Short Stories - Exiled Jack (+more)

Chains of Darkness - Tentacles (4/6)

Everything happened quickly, I saw the tentacles grabbing my tormentors. I retrieved my sword from the corpse of a dead man. I freed my hands and started to run. But the one-eyed man pointed his finger at me and the tentacles followed - as if he could talk to this thing. Does it even understand what a ‘finger’ is?

A blonde girl fell from the sky right on me, chained like me and furious - since she was also a prisoner, she is my ally then. There was no time to look for the key of her chains, I put her on my shoulder and ran - she was heavier and heavier. Eventually she turned into a giant, grabbed the tentacles of this thing and fought as equals.

I didn’t stop running. For the first time I am a game that someone is hunting.

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Chains of Darkness - Hunting (5/6)

As I was running through a dense thicket full of wild animals. I heard voices calling me to the middle of the forest. I came across two naked girls - it looked like a trap, but I couldn’t turn back. The girls started to grow fur, their fangs and claws came out.

In a wild fight they scratched and bit me many times, but isn’t steel blade a greater power?

When I dealt with them, they turned into humans again. One could still speak. She explained that the powerful sorcerer had summoned them here. Human sorcerer - she warned!
Impossible! It’s been a long time since I heard a man wield sorcery. That can’t be true.

I would sooner believe that rhinoceros can fly…

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Chains of Darkness - Darkness (6/6)

I have traveled the darkest parts of the underworld, dropped two men into an abyss that seems bottomless - one wrong step could cost a life - that is so precious here.

Finally I reached the gate, which is shrouded in a strange glow. A man in a hood walked through it. Is this the sorcerer I heard about? I waited for him to go away when I heard a whisper and baby cry.
At the edge of the gate lay the body of a woman who had walked halfway through it, half dead, but still holding the child. Somehow, she could still speak.

She said that only the living can pass through this gate and the Archive Keeper turns everyone into undead before releasing them - to enslave them… us. Escape through the gates means only death.
Real death. These are the chains of darkness…

Although I escaped from the chamber earlier, there was no blood coming from my wounds. Apparently I was changed anyway and the Underworld became my home. I took the baby and I will teach her how to survive so she can live and get out of this prison.
Evidently, life can escape death only by creating a new one.

I will call her Asbestos or Zophilia…

Did the legendary barbarian really reach the underworld and escaped, or was it just a rumor? We may never know, but we will meet the mysterious hooded man in the story of Ethernal Lock.

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Unused graphics :rofl:

Sometimes it takes more time to get one appropriate frame :camera_flash: than to write the whole story.


FutureFriend Unclothed (single/crossover)

I did not expect to write to you again.

The stranger saved me from certain death and burning light of the desert sun.

He claims that I am important in the future. He hardly speaks, but when he starts, he talks about a war that will swallow all mankind. He couldn’t explain to me who we were fighting against, only that we were losing.

This man has no name, just some number. He is not sleeping, not eating. Did I mention he’s been naked since we first met? It doesn’t matter, he’s a real friend, strong as a rhino and cares for me like a big brother.

When we get out of this damn land, I’m gonna come home, Mom.
I know what you will ask: Why didn’t the gods send you some nice girl from the future?
I’d like to know that myself…

:spiral_notepad: I have to change the order of future stories. I will probably change a few words here and there also.

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This is a continuation of Thieves Love / Sahana story :writing_hand:

Corrupted Archive - New path / Unbreakable rules (1/7)

I wanted to be the greatest thief in the world, but the place I ended up in has no riches, only infinite darkness. I lost all my dreams, passion and love. It’s time to forget my past life and reach out for more than I have ever desired - to gain true power. Vengeance will be sweet and as endless as the abyss of the underworld.

The Archive Keeper that tries to rule this place saw my potential on the very first day. He has given me the task of exploring the sites of ancient power and gathering as much information as possible. Fool gave me a map and blank scrolls. I am supposed to write down every detail and thought. He’s just trying to cheat me, but this world is no different from the one before. I’ll pretend to play by the rules and work for him, but keep all the knowledge to myself, then burn everything and leave.

Underworld! Are you ready for Sahana?

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Corrupted Archive - All nothing / Preparation and rush (2/7)

I knew it wouldn’t be easy to survive. I had nothing, that’s why I created my first weapon myself - it will be more difficult with clothes. I killed some unfortunate man, although I know that Archive Keeper will revive him, I don’t know if I would like to return to the circular chamber ever again.
The only alternative is to serve gods fighting for domination - same slavery without any difference.

I tried to bake some human flesh, but vomited just looking at it. My belly is so empty.

Few plants grow underground. Hunger pushed me to eat some unfamiliar herbs that luckily sharpened my senses, giving me advantage I needed. Now I steal equipment and food from the locals. I watched some of the rituals they perform here. The course is brutal, but apparently it helps them survive in the volcano by increasing their endurance. I have drawn what the herbs and ingredients look like. I’ll gather as much equipment as possible and hide it - maybe I’ll have to come back here.

It’s so hot that it’s hard to hold a weapon with bare hands.

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Maybe your best so far. This is one of my favorite ever.
Other than that, again your photography talent in this game is unique.
You rock🤟


Hey @stelagel, thanks for the edifying comment. And on the occasion of the 100th :100: :heart: like for the thread, I am sharing more unused screenshots (from the Corrupted Archive story of course).

