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(STORY) Shadowcraft: The Dark Reckoning

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#1

Gerffen
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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:35 AM

So apparently I put this in the wrong forum. Under creative. Needless to say it was never seen.

So, here we go, trying again.

This is a fan fiction story written in the Minecraft Universe. Please note, it will be open for others to join in as an interactive story, however please message me in private first before jumping in. Understand that should you desire to join into the story, I do reserve the right to utilize your character as I see fit, but will attempt to remain true to the blueprint you give me.

Another note: The Minecraft Lore is extremely open and flexible, so I will be taking large liberties. While common things like Herobrine and his origins/rumors, the Ender Dragon, etc all exist, I will be utilizing and twisting them as I deem appropriate. Understand that any "lore breaking/bending" is intentional for the purpose of this story. Understand also that all chapters will be "episodal" in nature, in that their length is short for a reason, and this is intended to be a long story, not a novel.

Furthermore, as a disclaimer, should you choose to add a character to my story, understand that I retain full rights to the story and character, and by permitting me to use said character you grant those rights to me irrevocably. You understand and accept that I am free to use, publish, and distribute my story with said character in it as I see fit, with no obligation for compensating you.

Now that all the little (and necessary) disclaimers are out of the way, on we go! This story will be continued to the end, and depending on my work schedule, I will be posting between two to five times a week. This story IS intended to be interactive to a point, but please contact me before adding to it. I do not mind comments, criticisms, ideas for the story, etc. Provided that we stay on track.

And now, without further ado! I present to you:


_______________________________________________________________________________




SHADOWCRAFT: THE DARK RECKONING

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Prologue:

Darkness. Nothing but damned, cold darkness.

Somewhere within the reaches of the Nether a presence stirred. A memory woke.

"Who am I?" The thought bubbled and sifted to the surface of the shadow's mind. "Where is this?"

Magma begins to shift and gurgle, rolling and roiling aside, before settling back into place. Dark, red, pockmarked stone starts to crack and buckle. A storm of oinking and surprised groans create a dark chorus of curiousity as the pink, rotting skinned denizens of the Nether scatter in panic. Curiousity gets the better of one of them, driving one of the pig-nosed rotting corpses to pause, and kneel. Seared, foggy glowing eyes peer from it's half exposed, damaged skull as the tip of a gold sword pokes at the cracks.

This mistake proves fatal for the creature. Shadowy tendrils suddenly rip from cracks in the netherrack, enfolding themselves over the frantically struggling, squawking zombie pigman. Stone buckles and creaks, suddenly shattering and collapsing inward on itself, a shadow void filling the crater below that suddenly appears. Lava begins to trickle down, vanishing into this void as the demon pig is dragged into the gaping maw of darkness, it's cries cutting short in the sudden sickening crunch of bone and squelching of flesh.

"I remember..." the voice seems to rumble up from the shadows. The sweltering heat of the Nether is rivaled by the sudden hatred boiling up from the chasm. The fleeing pig demons halt suddenly, as if their legs were locked in place. The green glowing in their eyes is suddenly replaced by a flaming, steady red. Shoulders straighten, and bones crack as the turn, arms at their sides, ichor dripping from their rotting flesh. Dark runes begin to burn along their foreheads, black and violet shadows flickering.

"Return my minions... yes... come back to your master. I am need of your flesh to revive myself." The voice grows to a vile, rasping whisper. Lava starts to suddenly cool and solidify on the nearby shore, as the temperature begins to plummet with the entity's cold malice, it's aura pervading the nearby region, enveloping it. Unable to halt themselves the creatures step over the edge, falling into the void's waiting, gaping maw. An insatiable hunger fills the being. "More... I must have more. But this is not enough... I cannot live again without the spark of creation... I must find it. I will be contained here no longer! Souls of the damned, rise up and serve your true master!"


In a pocket dimension, violet eyes open in the darkness. Black blobs of shadow begin to draw themselves up, their slumber broken.

