[Archive] To Carve One's Fate


In the roiling hell of The Realm of Chaos amongst a miniature tempest of pain and madness a single cohesive thought consolidated: �?oI�?�. It was a simple but powerful revelation amongst the writhing miasma of insanity which changed the whole form of what before was but a trivial swirl in the tides of chaos: �?oI am Dawi Zharr! I am Sorcerer-Priest! �?o. The will of The Blacksmiths of Chaos is mighty and the will of their sorcerous overlords many times so. Thusly the devastated spirit, becoming somewhat whole, looked out again from its own eyes barley able to focus through the heinous pain which wracked his body. He beheld the great sacrificial chamber, the alter of his mighty god, and the brazen podium from which he had stood many times and conducted unnumbered unholy rites on behalf of his Sorcerer-Prophet whom�?� whom he hates! Whom he must destroy! To stone with him! To stone with Bharvrhak! Stone!

He stood mightily upon the podium, brandishing blooded rod and smoldering staff, conducting the ritual and calling the favors of Hashut. Too many times he had called the dark powers standing in for the aged Sorcerer-Prophet. Streaks of stone had finally begun to pain his footsteps and the Sorcerer-Prophet’s secret was now known to him, Bharvrhak�?Ts time now waned.

The vision melted from his mind as he tried to control the pain which wracked his body, he tried to pull himself back to that moment but failed. Of all things Bharvrhak�?Ts greatest transgression was his heretical vanity. Where idols of glorious Hashut should blaze upon the adjoining wall of the Prophet’s throne instead glowered five huge ugly busts of Bharvrhak�?Ts face, his head repeated again and again as big as a giant�?Ts across the vast stone wall. The five great stone faces offended him even more then the Prophet’s own mediocrity as a sorcerer. It was only by the secret of his dreaded Mage-Bane Petrification curse that Bharvrhak rose to glory; a insidious version of The Curse of Hashut which targeted enemy wizards and was devilishly difficult to counter or resist. However, he had deftly plundered the Sorcerer-Prophets secret�?�

He crept carefully through the hidden labyrinth, timing his incantations and the sliding of secret doors with the noisy work of the Daemon-Forge above him. He toiled in constant dread knowing were he discovered with a stolen tablet of Bharvrhak�?Ts own arcana he would soon meet a cruel death. The thrice warded tablet was laughably easy to clear of obscuring enchantments, another testament to the Sorcerer-Prophet’s unworthiness of his title. Concealed amongst the sliding secrets of the maze were the petrified bodies of failed acolytes, secret and cunning runes were carved into their stone-flesh and with his pilfered lore he deciphered them whist avoiding the nameless and faceless Seven Times Mutated Thing which haunted the maze.

Once again pain overwhelmed his memories and returned him to the unbearable now. Great rents and masses of flesh where gone from his body. In the soaring pain he knew most of his torso and some portion of his heart had been sheared from him, much of his face was sliced from his skull, terrible furrows of pain covered his legs and arms. He had been kept immobile and upright, unable to see what tortures had befallen his body. He gazed across the familiar chamber unable to fathom his vantage point, grateful he could not see the Prophet’s pompous throne, for the last time he had looked upon it�?� the last time�?�

Coming to the crescendo of the sacred and unholy rite he stood now surging with the powers of fiery darkness. Hours had passed and countless slaves had been sacrificed as the Sorcerer-Prophet gazed on from his throne. He soon came to the pinnacle of the spell, burning with the raw stuff of chaos as he conducted the ritual that the aged Prophet no longer could. Where he was meant to bestow upon his master blessings and vitality he denounced him! He cast upon the vain fool his own secret and signature petrifying incantation! He cast�?� He cast�?�

The reflection in the vast basin of sacrificial blood recently filled by the ritualists snapped him harshly into the present and into maddening epiphany. As his mind and soul howled and shattered unable to bear the black revelation he knew that the spell he thought he had so cunningly discovered was but a trap of that dark labyrinth. He knew the nature of the horrible pain which assailed his body. He knew his suffering was to be eternal. He knew why he could see in the crimson reflection not five great stone faces of his hated enemy �?" but six!


This was my first ever contest entry, and although I didn�?Tt place I’m still really very pleased with it as a short story. There where just a ton of really great entries, and if I’m going to be totally honest I think the biggest failing was that this story didn�?Tt fit the theme of the contest as strongly as allot of the other material people submitted.

It was really great writing again for the first time in years, and it just felt good writing a piece for a competition (Which I�?Tve never done before, so this is an overall first for me not just my first contest on this forum), it just really added a sense of purpose and focus that I often found myself struggling for in my normal writing. I also feel like I leaned allot about writing doing this short piece, the 800 word limit really challenged me, the original version of this story was approaching 3,000 words, the re-writing and editing process I went through was a real eye-opener.

I would really love to get some feedback on this piece, I�?Tm a little worried that it was a bit convoluted, and although I think I was able to convey the final revelation without spelling it out to the reader I�?Td really like to know for sure that it was clear.

All the explanations and feedback requests aside I really hope people enjoyed reading it! :cheers

Ikkred Pyrhelm:

For a first piece of writing in years, you did a marvellous job! :cheers

As for critique, most of what I could find to put any downer on the piece was pretty small or nitpicky. I felt a bit torn about the pacing of the piece, on the one paw the description is tantalizingly slow and delicious and yet on the other paw it perhaps was a bit too slow and overdrawn. I certainly appreciate the measured approach though, however I think making it a little more concise may have improved the flow. There were the odd little bits I think of spelling that another proofread could iron out, but that really isn’t an issue in my books, the main part is the story and feeling itself.

I will admit that I had to read it a couple of times to properly appreciate and get the twist, and what a twist it was! This was a very strong and enjoyable piece with a lovely use of language and description! :slight_smile:


I’m not good at offering feedback for pieces that are already of good quality, I’m afraid, but I for one like it a lot! The flashback structure leading to the reveal at the end was indeed delicious, and managed to stand out among tough competition. Great work! :cheers