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A New Layout and Suggestions

Hi readers of Shekvrak, I’m back again from my stressful schedule of real life. Don’t worry, the writing is progressing in a forward direction so I guess it’s something. If you haven’t seen my recent post on Facebook, I do suggest you pop over to the page here so you know what’s been going on.

As some of you may have noticed, and I have received some feedback addressing the issue; the chapters are in reverse chronological order with my update posts disturbing the flow. Of course, we can’t have that, no no no. Therefore, I have made a quick change as described on the Facebook page -involving adding an index page with an ordered list of links to current chapters-. I’d like to see this change as a temporary change as I learn more about how to design, format and order the site (I’m not really that tech savvy). A more permanent and personalised change may involve spending a little more money into WordPress, money I don’t really have at the moment. So we’re stuck in this limbo of an intermediate until then.

Anyway, I have decided to allow the development of the site to rest in the suggestions of you, the readers! If you have trouble with navigation, or have ideas on how to make things easier for anyone else, please please please let me know! I will be more than happy to integrate these changes to improve everyone’s experience.

Therefore, let’s treat this post as a suggestion thread. Comment here, on Twitter, or on Facebook with your suggestions for improvement. Or just message me directly if you prefer.

 

Many thanks to everyone, have a great time!

A Short Hiatus

Good morning everyone,
 
I am truly sorry for disappearing for nearly a month, I’ve gotten to the point where I am flooded with assignments along with the increased need to study (I’m struggling to understand a couple things). Therefore, there has been absolutely zero progress in any of my writing. Apart from a lovely short story I drafted up not too long ago.
 
Anyway, to get to the point, there will basically be no new releases (apart from any short stories I develop) this year. Basically, Conflict has been placed on a little hiatus while I get myself sorted out and reorganised. I should be back on my feet and ready to keep going by January, with a lot of work done over the Winter holidays to prevent such hiatuses from occurring once more.
 
If anyone has any suggestions or preferences, please let me know! This is a story made for you all to enjoy!
 
Thank you all for your patience, I shall hopefully see you all soon.
 
PS that short story I mentioned has already been drafted. I’ll probably release it as some Christmas special.
To show that I have been semi productive during my very short free times, here is a quick art piece I made (I know, it’s bad, it just helps me visualise). If everyone likes my character designs, I’d be happy to release some more.anastasia-001

11: Development

“Welcome to Cod Bay!” An extremely excited voice called out from the slightly crowded streets of the British town. The Englishmen had finally arrived to the other side of the world, their second last stop at Ceylon before heading straight to China. The massive change of culture made it seem that they had travelled to a new world, architecture, clothing, mannerisms, goods. In fact, the only thing that seemed similar was the scarlet uniform of the colonial garrisons which policed the colony.

Garth, Damien and John were met by a Caucasian man, long hair held back as a pony tail, dressed in the traditional native clothing of Ceylon. A strange overeager smile plastered across the man’s face as he pressed his hands together in some kind of welcoming way. Two other men joined him, dressed in rather simple attires as pistols hung from their belts. Perhaps some form of guards.

“You travellers must have had it hard, coming all the way here. Are you tourists?” The strange man continued in his attempt at starting a conversation with the three, some kind of trade technique when it came to welcoming -and ripping off- tourists, Continue reading “11: Development”

10: (Mis)Adventure Final

The morning sun calmly threw its gentle rays onto the Hungarian lands, a winter breeze pushing through the leafless trees and dew covered grass. Most wildlife had already disappeared for their hibernation while others fought to finish their preparations as fast as possible, leaving animals which had tolerance for the winter climate to take prominence in the area, filling the skies with their unique sounds as they prospered. Although, this orderly, gentle morning was broken with a sudden scream. A scream which described confusion more than fear.

Matias was sat up in his bed, holding his fully healed arm as he continuously screamed in disbelief. It must have been a dream, there was no way a broken arm could heal overnight, perhaps it wasn’t even broken? Just a simple bruise… Amazed and worried at the results of his sleep, Matias failed to notice the entry of his companions and the witch as he stared at the arm, moving every joint he could in the attempt to find the breakage.

