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SinisterDeath's NaNoWriMo 2021 attempt.


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I'll be posting my daily attempts at 50k in this thread, which includes what I'm actually working on.



Beoar: These animals resemble a Bear with boar tusks and a snout. They average 350 pounds, and stand 4 feet to the shoulder, and 5’-6” when standing on two legs.


Boaconda: Resemble a winged snake. Boaconda;'s have been known to reach lengths of around fourteen feet, a girth of four and a half feet, and a twenty five foot wingspan.


Bon-Bun: It’s basically a very round rabbit, shaped like a bonbon with ears, and beady little red eyes.


Cort: A large 600 pound tortoise commonly found grazing grasslands in packs called Cortle. They were domesticated by the Eshul Empire for their docility and plentiful meat.


Crystalline Entity: The CE's are the oldest living creature on the surface of Dyptheria. The CE's do not breathe. They do not Eat. Nor do they appear to require any source of energy like heat or sunlight. They are able to see and hear their surroundings, even though they do not have eyes or ears.


For non-CE’s, it's nearly impossible to differentiate a CE from a salt crystal. One way to tell if you've encountered a CE, is if it communicates with you. 


Crystalline Entities have a collective consciousness based around proximity and size. Before the breaking of Dyptheria CE’s were scattered everywhere along the surface, and were of such size and proximity that they were for all intents and purposes one entity, with a collective conscious, able to see and hear everything on the surface of Dyptheria.


After the breaking, Many crystals were destroyed by magma, others pulverized into dust, and some were even cast out into the void. Over the next Billion Cycles, the CEs’ found their connections break into smaller groups due to natural phenomena like Erosion, Tornadoes, and Mudslides. Over the next billion cycles, these groups evolved into new collectives, with their own unique consciousnesses. Over time, more groups came into existence, as their overall size shrank. The Largest crystal in a collective becomes the dominant consciousness. The Largest crystal influences the intelligence of the collective whole. 

As an Example, Buried underground exists a Three Ton crystal surrounded by hundreds of smaller crystals, with a combined weight of only four tons. That collective is vastly more Intelligent than another collective where the largest crystal is only an ounce, and the collective weighs a total of sixteen tons. If the two were to link, the Three Ton crystal would absorb the smaller collective experiences, and it’s reach would expand. It would gain the ability to hear, see, and experience every crystal in it’s collective


The connection that allows the CE to maintain it's collective consciousness, has a limited range that is exponentially proportional to the size of the crystal. Some CE’s have evolved the ability to shut out other crystals, and remain independent.


Cycle: 1 Cycle = 1080 Days, or ~3 Earth Years. 

A cycle is a standard measurement of time in Dyptheria. A cycle is defined as one orbital period around their star. A Cycle has four distinct seasons. 


The New Cycle starts when the sun sets and doesn’t rise again for 1/12th of a cycle (90 days). During the midpoint of a cycle, the Sun Rises but never sets for another 1/12 (90 days) of a cycle. After the new cycle ends, Daylight increases every day until Cycle Peaks. See This chart for Day/Night Cycle. 


Day: 1 day = 24 hours, or 1440 minutes..


Desert Twin Spine: From hoof to shoulder, they stand at around five feet tall, and six feet to the top of their double spines. Their fur is thick, and comes in a variety of lengths. The color of their fur can be as light as the sands of the Henchel Desert, or as Dark as the Obsidian Peaks. Their bite can be deadly, and they love to spit.


Dragon Plants: These are an invasive carnivorous plant. They lure prey into their maw, which springs shut and engulfs them in fire hot enough to turn bone to ash. 


Dyp: Is the name of one of the worlds that Dyptheria broke into after it broke into three pieces. This event is commonly called the break, or the cracking. Dyp, like it's sister Theria, are home to many species. Each world has its own unique species, with some that are eerily similar.


Dyptheria: The name for the planet of Dyptheria pre-breaking..Before the break, Dyptheria was a barren wasteland, with a methane atmosphere. The planet's core was highly active, creating a state of constant upheaval, eruptions, and a general inhospitable environment for any carbon based form of life.


Forest Worm: These massive creatures are mostly harmless. They devour dead trees, leaves, and animals throughout Theria's forests, creating the most nourishing soil on all of Theria. They do not hunt, but will consume anything that gets in their way with little regard.


Freihur: An aristocratic title of the Eshul Empire. It means Free Master. They are not part of the ruling council of the 4th Eshul Empire, though they can buy a seat on the council. 


Giant Tortoise of the southern Gigatlanticus Sea: Aside from its size, there isn't much that differentiates a Giant Tortoise from it's smaller cousins. They have a similar diet, they just require larger quantities. The average Giant Tortoise measures 900 feet from head to tail, and over 150 feet tall.


Gigatlanticus Sea: The largest body of water on Theria. It has thousands of islands, with an almost uniform depth of 200 feet.


Greater Cycle: Is defined as 100 Cycles.


Half-Back: Similar to a Deer, It’s called a Half-Back, because it looks like someone removed two feet of spine from a deer.


Kaizun: Term for the Eshul Emperor.


Nyet: Common word for the Darkest Days of a cycle. It is also used to describe the “Black Eye” that passes between the planets, making the other look like an eye, casting down judgement upon those looking upon it. Many cultures fear Nyet, and many more believe it when the spirits of the dead walk the surface. Few others relish the Nyt, and those that do, are awe stricken by the stars that fill Nyet.


Theria: Is one of the worlds that Dyptheria broke into after it split in two. This event is commonly called the break, or the cracking. Theria has many unique creatures, which include the Giant Tortoise of the southern Gigatlanticus Sea, the Dragon Plants of the Turquoise Jungles, and the Forest Worms.


