Magic the Gathering Short Story
The Epic of Planeswalker Voy Ashvar
Chapter 1 - A Tale For All To Hear
A humble village nestled between the mountain bluffs and relentless plains sleeps quietly during the darkest hours of night. Almost all have ventured to slumber, except for a young ten year old boy who eagerly finds himself immersed within the fantasy world of his own creation. His mind moves like that of a raging sea, idea after idea raging in a chaotic spin of dizzying insight, worlds beyond reality itself manifest in untold stories of might. So lost in thought is he, that he loses touch with his own reality, and his caretaker brings him back down to earth when she enters in Voy's room.
"Voy, it is the earliest depths of the morning, for what possible reason do you have for venturing into random thought at this hour?", asked the caretaker.
"I have this great idea for a story! This dragon wizard rules over a world of lava only the lava is actually a living being of enchanted magic oh and the dragon uses metal humans to spy on the lava world and then the lava world creates a spell that lets them travel the multiverse and then the evil dragon uses his magic to - "
"Voy, please - "
"send copies of himself through the multiverse and the people of the lava world they live in huge castles of iron and gold and - "
"Voy please quiet - "
"farms are made on top of flying platforms which are really living creatures - "
"Voy! please be silent for the moment, I assure you that you're tale sounds full of intrigue and marvel, and I would appreciate to listen to it in full content, but not at this hour. Now it is time that you rest and venture at will in your dreams young one." said the caretaker.
A reluctant Voy placed himself in bed, yet still eager to immerse in fantasy he requests a tale before he ventures to sleep. The caretaker gladly agrees. She stands over the edge of Voy's bed, almost as tall as the ceiling, she was a being of myth, her body looked as though crafted of tree branches tied together, her center body was a cavity with a glowing orb of energy in its place. Purple and green robes cover over most of her, hiding her face and lower portion of her body. From the top of her head two symmetrical branches of her body grew outward, on them rested mysterious grey owls. She speaks in a calm and soft voice, like that of a spring rain gently falling to the earth, her presence brings an indescribable harmony, as if though one were sheltered by an angel itself.
She asks Voy of what tale he wanted to hear tonight, with which he replied, the Creation of Ushbaur, the Plane of Legends. "Very well then" said the caretaker, and she began to speak softly, reiterating that ancient tale of creation . . .
There once existed a god among men, a being of almost limitless power and ability who owned the very essence of existence itself. His name was Hestrophziad, the creator of reality. The multiverse was like that of empty canvas to Hestrophziad, just waiting for an artist to paint it with hues of blue, gold, green, yellow, and red. Hestrophziad wandered for many millennia watching as the natural mechanics of the multiverse grew into living works of art and beauty. Over time, almost all the canvas of the multiverse had been painted, and Hestrophziad felt like a spectator in a museum, viewing every painting with unbound curiosity. But for this spectator that wasn't enough, for he desired to be an artist all his own. So Hestrophziad searched for an empty canvas with which he could paint his own creation. He discovered a world completely devoid of life and order, and he crafted it into a world of lush forests, raging ravines, and radiant heaths. His world, his painting, needed only one finishing touch, characters who could inhabit the land and interact with each other. But just normal beings wouldn't do, so Hestrophziad gathered the multiverse's greatest legends and beings and brought them forth to his world. Thus Ushbaur, the plane of legends was born.
In Ushbaur, warriors and knights traversed the lands in search of adventure and everlasting fame, acquiring new allies and conquering vicious enemies and monsters. Villages and kingdoms dotted the gorgeous landscape, where unique individuals were born and one day hoped of becoming grand heroes. For every person on Ushbaur life was a significant journey of self discovery and growth, almost all people at some point in their lives would venture into the great terrain of the world. When those who became too old to venture across Ushbaur they resided within villages or cities either telling tales of the adventures or sharing wisdom of their past experiences to novice explorers.
Ushbaur was divided up into different regions of the continent, each of which had their own unique geological features, kingdoms, and temples. The largest region of Ushbaur is the country Ouphaur which in its center was the city nation known as Knightrian, a city that expanded over a region of more than thousands of miles. Knightrian was a city built with massive spires more radiant than gold, a metropolis of divine structure with draconic laws and rituals. It's political structure was built like that of a pyramid, with the god-angel Aurol-Desmaa it's king, below him are the Order of the Structured Flame, a collection of elite soldiers who specialize in fire magic as well as advanced military ability. Underneath them is the Hierarchy of Knowledge Bearers, a group responsible for maintaining the status quo and creating the laws of the city, the Hierarchy of Administrative Processes, a group responsible for keeping current data of citizens of Knightrian, and the Hierarchy of Judges Commune, a group responsible for settling disputes among the citizens. The next level of government was the proud and noble military, highly trained and disciplined soldiers filled role of maintaining peace and conquering those who acted or spoke against the government. Below them were the common moderators and arbiters, their duty was to organize specific matters within the city. The lowest class in Knightrian were the peasants and normal citizens, who made up a large part of the workforce and economy. The remainder of Ouphaur consisted of scattered villages that belonged to the Knightrian kingdom, wide plains that reflected the suns glorious light, and small mountainous areas with nearby woodlands.
To the southwest of Ouphaur is the wild land known as Shechzlan, an uncontrolled and unconquered territory inhibited by rouge wizards, monks, druids, shamans, and elemental behemoths. The whole environment of Shechzlan consisted of lush jungles that spread for hundreds of miles, mountains as high as the clouds that housed entire lakes on its plateaus, hurricanes that could last as long as months, and earthquakes that reshaped the land constantly. The natives of Shechzlan all shared a cultural passion for the pursuit of knowledge through any means they desired. Young would be explores would first study at shrines and temples, learning ancient magical spells from thousands of years before their own time and studying survival skills such as how to communicate with the land or martial arts. Explorers would traverse the land in search of more knowledge, often engaging in duels with fellow rivals over hidden secrets of lost scriptures. The duels could, and often would, be drastically different in how they were initiated and won. Sometimes two explorers would sit an meditate while they project themselves into an astral plane of reality, fighting each other there with mind control magic. Other times two explorers would summon the mightiest creatures and spells possible to determine the victor. And other times the two explorers would set up an array of puzzles and traps for the other to solve. Explorers also would often hide cryptic clues within the very landscape itself; secret messages that foretold of some future premonition or powerful magic. Deciphering these abundance of puzzles though could take years and would drive any non-native of Shechzlan insane.
