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Old 07-07-2008, 10:08 PM
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Ryuu-san Ryuu-san is offline
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Default Soon Ripe, Soon Rotten

My bad. Posted originally in General, reposted here... Sorry. ^^' I had it typed in a New Thread in General and posted it by mistake.


Soon Ripe, Soon Rotten

It's Tradition
Dragon Tavern [2030 HOURS]

The Dragon Tavern was quiet this time of year. It was winter, the worst time for traveling. For the Mountain Kingdom, it was nearly impossible to pass through the snow they got. The Ajendran Empire was in harsh conditions in their own land -- it was no time for soldiers to be on leave now. The Deadlanders, being the furthest of the three domains, were scarcely seen anyway because of the perilous path to the Tavern. The locals were usually not rowdy, and the local drunks were usually too busy trying to find a shelter since they spent all their money on booze and rum and ale. So, only the ones who were on leave could visit, and they were usually the quiet, hard-working ones, who earned their free time instead of forced it.

Ryoku, as it goes, was one of those few. He was taking a short walk down to the local armament shop. He just so happened to be passing by the Tavern, and, to his dismay, he felt someone roughly grab him in a headlock from behind, ruffing his hair like an older brother or a father. Ryoku was, for a moment, confused.

"Ryoku! How ya been!"

It was at that moment that the Warmaster scowled. He knew that voice. He tried to pry away the grip, but the man was too strong. He grumbled an inaudible curse.

The grip began to loosen. Ryoku looked up and saw a cloaked man, the only thing visible being his ocean blue eyes. They had an amused twinkle in them. The rest of his face was shadowed, mouth included, but Ryoku didn't need to see it to know he was straight-faced. He knew that this Infiltrator never lost his expression aside from the odd scowl or glare. The cloaked man was prying his fellow's arm away from the young Warmaster's neck.

The cloaked man nodded kindly, which Ryoku returned in a wide grin. "How you doin', Kaen, Karyuu!" he exclaimed happily.

Karyuu was the oldest of the three, but Kaen was the most mature. He was a strong Infiltrator who hadn't really socialized in his early prime, but three years prior, Karyuu had pried and pried and pried and followed him everywhere and annoyed him to the breaking point, until something happened. Ryoku hadn't known them then, but they'd never said what it was, except one thing that Kaen always replied to dodge the question: "You might know someday." It had that odd mysterious tone about it, but no one ever once questioned him. No one ever did.

After "it", as Ryoku referred to the event as, they were inseparable. Kaen would follow the Sky Guard when he could, but he often left to go...actually, Kaen was quite a mystery. No one knew what he was doing when he left, not even Karyuu. He always evaded questions by glaring death at them, something he was almost renowned for.

As for Karyuu, he wasn't exactly interesting beyond the fact that he never delved into his childhood. He would tell very isolated scenarios, like when the roof had a layer of ice on it and him and his brother went up in their socks and slid down it and fell off the end (apparently, Karyuu and his brother were very reckless and fun-loving). Now and then, Ryoku could get him to sketch something. He had an amazing talent in art -- he said he couldn't sketch for the world, but everyone else would tell him he should put more effort into it and make it look less...sketchy, but that otherwise he had a flare for it.

Kaen, oddly, could read people like an open book. He could always tell when people were lying, or joking, or jealous, or secretly angry, but ironically, he was impossible to read. His eyes were the only thing that ever showed any emotion besides the occasional scowl or glare. He could, apparently, control how his eyes looked, as well. Like most Infiltrators, he had a very controlled emotional state, because to be convincing when infiltrating, one cannot portray their emotions freely -- and that...that was something which Kaen was, no question, a master of.

Ryoku turned around to look at Karyuu, who was a 6'1" Sky Guard, and considered highly by Ryoku. The two interacted like brothers, unlike Kaen and his Sky Guard friend. Kaen treated all of his "friends" simply as allies, though to be treated as an ally with the isolated Infiltrator was rare. Karyuu looked at Ryoku as a younger brother, and they treated each other as such -- they argued and fought a lot, but it was the fun kind of "Yeah-huh!" "Uh-uh!" "Yeah-huh!" "Uh-uh!" thing, that went back and forth forever.

And no one raised an eyebrow at the strange scene anymore -- two well-trained Mountain Kingdom soldiers, fighting like ten-year-olds -- because it was so common to see it.

