From the Vault: “Omniverse, Book 1, Chapter 3” (Part 1 of 3)

Posted: January 6, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

It’s always kind of interesting when I’m looking at my old writing, and I realize, all of a sudden, “This is good. Not ‘good for my age’ good, but actually good.”

I had that experience over Winter Break when I was looking at a script for a graphic novel that I’d been writing over the summer of 2011, about a year and a half ago. It was an epic fantasy story, taking place over millions of dimensions and universes, primarily concerning itself with the machinations of an ancient demonic power’s attempts to free itself from its dimensional prison using three ancient talismans: a sword, a mirror, and an amulet. In order to accomplish this, it takes possession of a failed poet named Aleister Caine in a steampunk/Victorian dimension, and uses him as a weapon to conquer the millions of dimensions.

I never got to the parts that I’d been imagining, though. I only got a third of the way through the script for the first book before I got bored with it and left it alone– until a week ago, when I looked through it.

And it was good. Yeah, the first two chapters were a little bit clunky, but by the third chapter, I seemed to have hit my stride, and I was making actual cool stuff. 

I thought I’d share this on Axolotl Ceviche, as a little bit of an indication of what I was doing before I was blogging, and because I think you might enjoy it, if you like the sorts of things I do. All you need to know about the third chapter is that our erstwhile heroine, a young woman from our dimension named Ashley Campos, has entered another dimension. A dimension that is completely alien…

~ Ian

 

CHAPTER 3: FARADOR OF FORN

 

Page 61 has six panels.

PAGE 61 PANEL 1

ASH starts to walk down the side of the ridge.

CAPTION: It was like the setup for a bad joke.

PAGE 61 PANEL 2

ASH climbs backwards down a steep scree slope.

CAPTION: So there was good news and bad news. The good news was that I didn’t feel sick anymore.

PAGE 61 PANEL 3

ASH steps over a narrow stream as it descends the side of the ridge.

CAPTION: The bad news was that I was trapped in a parallel dimension.

PAGE 61 PANEL 4

ASH gets to the bottom of the slope, where she looks ahead to the distance.

CAPTION: I was sure I had gone crazy, at first. It would have been like a bad dream, if it didn’t feel so real…

PAGE 61 PANEL 5

Closeup of ASH shading her eyes and looking off into the distance. Behind her, we catch a glimpse of a strange, many-eyed insectoid monstrosity, a bug-eyed monster with big, sucking mandibles.

CAPTION: I caught a glimpse of something in the distance…

PAGE 61 PANEL 6

We’re looking from behind ASH. The insect monster is behind ASH, where she can’t see it, and she’s waving and hollering out to a speck on the horizon, a barely-visible shape of a man riding a big, ostrich-like bird.

ASH: Hey! Over here!

 

Page 62 has five panels.

PAGE 62 PANEL 1

An arrow whizzes by ASH’s head, striking the monster behind her squarely in the eye.

ASH: Gah!

INSECTOID MONSTER: SQUEEEEL!

PAGE 62 PANEL 2

The MONSTER attacks ASH, grabbing out with its claws and stretching its mandibles wide. It reaches out, trying to attack her, but ASH dodges as it reaches out to grab her in its claws.

I.M.: GREEP! GREEP!

PAGE 62 PANEL 3

ASH drops to the ground and covers her head as a second arrow zooms out and hits the monster in the abdomen. Greenish-blue blood squirts out from the monster’s wounds, and it screams in pain and anger.

I.M.: GREEEEEEL!

PAGE 62 PANEL 4

The monster collapses to the ground next to ASH, who is crab walking away from it, trying to get away from it as the monster dies.

I.M.: agglagglagglagglaggl…

ASH: huff… huff… huff…

PAGE 62 PANEL 4

We see the head of a long polearm-type weapon hook ASH around her neck, enough to restrain her but not enough to cut her skin. The weapon looks like the crescent-moon head of a sickle attached to the end of a long pole, like a thin quarterstaff or the shaft of a spear.

VOICE (off-panel): On your feet, wench.

ASH: Gaaah!

