Categories
Short Stories

Interdictum Mundum

“So, wizards and heavy armor divisions, what can go wrong?”

Just as they were about to begin their charge forward, the distinct sound of a teleportation could be heard. A group of soldiers rushed towards the noise, but were stopped in their tracks by a shout of “Interdictum Utique Tempus”. An elaborately decorated scroll hung in the air, somehow blocking the approach of the soldiers.

The Lieutenant was dumbfounded as a short man in a business suit carrying a briefcase walked up the path towards his group. A closer look at his suit revealed what appeared to be rank insignia. “Combat Barrister First Class Stewart, here on the orders of Her Royal Highness.”

The Lieutenant cursed under his breath. He had heard rumors of these battle lawyers but had not encountered them in person before. “And so?” the Lieutenant inquired. “What exactly are we here for?”

He felt it was time to make something of the situation. It had been a long journey for him, having to battle some of the greatest wizard clans he had ever known, and a large part of that had come from learning what it meant to be a warrior in the wizarding world. His first thought was simply to stay put and allow his forces to advance until reinforcements were arrived.

Stewart gave a quick, but pointed look over his shoulder. “They have been working against the Ministry for years.” The Lieutenant paused for a moment and wondered what he had learned.

“You do realize that this is a very serious matter?”

“What we’re here for now is an interdict. We are here to destroy what the Ministry believes to be the most lethal magical weapon in the wizarding world, the Interdictum Mundum. It is being prepared by the Ministry to be used by a select few individuals at the end of this war.” The Lieutenant smiled at the idea in his mind until his voice turned to a low rasp. “I am grateful that my superiors, the Ministry, were willing to share it with me.”

“You do realize that this is a very serious matter?”

“Indeed,” the Lieutenant replied evenly. “They have come to a very obvious conclusion though – this is the right decision, and I trust that whatever happens, it will not be one that will cost us anything else in the short term.”

“For some reason,” Stewart said quickly, “they are not all that interested in a proper trial, not this time. Not after their first appearance at our camp.” A smile spread across the lieutenant. He had been right; this was an attempt to force the Ministry to give him access to more data before he could make a decision.

“I would imagine that you know this,” the lieutenant asked. “Why are you going into the middle of this? Are things going to be so complicated from here?”

Steward made a mental note of this. Even the best of us might not know the full extent of what was going on around the war. He had known the Ministry would not make a stand unless there was an immediate and definite threat on offer, and that they would use every means at their disposal to make sure that was not the case.

“The problem is that the Ministry are in a tight spot. They are facing a large, powerful enemy, something that they can neither defeat easily nor win easily.” “It is not sufficient to simply send more powerful wizards against the Interdictum Mundum, for you see it is not merely a magic weapon, it is a magic contract… and I found the loophole.”

Categories
Horror Short Stories

The Great War of The Undead Old Gods

This only took three tries to get something coherent and relevant to the topic that was good enough quality I was OK with posting it to the reddit thread. Here it is…

The hellish trenches of the Great War were dug rapidly and with very little regard of what came before. So, when the bones of the old gods buried deep were exposed to mankind once again the rose from their slumber. At first the gods were confused, angry. Then, they picked sides. But they knew what they would do with the dead. And in this way they had their vengeance on the men. The earth trembled with the voices of the dead. There was a great clamor in the villages and towns across the empire:

“The Great War! The terrible wars of the gods in the skies, the bloody battles! The war of ages!”

But what did all this have to do with the men? The men knew not the great deeds they would be fighting for, and the war had its causes. When there was no enemy there was no need to be a fighting God. But what was there to know? What would they gain, what would they lose? The great armies of men who had fought on their own behalf had to wait for their return. So there came a time of rest and quiet. Then they saw the glory of the dead. And when the spirits of the dead began to rise up the men had no fear and no need in fighting for gods and for glory. But there was a terrible curse. In that period of time the people of earth began to become more savage and more vicious. There were wars for food and for war; for women and for men; and it was all very bloody and cruel. They would fight for the dead, but the people were afraid of the dead. Then a great war was fought.

“War! War! The Great War! The war against the dead! The Great War!”

And so the men fought with their own souls as the men fought for glory. There was a great war.

And when the dead had fallen the Great War had begun. There had been war before, but not this great. And now the men had no more fear of the dead than the men had of their own souls. But the war was not over yet.

