The White Ranger

The White Ranger

A Story by TheBlackmage
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Short fantasy piece

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The light was just starting to spill through the ancient trees to touch the fresh layer of snow the night had just left in its wake. It would be a magical scene to anyone who looked at it, except for the one of the few men that had been born and raised in it. As he ran through the dense forest his breath came out in ragged puffs. The moon had been his only companion for hours until now; it had been taken away once again, to be replaced by the shinning sun. The animals of the forest were just starting to wake up. He had been tracking the rogue mage the whole time, by now he doubted that any sane person would be in the forest, yet he was just beginning to tire. Over years of training he had built a breath taking endurance. The thick leather boots he was, wearing made loud crunches as he sprinted through the full foot of snow on the ground. His heavy wool cloak whipped behind him as the cold air penetrated his fur armor. He saw fresh footprints ahead that were barely visible with the snow rapidly covering his own tracks. He was about to kneel down and look at them when he heard a deep chanting.

                        He slowed down and pulled out the longbow he always carried. After years of training in the forest, he could fluidly slide tree to tree bow in hand, with the crunching of the snow barely marring the silence of his surroundings. He slid behind a large moss-covered oak so he could observe his prey. He pulled his hood back and squinted against the bitterly cold wind. The man stood in the center of an open glade in voluptuous ebony robes; the contrast between such a deep abysmal black and the luminous white of the snow was astounding. The spidery language of magic covered the robes from the hood to his feet; the intricate runes glowing lightly without sunlight even hitting them. Dmitri cursed as he saw the pendant around the mage’s neck. The small skull pendant had bright ruby eyes and small sapphire horns. This seemingly harmless adornment showed that the mage’s allegiance was to the blossoming group of necromancers called the Grey Sword, and not to the great king of these lands.This explained a lot about Dmitri’s morning, he wasn’t use to being called upon this close to Saturnalia; let alone being called upon by the head of the Arcane guild himself. The sight of the Necromancer explained all of that and more. The Arcane guild had been hunting down all the Necromancers it could find. The few it captured alive were quickly bound, blinded and hung in front of the masses.  It was the personal vendetta of the Arcane guild master after his wife had been killed under mysterious circumstances.

 Dmitri listened to the necromancer’s soothing voice fill the quiet forest, he pulled his hood back up as the realization hit him. The man was trying to summon a spirit, most likely a powerful one. The entering rank of a Grey Sword member depended on how powerful of a spirit they could summon. Dmitri stepped out from behind the tree and quickly fired an arrow straight at the necromancer’s chest. The whistle of the arrow was stopped mid stride when the out of nowhere it stopped in mid air mere feet from the Necromancer and evaporated into a black mist. It was quickly swept up by the roaring winds.  The Necromancer then stopped his chanting and nonchalantly turned towards Dmitri. The wind made the necromancers robes fly wildly around him. The necromancer slowly raised his left hand. Years of battle experience paid off as Dmitri’s eyes widened and he wildly dived to his left. Fire erupted from the Necromancer’s hand. The flames covered the surrounding trees and hungrily ate away at their flesh.

            Dmitri was at a dead sprint when the second wave of fire erupted from the necromancer’s hand. The plan was already formulating in Dmitri’s head as he heard the necromancer give pursuit.  Dmitri quickly slid behind another tree and dropped his bow into the snow. He was almost ashamed he had to use this tactic. As a basic rule he hated the use of magicka in battle, it just wasn’t honorable to him. Dmitri put his hands together in a prayer and closed his eyes as snow started to fall again. Blue light started to gather as his hands slowly moved apart. As a blue ball of light formed in Dmitri’s hand he let out a deep sigh and opened his eyes. The necromancer was paces to his left, prowling through the forest. He turned towards the crunching snow and proudly yelled “I am a commander in the Great King’s army, surrender now or face his wrath.” The Necromancer’s head whipped at the sound of his voice. The Necromancer lifted his hand to cast another spell, but before the words could be uttered his whole arm was encased in ice. The Necromancer shrieked and tried to free his arm, but it was already too late. Dmitri’s shot was true and the arrow hit the necromancer in his side. As the arrow shredded flesh and muscle the Necromancer fell to his knees in defeat.

 “Show your palms to God and don’t move,” Dmitri said, as he cautiously walked towards the necromancer. Little rivers of blood were the only thing that could be seen in the necromancer’s hood as he shrilly laughed, his ice covered hands towards the sky.  Dmitri was about to pull back the man’s hood when he burst into brilliant red flames. Dmitri yelped as his hand was burned. Dmitri, wide-eyed, tried to summon ice to encase the man before he died but the flames only grew bigger until there was nothing left to burn. After the fire died down all that was left was the skull pendent glistening in the morning sun and the smell of burnt flesh.