The three, two of them chatting and one following silently, came to the Tavern doorstep.

"Hey." Both of the arguing soldiers turned in surprise to the Infiltrator behind them, who had spoken in a quiet tenor voice. "Are we getting ale, or are we going to stand here all night?"

Both of them stared at him, mouths gaping.

"What?"

"That's the most I've heard you speak in the same sentence." Karyuu shook his head, smiling at the younger soldier's words. Ryoku laughed a bit. Kaen looked at them weirdly and waived it off as one of those things that he would never, ever understand about his friends.

---

"The hell!" Ryoku exclaimed sharply. He stared at the bag of loot that Karyuu had pulled out. It was bulging. The Sky Guard quickly returned it to his rucksack.

"I told you, Ryo," Karyuu began, "I found a few stashes...geez...what's wrong with you? It's not that uncommon!"

"Yeah, but man, fate's a cruel lady to leave me with barely enough to buy that sword I've had my eye on and YOU'VE GOT --" Ryoku was cut off when Kaen clamped a hand over his mouth from behind. He mumbled something, which was muffled by the strong hand over his mouth.

"Shut up, idiot," the Infiltrator growled. "Are you trying to get him robbed of that?"

Ryoku looked around. There were many men staring at them oddly. Kaen was giving them all death glares, but not all of them went back to what they were doing when they were caught staring.

"Dimwit," Kaen muttered, flicking the Warmaster's forehead in reprimand like he always did.

The two soldiers began their arguing again, this time over which was better -- beer or rum -- while Kaen kept an eye around them. Several people were whispering in hushed tones after Ryoku's beginning-of-an-exclamation. Karyuu was in for a long, long night.

"Hey," Kaen's thoughts were interrupted abruptly. He blinked, finally noticing Ryoku's hand waving in front of his face. "You in there?"

Kaen, annoyed, pushed his hand away, scowling. "What?"

"You gonna get some ale?" Karyuu asked. Kaen hadn't bought anything.

"I don't drink."

"Yes you do you liar!" Ryoku all but yelled, narrowing his eyes. He rambled on about how he'd seen the Infiltrator drinking in days prior, but Kaen tuned him out and crossed his arms, leaning back in his seat and closing his eyes.

Dear Lord... he thought, tempted to rip the annoying Warmaster's brains out of his head, Why are rookies so annoying?

"Anyways," Ryoku was continuing when he finally stopped rambling and Kaen gingerly paid attention, "didn't you say something about some kind of initiation, Karyuu?"

The Sky Guard looked up. "Hm? Oh, that, yeah." He grinned, glancing at Kaen, who ignored them for the most part. "We'll have to make you do that soon... Follow me!" he said suddenly, standing up and walking determinedly towards the huge oak double doors. Kaen slowly stood up, trailing placidly after an excited, childish Ryoku.

"OK, so, Ryo. Did I ever tell you about when Kaen had to do this? Well, I made this tradition, and he was my first victim -- uh, I mean, he was the first to do it..." Karyuu scratched the back of his head nervously.

---

Somewhere in the middle of a blizzard [2345 HOURS]

What have I gotten myself into?!

Ryoku scowled up at the sky, cold to the point of numbness and stuck in a blizzard in gods-know-where.

He held the lantern tightly, having lost all sense of direction (and time, for that matter). The snow had only come down heavier and the winds became stronger after about two hours -- or maybe two weeks, he didn't know anymore.

Slowly, the Warmaster dragged himself into a random black hole. It was, to his luck, dry and warmer than in the blizzard.

He remembered Kaen's words: "There's a line of caves northwest, an hour walking. Wait out the blizzard there -- you should get there before it hits.

But no, Ryoku had lingered too long, and within forty-five minutes, the storm had hit and he was caught in it. After at least three hours of wandering, he found a little black cave which looked to be a low fissure in a rocky outcrop, carved into a cave by years of weathering and perhaps some miners' help. He pulled his cloak closer over his armor, shivering and looking around.

There was a pile of wood near him, and the ground was scorched black in one area, as if someone had continually used it like a fire pit. He slowly began to pile the wood over the scorch mark -- after five or ten minutes, he found some smaller sticks and such for kindling. Pulling out his small match box that he always kept on hand in case of emergency, he went through three before the fire began to flare up. His cloak lay, drying beside it, while Ryoku rubbed his hands together.

Shortly later, he passed out of exhaustion against the cave wall.

