"So if I where to write a story?" Asked the Bards apprentice, "What would be the best way to do that?"
His teacher, wise in age caressed his goatee and put down his pint, his thick eyebrows pushed together as he thought deeply, "I would begin with a conversation and a vague description of the main character through a third person, gets the reader straight into the story".
"That does sound like a good idea, but what about a description of the place they live?"
The Veteran Bard shock his head, "Takes too long and the reader will get board as he or she already has an image in their head of what the surroundInge look like, so they've already done the job for you, so you don't have to".
The apprentice's face tensed with confusion, "Isn't that like lazy writing though?"
"On the contrary, if I wrote that I was drinking a pint the reader fills in the rest, we're in a pub or inn, no need to go into too many details, although", his eyes shifted to a shadowed corner of the room, "They might want to know about that caped and cowled figure sat in the dark", he said under his breath, taking a huge swig of his pint, and continued, "keeping the readers interest is what's most important, they only need to know what's interesting, like that Apprentice Wanted Add on the commission board, now that, that's interesting and what they'll want to know about".
Turning on his stool, the Apprentice Bard squinted at the Commissions Board, and low and behind, there was a poster with L F Apprentice written in huge capital letters, "Looking for Apprentice", he mused then turned back to his teacher, "What's so significant about that?"
"Do you know who put the commission there?"
He shock his head.
"Tyrant Evening Star the Alchemist, certified mental case, interested now".
"She wants a new apprentice?" He said perplexed, "What happened to the last one?"
"Get with it boy, that's common knowledge, he's still hanging around", his apprentice squinted, "He's tied up with noose ends?"
"I don't follow".
His teacher clonked him on the head, "He hung himself!"
"Oh! Why'd he do that?"
"Pier pressure, unreasonable demands, there are too many factors considering Evening Star's Egotistical, maniacal, Psychopathic, paranoids, unreadable personality, I swear, I've never met anyone more interesting and four D, apparently her last demand for her apprentice was to obtain the Black Blood of a Jarl".
"You know, those incredibly territorial, ferocious, nightmarish and hard to kill creatures, this is basic knowledge boy, he had to hunt and kill one, drain it of blood and bring it back, apparently it took one and a half months to find, killed three of his friends and lopped off one of his arms, he brought back the blood but-"
"She had already found a better solution supplement".
"That's harsh, although I'm suppressed he didn't try and kill her instead of himself".
His teacher chuckled cynically, "My dear Ignorant Apprentice, a Jarl will only kill you and eat your flesh, a Tyrant, will keep you alive as agonisingly long as posable, so tell me, would you rather hunt down a vicious flesh eating Jarl or go against the wishes of of Tyrant?" The Apprentice gulped, "That's what I thought, keep that in mind if I ever ask you to do anything".
"Yes sir", he began to sweat, "Oh!" He gasped suddenly as he glanced over to the Commissions board, "someone's taken the Apprentice Wanted Add".
"A toast then", The teacher declared raising his pint.
"A toast?" His apprentice questioned.
"To the well being of the man or woman I don't envy", they clashed glasses, and he dually noted that the character hiding in the shadowed corner was gone.
L F Apprentice
My last Apprentice had an unfortunate accident with some rope and is now, to my inconvenience, indisposed, I am in need of a new one, any applicants applying for the position must adhere to the terms and conditions below.
Firstly: Don't be an idiot, just don't.
Secondly: no monobrow's, (It's scruffy and looks ridiculous and take five seconds to shave off)
Thirdly: to be able to make tea on demand
Fourthly: have a vague idea on the principles of Alchemy and Octagon of Forte's.
Fifthly: Applicants must have a willingness to go acquire items of interest, that may require long trips out into the wilderness and infrequently the Netherworld.
For further information, come visit me at Star Manner.
As the caped and cowled humanoid figure trudged down the cobble roads of New NewJubilee, clenching the Commission in hand, his metal armour clunked and rattled, a two-handed Double Edged Claymore shone against the moon lit night strapped across his back, the Knight stood just under seven foot, he towered over civilians and his presence made them quickly turn their heads and pass him with hast, "My name is Duke Sirius Silver-borne, currently unemployed and no place of residence, and I am the last wielder of the Silver Borne Legacy and I will make a name for myself, this Tyrant Evening Star is a well known in the City and has great influence in the community as an Alchemist, if I can make it as her apprentice and get a good reference, I can bring back the name Silver Borne".
