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    Thread: Giant Hunters

    What do you do when you're outgunned, outclassed, and out of hope? You go hunting. Chp 17 up
    1. #1
      Psylent Night's Avatar
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      Giant Hunters

      What do you do when you're outgunned, outclassed, and out of hope?


      You go hunting, of course.



      By Psylent Night




      ---------- Post added at 02:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:39 PM ----------

      Chapter One: Pebble

      His foot came down, snapping several twigs and the stillness of the night. Moonlight filtered down from the canopy above and cast a gleam across his metallic rod, which sometimes knocked away an impeding branch. Stealth was on the backburner. He moved haphazardly, with one driving purpose. To escape for now. To run, and think of a plan.

      A dull thump and its violent tremor threw him to the ground, mouth meeting a clump of moist dirt. He scrambled to his feet, forgoing the staff, and tumbled into a nearby trench carved by erosion and time.

      The thumps ceased long enough for his heartbeat to take their place. Louder and louder. The night’s return to tranquility only bolstered the unbearable pounding. Bashing against his ribs. Forcing blood to arms and legs that screamed for rest. A call too great to ignore any longer.

      A snap of his fingers produced a hovering flame, to give him warmth and some direction in the darkness.

      And give away his position to the towering Cyclops overhead.

      “And then what happened!?”

      “Well the Cyclops takes his hammer and gets a HUGE critical—”

      “Mom, please make them stop.”

      “Caleb, Daniel. Put them down and eat your breakfast.”

      The young boys sighed, the former letting his two marionettes drop to the floor beside his chair. Their mother whispered her thanks as they returned to nibbling on their eggs and toast, before setting her plate.

      Their father gave his input from behind the morning paper. “Once you boys finish your meal, I’ll play with you, alright?” His incentive helped them locate newfound room in their stomachs, but failed to stir the attention of the boy between them.

      It was a mystery—he’d considered on countless occasions—how his firstborn child could inherit so many of his mother’s defining features: her lithe athletic frame, raven black hair doused with ashen accents, skin that’d been given one too many kisses by the sun.

      “What’s with these stupid things?”

      And none of her concern, passion, or tact. The man found these missing traits especially poignant, for as his wife used them to hide and combat the world-weary gleam in her emerald eyes, Hunter Ashleaf had no such cushion for his own to fall back on. They revealed a teenager in name alone, broken and aged by circumstances the man had yet to deduce.

      “I’ve seen them all around Wizard City lately. Apparently they’re the new fad.” His mother commented, seeing her son hold up his brothers’ puppets before his impassive face. “I don’t see the appeal, but they’re cheap enough and easy to use.”

      Hunter conceded a shrug, and lapsed into silence for the remainder of the meal. As he usually did, his parents had learned to expect. Though they remembered a time where he was as bright and exuberant as his younger brothers. Remembered, and silently yearned for.

      Hunter’s time corralling said brothers from bed this morning placed him off schedule, and within the minute he was smoothing out his crimson smock, donning a burlap sack, and speeding out the door with a customary wave.

      Warm rays of sunlight greeted him as he stepped out onto Unicorn Way proper, something the school of pyromancy dictated he should find enjoyable. In all honesty, he did. It was soothing, comforting even. But the fanatical pomp and pizzazz his fellow fire wizards demonstrated about every little thing was taxing at best. He’d learned better long ago. Too much spark, too much flame would always come back to burn you.

      Fairies leaped from flowering shrubbery lining the cobblestone streets, dogging and weaving through morning traffic he’d managed to squeeze into. Trees wreathed in snaking ivy stood taciturn and healthy, and above-ground roots pulsed like arteries, even as he trekked through Unicorn Park. His dabbling in Life magic often had him wondering if the ecosystem was comprised of separate plants or if all were mere offshoots of the Grandfather Tree, whose canopy encompassed the neighborhood even this far out.

      His inquiry and steps ceased in unison, as his eyes fell on the Arena a few hundred feet to his left.

      Climbing, elaborate stonework met to form a massive domed ceiling, from what he could see beyond the gate. A network of smaller, similarly-styled buildings surrounded a sprawling fortress to conjoin into the largest structural entity in Wizard City short of Ravenwood.