---

Dragon Tavern [2350 HOURS]

"Oi, Kaen."

"Hn?"

"How long do you think before he figures it out?"

"...a week?"

"Aw, c'mon, he's not that big of a moron!"

"..."

"OK, yes, he is, but still...."

---

Author's Note: Ryoku is funny, isn't he? He's supposed to come across as an immature moron. The last part made me laugh, even though I wrote it. Kinda short...sorry...length will probably remain the same, since that took me a while to conjure up.

It's terrible, isn't it? And cheesy. But that's the way I am...

Sorry, no action yet, but the next chapter kicks off with a flare. Please note that I'd kill off any character at any time, and you'd either hate them or love them. (With most of my characters, it's one or the other.)

I was going to make Ryoku a chain smoker, but I don't think cigarettes exist in DT. I'll add that in the next chapter depending on what you peoples think. (I personally love the idea of him as a Chain Smoker, or possibly Karyuu, but it would make sense with Ryoku since he carries around matches for no apparent reason.) Things will be more explained in the next chapter, referring to the last part about him "figuring it out". (And no, it won't take him as long as Kaen said.)

By the way, Kaen isn't emotionless, just controlled. That's how I'd imagine an Infiltrator acting. He has them [emotions], he doesn't show them.

Anywho, critique and correct as needed, please.

ALSO: 2030 hours is Military Time for 8:30 PM, if I remember correctly... 2345 (I just noticed the order of those numbers XD) hours is Military Time for 11:45 PM. The location is in italics, the time is MT.

0000 = 12:00 AM (Midnight)
0100 = 1:00 AM
0200 = 2:00 AM
0300 = 3:00 AM
0400 = 4:00 AM
0500 = 5:00 AM
0600 = 6:00 AM
0700 = 7:00 AM
0800 = 8:00 AM
0900 = 9:00 AM
1000 = 10:00 AM
1100 = 11:00 AM
1200 = 12:00 PM (Noon)
1300 = 1:00 PM
1400 = 2:00 PM
1500 = 3:00 PM
1600 = 4:00 PM
1700 = 5:00 PM
1800 = 6:00 PM
1900 = 7:00 PM
2000 = 8:00 PM
2100 = 9:00 PM
2200 = 10:00 PM
2300 = 11:00 PM

If it's 1200 or less, it's the same as the number (AM); if it's 1300 or more, subtract 12 (PM).

[Thanks to Zaerim for the correction.]
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Kaen Level 9 Infiltrator
Karyuu Level 9 Sky Guard
Lucien Level 8 Cavalier
Ryoku Level 6 Warmaster

"This is a sworded bunny. For every sworded bunny in the world, one regular bunny is defeated. If we get enough sworded bunnies on the internet, we can stop bunnies insidious plot for world domination."

- (\__/)
- (='.'=)==l--
- (")_(")

SWORDED!

Helping Ashen's plot to destroy those damned bunnies and their plot to take the world over.

Last edited by Ryuu-san; 07-18-2008 at 06:20 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2008, 10:17 PM
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Zaerim Zaerim is offline
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Isn't 0000 the military time of midnight? I think I saw that somewhere...
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  #3  
Old 07-07-2008, 10:22 PM
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Ryuu-san Ryuu-san is offline
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Maybe, but I don't think so... I'll ask my brother (he's the one who taught me the rule to change MT to standard time and he's pretty much an expert on this kind of stuff), but I think it's 2400.

Edit: He doesn't know. He said he's heard people use the term "zero hour" referring to midnight, but also heard "twenty-four hundred hours" referring to midnight. It's weird... He said it might be done both ways.

Edit 2: Googled it.

"The question sometimes arises whether midnight is written as 2400 or 0000. Military and emergency services personnel refer to midnight both ways. However, digital watches and clocks that display time in a 24-hour format and computer equipment treat midnight as the start of a new day and express it as 0000." Full Page

Thanks for the correction.
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Kaen Level 9 Infiltrator
Karyuu Level 9 Sky Guard
Lucien Level 8 Cavalier
Ryoku Level 6 Warmaster

"This is a sworded bunny. For every sworded bunny in the world, one regular bunny is defeated. If we get enough sworded bunnies on the internet, we can stop bunnies insidious plot for world domination."

- (\__/)
- (='.'=)==l--
- (")_(")

SWORDED!