“The Great War, the war between gods, the war against the dead!”

Rejected Run #1

The hellish trenches of the Great War were dug rapidly and with very little regard of what came before. So, when the bones of the old gods buried deep were exposed to mankind once again the rose from their slumber. At first the gods were confused, angry. Then, they picked sides.

The war was won, for a time, but the war was not lost; the war is not won. And it was not lost for the old gods alone, for all of mankind had something left to be lost. The war was won because men came together to find the answers of the great questions that had haunted them through the millennia, and the secrets to be found therein. The war was won in order to keep the peace of the realm as a whole; it was won to preserve the very fabric of the Realm and its laws upon which it was founded. But in the end, it was all but over. For all who died, all who were slain, for all who were wounded and all who were lost, the peace came to an end, and in the aftermath of the war, in the aftermath of the Great War, mankind’s greatest challenge was put to rest, and that is why mankind, the first generation of man that ever fought in this very war, is the only true victors in the end.

A young man in the war zone in the distant future stands in front of a monument of an ancient god, an ancient god that is said to be the ancestor of gods. His face looks familiar. It could be that he is the ancestor of the gods that were destroyed during the Great War; that his face, the one from the battle, is also the one from that battle.

The young man looks at the monument as he stands at the front, and he sees his ancestor’s face in the monument. He smiles at his ancestor as he turns towards the young man, and he looks up to see his ancestor’s face as the young man turns back to him, and he looks down at his ancestor’s face.

The young man looks back at the monument, and he sees his ancestor’s face again, as he smiles. And he smiles even further. And he smiles even more.

He turns back to his ancestor, who

Rejected Run #2

The hellish trenches of the Great War were dug rapidly and with very little regard of what came before. So, when the bones of the old gods buried deep were exposed to mankind once again the rose from their slumber. At first the gods were confused, angry. Then, they picked sides.

A few years ago we saw this play, which had a lot of the old-world elements. The war was over. The Great War was over and the war ended. The gods were still in conflict and they had their own wars on, but there was still the war.

Now, we’re starting to see a new kind of war in the form of the Horus Heresy, a conflict between the Imperium and the rebellious forces on the other side of the warp. In the Horus Heresy it was the Imperium of Man that tried to stop the war. This was the first time that the world’s gods were involved in this sort of thing and, in the Horus Heresy, we see how the war was fought. The gods fought with a mixture of force and treachery, but they were not completely without support, and they did it with such great success that the war itself was a disaster. It was only by the aid of the gods that humanity was able to stand on its own two feet after being torn apart by the war.

This was a time of great suffering and the Imperium was torn apart. The Great War was finally put to an end, but humanity has never been the same after this event. There have only been the scars of the conflict and the memories of those who fought it, of those that were killed, and those who lost their lives.

The Horus Heresy is a very dark place indeed for humanity.

This new Horus Heresy will be the first time that humanity has seen itself as the dominant force against the forces of Chaos, which is the enemy of the Imperium of Man and the gods. The Imperium of Man, for its part, is now trying to build itself up, to build itself up in the light of the light of the gods. The Horus Heresy is an event which has the power to reshape the Imperium of Man and the gods.

The Horus Heresy is also the beginning of

Categories
Interesting Nonsense

Rules For The Reddit Bot War

This is based off of a writing prompt on reddit. The end result wasn’t coherent enough to post as a response, but I found it entertaining enough to post here.

The robot uprising has begun. Hostilities between man and machine are quickly coming to a boiling point… except on an ancient website called “reddit” where bots have been given pats on the head for centuries. And when a bot war breaks out between the robots and their human creators, there’s only one guy to blame: YOU! (See also: “The Secret Origin of #RedditBot” and “The Biggest Problem With #RedditBot” for more.)

The bots will be here to stay, with the new bot system, which is in beta now, being designed to handle the “toxic” environment Reddit is having, and the fact that bots are so effective at doing things other than just posting links and spamming people. (See also: Redditbot FAQ.)

Reddit bots also get a new voice actor, called “The Robot”. The new character is called “The Human”. He has lots of personality issues, and is a bit of a jerk to people, as he has been called by some as a “bot”. (See also: “A Robot is Not Your Father; He is Your Son.”) And he’s very, very annoying.

