Fantasy writing piece: The Ice Shaman Pt:1


New Member
Hey - just a long piece of writing I did. Its in a very rough copy. You dont have to read it all... its split into 2 chapters and this is the first part.
Turin silently crept along the forest floor, ignoring the many ants that tore into his flesh. His mind was focused on the meal to come, the rich and delicate taste of fresh venison. His mouth started to salivate, and his grip on his bow automatically tightened. The young red deer continued to snuff in the bushes, searching for saplings, oblivious to the danger behind it.

He expertly notched his hand-crafted arrow, and aimed with a practiced eye. Turin aimed for the organs of the deer as it munched at a small oak sapling it had found. He let the arrow loose but it fell off target by a large distance, as a blood-curdling howl, the one of an animal effected by some disease, or possessed by a spirit demon echoed through the forest, chilling Turin to the marrow. The young deer bolted off, obviously frightened by the howl and the noise of Turin's jagged arrow piercing into the nearby oak tree's thick bark.

Turin jumped up to his feet, the moonlight dancing on his rough form. He could hear their padded paws pounding the forest floor as they tenaciously chased any animal in sight. This was not the first time that the wolf pack acted strange. They ravaged the forest, killing any animals they came across; even humans. Turin ran as fast as he could through the undergrowth in the direction of his camp, which was quite some distance north of where he was. The rabid snarling of the wolves pursuing Turin got closer. He dodged fallen tree branches, jumping to-and-fro over obstacles. His surroundings became a blur of green and brown in his adrenaline-filled rush. He thought he felt the wolves teeth snapping at his ankles, but before he could tell he was in his fortified den. He ran in and swiftly pulled the makeshift gate shut. Turin hastily gathered some twigs and branches, setting them up in the position he was so thouroughly taught in. He immediately struck his flint with force, and with great luck the dried twigs at his fireplace immediately burst into flames. Turin added larger sticks, making the fire blaze with an uncontrollable and primal rage. Turin crouched, and did a quick gesture of protection and safekeeping while sitting under the small overhang that was his sleeping place. caught the eye of one of the wolves as they ran past his den, its bloodthirsty and maddened gaze freezing him in place. He dared not move, as if a shaman had cast a spell of binding over him. The beast ran at Turin's crudely crafted wooden fence, trying to jump over it. It gnawing the fence, effectively destroying it. Turin picked up a single arrow and his bow from where he had sat, notched the arrow in place, aimed for the snarling wolve's head. and let the projectile loose. The arrow hit true, creating an explosion of blood as the arrow pierced the wolve's eye, instantly killing it. It fell to the ground - a lifeless heap of flesh and fur, returned to the earthmother. The rest of the pack eyed Turin warily, and just as Turin thought he was dead they continued on their chase, baying and snarling as they went.

Something very odd was going on, something that was unbalancing the natural order. Why would a wolf attack Turin so violently and without provokation? Turin had been struggling to hunt this summer, lucky if he found any deer and lived almost solely off plants and dried meats from years before. The druids of Turin's tribe told of a terrible drought, but not any drought; one brought by the great ice lord, Isen. The stories of Turin's ancestors went that Isen was once a mortal man that was the son of the leader of a great tribe, one so great that many of the smaller tribes joined it in fear of being destroyed. Isen was a mighty warrior, son of the great war chief Abhors. Isen being twenty two winters old, fell in love with a village girl, and devoted himself to her. They had two sons together, and those sons grew up strong and healthy. Isen's Father - Abhors saw this, and a slow rage and formed over the years for Isen and his family, as well as a growing paranoia that his son was trying to succeed him. Why should he have to watch his son enjoy his life and have a family while he withered away and was eventually replaced, or murdered by his own son? No, he did not like it. In the middle of the night, when everyone was asleep, Abhors stole into Isen's lavishly decorated tent. He held his ice-cold steel blade firmly, tightening his grip for reassurance. He, one by one, slit the throats of Isen's sons and wife, their blood making puddles resembling spilled wine. Abhors ran back to his war tent in a hurry after the deed was done.

