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Thread: Of Souls - Updated: World Maps | 26/02/17

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    Shankbot de Bodemloze's Avatar From the Writers Study!
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    Default Of Souls - Updated: World Maps | 26/02/17

    Of Souls



    I have been toying with writing again for ages, I've drafted and re-drafted loads of different settings, systems, styles - you name it, and I've always stopped there because it was something to put off, or come back to later. Thinking like that hasn't really gotten me anywhere, so now I've just decided to start writing and posting - it will mean the quality won't be as good, and things might jump around a bit, but at least it get's me writing.

    As a result this will be a jumble of all the things I've planned, and I'll dip in and out taking the bits I most like and can flesh out into something story-worthy. Bear with me, and I hope you enjoy it. Also, because I've finally decided it is my preferred way of reading forum stories I'll be copying Hitai, and before him Schrödinger, and try to post shorter updates of no more than TotW length. I really believe this is the way to go with CW writing on forums because people (I've found) just don't have the time to sit through and read a big meaty update, no matter how good it is. It might mean updates are more frequent, it might not, but I hope it makes it easier to read at any rate.

    So yeah, enjoy.




    World Maps
    Just copying post #93 into the OP so people can find them easier if they want.
    -------------------------------------------------

    As I mentioned a few posts above I had some old maps I drew about a year ago, maybe longer ago than that, for the Of Souls worlds - and after a gentle push I've decided to post them. First, however, a couple of warnings:

    • I am a terrible drawer and have never had any artistic skill - look at them at your own risk (they are more to show a general idea rather than actual maps)
    • All are very much WIP and haven't been updated in ages so some place names etc. may be different or have changed (I think the Northlands one is the most accurate at the moment)
    • A lot of the places are currently unexplored or haven't been mentioned at all
    • The images in the spoilers are huge, but I kept them the original size so it's easy to see everything clearly

    Map of Bindham (the parts outside the city wall obviously extended further than what is drawn, I just couldn't be bothered to finish it):
    Click to view content: 

    Current World:
    Click to view content: 

    The Northlands:
    Click to view content: 


    So yeah, enjoy... or not.

    Glossary
    As requested, here is a list of all the terms you might come across when reading Of Souls to help clarify them etc. It will be updated as new terms are added. If you see any terms that are missing, or a definition that contradicts something written in the text please let me know.

    B
    Bayenya: A country situated at the north of the Southlands, the most southern land that will be explored in Of Souls.
    Bayenyun: Someone from Bayenya.
    Bindham: One of the five major cities within the Confederation, located at the northern end of its west coast and home to the Binder's Guild of Soulsmiths. Famous for its Twin Ports and the Sky Road. Split into the Old City and the New City.
    Binder-Elect: The title given to the leader of the Binder's Guild.

    C
    Calling: The act by which a new leader of Bayenya is chosen, a vote being called and casted by the Ililirs to chose which of them will become the Sh'Ililir.
    Civil Guard: Name given to the the troops that act as the garrison and police of the five major Confederation cities, generally made up of two battalions of five-hundred men each.
    Common Law: The basic law that applies across the entire Confederation.
    Confederation: The Confederation of Soulsmithing Guilds, a political entity which dominates the Northlands and rules over most of it.
    Copperpiece: The lowest denomination of coin used within the Confederation.
    Crystals: The only object known to be able to store Souls and act as the source of power for Soulsmiths, valuable and found in only a few locations.
    Cursed: A derogatory title that Bayenyuns give to people who can Soulsmith.

    D
    Drasgar Pass: A major trade route in the Northlands between the Confederation and the Free Villages, and the only way into the lands beyond the Skybreach Mountains.

    E
    Exchange: Guild Exchange, a service operated across the Confederation by the Guilds that has outlets in the major cities and across the Confederation. Here crystals can be brought and sold and Souls can be sold amongst other things.
    Extract/Extracted: The act of Extraction.
    Extraction: One of the five known abilities of Soulsmithing. Extractors can remove parts/pieces from other objects.
    Extractors: A Soulsmith who can perform Extraction.

