The Shaman (Part 1)
This is a minor project that started out as a brainstorm, inspired by Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft. It takes place in the year 2020, when all fuel reserves are running low, and new resources are needed. Magic was said to be lost during evolution, but it was rediscovered. Magi, Warlocks and Druids have entered Earth and have changed lives for better or for worse. It is more than a habit, an occupation, a means of preservation and destruction - it is a way of life.
However, the frequent use of mana has transformed people, changing their skin colours, their height and width, their entire genetic code. Some have grown more intelligent, others have access to even more powerful magics, and some have lost their minds to the way of the arcane.
Thanks to HubPages' own DIMIR and xXRaelliaXx, John Roberts takes all his feedback and imagination, bringing it together to create a series of tales.
2014: Enter the Shaman
Clink! Clink! Clink! The chains rattle outside my oak cage. Clink! Clink Clink! I am constantly reminded of my place in this world - a prisoner, a slave.... a trophy. Not long after the governments had shattered like a hammer to a cracking mirror, humanity relied on clans, warbands and parties. Those who were lucky enough to stay human kept the cities. Pah! They do not realize the power of the elements. But they will. Clink! Clink! Clink! In good time. This cage.... it travels towards London, one of the last bastions of human defence. I was not told it, but I know it. Any Warboss like myself who is captured is sent to the King. There, they will meet their demise at his hand.... if they are fortunate. Clink! Clink! Rattle! Damn those chains! Will they cease their racket? Even the wood that keeps me tightly packed is getting a headache! The roads are bumpy, and they hurt my feet when we go over the rocks. To think we are using horses.... horses, carrying a slave, across cobbled streets. This isn't the future. This is the Middle Ages. Clink! Clink! Clink!
Who am I? A better question is, who was I? I was once a Warboss of the Huddersfield-based Grimhammer Clan, leading over three-hundred Orcs with an iron fist and the power of the elements. I barely remember who I was before my mutation.... they dub me "Orc" now, as well as countless millions. Some of us stand tall, and others have a slight hunch. We are strong, but not like our bovine counterparts, the Taurus. Myself and several mutated friends found the Taurus scavenging.... not to mention the bodies of Human raiders. We allied ourselves, and rebuilt Huddersfield. Known for my wit and language methods before my.... blessing, I decided to name the settlement Hammersfield, and it lived up to its name. We had the greatest forges in England, but none in the world can compare to Scotland's. So, why am I in this cage? Did I surrender myself to the Human race, begging for mercy, hoping to value the ride from here to London? No. We Orcs are too proud, bound by honor - we must fight or die trying! Becoming a prisoner was not supposed be an option, but I had broken one of my rules. My promise. I do not expect my brothers in arms to rescue me, nor do I wish them to. London is too great a stronghold to attack with three hundred alone. I got myself into this mess. Now I must get out!
Clink! Clink! Clink!
Clin--, rustle rustle rustle. I wearily rub my eyes, stretching and kicking my shackled legs some more. My blood circulation is horrendous, and standing in a cage that forces me to cock my head to one side for several hours does not help. The King was kind enough to keep my arms apart, so it gave me time to shake them to get my tainted blood flowing. I could hear whisers amongst crowds, though I could not see through the cage's planks. There was not so much as a slit or a chink in the wood to see the people outside. But I knew they were in the hundreds, standing, staring. They expected a huge monster to step out and roar at them, perhaps give them the thrill of hurling myself towards them. But I would give them no such honor. The King intends on turning me into a form of entertainment, or a short story that'll have its head mounted on a wall in his dining hall. My blood was not racing around my veins, but it was boiling.... bubbling like a Warlock's cauldron. The left side of my upper lip twitched, revealing huge grubby white teeth and a sharp canine. My eyelids violently fluttered, showing obvious signs of incoming rage. I could unleash my anger, but I did not want to seem like a savage. That would wait until I meet the King. Clacker, clink! Clatter! Vvooom.... the physical locks were being opened, and the magical ward was being removed by a Magi. Yes, it would seem silly that a Warchief of a clan can't break out of a wooden crate, but when it is covered in magical barriers, it is almost impossible. The door swung open, revealing a huge shining light which dazzled me, pushing me back into the crate. I cover my eyes with great green paws, like a cat that won't leave its carrier during a visit to the vetinary. But my captors grab at my chains and pull me out, throwing me to the ground. Sweet, sweet floor! I briefly kiss the ground before I am lifted up, thanking it for giving my body a chance to pump blood around it. I was weak, barely able to stand and now I was expected to walk. The people around me looked in shock, gasping as my face was revealed. My hood flopped back and they saw me - an Orc! My face is green, and my eyes are large and cloudy. My teeth are nothing more than dirty bricks with large tusks. My hair was blonde when I was a boy, but turned brown. Magic changed that, and has fried it, turning most of it black and scraggy. Before my capture, I managed to fashion it into huge dreadlocks the size of a human's leg. My robes are as black as the hair on my head, with the skulls of fallen leaders around my waist. As I am pushed, they cackle as they bash together. Perhaps they laugh at me? Or do they laugh at the people they once defended, and taunt, "You'll be joining us around this Orc's belt!" The people gasped constantly, pointing and staring. So this is how Quasimodo felt when he was humilated in Notre Dame? I was that freak - a living target dummy for these people and their rotten produce. My hatred was replaced by misery, but those two emotions would swing faster than my weapon of choice, the Grimhammer, and certainly hit like them too!
