No Ordinary Education ( A Chuck Wendig Challenge)

Posted: January 14, 2015 in Fantasy
Tags: , , ,

It’s been too long, I know. I have been working on other projects, including BURNED LANDS at Dark Futures.

This week’s Chuck Wendig Challenge is courtesy of


Ahem, yes. So I went with a looser version of how that was defined.

And now I want to play this character. And I HATE warlocks.


Jorum grumbled as he stomped down the hallway, the sleeves of his black robe pushed up to reveal his muscular arms. Black and red tattoos encircled his limbs, the red the same color as he close cropped bear and braided hair, the black the color of his eyes. A loud shout echoed down the stone corridors, accompanied by the distinct sound of metal on metal, and screams of pain.

Jorum scowled. He’d been in the middle of his morning studies, scrolls and books piled high around him. His notebook, filled with his small, neat handwriting, lay close at hand, along with his quills and inks. That notebook was a lifetime of study and work, of sacrifice and belt tightening. He’d gone to some pretty inhospitable places working on that notebook.

He ran a finger down the long, jagged scar running down the right side of his face was a souvenir he’d picked up in the Howling Jungles, where even the plant life had teeth. He’d learned secrets there from the jaguar shamans and the strange elves who spoke to the parrots.

Another shout came down the corridor, this one cut painfully short, shook Jorum from his reverie, and caused his scowl to grow ever deeper. He turned left, down another corridor, grabbing a spear hanging on a nearby wall. It reminded him of the time he was in service to Queen Blanca, which would have been great, except Blanca was a great, fat slob of a woman and her throne room looked more like a pig sty than the kind of place you’d expect to find a head of state. Jorum grinned, an act that did nothing to make him look less threatening, as he remembered skewering the queen once he’d discovered the secret to her enchantment magic.

Rounding a final corner, Jorum came to a wider space, a carved out chamber of finished stone. It wasn’t even over engraved like some dwarven settlements Jorum had cause to visit, and was nowhere near the godawful mess where Jorum was raised. There it was nothing but engravings everywhere, strange statues, and cats everywhere. You couldn’t get up in the middle of the night to take a piss without tripping over at least four of the blighters. Jorum was glad to be quit of that place, even if it meant going to live among the humans for a time. He endured being called stunty, being only just tall enough to reach the bar, and dealing with women who couldn’t even begin to grow a passable beard.

“What is going on here?” Jorum bellowed, the sound reverberating throughout the chamber. Some loose stones dislodged from the boom of his voice, and his scowl threatened to crack rock.

“Uhm, well, that is, we are under attack.” A young dwarf nearby replied. His face was a mask of pain, and he clutched his stomach. Jorum could see the blood pooling around him and figured he didn’t have long to live.

Jorum knelt down. “Under attack by whom?” Jorum asked.

“Goblins, sir,” the dwarf replied, gritting his teeth in pain.

“So all this noise, this racket, because you can’t handle a bunch of greenies?” Jorum spat.

“Well, they brought a troll with them, and there’s an awful lot of them-”

“Is that so?” Jorum’s eyes narrowed to a knife’s edge. He stood up, spun the spear in a circle as he spoke words of power. The tattoos on his arms began to glow, power crackling around his body. He strode toward the conflict.

The problem made itself apparent soon enough. The greenies had broken through the wall from the side, and were trying to pour  through using their weight of numbers. The other dwarves had managed to construct a hasty defense, but they were losing ground steadily despite the number of dead goblins they were piling up.

“Step aside,” Jorum commanded.

“But-” one dwarf, a sergeant from the markings on his armor, moved to stop him, but Jorum swept the butt end of the spear up and knocked him out of the way.

“I said, ‘Step aside.’” Jorum climbed up on top of the makeshift fortification the other dwarves had constructed. He stared down the shaft where the goblins were pouring, saw where the troll was hanging back, waiting for a chance to break through the defenses. Deeper in the goblins ranks, he could spot a few of their wizards, shaking their bone rattles and imploring the spirits to aid them. Jorum curled his lip at their amateurish attempts.

“Ytzak bora krthrk!” Jorum shouted, pointing his spear down the goblin shaft. Lightning curled down his arms and into the spear. A bolt of crimson light shot through with black erupted from the tip, blasting down the shaft. Wherever the red light touched, goblin flesh withered, blistered and burned. The troll stood up, bracing its arms in front of it in an attempt to shield it from the attack. The blast burned its arms down to the bone, then burned the bone to ash.

Jorum poured the power on as the rest of the dwarves fled the scene, unable to withstand the sheer magical power Jorum was channeling through his body. There was a deep rumble through the earth, and stones started to fall in the tunnel, slowly at first, then in a great rush until it was collapsed entirely.

Jorum gasped in pain, the magic leaving his skin red and tender to the touch. Only the discipline he’d managed over long years kept the magic from burning him as completely as it had burned the invaders.

“Humpf,” he grunted as he hopped down from the fortification. “That’s how you stamp out a greenie infestation. Next time I expect my studies to go interrupted. Understand?”

The other dwarves could only stand, slack jawed as Jorum stomped back to his quarters, and all of them wondering… where did a dwarf learn magic like that?

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