***

 

            As the sun reached its crest at the top of the cloudy blue sky Dmitri and his horse finally made it back to the city. The massive city had been carved straight out of a mountain. Instead of the giant and strong granite walls being covered with ivy, there was a thick layer of snow and frost on everything making the whole city seem isolated and desolate. Dmitri new better, and anyone who looked towards the sky would see the hundreds of chimneys bellowing out smoke, the city was much alive. His grey warhorse lightly trotted past the gates into the city. The horses back and sides were littered with pouches and bags. Some of them were carrying rations and kindling, others carrying darker things like the Necromancer’s skull pendant. Dmitri nodded happily to all the guards that were loyally patrolling the streets while his horse clip-clopped towards the stables. Dmitri wasn’t exactly sure what he was going to do with the pendant yet; it should be sent to the king, but he knew the Arcane Guild would be eager to hear about his successful mission. His thoughts were momentarily stopped when a large building in the center of the city came into view. The stables of the infamous Silver Arrow Inn were bustling with people running in and out trying to serve the needs of all its patrons. He dismounted and walked towards the nearest stable boy who was currently brushing down a mangy stallion. As he walked closer the young stable boy turned and his eyes widened.

“Sir Parthenopaeus, can I take your horse?” The stable boy said in a mix of nervousness and reverence.

“Of course, thank you young sir,” Dmitri said before handing the boy a few shillings.

            The inn was always crowded and it was known for being full of some of the city’s worst. When he walked inn he felt more than one pair of eyes follow him to the small table in the corner he always sat at. He wasn’t exactly sure why he came here since he was always welcomed to the King’s castle. He looked around the noisy room and watched as everyone chatted and drank. The constant clinks of mugs and silverware mixed in with all the laughing and yelling made it hard to hear anything that wasn’t yelled into your ear.

He watched as a large burly man that reeked of ale walked up to him and spat out, “Looks like another one of the King’s dogs is snooping around here again.”

The people closest to the man all went ghostly white and were trying to encourage him to walk away when he spoke again.

“I heard that damn king of yours-” the man’s statement was abruptly cut short when Dmitri’s short sword sprang out of its sheath to touch the man’s Adams apple.

Dmitri slowly stood up, keeping the sword pressed so close to the man’s neck small rivulets of blood dripped down his neck. Dmitri, with a slight edge to his voice, stated, “Don’t you dare speak badly of our great king.”

Dmitri watched as the man tensed, he knew he was about to try attack him. Dmitri thought about how many people had tried this before. When the man tried Dmitri pulled his sword back and swiftly knocked the man’s feet out from under him.

The inn was completely quiet and Dmitri was about to arrest the man when the old wooden front door creaked open. A skinny man stepped in and took off a wool cap that was covered with holes, his mischievous brown eyes swept across the room. He was wearing patched up leather clothing that was almost skin tight on his slim figure. He calmly walked over to Dmitri and said “Did someone die?” with a large grin on his face.

“Zeke, I don’t have time for you today,” Dmitri said with a snarl as the injured drunk man started to try to limp away from Dmitri.

“Aw, but I just got out of jail! At least welcome me back to the wonderful streets of Celadon,” Zeke said as he practically skipped around the inn.

Dmitri sighed and watched Zeke wander around with a hint of a smile on his face.

Before another word could be uttered in the inn, the door burst open again. Zeke swung around and looked as if he was about to run and Dmitri rose to a salute as a formidable looking man in a guards uniform walked in. The inn went silent and the tension was tangible.

“I have come to arrest Mr. Parthenopaous immediately,” The guard said in a voice thick, with hesitance. The whole room in almost perfect unity collectively gasped.

Zeke’s mouth dropped and he yelled, “What!”

Dmitri looked like the wind had been knocked out of him with his mouth slightly agape as he stiffly stood.

“Now what kind of charges could he have possible been brought up on?” Zeke said with eyes full of suspicion.

The guard looked like he wanted to run but he nervously muttered, “He has been charged with treason and the practice of necromancy.”

Two more guards burst into the inn and strode towards Dmitri in unison. They asked if he would comply and he numbly nodded. They quickly shackled his wrists and started to escort him out. Zeke slipped past the first guard and ran next to Dmitri. The first guard tried to grab him but Zeke saw it from a mile away and threw the guard over his back. He pulled a tankard full of beer off a nearby table and smashed over the second guards head, he fell to the floor.