"Massster...." a hissing begins to rise from sandy colored stone landscape. Humanoid shapes begin to stand, rising across the land. Black towers of obsidian dot the landscape, piercing the flat, serene landscape. Moving in tandem, as if linked by one mind, the entities spider crawl their way up the towers. Their hands swirl across lumps of crystal. A glow begins to emanate and pulse from each tip. Deep within The End, something starts to stir and awaken in response.

The dark voice now starts to echo across the sky, the once serene, soundless void now alive with a presence. "Awaken, my child... Break free from your prison and bring me the Nether Star!"

Sand and yellow stone explode and erupt, and a piercing, keening cry chills even the shadows, who shrink in sudden fright, huddling in terror. Their violet eyes grow wide as they freeze in abject terror at the mass of shadows tearing itself up from the ground.

The Ender Dragon cries out, and wings into the distance, now free from it's prison.


The church smolders, stone collapsing and cracking as it hits the ground. Iron armor cannot protect the soldier as the blocks come crashing down upon him, debris raining upon him and his comrades. Shambling corpses chew upon the fallen, and warriors of bone stalk the alcoves and alley. Survivors fleeing are rewarded only with the eruption of burning arrows piercing their backs like pincushions.

"It's going to be alright... stay in the cellar!" The leather armored man commands, the light of the burning town covering his cracked stone blade. A golden haired woman wraps her arms around him sobbing, her violet dress torn and ripped, covered in dirt and soot as they huddle in the remains of a home. Bones clatter and rattle outside as the soldiers of darkness and damnation march through their village, the charred and broken remains of homes the only remaining reminder of the life that once existed. The light of the burning fields plays across the man's eyes, as anger begins to smolder in them. "Fae, get down there with our daughter!" Erik orders her.

His orders come too late. His brown leather is suddenly stained red as feathered arrows rip into his back through the window. His gaze starts to sway, his wife's tear-stained face suddenly erupting in a scream. The door shatters as the undead suddenly pour into the home. The woman collapses, crying in terror at the grisly sight in front of her. Shadows on the wall portray the scene repeated man times that night, as her husband is torn limb from limb. Her cry as she scrambles away from the cellar door draws their attention.

"Mommy!" A child's voice calls up from under the door. Fae's foot comes down on the door firmly.

"Be quiet Katy!" she bites her lip, closing her eyes. "Don't come out! Lock the door!"

They are her last words. The cellar trap door starts to lift but is suddenly pushed down violently as the mass of bodies cover her mother, ripping and devouring her, screaming and alive. The weight is too great for the child below to lift.

The village burns, an eerie silence blanketing it, disrupted only by the crackling and steady burning of the buildings. A pair of violet eyes peer from the roof of the shattered church at the carnage below. The undead shamble and roam the street, deprived of any remaining victims to devour. In the sky above, the stars slowly twinkle, cold and silent, and a bright, blood red moon casts it's eerie countenance upon the pond near the town's edge. No man or woman's cries can be heard, life extinguished.

"Nothing here, Masssster..." the shadow's voice rasps slowly. Eyes close in silence for a moment, and the shadow nods. In the blink of an eye, it is gone.

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#2

MadScientist

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:05 PM

Creepy and eerie.
I really like it.
Although in the Prologue the switches from one place to another are a bit confusing. They should be marked by something.

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#3

Gerffen
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Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:47 AM

I'd like to thank you for your input, it is appreciated. Reading back over it myself I noticed the same thing, the switches were a bit rough, and confusing. I will admit I haven't written in years, so this is getting back into it. I will try and take this advice into consideration as I go further. Currently work has me exhausted, so I won't be putting another chapter up until later this week, when I have time to think and collect my thoughts, and sit down and do a quality job. Also, I was writing directly into the forum posts. I think going forward I will be writing in Word first, then copy/pasting it over so I can go over it ahead of time and see the true length of each segment with page breaks.

