View Full Version : The Heart of Despair

21-04-2005, 17:14
Written by me, illustrated by Juddski, thank you Juddski for illustrating this story.

Part I

Come to me! Come... me… come...

Arise ye champion! Arise… champion… arise….

Claim it! Claim it… claim…

The calls spread through the darkness, echoes of long dead voices and words yet to be spoken.
The darkness of his prison crept closer, the cold walls of ancient stone dripping with water, the freezing, damp air, biting into his flesh, tearing his soul.

He lay there, shivering in the filthy pile of straw that served as his bed, the iron chains around his wrist clattering with a sound that brought chills into his spine as he thought of every man who had born them before him.
In panic, he threw himself at the great, ironclad oak door that kept him in this room, as he rammed the door, the splintering sound of crushed bone rolled through the air and he fell to the cold floor, screaming in pain.

Outside the cell, he could hear the chanting of his wardens, insane laughter and ecstatic screams, this truly was the heart of despair, its dark iron walls, towering around the castle, keeping everything, even the early lights of sun and moon from reaching his cell.

Slowly, he came to his senses again, he remembered the first time he had seen this fortress, and he remembered the first time his mother had told him about it, a fortress of darkness, a fortress, which could send the bravest man running for his mother, crying in despair if he dared look upon it, and now… he was here.
He could feel tears slowly falling down his cheeks, as they fell to the floor, he did not hear the sound of a single tear-drop shattering across frozen stone, he heard he sound of a span of water being poured across a wooden floor in the halls of his home.

A clatter of iron spread through the air and the sound of a key turning a lock echoed through his cell.


21-04-2005, 18:08
Oh I want more now!!! Very cool stuff...but still I have no idea who this champion is or anything...more stuff would be great!

21-04-2005, 18:42
I've got 5 more parts... or is it 4... oh well, I'll soon post Part II

However, if you can't wait, check the Black Library Forum, it should be on Fan Art, probably on page 2 by now

07-06-2005, 19:10
Part II

The torch spread a flickering light across the walls, its warm glow reflected in the black armour of the giant man that walked besides him, giving it an unearthly glow that spoke of death and despair in this land where no true god ruled.

He could remember it now, how he left his home in a small village of Estalia to fight for an Empire captain who led an expedition into the north. He could remember the look on his sisters face, her green, tear-filled eyes watching him as he walked away on the street, her brown hair flowing in the wind, princess he had called her, and by right he had.
In his thoughts and memories, he could see his mother, standing in the doorway, knowing that he would not return, just like his father, still, she let him go… why?
“Why” his whispered shattered the silence that lay in the hallway where nothing but the sparkling sound of the torch and the steps of armoured feet had resounded.

The man escorting him stopped, the black helmet of the warrior turned towards him and a cold voice emerged from the dark opening, speaking a tongue he did understand, he just shook his head and turned away his face, ashamed of what he had done.

When he had lost himself in his memories, he had forgotten the pain in his shoulder, but now, when he did not drown in his sisters eyes, he could feel the splintered bones shaving against each other, and for every step he took it felt even worse.
He collapsed on the floor, great streams of tears running down his cheeks, the pain was too much, and he screamed, his roars of pure pain must have been heard through the entire fortress.

But the man in the black armour did not care, relentlessly, he grabbed the screaming man in the shoulder and pulled him to his feet before he forced him to move forwards. The Dragonborne had ordered to see the man, and so it must be!

07-06-2005, 19:11
I've got so much more... do you want it?

I have got parts:





and VII

anyone interested in me posting them here?

07-06-2005, 21:40
ME!!! This is great, keep it coming

07-06-2005, 23:58
more!!! Im very curious now!

08-06-2005, 06:51
Part III

A foul wind that bore the smell of death and smoke howled through the hallway as the armoured man opened the huge gates of iron. The sound of them slamming against the black marble of the walls made him shudder, he could feel that this place belonged to forsaken souls, damned for eternity.

The pain in his shoulder tore through him like a thousand swords, but he ignored it, his eyes lay at the great altar in the end of the hall, huge golden statues standing on white marble drenched in blood, shining in the black chapel. He could hear insane laughter and frightened words come from the iron pens that hung on the marble walls, right next to rows of beautiful tapestries and banners, he could almost taste the madness in this fortress of darkness.

He was pushed towards the altar, and as he stumbled forward, he noticed that he was walking on a small aisle of blood red stone, covered in the petals of a thousand black roses. Right beside the aisle, there were great pools stretching all the way to the walls, he did not see what they were filled with, but the stench of blood reached his nostril’s.


As he walked closer to the altar, he could see the shapes of a throne behind it, and something more, something veiled in darkness sat on the throne.
He could feel his legs tremble and the fear almost made him choke, he could feel his breath stop and he panicked, he turned around to run, but this attempt was faced by the armoured fist of the man who had brought him here.
The blow landed on his broken shoulder and yet again, he collapsed on the floor. When his hand touched the petals, he felt more then the soft touch of roses, he felt the soaring heat of fire and he screamed, it was not red stone, it was heated marble that he lay on, and he started to cry, his tears falling sizzling through the black petals.

