Chapter Six  

Posted by The Alchemist in

Bleh. I like most of the ideas I have had, but I'm still not real fond of the prose I'm writing. Alas, alack. Mayhap I'll learn something from Charles Dickens. I'm Reading Bleakhouse right now.


Aleksey drew his sword and moved up to where Jacob was standing with the lantern, which he raised high to get a better look down the hall. At first there was nothing to be seen, but then in the distant torch light, far beyond the reach of the lantern, a shape moved from the shadows. Its outline was six feet tall, and almost as broad. It hunkered in the dark, walking strangely, mostly on its hind legs, but at times using its front legs, which ended in what looked like hands, to move at a frighteningly fast lope. Its head, which looked like that of one of the northern grey wolves, turned to look at the men, its eyes yellow in the reflected light of the torches, almost glowing. The shape of its shadowy limbs gave the impression of layered cords of sinewy muscle covered by thick shaggy hair. The beast reared back, raising its head toward the ceiling, and let out a deafening howl, at which Jacob and Aleksey covered their ears. To Jacob it seemed as if the howl penetrated his skin and sank into his bones.

The wolf lowered itself closer to the ground and bounded down the hall towards the two, moving with uncanny grace, and speed which seemed impossible, moving as fast as a horse, snarling .

Aleksey set down his sword and lantern and began to chant, his voice filling the hallway, echoing strangely, reverberating so clearly that his first word could be distinguished when he spoke his fifth. Around him there appeared a radiance, much brighter then before, nearly outshining his lantern, and his eyes became like molten pools of glowing quicksilver.

As Aleksey spoke Jacob lowered his pistol at the charging wolf and squeezed the trigger. His shot rang out over the din of Aleksey’s voice and the snarling of the wolf, smoke billowing from the end of his gun. The sound of his gunshot was accompanied by a loud thump, like the compressing of air, and the charging wolf was suddenly gone, only black mist lingered where it had stood. A split second later, after Jacobs bullet ricocheted off the wall where it had been, there was another thump, black mist exploding near the other wall, and the wolf reappeared, still running, as if it had been running next to that wall all along.

Jacob’s face contorted in horror as he fumbled to put back his first pistol and draw another from his brace. The wolf was close now, only seconds away.

The glow next to Jacob had become blinding, Aleksey’s face could no longer be distinguished, looking upon him was like staring into the sun. Suddenly he stretched out his right hand, and golden white fire exploded from his fingertips, it had the look of a jet of water, but with none of the sluggishness. It flew down the hall at the wolf but black mist was all the blast hit, the wolf appearing on the other side of the hall. Aleksey stretched out his other hand, shooting another jet of flame at it. With each blast of energy he sent down the hall, his aura dimmed. Aleksey was as relentless as the wolf, each time it appeared a gout of flame charred the stone where it had been. Jacob shouted as it appeared behind them and Aleksey spun and burnt a hole right through the top of the wagon.

All at once everything was still. The wolf had disappeared into a puff of black mist and did not return. Jacob stood now with sword in one hand and pistol in the other, cocked and ready. Aleksey still faintly glowing stood at his back, watching, the hall shrouded in grey smoke.

Edited. Somewhat.

Chapter Five  

Posted by The Alchemist in

I ment to do some more writing today but it seems things conspire against me. For some reason there is a mean crick in my left shoulder, and it hurts like crazy to type. Its rather odd. I really havn't done much to cause such a thing. Rubbed some icyhot on it. I hate Icy hot. Still working on a title for all this. While I'm not all that happy with my prose, I think I'll just keep writing to get back in the habbit, stop with all the irregular posting. Maybe even work on some of my other stories too. Enjoy.