      And the largest eyesore, in his opinion.

      “Reminiscing?”

      Hunter shifted his eyes, but didn’t turn his head at the voice. It was enough to catch a figure in his periphery, his legs dangling off the large stone beneath him.

      He looked as though he’d just come from a battle. Light blue and yellow arena armor—a chainmail smock that rose and descended into plated shoulder guards, hands, and legs—held none of the glisten that Hunter had seen on so many others. It was well taken care of, evidenced by the pressed ankle-length cape, but battle scarred neverless.

      Sean Starbright. A Diviner, as he recalled. They hadn’t talked much, even if they were peers year-wise. “What do you mean?”

      “The Arena.” He elaborated matter-of-factly, fingering a pebble in his hands. “You miss it, don’t you? That look in your eyes didn’t lie.”

      “No. I don’t.” Hunter’s interest within and without dissipated. “I don’t belong in the arena.”

      “You mean you don’t belong in what it’s become.”

      Hunter’s impassive facade twitched at that, something the glint in Sean’s eyes didn’t miss. The Pyromancer quickly steeled himself again, turned back around, and began walking off. “I’m leaving. See you later.”

      “Come watch a match with me.” The request was so simple and sudden that it brought Hunter to a stop. “Just one. I’ll make it worth your time.”

      “I can’t. I’m busy.”

      Sean quirked a prodding eyebrow. “Name one thing you’re doing today that’s more important than spending time with me.”

      “…I have class.”

      “My case remains.”

      Hunter couldn’t find the will or logic to counter. “Just lead the way.”

      The Pyromancer’s intuition had been spot on about the Diviner, for as they neared the imposing wrought iron gate, the stationed guards remarked about him leaving just half an hour ago. Hunter chose not to dwell on the possibility that he’d been waiting for him, though his apprehension about the entire situation did grow.

      He hadn’t been here in two years, after all, and it’d showed on his face like nothing else. That moat they’d crossed to arrive at the grounds proper wasn’t there before. The floral majesty of Unicorn Way yielded to hardened, listless stone, even before they reached the coliseum buildings. Marble statues lining the path held outstretched weapons to form a makeshift hallway for them. All served to boost the grandiose air of an impregnable bastion in his mind.

      Everything within continued to support that idea: the crimson-hued grand foyer with dozens of branching hallways and doors, the swarms of roaming participants and armed guards, the extravagant singles arena. Everything.

      Except for the doubles section.

      To call it barren was an injustice. Lifeless. Yes…lifeless was the operable word. Even with his extended absence, Hunter could feel the distinct lack of vitality. The sconces seemed a little dimmer, the receptionist and ticket man’s smiles were a little more forced, and the crowds were a lot thinner. Particularly of people around his and Sean’s titles. The Pyromancer gathered from the Diviner’s lingering pace that he was intentionally showing him this.

      Another series of hallways placed them in one of the smaller arenas where they procured seats in the fifth row, finding a terrible vantage point in anything lower. That he had options in the lower rows at all spoke volumes, and Hunter couldn’t find it in himself to attribute this widespread vacancy to the morning timeslot. The five hundred capacity bowl should have been bursting at its seams, especially with citizen attendance.

      “Different, isn’t it.” Sean faced forward as he spoke, his previous mirth absent. He squeezed the pebble between his fingers.

      “I suppose.” Hunter’s response masked his actual agreement. He was still wary about why he’d been brought here.

      But gained a clue as four wizards heeded the referee’s call and started towards the arena’s center. The leftmost pair seemed familiar to him, if only for the magus and adept gear they wore. He’d probably passed them in a hall at some point. The only other defining feature he could pick out from this distance was the strange hesitance in their steps. Dreadful, somewhat unwilling.

      One of their opponents seemed a polar opposite. Gold plated shoulders raised in arrogance. Eyes distant, as if looking past an assured victory. His partner stood a step behind him, equally haughty with none of the grandeur or imposing aura. Aesthetically, they were as different as night and day.

      Hunter recognized the setup immediately, and his widened eyes escaped Sean’s notice.

      Just as he had assumed, and now confirmed. It was still going on.