West of Ouphaur is the wooded bog known as Hrollorth, a land of decay of rot. Despite its small size the country of Hrollorth is teeming with potential warriors and rulers. These warriors and rulers however are also ruthless and vicious, preying on the weak and the helpless without any mercy. The wooded areas are thick with mold, fog, and putrefaction, it's skies are consistently full of clouds, as though the sun itself refuse to bless the land with its light. The land is overrun with beasts thought only to exist in nightmares, thieves, gangs, warriors, and trolls. The trolls dominate that land, their ruler Kriviger the un-killable killer terrorizes all those foolish enough to venture into the bog, often by means of nailing individuals to trees and leaving them to either starve to death or be eaten alive by wild animals.
North of Hrollorth is the mountainous pine tree region known as Vrarbrith Ridge, home to one of the greatest legends within all of Ushbaur, the mighty knight Adun Oakenshield. He rides through the lower hills of Vrarbrith near the northern woods of Hrollorth, challenging any worthy warrior he finds to battle. So great is his power in battle that those who have died are resurrected in his all mighty presence. Vrarbrith is also home to the half human half boar race called the boartaur, the fiercest warriors in all of Ushbaur. Most of the boartaur are broken into many different clans and tribes that inhabit all areas of the pines, from as far north as the snowy region of Yolim to as far south as the swamps of Hrollorth. They are infamous for their quick temper and vicious attacks on others, which is largely responsible for deterring all but the most brave and foolhardy from venturing into Vrarbrith Ridge.
To the far north of Ouphaur is the snow covered land known as Yolim, a frozen hellscape were constant blizzards prevent almost any sort of civilization from developing. The only beings that are known to live these areas are the snow boartaurs, yeti, giants and mammoths. The titan Greashlew, god of the giants who stands hundreds of stories tall lives somewhere within the depths of Yolim; what he does or who he rules over is completely unknown. There isn't too much more that is known about Yolim, it's temples and ice caverns have only been explored by the unruly boartaurs and giants that reside there, and spirits of fallen travelers haunt the land. It is also unknown just what lies north of Yolim itself, as no individual except for Greashlew has ever wandered beyond the blizzard ridden horizon.
To the far west of Ouphaur, south of Yolim, is the country known as Terashire, a collection of numerous independent cities and towns scattered in between dense woodlands. Similar to Knightrian, Terashire does possess mass civilization, but lacks the advanced organization and technology to truly be a united nation. Many would be travelers often begin their journeys from this land, inspired by myths they hear from outsiders and a desire to escape the drudgery of daily life. West of Terashire are a collection of islands, where naval vessels and wizardry schools are built. The knowledge gained here is often sold and shared with associates within the Knightrian kingdom.
To the close north of Ouphaur is the country known as Ikininiar, a cold wasteland of frigid plains and petrified forests. Most of its territory is largely uninhabited, unless you count the wolfs, bears, and gigantic monsters that roam the place. Although there exists little in the way of civilization there are rouge castles home to fierce warriors; the most famous of all being the hall of Sir Ulaadmigrith Yesterwiesher, a loxodon, which is a man who is half human and half elephant. He leads with an unnerving resolve as he send his fellow soldiers, other loxodon and rhox, half human and rhino hybrids, through the heaths and woods to conquer all those he deems unworthy to live.
South east of Ouphaur is the country called Maurvoor, a land of chaos and destruction, where endless deserts and volcanoes echo the will of its savage inhabitants who live there. Mountain ranges that extend from Vrarbrith Ridge cross into and encircle the northern territories, creating deserts that expand for miles. Other regions of Maurvoor closer to the coats are much more tropical, consisting of rainforests and active volcanoes. The only law or order that exists within Maurvoor is the will of the sand temple kings who reside in the desert; arbiters who torture their servants and minions while engaging in warfare and political battles with fellow rivals. The volcanic and jungle regions have nothing in the way of law or order, it is a full out war of every being who exists within that land.
Beyond the coast of Maurvoor are another collection of islands, known as Lightmire, The Federation of Socialist City States. Lightmire is a political ally of Knightrian, sharing values of technological progress and law, Lightmire is responsible for the creation of war machines and factories that aid Knightrian in strengthening its defenses. The leader of Lightmire is the enigma called Jorphnil, a strange and haunting mechanistic humanoid behemoth that quietly rests within the halls of her labyrinth/light house fortress, what she plots of think remains unknown even to her closest advisors.
One common similarity of all of Ushbaur are its mysterious statues. Each one is an identical stone man, a lone and imaginative figure gazing with azure crystal eyes into the vast horizon. It is unknown who built these statues, or what purpose they serve; all that is known of them is that those who star into them are said to feel a strange sense of déjà vu. It is speculated that the statues were built by Hestrophziad himself, but no one can be entire sure.
It is from all these vast different regions, these varied cultures, these multitude of legends, that the world of Ushbaur functions in all its greatest might. Everyday a child hears the ancient tale of creation and every day a young man journeys off into the wilderness in search of adventure. Through many experiences, battles, and trials one can ascend to a grand recognition of heroism. These heroes become the greatest of all legends, remembered through-out all of history after their death. Death however is never the end, as many legends are said to be reborn through means of reincarnation; the hopes, fears, dreams, and spirit of those once famous from thousands of years ago return in new forms, ready to explore and triumph all those who stand in their way. That is the eternal will of Ushbaur.
- 10 years later -
Traversing through the thick forested bushed and trees the warrior called Tela Tellnil searched for the lone figure who had walked through earlier. This lone figure is a god among men, a warrior of limitless power and courage, one of the greatest beings in all of Ushbaur. His might is legendary among almost every person from as far north of Yolim, to as south as the Lightmire islands, and it is Tela who wishes to reunite with this lone figure, his childhood friend, the god among men, Voy Ashvar. Emerging from the forest clearing he spots the lone figure Voy on top of a hill, gazing at the horizon with a conquered and fiery look in his eyes. "Voy!" calls out Tela getting his friends attention. Voy slowing looks back and sees his friend, the very presence of the air shudders with might, and Voy's dynamic voice speaks a great wisdom to Tela and says, "I have this great idea for a story!".
Chapter 2 - A Journey Begins With But One Step
"Oh not again" complains Tela. "Haven't I listened to enough of your stories-"
"This warrior whose physical body is replaced by steel and mechanics fights against a political empire who wishes to dominate the current state of the world, but the warrior using his advanced knowledge of electromagnetic spell structuring, overrides the circuits of the machinations and endeavors to use them to against the empire in order to bring a socialist natural community-"
"Voy! Alright, please, I've heard that one a hundred times."
"Well about the one with the flying mountain elemental?"
