Damian Crowley: Part 4

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Damian Crowley: Part 4

Post  Jack Napier on Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:19 am

This story takes place during the night after returning to Sandpoint with the Bugbear Ranger as prisoner. “Jack” sleeps soundly in his bed at the Rusty Dragon. Level 4 reached!

-=-=-=-

Due Process

In a dream, Damian is in an office building of sorts. He is being led by a raven-haired woman dressed smartly yet strangely conservatively in black. They walk past cubicles with fearsome quasits, mephitis, and tieflings pushing paper. The “clack-clack” of the woman’s heels on the hard stone floors mixed with the sound of shuffling paper and monsters’ grumbles is rhythmic and hypnotic. The sounds, sights and smells feel a little off in this place. The woman ushers him through a door which reads “Department of Infernal Affairs”

“Mr. Grimluck will see you now,” she says, adjusting her dark-rimmed spectacles and hiding her face under her long black hair. She’s fidgeting and avoiding eye-contact. Damian can’t seem to get a good look at her face.

The smell of cigar smoke fills the room and through the haze Damian recognizes the face of the devil that has haunted his dreams before. Grimluck, smoking and hunched over in his chair, is behind a large desk that is covered in stacks of papers, and surrounded by piles upon piles of tomes. An extremely old “Employee of the Century” certificate is framed on the wall and what appears to be a ghastly and perverse family portrait sits next to a cigar box and is all but falling off the cluttered desk.

“You again?” Damian snaps. “Why do you keep invading my dreams? Don’t you have anything better to do?”

“Why is it that you humans always presume that it is we devils who are invading your dreams and not you invading our reality? Sit down.”

Damian saunters in and lounges in the chair. He nearly puts his feet up on the devil’s desk but thinks the better of it when he sees the devil’s glare.

“Will there be anything else, sir?” the woman respectfully inquires.

“No, you’ve done enough.” Grimluck spits.

She quickly leaves with the sound of a few clacks and some fluttering. The devil turns his attention back to Damian who is examining his finger nails for dirt and removing any he finds with prestidigitation.

“You look unfazed by all this.”

“I just expected something a little more glamorous for the headquarters where devils scheme and wile. The extra-planar seems extra-plain, that’s all,” says Jack, looking up from his hands and reclining a little further.

“We’re all simply civil servants here. This is Hell; not one of your overly grandiose dreams of fantasy. Let’s just take a look at your file, shall we?” His brow furrows as he reads from a large tome, puffing on his cigar. “Damian Crowley… or is it Jack Napier or any one of these cute nicknames of yours?”

Damian smirks and emphatically states “A rose by any other na –“

“Shut up,” interrupts the devil. “It says here that you’ve mostly been using the power I gave you to make your enemies slip and fall?”

“As fun as it would be to hit enemies in the face with missiles of magic, this is funny AND effective. Not to mention the many other practical uses of the slick.”

“Right, fine… but your file goes on to tell me that you’re actually HELPING PEOPLE with your abilities? This doesn’t happen often, and I can’t say I approve of it.”

“Well, the ladies love a hero, and…”

“Wouldn’t it be more fun to use your powers to burn things? Or people? The Paladin, for example.” Grimluck grins widely and exhales a cloud of smoke through his dangerous-looking teeth.

“Burn Ulric? He’s not THAT bad!”

“HE’S NOT BAD AT ALL! That’s the problem!”

“Not as I see it. If you don’t like how I’m using my powers why not just take them away?”

“Due process, kid. Clause #867 – Free Will – The contract states that the powers delivered are yours to develop and use as you please. This clause has plagued everybody down here, as well as upstairs, for as long as souls have been collected. You humans are a frustrating bunch.”

“We do what we can. You might want to rethink your rules and laws though.”

“Whatever, kid. The Law is the Law. Night’s-a-wastin’! What else do you plan to do with your magic?”

“Fly? Clone myself many times? Oh, and move dragons… with my mind!”