The Break: After innumerable cycles, Dyptheria's unstable core erupted, splitting the planet in half like an egg. The two shells drifted apart in the void. The two shells orbit around the heavier Core, which orbits around the system's star. The two shells' rotations are synced in such a way that when they can see the other planet in the sky, they only ever see the bottom dead side of the planet where the core resided.


The Cracking: See The Break.


Vurms Village: A village of the Monut Human Tribe, it’s elder is named Vurm.


Zun: Term used in the Eshul Empire for High Aristocrat. Usually a person with a blood connection to one of the 15 Kaizun bloodlines.


Species - Human These are the only sentient hominid species to evolve on the Dyptheria System. The most remarkable thing about them is that of all the other species on Dyp or Theria, and without any outside influence, they managed to create the most accurate creation mythology. This makes them fascinating to the Crystalline Entities.

Things of Note: Humans were sought after by the Eshul Empire due to their ability to create small intricate works.The Eshul Empire created breeding programs to create subservient Humans, and routinely euthanized the elderly and any males deemed aggressive.


Species – Shenkun look like a toucan had a love child with a drunk chicken. Their appearance, while comical, they are anything but. They’re deviously intelligent, and are capable of killing most creatures with just their talons.


The Shenkun formed the Eshul Empire in the 5th Greater Cycle, and it lasted until the 11th Greater Cycle. During the 5th greater cycle in which the First Eshul Empire was founded, they were responsible for enslaving nearly 37% of all sentient species on Theria. As the Cycles continued on, the Eshul Empire grew fat and greedy before ultimately collapsing..

Things of note:

Scientific Achievements: They (or rather their slaves) 

  • Discovered Steam Power.
  • The ability to mine and work Tin, Copper, Bronze, Iron, and Steel.
  • Cartography
  • Paved Roads
  • Arches
  • Aqueducts
  • Indoor Plumbing
  • Wine

Political Achievements

  • Oligarchy
  • Plutocracy
  • Democracy

Economic Achievements

  • Trade Guilds
  • Large scale Trade routes encompassing Theria.
  • Capitalism



Species: Human

Gender: Female

Height: 4’-1”

Age: 3 Cycles

Faction Monut Tribe.

Occupation: Child/Survivalist/Follower

Description: Helern is the daughter of the village's horticulturist, and expert forager.


Species: Human

Gender: Male

Height: 4’-4”

Age: 4 Cycles

Faction Monut Tribe.

Occupation: Child/Survivalist/Follower

Description: Gabel is the 3rd oldest child in the Monut Tribe that escaped with Jorn. He is a chubby boy, small for his age. He’s jolly, and gets particularly excited when complimented. He’s also intelligent, he just keeps his thoughts to himself.



Species: Human

Gender: Male

Height: 5'-6”

Age: 21 Cycles.

Faction: Monut Tribe.

Occupation: Elder

Description: Jorn is old and Wrinkly, with bushy eyebrows.


Jour Shek:

Species: Shenkun

Gender: Male

Height 7'-4”

Faction: Eshul Empire

Occupation: Freihur - General of the 32nd Legion of the 4th Eshul Empire.

Description: Jour Shek is short by Shenkun standards. His feather's are colorful for one of his birth, they rival that of the Zun bloodline. While he lacks the martial skill peers, he excels at Military Strategy, Logistics, and Politics.



Species: Human

Gender: Female

Height: 4'-2”

Age: 4 Cycles

Faction Monut Tribe.

Occupation: Child/Survivalist/Scoundrel.

Description: Lyra is the 3rd oldest child in the Monut Tribe that escaped with Jorn. She is a rambunctious, and inquisitive child. She is particularly lithe and agile for a Human.


Sork Nyuk:

Species: Shenkun

Gender: Male

Height: 7’-9”

Faction: Eshul Empire

Occupation: Conscripted Sergeant for the 32nd Legion of the 4th Eshul Empire.

Description: Sork Nyuk aka the Sergeant. He is average looking for a Shenkun, with brown and black feathers. He excels at the Sword and shield.



Species: Human

Gender: Male

Height: 4'-7”

Age: 4 Cycles

Faction Monut Tribe.

Occupation: Child/Survivalist/Follower.
Description: Tomei is the 3rd oldest child in the Monut Tribe that escaped with Jorn. He is a stickler for rules, and does what his elder’s tell him.


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11/01/2021 - 1485 Total Words.

The Crystalline Chronicles




Lyra panted up the rocky incline, attempting to catch up with the village elder. “Hey! Jorn! What’s the hurry? Can we take a break for a few moments?” Jorn slowed briefly, looked over his shoulder, and arched his brow at Lyra, “Do you wish for us to walk in the dark?” He wiggled the other brow, and then slightly increased his pace up the mountain.


The village Elder Jorn led the large group of children up the winding mountain path. The brush along the path was thick enough, you couldn’t see more than a few yards beyond the path. The trees towered over the children like Giants, draping their gnarled limbs over the path, covering them in light shade. In the summer, the shade would have offered relief from the harsh sun, but this day began on a brisk fall afternoon. The leaves had already changed from purples and blues, to burnt reds and oranges. It was only a matter of days before they started to fall. The light that shined through the leaves, offered little in the way of warmth.  
While trekking up the mountain, the children would occasionally see some wildlife skitter across the path ahead of them, wild shapes darting from tree to tree. The few birds around, squawked as if warning the children to keep their distance. This time of year, most of the birds migrated to the East for winter..


