Tag Archives: fantasy

Child of Starlight: Issue 2 – Part 4: Celestial Chief

Aliene looked up past the branches into darkness. “Yes it was.” Aliene stood pulling her sword and bow out of her pack.

As Jacobus loosed his reach and contracted it, the muscles in his arms visible grew. With a blast of wind from the brush a voice called to them, saying something just out of hearing. The pair exchanged glances until Aliene froze, visibly disturbed. “Did you hear that?”

“Just now?” Jacobus questioned, Aliene nodded. “No.”

“There it is again,” Aliene stood from her crouched position. “It’s calling me to it.”

“What is?”

“I don’t really know,” Aliene started walking sword still raised. “Come on, grab the brick from my bag.”

Jacobus didn’t answer, just obeyed and followed behind her, leaving his own pack and the rest of hers. He looked past Aliene into the inky blackness that enveloped her, then it filled his own vision. Until the faint glow of something in the distance appeared, and a voice came from all around saying, ‘Go towards it and fire an arrow.’

“Now that I—” Jacobus was cut off by Aliene shushing him.

After the sounds of a bow creaking followed by the whoosh of its release, an explosion of light rushed past them. What had been a black abyss was now filled with countless flecks of light. Swirling like firefly’s in a dome, that then became still appearing to be stars in a clear sky. Jacobus felt a hand on his shoulder force him into kneeling, he fought it in vain till he saw what it was. A man taller and broader than any Jacobus had ever seen, and as the being passed by him he saw the legs of an equian. It was in fact a full body of an equian as the beings lower half, the feet of which were large thick talons, the digits linked by webbing. His whole body had a rough skin that glistened like scales, and a pair of long folded fins sprouted from the sides of his left forearm.

“Daughter do you know me?” the voice from earlier said as the being approached Aliene.

She had fallen to her knees staring at it, “Yes,” her voice was meek.

“Say it, child of starlight.”

“Aquar Equias, Chief of hunters, Centauri,” Aliene flinched as the being flexed, extending his left arm and watched him pull his right hand along his left arm like you would a bow. She looked on in amazement as a sliver of pale blue light manifested, Centauri aimed upward and fired the sliver. It claimed into the air and burst becoming almost like a sun that began filling the area with soft blue light.

“Dear child how long I have watched you grow,” Centauri spoke with a voice that made the air shiver. “Your strength is something beyond mortal limits. You bring me honor,” the being turned to Jacobus, “So you will quiet your mind boy, I am one of the avatars for her pantheon of gods.”

Aliene coughed out a breath tearing up as she looked to the being who would be her god. “Why Me?” Aliene says finally letting tears flow down her cheeks. “Why would you do this to me,” Aliene screamed it clutching her chest.

Centauri was silent for a moment, “If I knew child I would tell you, truly. It is your mark, it was made by your magic, I have watched over my tribe for a thousand generations. I have seen heroes be foretold come to pass and be welcomed amongst the starlight households.” The being of hunters bent to place his hand under Aliene’s chin lifting her face. He looked into her hazel eyes that begged for relief, to have this burden lifted. “You are different, you have something more than what I know, how you live, how you deal with this, will be up to you. All I can do is arm you with what I do know, give me your bow.”

Aliene lifts her weapon with both hands bowing her head, as she does the weapon changes flashes of light force her eyes closed. When the light subsided, she looks at what her bow had become. Heavier than before and almost pulsing with magic. It was thinner, but as she gripped it the ends fanned out like the gods own arm. “Give it a try.”

Aliene stood her mind asking why there was no bowstring, but her body just moving. Her arm went through the motions and as she drew her magic was pulled from her hand. She aimed at a tree that appeared some ways off, half rotten and released. With a hiss and whistle her target more splattered than splintered but was missing a huge section in an instant.

“Raw power has its uses, merely think sharper to pierce a target, though try not to use this more than ten times a day child. Don’t lose it I have blessed it but Hafwen did spend weeks making it for you in the first place,” Centauri smiled at her beneath his star filled eyes and nodded at Jacobus, “He is more than he seems, don’t discard such faith.”

Jacobus had stayed a good distance form the girl and the god, kneeling and as the being of hunters nodded at him he stood only to drop the meteor stone. “What the,” Jacobus picked it up as Centauri appear beside him, no sound, no warning. The being took it, examining the stone for the moment.

“Interesting, this is the star that fell to you?” Jacobus nodded to answer him. “This is from the House of Crafting.” Centauri looked up towards the sky, seemingly past the darkness. “I give you this advice young one, in the heart of a mountain north of here lives a being much like myself, should you find him give him this stone.”

Aliene opened her mouth to reply but was suddenly blinded by white hot light, when she blinked rapidly to adjust her eyes she heard the buzz of insects calling and the song of birds fill the air.

Child of Starlight: Issue 2 – Part 3: Pasts That Define Us

The day continued and the two travelers began sticking to the shade of trees, avoiding the searing sunlight of midday. Aliene was beginning to feel the rebound of her exertion. She looked back to Jacobus who had stayed quiet over the past few hours. The man still looked as if he was on a leisurely walk. Does he outclass me by so much? The thought had wormed its way into her skull, exacerbated by the silence between them. Aliene had only been able to compare herself to Hafwen growing up; her mentor had always been better at everything. Speed, power, endurance, and stealth, the four tenants of a hunter. Hafwen told Aliene she was better than some but how could the young girl really know?

The use of magic had always been compared to how she used her muscles normally. Magic just made up the difference in what she could normally do and what she may need to do. The farther the difference, the more magic needed. Outer magic was a little different but pulled from the same source within her. Hafwen had drilled Aliene till her magic was drained, then made her keep going, fighting through the sharp tingling that ensued. A sensation Aliene was starting to feel now in her legs.