"Mommy?" Said a young child, as he walked holding the hand of his mother, "Why is that man talking to himself?"
"Don't stare and point of strangers!" His mother hist pulling him along.
Sirius hurried on, embarrassed, "I also have a terrible habit of monologging out loud, a trait that most girls consider cute, which instantly lands me in the friend zone, so not only am I the last of my family, unemployed and no home, I'm also girl-friendless, a fate far worse than being... well, all of the above".
Probable the most inconspicuous Manner in all of New NewJubilee, on the outside, a smooth dark brown blocked building glossed over with a light drizzle of rain, that shone dully against the moon light and street lamps, with gargoyle's and clock tower.
The entire Manner had a thirty foot solid stone wall all around it, almost like she didn't want visitors because she was hiding some terrible secret and if it got out could result in an angry mob, equipped with pitchforks, touches and a guillotine, or maybe to keep things in.
Grunting Sirius walked up to the Iron bared gate, that was decorated with gold plated cherubim and silver rose's, a wooden sign on the gate read as such.
Beware the Searchlights!
There was also some smeared writing on the walls, and for all intense's and purposes we'll say that it's rotten tomatoes.
GO DIE IN A DITCH!
I'LL MURDER YOU IN YOUR SLEEP!
One of those was more hurtful than the others.
Sirius was beginning to think that Evening Stars 'Influence' maybe the wrong sort he was looking for, however it could get him noticed.
Pushing the gate open, which opened with a screech that could wake the dead, Sirius stepped, outside, he followed the pathway through the garden, there was something ominous about this garden, or rather Grey-Garden.
With a withered dead oak tree in the corner.
Every plant was grey, dead and over grown.
As Sirius passed through the garden he became aware of a presence, he noticed a figure stood just out of a spotlight, with his back turned, tall in stature and a broad shoulders, he wore a black trench coat and hood.
"Excuse me!" Sirius called, keeping his distance and was ready in a moments notice to wrench his sword into action, "I'm here for the Apprentice Commission-" he was cut short as two more trench coated and hooded figures appeared ether side of the first, as the first like an automaton turned around, the three stood their side by side, their faces shrouded in the darkness of their hoods, Sirius held out the commission as proof and slowly with his other hand raised it to his sword handle, "I'm here to see Evening Star".
Upon hearing the name the centre creature began to lift it's head and to a slow patronisingly step forward, Sirius instinctively stepped back, a sign that these things where dangerous, as it stepped forwards from the inside of its hood a dazzling bright blazed forth, making Sirius cover his eye, through the cracks of his fingers he could just about make out the shinning faces of the creatures, only there were no faces as such, just a search light.
Beware the Searchlights.
The sign on the gates was right.
This light, this heat, it burned, he could feel it sizzling his skin.
Drawing his sword he hammered it down on the advancing creature, like a professional executioner, very much like an executioner, like if you had a side by side comparison there would literally be no difference, and it would get three tens from the Judges for accuracy, power and execution, see what I did there for the last one a play on words, ha!
Even the wife of the executed would have to appreciate that swing.
Basically what I'm trying to say is that although Sirius completely floored the creature, and if it where an ordinary person he would have a lot in common with a banana split, minus the whip-cream.
But that wasn't the case here.
To his horror the creature began to rise, and it's hood flopped back revealing it's Search Light head, that had been welded to a human corpse.
What kind of monstrosity is this?
Or rather what kind of monster created it!
The other two advanced at a slow pace, befitting a zombie.
Sirius took this opportunity to calculate the best course of action, conjuring up all his years experience as a fighter, what was it that his Sword Master said incase of a situation like this...
"Sirius", he said, on his death bed, "Come closer, I have something really important to tell you, capes and cowls are... Are...aw!" He then died,, and the most tragic part about is is that we'll never know if he was going to say awesome or awful.
"My master was never one for wise sayings", Sirius grumbled, plucking up all the courage he could muster and did the the one thing anyone would do in this situation, although we'll call it, tactical retreat, further into the garden... Not the best decision ever made but the main story line depended on it, "I hate this!" Sirius shouted, as he could see those figures everywhere, just standing amongst the trees, he then saw it, at the end of this pathway, around the fountain, up two flights of zigzag stairs, the Star Manner resided a vague amount of distance away, enough to make him sweat and curse the day he was ever conserved.