We reached what was once Buckhingam Palace, and my shackles were beginning to weigh down my arms. If I was lucky enough to catch some food, I'd stuff it in my mouth to cherish every chew of it. It may be my last meal. I never liked tomatoes before this change, and now I crave them. If ever the Grimhammer clan went on a village raid, I'd give a bonus reward if they brought back tomatoes - I crave them so much! The palace had seen much damage over the years, as the moment mutations kicked in, everyone was rioting - be it to test the strength of their new powers, or merely to complain, they'd wage war against this huge palace and see how long it would take to fall. Most people didn't live to see what little they did to it though. As we reach the throne-room, I stumble and fall to my knees. The guards help me to my feet, and I continue to walk, hoping for death. I am too exhausted for torture, despite being a sadist. My movement speed is impeded by the weight of these chains, and the fact that my energy is now gone. I imagine any strength that I'm using now is coming out of my hardened muscles and the last few drops of glucose from my urine. I now know how the Earth felt when all the oil was running out, and global warming was critical. Now I stand tall, my chest out and my chin up.... just how father taught me. My hood flops back again, and he sees my face so clearly now. The King sees who you were before your mutation, no matter how much you changed completely. He gives a laugh, seeing the lack of past achievements in my existance.... how he knows, I've no idea. He just does. He cackles as he inspects me, but slows down and reveals terror on his face, seeing the skulls around my belt. The markings engraved on them - he knows them. Human leaders were branded on their foreheads, which soon dug into their skull and left a marking. All this did was make trophies look much fancier. He stops laughing, and his bottom lip becomes stiff. He bares his teeth, starting to foam at the mouth.
"You....! KILLED MY FRIENDS!" He punches at me, but his augmented melee powers are useless against me. I am a Shaman, protected by an order much more powerful than any scientific adjustment. I am protected by the Earth itself. I am the Aspect of the Earth.
"And you tortured mine. We are both leaders, but I am the guest here." I say calmly, hoping that I can remain conscious long enough to leech the pain and agony out of him for a bit longer. It does not amuse me wholly, but I want to see him suffer before I twist his little human neck 'til his head pops off like a firework.
"YOU GREENSKIN..... GRR! YOU DARE BRING THE HEADS OF ENGLAND'S LEADERS TO MY DOORSTEP, AS A PRISONER?" He roars. He puts a now greasy hand through his oiled back hair. Bless him, he's only 19 and he claims to be a King. In my mind, I laugh at how humans don't accept magic in their lives and turn against this pathetic worm. But what can I say? I stand here, begging for a sit down and allowing the destruction of Orcs to continue. I must put an end to this. I try and align my body with my eyes, as I'm losing the will to stay awake every second. No.... I begin to swagger, tripping over my own feet tangled in the chains and fall to the ground. All is lost. I have failed. The King has his back to me, but looks over his shoulder. A smile develops on his face. "Well, well, well.... the Orc has taken a little tumble I see. Tut-tut-tut!" His smile morphs into a tight-lipped grimace, and he slams his great leather boot into my face. I groan in agony, and spit blood into the air, but all it does is fall on my face. I try in vain to lick it, and wet my whistle, but I fail miserably. "I'll deal with you later, Orc!" He leaves, and clicks his fingers. Before my eyes close, I see a familiar face but a completely different body.... is it true? The Elves exist?
Helene? Is that you?
Continue the Shaman's legacy here!
- The Shaman (Part 2)
The second chapter of John Roberts' first HubPages fictional story is here, telling the backstory of the Shaman hero!