    F
    Freehold: The name given to areas of land ruled over by Representatives within the Confederation and outside the areas of land directly under the control of the Guilds.
    Free Villages: An independent collection of settlements located north of Drasgar Pass, beyond the Skybreach Mountains on a large Northland peninsular.
    Forgan: One of the five major cities within the Confederation, located at the foot of the SKybreach Mountains, centrally between the east and west most points of the range. Home to the Forger's Guild of Soulsmiths.
    Forgers: A Soulsmith who can perform Forging.

    G
    Goldpiece: The highest denomination of coin used within the Confederation, equal to one-hundred copperpieces or ten silverpieces.
    Guilds: Soulsmithing Guilds, the organisations that control the use of Soulsmithing and rule the Confederation collaboratively. There is one Guild for each type of Soulsmithing, each with independent rule over its respective city.
    Guildmember: A common way to refer to someone who works for the Guilds or is one of their Soulsmiths.

    H
    High Council: The highest governing body within Bayenya, made up of the seven Ililirs. Largely ceremonial, but any decrees they issue are binding across the whole of Bayenya.

    I
    Ibithee: A large port city located on the north coast of Bayenya, capitol of Sábado's Ilil.
    Il: The Bayenyun term for the lesser noble houses, headed by an Ilir.
    Ilil: The Bayenyun term for the higher noble houses, headed by an Ililir. There are seven Ilils of Bayenya.
    Ilirs: The title of a lesser noble in Bayenya.
    Ililirs: The title of a higher noble in Bayenya. There are seven Ililirs.
    Inhale/Inhaled: The act of a Soulsmith drawing Souls from crystals into themselves ready to be used and power their Soulsmithing.
    Intendants: The name given to the spies and secret police of Bayenya. Under the command of the Ishilir of Security.
    Ishilir: The title of a government or household official that is in charge of a particular area or department, for example the Ishilir of Security or the Ishilir of War.

    M
    Master: The form of address to a man without another title in the Confederation, Goodmaster by used as a more polite form of address.
    Melilka: A country situated on the western side of a largely unexplored continent east of the Northlands.
    Melilkee: Someone from Melilka.

    N
    Northlands: A continent of the Of Souls world. Home to the Confederation that controls most of it, the Free Villages and Soulsmiths.

    P
    Peacekeeper: The second-lowest rank within the Civil Guard, a Peacekeeper is in charge of a patrol of ten men.

    S
    Sh'Ilil: The Bayenyun term for the ruling Ilil, headed by the Sh'Ililir.
    Sh'Ililir: The ruler of Bayenya, an inherited title unless a new Ilil is chosen to become the Sh'Ilil.
    Sh'Ishilir: The title to the government's or a particular household's chief of staff.
    Silverpiece: The second highest denomination of coin used within the Confederation, equal to ten copperpieces.
    Soul: Something that is within every person when they are born. Can be given up without any change to the person, for example to be stored in crystals or to be used by Soulsmiths. 'What' a Soul is differs between cultures.
    Soulsmithing: The act of using the power of Souls to perform different things, for example Extraction.
    Soulsmiths: Someone who has access to one of the five types of Soulsmithing.
    Stablemaster: In the Confederation a title given to someone in charge of a stable.

    T
    The Treaty: The Treaty of Forgan, a treaty signed by Soulsmiths and the nations of the world hundreds of years ago following years of destruction to people and the world by Soulsmiths. The Treaty regulates the use of Soulsmithing under the authority of the Guilds.
    Last edited by Shankbot de Bodemloze; March 12, 2017 at 02:11 PM. Reason: world maps added to the OP

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    Default Re: Of Souls

    Prologue /ˈprəʊlɒɡ



    "Some viewed it as abhorrent, others viewed it as godly. That distinction would prove vital."
    -A History into Traditional Political, Religious, and Cultural differences

    * * *
    Gavier wiped the swept that was trickling down his brow away. Blasted heat. Granted some of it would be due to nerves, but they did have a right to be there – what he was doing wasn’t, in the strictest sense, legal. Still, the heat didn’t help. Ibithee was a major port city on the northern coast of Bayenya, the gateway to trade with lands further north. The steaming southern heat and a bustling population combined to create, too any foreigner, an oppressive humidity that the locals seemed able to ignore. Gavier eyed them jealously in their flowing silks, their brows enviously perspiration free.

