Longest post by far at nearly 3000 words, split into two, but at least not as long as a whole novel..! It’s a story I wrote of the recent Update Aquatic, originally written for a contest on Planet Minecraft, and talks about how the underwater ruins came to be – plus a slight possibility of a wave being mentioned! It divides into 7 short chapters and came out pretty good I’d say, although I might have overdone it on some parts… But anyway, you be the judge of your opinions, here it is:
“And it is with great pride that I, leader of the People, open the dozen-moonly celebrations of the sacred elements. Let the offerings commence!” With this, four members of the youth walked up the ancient stone steps, carrying locked wooden chests. Drums boomed as the key master slowly, deliberately opened the chests one by one. The ceremony has begun.
Darkness was looming over the land, yet the lights were lit brighter than ever in the great Capitol. Everyone was out as the celebrations were starting; it was scarcely an event to be missed. The sun was beginning to set on the distant horizon. It wasn’t long till the streets suddenly emptied – everyone funnelled through to the giant public area that the square has come to be. It was a vast expanse of stone, designed and built by the best masons in all the land. Surrounding it were some of the city’s finest buildings, and itself contained some fine statues.
Out front, centre with the square stood the Palace of the Sun – a mighty structure made of ornately carved sandstone, propped up by unaccountable columns, with terraces and gardens outside, and the royal chambers and prison dungeons inside. It was on one of those terraces that the leader of the People now stood, in preparation for the age-old tradition of honouring the elements that made up the world we ourselves have been honoured with.
Four wooden chests were set down with a thud on the podium, below the terrace. Above, the leader put on the white ceremonial robe and blessed the people from across the land spread out under him. He was an ageing man, full of wisdom and experience. Kind grey eyes accompanied his wrinkled face. People cheered as he descended the steps. The drumming sped up to the point where it seemed it would never stop. And then it did – and all was silent. The leader of the People stepped aside as one by one each chest was opened.
The first carried the Earth; a dirt block said to come from atop the Mountain of Spirits; the second a Fire that has been guarded and kept alight for years with little or no interference. The third carried… nothing really; As Air was everywhere, there to keep us alive now, into the past and the future. The last carried a bucket of Water from the Spirit’s lake, on top of the mountain mentioned before. Those gathered watched in silent awe as the sacred ceremony continued. It was a tradition practised by generations, and the most important one at that. Close by, the drums boomed again; Loud enough to cover the screams coming from deep within the Palace walls.
* * *
A figure entered the cold windowless chamber. He was stocky and dressed fully in black, with a dark mask to accompany his outfit. At his hand was a diamond sword, still dripping with the remains of the King’s blood. Across the room was a single desk, at which sat a man; He in turn was quite small, stone-faced, with eyes as dark as… well, darkness; He looked up upon the other individual’s entrance.
“You have done well Moore. Your sacrifice will be rewarded.” He said with a hint of a smile, eyeing the object in Moore’s other hand.
Moore exhaled and took off his mask to reveal his short, greying hair. He brushed the sweat off his forehead and placed the object on the desk. The man sitting studied him for a moment then turned his full attention to the box set down before him. Good, he thought, taking the object into his palms. Time to set the gears into motion.
On the extensive stone terraces, the ceremony was nearing the end, as the moon neared the highest point on its journey through the starry sky. People were slowly preparing to go, as the final burning proceeded. The drumming had long stopped, and as always, the leader of the People was giving his final speech. Although this year something was different. Halfway through, the King had excused himself into the Palace for ‘an important errand’. One could only guess what could have been more important that the events in the square – the King was not back yet, and his turn to conclude the ceremony was approaching. Even the King himself would dare not to disturb the ancient Gods! The consequences would be disastrous. It was a worrying thought, so a servant was sent into the Palace to make sure all was ok.
The last of the smoke spiralled up to the sky. The burnings were over. It won’t be long until the leader ended his speech and was supposed to introduce the King! The governors stood at the rear of the square, talking in hushed, worried voices. The ceremony had been undisturbed for decades – it was a sin to even think of breaking the sacred cycle. The crowd, in turn, was unconcerned – if the King said he’d be back, then so be it. But time was slowly evaporating. Something had to be done! But could they afford to spread the news? Maybe the King will walk proudly out the Palace door just in time, or speak out from the balcony up high, or maybe-
Everyone’s heads turned as the Palace doors creaked open. Could it be the King? The governors watched hopefully, only to see the servant sent to check on the King came running out of the Palace. He was pale, but whether with shock or fear, they couldn’t tell. He nearly tripped over himself as he run down the stairs and whispered something in the leader’s ear. The leader of the People staggered back, surprised. “Is that true?” he said, though loud enough to be audible. Without another word, he followed the servant into the Palace.
* * *
Up high, a lone man was hiking the mountains of the north. He looked down at the vast dark lands beneath him, disturbed by only the lights of the Capitol’s celebrations. Checking his pocket for the keystone, he chuckled to himself. He seemed deep in thought when his foot slipped, and he barely caught himself on the rockface in time. That was close – too close. His health bar was already bad enough from a previous fall… He should have taken more food. He could still remember his master’s words – “Climb up, insert the keystone and don’t get caught. Nothing can stop us now. Don’t let me down, Moore.”
The leader of the People walked up the elaborate corridors, following in the servant’s footsteps. They echoed off the high walls and granite ceiling above. The duo passed rare artworks or locked door until reaching their destination – the very last door. A dead end. It was the place of the King’s chambers. Had the servant dared enter them unsure of the King’s condition or place? It seemed so, as he pushed the door open and let the leader in first. Not knowing what to expect, he entered. He found nothing out of place, or so it seemed. The servant pointed to the open courtyard door, then disappeared to do his errands.
The leader neared the door and stepped out into the cool night air. The sight he was greeted with would be engraved into his memory forever. The King lay slain on the floor, his items still hovering beside him. He was twisted at an ugly angle, and his lifeless eyes were looking up to heaven. As the leader neared, shaken, he got a closer look at the body. It was disturbing, yet not ordinary. The leader saw that one of the King’s arms was obviously made extended, finger pointed. This wasn’t a coincidence. The old man followed the finger to the North. Away, away… in the direction of the Mountain of Spirits. The thought gave him an even more uneasy feeling than he already felt: had the King been placed like this deliberately? Was this a message? What was up the sacred Mountain? Why?
He pushed the thought away. This needed more looking into – and quick. The killer could be caught if they hurried; He must have escaped via the open gate at the back of the courtyard. The time of the murder was unknown, and the ceremonies of today were long – the King excused himself barely halfway through. But it could be done. They needed to send someone to the Mountain.
The leader glanced one last time at the King’s scarred body, then hurried off to the square. The news had to be told. In the hour of need, no secrets were permitted. But as he neared the Palace door, one thought shouted louder than the others. It was nearing midnight, the end of the sacred day, thought the terrified man. No King meant the age-old tradition had to be changed. It was never changed! The Gods would be angry. The people would have to pay.
Dun, dun, dun? I’ll finish off and upload the next part in a week or two as of writing.