Jorn stopped, planted his weight firmly on his walking stick and peered up at the sun for a few moments before turning slowly back to the children with a dramatic flourish. He spoke with a voice that was hard to miss; “Children! We are here!” Jorn pointed at Lexander, “Grab three others, and collect some firewood!” Looking around, his expression looking grim he yelled “Gabel!”. A small chubby boy ran up to the elder and with a sheepish look on his face said “Ye… yes?” Jorn frowned, squinted as if trying to see better, then winked “Gabel, I want you, and 3 others of your choice to make camp!” Gabel squealed with glee “On it sir!” and promptly ran off. Jorn frowned, then shouted “Don’t call me sir!”

Lyra moped around the site, kicking stones and twigs in her way. “Jorn, Why are we here? The festival isn’t for a couple of months..” Jorn sat on a nearby log, his body creaking loudly in protest. Looking up at Lyra, his brows furrowing. “Come, sit”. 

Lyra shrugged, navigated her way to a nearby log and sat. Lyra looked up at Jorn, and saw for the first time how old he looked. The wisps of hair left were white as fresh snow. His face had so many wrinkles she wondered if he collected them, but what stood out the most, was he looked... tired; She’d never seen the energetic village elder look so old before..

With a sigh, Jorn leaned forward, resting his eyes. “I know it’s not your nature Lyra, but you need to learn Patience; Before the night ends, all will be clear.” Jorn opened his eyes, and looked Lyra in the eyes. “Go help set up camp. Find some firewood, or help prepare food for tonight, just pester someone else. I need a nap after that hike!" Jorn closed his eyes, and immediately began snoring.

With a hLyra jumped to her feet and ran towards trees. Patience! Patience! I have plenty of Patience! Several minutes later Lyra slowed to a walk, breathing heavily from the exertion. Looking over her shoulder, she couldn't see the camp. Mother, Father, and all the other adults stayed at the village. Why wouldn’t they come with us? They love dragging all of us up this mountain! This time? They were acting weird… They seemed worried, why? Lyra halted and looked around mystified. She had walked into a clearing that was perfectly round. 

Sunlight streamed through the canopy. In the middle of the clearing was a large white boulder. Lyra walked up to the stone and touched it, I felt warm to the touch. Shrugging, she climbed up the large stone. On top of the boulder, she laid down the, and watched the sky, attempting to guess what the clouds looked like. 
Lyra Looked quizzically at the long bulbous cloud, with branching protrusions resembling legs and a scorpion tail, Lyra told herself That's definitely a Rathe. A cute one at that... I just don’t remember them having hooves. Giggling, she looked for another cloud. The next cloud made her hiss. The cloud resembled a chicken, that had been stretched to ridiculous lengths. It had a large wing span with short feathers. At the end of the wings were hands that ended in razor sharp talons. It’s legs thick and muscular, with deadly large talons. Laughing to herself she said aloud “Thankfully those things aren’t in these parts.” “What’s not in these parts?” 

Startled, Lyra jumped to her feet and spotted Tomie, taking a deep breath to calm herself she pointed up “That cloud looks just like a Kraoke” Tomie looked up into the sky. “I only see a Rathe with hooves.” Lyra laughed then said “No, not that one. The big cloud over there”, she lifted her arm to point at the Kraoke shaped cloud, but it vanished. “How odd. It was just there a minute ago.” Lyra slid down the rock and patted Tomie on the shoulder. “What are you doing out here?” Tomie shrugged “I was told to bring all the stragglers back to camp. What are you doing so far out?” Lyra quipped “Resting my eyes”.
    Lyra and Tomie made their way back through a narrow trail through the thick brush. As they walked, they would occasionally spot dry branches, and carry them as they plodded through the brush. 
“Do you have any idea why we’re up here?”
“Not a clue”
“Any guesses?”
“Nope. We’ll find out soon after we get back to camp”
Lyra let out an exasperated sigh "Am I the only one that is ever curious?”
Lyra shot Tomie a dirty look, “Why is that?”
Lyra punched Tomei in the arm,
“Hey! What was that for?”
“For not being curious” Lyra punched Tomie in the arm again before scampering off, laughing as she ran off.


Tomie ran after Lyra, following her. He lost sight of her several times as the trail threaded it’s way through the thick brush. Sometimes he spotted only her hair trailing moments behind her as she slipped around a bend in the trail, the shafts of sunlight illuminated her red hair. Occasionally he'd hear her giggling just past a bend.  He saw her in full once, before immediately vanishing. Over and over this happened, until he completely lost sight of her. 


He sprinted to the next bend, hoping to catch up. He came to a halt on a straight section of trail, and cocked his head to the side in a vain attempt to hear Lyra make some noise. Tomie cupped his hands together and loudly spoke “Lyra! We need to get to camp now before it gets dark!” Giggling erupted from behind Tomie. He spun around trying to locate Lyra. He heard twigs snapping, leaves crunching, off to his right. He turned in that direction when more Giggling erupted off to his left. Ahead of him, the brush rustled with movement. “I see you Lyra! Come out! We need to get going!” Tomie walked up to the bush, and kicked a loose stone into it “Come on Lyr..” a small catlike creature erupted from the bush and bolted just outside of Tomie's reach into the brush behind him, all while making a disturbingly human-like giggle as it ran. “Lyra… I’m heading back to camp with or without you.” Tomie started to walk, when he heard a thump. 

Lyra having seen everything, jumped out of the tree, landing near Tomie. She proceeded to walk ahead of Tomie, turning to face him with a massive grin on her face, making sure Tomie had no choice but to see it “You should have seen yourself! I thought you were going to jump right out of your skin!” Lyra cackled with laughter. Tomie have her a dirty look, and proceeded to ignore her the rest of the way to camp.