    His temporary stall was set-up in one of the more crowed parts of the city, away from the prying eyes of the local militia, and more importantly, the Intendants. A flow of people swirled around the market square, underneath different coloured cloths draped across awnings that failed miserably to keep out the heat. From above a beautiful patchwork of colour illuminating the city against a backdrop of monotonous sand and limestone buildings. From below a chaotic swarm where bodily odour mixed with stale air, this far into the city any coastal breeze long since vanishing. Where every second step caused you to bump into another opportune pick-pocket, disguised as just any other market goer.

    Gavier watched all this from behind his wooden stall. His disconcerting eyes never settling still for more than a second. They were the eyes of those who had spent their life hiding from the law. Bellows and heckles fought against the buzz of general conversation, trying to be overheard above the crowd. Unlike the other salesmen Gavier was content to remain quiet, his customer would know where to seek him out - this was a prearranged transaction. His eyes quickly shifted to the bundle of clothes that were laid out on his stall, making sure they still covered his produce. For even in this largely unregulated area the glow they would emit would be instantly recognisable.

    After all, everyone would know a human Soul.
    Last edited by Shankbot de Bodemloze; April 11, 2015 at 09:29 AM.
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    Hitai de Bodemloze's Avatar 避世絕俗
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    Default Re: Of Souls

    Souls, Intendants, I'm intrigued! Can't wait to see what you've been keeping from us all this time

    I was actually copying a story of GR's by the way, but he never actually got around to writing it I remember Schrodinger's old Byzantine tales though, he left around the time I joined - passing in the night as it were. Shame
    Last edited by Hitai de Bodemloze; April 02, 2015 at 08:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Of Souls

    Fascinating stuff, good to see you back on the writing horse.

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    Default Re: Of Souls

    Quote Originally Posted by Hitai de Bodemloze View Post
    Souls, Intendants, I'm intrigued! Can't wait to see what you've been keeping from us all this time

    I was actually copying a story of GR's by the way, but he never actually got around to writing it I remember Schrodinger's old Byzantine tales though, he left around the time I joined - passing in the night as it were. Shame
    I'm not even sure what I've been keeping from you yet.

    And I didn't realise GR had planned to update in that kind of way, interesting. I think it works really well. Yeah they were good tales, I still don't know how he managed to cram so much intrigue into such short updates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    Fascinating stuff, good to see you back on the writing horse.
    Thanks Merchant, glad to be back on it myself.
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    Default Re: Of Souls - Prologue

    Thank-you McScottish.

    And because I have too much time on my hands, Chapter 1:
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    Default Re: Of Souls

    Chapter 1 /ˈtʃaptə wʌn



    With a strong military tradition, over the past centuries Sh’Ililirs have often used war as way of securing political support, or to quieten discontent within the nobility. There have been some notable exceptions to this case…”
    -An Analysis of Modern Bayenyun Politics

    * * *
    Alfonso was anxious before the announcement, a common feeling for him recently. Still, he couldn’t let anyone else present feel his doubts. The Ililirs would tear him apart. They did all think what was in motion had started off as his idea. Indeed to an extent that was true, however his plans had quickly grown into something far bigger and riskier as others got involved. The curtains he waited behind opened onto a raised dais that overlooked a grand hall filled with Alfonso’s court and the country’s most important nobility. The building was made of limestone, the quarries to the south providing a cheap supply of the stone for buildings all across Bayenya. It was semi-circular in shape at the end where Alonso waited, with straight sides carrying on to form a rectangular central hall. Both of the longer sides were effectively three large archways connected to the one next to it by a large, smooth limestone pillar. Light silk curtains were draped across the archways as a shield to the sun and its relentless heat. The opposite end of the room was of the same style, but two slightly smaller archways instead leading into beautiful water gardens. On the other side of the water gardens was an identical structure, its rectangular end also facing inwards towards the garden. Ornamental walls encircled the garden, connected to the two buildings. It was a simple yet beautiful summer palace for the Sh’Ililir.

