The Change

The Change

A Chapter by RimantasPodlinevas

The sun fell over the town of Bel-Thor, the towns lights dimmed and eventually became as dark as the night sky above it. Recently, there was talk of an invasion, an assault unlike any that the land of Quar-Mator had ever faced. In the recent years, more talk began to surface about an army serving under Death itself. They left nothing but destruction and chaos in its wake. The few people who managed to survive the attacks described these soldiers as spectral skeletons with unholy strength. They stand even after decapitations; servants of death who live only to kill and devour the flesh of the living. They are feared throughout the entire continent of Quar-Mator. The warrior’s whose eyes were frozen into their skulls, with each step their bones rattled in their armor like a beat of death. Doors became barred behind iron and windows started glittering in front of an inch think pane of steel. The people of the town lived in a strange manner, though to them it seemed necessary to their survival. Their only intentions were to keep out the foreboding darkness, the very same darkness that had had brought plague and death to many towns before their own, and to survive the unforgiving night. The very land itself seemed to be attacking the inhabitants, though many people hadn’t been affected by the destruction that was reaping the land. Most people had heard a rumor hear or a rumor there. Bel-Thor has defended them a little over a month now; mothers wouldn’t let their children know why homes were on lock-down.  Their fathers watched the doors and windows, swords in hand; hoping they weren’t the ones to be taken away. The army only attacked one town at a time; occasionally storming a city. They were known to take few survivors and perform rituals to transform them into these soldiers of the damned. They attacked these towns looking for a boy around the age of 19. The boy needed a sense of courage that would allow him to charge unto the dead knowing his death was certain.  In this peculiar town, there was a teenager by the name of Romkar; he was a kind soul who dreamed of becoming a soldier in the Grand Sovereign Army. It wasn’t because he was a hot-blooded youth who wanted nothing more than to see the death of his fellow living beings, in fact the idea of taking joy from killing was repulsive to him, it was because his mother had asked him to pull the land out from its despair. Now that his mother was gone due to illness, and his father had been gone since his birth, he decided now was as great a time as any to follow through on the promise to his mother. A man named Invar arrived in town about a year ago; this was Romkar’s only chance to learn the way of the blade. It was also a way he could fulfill his promise to his mother.

“Keep swinging that damn sword, you swine!” 

I hadn’t been under Ingvor’s mentor-ship long enough for him to learn my name and he already had it in for me. The man called us pigs, but the way he sat at that table eating at all times made me and my plight-brother think of him as the real swine. A plight-brother is the name for a fellow student who endeavors the hardships of learning the sword, Thuum is my senior under Ingvor despite being the same age as I. He has been studying under Ingvor for 2 years now and is finally travelling out of Bel-Thor. He just had to survive his hell-like training for one last day. Our schedule consisted of 4 different drills that were damn near bashed into our brains through the 10-hour training sessions. Today we learned mostly basics, parrying and dodging our way through relentless assaults. Ingvor also introduced a new defensive stance especially useful to overhead attacks and body stabs. He also made us review 3 counters we’d learned the week before. This was repeated in what appeared to be seemingly never ending cycle. We were nearing the end of this days training session and today we were slacking more than usual. That was probably the cause for all the yelling. He had always told us to attack one another as if we meant to kill because when it counts, no one’s taking it easy on you. If we got a patch of meat cut off our body, to him it meant we needed heavier training. It was a brutal workload but it was worth it, he had trained soldiers for Quar-Mator’s King. For a man of such low class to have any contact with the King was unheard of. Ingvar hated the status it had brought him, so he decided to move to the county side and strip himself of his military ranking. Little did he know that his reputation preceded him. The training was usually very rigorous and exhausting but today it was very relaxed, causing me to think that even the black soul of Ingvor had a bit of honesty and caring in that pig heart of his. “Alright you dirty swine! Go fetch something drink and you’re serving of bread in the mead hall! I swear though, if I catch you two drinking ale again I’ll bash your brains in!” roared Ingvor. Laughing, we walked away as he tried to shout that it wasn’t funny, which of course only made us laugh more. 