Lyra and Tomie continued in silence for a few minutes, before finally reaching camp. Tomie spoke before Lyra could open her mouth. “Go to the Elder, I have to make a quick head count.” Lyra nodded, then skipped her way to the center of camp, finding the Elder snoozing away. She sat in the same spot when she left him. She nudged the Elder with her finger, and in a quiet voice said “Jorn, it’s almost time” Jorn woke mid-snore, almost coughing as he did so. “I. I was just resting my eyes. Of course it’s almost time! Lunch, right?”

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11/02/2021 - 2320 Total Words

    Later that day, Jorn gathered the children and led them quietly up the mountain, arriving at the summit a little after sunset. In a soft tone of voice “Gather and be seated” he waved his walking stick toward the weathered stones, placed there long before Jorn was born. Jorn waited for the children to be seated before continuing “I’m sure many of you are wondering why we came up here, and you’re parents didn’t” Lyra started to open her mouth to speak but stopped as Jorn gave her a sharp look, and cutting her off “You have all experienced our yearly traditions, but this one happens once a generation.” Jorn looked upward and lifted his walking stick to point at the heavenly body Dyp, shining brightly in the night sky. “You all know about Dyp'' The children nodded “Tonight, you learn about how our world came to be.” 


    The children murmured excitedly to hear a new story. Jorn waited for the children to quiet before speaking again “It’s important you all listen, and remember. This story is told once to each generation.” a quiet murmur erupted from the children “Let’s begin”. Jorn centered himself, then started thumping his walking stick to a slow beat. “Eons before anything walked our home, there was Darkness. In the darkness there was the sun, and Dyptheria.” thump “As the eons passed, Dyptheria was alone in the night” thump, thump “In that loneliness grew a seed” thump “That seed grew within Dyptheria” thump, thump “Eons passed, and Dyptheria swelled” thump “Dyptheria felt something, she never felt before” thump, thump “For within Dytheria something grew” thump “It grew, and grew, and it hurt” thump “In Dyptheria’s haste and curiosity, she mistakenly let in the Nyet” thump, thump “Suddenly, Dyptheria could take no more” thump “Dyptheria split in half” thump, thump, thump “Expelled from Dyptheria, was eons of concentrated Nyet: thump “and so it was, that above is our twin Dyp, below us Theria, and every generation Nyet looks down at us from Dyp.” Jorn lifted his walking stick and pointed toward Dyp. The children gazed up and gasped, as they saw an object of pure blackness hovering perfectly centered over the shing Dyp, looking down upon them like a judging eye. Jorn waited several minutes for Nyet to slowly pass over Dyp and said “Let us go back to camp, and get some shut eye, shall we?”


    The group carefully made their way down the mountain path, guided only by the light of Dyp, while the children quietly talked amongst themselves. Lyra, yawned from exhaustion and said “Jorn… Do you have some other stories for us tonight? He thought for a second and said “I can think of a couple… Have you heard the one abou...” Tomei shouted “What’s that?!” and ran past the Elder to the edge of the camp. Below the mountain, were hundreds, if not thousands of lights, moving like some great serpent, worming its way across the valley below. Jorn briskly ran to what Tomei was pointing at and made an audible gasp. Lyra, never one to miss out, followed on his heels “Wh… what is that?” Silence. “Hey Jorn?” Silence. “Wait.. isn’t that heading towards our village?” silence.

Chapter 1
Sitting at an impractically heavy desk, inside an massive Field Tent sat Jour Shek dressed in his military finery, poked at his meal like a picky song bird. The monotonous meal was interrupted by a quick rap on the wood frame near the tent’s entrance “General, it’s ready”. Jour pushed his tray to the side and said “bring it in”. Two soldiers of the Eshul Empire entered the tent behind the sergeant, carrying large trays covered with an assortment of trinkets. Jour’s eyes lit up as he spotted a few items made from gold “Is the cleanup complete?”. The sergeant saluted Jour Shek and said “Yes sir. All the males were eliminated as commanded. Twenty Three adult females were captured. Fifteen of which were unsuitable and put down. Of the remaining eight, two were sent to the breeder camps, four went to the servant camps, and the remaining two were suitable for artisan training. Jour’s expression soured “What of their young?”. The sergeant, looking uncomfortable, shifted his stance slightly and said “As far as our scouts could determine, there wasn’t a single child in this village.” Jour looked perturbed “Peculiar… Very peculiar... Sergeant, inform the scouts to increase their range. Look for tracks, scents, they can’t be far.” 
Jour ushered the two soldiers to come closer and present him the trays. He examined the craftsmanship that these villagers offered. He admired the fine details on the carved bones, the tiny beaded jewelry, and even a couple of small pieces made of gold, shaped like the wild life in the region, “Good, set the trays down, and leave me”. Shortly after they left, he pecked at his plate again. He grabbed a small shaker of salt, and scattered some over his plate, and took a disgruntled nibble.

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11/03/2021 - 3424 Total Words


“YOU” A booming voice said in a commanding tone. Startled, Jour looked around, seeing no one. “Who’s there?”. “YOU ARE THE ONE” Jour stood and peaked out his tent, seeing no one near he paced his tent, looking for the origin of the disembodied voice. “Where are you hiding? Come out before I call the guards!” A dark earthy laughter rumbled all around Jour, his eyes widening as he contemplated running. “WE ARE HERE” Jour stopped pacing the room “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” “WE ENTERED WITH YOUR GUARDS” Jour sputtered “Bullshit! Even the best assassin couldn’t sneak between the three that came in earlier” “WE WERE LEFT WITH YOU”. He walked over to his desk, to the two plates on his desk “Are… you trying to tell me, you’re one of these…. Objects left behind?” “YES” Jour looked over the items on the first tray, as his eyes passed over the salt shaker between the trays the voice boom “YES. THAT IS PART OF US”. Jour confused, picked up the salt shaker. “Are you this… salt?” “THAT IS PART OF US. THERE IS MORE”. He put down the shaker and looked at the items on the other tray and they rested on an chunk of salt crystal the size of his hand. The voice boomed louder “YES”, Jour’s head ringed, leaving him slightly dazed. “PICK US UP” Jour backed away “Why should I do that?” “SURVIVAL”. “Is that a threat?”, that same dark earthy laughter rumbled in Jour’s mind “IF YOU DON’T PICK ME UP, YOUR EMPIRE, YOUR ENTIRE SPECIES WILL BE ELIMINATED” Jour rested his hands on the desk “Why… should I believe... a salt crystal?” “BECAUSE YOU ARE THE ONE”. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” “PICK US UP, AND WE WILL SHOW YOU”.