    The sea of people that were below filled the room comfortably, the darker toned people of the south mingling with the lighter, more olive-skinned people of the coastal regions. With the curtains now open Alfonso walked stately towards the golden throne sat upon the dais, ascending the steps gracefully. It was an exquisite piece, the solid arm-rests each shaped as the mythological Griffin, the symbol of Alfonso’s Ilil. The gentle buzz of conversation that had filled the hall died down as a guard announced Alfonso’s presence to the court. When he was sat the attendees bowed their heads in unison, both hands simultaneously touching their forehead in the traditional Bayenyun style before looking up expectantly. They knew what was going to be announced for it had been in planning for numerous years now with today being the official announcement and declaration of war.

    Drawing away from his troubled thoughts Alfonso put on a polite and welcoming smile, nodding to the most powerful and influential nobility, the Ililirs, and to those who he wished the court to know were in his favour. “Greetings brethren,” he began, “please let me welcome you all to this beautiful palace; I know for some it has been a long journey during the height of our blessed summers.” Thankfully that earned a chuckle.

    “But as my elder-father once said a great announcement often requires a greater journey.” He saw many of Ilirs, and even a few of the Ililirs, nodding their heads. Mentally he let out a sigh of relief, mentioning his grandfather had been a good idea, his memory was well-respected and his lasting legacy of prosperity, stability and conquest was well-remembered. “And even though I am certain you are all aware of today’s announcement by now; after all it has been long-awaited and long-planned, it is my great honour to formally announce to you that…”

    Silence.

    “We are now at war with Melilka!”

    He had a reason to be anxious, this decision would ruin them.
    Last edited by Shankbot de Bodemloze; January 24, 2016 at 02:45 PM. Reason: minor retcon
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    Default Re: Of Souls - Prologue

    It is harder than I thought it was trying to write short chapters whilst getting everything in that I wanted. Also, do people prefer the speech emboldened, or would they rather there was no emphasis?
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    Default Re: Of Souls - Updated: Chapter 1

    Come on guys, more catching up to do.
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    Default Re: Of Souls - Prologue

    Chapter 2 /ˈtʃaptə tu:



    "There are five different types, and each can do the most wondrous of things. Art in the form of impossible architecture, the Sky Road being of notable example. However, each also has the capability for this most horrendous destruction."
    -Soulsmithing: The Overall Perspective

    * * *
    Gavier let a small smile creep across his lips, he was more confident than he had been earlier. At least now, trapped in a cage, he didn’t have to worry about them finding him when he was unprepared. It had been unlucky what had happened in Ibithee, everything was going so well into those cursed Intendants go involved. He was beginning to realise it wasn’t the ones marching around in emerald green uniform that were the problem, it was the ones who walked around in normal clothing, pretending to be any other person. This time it had turned out his customer was one. It baffled him, when had they gotten so smart?

    Still one could always count on Bayenyuns being predictable. First, they had made the grave mistake of leaving the Souls with him, but they would not have touched them even if it meant death not to do so. Abhorrence for what he carried was deeply ingrained in their society. Second, they had assumed that being a trader of Souls he wasn’t someone who could use them – otherwise he would have been executed on the spot. It was a common mistake to make, even in the north where Soulsmithing was lauded. People just didn’t expect someone with the power of the Gods to partake in something as mundane as trading. He was thankful for that, it made escaping a lot easier.

    The Souls remained covered in the bundle of the cloths, when he had tried getting one out for light the guards had come and beaten him. Their eyes were filled with anger at his sacrilege of a human Soul, trapping it in a crystal, against its will they had probably been taught. They were wrong. Everyone had a Soul, and it could only be given up willingly. Still, the beating had been thorough enough he hadn’t risked getting them out again. Until now. The guard was changing at midnight, and it would present the perfect opportunity for him to escape. He listened out for the chiming of the bells to signal it was time.

