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Flash Friday 25/01/2013: One True Weakness

January 26, 2013
This was a small experiment with an idea I had for my Two Year Novel, a class I’m taking on the Forward Motion website. A sneak peek into what I’m writing for it!
You can read about the Two Year Novel (2YN) course here.
Lord Olstaf wasn’t a particularly excellent student. He wasn’t a bad one by any means, always achieving grades that were considered ‘good’ by the University of Evil; the problem was that all of his friends were particularly excellent.He still remembered the conversation they had a week before graduation. The topic of ‘what comes next in our lives’ was rife in everyone’s minds, and Olstaf (not yet issued with his title) proposed the quite controversial topic of being creative with his One True Weakness.

“Nonsense,” said the wizard Altek. “If there’s one thing I learnt from University, it’s that the One True Weakness you select is very important. I’m going down the traditional ‘relic that has been lost for a thousand years’ route”. He died after the heroes discovered it in a long-abandoned ruin they somehow stumbled upon.

“Don’t listen to him, Olstaf,” said the temptress Lyssia. “Everyone knows the Lost Relic weakness is old and dated. I’ve been subscribed to Overlords Weekly, and apparently, the world-famous Aged Demon Xyggath utilised a weakness where a single farmhand is ‘destined’ to slay him. It’s all down to that one person, and a farmhand to boot. You’d have no trouble slaying them”. If she actually read the more recent issues of Overlords Weekly instead of looking at all the cool cover art, she would have found that Xyggath was slain by the farmhand he dictated, despite Xyggath going out of the way to slay the future hero’s parents, grandparents, and dog. Unfortunately for her, history made the nasty habit of repeating itself.

“All codswallop,” said the Grand Elementalist Al’kath, the most intelligent person of their class. “All of those things are based on one thing going wrong or right. My plan is to have the weakness split in eight pieces and scattered across the world, hidden in places the heroes will never look. That way, if they fail to get a single piece, my One True Weakness will never be used against me”. The plan seemed solid enough, until the band of heroes that was made to fell him showed unnatural amounts of confidence and luck when it came to the pieces. They even went so far as to discover another eight pieces of the artefact which Al’kath didn’t even know existed, lengthening the journey to double its planned length for some arbitrary reason.

Lord Olstaf knew he had to continue with his plan. He decided that the One True Weakness had to be something that nobody would dare take. No, he couldn’t do that — no matter how many lakes of lava, evil castles and imposing caves the heroes had to go through, they always made it. It had to be something impossible to make, yet at the same time feasible enough to actually exist in this reality. Asking for something impossible within the bounds of this realm only opened up the potentials of heroes from another dimension entirely, and they were always a pain in the arse.

He felt clever when he declared his One True Weakness would be “a book that went into annoyingly accurate detail of all the civilisations of the world, inclusive with top-quality maps and all the picture bits coloured in”. It worked, for the most part; most people of Autyre with a brain the right way around checked over their shoulder while getting a loaf of bread, let alone visiting some of the most dangerous people ever to exist. There was no single person out there that could do such a feat.

The problems started when he realised that his enemy had arisen, and that they weren’t a single person by any means.

608 words
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