The Way of the Monk

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The Way of the Monk

Postby Carandor on Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:29 pm

So, this is best described as some writing practice; I've been suffering from an absolutely terrible block as of the past year or so and I've figured that the only way I can work through it is by writing something! So... Here is a short story about Carandor's origins. I hope to expand on it sometime soon.

Pardon the rusty writing style: I still need to find my rhythm and style again, so I may very well re-write this at some point.

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The Way of the Monk Part I

Carandor felt the ocean spray against his face and his light blue hair as the Tidestriker carved a path through the waves to the distant land that had been called Pandaria. It had only been recently discovered, and the idea of heading to a completely new land excited him. His father, and his father before him, had all been Northstars, renowned explorers who were uncharacteristically adventurous for their kind and often left their homeland on faraway voyages to sate their wanderlust and discover new lands. All of them had vanished at one point, never to be heard from again, but still that did not stop successive generations from carrying on their legacy. I wonder, Carandor mused to himself, if any tried to go through these mists? What would they think of what lies beyond?

"Carandor," A voice to his left interrupted his lonely musing. He turned to face it and smiled; the voice belonged to Ysiel Bladewhisper, a fellow Sentinel who had been assigned to the Tideseeker at the same time as Carandor. Her purple hair was matted and wet; she must have been the victim of a rogue wave, Carandor thought with amusement and a touch of sympathy. "What are you thinking?"
"Ishnu'alah, Ysiel... Oh, just about where we're going." Carandor replied, looking out once again, trying to penetrate the ocean mists with his silver eyes in a focused gaze.
"Pandaria? It's a waste of time, if you ask me. We should strike the Horde whilst their forces are focused here!" Ysiel shrugged, shaking her head.
"And let that vile Horde have the entire continent to themselves? It would be foolish to allow that."
"Maybe. I don't know, I just want to fight."
"You will fight, soon enough." Another voice interrupted, and Carandor turned to face the new speaker. The voice belonged to Ilyendris Waveseeker, the Captain of the Tidestriker. He had been Captain for as long as Carandor could remember, and his the ship was his true and only love. His white hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and his grizzled beard gave him the appearance that he had not been on dry land for a long time. Often, the Sentinels joked that he never left the ship even when it was on dry land, though Carandor wondered if there was a grain of truth in the jest.

"He's right." Carandor said, turning to Ysiel. "What did you need, anyway?"
"I'm here to let you get some sleep, Cara." She replied with a smile. "We're supposed to be swapping shifts now, or have you really lost track of time that badly?"
"Elune's grace," Carandor said, the mention of sleep suddenly making him feel tired. She was right, of course; he had been awake for a long time, but without being able to see the night sky, it became very difficult to tell when one day rolled into the next. "I had no idea that it was that time. Well... Thank you. Hopefully we'll be on dry land when I wake up."
"Hopefully." Ysiel replied. "Goddess guide your dreams."
Carandor turned quickly and walked to the crew's quarters which contained his hammock. Despite removing his heavy plate armour, there was a heaviness to his shoulders which he was unused to: had he truly been awake so long? As he lay his head down to rest, and his entire body showed it's gratitude as he lifted himself into the hammock by guiding him into a swift sleep to the gentle song of the ocean's waves against the hull.
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Thunder cracked, and Carandor was snapped back to reality from the realm of dreams in an instant. The room rocked violently as the ship's hull gave a cry of agony. Carandor leapt to his feet and blinked twice to adjust his bleary vision to his surroundings. Low rumbling could be heard in the distance; it was a sound Carandor was used to. A panicked voice from above verified his fears.
"The Horde!"
That was all Carandor needed to hear. Quickly, he grabbed his spear and his plate armour, as did the Sentinels around him grab their equipment, and hurriedly they began equipping themselves for battle. If they weren't quick enough, the top deck could be overwhelmed by boarders. A deafening crack covered by a shriek reached Carandor's ears, and morbid curiosity gave him pause and his eyes followed the source and destination of the sound. On the other side of the room, the wall had been stained red, and where an Elf once stood there was now another gap in the wall. The poor victim hadn't had the time to even scream as he was thrown into the sea. The Tidestriker shrieked once again as more and more cannonfire barraged her hull.