A dark laughter spread through the air, through the tears, he could see the dark being rise from the throne.

12-06-2005, 10:28
Part IV

The laughter faded away and the dark voice of the shadow rang out, “So, it is you they spoke of,” He felt a heating hand grab his chin as the shadow lifted him from the glowing floor with unearthly strength, “The raven of the South, the shadow filled light:”

As the creature mentioned the word raven, a storm of memories rushed forth within him, the streets of cobble stone, a boy running under the burning midsummer sun, his hands clutching a silver necklace. The raging blacksmith screaming and waiving a big rod of oak while following the boy.
The raven black hair of the boy, moving like the straws of the hay fields beneath the feet of a quiet wind. His leather shoes beating the stone of the street and his heart hammering in his chest. His brown eyes searching for a cool and shady alley to hide in, and then, a voice calling him, “Raven, Raven where are you”, his mothers voice calling from his house.

“What moves in your mind… Raven, tell me what memories stir within your thoughts.” The dark voice pulled him out of his memories like a wizard pulls fire from the winds.
“My thoughts are my own you beast!” He screamed as an answer to the beast holding him.
“Not for long!” A strong light burst forth from the body of the being, revealing it to the eyes of Raven. Black feathered wings, pale, almost white skin, the body of a serpent and the torso of a man, arms covered in purple and black symbols. A head fairer then that of a woman, the eyes, eternally deep wells of black mist, sparkling with crimson lightning.

“I have no more patience with you! Show me your mind!” The voice of the daemon, filled with more power then the raging sea rang out in the black marble hall, shaking the iron gates and scarring the mumbling and laughing prisoners of the cages to silence.

As the daemon placed his second hand upon Ravens sweaty brow, Raven spat him in the face in a last act of defiance he thought.
With a roar, the daemon grabbed a huge sword out of the air, its blade, seething with energy and glowing with a mystical light.

When the daemon looked upon him in rage, Raven felt the pain of a thousand tortured souls, rushing through his veins, screaming, he dropped from the hand of the Daemon and fell to the floor, black petals whirling up around him and landing in the dark pools, floating like the black ships of death on the blood filled sea after a battle.
His body twitched and writhed by the pain, and he screamed.

Howling with bloodlust and anger, the daemon brought the blade downwards, leaving a seething, purple wound in the air the blade cleaved.
“Stop!” , a clear voice rang out in the black hall, drowning the raging voice of the daemon.


13-06-2005, 12:02
Very nice, though you seem to use alot of imagery to set the mood.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest.

13-06-2005, 18:51
Part V

Suddenly, the pain stopped, and as he lay there, Raven could see the thin body of a woman walk at the aisle, dressed in a black dress, her pale skin shining as the daemon had done seconds ago. She looked like a bride of madness, walking on a hellish pathway, strewn with the petals of black roses, her dress flowing behind her like a nightly wind.

“We must not kill him Rav’halr, he does not know what memories he has, a lost soul rarely remembers its former life.” The dark lady smiled while talking with a calming voice, her black lips moving as a pair of black wings across fields of snow, and it seemed as if the daemon listened to her.
“This is the man who brought the darkness over my tribe, he will face the same fate as my brethren!” Rav’halr bellowed, his voice turning the calm pools of blood into screaming faces and twisting bodies as the balanced magic that kept the eternally damned souls quiet was disturbed.
The agonized screams of a thousand tortured humans leapt from the dark pools and Raven could feel the pain return to him like a tidal wave of fire.

“No! This man is NOT the man who brought darkness upon your tribe Rav’halr, it is the same soul! He has nothing to account for!” The voice of the woman grew harsh, her hand, shaking in anger as she raised it towards the sealing, unleashing a black wave of power that flowed through the chamber. The pools fell silent and the dark shroud that had veiled the daemon returned.
“Now, go back to your throne my love, I will make sure that Raven will be properly handled” the voice of the woman had returned to the one she had spoken with before, and as the daemon returned to the throne behind the altar, she walked towards Raven, her bare feet threading lightly upon the glowing aisle, her black lips forming a wicked smile as she laughed at the soft touch of the heated marble on her bare feet.

04-07-2005, 01:57
not bad at all!

14-07-2005, 00:26
more this is great! I love it!

29-07-2005, 21:58
Part VI

As the dark lady came closer, he could feel how hands of pure darkness reached for his heart, the eyes of the lady being as black as the midnight sky, and just as hypnotizing.

He tried once again to rise to his feet, but the pain of the daemons spell still lingered in his mind and soul, stopping him from rising.

He turned where he lay, his hands ripping through the thick layers of black petals, streams of tears running down his cheeks as his fingers clawed through nothing but the darkness and despair of his own heart.

The dark lady put her thin hand upon his shoulder, her white, spider like fingers ripping into his flesh with the strength of six men.

His shoulder burned as if a thousand swords tore into it with heated blades, and yet, her very touch sent a shiver of pleasure and lust through his body.

The dark lady parted her black lips, her voice as cruel as the winters chill and as soft as a midsummer breeze.

He closed his eyes, the flood of tears dried from his eyes, her touch was like a blessing of pleasure, calming the storm of pain within his mind.

