So we've gotten some SERIOUS goings on in the writing side of Malevolence and I wanted to share with you some snippets of the (literally) hundreds and hundreds of books that will be in the game for you to find, read and collect. I'm not going to put up the entire books as that would take you all forever to read, but I thought I'd share some excerpts from some of my favourites:
I was born in the desert.
It was in the great sandstone quarry under the cliffs of Ar-Hauza, where the sun beat down without rest and bleached the desert white as bone. The taskmasters of Ar-Hauza did not spare their whips. My pregnant mother collapsed at her work, pushing stone-sleds up and down the quarry. The lashes bit into her until the masters saw that the sled had fallen backwards and crushed her leg under its immense weight. That is how she gave birth.
I knew only that I was alive.
Ask a sailor, any sailor, about how he finds his position among one of the vast oceans of our world. What a foolish question! he will tell you. By the Sword, we use the sun and the stars!
Ask him, then, what he does when the sky is overcast. What are his units of measurement. How does he KNOW where he is, and not merely GUESS with fingers hopefully crossed. And there, our sailor will hesitate.
This problem has plagued mariners since the first row-boat was put to sea. The World of Ahkranox extends infinitely in all directions, and this infinity is our greatest problem: it leaves us wanting for a frame of reference, any solid point upon which to base a proper cartographical effort. Indeed, when even the stars may change on occasion, we know of only one true constant. The Sword of Ahkranox itself.
The throne room was silent and empty as the King of Kings took his seat. It accommodated him for the first time in a hundred years, like an old friend gone too long.
He had sent the others away, to let him think. Even Shai was too much of a distraction. It had actually been rather funny, watching Kal-Kantus and his Council shuffle out of the room. If anything, being dismissed by the King of Kings alive and unmolested frightened them more than a certain, gruesome death.
So he sat, and he thought. Later he would try his hand at the affairs of state. He intended to learn and make them his own. He wanted to become a King in more than just name. Kings conquered, that was true in any story, but they did more than just that. They ruled. The stories always left that part out. Now -- for the first time -- he thought about a ruler's responsibility to his people.
I assume, by the time this reaches you, you received Kroz's last. I can't believe he took his own life. The coward! He should at least have gone down fighting!
What you wrote about Valla-Raj's note is very disturbing. I remember too well. She had a chunk of red-hot metal in her chest, going in one end and out the other. Smelling like meat and burning hair . . . By the Sword, if she's still alive, what could they be doing to her? I've seen every form of torture known to man over the years, but I can only imagine what those bastards are capable of!
I've asked around a bit, pressed some of my sources, and it seems those 'Gladiatori' are definitely bad news. There are men who'd stab their own mothers in the back for a small fee who lose all powers of speech if you mention that name. Just knowing about them seems enough to put the shits up people. No one, and I mean no one, is brave enough to mess with them. Except us. What in the name of all that's holy have I gotten us into?
A Brief History of Heretical Beliefs
subsequently Purged by the Holy Canons of the Sword
Authored by Clergyman Sount; Transcribed, Acolyte Nista
NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO OUTSIDE LIBRARIES
POSSESSION BY UNINITIATED IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED AND PUNISHABLE BY DEATH
[[THE FINITE THEORY]]
Written in 764 AG by an anonymous Acolyte, perhaps even a Clergyman, the Finite Theory came into the world as a number of printed pamphlets distributed around the Grey Tower monastery. It spread like wildfire to the neighbouring towers until local elders took action and handed the matter over to the Order of Canons.
The theory states that if the World of Ahkranox is a product of the Sword of Ahkranox, then nothing in the World can be capable of harming the Sword, due to a concept the author called 'balance of energy.'
In a small corner, in a small house, in a small village, in a small valley, in a small kingdom, there lived a Man.