Helping Ashen's plot to destroy those damned bunnies and their plot to take the world over.

Last edited by Ryuu-san; 07-07-2008 at 10:31 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-08-2008, 04:09 AM
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They could have pipe tobacco back then so could be a chain smoker like that or could stretch it a little and have him make his own cigarettes.

Also....*shocked face* My writing skill now feels small and inadequate
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Corrig some are born with greatness others have it thrust upon him also others sort of decompose after a century or three.
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2008, 05:10 AM
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Ryuu-san Ryuu-san is offline
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Sounds good to me.

Also, your writing skills are fine. My English skills have always been abnormal. I'm not bad at writing because of description or quality, it's my style that has never particularly appealed to people. Yours is better because it's more appealing to readers in the humor and comedic relief area. I've always had trouble with comedy, so I have to put extra effort into characters like Ryo or Karyuu who are just plain childishly funny (in my opinion :\).
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Kaen Level 9 Infiltrator
Karyuu Level 9 Sky Guard
Lucien Level 8 Cavalier
Ryoku Level 6 Warmaster

"This is a sworded bunny. For every sworded bunny in the world, one regular bunny is defeated. If we get enough sworded bunnies on the internet, we can stop bunnies insidious plot for world domination."

- (\__/)
- (='.'=)==l--
- (")_(")

SWORDED!

Helping Ashen's plot to destroy those damned bunnies and their plot to take the world over.
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  #6  
Old 07-08-2008, 05:15 AM
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Well the extra effort you put in definitely worked
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Belkaim Grudgefist a one man wrecking ball of dwarven beer muscle, they get sensiti-*cough* angry when you say fat.
Corrig some are born with greatness others have it thrust upon him also others sort of decompose after a century or three.
Kippil Ebonstrings When most people ask for catgut you assume they're a musician, Kippil on the otherhand he's a very special kind of physician.
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  #7  
Old 07-08-2008, 05:18 AM
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Ryuu-san Ryuu-san is offline
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I'm glad to hear it. I like confirming how I'm doing with the comedy relief.

I'm already well into the second chapter. I hope you liked Ryoku here...he'll have to wait a while before picking up any form of plot aside from his adrenaline-junky adventures.
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Kaen Level 9 Infiltrator
Karyuu Level 9 Sky Guard
Lucien Level 8 Cavalier
Ryoku Level 6 Warmaster

"This is a sworded bunny. For every sworded bunny in the world, one regular bunny is defeated. If we get enough sworded bunnies on the internet, we can stop bunnies insidious plot for world domination."

- (\__/)
- (='.'=)==l--
- (")_(")

SWORDED!

Helping Ashen's plot to destroy those damned bunnies and their plot to take the world over.
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2008, 06:35 AM
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Like them all but Kaen is my personal favorite for some reason
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Belkaim Grudgefist a one man wrecking ball of dwarven beer muscle, they get sensiti-*cough* angry when you say fat.
Corrig some are born with greatness others have it thrust upon him also others sort of decompose after a century or three.
Kippil Ebonstrings When most people ask for catgut you assume they're a musician, Kippil on the otherhand he's a very special kind of physician.
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2008, 10:04 PM
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Ryuu-san Ryuu-san is offline
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OK, I'll post the next chapter over the weekend. I'm sorry for the wait, and I'll try to post at least once a week, but my schedule is kind of hard-pressed right now. The best writing comes in between a million other things, yes, this is true, but when you have so much to work on (school over summer) that you CAN'T write at all, it's going to suck pretty hard.

Anywhos. I hope I can get in some decent comedy. Ryoku's the first one I'm gonna address, and Kaen will be the last to get a bigger piece of the plot, since he's hardest to put in there.
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Kaen Level 9 Infiltrator
Karyuu Level 9 Sky Guard
Lucien Level 8 Cavalier
Ryoku Level 6 Warmaster

"This is a sworded bunny. For every sworded bunny in the world, one regular bunny is defeated. If we get enough sworded bunnies on the internet, we can stop bunnies insidious plot for world domination."

- (\__/)
- (='.'=)==l--
- (")_(")

SWORDED!

Helping Ashen's plot to destroy those damned bunnies and their plot to take the world over.
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  #10  
Old 08-03-2008, 03:59 PM
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Sandsfire Sandsfire is offline
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I like your story , its better than anything i could ever write.. ya a smoker he can roll his own rollies..
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