Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's A Fight Scene Day

Remember in the late 90's/early 2000's when your favorite shows would sometimes devote an entire episode just to highlights of earlier episodes to distract from a lack of new material, before Youtube and Netflix ruined that cop-out for them?

Anyways, that's not exactly what I'm doing right now, but, this being my tenth post and all, I wanted to make it special and showcase a few of the fight scenes from my book.

Here's a clip of one near the end of Chapter Six, between father and son:

“I doubt you have worked much with a blade,” Matufinn began, “but not to worry; much more than mere swordsmanship will be tested here.”

Unable to breathe a sigh of relief, Morlen said, “As long as this is the day’s last lesson.”

But in response, Matufinn’s eyes gave a stinging rebuke, “The lessons reveal themselves for the taking, some today even when we were not expecting.”

“We?” Morlen emphasized. But it went unheeded.

“Ready your sword,” said Matufinn, offering no quarter.

Morlen dug his feet, clinging to the steel tightly with both hands as if it were timber in a flood. When Matufinn swung down vertically, he quickly raised it above his head to parry, receiving a blow that shook him to his core, reverberating through now jelly-like arms to his buckling knees. The sword swung again at his left this time, bouncing just a few inches from his head as he darted to block, ringing with a deafening note that numbed his face. Then Matufinn’s blade swept towards his right leg, whose worn out cloth narrowly escaped a new shred as he swung dangerously close to defend.

“Faster,” Matufinn urged as their blades met, thrusting forward now to stab. Sweeping across his front, Morlen knocked the strike aside, leaving Matufinn’s guard open.

“Good. Attack!”

With all his might, Morlen swung down diagonally, connecting with nothing but air as Matufinn dodged so quickly he all but vanished, coming at him again as though to fell a tree with an axe. It took all his strength to block the tremendous blow, staggering several feet backwards from the force.

“Again,” Matufinn spurred him on. “Attack.”

Tightening his grip, eyes like daggers, Morlen charged forward unafraid, aiming the point of his blade at Matufinn while his feet stamped the ground, closer, closer, and then… an airy thrust countered by a kick to his backside that sent him stumbling. Turning around in confused frustration, he saw Matufinn glaring at him with that look he despised so much, trying to make him feel an inner presence he was now at a loss to detect.

“Are you trying to fight me with your sword? With your arms?” Matufinn mocked. “These alone will not help you.”

Morlen grunted scornfully through another advance, swinging the blade his entire arm-span in yet another disheartening empty slice as Matufinn seemed to flow like water around his guard, shoving him aside.

“Do you think your blade is a threat to me?” Matufinn jeered from beside him. “Do you think I will waver beneath the force of your stroke? I am already gone before it is thrown.”

Anger building, Morlen thrust his elbow upward towards Matufinn’s biting voice, hitting nothing yet again as a painful kick to the small of his back scuttled him forward.

“No, Morlen,” Matufinn said sternly.

The day’s throbbing bruises to his patience were finally seeing formidable contenders upon his flesh. He was simply not fast enough, not strong enough. Whatever speed Matufinn demanded he summon, he surely could not. But, he yearned, if only…

Matufinn’s sword swooped in again, its cold clang against his own sending a comforting bolt of gold bursting through the recesses of his soul, offering strength, speed, all that he needed to change, to be better.

He could feel its soft metal cradled against him, pulsing with his splintering breaths. He was not strong enough on his own, not fast enough.


Suddenly the flash vanished from his mind as he frantically ducked Matufinn’s blade, barely keeping his ear unscathed. Lunging forward again on the offensive, he held his weapon close against his body this time, anticipating Matufinn’s quick evasion. As though preparing to swing forward, he reared back but only half executed, and Matufinn took the bait, bolting behind him directly in the path of his deliberate strike, which he quickly had to block off-guard. Stumbling ever so slightly, Matufinn tried to pass it off as a sidestep, but Morlen was not fooled.

Sensing this, Matufinn gave him the faintest nod, face still hard as stone. “Good,” his voice rose. “Now, faster!” He charged forth and struck high, driving Morlen to duck again with a low swing and bitter grimace when the flat of Matufinn’s blade painfully whipped his back in an easy hurdle over the jab.