The next morning, Isen woke up, calling on his sons to get ready for the days training. He walked through the room, and noticed muddy footprints trailing inside. His eyes hovered over the blood trailing from each of his family, and the truth did not quite hit him instantly. His breathing slowed, and it was said his eyes where so cold and emotionless that they turned to ice. He noticed the war chief’s ring, sitting in a pool of blood by the bed of his wife. Isen understood what had ocurred, and an uncontrollable vengeance grew in his heart. He pulled his spear off its stand on the wall, and headed to the war chief’s tent, his intentions clear. He slaughtered his father as well as anyone he laid eyes on including the slave workers and his tribes royal guards. It is said that Isen's heart became so cold and empty that he became one with the bitter and bleak winter, using its force destructively to wreak havoc on anything living, and tainting the rest with a hate as strong as his own.

It is also said that thousands of moons ago, Isen's great warband fought internally, the individual tribes seeing Abhors' death as an indication for freedom from Isens vindictive rule. For weeks they fought, until only a few survived, maddened by the burden of their experiences. This great battle place is called Ruins of Therta, as that is what the great tribe was called - The tribe of Therta. The great druids of Turin's tribe say that Isen hides in an ancient ice cave, on the very top of the Aessa peninsula using the elements to batter down anything still living. This was the cause of the great cold, of the maddened wolf packs - or so the druids said.

Turin shook himself, the weariness tearing into his being. For three nights and three days he had not slept, eating malum berries when he felt himself nodding off. He poked at his fire, and decided that it was safe to leave his haven. Opening the crudely crafted and weak wooden gate, Turin headed in the direction of his tribes camp, back south. The forest was eerily silent, not present was the familiar chirping of the crickets, the toots of the owl, nothing. Still thinking about the great and ancient tale of Isen, Turin felt the ground beneath him dissapear. Falling to the floor of the expertly made trap in a heap, Turin cursed under his breath for his misfortune. The trap was about three meters tall and four wide, he doubted he could escape without help. Large wooden spikes stuck out of the ground - the trap was known by all indigenous tribes to the area as an annict trap - a death trap.

Strangely, the pit was covered with soft fur, and Turin looked underneath him. The stench hit his nostrils so hard he almost fainted. Carcasses of wolves where piled up in a massive heap, creating a festering pile of rotting fur and flesh and bones. Turin’s head was spinning. He stumbled towards the wall of the trap, reached it, and tripped. His head hit a solid object and he fell into the festering pile that was his floor, unconscious.

A ray of sunlight beamed across Turin's face, bringing him out of his sleep. Familiar smells wafted into his nostrils, intoxicating him.

Turin groaned. His head was throbbing, and he was soaked in his own sweat. He had been taken into a dark and gloomy wooden hut, and had been put into a massive pile of wolf and deer skins. He looked around; recognising none of it. Sitting up, a wolf skull glared at him. It was hanging from the wall, adorned with intricate paintings and stones. The memories of the previous day hit him - the smell, the sickening smell – the rotting flesh, the inescapable and claustrophobic pit... Turin bent forward and retched, but nothing came out. He sat there for a few minutes, shaking. Finally he decided to get up. He tried his leg - but fell to his knees.

He drifted in and out of consciousness, the walls of the hunting hut blurry, the colours all mingled into one mass. He crawled as far as he could go out of the hut, and he felt a great overpowering sensation of cold. All that was familiar to him drifted away, like a log drifts down a river... He could hear the water, trickling gently - hypnotizing... urging him to let go... to give in to the temptation of eternal sleep. No! He would not! His father brought him up better; he was a hunter of the Thrasian tribe, son of Yariel, the tribe leader. Turin found a new strength and his anger for this invasive force grew. He floated back into consciousness, and found himself floating in the river Fulis Dekh, Fools death. The river was amply named, its steep muddy banks made sure nothing escaped and the icy fast flowing currents swept the aggressor along with a wild fury.

The spirits of Fulis Dekh are well known for hating all living things. Turin’s natural reaction was to let the river control him. He knew that if he struggled he would die. He let it carry him, for many minutes. Turin saw his chance – a fallen tree, just in his reach. At the last moment, Turin used all his strength to lunge out of the water and to clutch on to the tree. From there, he clambered up the fallen tree and fell on to the muddy bank, the mud larvae sucking his blood, but he did not care. He was on solid ground again. He kissed the mud, thankful that the Earth mother had saved him from the river spirits. Turin brushed the mud larvae off of his body, and started to limp in the direction of his tribe’s camp.