“I told you, Matias, the demon healed you. To think your spear symbolises simplicity, you really are over complicating this.” Hanna spoke out to grab the Spaniard’s attention, her smooth voice easily calming the man down, almost unnaturally fast. Then again, it was something Hugo and Gabrielo would expect of a witch, although there was one thing that had piqued Gabrielo’s interest.  Continue reading “10: (Mis)Adventure Final”

9: (Mis)Adventure Part 3

Six elongated weeks passed on the open seas, travelling south with the coast of Africa left on the horizon, far away enough to ensure the masking of their presence. With winter falling upon Europe, Summer began to rise over southern Africa. Temperatures raised to unbearable heights once again, leaving the sailors to go about their work in a sluggish manner. Their tops left in their quarters in the attempt to cool down, but really exposing themselves to the sun even more, inducing the development of sunburn across their backs. The three explorers kept themselves in the shaded areas of the cabins, napping the long hot days away or talking amongst themselves about anything that came to mind. Anything to take their minds out of such a state of boredom, that was when a call from one of the sailors stated their arrival in Cape Town. Finally, they had reached land once again.

It was the same as before, the captain of the ship disappeared to negotiate prices for supplies from the local warehouses while the sailors jumped into action of performing maintenance on their ship, working has fast and hard as they could so they could retreat into the closest Inn they could find, alcohol and a bed was all they wanted now. At least this time, John decided to stick with the two explorers, following them over the gangplank and into the crowded streets of Cape Colony’s capital. There was a much more pleasing sight here than Gold Coast. The housing was more professionally built, hints of Dutch architecture standing out from the English control, attempting to take control of the Colony as before. The populace was much more civilised, garrisons were more lenient towards the people as every street screamed multiracial unity. The closest hotel proved to be promising, better beds, indoor bathrooms, proper running water. They could easily stay here for way more than the two nights than they planned.

Eventually, once the three had familiarised themselves with their rooms, they had decided to visit a local Inn for dinner and a few drinks, inviting Samuel to join them. It could be a good way to get on his good side, finally dispelling any tensions and hatred held between the two sides. There was no need to bring the spears, only small pistols carried by all four Englishmen. They had made it to the other side of the world now, there was no need to worry about any Spanish influence or attacks that could threaten the group, even crime would be quickly dealt with, especially due to the fact that the four were English. However… Continue reading “9: (Mis)Adventure Part 3”

8: (Mis)Adventure Part 2

The remnants of summer continued to flow throughout the atmosphere of the Crown Colony of Gold Coast. The sun beat down on the populace, reflecting off the stone constructions of housing and the massive fort that stood beside the sea as a blinding burst of white. Palm trees scattered around the area as the streets flourished with the sluggish citizens, each attempting to cope with working in such hot conditions. It had only been a few minutes since arriving at the colony, the sailors had quickly jumped into maintenance of their vessel while the Captain decided to visit the local warehouse in order to discuss prices of supplies.

Emerging from their quarters came the three troublesome explorers, longing for a decent room to sleep in for the next couple nights before leaving once again for South Africa. The view was amazing, Garth and Damien simply stood at the gangplank in awe of what they could see, if only they were born earlier in order to watch over the creation of the colony. The rolling hills, the palm trees, the giant fort. Everything that could be seen held a story in itself, a history, no matter how brutal it may be, it was beautiful. However, John was having second thoughts. Concern covered his face as his eyes slowly scanned over the area, watching the inner workings as if he knew it all.

“You two go ahead, I’ll stay on the boat.” John stated, his words wavered as he slowly turned to return to the cabin,

“Wait, why? We’ve got two nights here, so we might as well make use of our time.” Damien replied, questionably watching John’s worrisome actions.

“I’d rather not stay in the town. You know, bugs and shit.”

“You never objected to this in Mexico, and I think it was even worse because it was the height of summer.” Damien placed his hand on John’s shoulder with concern, attempting to convince the ex soldier to join the two. “Besides, we need to stay together at this time. Who knows what we’ll run in to.”