"Oh, what about the one where the sea demon eats the sky?"
"The tale of the loxodon knight heroes?"
"What about the one-"
"Heard it, heard it, heard it!."
A silence grips the air, there is a pause in all sounds, and then Voy asks,
"Are you sure?"
"Uh . . . no I'm not sure at all, you'd better retell me the whole thing from the beginning, in fact go ahead and tell me all of them."
"Ok, let's start with the tale about the dragon wizard knight!"
"Heh, ha ha ha!"
"What, what's so funny?"
"Nothing let us get going, I want start this journey already."
Walking off Voy and Tela venture through the fields of Ouphaur, surrounding them are dozens of small and large crags with flowers growing atop them. The mid morning sun bathes the ground in a proud glory, the air invigorates the very soul of the world into the travelers who walk the land, bulls and wild horses in every direction graze contently on the great abundance of all grass. Yearning to break the silence while they walk, Voy asks a question to Tela,
"So Tela what have you been up to in the last three years? Have you taken up spellcraft or are you trained in physical combat?" said Voy.
"I'm carrying a sword by my side, a shield on my back, gauntlets on my wrists, and rope around my belt, need I inform you of what I've been practicing?"
"Oh, right. I just mean at your age it's usually safer to learn spellcraft as you gain limitless possibilities with it."
"Fifteen is the perfect age for a young man such as myself to become well trained in swordplay, it's more practical in certain situations, and it takes a lot less time to master most techniques. Wizardry spells are all fine and fancy, but when you're faced against an adversary in fast paced combat that demands immediate attention it's essential that you be able to react quickly. And what better way to do so then with a sword?"
"Or if you're like me, master both of them."
"Wait I can see that your carrying equipment but do you really mean to inform me that you know spellcraft as well?"
"You? You mastered something as complicated as that? But that requires extreme concentration, focus, and mental discipline, in which case, logically speaking, there should be no way that you know how to use any spellcraft!"
"You'd think that, and under most circumstances, you'd be completely right. But the wizards at the grand temples of Shechzlan have their ways of teaching."
"Then promise me you'll take me there so that I may discover the secrets of their powers."
"I thought you wanted me to defeat the evil dragon Hellviath?"
"Well yes, that first, then take me to the Shechzlan jungles. I mean really, don't you understand-"
"Look there he is!"
In between several crags that formed a wall around a clear center of grass lay the dragon Hellviath. He was well six times the size of a full grown bull, his black scales reflected his corrupted and putrid soul, his body was compact and bulky, his limbs somewhat short yet muscular, his neck was slightly longer than most other dragons, he had a bull shaped head, and his tail was long and whip like. He slept unaware of the warriors prepared to fight him in battle.
"Tela, you want see a spectacular battle?" asked Voy.
"No, I'd rather dance around the meadow and watch birds fly" said Tela.
"Why would you want to do that?"
"Just go battle the damn dragon."
"Alright! Go ahead and climb up that small crag, that way you'll get an excellent view and be out of any danger!"
"Whatever you say."
Tela climbs up the small crag as Voy unsheathes his blade, equips his shield and places on a metallic helmet. His sword is traditional in design, yet fairly thin, allowing for easier movement, his shield is round, as large as his body, and has a mysterious wooden pattern on it. Voy calls out to Hellviath, who then turns his head from slumber and notices the prepared warrior. Without so much as a thought Hellviath turns around completely and bellows out a death roar, standing on his hind legs he towers over Voy, prepared to attack him. Voy runs towards Hellviath with reckless bravery, but Hellviath takes caution as he hurls fireballs from his mouth in Voy's direction. Voy effortlessly avoids each one rolling out of the way as approaches closer to Hellviath. Just as he nears him, Hellviath flies up into the air, taking a large breath he spews forth a torrent of flame towards Voy. Voy places his wooden shield in the flame path, muttering a quiet chant, while the flames appear to engulf him entirely. Put once the flames subside neither the shield or Voy are damaged, the patterns on his shield glow green with energy and Voy stands firm in Hellviath's presence. Hellviath this time launches a quick fireball from his mouth as it moves straight towards Voy. With his sword in his right hand Voy hits the fireball as it comes within inches of his body, the sword glows red as it ricochets the fireball back towards Hellviath, striking his body and causing his wings to burn and he falls to the ground. Voy sprints towards him, using this opportunity to strike at Hellviath's body. But Hellviath moves faster than Voy had thought, and he lurches his head forward to try and devour Voy. Voy rolls out of the way but Hellviath persistently chases after him on the ground either clawing or biting at him. Voy turns around and runs several dozen feet away from the dragon, inserting his sword into the ground and holding his hands towards the sky he begins a loud chant. Hellviath approaches closer ready to rip Voy's body within his jaws when suddenly multiple clones of Voy begin running in all directions. Hellviath strikes at one of them with a bite, only for that particular Voy to fade away completely. Realizing that most of the doppelgangers are illusions, Hellviath unleashes another torrent of flame around the area while moving in a circle, using his tail as a powerful whip. Most of the illusions are struck and disappear, all except for one that lays motionless and burnt on the ground. Hellviath nears the corpse, ready to devour it within his jaws when he notices that there is smoke arising off it. The smoke begins to thicken and the body fades away, realizing that he put his guard down Hellviath turns around only to find a sword strike across his abdomen. Voy repeatedly slashes at the Hellviath's belly, as Hellviath bellows in agony and pain. Hellviath takes a step back, trying to move out of range of Voy's sword, and throws his arm outward, attempting to punch Voy. Voy places his shield up, glowing green it resonates a mighty power, so as Hellviath punches him, Voy is sent several feet back, but sustains no injuries. Desperate Hellviath places both his arms in the air, black clouds begin to form near his hands in the shape of a ball, lightning twists around it as it grows in size. But Voy intercepts Hellviath's attack by shouting a quick word and holding his hand out towards Hellviath, sudden a fierce gust moves from Voy towards Hellviath, blowing away the black cloud that he had created. After the gust subsides Hellviath notices out of the corner of his eye, Tela watching over from top of one of the crags. Hellviath turns toward that crag, ready to quickly climb up the side of it before Voy can catch up with him, and kill Tela in order to bring regret and sorrow to Voy's heart. But as he prepares to climb up the crag Voy twists a small knob on the side of his helmet, focusing his sight at Hellviath. As Voy's goggles glow blue Hellviath quickly begins to forget about Voy, suddenly all memories of Voy are erased from Hellviath's mind. Now all Hellviath remembers is that he wishes to kill Tela, and he lowers his body to the ground in order to gain a running boost. But as he lowers his head parallel with the ground Voy runs forth and vertically strikes his sword straight across Hellviath's neck, cutting a large gash into it. Hellviath gasps, choking on his own blood as he stands upright, he staggers for a moment and falls into the ground dead. Tela climbs down from the crag, amazed by Voy's power and skill. They head to the nearby village as Voy proudly announces the news of Hellviath's death. The townsfolk rejoice and celebrate, and a group of village members head back with Voy and Tela to Hellviath's corpse so that they may burn in a damnation pyre and commemorate this great victory over the tyrannical dragon.