Should I just rest? A foreign concept after twenty years of scheduled life. They had food for a few days and nowhere to go. I have nowhere I need to be. The realization of that fact stung Aliene more than she expected. Continue reading Child of Starlight: Issue 2 – Part 3: Pasts That Define Us

Fantasy and sci-fi invite imagination and introspection

Perhaps more than any other genre of entertainment, the fantasy and sci-fi genres require the most dedication and the greatest scope of imagination.

Unfortunately, fantasy and sci-fi are often looked down upon. The reasons can vary, but they generally get a bad rap for being campy or having a fanbase that is simply neurotically obsessed about the genre; that factor I won’t deny. Concerning the camp, you do have to be willing to suspend a great amount of belief to accept the world of fantasy and sci-fi. After all, we are talking about genres where people summon flaming rings of mind energy and gravitic warp engines are readily accepted.

In my experience, the most overt trivialization of fantasy and sci-fi was actually during my senior seminar project in college. As my fellow graduates were presenting their 20 minute presentations, one student was presenting on a topic roughly as follows: Is Frodo the true hero of the Lord of the Rings? No, Aragorn more explicitly follows the path of a hero.

It wasn’t a very original topic in my opinion, and it was apparent that either the student was beyond nervous, or they hadn’t really practiced their presentation and decided to wing it. After he was finished, one of the professors blatantly asked, “What is the value of studying fantasy literature?”

The world of fantasy and sci-fi literature is as vast and meaningful as the worlds the books host. Graphic from Books and Iced Coffee
The importance of fantasy literature is as vast and wonderful as the worlds the books host. Graphic from Books and Iced Coffee

The student froze- he didn’t have an answer. For what seemed like five minutes, he stumbled on and on, unable to come up with a decent answer to the professor’s question and, ultimately, it was never resolved.

I have no idea whether this professor was sincere in his opinion that fantasy is worthless. He had a reputation for asking “gotcha” questions, but that is neither here nor there. The true question is why would he feel it necessary to ask that question? Are fantasy and sci-fi worthless trivial pursuits that sully the name of good literature?

I’ve yet to discover what good literature is. That requires quantifying something that’s a personal feeling between a person and their own tastes as a consumer.

The answer I desperately wanted to shout from my seat is that literature began as fantasy. Fantasy, for human experience, is a seminal piece of storytelling. Whether you’re a religious person or not, there are gods you do or do not believe in. I imagine that the greatest majority of Americans and people in the world today regard Norse and Greco/Roman mythology as just that– mythology. However, for those people, these gods lived and breathed in the world.

Fantasy is important because consumers love it. It asks us not to look at the real, but to look at the unreal and fathom how such impossible things can be possible. If you are engrossed in a realistic murder mystery set in modern day New York, little suspension of disbelief is needed. These things can, and do, happen all the time. However, for fantasy and sci-fi, more willingness to suspend disbelief is required.

Fantasy and sci-fi are important because we live and breathe it. The most popular movies at the box office during this millennium are superhero movies and Peter Jackson’s take on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Fantasy and sci-fi matter because the masses love them, and more importantly, humanity has always had an affinity for these kinds of stories. Gods, monsters, demons, elves, and dwarves: they all have much more in common than what first meets the eye.

Outside of Greentown: Chapter 7

I stormed off through the woods back toward home. I was furious. How did she escape me? I never knew she could perform such a seamless transportation spell. “Semantics,” I thought to myself. “I must find out what she plans for the future. I can do nothing about the past except learn from it.” I moved faster through the maze of trees. My feet barely touched the ground, and I was back on my front porch in just a few minutes. Continue reading Outside of Greentown: Chapter 7

Outside of Greentown: Chapter 6

I ran frantically through the woods, feeling the air temperature around me quickly start to rise. When I reached the edge of the blaze I could barely make out Erlina’s thin black figure. I didn’t bother calling out to her. She was deep into her magic, expanding the widening ring of fire around her and torching anything in its path. Continue reading Outside of Greentown: Chapter 6

Geek inspired tech your parents probably saw coming

In a recent episode of “The Big Bang Theory,” viewers were introduced to a new TV remote that looks awfully like a certain famous and rather heroic wizard’s wand. By using a few simple swishes and flicks, owners of this device can cast spells to control their electronic devices. Fans of the Harry Potter series were clearly targeted for this product. This technology, while relatively simple, is pretty fascinating. With more obvious gadgets bringing geek inspired technology to attention, it might get you thinking about what other technology has been inspired by different fandoms. Continue reading Geek inspired tech your parents probably saw coming

Locked Within: Radford student self publishes

Kristen Lester is an inspirational young woman who has surpassed the normal standards of college students. She’s dedicated much of her time to write a novel while balancing her school work here at RU. This accomplishment has not gone unnoticed by Whim Magazine. Each word creates an atmosphere thick with despair and darkness. There are small moments where love and happiness pierce the looming veil. Continue reading Locked Within: Radford student self publishes

Outside of Greentown: Chapter 2

The midnight train whistled shrilly as it began to take off towards the West, slowly lurching forward on the moonlit tracks. The hard wheels squealed in the cool summer evening. Men rubbing sleep from their eyes bustled about in the dark, securing and checking the cars. The engineer fed the steel beast’s red-hot belly with shovel after shovel of coal to quicken their forward movement. The frowning whistle screamed once more as they chugged steadily out of the station. A man sat on a bench outside the station in the dark, quietly smoking, watching the train pull out. Continue reading Outside of Greentown: Chapter 2