Worry played across Jacob’s face, but it was soon replaced by wariness. He reached up to his brace and removed one of the ivory pistols it held and stepped to the edge of the courtyard. His eyes scanned it, back and forth, as he led the way across, Aleksey following behind him. They walked towards a single story building nestled next to the corner of the castle walls, covered in whitewashed plaster, and its roof made of cedar shingles. In the center of the front wall there was a large square door hung on a sliding track, Jacob reached it first, moving it aside to reveal a hay filled stable. Seven horses, four almost as tall as the two men, stood placid in their stalls. One of them, a great brown stallion, turned and whickered at Jacob and Aleksey as they entered.

Once inside Aleksey shut the door behind them and hung the lantern on a peg next to one of the stalls and Jacob returned his pistol to its brace. The two men began to rifle through the stable picking up various pieces of tack and packing equipment, loading it on the horses. After loading one last sack of feed, Jacob lifted the lantern from its peg and brought two of the big horses out of their stalls leading them towards the stables doors. Aleksey followed with two more.

The horses were led across the windswept courtyard and through the dark halls of the castle until they reached a covered wagon, its roof made of red shingles.

“I’m glad we left this here.” Jacob said.

Aleksey did not reply as the two hitched the horses to the front of the wagon.

As Jacob finished hooking up the last horse to the wagon something caught his attention. From down the hall the sound of soft footfalls could be heard, each accompanied by a strange clicking sound. Jacob found his pistol in hand, unbidden.

“Aleksey.” He said harshly. “Trouble.”

Chapter Four  

Posted by The Alchemist in

Before Aleksey could reply, the dark shape loped off into the shroud of the forest, seeming to float across the snow. Jacob stepped to the edge of the tower and watched it go. Trailing half a foot behind it left an after image. Watching it go was like watching a shadow move. He heard Aleksey’s voice come from behind him.

“It is done. I am not sure if he will get the message. He may yet be far away. What was it you saw?”

“One of the wolves. It was watching us from down there.” He pointed. “Gone now.”

Aleksey stared into the woods for a moment and then, without a word, returned to the trap door. Heaving it open he stepped down, out of the wind, and scooped up his lantern. Jacob followed him, pulling the door shut behind him.

“Did you check on the horses?” Jacob said as they descended the stairs.

“Yes, they were fine. We will check the wards first, then load the wagon. I do not want to go to the stable until we have to.”

The two strode down the halls of the castle. Passing through its dark hallways until they arrived at a heavy wooden double door. Jacob and Aleksey went to either side and hefted a large wooden plank which barred the door. As Jacob pulled one of the doors open snow began to blow into the hall. The two slipped through the door into the night air.

They stood in a stone archway which led out into the courtyard of the castle. Aleksey lifted the lantern and scanned the walls.

“I was wrong. The wards are gone.” Aleksey turned to look at Jacob. “We might as well just go get the horses. They could already be inside."

Part 3  

Posted by The Alchemist in


As Jacob finished buckling on his equipment, Aleksey slipped a satchel over his shoulder.

"Lets go to the tower first, and see if we cannot get a message to Erick.”

Jacob pulled his last strap tight and nodded.

They exited the room and turned left into the hallway which ended in another door. Behind the door was a staircase which they ascended. At the top was a trap door which Aleksey put his shoulder against and threw open. Both men raised a hood over their heads before going up. Aleksey stepped up into the tower, his robe billowing in the wind, and handed his lantern down to Jacob. Snow flakes floated by him, glimmering in the pale moonlight. The tower had a roof, but its walls were open to the outside air. Jacob set the lantern on the steps of the tower, climbed up and closed the trap door behind him. Meanwhile Aleksey moved to the edge of the tower.

Aleksey stood facing the east, his arms spread before him. His lips moved rhythmically, muttering cryptic words. For a moment the winds died making his quiet speech audible and distinct. About him there arose an almost imperceptible radiance, silvery, like the moonlight.

As Aleksey spoke, Jacob stood at his shoulder, scanning the surrounding area. Beneath the tower was a pine forest which stretched beyond the horizon. He also cast his vision along the snow covered battlements which ran back away from the tower to the south.