She let go of his shoulder and put her pale hand upon his cheek, wiping the marks of tears from his skin.
She helped him from the floor, putting only a few inches between his and her face.

He watched the face of the dark lady, her deep eyes, her raven black hair and her hypnotizing lips. He looked deep into her eyes, drowning in the dark depths.

She caressed his cheek with the soft, perfect skin of her hand, and she started to whisper.
This time, he understood what she said and listened while he kept falling deeper into her eyes, their faces moving closer for every word she spoke.

"you are perfect", her voice was now as smooth and soft as the finest cathayan silk, "Your eyes, your face, your... soul".
Her hand moved to his neck and as good as nothing but the tension stood between their faces now.

Just when she was about to kiss him, she grabbed him by the neck with the full power of her being and threw him into one of the pools, her voice, cleaving the air like thunder in the night, roaring with the voice of a thousand storms, "Now remember!"

07-08-2005, 20:33
nice , i hope there's more on the way ?

08-08-2005, 14:38
This Is The Part Where The Guard Comesto Get Raven ;)

**edit**i'll pm it to you with the other one ;)

08-08-2005, 15:11
That is one mean guard!

THANK YOU! Juddski

08-08-2005, 15:50
im impressed, great read

12-08-2005, 17:46
I thought that I simply had to post part VII now that the story is getting more attention again, and, me and Juddski (or mostly Juddski) are working on some suprises for you readers.

So, here it comes...

Part VII

“Tell me again, what does this feel like?” He put the elegant blade of his cathayan sword upon the arm of the chained woman, his dull voice dripping with despise as he continued.
“How does it feel, the… what did you call it? Cold, was that what you called it? Cold? Now, tell me, how does it feel when this… cold blade rests against your pale skin, the edge, as sharp as the flaming swords of the storm, lying here, waiting to bite you?”

His thin lips formed a cruel smile that spread across his snow white face and his eyes glinted with the dark light of a mad mans soul before he dragged his blade across her bare arm.

“And tell me now, how does this feel… Well… answer me… ANSWER ME!”

“It… It…”, streams of tears ran down the woman’s cheeks and she tried to talk between her gasps and snivels, “It… It… It h-hu…”

“It what? What did you say?”

“It h-hu-HURTS!”

“Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”
He turned his back to her and started to wander around in the cold stone room, waving his sword carelessly.
The clatter of his armour and the heavy footsteps of his leather boots mixed with the rattle of the woman’s chains and her cry and formed a sick symphony of darkness and despair.

“Describe it to me, this… hurt, this… pain. It’s been a while since I last felt it, in fact, I have not felt anything for years now, so please, describe it.”
His leather glove creaked as he once again swung his sword, the cold steel joining the sick symphony with its own song, and the drops of blood that lay on its edge flew across the room, like crimson birds of death, only to land like a trace of red tears on the white dress of the woman.
She was a bride… until her wedding was raided and she was brought here… by him.

“I… I can’t!”

“You can’t? Well then, try this!” He lashed out with his cathayan sword, the steel of the eastern master smiths sliced deep into the flesh of her arm and bit into the bone with tremendous power, nearly cutting it in half.
“Describe the feeling! … Now!”
Once again, he cut at her, but this time, the sword barely touched her, the deadly tip running over her chest and dress.
As he looked upon her, he could see a thin line of blood erupting from her pale skin, taking the same way as the sword, and the dress, slowly slipping open.

“Describe this!” His cut flew across her throat, leaving barely a mark, until blood started to run from it, like rivers of crimson tears.
He stood there, laughing as he watched the woman, crying for help as her life faded away.

“NO!” He could hear himself scream and opened his eyes.
Gasping for air, he could feel the pain from his shoulder and a stinging cold in the air. The darkness around him could not mean much more than it was in the middle of the night.
This was not strange, and yet still… he had this feeling that something was not right, this did not seem like his cell, at least not the one he had woken up in within the Heart of Despair.

In the darkness, he could see other humans, sleeping on the floor, covered in stinking straw, and…. What was that, a person with the same lines as the dark lady in the fortress, a man with the beauty of a woman… an elf.

As he kept looking at the elf, he noticed a chain clasped around the wrist of the unearthly being.
In the chain that split into a web, not too unlike that of a spider, that bound all the persons in this strange place, he could see a reflection of light.

He looked up, and through a roof of frost covered bars, he could see the sky.
Suddenly, the floor shook beneath him and a deep voice called out from the darkness, it felt like… it felt like they where moving.

As he looked toward the front of this… cart, he could see a short shadow sitting by the reins of a strange creature. As he tried to rise to his feet, he fell against the wall when the floor did a sudden move, and as his shoulder hit the wall, he cursed with a voice, filled of pain and anger.
When he uttered the words, the shadow turned towards him and glared at him with yellow eyes while hissing something in a strange language that sounded a bit like that of the dwarfes, and, as the shadow turned away its face, he could see the shape of a big beard swing by in the thin light of the moon.

16-08-2005, 15:11
Just want to make all of you readers out there aware that the first pic of Juddski has now been added to the story (will also add the Guard comming for Raven ASAP)