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  1. #1

    Default Van Tromp's Library

    Van Tromp's Library

    Hello and welcome. Since I already have a reasonable amount of different written works on this forum, I thought I'd make an archive where those interested can easily access them all.


    Stories set in the world of Bitenis

    For almost eight years now, I have been working on a low-fantasy world that will hopefully be used as the setting for a book sometime in the future. Meanwhile, I'm writing some stories to help develop certain cultures and locations.

    Words of the Forgotten (updated on the 21st of November, 2018): A struggling old exile meets an struggling young writer. As they rediscover the past and consider the future, will they find answers about their difficult lives?

    The World of Words of the Forgotten (uptade on the 17th of May, 2018): A WIP text on the history, geography and cultures of Bitenis, focused on the regions, factions and characters featured in Words of the Forgotten.

    The Age of Filior Anthology (uptade on the 12th of November, 2018): A collection of standalone and serial tales about characters and locations featured in Words of the Forgotten.

    The Tale of the White Leopard (non-canon, updated on the 17th of July, 2017): a young scribe apprentice finds himself in the middle of war and devastation. Separated from his family and facing overwheling horror and doubt, will he find any hope?


    "Tale of the Week" submissions
    (to find the images and other submissions, click here)

    TotW 276: Alexander's Cure
    Theme: "The Path Within" | Words:
    expectation, contempt, strive, true, strengthen
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    His blood scalded his veins like burning oil, yet it felt like he was back in the freezing peaks of the Paropamisadae. His mind raced through excruciating memories. He saw disappointment in his father’s frowning eye; rage in Roxana’s wild stare and a deep, unbelievable contempt in Cleitus’ gaze as it became empty. Alexander tried to reach for memories of love, glory and contentment, but they were buried by death, frustration and failed expectations. Were the reminiscences of better days even true?

    He clung to the soaked silk sheets. This couldn’t be his deathbed! There was still so much to strive for. If the stone walls didn’t surround him, he’d be able to contemplate the promise of the horizon. All around, there were rivers, seas and mountains. And beyond them, unseen worlds to be conquered.

    The room and the bed became a distant reality. Perhaps an illusion… The only thing that seemed real was the physician that ran towards him, telling him that the only cure for his fever was to get his body colder.

    Alexander grabbed the man, shouting that he should be taken to the sea and sent to its bottom, where freezing waters could refresh his boiling blood.

    Servants and soldiers carried him to a ship in the Euphrates. The Mesopotamian landscape around him seemed to melt with his fever. He wondered if the river he was sailing in wasn’t the Styx itself. When they were out at sea, a strange contraption was hoisted to the vessel’s deck. It was made of glass with a metal skeleton to strengthen the structure. There were also lamps bound to it so that he could see in the depths.

    Alexander was placed in its bowels and lowered to the waves with ropes. As he descended to the bottom of the sea, he found himself surrounded by fish. The bigger and stronger ate the smaller and weaker. And, Like above, no matter how deep or how far he went, that was the law.

    Were the new worlds beyond the horizon really that different from what he knew?

    He wasn’t getting colder and signaled his men to lift him back to the ship.

    The freezing depths couldn’t help him, so he decided to try the cold winds in the sky. Two griffons were captured and tamed for the purpose. Riding a chariot bound to the creatures, Alexander was raised into the air.

    There were no clouds and he could see the whole world from the heavens. He recognized what he knew and ruled, and tried to make out the lands he’d never seen. As the winds failed to relieve him and he felt his life being taken from him, he realized in horror that the continents formed the shape of a man, his own shape.

    All the pain he suffered and inflicted had been for nothing. Alexander had been running in circles, searching but never finding all that he could ever hope to conquer but never did – himself.

    [Inspired by this article]

    TotW 266: To err
    Theme: "Prodigy" | Words: alone, young, master, talented, embarrassing
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    He was staring into the void, sitting on a bench just outside the hospital. His cigarette was lit but untouched, trembling in his hand as it turned into ash. It had rained the night before, and the damp wood wetted his white coat.

    How could this have happened?

    He found himself thinking of how it all started. He was very young the first time he told someone he wanted to be a doctor.

    While the others played in the schoolyard, he sat alone, devouring science books years ahead of time. Fascinated, he gazed at drawings of lungs, hearts, livers and stomachs.

    There was nothing like going to his uncle’s house. The old cardiologist let him wear his lab coat and use the stethoscope. He remembered pressing it against his old grandfathers’ chest, and listening to the old pump still at work.

    His uncle explained to him how the body works and taught him to identify the bones and muscles. He told him stories of his patients and lend him books by the dozens. For a long time, he was his master.

    He was truly talented. A prodigy, some said. As he tore through school with flying colours, all the teachers congratulated his parents, telling them how proud they should be and that he ought to go to med school. There was no doubt about that.

    In college he could have lost everything. The parties, the binge drinking, the anonymous sex… It almost destroyed him. It was embarrassing. Even anticlimactic. A prodigy meeting his end in some frat house, passing out over a beer pong table.