Running, running and more running, after running and seeming to get no closer to the manner than when he first started, Sirius began to wonder why he was running in the first place, those creature could only walk.
Something was off about this howl thing.
So he put all of his detective work together.
Evening Star is a Tyrant, a creature with a affinity for magic, more specifically, Manipulator magic on the Octagon of Forte Spectrum, Manipulator's where well known for bending space and time, mind and body control and creating voids and illusions.
These slow walking, Searchlights, even if they could take mighty blows from a sword, would not be an adequate defence alone, there had to be something else, at work here.
Clenching his sword he held it out vertically length ways in front of him, at a steady pace he walked forwards towards the manner, suspecting there to be some sort of magic at work, he had to find it quickly before those creatures court up to him, in about five or maybe six minutes based on absolutely nothing, "Come on!" Sirius complained, "Find it dammit! There!" He exclaimed as half his sword suddenly disappeared, pulling the sword back it was back to its normal length, and then like any normal person he stuck his hand in it to which it disappeared until he pulled it back out, examining the air in front of him there was nothing out of the extraordinary about it, except it wasn't, there was some kind of discreet magical space manipulation barrier that when crossed would seamlessly shift you back a few meters, making you get no further to the manner than when you began, it was a genius trap really, so simplistic that no-one, apart from him, would suspect something like this to happen during the panic of running away from those creatures, well instead of marvelling at the traps simple yet complex mechanics, Sirius swung his sword at the air, slashed the lamppost nearby and anything else that looked like it might be a conduit for maintaining the traps magical energy, until he eventually found a line across the floor which when stuck snapped and shattered the illusion like glass, which dispersed into fairy lights.
Kind of a cool effect really, in a film, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, cough, cough.... Anyway.
Sirius ran on, this time making actual progress, he vaulted into the fountain, plunging into the hip deep water wadding through it like a man possessed, he bounded up the stairs four at a time like he was on fire, he sprinted up to the manner doors shoulder barging them open, hastily grabbed the nearest lamp stand and barred it across the door and...
And nothing really...
To his sad strange disappointment.
Guess he ran to fast for the Creatures to catch up as usually at a point like this the zombie like creatures would be banging on the doors, but nothing.
Come to think about it, this would have been one of those occasions, where he would have had to wrestle the door shut against a number of zombies and fight off their arms, then when he did eventually close the door have to fight off some severed limbs.
But instead he got nothing.
He sighed with disappointment.
Turned into the manner, he swore on his dearly parted Sword Master that everything shifted back into place, like when your having a heated loud argument at work and everyone is listening only when you look at them they swiftly and inconspicuously return to work, they know that you know that you know they where listening in, "Well I'm going to pretend that didn't happen", because if it did he was going to pack up and go home, because that was too freaky.
Like the ambience of the manner wasn't freaky enough.
Back alley Clinic... Need I go on.
Imagine it, your casually walking home, you take a turn down a familiar alleyway, then everything goes black and you wake up here, naked, tied down to a bed and one kidney less, not so funny when it happens to you is it.
The main foyer had been turned into an unhygienic hospital ward, there was all sorts of equipment laying around, and his previous fear was realised when there was an entire surgical table of jared disembowelled organs on display like some horrific museum, just lovely in the not so lovely way.
Feeling faint he passed on quickly, up the central stair case to the second floor balcony, that led around the central entrance hall, however much the decor changed the ambience the structure and layout of the manner was the same as all the other ones in New NewJubilee, so he knew it well, as he walked down the hallway a realisation suddenly hit him, "I've just broken into somebody else's home sword drawn", his realisation was justified as it wouldn't look good on his job application form, "Maybe they'll take it as raw determination, like, OH! Wow! You broke into my home just to get a job, you must really want this, your hired, here have a key to my house and my carriage", wishful thinking but hay, "Gotta stay positive", as he passed down the hallway like a an innocent bystander of unfortunate events to which could be easily confused with a wraith on the hunt for souls to feast on, Sirius noticed that he was getting strange looks from every painting, aside from getting eery vibes from inanimate objects, there also appeared to be a lack of life, like this place had just been up and abandoned at a moments notice.
Down the hallway though, light appeared like a carpet from underneath a door.