Upon arriving at the town pub, we grabbed a mug and began pouring ale down our throats. The time passed and I felt uneasy staying in the filthy pub. Thuum loved this place, his reason for liking it went beyond the cheap ale they served here. My fascination was in nature and the magic of Earth. Once Thuum rented a room with some woman he’d met that same night, I decided to step out of the crowded and run down room that was known as a pub. I loved Thuum like a brother, but he had flaws that even I could not overlook.  I walked down the gravel laced street, kicking the loose pebbles with each step; I came upon the guard tower that overlooked the outside world. I looked up at the stone building with wonder; I’d been yearning to travel outside of the stone walls that encased me to Bel-Thor.

“Beautiful isn’t it?” whispered an unfamiliar voice. A woman in a wonderful black silk gown stood behind me, she seemed to be admiring the way that the sun fell behind the grassy flatlands in this area. She was tall and very pretty; her blond hair fell behind her reaching the arch in her back. She looked to be a young age of 18 or 20 but not much older than that. “The sun looks as if it’s being dragged down by the blades of grass and into the Mother Herself.”

“This area is known for being well influenced by the guidance of the Mother, she’s also why the rebels wish for change in these lands.” I’d had a deep hatred for the rebel movement; they seemed to think that the spilling of human blood was necessary for their goals to be met. The Grand Sovereign Army has fought against a rebel movement that seemed to be using undead attacks to gather supporters of their cause. They claimed that if the Grand Army was wiped out, the dead would leave the people alone. This was not true, when the rebels came to our town 6 men left with them and we were promised immunity.

“Have you lost someone to the war?”

“Who hasn’t? What, with all the men that joined the Shepherd’s Army, everyone was bound to lose someone.” My father went off to the bloodiest battle in the war in order to bring glory to our family, hopefully some prestige as well. That didn’t work out so well, he was decapitated and sent back to our small village on a carriage. My mother had passed very recently so really the only real thing my father’s pointless death had given me was a reawakened sense of pity for the goals of people in this forsaken world.
“I’m quite sorry to hear that, my family died off when I was at a young age as well. Well, you’re not really of a young age but…” she flashed a very bright smile at me and paused, embarrassment showing up on her perfectly flawless face. The way she acted made him feel nervous around her; it wasn’t something that he was used to and it made his skin feel like it was crawling.

“No, I’m not. You… Do you live around here? Are you possibly new in town, because I saw that someone had moved into the home a few dwellings from me?” Upon me asking that she pushed away, doing a twirl and flashed me a smile.
“As a matter o’ fact I did just move in. I’ve been dreaming of these plains, quite days on the country sides. Peace.” She paused and looked to be in a different state of mind, staring at no focused point thousands of miles away. “I must leave… but I hope to see you again soon Romkar”
“Wait! What is your name?”
“Victoria, but you won’t know it for long.”

With that, the beautiful woman was gone. The way that she had danced down the stone staircase of the watch tower put me in a dream like state. I sat down on the cold floor, letting thousands of thoughts race through my head. Allowing the pictures to form only for a moment then to throw them aside the very next. My eyes suddenly felt heavy, sleep started taking over and I began to drift away from the mossy watch tower and into the happiness of my dreams. I dreamt that I’d died and met with my mother in the Sky Plains, the dream quickly began to seem more and more like reality. My mind and heart both yearned for the love of my mother, being around her only made me wish the dream were true. Together, we traveled the open plains of the sky and viewed the world below, with all their wars and misfortune through a lens of pity and not anger. I saw the family members that had long since passed and the tears of longing seemed to never end. Seeing them only re-convinced me that they would see me succeed with my training even though they’d already passed from the world of the living. The spectral plane was wishing me success and strength.