I hope to publish another page tomorrow, the rest will unfortunately be coming next week. Sometimes it is difficult to divide time between the life of a barbarian and a writer - pencils can be split with a sword, but I would not try to cut myself in half :writing_hand: :crossed_swords: :broken_heart: - I don’t know if it will go symmetrically straight over the nose. :sweat_smile:


Corrupted Archive - Price of knowledge / Old sands (3/7)

I let my blood drain from the body, passed out and plunged into the pool of blood - completing the ritual. To the elements of the ritual I have seen, I added the previously known herbs and the blood of animals that were not thought of by the local people.

I absorbed the strength of this place. I feel like I could rip enemies open with my bare hands, eat their warm live raw body. I want to run barefoot on lava and play wildly with first human or animal I see. I don’t feel like myself anymore.

I left the great panther domain, ending up in the equally warm sands of sandstone red desert. It’s harder to find water here - you can’t lick hot rocks like you would in a volcano.

Since people are hiding here like cowards, searching for knowledge can take years, which I don’t want to sacrifice. Although my stay in the land of the serpent might be a good lesson in patience…
I doubt I’d like to learn that.

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Corrupted Archive - Wet place / Bare snack (4/7)

This part of the underground is refreshing, wet and beautiful. I found it hard to believe, but I didn’t need to take a breath even once, and I’ve been swimming here for a couple of days now. Evidently the place can fill people with power. The question is: Is it possible to harness this power somehow and take it with you?

Until the sharp edges of the rocks ripped my clothes off, I realized that I am not a fish. A crocodile house is a trap, not a place to get power - unless it’s really well hidden.

From the very beginning, I felt watched, although I didn’t see other people here.
The dominant beast must have a taste for me. I don’t want to become a bare snack for the underwater god - I want to become one!

Hope the beast doesn’t get hungry until I reach the surface.

:information_source: Publishing on weekends :mailbox_with_mail: Let’s just pretend the weekend has already started. :shushing_face:

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Corrupted Archive - Turning back / Not the stars (5/7)

The path I have taken does not seem to be of benefit to me, so I decided to go back through the underworld red desert. Nobody found my hidden chests. I have sand in my mouth and every other gap or slit - again.

In the distance I saw a mirage - ice here in the desert? It had to be an illusion, and yet it was not. It was then that I understood what flickered in the cave ceiling.

These are not stars, but crystals and minerals, as well as black ice - it is noticeably cold and you can smell magic from it. The ice vein stretches through the hot regions. If it doesn’t melt in such heat, I already know where I should be looking for more power - in the territory of the ice giants.

I will follow the ice like my lucky star in the sky.

:grey_question: How do you take a picture of the sky so that it looks like underground? Just take any picture of the sky and convince everyone that they are really looking at :eyes: something else. Let the truth not blind you and your knowledge! - it worked with the flat earth theory :man_student:

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Corrupted Archive - Cold searches / Bad luck (6/7)

The first days were tough, the cold here is as deadly as the lava heat, but not everything is as it might seem. No warm clothing can provide protection against the supernatural winter - ancient knowledge does, and there’s a lot of it here.

Running half-naked on the ice is not a shame, but a sign of true power. Everyone should look at me with respect and fear!

Unfortunately I overestimated my knowledge. Spells and potions don’t last forever. I felt weak and as hungry as ever - passed out, fell off a cliff.

I woke up in a settlement of ice giants, they treated me like a pet, played like a doll, but they cared for my needs like caring parents - I was badly injured after the fall, and only after a year did I regain enough strength to escape.

Just like from my parents, I also ran away from the giants. But this time I took more than I expected. In that one year, the whole world has changed for me. I decided to explore the deepest caves in the underworld next…

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Corrupted Archive - Backpack / The greatest sorcerer (7/7)

The backpack weighs more and more, I can barely stand on my feet. I don’t know who would like to live here of their own free will, yet people build bridges and hanging fortresses here.

If I want to go through a spider’s domain, I have to find an outcast they call…
“Block Spammer” - just by the name, I hate him already. And don’t think I will waste my time to persuade him to help, I will kill him and take the rope bridge or a horizontal elevator with me.

I hope Anu won’t leave the underworld without me. I met him in the ice giants camp - they were afraid of him like fire. He decided to teach me and revealed how to escape from this dark place. In return, I promised to write the last pages I got from the Archive Keeper.

Anu-Iheb will be glad that I have all the ritual ingredients in my backpack - my only companion.

According to what Anu-Iheb said, I have to take the spark of life from another person. My fate was such that I gave birth to the Baron’s daughter while I was with the giants. It is enough to sacrifice her life to return to the world above, but… being here, in front of the gate, I have doubts.

I have changed my priorities more than once - I can do it again!

I’m not looking for revenge anymore, I don’t care about the world, the gods and the Archive Keeper or any scrolls. I am not looking for knowledge anymore, I have gained it and I will use it - I will drink every potion and perform every ritual that will make me stronger and help me resist death, go through the gate with my daughter safe. I’ll cut all the sacred symbols on my skin, and all because of love - the greatest magic in the universe. I’ll do it before Anu-Iheb arrives.

I am the greatest sorcerer in the world and I am ready to prove it now!

Sadly, Sahana could not describe what happened next, however soon, besides Anu-Iheb, some barbarian also appeared nearby…

:spiral_notepad: The Last Love Letter will be coming soon as a bonus to Corrupted Archive story. :mailbox_closed:

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