      And it was more effective than ever, if the match he’d just witnessed was any indication. The magus/adept team had been shown absolutely no mercy. The Frost Giant’s frigid hammer had smashed through their shields before they’d had time to worry about an offensive. Any hesitation in their hearts and minds before became consumed by mindless terror. A drive to escape for now. To run, and abandon any thoughts of a plan.

      The Legendary Thaumaturge made sure hope was abandoned with it. Shrieking bolts of arctic energy and crunching ice overpowered cries for help, boosted by a stream of blades from his assistant. Hunter watched the spectators in front of him. A few cheered on the aggressors, but most cringed and shielded their eyes.

      Hunter himself sat motionless at the end of it all, when the referee’s whistle had seen enough. Battered bodies and broken spirits somehow managed to drag themselves to their opponents. Sportsmanship ruled over anger, and the magus and adept’s trembling hands extended in congratulation.

      He stared for a moment, then as if on a whim, turned around and walked off in silence. Not even a glance of recognition. The Thaumaturge said nothing, and in effect had said everything.

      “Why did you bring me here?”

      “Does this upset you, Hunter?” Sean’s voice was calm, but obviously restrained fury. “Something should be done to stop this, right?”

      Hunter’s whisper turned harsh. “That something doesn’t exist, Sean. It hasn’t for the past two years, and it won’t for any after. Guys like us can’t slay ‘giants’.” Both dissolved into silence again, as spectators began to filter out. The defeated team remained as still as them, falling to their knees in exhaustion and grief. The Thaumaturge found the stairs leading out of the arena into the stands proper. “If this is all you brought me here for, I’m leaving.”

      The Pyromancer remained still despite the remark, in part to Sean’s next question. “Oh? ‘Giants’, huh? That’s a good name. Tell me then, Hunter. What does it take to slay a giant?”

      His vocal inflection made it sound like he knew the answer. Still, Hunter humored him. “I don’t know. Another giant?”

      Sean shook his head, and his smirk returned. He raised his hand, his pebble wedged between his index finger and thumb. “Sometimes, all you need is a pebble.”

      Before Hunter could tell what happened, Sean’s arm swung forward in a blurry arc, and the stone pinged against the forehead of the Legend’s helmet. His head flew up to find the perpetrator, seeing Sean with outstretched arm, grinning like a mad man. Hunter knew Sean had plenty of time to hide, but he didn’t. He wanted him to know.

      The Diviner and Thaumaturge locked eyes, and the latter readied his sword. Many turned as steel rasped against scabbard, but a calming hand from his assistant drove the rising tension away. Both sauntered out with withering interest, assured that had the situation escalated fully, they would have emerged victorious. Hunter let his clenched fists relax, and released a breath he didn’t know he was holding.

      Sean hadn’t even seemed afraid, but his voice was melancholy and distant again. “As it stands right now, nothing will change. Because no one is willing to throw the pebble.”

      Hunter said nothing, but deep in the recesses of his mind, he knew he was guilty of that charge.

      He watched Sean slip a hand into a pouch around his waist and retrieve a strand of folded parchment. A note. And Hunter suspected this was the purpose of all this, as he held out his hand to receive it.

      “Tomorrow afternoon. Follow these directions.” The Diviner slipped passed him, heading up the staircase towards the door. “I’ll show you something good.”

      “And what if I don’t come?”

      The Pyromancer could feel Sean’s smirk without seeing it. “You will.”

      Hunter waited until he was the sole remaining person in the arena, and a fresh batch of contestants and audience members filed in. Then, he climbed the staircase, step by lingering step, letting the flood of incoming spectators part for him as he moved upstream. Wanting to prove Sean wrong for his own satisfaction.

      But unable to toss the crumpled parchment in the waste bin he passed.