Meanwhile two figures watched the battle unfold from atop a nearby plateau, one atop horseback, the other viewing in closer detail with a telescope.
"Tell me their details, I want to know what they look like." said the man on horseback.
"There's two individuals, a somewhat scrawny kid, somewhere in his teens with short brown hair, carrying basic equipment with him. The other is much physically stronger, somewhere in his teens, with short yet wavy blonde hair, and he has in his possession an enchanted forest shield, fire mane blade, and seer helmet." said the man with the telescope.
"Good then, finding them should be easy, come let's be on our way." said the man on horseback.
Chapter 3 - Two Legends Unite In A Glorious Crusade
Talking, laughter, and shouting swam the air of the local pub, good spirits envelope every person in a jovial mood. Voy retails his tale of taking down the tyrannical dragon and liberating the village of Drothgar again and again. The celebration goes on into the late of night, for no citizen of Drothgar can sleep with the excitement of their new hero. Outside the pub a large pyre burns with a radiant light, like that of the sun, Hellviath's dead body turns to ashes that are scattered by the winds. Groups of people celebrate around the pyre as well, dancing to folk music be played loudly all around. As the town rejoices several lone figures wander down a path towards the village, a group of a couple dozen men, with one of them on horseback. Most townsfolk don't notice the stranger immediately, but as he surveys the outer part of the village, more and more begin to notice his presence. After a few minutes the music dies down, and everyone outside is staring at the group of strangers. The man on the horseback announces where he can find the blond haired boy who killed the dragon.
In the bar everyone continues to celebrate until the door is kicked open with a thundering thud, and the mysterious man emerges inside. The air turns still as all divert the attention to the man who has entered.
"My name is Adun Oakenshield." says the man, "I have come in search of the boy who has killed the mighty dragon Hellviath, for I have an offer that I wish to give him."
The voice of Adun echoes deep throughout the air, like that of a god, clear and unyielding. Raising up from his seat in the center of the room, Voy stands, his eyes locked in with Adun's,
"I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I am no boy, for I am the manliness man you see before you, the most valiant, brave, and strongest of warriors in all of Ouphaur, no! Ushbaur! I am the undefeatable, the mighty, the godlike, I am Voy Ashvar! Hero to all that is good in Ushbaur, bane to all those that are evil! I welcome you Adun, for it is an honor to be in your magnificent presence!"
"You're far more enthusiastic that I'd thought you would be, very well then! I have a request for Voy, one that I think you'll have a hard time trying to turn down."
"Well okay then, what's your offer!?"
"I want you to travel with me and my group of fellow knights and warriors in a crusade. We shall unite together as a team and defeat as many monsters as possible throughout all of Ushbaur. We will be recognized as gods, remembered by all in tales and books. Only glory, pleasure, and triumph await you if you happen to choose this path, so what is your decision?"
"Is it not obvious? I was destined for such a life! Yes, I accept your offer, let us go forth and conquer!!!"
The crowd within the pub erupts into loud cheering upon hearing Voy's decision. As everyone cheers around him Voy asks Adun when they will be departing.
"Why tonight of course!" said Adun "There is no virtue in patience, let us ride forth now into the depths of night, so that we may grab the morning sun by its throat and conquer it as well!"
Unsheathing his sword, Voy holds it up it honor and shouts "You are truly a god, good sir! Let us be on our way then!", Voy and Adun head back outside with the rest of Adun's fellow crusaders, Voy runs over to Tela informing him of the great news. Voy and Tela join with the group of crusaders as the head out the village. But before they leave Adun signals for them to stop and turns to the pyre where Hellviath's corpse lay burning. Demanding that the corpse rise from its death slumber and join them on the crusade, the body of Hellviath emerges from the flames and steps down from the funeral pyre. The townsfolk who had been outside screamed and ran in panic at the sight of the resurrected dragon, all of them running back indoors. Hellviath's charred, skeletal body stepped from the pyre and stopped at the crusaders, each starring at each other calmly. Hellviath turned towards and looked forward, down the exit path of the village.
"Let us venture forth!" bellowed Adun.
In unison his crusade of warriors and knights shouted in glory and the crusaders and Hellviath's corpse embarked down the exit path into the great fields of Ouphaur, where many adventures and dangers awaited them.
Chapter 4 - Expanse Of A New World
Clad in iron armor and glorious white robes, with long blonde hair as bright as the sun, the god angel Aurol-Desmaa looked down from the highest spire of Knightrian, admiring the web of technological mechanisms and interacting citizens. Years of scientific progress, industrial work, and civilization had created an empire like none other in all of Ushbaur. He moved his eyes toward the horizon, where he could see the relentless expanse of new city being built; year after year Knightrian grew in size and population, it wouldn't be long now before the world becomes like this. A loud knock pounded against his door to his throne room from where he was standing. He ordered whoever was standing behind the door inside, and the door opened, one of his advisors stepped inside.
"Your majesty, a courier has arrived from Ikininiar, he wishes to speak with you." said the advisor.
"Inform him to enter" said Aurol-Desmaa
The doors opened widely as a rhox emerged forth into the throne room, he bowed to Aurol-Desmaa,
"My name is Olarphwhinhir Tiine, I am a courier initiate from the country of Ikininiar. I have come here today to learn the inner social workings of Knightrian so that I may share this information with King Ulaadmigrith Yesterwiesher in order to strengthen the understanding of our cultures, and build a stronger alliance with the great state of Knightrian." said the rhox.
"Come here young one, advisors you may leave." replied Aurol-Desmaa.
At his command the advisors left and Olarphwhinhir walked across the throne room and stood by the side of Aurol-Desmaa, looking out to the entire city.
"Inform me Olarphwhinhir, what is it that you see below you?" asked Aurol-Desmaa.
"I, I see a large city your majesty." replied Olarphwhinhir.
"No, look beyond that, beyond what appears before you, what does it mean?"
"I'm not sure."