#4

Gerffen
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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:05 AM

The new chapter as promised! Forgive me for taking so long, work has been hectic lately! Thank you to everyone for their patience!

Chapter 1:

15 years later...

A heavy splash and cursing was Gerffen's only reward. Why did the damn fish have to be so elusive today? His stomach gurgled up at him angrily as the man glanced ruefully back at his still-growing garden of carrots and potatoes. He could have gone hunting, it was true, but daylight had been scarce after finishing his cabin's roof today. Rough fingers sweep through his coal black hair and a sigh escapes his lips, dark blue eyes glancing almost sadly down at his bobber in the water. Idle fingers pick a fluffy dandelion seed from his red leather jerkin, and relocated it to the grass next to him.

“Come on, something has to be biting at least!” In his twenties, Gerffen's voice had a serious tone to it, the last few years of hardship having ground out most of his humor and laughter, leaving behind just a stone cold attitude, and a grim determination to survive. Today however, that countenance was shattered by his lack of success. Another night going hungry was not something he was looking forward to.

The sun sank lower on the horizion as he stood dejectedly, his shoulders sagging not only under the weight of the small fishing pole, but the burden of his own frustration. Like it or not, it was time to head home. Like it or not, he still had to face his roommate with the news that there would be no dinner, and see the disappointment on her face and in her brown eyes.

While it was true that she was still bed ridden, Angel had been wanting to do her best to help around the house for him as well. Unfortunately she had still been healing from an injury, so it had fallen on Gerffen to support the both of them for now.

His heavy leather boots sucked and squished at the wet grass and earth beneath him as he made his way up the river bank, feeling heavier by the moment, weighed down by his own shame. Two days in a row now. There had been no wildlife or livestock nearby, and not a single fish biting. Foraging for fruit had been even less successful, most of it either not ripe as it was too early in the season, or what had ripened already picked off by scavengers. Gerffen had turned to fishing in hopes of alleviating the situation. They were more than a week's journey away from any sort of civilization, and he had hoped that the rains raising the river bank had brought more fish with them, encouraging them to leave the deepest parts of the lakes.

“I'm home...” he trailed off as he stepped in the front door, letting the pole fall against the wall next to the front door. Turning to slide the bolt in place to brace it, he reached down and locked the handle with a small click. His hands moved to pull the muddy boots off and set them next to the nearby stone stove in the small wooden cabin.

“Did you have any luck?” Angel's wispy voice lilted up from the corner. The lamplight brightened, as she turned the pitch-fueled lamp up slightly. Long, dark brown hair crossed her face, her tired brown eyes wrinkled with the pain from her left leg. Her thin frame lay covered in the crude, white wool blanketing.

“I'm sorry, we're going to have to go without another day,” he sighed, shaking his head. Gerffen felt himself unable to meet her gaze. When he'd found her in the forest injured, he'd promised to take care of the woman until she had recovered and was ready to go on her way, but he could only feel right now that he was failing in that role, despite saving her life from a troupe of skeletons.

“Don't worry about it, you'll get it. I believe in you,” she gave him a pained smile, as she tried to sit up, a slight wincing crossing her face.

“It's start,” was all he could say. Gerffen made his way to the meager kitchen section of the cabin, opening one of the cabinets and pulling down the small, half eaten loaf of bread. Carefully, he cut a few slices of what remained of their meager rations, for himself and her, spreading some crushed berries on it from a small clay jar on the counter, and handed the meal to her. “It's not much... but it's what we have for now.”

“Times are hard. Don't worry, I'm sure Notch will provide for us,” she took the plate, her eyes moving down to it as she started to eat eagerly, a bit of berry on the side of her mouth, staining her skin by contrast. A few crumbs fell to the blanket as she ate.

Gerffen winced. There was that name again, and that incessant faith. “If you say so.” He shook his head, not wanting to get into it with her again. For some reason Angel continued to insist that their god was watching out for them and would ensure their survival. A lot of good he'd done in the last few decades...

