Hi guys! So I like to write little shorts of fiction to inspire the team working on our games and thought I'd share one I made early for Arcane Legends. A lot of details that one can pick out of these never make it in to the game as they're generally made before production starts but when Arcane Legends is released, you might recognize some things from this story. I write these to set the tone of the game and put a picture in the team's mind that they can use to come up with great content, art and... well maybe not code.
This was never meant to be seen outside the company and I'm not that good with forum code so I couldn't make it look as pretty as the original (indentations instead of new rows etc). Hopefully it's still enjoyable.
Karl knew he shouldn’t have volunteered for this. He wasn’t cut out for adventure, much preferring to spend his evenings with a good book and his favorite pipe. Times were desperate though. Someone had to help or Brackenridge would be overrun, it was inevitable.
The filthy little creatures had come out of nowhere, at first preying only on the weak and defenseless, women and the elderly.The villagers had easily fought back, in small numbers the creatures were no match. However, it didn’t take long for the pests to multiply. Like the pigweed plaguing the fields in the spring, where one was cut down, two more would sprout. Now they had surrounded Brackenridge and some of them had been spotted in the town itself.
Exhausted but afraid to slow down, Karl kept running, his lungs struggling to keep up with the panicked pace. The howls of the goblin's wulf mounts had followed him since he snuck past their camps. The sound was so haunting that by now he was afraid to turn around, expecting to be face to face with one of the beasts.
As he crested the hill and peered down, he braved a smile when he saw the torches of Windmoore in the distance. Safety within grasp, he ignored the protests of his aching body and picked up the pace.
Karl reached the bottom of the hill and was almost out of the forest when he heard the roar. Chancing a glance over his shoulder, he saw the wulf riders pour down the hill.
'No!' Karl yelped. 'Not now, I'm so close!'
The riders closing in fast, Karl broke in to a full sprint. His eyes blurred with sweat and tears, the approaching torches of Windmoore village appeared to be dancing, seductively taunting him with promises of safety and warmth.
As Karl saw the arrowhead sticking out of his chest, there was no pain, only surprise…
Roland used his peripheral to carefully watch the three guests in the corner of his tavern. Although they kept to themselves, he wished they would finish their business and move on. They were an odd group and Roland had a feeling that violence followed in their travels.
The one who had ordered their ale was a hulking monster of a man. Roland was worried that the stool he was sitting on would break at any moment. He was also terrified of what the man would do to him, if that was to happen.
On the other end of the spectrum was the tiny traveler. The stature of a small child, his features hidden under a hat almost as tall its wearer. The catlings had hissed as he walked by, causing him to turn and cackle a laugh at them. At the sound, they had fled their favorite sleeping grounds in front of the cooking fire. Even armed with a broom, Roland had never been able to get the felines to move once they settled in.
Then there was the woman. Hidden beneath her cowl, there was no way to tell that she was actually a woman but the way she moved… like water flowing down river, she snaked between the guests fluidly. As she passed, the patrons stopped what they were doing, afraid to break her stride or of what would happen if they did…
Roland's thoughts were interrupted as the front door crashed open and a small man tumbled in to the tavern. As he collapsed on the floor and they saw the arrow in his back, the tavern stood up as one and stared at the man. Everyone but the three guests in the corner, Roland noted. They hadn't flinched and continued to whisper to each other while sipping their ale.
Turning back to the little man on the floor, Roland saw him struggle to pull out a rolled up parchment, clasping it in his shaking hand. Between short breaths, the man spoke, his voice dry and weak.
'I'm Karl Vonings of Brackenridge… You're our last hope…' the man exclaimed.
Staring at the wound on the man's back, Roland watched as the skin bubbled, as if the blood was boiling beneath.
'The goblins… everywhere…' Karl's faint voice continued. 'You have to stop them… my family… the whole town…'
The man was slipping away. Roland knew he couldn't be saved but no one even tried, mesmerized at the sight.
Before Karl faded, a quiet whisper left his dry lips. 'There's gold…'
The little man had whispered something but Roland couldn't hear, it had been too faint. No sooner than the man's last breath left him, the woman was there. She had appeared out of nowhere and snatched the parchment out of the man's hand. She quickly looked it over, turned to her companions and nodded.
The tavern guests watched as the odd group left the tavern, the large man flipping a coin to Roland which bounced off his nose. Turning his head down, Roland tracked the coin as it rolled over to the corpse. He stared at the hand that Karl had used to grasp the parchment, now being chewed upon by one of the catlings…