"It means progress. It's a step up from the world that you know of now. Inform me, what was your journey like coming to this place?"
"Well, it took about four weeks of travel in a caravan, first me and a party of soldiers and monks navigated through the woods of Ikininiar, that itself took three weeks, and then we navigated through the plains of northern Ouphaur to here."
"And why is it that it took you three weeks to navigate an area that is shorter in length then the routes of northern Ouphaur?"
"Well, there was, the inhabitants of Ikininiar, it's creatures that is, are rather dangerous and treacherous. We were attacked multiple times by rouge gangs, lions, giants, wolfs, beasts, and bears. Have of our caravan was killed, and I'm not sure how well we'll be able to manage the journey back. Not to sound rude your majesty, but what does this concern with my inquiry?"
"Everything young one, this world is a salvation from the horrors of your travel, oh, are you not supposed to be taking notes of or some kind of documentation?"
"My memory is capable of remembering the smallest of details for decades, a common trait of us rhox. Everything piece of information that I hear will not go forgotten."
"Good then. Anyway I was saying that the world you live in is an awful world, and not just your world, but the entire world in itself is a mess. Violence and carnage reign supreme in the world, every man fights against each other, thugs terrorize the innocent, monsters blindly destroy all in their path. I experienced this firsthand when I started as a young and naive traveler. Worse is that every traveler fools himself into a false perception of the world around him, as if the world were something to be respected and praised. This type of thinking is what allows such injustices to flourish so ravenously. It needs to be stopped. So I took it upon myself to create a new world, a more advanced world, where people could experience the enlightened life of law and order. I created this city from nothing more than a tiny village, and now through years of dedication and passion, I have built a growing empire. To this day we continue to expand across the wilds, more and more the natural state of life is blessed with our thoughtful hand. Our new age will hold dependent on not just law and order, but technology as well, for it will be the foundation of how we grow. Soon my progressive vision will control all of Ushbaur, and the world will be restored to peace. Now do you see why such advancement is a necessity?"
"I see, so this world, it isn't some that king Ulaadmigrith Yesterwiesher should fear?"
"No, he should accept my path to salvation and join forces with Knightrian, inform him that we could proudly build a new world together, a world where his sovereign goes unthreatened by beast or brute."
"I shall inform him of this great news, but first please tell me more details of Knightrian, what is the social life like for its people?"
"Every life is given an opportunity here in Knightrian, every man is given what he is due. Those who work hard, those who strive, climb to the top of our society, they are our elite, our strong. Those of less skill, those who lack motivation, they exist in the lower ranks of society. But the lower class still fill an important role, for it is they who maintain the ultimate balance of our society."
"But, I've heard that only the military and bureaucracy are appreciated, what about those who belong in neither?."
"My army and government are important as of now, for it is essential that I be able to control as much of the world as possible until my dream is realized. Without an army I cannot conquer those who oppose me, or wish to oppose me, and without a bureaucracy I cannot maintain proper organization amongst all members who live within the walls of Knightrian. So yes, the working class sits at the bottom of the social ladder, but once the time has come, where military and government need not so much power, I shall have it striped away to an extent, and the people will have more liberty."
"I see, so this world truly is a salvation, an enlightenment."
"Yes, this world, my world, it is becoming a magnificent one. Is there any other information that you desire from me?
"No your majesty, that is all that I need to know."
"Go on then, return to Ikininiar and inform king Ulaadmigrith Yesterwiesher, I'll prepare a special caravan of my own soldiers to escort you back through the wilds."
"Thank you your majesty, you are truly a beacon of hope in this world."
Olarphwhinhir leaves the throne room and Aurol-Desmaa continues his silent view of the city below him. Several moments later a knock his heard on his door, and he commands the one there to enter. The door opens and another advisor comes forth and stands next to Aurol-Desmaa,
"Your majesty I bring forth news of current events, do you wish me to read them to you now?" asks the advisor.
"Yes, inform me of the news." said Aurol-Desmaa.
"Well it appears that a large caravan of several dozen men and an undead dragon corpse has formed, they have declared a crusade, and for the last several months have been killing monsters throughout the country side. They apparently began their journey somewhere in southwest Ouphaur and are headed east into the country of Hrollorth."
"Quite bothersome, inform me of the next current event."
"But your majesty don't you wish to do something concerning this problem?"
"Under most normal circumstances, yes, I would have them cleansed. But considering the shortage of power that I have at my disposal I have decided that any additional help in clearing out monster is necessary. They can serve a purpose by ridding the large pests that plague this land, when they are no longer needed then we'll cleans them. Now, the next current event?"
"Protests have begun after the recent passing of a new tax law, peasants are rioting in the lower southwest district. So far several hundred people have been injured or killed, and property damage is very severe. What should be done about this your majesty?"
"Send in several of the soldiers from the Order of the Structured Flame to the area, and have them cleanse the protestors. Also inform them to use only fire magic against the protesters, it will stand as a testament to those who defy my law and as a punishment to those who anger against me."
"Right away your majesty."
"Before you depart is there any other news that I should know of?"
"No, that is all for now your majesty."
"You may leave, oh, also make sure to make arrangements for a caravan for the rhox courier on his way back to Ikininiar, and use several elite soldiers from the Structured Flame and a large number of foot troops as well."
"Understood your majesty."
The advisor departs and Aurol-Desmaa resumes his silent watch over his new world.
* * * * *
Olarphwhinhir steps inside the back area of one of the horse wagons within the caravan group. The wagon is covered with a clothed wall and roof, several containers of items lay scattered around the three other passenger inside, one rhox, two human. Olarphwhinhir sits down against the wall, in between a couple crates near the end of the wagon.
"Brother, what information were you able to retrieve on you mission?" asked the rhox.
"That Aurol-Desmaa is a threat to our father and king. His liberation will consume the world in his order, and then our homeland will be no more. My brothers, we must speak with our father on behalf of the will of our noble ancestors, Aurol-Desmaa must be stopped. For only when his unworthy corpse is dragged through the mud shall the empire of our father reign supreme as king of Ushbaur." said Olarphwhinhir.
"You have done well on your mission brother, come, let us pray to the good spirits of the ancestors to guide us on our noble journey home." said one of the human men.
All four of the men began a sacred chant in unison as the wagon departed with the rest of the caravan through the woods, north to Ikininiar.