Jour eyed the crystal for a few moments, then picked up the crystal. Suddenly his vision went black. “What.. what’s going on?” “WE ARE SHOWING YOU”. In the darkness, he saw nothing, and felt nothing for what felt like eons. Suddenly there was light, and then he saw a large sphere in the void. “THIS WAS OUR WORLD”. His vision zoomed towards the sphere, through the atmosphere, before finally going to ground height. “What do you mean your world?” His vision settled to just above the ground, flying over the rocky surface. “WE WERE HERE ALONE ON THIS WORLD FOR EONS” Covering the rocky surface, were massive crystals littering the landscape. Many shining like beacons in the distance. “WE WERE INNUMERABLE, BUT ONE” Jour saw the sun rise and set in a flicker of day and night cycles strobing so fast he wasn’t sure how many days had passed between each flicker. As his vision flew across the surface of the world, he saw crystals, and wind blowing dust. He didn’t see plants, or any wild life. Suddenly his vision arched upward, his stomach lurched. “CATASTROPHE” He looked down, where his feet should be. The ground rumbled, and cracked. The crack widened deeper and deeper, shining molten gold. Geysers of liquid rock shot out of the cracks, engulfing crystals. “MANY WERE LOST” A loud CRACK, and the ravine split. His vision tracked the crack and he knew it circled the entire world. His vision stopped him at the edge. He looked at the other side. It was slowly pulling away from him. He looked down, and saw the liquid rock sloshing in the eternity below. Within the liquid rock he thought he saw shapes writhing just below the surface. 


His vision pulled back, and he saw the world again. This time it was cracked in half. Time sped up again, and the two halves slowly drifted away in the void. Between the two halves, he saw that ball of liquid rock glowing between the two like an angry pupil. That glowing ball of liquid rock eventually stopped glowing, as the two halves drifted. His vision shifted again, to the surface and time passed. “CATALYST” He looked through the wild flickering as flora grew and died, Massive trees sprouted like grass then toppled. “WE WERE NO LONGER ALONE” He saw small fauna skitter across the surface, gobbled up by larger creatures. “WE WATCHED” He saw creatures big and small grow and die in the blink of an eye. He saw creatures building villages, structures, cities, only for them to turn to dust. Again and again he saw the rise and fall of entire civilizations. “WE’VE BEEN WATCHING YOUR KIND SINCE YOU BECAME SENTIENT” Time slowed, and he focused on a creature that looked much like him. It stood over the corpse of an animal, tearing out its intestines with it’s sharp beak, gobbling them up. It was barely clothed at all, much to Jour’s dismay. Jour spoke quietly “What makes you think the Eshul empire will be eliminated? We are Mighty!” “INTERFERENCE”. His vision lurched, and he was suddenly further south, in the Jungles, his vision growing fuzzy. “WATCH”. Through blurry eyes, he saw a massive city built into the jungle. Ziggurats breaking through the top of the canopy like little fish gulping air. Slowly lowering, he saw feline creatures on the ground, still. Time zipped and the corpses dissolved into the ground, the city engulfed by the Flora. “What happened to them?” “WE DO NOT KNOW.” His vision returned to the tent. “WE SUSPECT SOMETHING LIKE US IS INTERFERING” Jour took a deep breath. “Suppose I believe you… how are we going to prevent the Eshul empire from falling? “YOU WON’T”. Jour sat down heavily, and with anger in his voice said “I thought you said picking you up would prevent the Eshul Empire from being eliminated?” “WE CAN HELP YOUR SPECIES FROM BEING ELIMINATED. YOU’RE EMPIRE WILL STILL FALL”.


“So let me get this straight” Jour spoke to the crystal in his mind now, instead of out loud. “You’re saying I need to shift our mining operations from Gold and Iron, to Salt?” “YES” “And then I have to get my people to start eating more of your kind?” “THAT IS CORRECT”. Jour grinned, “And what will that accomplish? You can’t control us like puppets.” The crystal voice changed from the deep booming voice to a gentle whisper that sounded much like Jour’s “They will listen to the whispers of doubt and encouragement.” the voice shifted into a commanding voice that ringed with finality “They will be guided by our divine word”. Jour lifted one of his fluffy brows at that. “What? Divine?” The voice chuckled in a variety of voices. “Your people never developed a religion. We will fix that.”


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11/04/2021 - 5008 Total Words


Jour paced his tent thinking “You’re able to offer me advice, and whisper in other’s ears… what else can you do?” the disembodied voice rumbled “We can listen to the thoughts of those that consume us. We can hear conversations through you, and those immediately around us. We can relay information as it’s happening directly to your thoughts.” Jour pondered on that for a moment. “How many in this camp are you able to communicate with?” Jour sat at his desk, grabbed a file from a small cubby, and started work on his talons. “Within the Legion, Thirty Five Hundred sixty three can only hear my whispers. Fourteen hundred twelve hear nothing. Twenty Five are receptive to direct communication.” Jour put the file down and thought “Are any of those twenty five near me now?” There was a brief pause and the disembodied voice replied “Three. The one you called Sergeant is susceptible.” 