He quickly ran up the stairs and onto the deck. The boat rocked violently, and the whistling of cannonballs began to be answered by the song of glaives cutting through the air. Carandor looked to his right and saw another ship: It was unmistakably an Orcish vessel, the red flags and iron hull a familiar sight to him.
"Carandor, over here!" Ysiel shouted, ducking instinctively behind a Glaive thrower as the boat rocked to cannonfire once again. Keeping his footing, Carandor quickly ran over to her, kneeling over the body of the unfortunate sentinel who had been manning the machine. "I'll aim, you load."
"Right," Carandor picked up a large glaive from near the machine and placed it quickly into it. "It's chaos..." He said as he did so.
"They took us completely by surprise. They saw us before we saw them... Elune guide this glaive!" Ysiel shouted over the sounds of battle as she guided the glaive towards the iron vessel.
"Good shot!" Carandor said, pointing towards the glaive embedded in the hull. "Now if we can-"
The Tidestriker rocked violently again, interrupting his speech. A scream accompanied by a crack, and a creak, drew his attention once again. A grappling hook was stuck firmly in the deck and had taken an unfortunate Sentinel with it, who lay dying. The Tidestriker began to be pulled towards the iron vessel.
"For Elune!" Captain Ilyendris could be heard shouting over the chaos.
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Carandor grabbed his spear and ran to meet with the Orcish invaders. Ysiel followed him, her own glaive in hand, and the few defenders along with the Captain himself clashed with Orcish steel. The fighting was brutal and quick, with neither side giving any quarter. "Remember what these mongrels did you your homes!" Captain Ilyendris shouted over the sound of slicing steel and cries of pain. "Show them no mercy!" He bellowed. The Captain was a skilled fighter, Carandor observed, as he preferred to fight with a single shortblade and make use of his natural agility and reflexes against the lumbering and heavy Orcish steel.

The time for observation was not now, however, and Carandor had to act quickly to duck under a wayward axe that was moving towards his head from his left. As Carandor stood up straight, he drew his dagger and drove it into the belly of the Orc to his right, before pulling it out and throwing his body off the edge of the boat and into the sea. Once again the axe came towards his head, he noticed from the corner of his eye, and a glaive intersected it's path, throwing it aside. "Cara, look out!" Ysiel shouted as she pushed back against the Orc with surprising strength that seemed to catch him off-guard. Carandor thrusted his spear towards the Orc with the best aim he could have, considering the unsteadiness of his feet.

Though the Sentinels had slain some of the Orcs, more appeared behind them and it seemed that their numbers were endless, whilst the Sentinel's numbers were dwindling fast. "The ship is lost. Get to the boats, I'll hold them off!" Captain Ilyendris yelled, and Carandor looked to him bemusedly.
"Sir?"
"I'm staying here, lad. This ship is where my heart is, and I go down with her."
Before Carandor could respond, he felt his shoulder being tugged harshly.
"You heard him," Ysiel said, "the ship is lost... we have to get to the boats and warn the others."
The two Sentinels ran and ducked under arrow-and-cannonfire towards the lifeboats. Some had already been lowered into the sea, and only one remained. Carandor looked around the deck, quickly, and he couldn't see any more Sentinels other than he and Ysiel. The Captain had fought valiantly, but his bloodied body, covered in cuts, was visible behind the Orcish line that advanced towards the two. They shouted things that Carandor couldn't understand as they ran towards the two. Carandor looked to the boat and his heart felt like it stuttered, and could leap from his chest. "It's damaged, it's going to sink-" He stated, and was interrupted by a shriek of pain. He looked to Ysiel. She was lying on the floor, unresponsive, a dagger in her back. Blood began to run in a pool around her, and Carandor looked back. The Orcs were dangerously close, and one had evidently hurled a dagger at them - Ysiel was the unlucky victim. Carandor saw over the edge of the boat at the rough sea. The thought of what those Orcs would do to him caused his knees to feel weakened. He looked to Ysiel. There wasn't time to bring her overboard with him, and though she lay still, he did not want the Orcs to claim her body.

"Elune guide your spirit. I'm sorry..." He whispered as he leapt over the side of the boat and into the rough embrace of the ocean. The triumphant sound of the Orcs was quickly drowned out, and Carandor felt himself being swept away by the tide. As his vision darkened, he silently prayed that Elune would guide his own spirit to safety. At least the Orcs couldn't use him as a trophy.
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"What a strange creature!" The Pandaren mused to himself as he stood next to the blue-skinned, blue-haired creature that had washed up on the beach, lying on what seemed to be it's front. "You weren't here yesterday... Do you have a face?" He murmured as he knelt down to turn the body of the creature over to face him. It's eyes were closed. As he touched him, the Pandaren gasped. "You're still warm! Are you... Alive?" The Pandaren didn't expect an answer as he felt around it's chest to determine if there was a heartbeat: on his hand he could feel a faint beating. He didn't know what the creature was, but he had been taught to care for all living things that were not his enemies, and this creature was neither enemy nor friend, yet. "The Temple of the Jade Serpent is near, hold on, Stranger!" The Pandaren said as he gathered the creature in his arms, surprised by its' weight despite it's lean build, and began running up the nearby path towards the Temple.
"You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend."

- Bruce Lee
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Re: The Way of the Monk

Postby Aariam on Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:27 am

Ooh! I am really curious to find out what Carandor gets up to in Pandaria. A really catching, chaotic start, and I love it. :D Also: fuck the orcs.

I'll eagerly await the expansion! :D
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Re: The Way of the Monk

Postby Salirien on Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:43 am

Loved this! I really like your writing, and can't wait for the next part! Looking forward to getting a glimpse of Carandor's past^^
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Re: The Way of the Monk

Postby Calisar on Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:07 am

Really impressive, loved the stream of inner thoughts and descriptive style of the battle!

So many observant touches and insights of Kaldorei mentality, really fabulously detailed. Definitely looking forward to the next instalment ;)
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