 

PAGE 63: SPLASH PAGE

Big splash page here. We’re looking at a big, bold warrior seated on the back of an ostrich-like bird. The man is wearing strange clothes: a long gray-green cloak, a studded leather jerkin embossed with strange Celtic-type patterns, a divided blue kilt with a tartan-type pattern, and a helmet bearing the horns of a stag that hides most of his face (think of a Greek-type helmet with the eyes, nose, and mouth, but nothing else, exposed). He has a huge, bristling red beard, which sticks out from under his helmet, and is all we can see of his face. He looks something like a more intimidating version of one of the Knights Who Say Ni. At his side, a short sword and massive hunting knife hang. On his back is a bow and a quiver of red-feathered arrows. Behind him, on his bird, is a leather satchel, which is stuffed with something lumpy and misshapen. He is holding his sickle-staff up to ASH’s neck. ASH has a scared expression on her face, and is holding her hands up in the hostage position.

Okay, some description of the warrior’s bird: it doesn’t look like anything that is common on this planet. It might look like an ostrich, except for various features. It has black-and-light gray mottled feathers, a bare and fleshy neck, and red beady eyes with no pupils. It has a beak, but in this beak are small, sharp-looking teeth. The bird looks more like birds used to, when birds were feathered dinosaurs.

By the way, the warrior’s name is FARADOR OF FORN.

FARADOR: What is your name? Speak quickly, now.

ASH: I’m Ash Campos.

 

PAGE 64 has four panels.

PAGE 64 PANEL 1

FARADOR is still holding his sickle-staff up to ASH’s throat.

FARADOR: An outlandish name. Be you human or wight?

ASH: I’m human. I’m from another place. Another land, far away from here. A land beyond.

PAGE 64 PANEL 2

A close-up on FARADOR’s helmet. We catch a glimpse of his eyes, and they are surprised and somewhat shocked.

FARADOR: Another land? Beyond the Outer Wastes? These lands are the edge of the world, woman.

ASH (off-panel): Yes. I’m from a world beyond that.

PAGE 64 PANEL 3

FARADOR leans way over and nearly stares right into ASH’s face.

FARADOR: Give me your hand, woman.

ASH: What?

FARADOR: I must determine whether you are a human or some foul spirit. The denizens here are evil and devious. Give me your hand.

PAGE 64 PANEL 4

ASH reaches out and touches FARADOR’s hand.

ASH: Oh. Okay.

FARADOR: It is warm. Forgive me, Ash Campos. I simply did not expect to see another human so many leagues away from Forn, or any of the other free kingdoms. How did you come here?

 

Page 65 has five panels.

PAGE 65 PANEL 1

FARADOR has lifted his sickle-staff, and has placed it in a sheath that goes diagonally across his back.

ASH: It’s a long story.

FARADOR: No matter. I am willing to allow you to be my traveling companion for a while. I am traveling west, back to my homeland of Forn. Farador is my name.

PAGE 65 PANEL 2

FARADOR reaches out a hand to ASH, who takes it.

ASH: Pleased to meet you.

FARADOR: Come. If you wish to ride with me, then I will help you to climb onto my mountbird.

PAGE 65 PANEL 3

ASH climbs up the side of the mountbird, assisted by FARADOR.

ASH: That’s very kind of you. Really, it is.

FARADOR: Think nothing of it. I have been too long apart from the company of human conversation. There are no towns or keeps in the Outer Wastes.

PAGE 65 PANEL 4

ASH sits in front of FARADOR on the mountbird. FARADOR takes the reins in his hands, and kicks the sides of the mountbird. It begins to run, taking long, ostrich-like strides.

ASH: Then what are you doing out here?

FARADOR: You truly are a stranger to this land, Ash Campos.

PAGE 65 PANEL 5

The mountbird rides off along the horizon.

FARADOR: When a warrior succeeds to lordship after his father’s death, he must venture out and slay a dragon. Once, the dragons came even up to the Kyreesh Borderlands, on the eastern edge of Forn. Now they have been driven into the Outer Wastes, a land of nightmares and ghosts.

 

Page 66 has four panels.

PAGE 66 PANEL 1

The mountbird continues to ride along a high ridgeline as ASH and FARADOR continue their conversation.

ASH: So that’s where you’re going? To slay a dragon?

FARADOR: I have already slain one. What do you think is in the satchel behind me?

ASH: Oh.

PAGE 66 PANEL 2

FARADOR: Why do you ask this? Have you not dragons in your country?

ASH: No. Far from it, actually.

FARADOR: Then what do your warriors slay to prove their virility?