“Dmitri, I’ll have your back. Just let me get ready.” Zeke whispered into Dmitri’s ear.  The last thing Dmitri saw was a deep fire in Zeke’s eyes before he sprinted out of the inn with one guard yelling for help, one passed out on the floor, and the other one cursing the fact that Zeke was suppose to be in jail right now.

© 2011 TheBlackmage


Author's Note

TheBlackmage
I'm a new writer and this is a early draft.

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Featured Review

I'm a new writer too, so here are a couple of quick thoughts.
I like the idea of the Necromancer's, they are scary bad guys and it makes sense that they would be hunted. Might want to play up the fear a bit in the early parts of the story. Talk about the Spirits more, and why they should be feared. Get into Dmitri's head show us a little of what he is afraid of.
Another thought, beware of modern expressions, things like don't you dare, or saw it coming a mile away. We as readers understand what your trying to say but maybe draw a picture of how he saw it coming with words. The Thugs muscles tensed, his eyes sharpened. Something like that, it even helps to create your own expressions for your world to add some flavor, what kind of slang would Dmitri use?
By no means am I a great writer but maybe this can help some. Overall your story works, and the surprise at the end helps to get folks to read the next chapter so thanks for sharing and I hope I've been helpful.

Posted 7 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I am a new writer as well. I loved your story. I hope you follow up and continue with it I will be anticipating your next write.

Posted 4 Years Ago


I like the storyline, but the world/setting feels like it came straight out of Skyrim or something (which isn't really a bad thing.) I just like to make up my own terms for things, but a universal familiarity of associations and terms could be a good thing! Also, you did name several things (I like your names), but I think it is cool if you name a lot of people (like the king, the country, other important figures) even if it isn't a big deal, because then it moves from "generic warrior and evil magician" to "incredibly rich history and knowledge base which the author knows a lot about and isn't just making something up to fill in the gap". Thanks for the cool, interesting story!

Posted 7 Years Ago


I'm a new writer too, so here are a couple of quick thoughts.
I like the idea of the Necromancer's, they are scary bad guys and it makes sense that they would be hunted. Might want to play up the fear a bit in the early parts of the story. Talk about the Spirits more, and why they should be feared. Get into Dmitri's head show us a little of what he is afraid of.
Another thought, beware of modern expressions, things like don't you dare, or saw it coming a mile away. We as readers understand what your trying to say but maybe draw a picture of how he saw it coming with words. The Thugs muscles tensed, his eyes sharpened. Something like that, it even helps to create your own expressions for your world to add some flavor, what kind of slang would Dmitri use?
By no means am I a great writer but maybe this can help some. Overall your story works, and the surprise at the end helps to get folks to read the next chapter so thanks for sharing and I hope I've been helpful.

Posted 7 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Not bad, gets a little sketchy in description. But Interesting none the less. Read it out loud to help with the flow. Picture what yours saying, it will help it make asolid path to follow for the mind.

Posted 8 Years Ago


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JCP
Very creative, you definitely have a clear idea of how to develop your characters. You do a good job of introducing characters and putting them in action. Nicely done my friend!

Posted 8 Years Ago


Since this is an early draft, I won't criticize you too much on the grammar and syntax, but be sure to reread it! I highly recommend you reading it out loud, just like what you told me to do because it really does help a lot. I also loved how you made Zeke seem virtually invincible at first, but then he became stuck on what to do about the necromancer. The suspense in the end rose many questions like "why is he being arrested for something he didn't do?" and makes me want to read more. Great job! ^-^

Posted 8 Years Ago


Your dialogue sped the story up, which was great. The detail in the first part was lovely, but slowed it down too much. Breaking up the big box paragraphs helps, if that makes sense? Even the action stuff -- which was well done, very easy to visualize -- needs to be broken up more so the reader doesn't feel like they're getting bogged down.

Excellent start. Keep going, for sure. You left us in a great, suspenseful spot... very nice. I love that Zeke is sprinting out of the inn, which makes us want to follow him, but that's where you leave us! So of course we want to read more! Very well done.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

For a new writer and an early draft this is awesome. You have good imagination and talent to describe in clear and understandable way (something I think important for fantasy or sci-fi stories). Keep up the good work since I'm curious to read something more written by you.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Ben
I found This story amazing, the way you make the story flow and your creativity.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Intriguing and suspensful. You write with an eye for detail. Your imagery was powerful. Enjoyed!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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656 Views
11 Reviews
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Shelved in 3 Libraries
Added on November 21, 2011
Last Updated on November 21, 2011
Tags: Magic, Adventure, Action, Necromancy, Medieval

Author

TheBlackmage
TheBlackmage

St.Louis, MO



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I am a aspiring writer and would love feedback more..

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