“Leave him, Damien.” Garth stated, his voice exhibited sympathy, “I doubt anyone would know we’re here.” The words incited a sigh of relief to be thrown from John’s mouth, shaking the hand from his shoulder before continuing back to the cabin.

“You were dispatched here before decommissioning, weren’t you.” Garth questioned, instantly stopping John in his tracks once more. A moment of silence fell over the three as the atmosphere fell low.

“Yeah.” A blunt reply given without turning to face his friends, John’s memories came back to haunt him as soon as he realised where he was. There was no way he could handle staying in the place which held nothing but a negative memory. He couldn’t question Garth’s assumption, he was a smart man, and the actions of an ex soldier such as this would definitely provide enough evidence of a previous dispatch. A dispatch which had scarred the man’s mind for the rest of his life.

“Let’s go and find a hotel for now, Damien.” Garth suggested, holding back the urge to press further into John’s past as he hopped onto the gangplank, returning to land once more. There was no means to find a hotel alone, no map, no signs. The only way to find one was through spoken word, asking the people to point the two in the direction of a hotel, or at least somewhere to sleep for the two nights they would be stuck in this sweltering area. Continue reading “8: (Mis)Adventure Part 2”

7: (Mis)Adventure Part 1

Morning had arisen over Brighton, the McLoughton villa slowly followed the bright autumn day with the mixture of bright green grass and golden-brown trees, shedding their skin of leaves in the light breeze which pushed the inhabitants of the town into wearing extra layers to compensate for the decreasing temperatures of the season. The head of the villa had awoken from his loud slumber early to the sounds of his butler’s voice, reminding him of his plans to visit most of his many factories. Naturally, Garth had awoken at the time his father had finished his breakfast at the massive decorated wooden table. Entering the room to see the myriad of untouched silverware which nearly covered the whole table, many sizes of foreign vases placed on the windowsills as expensive paintings hung from the well maintained walls.

“Good morning, son. Did you enjoy our little two man party last night?” The fat man greeted his son as he pulled his jacket over his body, straightening the fabric before buttoning it up. The butler gave a small nod as the man raised his arms, silently asking how he looked.

“Of course, it’s nice to know you’re doing slightly well.” Garth answered, rubbing his bed head in a little pain as he scratched against his stomach, still dressed in his pyjamas.

His father hummed playfully as he quickly stepped over to his side, placing an arm over his shoulder, “Is that a hangover you have there? Is the wine too strong for you?” He poked at his son’s intolerance to alcohol,

“You forced me to drink so much, of course it’d affect me this way.” Garth protested, a more natural smile slightly pushing through his tired expression as he pushed the arm away from his shoulders before sitting at the end of the table, opposite to were his father had sat. “Are you going somewhere? Another meeting?”

“Nah,” the fat man dismissed loudly, almost on purpose, “I’m just visiting the factories. Gotta boost the working man’s morale y’know. Are you going to return to Cambridge today?”

“That’s right, I need to prepare for the journey.”

“Well, be careful out there.” The man pat Garth on the shoulder before turning to leave the room, a maid stood on the other side of the door carrying a briefcase which was kindly handed over to the man. “I hear there’s been some unrest in South Africa lately.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll just be in Cape Colony for a day or two. It shouldn’t be too bad.” Garth waved his hand as a sign of dismissal, fully aware of the present dangers that spread across the world. He was too tired and hungover to figure out a true plan of action, but upon return to Cambridge, he may be able to think of something with Damien.

“Alright alright, I’m off then.” He turned to leave, quickly giving an order to the maid who handed him the briefcase. “Give Garth my bank book please, I left a cover letter on the table.” Finally, he had left.

Digging in to breakfast, Garth silently tended over his hangover as he received the bank book and a cover letter stating permission to withdraw a certain amount of money. It’s safer to bring the butler with him to hand the bank book back after taking out the maximum he was allowed to. It would prevent the loss and misuse of the book during the journey after all. At least he had quickly completed his side of the preparations, with enough time to spare to pester Fergus about more information. Unless Damien had successfully done that for him. Continue reading “7: (Mis)Adventure Part 1”