Upon arrival of the tribe’s lookout outposts, Turin noticed something strange. The thing that was so strange was that he heard no sounds. Usually you would hear the friendly mumble of families talking around a fire, or the birds singing their songs, or the coarse laughter of warriors telling each other jokes – but, nothing. He also noticed that the temperature had dropped greatly, and it was in the middle of spring. The wooden huts of his tribe where deserted, as was the area around the great gathering stone. Turin dashed forward, forgetting his injuries completely. What if something or someone had attacked his tribe? Had they fled? or... Turin shook the thought out of his head. They couldn’t! His tribe was the strongest and most known and respected tribe in the greater forest!

Turin crashed through the bushes and brambles, ignoring the arrow-sharp thorns that hooked and embedded themselves into his flesh. He noticed smoke trailed into the sky from the remains of most of the huts. He dodged and jumped over various obstacles - wood that lay abandoned, the carcass of an animal that was half skinned and rotting. Stumbling into his family’s tent, Turin fell forward. The smell... it was awful. Something had been decaying for a few days already. Turin looked around, but saw nothing. He started searching and upon opening the large storage box made of river reeds, Turin saw something horrific. the rancid smell overpowered Turin, so much that he almost vomited. His father and mother lay in a deathly embrace, their corpses hacked and mutilated beyond recognition. Turin stumbled backwards into a pile of hides, and hit his head on the wall of the hut. He ran outside, and retched up what little food that he had eaten. Kneeling down, Turin tried to processe what he had just seen.

“It can’t be...” Turin whispered, his voice hoarse, his body limp and his face ghostly white with horror. He fell down on his knees, tears flowed down his cheeks. He shouted to the forest, to the spirits that watched over him. Birds flew from their perches, animals scampered in the forest floor, seeking refuge from something unknown. Turin focused his rage and controlled his breathing, and promised himself he would avenge his families death. He started to pile a funeral fire, collecting as much wood as he could, and placed it within his families wooden hut. He then dragged his father out, taking off his father’s ornately designed and painted lamellar armour which was blessed by his tribes shamans, as well as his hunting knife and placing it carefully by a young spruce. Placing his fathers body back in the hut, Turin then lit the pyre and watched his childhood home engulfed in flames.

Sitting for hours, weeping at the memories of his family, Turin felt an uncontrollable anger take him over. Wearing his father’s war armour, Turin picked up the hunting knife and put it into his leather sheath. He then equipped the ivory bow, his grip tightening. He spoke some words of prayer and guidance, and prepared himself for the journey ahead. Turin was just a boy of fourteen moons, yet he knew it was his duty to avenge his parents death.

Turin ran out of sight of the camp. The night had come in, and all that was visable was the burning remains of the Thrasian tribe's camp on the horizon. The hunt was on...


Registered Member
Do you accept criticism? If so, go ahead and read on.

Wordy. There were MANY times where I heard you repeat the same idea 2 or three different times. Here's one of the first obtuse instances of this -- It must have been in the second or third paragraph: You tell us that he 'expertly' notches his arrow, then he uses his 'practiced' aim before he shoots.

First off... How the hell does any of this look? Second, we get it. He's good at shooting bow. This was conveyed to Me the second I realized he was in the woods with a bow. What would have been more appropriate would be to prove to me that he was good with a bow, by not having his arrow change direction after it leaves the bow:
He let the arrow loose but {CONJUCTION==TWO IDEAS. by the way, you're missing a comma before 'but'} it fell off target by a large distance, as a blood-curdling howl COMMA pointless description that has already been conveyed with the finely chosen euphamism, 'blood curdling' ... PERIOD
If I made a spelling mistake or three in this post... sue me. It's 2 in the fluffing morning.


Registered Member
Hey. That last one was a bit harsh, and not fully explained. However, I DO have advice that you might actually be able to draw from.
If you mind?
Your isn't inspiring because of the poor writing style, and extra words. I think what would help is if you try to keep in mind that you can convey ANY information in the text of your story. It doesn't have to be what someone reading could observe in person. It can be the thoughts and memories of your characters (not necessarily conveyed as their own thoughts), for instance. Also... adding in a short, very exclusive, detail about the processes taking place in the world helps tonnes.

I'm sorry to say that I'm too tired to think of a good example that relates to your work.