Hello all, I started writing this piece of fan fiction many months ago. Unfortunately I let this sit off to the side for a long time and never picked it back up. At this time I only have five chapters of this story written. I'm writing this tale as a short story book . . . something my oldest might want to read. And in fact, she has enjoyed reading the first few chapters.
I think the timing is right now to unveil at least the first chapter of this story. I may publish another chapter here based on the responses. My ultimate goal would be to provide this story as a .pdf file that would be available through an online publishing site. /shrug . . . who knows . . .
In this story Thomas Lionblood is around 22nd level and just starting his journeys in Krokotopia; however, there seems to still be some unfinished business in Wizard City as the story of Malistaire begins to unfold around him.
I hope you enjoy this glimpse, and . . . Happy reading!
Chapter 1 – Ripped from the Light
Wizard City bustled and shimmered in the afternoon sun. Students were busy at work replenishing their magic through spirited jousting and solving mathematical problems. Students were busy retrieving magical tombs from the local library to increase their learning. Students were busy gaining wisdom from Merle the headmaster and generally darting back and forth following his instructions on the lessons he gave them. In other words, students at Wizard City were busy . . . except for one lonely wizard sitting on Rainbow Bridge.
The colors danced and splashed around Thomas Lionblood. They birthed from a mist hovering above the waterfall and caught colors as the magic was pulled back to a place behind the tumbling waters. Intermediate students of the Death School, like Thomas, knew what it was that pulled from behind the waterfall at Rainbow Bridge. It was the door to the death magic school: soggy and smelling of dark, burning roses from a funeral pyre.
Thomas wasn't lazy; he just felt like he deserved a break. After all, he hadn't been declared one of the master diplomats for Wizard City for no reason. No, he had served a good time amongst the Haunted Cave and down the gobbler-infested paths of Colossus Boulevard. Helping to strike a deal with the Gobbler King alongside fellow students was one of his shining moments and had led to his invitation to the inner sanctum of Bartleby, the master tree that contained the gateways to other worlds.
Thomas's foot swung softly from the bridge as he presented his card deck of necromancy from his side pocket. He held to the new vampire cards he had just acquired and sung a tune that Dworgyn, the current Death School Trainer, had taught him. His eyes glowed a faint red.
Thomas shuffled the cards before him and drew a quick six pick of cards. He laid the cards on his legs to get a good look. His hand showed five myth magic cards and one death magic card. Interesting. Usually his hands were more balanced between myth and death.
"Oh shoot!" breathed Thomas as he noticed a severe error. A Cyclops card from his deck had torn at the corner. This was bad. This was very bad.
It was a strange sight, not completely unheard of, but still a strange sight to see since magic cards were made of blessed paper soaked in the tears of the magic beast they contain (along with some other combination of materials mostly too vile or too blessed to mention in the standard classroom environment) and laminated with the sap of the tree of magic the card represented. It was quite a process and resulted in a magically sturdy creation that could be used again and again. Torn cards, meant less effective spells, which could mean defeat, which could mean more lectures from teachers. No one wanted that.
"Well at least it wasn't one of my death cards," mumbled Thomas as he flipped the card between his fingers. It was a cool trick he had learned from his friend Calab, an Ice Wizard and a trusted ally. The card began between the little finger and ring finger and quickly made its rounded trip up to thumb and index.
Thomas held his torn Cyclops card up now to the dancing rainbow mist above him and used it to shade his eyes. Something seemed different about this torn card . . . the colors or the depth . . . maybe it was leaking some magic? He couldn't tell.
"A quick song for you, friend, and then it's off to the Library for repairs," Thomas said comfortingly to his bleeding card. Once again he sung the tune that the Death School Master had taught him. The song was meant to be sung to help feel the devastating beauty that each card held. Dworgyn was big on feelings believe it or not. Funny, thought Thomas, funny for someone so concerned with the undead to need to feel so deeply for the life of these things.
And then it hit like a wildbolt.
"AAAHK," gulped Thomas, a sudden pain stuck his hand, muffling his cry with its intensity. The pain was ruthless like rope burning through the skin of his hand. Then, it shot through his arm like it was being pulled from his body.
Thomas's first reaction was to drop the card and grasp his arm away from the awful pain, but he couldn't. In fact, the card seemed to be hovering and pushing away from him while clenching his hand in a fist. Thomas watched in shock as a thick and muscular arm pulled away from him and out of the torn card, and suddenly there was a deep guttural scream being pulled from the card itself.
There, at that moment, it was as if Wizard City had stopped around Thomas in space and time as the half-card/half-cyclops stopped his own scream and blinked at Thomas with a large and frightened eye. It's hard to think of a Cyclops as being scared actually, but this was the truth of the matter.
Thomas sensed this cyclops was afraid and in pain just as he had been. The pain in his arm had gone now. In fact, most feeling had left his body entirely. Perhaps time and space had stopped here in this moment, and he was alone with his imagination?
"Help me" pleaded the Cyclops in his deep and muffled voice. "Help me,"