“Just believe, it will be alright!” Angel tried to brighten her dark brown eyes with that optimism and stubborn fervor.

“I'll believe it when I bring home dinner for us successfully. I've been out since dawn trying to catch a bite, and the couple that did, got away. One was even a dead log.”

“What about the local animal herds? Any luck tracking them down?”

The lamplight glistened for a moment off his raven black hair once more as his head shook negatively. “I don't even dare waste a day trying to hunt them down. The river is right here. It could be days until we find them, if at all.”

Angel winced in pain again as she sat up fully, leaning over from the bed to touch his arm. Gerffen stiffened, but didn't back away. He hated being touched, but didn't want to offend her.

“Just keep doing your best. When I'm better I'll help, I promise,” she tried to give him that encouraging smile again. “And after you get re-stocked, I'll be on my way to continue my pilgrimage to Notch's shrine, up in the mountains, and give thanks for it!”

Gerffen merely sighed again, just nodding, humoring her. He didn't have the heart to tell her that he knew for a fact that most of the local animal population had fled the river bank and surrounding region due to the increase in the local undead that roamed the area. Gerffen considered himself lucky that they had not found the cabin yet, but his glance moved nervously to the cellar door where their emergency supplies were stored. The iron blade that hung at his side was a grim reminder that no where in the world had been safe from just wild animals in the last 15 years. Rumors of a darkness spreading across the lands, the dead rising, and beings that would not remain dead even after being slain, composed of shadow, had plagued the air his last time in town.

“You're worrying again aren't you?” her tone came playfully, with a light accusation to it.

“I know you're just trying to help but please... I'm not in the best mood for it right now. I have a lot on my mind.” He shook his head, putting the rest of the loaf of bread away. Perhaps a day's worth was all that remained. If he didn't find something soon, they would run the risk of starvation. Gerffen pushed the green wool curtain aside, gazing into the forest behind the cabin. He kept the lights down low nightly, sure that it would not attract the attention of the nearby creepers that crawled from their caverns when the moon rose, or the spider population that hunted in the night, seeking food as well. There were also the alligators that would slip from the river in the cool night air, hunting for small prey. This behavior was something that troubled Gerffen. Usually they would wait in the water to ambush prey instead, but lately fewer and fewer animals being available had drawn them from the waters. They were lucky that their limited animal intelligence kept them from realizing that the cabin nearby contained what might make a decent meal.

The thought was enough to make Gerffen shiver and close his eyes. Angel's fingers on his arm felt the movement, and clutched his sleeve reassuringly. “Will you stop that? Worrying won't fix a thing.”
Gerffen pulled away from her. “Just focus on getting better, leave this to me okay?” he sighed. “Speaking of which, how is your leg?”

She sighed, already knowing this mood of his wouldn't go away until he had succeeded in bringing dinner home. Angel knew that Gerffen could be stubborn sometimes, in the last couple weeks she'd been staying with him. “It's getting better. The wound is healing and the stiffness in my knee and hip are going away. I can start moving it without pain, but beyond that, it's still healing.”

“I'm glad to hear that. You just stop worrying and focus on getting better. I'll take care of the rest.” His eyes slipped around the room, roaming as he noted things that had been moved. Despite his insistence while she healed, Angel had obviously been up and about some, at least straightening the cabin, so it didn't look too much as if a single man lived there alone before he'd saved her. “The cabin looks nice.”
She managed a half embarassed smile. “I didn't think you'd notice. I sort of hoped you wouldn't actually, because I knew you'd scold me for getting up while I was still healing.”

Gerffen just shook his head resignedly. “You're too stubborn for that, you know it.” He made his way to the ladder by the front door. “I'm exhausted. But I'll see you in the morning?”

Angel nodded, frowning as disappointment creased her mouth. “Alright. Good night Gerffen.”

He just gave her a brief smile, climbing the ladder.

#5

MadScientist

Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:18 PM

How can you put so many adjectives in one sentence ??!
It is so cool dat storrrreayyy!
YOU ARE MY GOD !