Gulping, that had to be it, "Hello!" He called again and got no reply, "Seriously, I have to go all the way?" He gulped hard, this could go south really quickly, slowly and stealthily he made his way towards the room, really wishing he didn't have to do this, placing his left palm flat on the door he griped his sword in his right, he hesitated for a moment, wondering what could possibly be in there that would make him hesitate so.
Taking some heavy breaths he pushed the door open suddenly, a figure hung from the ceiling, and he promptly closed it trying to contemplate what it was that he just saw, he shock his head in denial, " No it couldn't be", opening the door again he peered through and low and behold it was exactly the same as before, the figure hung from the ceiling, by a noose.
Sirius stared at the man, wondering what he should do.
Should he cut him down?
Run away from the house, move to the forest and live as a hobo in a cave and never speak of this again?
"What are you doing in my house?" Asked a female voice from behind him, making Sirius scream very unmanly like, that echoed throughout the manner, out into the streets of New NewJubilee, into the vast countryside, bounce of several mountains and made his dead swords master turn in his grave and mumble something about a disappointment, Evening Star leered at Sirius with her cold blue irises that penetrated the shadows cast across her face by her lengthy dark night blue hair, her most noticeable feature, for a woman she was most mature and curvy and wore clothes that revealed but hid just as much, very adventurous, for a Tyrant she had respectable ram like horns that bent back around her ears and tipped downwards at the point, a feature most sort out between Tyrants that even Sirius had to appreciate.
"There is a dead person hanging from the ceiling!" Sirius said frantically.
"You should see the basement", replied Evening Star mellowly, "I was thinking of keeping him there for a while, like an ornament", she tilted her head as if thinking, "Although he has started to smell a little, nothing some air freshener can't solve am I right?" She said cheerfully elbowing him in the arm, Sirius was having a hard time contemplating if she where being serious or not, "Since you took the liberty of letting yourself in without bursting into flames I'll go ahead and assume that your not a vampire and maybe not kill you", she said casually walking over to the drinks cabinet.
"You have much trouble with vampires?"
"And werewolves", she replied tossing a liquid of shinning water all over him, drenching him right to the bone, "Not a werewolf ether, good, you have my undivided, lowered sense of expectations, attention", Evening sat on one of the sofa's in the room, discreetly crossed her legs and gestured for him to sit on the sofa opposite her, Sirius sighed as the water had somehow gotten past his armour, he sat on the opposite sofa, "I'm guessing also that since I'm not sneezing and breaking out into hives your not a graduation student?"
"That is correct", Sirius said blank faced underneath his helmet.
"Wow!" Evening Star exclaimed, "Three for three, that's really something, I'm impressed", Sirius pulled a face, she was impressed that he wasn't something and hadn't done anything with his life, "So", Evening continued, "I'm presuming that your here for the Apprenticeship?"
"That I am", he said eagerly, "For some time I've been looking for a job but have been unable to find anything suitable, I saw your add and", he then stopped, "Can we just stop and discuss something else for a moment, it's really troubling". Evening rose an eyebrow, although that's what Sirius expected her to do as it was befitting her change in posture only he couldn't quite see it due to the fact there was a corpses legs dangling between them obscuring his vision, "Can we please move this corpse it's really distracting".
Growling loudly Evening clicked her fingers, setting of a spark of magic that cut the rope and brought the corpse down onto the glass table, smashing the glass into hundreds of fragments that sped across the floor, the frame and legs although bent still held the weight, Evening placed her legs on top comfortably, and complimented how perfect the height was, "He does have a use, you were saying?"
Clearing his throat Sirius continued, "I read the terms and conditions and thought to myself, that describes me, I'm also prepared to go fetch stuff".
"Prepared to work, I like that, well based on absolutely nothing but your word I accept, you start tonight, you'll be paid an equivalent exchange after each successful job, welcome aboard number seven".
"Or meet shield which do you prefer?"
"I don't follow?"
Evening's face went placid, "I'm asking what you'd like to be called, seven, or meat shield?"
"I'd rather be called by my name which my mother gave to me with tender loving care, and my father often confused with, grab us another beer".
Evening chuckled leaning forwards, "Listen I ain't your friend, give it a month and I might be bothered to learn your name, for now, your meat shield number seven".
Apparently it wasn't a choice, "Least she won't be able to take away my name in the sub text", thought Meat Shield, "Dammit!"