As I awoke, I knew my cheeks were wet with fresh tears. Drowsily I stood up and looked at the guard tower, faintly tinted orange instead of the yellow over glow of the sun. My weary mind quickly awoke and realized the situation it was in. The torch in the room had been lit by someone; they obviously hadn’t bothered to wake me up. My brain quickly screamed to realize what was going on and I realized it once I turned around and looked out to the plains ahead of the tower. It was midnight and I was stuck in a living nightmare. Before leaving the tower, I grabbed a crude, poorly made, sword and bolted down the staircase. I could hear the distant marching of the Invasion, their steady stomping causing my chest to hurt from my hearts intense beating. Sweat began to bead my brow long before, now my body was sweating from fear as I ran in the direction of my dwelling. The town of Bel-Thor was built very differently from others, the dwelling locations were across from the market area and barracks. The entrance to town was located near the first row of dwellings, and it just so occurred that my home was in that row. I had to beat the swarm of death to my own house. My mind turned blank, the only thought I could process was getting there before the undead legions could tear the flesh off my bones while melodically listening to my screams. It was now in sight, but the worst had already happened. The house was already raided and the dead were focused on him, not attacking just watching as the brave human stood, red faced and sword in hand, staring at the raid. Not a single soul could look away, each villager watched the young one who, to them, seemed to be suicidal. The world stood still in that moment, but not far away was the moment of pure and savage hell. As the young man took a single step toward the army of death a voice penetrated the silence, “Are you so brave as to actually attack an army of those who will only rise upon death?” asked the voice of a woman.
“What other choice does a man without home, love, family, and honor have?!”
There was silence between us. I threw the final item that I had owned down on the dirt beside me, and lifted my face to the full moon above.
“I will not suffer the cruelty of this world any longer. Nonetheless I will die a warrior and a hero to this village.” Upon finishing, I charged directly into the unrelenting waves of death and decay, with each swing of the old and shoddy sword I’d produced chips that were visible in plain sight. Not only did I hold true to my word, I managed to put down 6 skeleton warriors before one of them took a deep, bone-breaking bite of my shoulder. The pain was unlike anything I’d ever felt, the adrenaline in my system seemed only to make the pain worse. I threw back my head in an ear shattering howl as more latched onto my body, digging their teeth deep into the soft skin. They tore through the skin and muscle and greedily bit off. This continued until I was convinced that my fate was death, I stopped the pointless screams and looked forward to the happiness of the sky.

“You shall not die today, your conviction fascinates me. You will be saved by my blood; you are to obey my orders and no one else’s. Be proud for you have been chosen; make the best of this, you will not to be a waste of time to me or your endless life shall be one of endless torture. May you be victorious even in death.” It was the voice that had spoken earlier, the woman’s. The pain suddenly was gone and the night began to feel so welcoming. I realized the when she said I’ll be saved by her blood she meant it, she slit open one of her wrists and begun pouring the thick crimson liquid down my throat. Her smile deepened as a voice in my mind whispered, “Welcome home… my champion.” My life was over and the last thing I saw was the crying face of Thuum in the window of the inn, and yet only a single tear was shed over the man I’d wished to be my brother a few days ago. My life had changed; all that was left to see was whether it was for better or worse.

© 2012 RimantasPodlinevas

My Review

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Featured Review

I like your plot and your dialogue! Watch out for grammatical errors. Also, you may consider separating your paragraphs more to avoid a crowded appearance. Indent at the beginning of each paragraph (that's just a preference of mine). Keep up the good work!

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


This sounds so interesting. I love the plot, the characters and especially the way you describe them. Your style of writing is really good and you're doing a wonderful job at keeping the reader interested and begging for more. I love these kinds of stories and have read many and I must say yours is absolutely amazing! The story flows good, not too slow and not too fast which is very good. My advice is for you to try and make the paragraphs shorter, because at some point a reader can easily lose track of the lines :)
Another thing but I believe it's just a simple mistake is "... you will not to be a waste... ", just remove the "to" :)
I'm not exaggerating when I'm saying I'm inlove with your story. The ending of the first chapter is very nice, it leads on. I can't wait to read the next part :)

BTW I love the idea of the saving in your last paragraph, very creative :)))

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The story is just awesome. Fantasy is my favorite genre, and every time I read something like this, I remember why. The epicness of the world you're creating can be felt throughout the chapter. The only thing I would mind is the thing that is already mentioned, and that's separating the paragraphs. Other than that, it's great.
Oh, since fantasy is usually discriminated, could you return the favor and review my "Arcanum" ? I'd be thankful for that, but I understand if you don't have the time.
You just keep up the good work, and who knows? Maybe one day both of us will get published :D

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I like your plot and your dialogue! Watch out for grammatical errors. Also, you may consider separating your paragraphs more to avoid a crowded appearance. Indent at the beginning of each paragraph (that's just a preference of mine). Keep up the good work!

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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3 Reviews
Added on March 21, 2012
Last Updated on March 22, 2012



Wheeling, IL

I write very casually and it is a hobby. Right now I am working on a longer piece, I also hope to get it published somewhere. more..