As Jacob looked back towards the forest his eyes caught something at the tree line. Crouching behind some pine branches was a form five feet tall, covered in shaggy hair. It was hunched on its hind legs but leaned forward enough to where its two arms were planted in the snow providing the body support. Five fingered tracks were left in the snow from its front hands, nearly four feet apart and pointed as if clawed. Its sharp yellow eyes reflected the moon light as it stared at Aleksey and Jacob.

“Hurry up.” Jacob said.

Part Two  

Posted by The Alchemist in


“What happened to him?” Jacob asked. “Have they found us?”

“I think so. When I could not find him in the castle, I used the glass. I do not think they have disabled the wards yet. Samuel must have surprised one of them snooping around outside. Come.”

Jacob stood, closing the book which he had been examining.

“Do you think we’ve still got time to get a message to Erick?” He said.

“I do not know, it is worth a try.”

Jacob swore under his breath.

The two made their way down the stairs, Aleksey in front with the lantern. At the bottom they came through a door at the corner of two adjoined hallways. Torches lit each, and at intervals yellow tapestries hung down from the walls. The pair went down the right hallway and turned left into a small room, which was filled with tables and chairs, and strewn about were various pieces of equipment. Aleksey picked up a sheathed sword and girded it about his waist just beneath the belt of his robes. Jacob picked up a similar sword from a table across the room and did the same, and also slipped a dagger into his belt.

“Where was he?” Jacob asked.

“I think they killed him behind the kitchen, I could make out still where they drug him into the woods. His body is behind a thicket of bushes near the forest's edge.”

Jacob moved across the room to a hanging cabinet and opened it. Inside hung a leather brace holding three elegant flintlock pistols, the handle of each was solid ivory inlaid with silver, and the steel barrel and lock mechanism inlaid with gold. The guns gleamed in the lantern light. Next to the guns there was a horn of gunpowder, and a small pouch of shot. He removed the brace and buckled it over his shoulder. Aleksey glanced over and shook his head.

“Brutish things.”

“Do you think now is really the time?”

“No, I suppose not.”

The Drewcifer Challenge  

Posted by The Alchemist in

Was talking to th Drewcifer earlier today. Was at a loss as to what to write, and I'm a bit stumped on my current projects. He challenged me to write outside my comfort zone, so I am going to start this high fantasy story. I really like a lot of the ideas I've come up with for the initial story. It should be good. And with that I give you this story I have yet to title. (You know if any of you should be struck with an idea for a title for all these untitled stories of mine,you should suggest it.)

The Alchemist


“Where did that go.” Aleksey muttered, shuffling the papers on his desk, glancing at each as he did so.



Two men sat in a stone room, each at a desk surrounded by mounds of books and papers. Candles burned giving them light to read by. The wind howled through a nearby window.
The first man was older, grey speckled his short black hair and beard. He sat in a high backed chair wrapped in a grey fur blanket. His breath came out as a vapor, made visible by the cold air in the room. When he spoke his accent was thick, placing heavy emphasis on hard consonants. The other man sat across the room. His face was clean shaven, and his blond hair was short. He dressed in a heavy brown robe and also was covered in a blanket. The two stirred little, each peering at their prospective papers and books.



“When is Erick going to be here? I still haven’t found anything for him.”

“I think he said Thursday.” Aleksey replied. “But I am not sure. I’ll look it up when I go downstairs for more food.”


The room was once again quiet for nearly an hour.

“Jacob?” Aleksey asked, breaking the silence.


“Have you seen Samuel? There isn’t much wood downstairs for the fire. It was already low this morning. He’s normally good about that sort of thing, but I haven’t seen him all day.”

Jacob sat back in his chair and stared blankly at the wall for a moment.

“No, I don’t think I’ve seen him. That’s odd.”

“Well, I think I’ll go down and look for him. I’m hungry and my legs could use a stretch anyways.”

Aleksey pushed his chair back from the table and walked to a heavy wooden door across the room, removed a lantern from the wall, lit it, pulled the door open, and disappeared down the stares. He returned twenty minutes later, his face ashen.

“Jacob.” He said. “Samuel is dead.”