Sands of Time, a Dredmor Novella

Discussion in 'Stories & Fan Fiction' started by Lorrelian, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member


    In a large vaulted corridor full of bones and skulls, a lone diggle carefully picks its way through piles of stone. Its reddish skin darkens as it grunts with the exertion of moving the rubble. It seems to stop and consider drilling its way through from time to time, but ultimately the unsteadiness of the rock deters it.

    As it nears the bottom of the pile the rubble suddenly shifts under its feat, and the diggle leaps away. An arm bursts from the rubble, followed by a head and a stylish fedora. The man that hat and limbs are attached to is stylishly dressed. He speaks.

    “I say, it is right pleasant to have all my flesh again.”

    As the man brushes the dust off from his suit, his hat says to him, “Let’s try not to broker for your life with Death again, shall we?”

    The diggle carefully approaches the two. “Who are you?”

    “No one you should care about,” the hat says. “What were you doing?”

    “I planned to make a proper grave for a friend,” the diggle says.

    “Quite so,” the man says. “He’s certainly earned it. But a piece of advice. Hide that rocket launcher somewhere safe.”

    The man and his hat leave without further words, and the diggle returns to his work.

    On a tired old dock in a harbor, somewhere north of where the great prairies end, a man carrying a mace walks up a gangplank. He’s met by a giant white suit with a skeleton inside. “I hope you won’t come to regret this,” the suit says. “Going after a dread pirate is not an easy thing.”

    “Mercenaries sign up for dangerous work,” the mace wielder replies. “And I feel the need to get away from earth and stone for a while, in case my last employer has hard feelings. I just wish I could have taken those two horses with me.”

    “The sea is no place for that kind of animal,” the suit replies.

    “I know,” the man says. “But they weren’t exactly mine. Still, I ain’t heard from their real owners in almost a year. No telling what happened to them.”

    In a tiny little village just north of the harbor a young man leads two horses through the single lane back towards his house. There’s nothing special about this village. In fact, everyone in it is pretty much the same. They wear the same clothes; they have the same hair color. Even their most distinguishing feature, their eyebrows, is universal.

    Other than the two horses he leads, nothing sets the boy apart from the others.

    He reaches a house at the far end of the village and leads the horses into the stables outside. It is the only house with stables, so that’s something, at least. His mother steps out and looks him over. “I said one horse, not two. What is this foolishness? Spending our hard earned money on two horses. They’ll cost more to keep, and you probably went over budget.”

    “No, mum,” the boy replies. “The man who was selling them was really eager to get rid of them. I got them cheap, less than three quarters the money you gave for the both of them.”

    “Oh?” The woman looks them over. “Well, maybe we can use one as a plough horse and sell the other ourselves, for more like its real value.”

    With that the woman leaves boy and horses, and tromps back into the house.

    The boy pats one horse on the neck. “Don’t you listen to her. I’ll take care of you. Something’s wrong with the world when beautiful horses like you go for a half a dozen zorkmoids a piece.”

    “It is indeed,” the horse says in reply. It cranes its neck around and stares at him with a thoughtful gaze. “The world is very wrong, and in more ways than you know. What is your name, child?”

    Dumbstruck, the boy answers automatically.

    “David Lamplighter.”
    OmniNegro likes this.
  2. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    Whew. That was just crazy. I knew Sands of Time was probably the longest story arc I had planned for the Dredmor cycle, but really. 20k words? More than I had originally expected.

    Still, it's over and the foundation for the next and final part of my homebrewed history of Dredmor, titled Dungeon Delving and staring our very own dbaumgart, is set to begin.

    I really need to stop here and say thanks to all the people who have agreed to be special guest stars, but thanks to David in particular. It's one thing to lend your name to an occasionally recurring character. It's quite another to agree to lend your name to the star of the show. I'll do my best to do you proud.

    Dungeon Delving will begin on July 30th. I'll be taking a little time to recuperate and plan, and I'll be out of town on the 23rd, so all told that will be the best time. Please look forward to it!
    OmniNegro and Daynab like this.