    One…. Two… Three.

    He Inhaled. The cloth whipped free. Suddenly the dark cell was illuminated brightly by the blaring light of the Souls. Streams of light flew from each of the crystals and flowed into Gavier. A furious wind began blowing around him, urging him on. The moment of euphoria, when the light first streams into you, vanished. Then came revulsion. This is where the stigma against Soulsmithing came from. He felt all the hopes, dreams, fears, sorrows, pains and more of every person's Soul that was in him - their emotions flashing across his mind, tearing into him. He was Inhaling a lot of different ones, and the cascade of different emotions from multitudes of different people made him feel sick, threatening to overwhelm him.

    Gavier shoved the feeling down, ignoring it at the back of his mind. Instead he focused on the power it gave him. That sweet sensation. It was time to act.
    Last edited by Shankbot de Bodemloze; April 11, 2015 at 09:30 AM.
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    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Of Souls - Updated: Chapter 2

    Great chapters! This reader prefers speech without bold text. I like the use of quotes, the characters and the impression you are building of a well-crafted setting.

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    Default Re: Of Souls - Updated: Chapter 2

    Thanks Alwyn.
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    Default Re: Of Souls - Updated: Chapter 2

    Great two chapters and I must agree with Alwyn, I like the text not emboldened, unless you really want to emphasise something. I like where you are going with the souls as well, interesting stuff.

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    Default Re: Of Souls - Updated: Chapter 2

    Cheers Merchant. And okay I'll probably forgot about emboldening the speech in the next update if you guys prefer it without.
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    Default Re: Of Souls - Updated: Chapter 2

    Great start -- looking forward to moar! I'm really diggin' the quotes in the beginning. And I agree with Alwyn and Merchant on no bold speech. Perhaps italic instead?

    +rep

    p.s.: Praise the Sun! ()
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    [CW] Zero Kelvin [in progress]
    [MTW2 SS] Weder heilig noch Römisch [on a ridiculously long hiatus]
    [RTW RS] My dearest Clymene [a single-chapter commemoration]
    [RTW RS] The enemy of my enemy [suspended]
    [MTW2 SS] Snakes in the sands [suspended]
    [MTW2 SS] Omnes viae Romam ducunt [suspended]



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    Default Re: Of Souls - Updated: Chapter 2

    Glad you like them, it's an idea I've 'borrowed' off Brandon Sanderson, one of my favourite fantasy authors. It allows me to explore some of the backstory/depth of the world without having to write it out - which is proving more and more helpful whilst trying to stick to short(ish) updates.

    Coincidentally, because the Alfonso chapters are pre-written I'm finding it difficult to cut them down to size, because I just feel like I'm skimping on much of the world's detail - which isn't vital for the story, but adds to immersion. For example this latest Chapter I'm trying to condense had a whole description of the courses they were eating and explored more of Bayenyun culture etc. which I just need to cut out.

    Thanks for the rep.

    Chapter 3 should be out later today.
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    Default Re: Of Souls - Updated: Chapter 2

    Chapter 3 /ˈtʃaptə θriː



    "The elected system of rule among the higher nobility, the Ililirs, puts the Sh’Ililir in a precarious position, despite the near unlimited power they theoretically have. Perhaps this is why it is so popular, it has proven an effective check to arbitrary actions.”
    -An Analysis of Modern Bayenyun Politics

    * * *
    “We are now at war with Melilka!”

    A cheer swept through the room, resounding off every side of the elegant building. Alfonso put aside his dark thoughts and joined in with the cheers. Standing up off the throne he walked down to mingle with the people in attendance. After shaking hands and speaking a few words here and there Alfonso moved towards the centre of the room, a circle forming around him.

    “Soon we shall fight,” he said meeting the eyes of those who supported a declaration of war, watching as they nodded fiercely in response. It was good to remind himself he did have some support among the higher nobility. “But first,” Alfonso continued, “we shall eat!” More cheers as his retainers led the the throng of people out of the hall, under the archways that opened out onto the war garden. The sun had slowly begun its descent after cresting midday, its heat still strong despite the occasional cool breeze that danced across the water.