ASH: Middle Easterners, mostly.

PAGE 66 PANEL 3

FARADOR: So how came you to be in the wastelands? You have no food, no flint, no weapons. Besides, you are only a woman.

ASH: I can’t explain. You wouldn’t understand.

FARADOR: Maybe I would, maybe I wouldn’t. In any case, it’s a long road to go before we see hide or hair of another human.

PAGE 66 PANEL 4

Aerial shot of the sun is setting across the vast plains, to the far west. Far below, ASH is sitting on a tumbled stone in the shelter of one of the standing stones that decorate the field. FARADOR is off nearby, carrying firewood back in his arms. The mountbird is off in the distance, off hunting for food.

 

Page 67 has six panels.

PAGE 67 PANEL 1

ASH is seated next to the fireplace, huddled tightly in one of FARADOR’s spare cloaks. FARADOR is carrying a bundle of firewood back to the fire. His helmet is still on.

FARADOR: Are you cold?

ASH: Yeah. I come from a much warmer place than this.

FARADOR: Be glad you came here in the summer. In wintertime, it is much colder. Icy winds scour this land, and bring death with them.

PAGE 67 PANEL 2

ASH: This is summer? Geez…

ASH: Hey, out of curiosity, what was that thing? You know, the one you saved me from.

PAGE 67 PANEL 3

FARADOR has set the cord of firewood down on the ground at his feet. He is taking off his antlered helmet.

FARADOR: A foul beast. It is called a wiggeman. They lay their eggs in fresh corpses, which feed on the carcass once they hatch.

PAGE 67 PANEL 4

FARADOR has taken off his helmet, and we get our first glimpse at his face. Most of his face is obscured by his shaggy red beard. But he has a proud, jutting nose; bushy eyebrows; and cold blue eyes. His long red hair falls down behind him.

FARADOR: You know, you are very beautiful. I have half a mind to take you as my third wife, once I return to my castle by the coast.

PAGE 67 PANEL 5

ASH’s response to this is, to say the least, a bit cold.

ASH: Wow. That was the least romantic proposal I’ve ever heard.

FARADOR: Ah, so you’ve heard many, then?

ASH: No. Not really.

PAGE 67 PANEL 6

FARADOR puts his arm possessively around ASH’s shoulder as she sits next to him.

FARADOR: It would not be a hard life. I have a fine holding, on the north coast of Forn. I already have two wives, and they are pleased. I could satisfy you. You could be happy there.

 

Page 68 has six panels.

PAGE 68 PANEL 1

Closeup on ASH’s face. She looks tired and cold.

ASH: Look, I’m thankful that you saved me. But we don’t do things that way where I’m from. Women aren’t property in my homeland. We marry only one person at a time. And I don’t intend to stay permanently in Forn. I want to go home someday.

PAGE 68 PANEL 2

FARADOR: I was not asking you, girl.

ASH: And I’m not marrying you.

FARADOR: Your life is beholden to me. I saved you; that makes you mine to do with what I wish.

PAGE 68 PANEL 3

ASH: That’s not true. I’m my own person. If you try to marry me by force, I’ll run away, or kill you, or something else, I don’t know what.

FARADOR: Hmm. You are very strange, Ash Campos.

FARADOR: No matter. You will one day come around to me. The road to Forn is a hundred days long, and there is still a long time to go before winter. You will come to me eventually.

PAGE 68 PANEL 4

ASH: No, I won’t.

ASH: And if you try to rape me during the night, I swear I’m going to pick up the nearest rock and bash your balls in.

PAGE 68 PANEL 5

FARADOR picks up a log of firewood and tosses it on the fire.

FARADOR: Why would I do that? I may be a warrior and a killer, but I am still no raper. Love is much better when the woman is willing.

ASH: Fine. But I’ve warned you.

FARADOR: Ash Campos, I swear that I will lay no finger upon you until you are willing to have me.

ASH: Okay. But you’re sleeping on the other side of the fire tonight, well out of reach.

FARADOR: I will.

PAGE 68 PANEL 6

Shot from above of ASH lying on the ground on her back, staring up at the stars, and FARADOR on the other side of the fire, wrapped up in his cloak and sound asleep, his mouth open and drooling.

CAPTION: The night was spent quietly. I was awake for most of the night, staring up at the strange constellations. When I slept, I didn’t dream.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s