Chapter 5 - A Clash Of Gods
Well over seven months had passed since Voy and Tela joined with Adun on their righteous crusade across Ushbaur. They had slain giants and dragons in the fields of Ouphaur, they had defeated the un-killable troll Kriviger in the swamps of Hrollorth, they had allied themselves with the boartaur of Vrarbrith Ridge in order to kill the mighty earth dragon known as Blood-Scar, and they had killed many more beasts in the forest and fields of Ikininiar. Their travels had brought them to the massive castle of Ikininiar, home to King Ulaadmigrith Yesterwiesher and his sacred army. The castle sat unassumingly in between sections of the thick forest, it's white stones as pale as the cloudy sky above; it looked as distant as the cold air that surrounded it. At first glance one would assume that no one lurks inside behind its walls; the ivy and moss growing on the sides of the castle indicated that it had long since been abandon. But they had traveled this far, and they weren't simply going to turn back or ignore the castle. So Adun moves closer to the castle on the back of his horse and summons forth from the mightiest power of his voice, that he demands the gates to open so that he and his crusade may enter. At first the air falls silent, a steady fog moves in through the area, quiet crows fly overhead. Then just as Adun begins to call out to the castle entrance again, the gates open up, it's gigantic wooded doors slowly creak ajar, revealing the a large courtyard. The crusade merges inside, the courtyard is filled with plants of every sort, it's strange array of flowers and hedges leaves a haunted feeling in the air. A soothing yet eerie violin could be heard being played, but its location was unknown as it sounded as though it came from all directions. The crusade moved through the courtyard and through another large pair of doors into the main castle, they walked through a large inner corridor, trees and vines grew into the pristine stone walls, and the eerie violin music continued to play throughout the air. They stepped through another pair of doors, this time into a massive room, it was two stories in height, with an overarching balcony across the whole room. In the center of the floor were two rows of seven trees, each one in perfect unison and symmetry, each one grew from a patch of dirt in the ground that wasn't stone. Vines grew on most surfaces of the walls near the ceiling and around the hanging chandelier. The only light from within the room came from a few lit chandelier lamps, and several other torch spots on the walls, the fires burning on them were a flame of pure white, probably a magical flame that wouldn't burn any of the plants on the walls. Many different doors were placed on each side of the room, both the first floor and the balcony, and the only way to get to the balcony was via a large staircase that descended from across the center of the room.
Then a lone figure appeared at the top of the stair case, and at the same time many other figures stepped through the surrounding doors into the large room. All of them were wearing hooded robes, some were rhox, other loxodon, and some were human. The figure atop the staircase, pulling his head cloak down revealed himself to be a rhox, staring adamantly at Adun's crusaders.
"Who has trespassed onto our sacred land, and why have you done so?" asked the rhox.
"We have come in order to meet with King Ulaadmigrith Yesterwiesher, to tell him of our great battles and victories, to ask for extra supplies and allies on our journey, and to establish good relations with him, so that we may traverse the sacred land of Ikininiar unhindered. Will you allow us to speak with him?" asked Adun.
"I will only allow the leaders of your group to speak with our father, I assume that you're the primary leader, are you not?"
"Indeed I am, my name is Adun Oakenshield, and my secondary leader is the blonde haired warrior that stands next to me, his name is Voy Ashvar."
"Very well, please follow me, I'll escort you to our father and king."
Adun and Voy walk up the staircase and follow the rhox straight through another long corridor, this time emerging within a throne room. Might trees from the ground grow within the sides of the wall, the floor itself is covered in grass. Across from them is a mighty and large loxodon who sits on his throne, he looks like that of a statue, unmoving and adamant. His eyes send chills through ones very being, his tusks look capable of killing a giant, his white beard reveals a man of great wisdom and knowledge.
"Father, these men wish to speak with you, they bring offers of alliance and strength." said the rhox.
"Thank you Olarphwhinhir, your service as my advisor is appreciated by me and the ancestors that watch above us." said the loxodon.
"You are welcome, my father, my ancestors."
"Welcome travelers, I am King Ulaadmigrith Yesterwiesher, the guardian of this sacred land."
"I am Adun Oakenshield, the hero who resurrects the dead back into battle." said Adun.
"And I'm Voy Ashvar, the hero who turns his dreams into reality." said Voy.
"It is an honor to meet with you, please tell me why exactly you have come here, what is it that you seek from me?"
Adun and Voy inform Ulaadmigrith of all their ventures across eastern Ushbaur, their triumph against some of the greatest monster in the land, and the countless lives they saved. They tell him of how they are running low on supplies, and how they desired to meet with the great king himself.
"You are truly worthy individuals who deserve not just my respect, but the respect of the ancestors as well. I will assist you in your journey if you promise to also assist me in a favor. It would seem that the god angel Aurol-Desmaa and his men are responsible for the destruction of several caravan routs throughout northern Ouphaur and southern Ikininiar, much of which has been replaced by toll roads and soldiers. These toll roads have affected adventurers and my noble men alike; all are at the mercy of Aurol-Desmaa's iron fist. So I have decided to organize my men and prepare at assault on all of these toll roads, a testament to maintaining our peaceful and sacred land intact. I ask, will you assist me in defeating these toll roads and soldiers with you great powers in combat?"
"We would be honored to help you in this mission, oh great king!" said Voy.
"I thank you men. Now please go and tell your fellow crusaders of this great news, we shall set out on this mission at dawn tomorrow."
Voy and Adun exit and head back downstairs to tell the other crusaders of the wonderful news. Ulaadmigrith sit quietly on his throne, with Olarphwhinhir standing stoically on his right side.
"Father, are you sure that we should use them in our holy fight against the tyrant Aurol-Desmaa?" asked Olarphwhinhir.
"Yes, I am certain. Before they had arrived I wasn't sure if my army would be enough, but combined with their amazing power we may now stand a chance, so I cannot miss this grand opportunity from our ancestors."
A loud cheer can be hear from the main room of the castle as Adun and his crusaders celebrate the glorious event.
"Yes, their vigor and zealotry should assist us quite well." said Ulaadmigrith.
* * * * *
The morning sun only begin to awaken as the two army march together through the wooded foothills and deep earthy trenches of the forest. The morning fog blankets the surrounding area, making the future path ahead of them uncertain and unclear. Yet with hesitation of any sort they march on with reckless bravado. Hours pass and by mid morning the fog has lifted entirely, sunlight invigorates the warrior's sprits as they prepare for battle. The army then begins to split up in different areas around the trench like canyons, one part of the army moves out to the wide grassy fields ahead to attack the toll post while other sections of the army split up, prepared to ambush any soldiers that attempt to flee within the woods. The first army marches out from the woods and into the fields, about several dozen various warrior align in uniform formation and arm themselves for battle.