            Jour leaned back in his chair, folding his hands together. “You’re able to mimic voices when whispering. Can you relay what I said in my thoughts, and with my voice to that person?” “YES”. Jour leaned forward “Are there any in this camp that seek to desert?” Jour waited for a response. “One such individual seeks to flee. They go by ‘Blehk Daer’”. Jour walked to the door of his tent and poked his head out. “Hey you!” a Soldier stopped in his tracks, turned towards Jour and saluted. “Fetch me Sergeant Yorkle, on the double!” The soldier dropped his salute, put his fist to his chest and said “It will be done General Shek”.



            Jorn stood at the edge of the camp, looking down upon the village. He saw small fires glowing in the dark. From the light shining off of Dyp, he could see orange, red and yellow shapes bulging up from the ground like wasp nests. He spotted moving figures marching in formation, like a serpent winding its way through the woods. Jorn stepped from the edge of camp, and gently shook Tomei awake and in a whisper said “Tomei, wake the others quietly. We need to get moving.” Lyra turned over and from the bags under her eyes, it was clear she didn’t get much sleep. Sitting up, she looked at Jorn and quietly said “Where will we go?” Jorn turned to Lyra and pointed to the south “A day’s journey from here is shelter, in a cave. When we get there, we’ll rest and gather supplies. From there, we will trek East to Vurm’s village. We should get there before first light.” Lyra pulled her legs up and rocked, trying to find comfort in the swaying. "What about our Parents?" Jorn gripped his walking stick tightly, his knuckles creaking. "I… We can't… The only thing we can do, is hope they escaped..." Jorn looked up from Lyra, nodding approval at the children scramble awake. He offered Lyra his hand "Come, I'll need your help". Lyra looked up, eyes blurry from tears, took his hand and stood up. Wiping her tears away she said "How do we get down the mountain without running into those… things?" 


Jorn walked through the camp, children gathering in his wake. He walked to the southern edge of the mountain pass, and used his walking stick to push aside the brush. "Here. The brush is thick, and the slopes are treacherous, so we will tread carefully.” Jorn looked back towards the children. “Gabel, Tomei gather any fiber you find around camp, we’re going to make rope. Lyra, keep an eye on the youngest ones.”.


Lyra walked away from Jorn, counting the children. Tomei and Gable rushed around camp picking up any loose rope that was near, before running towards the brush grabbing plants that could be used to make rope. Jorn started to use his walking stick to beat a path through the thicker brush, looking for a safe path down the mountain. Lyra Yelled “Everyone’s here!”. Tomei and Gable rushed back with armfulls of fibrous material. “Alright everyone, follow me! Make sure to grab any good fiber along the way!”


Jour stood with his arms behind his back, looking at the two soldiers holding Blehk Daer between them. The Sergeant stood off to the side “What is your command General Shek?” Jour stood there, staring Blehk down, trying to be as intimidating as possible. “Enlisted Blehk, where were you planning on fleeing?” Jour stood, waiting for a response, “He believes his associates could have extracted him at the next Hub” Blehk replied “I… I don’t know what you’re talking about. I was just at my po” Jour raised a hand and said “Yes, the Hub. Tell me, who are your associates?” Blehk’s eyes shifted “He calls them Blahe and Gotak, agents that believe they can topple the Eshul Empire.” Jour thinks to the entity “Whisper to him words of encouragement that we’ll let him live if he tells us everything he knows.” He walks forward one step and says “Tell me about these agents, Blahe and Gotak”, if Blehk’s face could have turned white, it would have. His eyes darted frantically. Jour took another step forward and Blehk thought about telling Jour everything he knew, and his life would be spared. Blehk slumped in the guards arms and began spilling his guts. An hour later, he was hanging from the gallows.


Jorn slipped, and skidded down the rough mountain for several yards. “Wooah, hold up!” using his walking stick and his feet, he came to a stop. “Send some rope down, make sure to tie it off on your end this time!’ Tomei found a sturdy tree, tied the rope off and then threw the rope towards Jorn. Using the rope to navigate the steep slope, he found an area that leveled off and shouted back “Okay, send one at a time, it gets a little slippery”. Jorn watched as child after child slid down the hill, using the rope to guide them into his arms. After a few minutes, he called back to Tomei “Ready for you”. Tomei tied another rope to the end of the knot, and made his way to Jorn. When he got down, he gave the other rope a little tug, untying the rope from the tree, and reeled the rope back. Jorn nodded, and continued down the path. Several hours went by, navigating down the steep slope, before the terrain leveled out. In a clearing, Jorn looked up to the sky, finding the East Star, turned and led the children to the South. Hours blurred as Jorn led the children to the south, occasionally taking short breaks to eat and catch their breath. Nearly a whole day flew by before they reached the cave. Jorn approached the cave entrance “Wait here”. Jorn gripped his walking stick in both hands and walked into the dark cave.


Jour watched the bodies swaying “Sergeant, it appears this corruption goes deeper than I suspected.” the Sergeant stood beside Jour “Yes sir”. Jour turned to the Sergeant, “There are powerful forces that seek to undermine the order our empire brings, but there is hope.” Jour makes a point to walk a few yards ahead of the Sergeant, through the entity he whispers into the Sergeant’s mind “The First Emperor, Eshul has returned, and granted me the power to root out these sabetours, and save our Empire.” Jour turned to face the Sergeant, grinning as the sergeant stopped dead, shaking at the voice he heard within his head. “Sergeant Sork? Will you join me in rooting out these traitors?”. The Sergeant nodded and continued to follow Jour.