      Table of Contents

      Chapter 2 ~ Persuasion
      Chapter 3 ~ Ensnare
      Chapter 4 ~ Declaration
      Chapter 5 ~ Steadfast
      Chapter 6 ~ Training
      Chapter 7 ~ Intrigue
      Chapter 8 ~ Dropout
      Chapter 9 ~ What It Takes
      Chapter 10 ~ Burnout, Part One
      Chapter 11 ~ Burnout, Part Two

      Chapter 12 ~ Darkwind
      Chapter 13 ~ Haven

      Interlude ~ Providence in the Fall

      Chapter 14 ~ Hunted
      Chapter 15 ~ WARning
      Chapter 16 ~ Collateral
      Chapter 17 ~ Sundown
      Chapter 18 ~ Midnight
      Chapter 19 ~ Thunder
      Chapter 20 ~ Gathering
      Chapter 21 ~ Decision
      Chapter 22 ~ Preparation
      Chapter 23 ~ Welcome to the Rumble
      Chapter 24 ~ Stars
      Chapter 25 ~ The Embers
      Chapter 26 ~ The Last Night
      Chapter 27 ~ Reconciliation
      Chapter 28 ~ Tundra
      Chapter 29 ~ Hands
      Chapter 30 ~ Offensive
      Chapter 31 ~ Plans
      Chapter 32 ~ Funeral
      Chapter 33 ~ D.O.G.
      Chapter 34 ~ Countdown
      Chapter 35 ~ The Ashes
      Chapter 36 ~ Rise from the Ashes
      Chapter 37 ~ Explode
      Chapter 38 ~
      Last Chapter/Epilogue ~

      Additional Misc. Information

      A Brief Overview of the Giant Hunters Combat System
      The Hunting Party: The Official Character Sheet

      Extra Hunts

      Chapter 11.5 ~ Roses
      Chapter 12.5 ~ Girl Hunters
      Chapter 23.5 ~ Maverick
      Chapter 31.5 ~ Remember
      Last edited by Psylent Night; 1-14-17 at 6:06:52 PM.

      (Click to Read) Other Stories: H.A.W.K.--Throne of Magic

    2. #2
      Nick's Avatar
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      Re: Giant Hunters

      Well played.
      Signature and Avi by Keelz


    3. #3
      Edward LionHunter's Avatar
        Edward LionHunter is offline Journeyman Wizard

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      Re: Giant Hunters

      Wow, this is great! You've got some great visual imagery in your writing, but you didn't make the descriptions become too lengthy.
      Thanks to Sandy for the awesome Sig and Avvie!

    4. #4
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      Thumbs up Re: Giant Hunters

      I can already tell this is gonna be one heckuva story ^o^



    5. #5
      ChoGath's Avatar
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      Re: Giant Hunters

      Most Excellent writing!!!

    6. #6
        Ravenwalker is offline Fizzled

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      Re: Giant Hunters

      OMIGOSHTHISISSOMAZING!!!!

      OMI GOSHISSO AMAZZZZING!!!

      SO EPIC!!!!

      This is officially the BEST story I've ever read, EVEN BETTER then the hunger games(which I love) and also, its against a exploit that I'm the arch-nemesis of. THIS. IS. EPIC!

      Thanks again for taking the time to write this. It is awesome.


      -Starwalker(I want a name change....)

    7. #7
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      Re: Giant Hunters

      Great work! I love the details. They really set the scene.

    8. #8
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      Re: Giant Hunters

      Bravo!!! Sean already seems like a leader.

    9. #9
      Psylent Night's Avatar
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      Re: Giant Hunters

      Thanks for the warm reception everyone I'll probably begin chapter 2 this coming Monday, if not over the weekend.

      (People who I haven't talked to in group discussion)

      @Necro Haha I was going message you about it, but it seems you already found it.

      @Edward Thank you :D I've been seeing your fic around, and I'd like to get around to checking it out.

      (Click to Read) Other Stories: H.A.W.K.--Throne of Magic

    10. #10
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      Red face Re: Giant Hunters

      Quote Originally Posted by Psylent Night View Post
      Thanks for the warm reception everyone I'll probably begin chapter 2 this coming Monday, if not over the weekend.

      (People who I haven't talked to in group discussion)

      @Necro Haha I was going message you about it, but it seems you already found it.

      @Edward Thank you :D I've been seeing your fic around, and I'd like to get around to checking it out.
      Aww only on monday??? Lol I wish Ch2 was here now! XD ... btw maybe CH1 should be a prologue, since it explains(quite clearly :D) puppet teams, sean gives the note, prologues are mysterious, note is mysterious lol. It's your choice, idk. It seems to fit a prologue IMO though....

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