setting. Well, I'm not going to judge a book by it's cover, you can very well still surprise me with this. ;D

As for your question, I'm not sure what to answer... In the prologue it said that Shadow had visited the shrine before to break the tablet, but after that it had somehow broke off into an island. But, as the Shadow is apparently a very potent person capable of holding an entire world in his clutch, I'd say [B]he will find the island[/B].
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[SIZE=1]I quite like this idea so far - the story initially seemed a little contrived, but I can sense a certain originality to the idea that could freshen it up. The Prologue was written in a style I'm not entirely familiar with - it was as though you were giving us the information we needed in a sort of movie voice-over (it's the only way I could think of to describe it), and then it slips into being straight prose, with dialogue and stuff in it as well. It threw me slightly in the first place, but I think I managed to get my head around it.

The first chapter was very well-written in comparison. One tiny thing that niggled me slightly, though, was this:

[/SIZE][quote][FONT=Times New Roman] "It's a pleasure to meet you, Silandu. My name's--"

"John," she interrupted. "I know."


"I'm slightly telekinetic. A gift found only among the women of our world. Although the men have energy."
[/FONT][/quote][SIZE=1]There's nothing wrong with it, technically, but as something of a superhero nut I should tell you that you're not thinking of telekinesis here. Telekinesis is the power to move objects with your mind: you're thinking of telepathy, the power to read thoughts and communicate with your mind, etc.

Otherwise, very well done.

(By the way, apologies if all this seems a little jumbled - it's quite early and I've only just woken up.)
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Well, I would of have preferred if you gave us more than just a few paragraphs to delve into the normal life of John, so it was a tinsy bit rushed.

But you know what? It really wasn't as bad as it could of been. Sure, the "Earth Person transported to another World" is an overused plot device, but if Final Fantasy X could salvage it (for the most part :animesigh), then I am more than certain that you will be able to as well.

Now, if Shadow will be able to find this shrine, it depends. Is the shrine's location public knowledge? If so, I can only assume that it would not take long for Shadow to find this Shrine. But, if the Shrine's location is a well kept secret, then I will have to say no, the probability of Shadow finding the shrine would have to be pretty low.
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[quote name='Matt']Sure, the "Earth Person transported to another World" is an overused plot device, but if Final Fantasy X could salvage it (for the most part :animesigh), then I am more than certain that you will be able to as well.[/QUOTE]

Except, and this is the FF-fanatic inside me talking, Tidus wasn't from Earth, but from a dreamworld. ;P

If you want examples of that plot device, I can list numerous fantasy books where it happens: K.A. Applegates' [I]Everworld[/I], [I]Artemis Fowl[/I], [I]The Neverending Story[/I], Guy Gavriel Kay's [I]Fionavar[/I], Philip Pullman's [I]His Dark Materials[/I]-trilogy... oh, and of course [I]Harry Potter[/I].

But like you said, and I said earlier, it's the matter of [I]how[/I] 8bit uses the plot device that defines if it was a smart choice or not.
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[quote name='Sandy']Except, and this is the FF-fanatic inside me talking, Tidus wasn't from Earth, but from a dreamworld. ;P[/QUOTE]

Bah, you and your hubbubalu!

[quote name='Sandy']If you want examples of that plot device, I can list numerous fantasy books where it happens: K.A. Applegates' [I]Everworld[/I], [I]Artemis Fowl[/I], [I]The Neverending Story[/I], Guy Gavriel Kay's [I]Fionavar[/I], Philip Pullman's [I]His Dark Materials[/I]-trilogy... oh, and of course [I]Harry Potter[/I].[/QUOTE]

Of those you listed, I can only recognize The Neverending Story and Harry Potter. But where was that present in HP? I read all of the books, and as far as I can fathom, I don't recall Harry been transported to another realm.

Well, I suppose him first entering that magic alley place (Diagon Alley? The name escapes me) could draw comparisons to the more standard form of the plot device.
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[quote name='Matt']I read all of the books, and as far as I can fathom, I don't recall Harry been transported to another realm.

Well, I suppose him first entering that magic alley place (Diagon Alley? The name escapes me) could draw comparisons to the more standard form of the plot device.[/QUOTE]

That's exactly what I was talking about. Harry was brought up in our Earth, but he discovered that there's a "parallel" world of magic surrounding us. Although he didn't travel to another planet or time or anything of that sort, the "muggle world" and the "magic world" are enough apart to be called separate worlds, in my opinion. It certainly uses the same plot device to give that feeling of assimiliation to a young reader.

You haven't heard of Artemis Fowl, or Pullman's Golden Compass (a movie of which came out last year), honestly? Well, I guess not everyone's into fantasy as much as I, but I now realize that we're derailing Stephen's story.

So please, post more of it!
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[FONT="Tahoma"][COLOR="DimGray"]I'm glad all this discussion is taking place! Even if it has little to do with my story it's still in the thread so I still get publicity, haha. :p

The next chapter will be up by Friday at the very latest. This weekend was a long weekend for me (Queen Victoria Day) so I was busy almost every day (I'm also seeing someone now, yay!). But I shall have it up soon![/COLOR][/FONT]
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