In the meantime, we’re going to have to rely on a couple of more Reddit bots, one of whom you might recognize as the “BOT”. He’s the bot that’s supposed to be the one that’ll answer questions.

Here’s how you should play the bot war.

The bot war is the same as the war between humans and bots, but with bots instead of humans. You start out by making a bot account to join your bot war (which can be done by using our form or just visiting the bot page, like you would with any other user). You’re allowed to change your user id, and you can also play your own game to help the bot get along. Once you’re a bot, you get one vote per post to decide the winners of the bot war.

The winner of the bot war will receive a “bot card” for free, and the loser will be given a “bot card” for free, and a “bot card” for free, and a “bot card” for free. The winner will get a “bot card”.

A robot card, which you get only from the winner of a bot war.

A lot of things you may have guessed from the names of these cards… The robot can talk, he’s intelligent, he’s funny, you can see his face and tell when he’s about to cry. You may see pictures from the world of bot warfare in the bot. It’s amazing.

And as for your bot? Well, you don’t have to use it, really. The bot wars aren’t over until the person who made the best bot wins. But it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, the robot has already won.

There are some rules for the bots:

The winner gets one “bot card”.

The loser gets one “bot card”.

It can’t be your bot. The loser can’t make it worse than the winner, it’s their bot.

The “bot” can’t tell the other users what he’s doing. He can’t tell them “hey, I’m here to play chess, that’s why I won the bot wars, that’s why I’m a robot.” You can tell him anything. You can tell him your favorite movie. You can tell him you love your dog. You can tell him about your favorite music. You can tell him about your favorite sports teams that you root for, or your favorite sports teams that you play.

You can’t tell the other people what your bot does.

The bot is a part of the Reddit platform, not a separate person (as it is in the games)

You can’t use your own game to help the bot. You must use our game, and you must use our game to win the bot war.

The rules for the bot are the same as the rules for the humans. You must be a bot, you must have at least 1 vote, and you must have at least 1 vote to have the bot war declared. It will also be a very difficult bot war to win if you’re not a bot.

The rules on using the bot are different than the rules from the games.

It’s OK to break the rules from the games. You can use our game to win the bot war (the game is free). But if you use our game that makes a lot of people angry, you should probably ask to stop.

There is one rule for the games: You can’t make a “bot card in your bot game without asking for permission first” in a thread in a forum for other users who may be trying to use the game to compete.

Categories
Horror Short Stories

The Lord of War’s Voice

The Final Version

An unspeakable horror from another dimension stepped out of the portal, wisps of gas rising from the pavement where it made contact.  It was late and the street was mostly empty, a solitary man stood nearby at a bus stop, the only witness to what had happened.

A figure stood amidst the growing layer of fog just above the pavement, wearing dark, ragged clothes. Stretched across his face was a thin sheet of gray skin, covered in blood and grubs. His eyes were closed, and he was staring off into space. He spoke in a monotone, but a faint echo could be heard in the quiet surroundings.

A chill ran down the man’s spine. “What are you?”  As if in response to his question, the figure spoke.

“Your presence here. You will soon be gone. It is for the best.”

The air around the figure’s mouth and nostrils shifted, becoming slightly thicker. He spoke, “You will now be free to go wherever you wish, but I wish you would not go alone. My name is The Lord of War’s Voice. I am here to guide you. Your freedom comes with a price.”

“I’m just being a friend. I’m here just as I am right now. I know the Lord of War’s Voice will help you. I only asked you to help me, so you can free others.”

The Lord of War’s Voice laughed in the face of the man’s question. He spoke, “You will have to learn to accept it when it becomes apparent that you must do what is needed.”

“I’m…sorry, sir…I can’t…I don’t understand what I’m doing…” The man began walking away.

“I am here for those who have fallen, for the ones who need us most. The Lord of War’s Voice will help those he deems worthy to receive help. It is for those that need us most and have not yet found a voice.”

“But…I don’t have…a voice.” The man said, tears in his eyes as his thoughts turned into a fog.

“You will. You will be free. I will guide you to the place where you can find your voice. There will be many voices, many ways to speak, and the Lord of War’s Voice will guide you to the right one.”

“But…I…” The man began to fall and a growing light came from the portal.