“Hmph! A little beyond you… for now at least.”

“Well, I always wish I had more time to paint… or simply the ability to do things more quickly. I really like the magic contained in this wand I have. Being able to paint the world with moving, magical images would be great!”

“Excellent. I’ve seen clever men rob banks and assassinate kings before anyone took notice using spells such as that. You should try it.”

“Or I could entertain children or fool stupid bad guys, saving the day again and again?”

Grimluck, annoyed and unconvinced with this human’s unlikely do-gooder zeal, soldiers on. “Anything else to improve your lifestyle?”

“I’m tired of having to lug things around town and then getting ripped off when we have magic items identified. It doesn’t look so hard.”

“Sure. You can do that now. Whatever… and HEY!” The devil stops as he notices the man mage handing a cigar from the now open box on his desk.

“Got a light?” Damian asks as the cigar reaches his mouth.

“Get out of my office, kid.”

-=-=-

Damian wakes up suddenly due to a figure of light dancing on his pillow glowing with the brightness and intensity of a torch. Ka, on her perch, crows painfully and attempts to shield her eyes with her wings. She scolds him. “Keep up the crap and I may just file for a transfer. That’s if I don’t get FIRED first. Turn off the light!”

Damian chuckles as he dismisses his new Dancing Lights spell. “Goodnight, Ka.”


Last edited by DamianCrowley on Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jack Napier

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Criticism?

Post  Jack Napier on Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:06 am

Just curious as to what you guys think of the storytelling so far.. Aside from pointing out obvious influences and misspelled improperly (I went to a French school for years, damnit. Sometimes it comes out in strange places due to word similarities with their English counterparts. Spellcheck didn't pick it up because apparently it is an acceptable spelling for love affair.)

I jest - I know my audience, and I try to bring incorporate elements of our game and discussions into my writing because of that. I hope some of the stuff I come up with can add a little something to the game, and make it a little harder to leave my character to die if he's gotten into some trouble. Smile

While it was hinted that characters may end up going to Hell in the future, I hope that whatever interpretations of Hell presented in the campaign books don't completely negate the possibility that infernal bureaucrasies such as the one I presented may exist in our fantasy world's fantasy Hell.
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Re: Damian Crowley: Part 4

Post  Winter on Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:46 am

I think it's pretty cool. I'm a decent dramatic writer and my vocabulary is quite good, but I think your background is much funnier than mine, and blessed with a certain panache, as well, to honor your french schooling.

Regarding the Hells, I think I the idea of an infernal bureaucracy is pretty apt. I don't know if I have much to add myself, but as usual, I can link someone else's creative thought that is pretty brilliant. These guys are still working in 3.5 but I daresay they've done more free work on these matters than most paid designers.

The Gates of Hell!
http://www.hekla.nu/The_Gates_of_Hell/
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Re: Damian Crowley: Part 4

Post  Jack Napier on Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:21 am

Thanks for the kind words. I've been enjoying your backstory as well. Great descriptions make the events easy to visualize and the material is appropriate for the druid class.

I try to inject humour into my backstory / developments as it is both my style and inherent to the character concept.

My only struggle is with how dialogue heavy the last few have been, and how it gets straining to write/read "he said." "replied" etc. even if I dig deep to find different ways of stating it. I tried hiding it a bit more in this 4th story, but for the next one I may switch over to a more theatrical script style.

-=-=-=-=-
Example:

Damian: [looking smug, he saunters over to the demonic cleric] "Hey, Nualia. Nice monster hand and belly scar. Can I buy you a drink?" [he smiles shoots her a wink and gun]

Nualia: [detecting good] I'm sorry, I only like guys of evil or neutral allignment.

Damian: [feeling rejected and hurt] Ow. My feelings.
-=-=-=-=--

Or I might not. Reading the names again and again might be just as bad. And [directions] are much more limiting to the style.

I think I'll check out some of my favourite books and actively study how the writers present conversations in order to improve.

I've been enjoying the oppertunity to write creatively again.
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