No really, I can't see anything that you could do better. That is real good!

Compared to you I am terrible at writing. But then I probably am.


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Would you like to know the atomic structure of a piece of bread?

TT2000, you are genius.

#6

Gerffen
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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:57 PM

Thank you. I am doing my best to keep up, unfortunately with the new job it's been a little slow with the crazy hours. I think what I may do on my days off, is create a few chapters in advance, and feed them in every few days between writing periods to keep things moving. And while I know that spacing between paragraphs makes the post look longer, unfortunately my paragraphs feel like they run together because forum posts do not recognize tabulations at the start of lines like that. If anyone has any suggestions on how I can/should address this, please don't hesitate to private message me, or post!

Again, any suggestions and constructive criticisms are always welcome, and if you like my story, please link your friends and share it! And thank you once more for your feedback and comments!

#7

Gerffen
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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:03 PM

Since I have time today, another chapter!

Chapter 2:

Branches slapped at the woman's face as she hurtled through the trees, light stinging cuts tagging her skin as the branches seemed to grab for her. It was dark, the half moon above barely piercing the canopy that covered the forest as she stumbled through the narrow paths. Her leaping bounds pounded against the grassy soil, trampling the twigs and leaves under foot. A loud rustling to her right caused her to leap away suddenly, crying out in surprise, as she tried to clamp a hand on her own mouth to stifle it. Dark, orange fur darted from the bushes across the path, and Katy sighed in relief for just a brief moment as the fox glanced up at her, ears standing straight, head twisted over it's shoulder for that second as it surveyed her, then vanished into the bushes.

As she pressed her back to the tree, the woman listened quietly. Her hazel eyes peered through the foliage as she climbed up slowly, gazing at the path behind her. The haunting, heavy groans and rasping breath of the walking dead broke the forest's peaceful silence. Churning leaves scraped and shuffled as their dragging, pounding feet traversed the forest floor. Katy hunched back, instinctively moving her gentle, curved frame up into the tree, seeking higher ground. Branches tugged at her pink and black tunic, pulling and tugging at the shoulders.

Feeling safe, high enough up, she sighed, relaxing for a brief moment, as she watched the zombie horde shamble it's way underneath her. Holding her breath once more, she just watched, clutching the stone daggers at her side. Bark smudged at her black pants as she shifted her position, little room to move as she remained quiet, watching. The seven walking, rotting corpses below her paused for a moment, their dull, lifeless eyes dazedly shuffled around for a moment, as they attempted to figure out where their prey had gone.

Katy felt her heart freeze as one set of moldy, yellow eyes pointed up her direction. She held still, silently praying she would not be seen. After what felt like an eternity, hearing the creature's creepy, filthy rasping breath fill her ears, the zombie's head turned back down to the ground. Bloody, clumped hair stared back up at her instead, and the undead began to shuffle on, seeking new prey.

Hazel eyes closing in relief, Katy reached to pull a twig out of her long, brown hair, the bun she had it pulled up into snagged on a small branch, and loosened. Careful for a few more minutes not to move too much, she finally worked to untangle it and waited. Her body shifted as she worked to get comfortable in the large branch.

“I'm going to be sore tomorrow, but I don't have a choice...” she sighed quietly to herself. The years had not been kind to the young woman, but the hard cold facts of how the world was were no stranger to her.

Her eyes closed, and she slept.


The next morning greeted her with the sounds of birds chirping, singing, and twittering. Katy stretched, opening her eyes blearily as the warm sunlight filtered through the top branches. Stiff muscles slowed her as she painfully tried to crawl her way down the tree, stopping at the largest bottom branch. Her heart sank.