    He clawed his way out. The struggle and the fierce competition made him arrogant. He knew it.

    His uncle died and everything around him lost some of its colour. He remembered asking himself if medicine was what he truly wanted, or if his love for it was, in fact, for the cheerful old man.

    The doubts were dismissed. He carried on.

    Med school was over before he knew it and, two weeks before, he had started working. Straightforward cases, simple patients, doe-eyed nurses. Life was good, all of the sudden. He was doing what he’d always wanted, after all.

    He didn’t expect this. But he knew he should have.

    The worst part was that he was there, in the end. He viciously pounded the chest with the defibrillator, begging the shocks for a miracle. All he got was that never-ending beep. And time of death.

    He didn’t need an autopsy to know what went wrong. The mistake wasn’t serious, but he should have known better.

    The prodigy had died with his uncle. Maybe because the master failed to give a final lesson.

    Curiosity and talent are all well and good but between the lonesome recesses, the old stethoscope, the jello shots and the thick books, he had missed the point of it all.

    Lives were at stake. And even prodigies are human.

    TotW 257: The Great Lion of Iskat (reffered to in Tale of the White Leopard)
    Theme: Troll | Words: monster, light, claws, break, captive
    Reviewed by Caillagh de Bodemloze here.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    And thus arose the great lion of Iskat
    From the precipice upon which he sat.
    Its claws clinging to ancient stone.
    Its jaws eager to part meat from bone.

    The monster roared, loud as thunder.
    The hero looked on in fear and wonder.
    Brave Uruzar warning did receive,
    But he could see the silver captive.

    A swan, shining like the sun in the sea
    Struck by the beast on wing and knee.
    Uruzar saw divinity in its silver light.
    Surely it was heavenly bright.

    His heart did then decide to defy
    The beast that could roar courage dry.
    For Uruzar shielded the weak
    And he had to save a being so meek.

    The lion saw that Uruzar was resolute
    And wondered how much courage it took
    To challenge the great terror of Iskat
    Without flinching or losing his heart.

    The adversaries did measure each other,
    The bringer of chaos and the champion of order.
    The swan looked on in doubt and pain,
    Certain the noble attempt would be in vain.

    The beast of Iskat over Uruzar did fly,
    The hero’s spear thrusting in reply.
    Piercing only air with its sharp tip,
    Dodging the tail, that cracked like a whip.

    He lifted the shield above his head
    To block fearsome claws eager to shred.
    The lion circled around his feet
    And every blow did the shield meet.

    Uruzar needed to find the one chance
    To put an end to this deadly dance.
    As the beast wouldn’t soon tire,
    Its heart raging like a blinding pyre.

    Fury made the terror’s strength great
    Perhaps it could as easily seal its fate.
    For terrible anger, if not contained
    Is prey to those who keep it restrained.

    Uruzar had only to wait and defend
    Until the lion itself gave way to its end.
    As the claws fell down on the shield,
    He prayed to the gods and did not yield.

    Soon its attention did momently slip
    And Uruzar buried the spear deep.
    He stabbed the core of the lion of Iskat,
    Piercing though the monster’s heart.

    The agonizing creature howled in pain.
    Bathing in blood, blind and insane.
    It quickly fell down over its own weight
    For its own fury did its might break.

    The swan waved its wings in vain,
    Its body broken and trembling in pain.
    But it was safe from the lion of Iskat
    Whose fierce chest got torn apart.

    Uruzar for the bird’s misfortune did weep
    And admiring its light he did sorely sit.
    He could not be ready for the surprise
    That soon took place before his eyes.

    For he was right when he deemed divine
    The way the swan did in silver shine.
    As before him arose in beauty and grace
    The holy Edali, with gratitude in her face.

    With great joy the hero then realised
    That the silver swan was the goddess disguised.
    Edali gave him her daughter’s hand for the feat,
    As the monstrous lion laid dead in defeat.


    Discontinued AARs
    (unfortunately, most images used in these are long-gone)

    Project Titan (Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, last updated on the 16th of December, 2011): Notes on the development of an artificial Jurassic period ecosystem.

    This is my Tale (Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned Ships, last updated on the 6th of May, 2011): The very short-lived adventures of Nicolaas van Horn.

  2. #2
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Citizen

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    Default Re: Van Tromp's Library

    It's good to see a new Library and this looks helpful for people who'd like to explore different stories set in Bitenis, as we as to discover your other great writings. I wonder if you'd like to add a link to the review of your Tale of the Week 257 entry by Caillagh, here.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Van Tromp's Library

    Thank you for stopping by, Alwyn! Including Caillagh's review is a great idea, and I'm actually a bit embarassed I didn't remember to do it myself...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Van Tromp's Library

    Great library man, I just read the TotW entries and they have a rather sharp and blunt feeling to them, which I like very much. I also like the fact that you referred to a TotW entry in your other works, that is pretty cool!

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