The Ruin of Shorelocke: Arrival

Avatar Author: Jim Stitzel I dabble a little in a lot of things -- writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I'm a full-time code-wrangler and a part-time farmer with 40 acres, a lot of animals, and far, far too much to do. Read Bio

Eifan Craille stands quietly in the ruins of the old town, leaning heavily on his staff. He is tired, weary from his long journey, but he has come too far to rest now. He permits himself several deep breaths. The salty sea air refreshes him, but only a little. He pulls his cloak closer, shivering lightly in the damp, chilly air and surveys the scene before him.

Shorelocke. Hardly an original name, the town had once been a sea port, providing one of the only routes for merchants to deliver their goods in-land by way of a clever lock and dam system.

Now, though, Shorelocke is a ghost town. The stone block buildings haven fallen into disrepair, and the cloying scent of rot and decay hangs over everything.

Now that he is here, Eifan is uncertain where to begin his search. Off to his left, a low stone shelter with a dark, yawning opening seems to whisper to him. To his right, a broken tower flickers with torchlight, despite no visible source. And immediately before him, an open plaza etched in mystic runes.

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Oh no! This story doesn't have a prequel. Want to fill in the blanks and write one?

Comments (8 so far!)

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  1. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    I want to experiment with an idea for this series. Does anyone remember those old Choose Your Own Adventure series? I’d like to do something similar here. The difference is that I want you, my readers, to decide which direction the story goes by “voting” in the comments. Each section of this story, Eifan will be faced with a choice. It will be your job to comment on which choice he should make. The one that gets the most votes will determine which way the story goes. Clear enough? Good.

    So, what should Eifan explore: the shelter, the tower, or the plaza?

    Also, feel free to suggest anything else you’d like Eifan to explore. I can’t guarantee he’ll have time (he is, after all, likely to find his hands full), but I’m definitely open to suggestions.

  2. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    That said, I may have to flip a coin (roll a d3) in order to continue this story…

  3. Avatar HSAR

    Interesting concept! I didn’t see this when it was first posted.

    Let’s have a look at the shelter.

  4. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Yeah, it fell off the front page really quickly. The Ficly-a-day challenge causes some serious turnover. :)

    And since you’re the only other commenter on this, we’ll send Eifan to the shelter. I’ll see if I have time to do that this afternoon. :)

  5. Avatar Robert Quick

    I saw this and I thought it was a very cool idea but I hadn’t had the time to comment before now. I do think you should let us know how many days we have to vote. Despite the story a day, there aren’t that many people active right now.

    Normally, I think present tense is awkward (it took me a long time to get used to the Hunger Games) but I think you’ve done a bang up job here. Eifan is mysterious and I look forward to finding out more about him and this place, this Shorelocke he has found himself at. I will second HSAR’s vote for the shelter.

  6. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    That’s a good idea, Robert. Usually I just assume that once a story falls off the front page, it falls into obscurity, anyway.

    Glad you enjoyed the use of present tense. It’s not a form I like to use all the time, but it just seemed right for this idea.

  7. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    The ending did feel like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ sort of moment. “…cloying scent of rot and decay hangs over everything” was my favorite line from the piece. Great scene with lots of magic to it.

    I’m fine witha trip to the shelter as well.

  8. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Heh, I need to come back to this one. I had good intentions with the series — and then life just kinda got busy…

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