The short, reptilian creature crawling below her glanced up for a moment. Katy shrank back away, gazing down at the creeper's chameleon like skin. It's hollow eyes dumbly regarded the woman as it gave a gleeful hiss, moving towards the trunk. Four small legs underneath it's tall, pointed body crept across the grass and leaves, twigs crunching gracelessly as the creature lived up to it's name. The pigment in the creature's skin slowly shifted to match the color of the forest floor below it, as the creature started to blend in more. Katy shuffled back up the branches quickly, keeping away from it. She pulled one of her daggers, aiming carefully for the middle of it's forehead before it reached the tree. The slit above the hollow, dark eyes opened, a gleaming third eye revealing itself, a sheening deep violet almost glowing as it met her gaze now.

Her muscles halted as it's hypnotic stare began to drain her. The creeper approached closer, slower now, as her hand fell to her side. Now at the bottom of the tree, it gazed up at her, almost beckoning. Against her better judgement, she began to climb down, her mind screaming in protest at the lulling compulsion radiating from the creature's third eye.

Struggling internally, Katy gritted her teeth, her will fighting and struggling to keep in control as she descended another branch. An evil, semi-intelligent hiss began to slip from the mockery of a mouth on the fleshy, reptilian monster's face, as it's aura began to charge and crackle. The violet eye stared deeply at her, willing, calling her down to it.

She screamed in anger, finally managing to break free from the glamor. Her hand rose up once more, hurling her dagger at the eye full force. A horrid, piercing squeal rocked the forest for a moment, causing a flock of nearby birds to fill the air with the quiet thunder of their small wings hammering and flapping frantically, startled into flight. The creature fell to the ground, the stone knife buried to the hilt in the soft, vulnerable flesh. Struggling to catch her breath, Katy held the trunk for a moment, leaning against it as her will returned.

“Too close...” she whispered, her heart racing as she watched the green flesh melt, the remains of sulphur and a gooey, colorless gel pooling below her. Pulling her knife from the pile, Katy wiped it off, tucking it back into her belt as she glanced quickly around the forest, surveying for any other threats. Straightening her tunic, and brushing the twigs from the pink and black fabric, she turned, making her way down the winding path.

#8

Gerffen
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Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:07 PM

Next chapter will be up in a couple days. expect tuesday or wednesday. Also, for a great server please, check out Reverie server, they're some awesome people to play with and just all around cool to talk to!

#9

Gerffen
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Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:01 AM

http://www.minecraft...ief-prevention/

As promised, this is the link to Reverie, my current server sponsoring links to my story. Please check them out!

New chapter will be up tomorrow night, thank you everyone for your patience!

#10

Immortus
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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:15 PM

Wow... this is.... brilliant.

The writing is just amazing. Really. To the point that if it wasn't a minecraft fan-fiction, it could easily be it's own novel. Dark tones. Serious themes. I love it. Definetly one of the greatest minecraft fan-fictions I have read so far.

The one thing I might suggest you do is to maybe put all the chapters so far in one post, the topic post, then as you pass the word limit, put the conitnuing ones in the next post, and so on. It might make it easier find all the chapters rather than scrolling through the topic to find them. But that's just me, so feel free to ignore me.

Amazing stuff, great job. Good luck writing this :D!
If you like an epic adventure, why not check out my Minecraft fan-fic, Lord of Shadows? (Click on banner)
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#11

Gerffen
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:43 AM

Thank you. And I apologize for the delay in the next chapter. I got home from the conference in San Mateo for my job and was more wiped out than I thought I'd be, then had to hit the ground running again. I hope to have it up soon.

As for the idea about chapter sizes, I will actually be implementing this, but thank you for suggesting it anyway! For now I wanted to get each character introduced individually, but a longer chapter would have been easier, you are right. Going forward that is what I am going to do.

Thank you again for the feedback!

#12

Gerffen
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Posted 02 March 2013 - 05:43 PM

And once more, right after I start writing, I get sick. I've been down with bronchitis the last two weeks. I am now feeling better, hopefully I will have the new chapter finished, and we will be back to weekly updates soon!

Thank you everyone for your patience and I apologize for the delay. I've been so sick lately I've barely had any energy after work.