He was not large, so the accommodations did not bother him. His needs were few. Every night, the family who lived in the house would leave him a bowl of milk and something good to eat. He liked the family, for the father was a cobbler who worked hard to provide for his gentle wife and loving children. They treated the Man well, and in return, he kept them safe. He did this because he was the Damfa of that house, standing guard against all the terrors that lurk in the night.
When the Breath Stealer came whispering through the windows, the Man snuck around and threw cloths over the children's faces, so the Breath Stealer could not sneak into their sleeping mouths. It slunk away, defeated.
When the Vampire came flying bat-like down the chimney, with a thirst for pure and innocent blood, the Man lit a fire in the hearth and stirred the logs into a roaring flame. The Vampire shrieked and cursed and fled, singed and hungry.
It was a lovely morning. Afternoon dew sparkled on the heads of flowers and bent every blade of grass with its weight. Bolyar took in the heady scent of it and watched the sun set over the castle battlements, its golden light falling gently on the severed heads decorating each crenellation.
"Beautiful," he whispered, satisfied.
The only blemish on this perfect scene was the siege camp sitting just outside catapult range. Hundreds of campfires belching black smoke into the sky. It rather spoilt the view, all things considered. It was going to have to go.
They won’t listen, I could scream until I was blue in the face, but greed blinds them to the danger. Even my wife thinks I’m paranoid, that I’m holding onto the often told ghost stories from my father, a man who was there when they originally closed the mines.
It’s never been a rich city, but Nayanth is home. There’s nothing like coastal air in the morning, a run along the golden sands. The people are friendly - at least they used to be. Now, I’m hesitant to leave the house.
That mine closed years ago, sealed for a reason. My father, rest his soul, feared the day that mine would open again. He once told me it was the only reason I’d grown up here, so he
could be sure those mines stayed shut. He’d be heartbroken, knowing I couldn’t prevent it.
When Kharthack discovered the mines contents he was willing to pay a king’s ransom. He wanted the colbak, a rare mineral Kharthack sought to fashion weapons. It wasn’t until the mine
reopened that I realised the true extent of it. This colbak was stronger and harder to mine. Large chunks couldn’t be broken by the strongest of Nayanth’s men. I shudder to think of the
weapons it could produce.
Sometimes I can’t help wondering if what I do makes a difference. I keep thinking of Nayanth, the evil sealed inside, waiting in hibernation to be released. Even after two decades I feel like it’s still a part of me.
Now I sit alone with my thoughts, reflecting on what happened at Mondowlith. There were many good people there, too many, and they didn’t deserve to be swallowed by the monster that has
become Kharthack’s army.
I thought I could turn the tide. That somehow I could influence the outcome by inspiring the men around me, a delusion I have embraced and fantasised about since I witnessed the chosen One Bae-Aern achieve similar deeds.
I’ve never felt such a rush of power than when I fought alongside the Chosen One, the energy energised me beyond my normal capabilities. If only I had such power, it might have been different.
I set out to help those incapable of helping themselves, but as I write this I lament my lack of power more than the fate of those left behind at Mondowlith. Maybe that’s why I saved her,
maybe that’s why I took her for my own.
The contrast fascinated him enough to distract from his ale. Swirling the remaining contents, Kalan downed it without taking his eyes off her. Surrounded by drunken warriors, rowdy locals, and begging peasants, Nayzfeer sat alone in the corner. Orbs of lights erupted and dispersed from her hand, illuminating her crystal blue eyes each time. There was something magical about her that had nothing to do with her command of the ancient arts.
“Whatever you’re thinking, Kalan, chances are the rest of the men are thinking it as well,” Lipur-Nuj commented, Kalan embarrassed to have been caught staring. “What’s so great about her anyway?” Razell growled, Lipur putting the youngster in a headlock. “I’ll let you know when you’re old enough.”
So yeah, some awesome work there! I wish I could show you more, but we have about 100 pieces together for the game so far, and some of it needs to be saved for when you're playing the actual game!
Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed these little snippets. We'll be back soon with more updates!