"On my call we shall crush the toll post and kill everyone inside!!! Our romantic conquest will reign supreme!!!" shouts Olarphwhinhir as he stand in from of the army.
Just then as he raises his sword and prepares to shout the call to charge a blinding circle of light appears several dozen feet in front of them. The light from the portal forces most of the warriors to shield their eyes as a figure emerges forth. An iron clad angel appears and the portal closes up completely, the angel stands silently as do the warriors. It doesn't take long before they realize that the figure before them is an angel clad in radiant silver armor, holding a large halberd he points it forth and says.
"You have defied my law and disrespected my nobility. As punishment for your insolence I shall kill you myself, as a testament to all those in Ushbaur, that those who betray my will shall be cleansed!"
The army runs forth screaming in fury and bloodlust, but the angel Aurol-Desmaa is far more powerful than they had initially perceived. Effortlessly, Aurol-Desmaa swings his halberd around, striking down every warrior without so much as taking a scratch himself. The valor of the warriors is useless against the perfect martial arts of Aurol-Desmaa's movement with his weapon. One by one every warrior falls to his death, the grassy plains become a blood soaked crypt of once great champions. Aurol-Desmaa then flies into the woods and continues fighting the remaining warriors one by one. In their trench, Voy, Tela, and several other warriors wait as they hear sounds of battle occur all around them. Unaware of the ill fate that lurks near them they prepare in anticipation of basic foot soldiers. Then suddenly Aurol-Desmaa flies down into their trench, and he begins to immediately attack they fellow warriors. They charge at him, swords ready to stab, shields ready to block, but like before they are no match against the god angel. Voy stands the farthest away from Aurol-Desmaa as the attack begins, he prepares to run forth at full speed and attack from the side as Tela and another warrior keep him busy in combat. But at that moment as Aurol-Desmaa swings his spear, he disembowels one of the warriors and decapitates Tela. Voy stands frozen in shock, the sight of his best friend's head rolling on the ground unnerves him more than the cold stare of Aurol-Desmaa himself. At first it seems as though everything is hopeless, Voy's spirit seems to fade to nothingness as everything appears to slow down as though time itself were freezing. Then something ticks. An anger grow from within Voy, all his emotions, his feelings explode in a furious rage, he loses control and charges at Aurol-Desmaa with an unstoppable anger. He moves in with his sword ready to strike, but Aurol-Desmaa, with his fierce precision, hits first. In one diagonal strike he cuts Voy in half through the abdomen. Voy falls to the ground, everything moves in a slow blur, his vision begins to fade, everything grows numb, his eyes begin to close, and Voy succumbs to the slumber of death.
Chapter 6 - A New Destiny
Had he been any other being that day, Voy would have never awakened from his slumber of death. But fate had conspired different plans for him that day, and Voy, now whole in body again, woke up atop a mountain plateau in the jungles of Shechzlan. On the plateau was a lone temple, and next to him is a statue of Hestrophziad. Voy stares into the eyes of the statue, but notices that they no longer glow blue, and that the strange sense of déjà vu that he got when he stared at them was gone. Confused Voy wandered into the nearby temple, its wall made from marble, it is mostly empty except for a lone pool in the center of the building. He steps near it and the water in the pond takes the form of a human, like one of the Hestrophziad statues.
"Who are you, where am I?" asked Voy.
"I am the creator of Ushbaur, the planeswalker Hestrophziad." said the water figure.
"I understand that you have many questions concerning the recent events that have conspired, if you don't interrupt I shall tell you the truth behind these matters."
A shocked and confused Voy can only nod as sign of approval in the presence of Hestrophziad.
"It is a common myth that I created this plane, and that is indeed true. Long ago I became fascinated with multiple beings and worlds in the multiverse. So I created this plane, and I modeled all of its inhabitants from actual beings that reside elsewhere in the multiverse, clones of legends if you will. I molded them to their exact likeness and allowed them to interact from within this world. Every newborn would one day grow up into the legend that they were destined to be. Once my plane was set up I became a spectator to the events that occurred around the world, watching via the statues that I left scattered around the different lands. As time passed by I developed greater and greater desire to control certain events and actions, so I began to displace my will into different beings, artistically constructing their destinies. Eventually I had merged my entire essence with the plane, and I controlled every aspect of it; I became writer and viewer in one unison form. I orchestrated history to repeat itself in an endless cycle, with no true beginning or end. The world has been this way until now, a shift in the multiverse has caused my spark, my power to weaken completely. With my power weakened I lost control over everything within the plane. Normally you were destined to escape the grip of Aurol-Desmaa and flee, then years later defeat him and prevent his conquest of civilization. However now that history is no longer governed by my destiny the god angel will go on to take over all of Ushbaur, and bring forth a new social order. At the moment of this event I used what power I had left to resurrect you to this location so that I could show you the truth. For you are my most favorite of characters within this world, you were a model of myself at a younger age. The reason I preserved you is because you have the most potential, it is you that possesses the capability to be stronger than any other being on this plane. Other beings like Aurol-Desmaa are too arrogant and tyrannical or weak and unequipped to take on the task that I require of them. I am no longer for this world, I shall die soon, and thus I must give you my spark, for if I die with it so will the plane of Ushbaur. So I shall trust you to take my spark, for as long as you live so will the plane of Ushbaur. Traverse the multiverse and locate a plane called Ravnica, there you'll discover an ancient library that will provide information on how you can strengthen the spark, so that is does not depend on your life. It is with this final word that I bestow upon you the planeswalker spark, now go forth young one, the fate of Ushbaur, your fate, now rests within your hands."
Reaching his right hand out and touching the top of Voy's head a shining blue light struck forth, Voy felt a surge of power like none other move through his body. Then in a flash Hestrophziad was gone, leaving a bewildered Voy alone in the temple room. Voy fell to his knees, tears running from his eyes, he looked in the pond and shouted for Hestrophziad to return. Only silence followed, Voy begged for Hestrophziad to come back as he looked closer into the pond. Then as stared into the water Voy slipped into the pond, after his body submerged under water he opened his eyes to see that he was no longer in a pond. Now he was surrounded by a sea of blurs, a vortex of space like none other. Everything moved in a blurry motion, there was no up, or down, of left, or right, the atmosphere of this area felt surreal and calm. It looked as the he were trapped within the fabric of the night sky, all around him were colorful orbs, each resonating its own unique aura. Voy stepped forth, it felt as though he were both weightless and heavy, as he shifted through the area to one of the floating orbs. This particular orb was the size of his own body, it had a wide array of colors moving around it, the movements across it appeared fast compared to all the other orbs. Voy stepped inside it and a flash of light shunned forth. Voy found himself back in reality, but he was no longer at the temple, or Ushbaur for that matter. Swampland consumed the area around him, large, yet thin plant like structures grew from the ground, the sky was dark, and murky like the shallow waters around his feet, and the only sign of civilization around him were strange shacks off in the distance. Voy tread through the water, looking not only to see where he was, but where he should go.