Jorn exited the cave “It’s safe, and it looks like we’ve still got supplies.” He stood at the exit, ushering the children into the cave. Lyra, leading the last of the children in, was stopped by the elder “Take Tomei and Gabel, see if you can’t hide the entrance from prying eyes.” Jorn made his way to the back of the cave, to the supplies left by hunters. He opened a bag and started distributing dry breads to the children. Lyra entered the cave, found Tomei and Gabel, grabbing some bread before exiting the cave. Once at the entrance Lyra, Gabel, and Tomei searched for fallen branches, twigs, leaves and other plant matter to cover the entrance with.”Do you think anyone made it out?” Lyra asked. “No” replied Tomei, Gabel gulped. “What makes you so sure about that?” Lyra said with little optimism. “The Eshul Empire is thorough.” Lyra dropped a pile of sticks near the entrance “The Esha what now? Why haven’t I heard about them until now?” Tomei grunted, trying to pull a vine off of a tree. “My parents told me about them. They send out patrols, and destroy villages like ours. They steal our items, and enslave those of us they deem worthy.” Lyra gasped. “What happens to those they don’t enslave?” Tomei matter of factly replied. “They kill them, and burn their bodies” Lyra’s stomach hurt, as she pictured her parents dead and burning. “Why would anyone do such a thing?” Tomei grunted again, tugged, and the vine toppled down, slapping him along the way. “They’re like the Kraoke, only more civilized in how they kill.” Gabel came back with a load of leaves nearly as big as him. “I think we got enough!”. 


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11/07/2021 - 8404 Total Words



An hour later, they managed to craft a lean-to and placed it against the entrance of the cave.. “I say we did a good job!” Gabel beamed proudly. Lyra, Tomei, and Gabel shimmied around the lean-to, and made their way to the back of the cave. They were greeted by Jorn snoring like a wild Beoar. They split to find a mat to sleep on. 


Hours passed before Jorn woke. He sat quietly in the dark, listening to the children breathing in unison, letting them sleep a while longer. In the dark he contemplated the Journey they had ahead of them. Nyet had fallen, and it would stay that way for another 89 days. They would have to travel nearly 70 days to reach the village. The children had no way of comprehending the dangers that lay ahead of them. Two cycles ago, they traded with Vurm’s village, three of the eight died on the Journey there, only 2 returned. After much prodding, Jorn learned of the dangers they encountered. They described giant worms in forests that devoured anything in its path. They saw winged serpents descending from the sky, and devouring Beoar whole. Shend’alar lost her life to a plant. She stepped on a sweet smelling plant, and it engulfed her. They tried to help, but a flash of light and heat forced them back. When the plant unfurled, all that remained of her was ash. Jorn scoured his memories for the routes they deemed the safest routes. The features to avoid, and the wildlife to run from.


Jorn lit a torch, and tapped his walking stick gently on the floor of the cave “Time to wake up, we have work to do”. One by one, the children stirred, rubbing sleep out of their eyes, and yawning. “We’re going to split into three groups. Some of you will go with Tomei to hunt. Some will forage with Lyra, help her gather fiber, and edible plants. The rest of you will remain here and assist me in dividing up the supplies into packs” The children didn’t stir blinking sleep out of their eyes. “Go. We leave in 3 hours”.


Tomei and Lyra picked children to follow them, sending the smallest and youngest Jorn’s way. Ten minutes later, Tomei and Lyra’s groups ran out of the cave. Jorn attached the Torch to a makeshift sconce on the cave’s wall, “Gabel, help me with this”. Gabel waddled to where Jorn pointed, and helped him move the crate away from the wall. With a little effort, they opened the crate and pulled from it meat packed in salt. Gabel helped Jorn with several more crates, finding cheese, hard bread, waterskins, and cloth. “Where did all this come from?” Gabel said in wonderment. Jorn replied stiffly “Some of our hunters happened upon a cache of these crates a half cycle ago. They believe the Eshul Empire left them behind. Gabel grabbed some of the salted meat, and inquired "what kind of meat is this?" Jorn took the meat from Gabel, and took a bite. "By the taste, Cort. Far to the South, the Eshul Empire operates vast ranches of Cortle; or so I've heard". He tossed the meat back at Gabel and said “Make sure these get distributed evenly for everyone, we have a long journey ahead of us”. Jorn left Gabel with the rest of the children. He grabbed another torch, and made his way to the deepest part of the cave. On the wall, were painted ancient murals, depicting the wild life in the area. He located a crevice in the cave’s wall, he stuck his hand in it, and fished around feeling for a length of rope, after a couple of minutes he grabbed onto the rope and pulled. A loud grating sound echoed in the cave, and he fished out a large leather sack. He lifted it over his shoulder and made his way back to the children. 


Back in the center of the camp, Jorn said to the children “When you’re done bring the packs to the entrance, we leave as soon as the other’s are done.” Jorn proceeded to the front of the cave, and pushed his way past the lean-to. “Not bad, not bad at all.” He looked around and found a spot to sit. Jorn opened the leather sack, and carefully removed eight hunting knives, six javelins, two bows, four quivers full of arrows, sharpening stones, and two swords. He examined each item for rust, cracks, and gave each blade a fresh go at the stone. 


About an Hour later, Tomei’s group arrived back at the cave, and between them they managed to get six bon-buns, two squirrels, and surprisingly a Doe half-back. Tomei approached Jorn, looking surprised at the number of weapons laying at his feet. “Uhh wow.” Jorn picked up a hunting knife and handed it to Tomei “I trust you know how to field dress all of those?” Tomei nodded, grabbed the knife and sent two other children to grab knives from Jorn, the others were sent inside to finish up inside. 