Quick to regain his footing, Morlen spun around to find Matufinn coming at him again and aimed to meet him head-on, striking only to be knocked aside. Turning once more, he sent sparks through the air with a sonorous clang that blocked the fast-returning blade, then lunged forth with a mighty slam of his shoulder into Matufinn’s chest, throwing a whistling upward slice that took off the bottom inch of his beard.

Here's part of an airborne fight from Chapter Sixteen:

“Down!” Morlen shouted, though Roftome was already well on his way, swooping below the molten volley to see that hundreds of Ferotaurs were resuming their smothering advance against Valeine’s cornered force, giving him a most creative idea as the initial blast faded to thick smoke without having followed their position.

“How would you feel about letting it have a better look at us?” he asked boldly, and Roftome’s pointed head turned upward to send him a suspicious look, one that slowly sharpened to clear understanding of his purpose in such a stunt.

“I feel it would be most unwise,” Roftome answered. “If you don’t keep your head low.” Then, without hesitation, they ascended closer to the approaching dragon, whose immense head cut from side to side through shrouding plumes in search of any telltale movement or scent, neither of which came until they darted directly in front of its face, and Roftome left no uncertainty to tales of his unmatched speed when they whipped around and shot in a flattening dive with the dwarfing predator holding tightly to their trail, its heart-stiffening call of death threatening to bleed their ears, though still unable to stall them as they led it over the snapping enemy masses, which pressed forward thirty yards or so from Valeine and her men.

“Ready… be ready…” Morlen’s voice rose while they bolted vertically down towards the flowing horned tide, feeling cold as the nearing creature sucked in all wind around them.

“Kill them!” blared Felkoth from above. “Kill them at once!”

Hearing the building storm at their heels, Morlen gripped hard to Roftome’s sides and acted quickly, “Now!” he yelled, and Roftome’s wings spread wide to level them out in a parallel run just over the charging line of Ferotaurs as the bubbling jet of flame struck exactly upon their abandoned path of descent, pulverizing scores of foes to ash at impact while obliterating hundreds more while it followed desperately behind their course, which skimmed above as many as possible despite the stifling heat at their backs, creating a high fiery blockade between the city’s defenders and all invading ground forces, whose middle ranks hollered when they found themselves trapped against their engulfed front.

Here's one more, from the book's climactic battle in Chapter Seventeen:

Needing not one second’s rest, Valdis released a deep guttural shout and threw a deadly slash that Felkoth held inches from his own throat with a ringing parry while pushing hard to wedge a gap between them, being shoved backwards himself as Valdis moved forward with a whistling slice of the spear’s base that flew just over his head when he ducked, stabbing out with the Dark Blade whose course Valdis batted narrowly past his flesh with a sweeping vertical block.

Thrusting down to impale Felkoth’s crouched form, Valdis’s attack only touched snow when Felkoth spun sideways to stand again while bringing the Dark Blade crashing down towards his head, meeting the Crystal Spear, which pried the sword wide off guard as Valdis then smashed his white-clenched fist into Felkoth’s pursed mouth, knocking him flat on his back.

Dazed by the unanticipated blow, Felkoth was quick to sit up with a disdainful spit of blood, but Valdis meant to finish him before he reached his feet, swinging the spear’s sharp-horned end like a swift axe for his skull, only for it to become entangled in slick black tufts of hair as Felkoth urgently dodged. Dragging him in like a netted fish, Valdis braced the spear between his left arm and body to pull Felkoth’s writhing head upward and drew a dagger sheathed at his hip, aiming its point for his captive’s exposed throat when Felkoth’s hand darted to take out a knife of his own, cutting his long knotted hair free while whipping his leg around to bash Valdis’s feet off the ground, dropping him with a loud clatter.

Raring on all fours to pounce, Felkoth prepared to drive his knife into the plated chest lying before him when Valdis kicked it out of his raised hand and rattled him sideways with the butt of his spear, both of them rolling fast to get up before the other.

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