Heroes of Ushbaur - Very interesting idea. A toy model of a plane for the Planeswalker's enjoyment. I will, however, say I was disappointed at some of the copied ideas. Oakenshield especially. There were also quite a few problems I noticed. Remember, stories are written in past tense. Present just doesn't work. It's a story being told, not a story currently happening. There's too much exposition as well. We don't need to know about all the different countries. Just a rough overview of the entire world, then tell us the rest. You also need to remember to 'show, don't tell'. In other words, SHOW us that Lightmire is a political power, don't just tell us. Lastly, remember not to run your characters contrary to their natures. You already describe Oakenshield as a warrior that challenges others on sight. So why did Voy get away without it? Why's he invited to join a crusade instead of simply challenged? And what's so godlike about Voy, anyways? You never do tell us.
Spelling and Grammar - 4/10. Remember to have your story reviewed by others. You used quite a few similar, but not right, words. Remember that their is different from there, where is different from were, etc. Have someone else read over it and that should help.
Characterization - 6/10. You give us a good idea about Voy. Oakenshield, while contradictory in some ways, is well established. As is the God Angel, and the leader of the Loxodons. We just need them to be a little more consistent with their characters.
Plot - 8/10. Very cool idea. I like how you had this set up. And as much as I dislike the deus ex machina in having the planeswalker save him, you did make up for that in the actual reasonings. As I said, less exposition, more actual story. That first mini-chapter read more like an overview for a video game developer than an actual story. It also feels like its unfinished.
Style - 9/10. You had some very cool ideas, and I do see an entire world here. While you did steal some ideas from others (Oak from Demigod, Knightrian feels ripped straight from Morrowind as well as its God Angel, who also seemed to take a lot from the Patrician from Discworld), you put a lot of your own in here. Focus on your personal ideas, and, if you must take inspiration from elsewhere, do remember to twist it enough to make it your own.
Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this story as much as Nai. I'm going to be a bit tough on you, but if you take it to heart I believe you can improve your style greatly. I liked the plot and general idea of this story; it works very well on paper (not such a good metaphor with writing, but you get the idea). However, something about your style does not jive well with me at all. It feels too slow and generic.
Adherence to Prompt: 10/10 - Like Nai says, it's got a story and a plane, both of which are interesting and unique.
Plot and Tempo: 6/10 - I like the general idea of the plot, but something about the execution of it seems to be lacking... finesse. It doesn't seem to run smoothly. The story is unbelievably slow with far too much detail and time invested in the setting.
Writing Style and Identity: 7/10 - First of all, I think your best point here is the names and description. While too much time is spent on description of setting, it is vivid. Just try to be more concise about it. Normally when I read fantasy, the names make me cringe; for some reason your story's names didn't. They all seemed fitting and well thought out to me. That said, you lose points because I feel like barring these things, the way the plot is presented is lacking finesse and identity.
Characterization: 4/10 - First off, I'll start by saying that Voy is pretty much exempt from what I'm about to write, and that he was characterized reasonably well. That's where you got most of these points. Okay, now then: Your other characters are very generic and bland to me. I remember coming to the part where the Rhox and Aurol-Desmaa meet and thinking "lemme guess, Aurol is corrupt and lying to the Rhox, who's lying right back" and was amazingly shocked when I was correct, because it was such a hackneyed and bland plot device. I literally immediately saw through the characters in what appears to have been an attempt at a big plot twist. The other characters are all established instantly, with no changing or evolving, and very little personality. Just Oakenshield who likes to kill stuff and Tela who is exasperated with Voy but drawn to or stuck with him. No depth to them.
Grammar/Spelling: 3/10 - Ouch. You have so many very bad mistakes in here, from missing commas to missing periods (come on, man) to run-ons (this sentence is exempt!) to fragments. Combined with the length and tempo, this was literally hard for me to read at times, and I remember having to take breaks. It seems to me you either do not have a grasp on the English language, or simply did not care when writing this story and proofreading it.
I want to take a moment to say that all these problems can be fixed with a little effort. Just take minute to (as Nai said) Show, not tell. Catch yourself when you're about to say "___ is ___" and instead think "how can I show them that ___ is ___". Your establishment of Voy's curiosity is a good example. You don't so much say "Voy is curious" as you show us how he thinks of stories, tries to tell everyone of them, asks questions, etc.
Proofread. It's not hard. If you don't have the best English, get a friend (or someone on these forums) who does to help you with it.
And be concise. These 3 can come down to editing well: Try to find things you can shorten, show, and fix. If you do this, your writing will improve drastically.
Private Mod Note
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"Virtue, Jacques, is an excellent thing. Both good people and wicked people speak highly of it..."
Hooray its been judged, thanks for the feedback guys. Although is it ironic that I turned this in at the last minute without proofreading it, saying to myself 'oh there shouldn't be too many typos in here, at worst I'll lose a point or two'? But yeah, I'll know better not to make that mistake next time (along with more show, don't tell style).
@Nai: Wait, what are Demigod, Morrowind, and Patrician from Discworld?
In Demigod, there is a character named Oak (I forget his full name). He's known for killing his enemies and bringing them back as ghosts to fight on his side.
In Morrowind, one of the main characters is a man named Vivec, who's a living god and lives in a multi-tiered, technologically advanced city with tiered social levels.
And in Discworld novels, there's a character knows as The Patrician. He's the leader of the city, and he's constantly snide about it. He does that whole "Look out this window, what do you see? No, it's actually this."
In other words, in Oakenshield, all I saw was Oak, because they're nearly identical. And in Aurol-Desmaa and the city he rules, I saw a Vivec-clone with a Patrician's attitude.
Not that you necessarily plagiarized them. But that they were so close that my first thought was "Well, he's played this, read this, and decided to use those characters for himself."
I'm actually not too surprised that I unintentionally copied certain characteristics from other stories, although the oak one is kind of strange. Thing is I based Oak off of his actual card from the legends set; he's a jund colored knight that has an activated ability that brings creature cards from your graveyard to the hand. That either means that his character is weirdly simialr to the one from Demigod, or he was origianlly based off the Demigod character (not sure if Demigod existed back in the 90's however).