Twenty minutes later, Lyra’s group returned with armfuls of fiber, berries, and even some mushrooms. Jorn eyed the mushrooms suspiciously “How sure are you that they are edible?” Lyra shrugged and said “I’m not, but she’s sure” she said pointing to Helern. Jorn raised a bushy eyebrow, lifting his hands and said “Well, I wouldn’t want to argue with her about them.” Jorn waved his hands as if to dismiss them. Lyra approached the weapons “Where’d you get those?” Jorn looked back toward the cave and said “Children! Time to go!”. Lyra squatted and looked at the weapons, she pointed at the sword “Do I get one of those?” Jorn sternly replied “No. I’ll be carrying one of the Swords, and teaching Tomei how to use the other”. Jorn picked up a hunting knife, and handed it hilt first to Lyra “You can have one of these”. Lyra scowled at Jorn, took the knife and said “Thanks….” She walked from Jorn and waited while the children filed out of the cave. Within the hour, the weapons and supplies were distributed, and they started hiking East, towards Vurms village.


Jour’s talons clicked against the surface of his desk as he read the scouts report, anger welling in his eyes. He looked up at Sork, “It’s been 5 days. Not. A. Single. Trace. Has. Been. Found.” he said every word as if trying to crush them against Sork’s skull. Jour crumbled the letter, and said “Relay this to the scouts. Find Them. Every day they waste, one will be sent to the stockades by lottery.” Sergeant Sork saluted Jour and rushed off. Jour dug a talon in the table and said to the entity “Tell me again why you can’t scour the minds of humans like you did my soldiers?” Jour heard a disembodied sigh “They have not consumed enough of us. There isn't a significant source of us in their diet, unlike your people.” Jour lifted a talon. “How much of you will it take before you can?” several seconds went by and the voice replied “Approximately one pound”. Jour dug another talon into the desk. “Damn it all! We cannot force feed them that amount without killing them in the process! They’re far too valuable to kill, and it will be impossible to explain why I killed them with salt.” He removed his talon from the desk “How much salt do the scouts need for you to assist them in their search?”. The disembodied voice replied “With the supply of us your people brought, a half ounce each will suffice”. “Good. I’ll make sure their rations are extra salty as penance” Jour went to stand and said “Can you relay to the quartermaster that it would be in his best interest to come to me?” the entity replied “Yes”. A few minutes later, a quick rap on the tent frame alerted Jour “Enter”. A rotund Shenkum entered the tent and saluted Jour and said “Sir! I had a nagging thought that you wanted to see me Sir!”. Jour stood and nodded at the Quartermaster “Yes. I want you to personally assure each of the scouts get their designated rations before they leave camp.” Jour approached the Quartermaster and said “Make it extra salty. Too salty, but not enough to kill them. Do you understand?” The Quartermaster saluted and said “Yessir!”. Jour backed away “You may go now”.


Four days Jorn led the children east. The first day without incident. The second, four children got tangled in thornbush and got cut up badly. The third day, Millo disappeared. No one saw or heard a thing. He was there one moment and gone the next. The start of day four was met with heartache. The night before the injured children had a fever, and their wounds festered. Two of the Four injured children died in their sleep. The other two passed away while the group dug their graves. The fourth day passed quietly and without further incident. The fifth day was spent climbing down a ravine as carefully as they could, and so it went, for another fifteen days. Their days were spent carefully navigating the wilderness, foraging food along the way. At the end of their day, they set up camp. Tomei and his hunters ranged nearby trying to find game to supplement their rations. Lyra would spend her evenings helping Tomei field dress the game he brought back. Gabel entertained the younger children with stories and games. Jorn spoke to the children, offering advice. 


On the twentieth day, they hid. It happened around midday, when they heard birds scatter. Minutes later they heard marching, and without uttering a word they quietly fled from the sound. In the distance, Lyra spotted tall figures carrying poles with purple cloth with an orange shape emblazoned on it, flapping in the wind. Eventually the marching faded into the distance, and still they hid. Lyra belly crawled silently to peek through the holes in the brush.

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11/08/21 - 8788 Total Words

 In the distance, she spotted a Shenkun soldier, stomping through the forest. The creature was nearly eight feet tall, it walked upright. It’s legs were thick, and poking out the bottom of it’s uniform were tufts of brown, black and white feathers. She could just make out it’s feet, ending in talons almost as long as her forearm. On it’s toros, it wore a metal shirt that didn’t bend, and draped down the middle of it, it wore that same purple cloth, and this time she could make out that the shape was that of a Kraoke. On its arms, it wore a loose cloth. In it’s taloned hand, it gripped a spear as tall as it was. The spear head was hooked, and as long as her entire arm! Lyra slowed her breathing as the creature strolled leisurely through the brush. It stopped a few feet from their hiding spot. Lyra held her breath as her heart raced. This creature was so close she could reach out and touch it. The creature spoke loudly, it’s voice like gravel “Nothing over here! Scouts, return to the legion!” It continued to stand there, and she watched as nine more of the creatures trampled through the forest, towards the one near them. About half-way to the one near her, they turned and made their way up the path Jorn was leading them before they backtracked, the one nearest Lyra waited until the last of the other nine had walked past before it started to join the others, Lyra let her breath out. The creature stopped, cocked it’s head listening, Lyra nearly jumped out of her skin, but managed to not make any noise. The creature sat there listening for what felt like an entire cycle, it moved when a Bon-Bun approached it. With lightning speed it skewered the Bon-Bun with it’s spear. It brought it up towards it’s beaked face, and proceeded to tear the squealing animal apart. After it was finished, it scattered the Bon-Bun’s remains, before continuing after the other Kenshun. Lyra waited several minutes, before crawling back towards the rest of them, her face ashen. They spent the rest of the day hiding from patrols. Twice, they spotted patrols, but none came as close as that one.


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