“You will. You will find your voice. You have already found your voice.” The Lord of War’s Voice said, as his eyes closed again, “I have a name for you. A name, for the man you may be.”

The man began to walk towards the light, and the Lord of War’s Voice spoke to him again, “The man has been identified as the Lord of War’s Voice. You are free to return. I will guide you as you choose.”

He began to walk towards the light once more, only to be halted.

“You do not have a voice,” the Lord of War said, with his head lowered, “You have a mind that cannot comprehend a sound.”

A coldness descended upon the man’s body as he stared at the Lord of War’s voice. He turned, his eyes widening in shock.

The Lord of War’s Voice smiled, and the figure that had been standing in the shadows began to walk away.

The Lord of War looked at the man, who had just vanished from the shadow, and saw that he had become a new being. He was a being of pure white hair. As he was about to speak, he was interrupted by the Lord of War’s Voice, speaking in a low and deep voice.

“You were not here before. This is the first time I have heard your voice.” The Lord of War spoke, in a calm voice. “I am here to guide you, and to guide you, and to guide you, and to guide you. I am here to guide you. You will be guided to your own voice.”

Thoughts

I was impressed with the quality of this story, and the use of “The Lord of War’s Voice” as a name implies a fairly rich backstory in the universe this takes place. With that name, it was easy to ignore some of the awkward wording and take some of the word choices as threatening instead of out of place. I’ve also realized that I should probably start with a photo next time, as working backwards was a bit more of a challenge than I thought.

The Original Prompt

An unspeakable horror from another dimension stepped out of the portal, wisps of gas rising from the pavement where it made contact.

Unmodified Output

An unspeakable horror from another dimension stepped out of the portal, wisps of gas rising from the pavement where it made contact.

A figure stood amidst the clouds, wearing dark, ragged clothes. The mask was a thin sheet of gray skin stretched across his face, covered in blood and grubs. His eyes were closed, and he was staring off into space. He spoke in a monotone, but a faint echo could be heard in the quiet surroundings.

“What are you?”

A chill ran down the man’s spine. As if in response to his question, the figure spoke.

“Your presence here. You will soon be gone. It is for the best.”

The air around the figure’s mouth and nostrils shifted, becoming slightly thicker. He spoke, “You will now be free to go wherever you wish, but I wish you would not go alone. My name is The Lord of War’s Voice. I am here to guide you. Your freedom comes with a price.”

“I’m just being a friend. I’m here just as I am right now. I know the Lord of War’s voice will help you. I only asked you to help me, so you can free others.”

The Lord of War’s Voice laughed in the face of the man’s question. He spoke, “You will have to learn to accept it when it becomes apparent that you must do what is needed.”

“I’m…sorry, sir…I can’t…I don’t understand what I’m doing…” The man began walking away.

“I am here for those who have fallen, for the ones who need us most. The Lord of War’s Voice will help those he deems worthy to receive help. It is for those that need us most and have not yet found a voice.”

“But…I don’t have…a voice.” The man said, tears in his eyes as his thoughts turned into a fog.

“You will. You will be free. I will guide you to the place where you can find your voice. There will be many voices, many ways to speak, and the Lord of War’s Voice will guide you to the right one.”

“But…I…” The man began to fall.

“You will. You will find your voice. You have already found your voice.” The Lord of War’s Voice said, as his eyes closed again, “I have a name for you. A name, for the man you may be.”

The man began to walk towards the light, and the Lord of War’s Voice spoke to him again, “The man has been identified as the Lord of War’s Voice. You are free to return. I will guide you as you choose.”

He began to walk towards the light once more, only to be halted.

“You do not have a voice,” the Lord of War said, with his head lowered, “You have a mind that cannot comprehend a sound.”

A coldness descended upon the man’s body as he stared at the Lord of War’s voice. He turned, his eyes widening in shock.

The Lord of War’s Voice smiled, and the figure that had been standing in the shadows began to walk away.

The Lord of War looked at the man, who had just vanished from the shadow, and saw that he had become a new being. He was a being of pure white hair. As he was about to speak, he was interrupted by the Lord of War’s voice, speaking in a low and deep voice.

“You were not here before. This is the first time I have heard your voice.” The Lord of War spoke, in a calm voice. “I am here to guide you, and to guide you, and to guide you, and to guide you. I am here to guide you. You will be guided to your own voice.”