Neil's story, currently being written by him for The Homeless Library, takes the conventions of a dungeons and dragons story and drops contemporary homelessness into the mix. Here be the prologue:
History is a fickle thing. Truth turns to stories, stories turn to legend, legend turns to myth.
We are taught that dinosaurs ruled the earth before men appeared and that a great meteor wiped them. But there are some who tell a different story. . .
A story of elves, dwarfs and other creatures straight out of our very own myths, a story of magic and a struggle for power that has ravaged the world for millennia, a struggle that continues to this very day.
"Nooooooooo" Varuk yelled as he saw Mayrana fall, a lance as black as night had pierced her heart. Green light burst from her wound and he knew it had been a fatal blow.
Time standing still as he watches her fall: her dragon shroud fading, first her wings fade to be replaced by her sleek, muscular arms, then her legs, body and lastly her dragon head fades to reveal her beautiful slender face.
He looked into her bright green eyes and remembered the times they spent together among trees practicing sword play and the magicks taught to them as they grew up. As she disappeared below the clouds Varuk loosed a tremendous mournful roar and a jet of dark blue fire shot between his jaws. He folded his wings then, falling into a steep dive toward the direction the lance came from, as he wheeled round he knew at once who had thrown the weapon that took his Mayrana.
Baelod stood atop his dark mount, all in black as if covered in shadow, a crooked smile upon his face "I thought that would get your attention, come face me spawn of dragons" he yelled at Varuk.
With Mayrana, Varuk would of given up there and then but anger, hate and revenge caught his wings and filled his heart - he flew with tremendous speed toward the sorcerer, using only the wings of his dragon shroud wanting to tear Baelod's black heart out.
He crashed into Baelod, knocking him from his dark mount and sending them both spinning furiously, the blues of his shroud melting into the blacks of the sorcerer's aura. They slashed at each other with sword, tooth and claw, neither of them getting the upper hand. Varuk dug deep into the power within him and released a jet of blue flame toward the sorcerer's face. Baelod laughed as it passed harmlessly around his head. "What hope have you got Varuk? You are the last! With you, it will end"
Baelod wrestled free moments before they hit the ground and was caught up and swept away by his dark mount. Varuk landed with a crash. He was armoured by his shroud and protective spells,
but it still didn't stop the impact from breaking bones. He lay, watching the sorcerer climb ever-higher into the sky while he fumbled for the incantations that would mend his broken body.