    The tables were arranged in three separate groups in the centre of the gardens. Two longer tables rang parallel to each other where the Ilirs, the leaders of the lesser nobility, would seat and eat. These tables were made of fine wood and had been brought in as a temporary fixture to accommodate everyone, all the Ilils had been invited and all had accepted for none of their lieges had refused - gatherings of all of the noble houses were rare enough not to miss; regardless of your opinion of the host. In-front of these two tables, placed on a man-made rise above the other tables, was a grander one made of stone. It was long enough for the Ililirs of Bayenya, including the Sh’Ililir, to sit comfortably. The stream that ran east-west across the water garden diverged before the bank the tables were on, converging again at the other end. Bridges were suitably placed to allow easy access to and from the miniature island that had been created.

    Once everyone was sat Alfonso’s retainers began laying out the food for the feast, which was being prepared under the guidance of the Sh’Ishilir, the Sh’Ililir’s Chief of Staff, closest advisor, and personal friend. Numerous retainers swarmed around the tables laying out the first course for everyone. The table of the Ililirs was served first, the retainers retreating quickly – hurriedly needed to continue serving the other two tables. Alfonso and the other Ililirs ate and conversed politely, today was not a day for quarrels, and arguments in public were not becoming. The Ililirs themselves were still very much divided; one camp from the northern, coastal regions, the other from the lands further south. Alfonso’s lands were situated in the middle, and it had been one reason why his Ilil had been chosen to rule all those years ago, to act as mediator.

    They were half-way through their second course when a guard came up and informed Alfonso that the Ishilir of Security had to speak to him urgently. He paused, Farjoz wouldn't have interrupted them unless it was extremely urgent. That was not a good sign. “Present him,” Alfonso said to the guard, waving them forward from below the rise the table sat on.

    Farjoz walked up to in-front of the table, bowing as he spoke, his voice heavy with exertion, “My Ililir’s, I beg pardon for interrupting, but an important matter has come to my attention, hence why I am here personally.” He took a deep breath, “I came as quickly as I could.”

    “Go on then,” chuckled Hi’rasha, before Alfonso had a chance to speak. He was an Ililir from the south, his dark skin flushed ever so slightly with drink.

    Farjoz paused, looking at Alfonso for permission. He nodded, mentally sighing – the fact Farjoz had come so quickly meant it wasn't looking good. “I received a letter from my Intendants in Ibithee, it informed me that the heathen tradesman they had imprisoned had escaped.”

    Sábado, another Ililir startled, Ibithee was his capitol. It was quickly recovered and then he let out a snort, “I informed you all when he was captured, caught trying to sell Souls, the scum,” he spat. “There is no way my guards would have let such a criminal escape before he was taken back. I informed the Guilds of his capture straight away and was waiting to hear back before I journeyed here.”

    “Your pardons my Ililir,” Farjoz continued, looking grave, “but this report is not false. I know because the Intendant who sent the report is one of my best, and because no Bayenyun would mistake what he has reported.”

    Alfonso looked troubled, “What was it?”

    Farjoz looked at him directly, “He wasn’t just a tradesman, Sh’Ililir, he was one of the Cursed themselves. The report says he used his curse to escape, killing several of the guards in the process.” Farjoz shivered as he said the last bit, and the Ililirs looked visibly shocked. Alfonso went cold.
    Last edited by Shankbot de Bodemloze; April 11, 2015 at 09:30 AM.
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  19. #19
    Shankbot de Bodemloze's Avatar From the Writers Study!
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    Default Re: Of Souls - Updated: Chapter 2

    That one was a pain to shorten down.

    I hope you enjoy, sorry if things are progressing a bit slowly at the minute, but action is soon on its way.
    Last edited by Shankbot de Bodemloze; April 06, 2015 at 03:16 PM.
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    Hitai de Bodemloze's Avatar 避世絕俗
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    Default Re: Of Souls - Updated: Chapter 3

    I love this so much The style, the setting, the writing, the imagination, all top notch my friend

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