The Last Turn - Epilogue and Afterword
Turing of Turning sat in his throne room and tried to look regal. It was harder than it seemed, especially because the book he’d found wasn’t helping much. The King Slately might have been a great ruler for all Turing knew, but he was a bit pompous when it came to things like ceremony.
Not that there were many units to see him in all of his regalness of course. Counting Turing himself, there were only eight units in the city – three stabbers, two pikers, and two archers.
It seemed like a waste to make them stand guard duty in the throne room, so Turing had let them all play games in the lounge section of the castle. He hadn’t wanted any of them in the city at all, but Protheana had insisted. As Chief Warlord, she couldn’t go out on expeditions without the barest protection for Turing and eight was the lowest number he’d been able to get her to settle on.
Still, Turing worried that she would be understaffed with three archers and a single Stabber and Piker each. But she’d been chomping at the bit waiting for them to pop and so against his better judgment he’d let her go off.
It was still incredible to Turing even twenty turns after the fire that he had a Level 13 Warlord in his service. Occasionally he had to pinch himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. And if he didn’t, Protheana would and her pinches hurt.
That turn, Turing had walked across an inferno hex to rescue her. Protheana had seen the entire thing, including the trick with the hourglass. It turned out that though she’d been incapacitated, Protheana had been awake the entire time, just unable to move. And when he’d carried her out of the city she had been freed.
Perhaps it wasn’t breaking her oath in the strictest sense. After all, Protheana hadn’t left the city of her own volition—more incapacitated and carried by Turing. But it was enough for Fate and the spell cast upon her. The magic had left Protheana’s body the instant Turing crossed hexes. It had stolen away, taking Protheana’s chains of endless turns with them. And her Loyalty too, as it turned out.
She’d Turned to Turing’s side the instant he’d become Ruler. She couldn’t bear to stay with Reapin after what they’d done to her first side and the way they’d treated her, she claimed. And as to why she hadn’t become a Barbarian—well, she’d just elbowed Turing hard enough for him to lose a hit.
Now that she was his Chief Warlord, a lot of the strategy he left in her hands. Of course he still had his own unique ideas – most of which she shot down over breakfast. But they were working together, the two of them. It was still a rocky relationship at times, but they were talking every turn and unlike Gout and Turing, there was no bridge of respect or uncertainty to be crossed.
Protheana’s strategy for the newly formed and impoverished side of Turning was simple. She’d ordered Turing to get the city up to a Level 2 as soon as possible and she was going on short expeditions to harvest provisions every day now, letting the units she brought along level as much as possible.
Her grand strategy for the side was to get an army put together and start conquering the cities she’d swept through as fast as possible. They’d all been razed, so according to Protheana if they got to them first, they stood a good chance of occupying at least twenty cities before they ran up against another side.
Protheana had a different viewpoint than Turing did as Chief Warlord. It was all about Levels, but Protheana appreciated good tactics and specials too. To that end she’d decided to pop as many Warlords as it took until she got a few Casters.
She also wanted to explore as many deep forest hexes as possible around the capital. She told Turing that if she found a Dwagon she was fairly confident she could tame it. And even if she couldn’t, she claimed she could just incapacitate it and try again another turn.
She wanted a lot of things, and she was full of ideas. Apparently, Reapin had had a longstanding contract with their Natural Allies – a bunch of bug-like creatures Protheana absolutely hated. Now that she could choose, Protheana had decided she wanted either a side with huge numbers like Gobwins or Marbits, or a bunch of heavy hitters and unique specials like Witches or Daemons.
Turing had suggested one of the Elf tribes only to have his idea stomped on. Protheana wasn’t a fan of any Elf tribe, and she knew them all.
“’F I want a buncha archers or second-rate infantry I’d pop them instead. The only ones with intrestin’ specials and some decent fightin’ moves are the Juggle Elves and they’re disgusting.”
He’d argued a bit, but mostly Turing was happy to let Protheana take charge. And she was happy. She’d begun to smile a lot more, and whenever she returned to the city Turing made sure to have a feast set out for her.
…She’d ordered him to stop wasting provisions. But this time Turing had set up a small table for two in the library with a cask of wine and a pile of books. He still hadn’t stopped reading stories for her. But now, instead of him reading stories just to Protheana, he ended up reading stories to his entire small side every night.
It was a bit of joy. And though Turing’s heart still hurt at times and he still slept the guest quarters rather than in his room, he was happy. Not deliriously happy, but contentedly happy, enough so that he thought it was worth living for the moment.
That was all. Turing smiled as he sensed Protheana and his small band of newly Level 3 units returning to the city.
Maybe Protheana would join him, or maybe Turing would eat alone. It didn’t really matter. She was surprisingly shy about anything not related to croaking people. But Turing could wait. He could wait for as many turns as it took.
He had time.
Hey there, this is pirateaba. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! I really don’t know what to say. Uh, sorry about all the spelling errors and grammatical mistakes? I’ve got some people who proofread what I write, but I’m well aware that it’s impossible to catch everything, especially with how I write and then post without much editing time.
But hey, if you got this far maybe you can put up with that? I’ll work on it, I promise. But for now, let’s talk about Erfword and The Last Turn.
I’m a big fan of Erfworld, and I’ve had this story in my heart for the last year. But I never wrote it. Ironically, the reason I did write it was to attract some attention to my other ongoing web serial The Wandering Inn. But I truly did want to write this story.
I know it’s not the most canonical and it definitely got long (although not as long as some of the other stories on this site!), which wore me down near the end. That’s why this last chapter could have been a two-parter but I wanted to finish it up. Ideally it would have been done around Christmas, but I was never good with deadlines like that.
Sorry as well if you thought this was going to be a tragedy. It definitely could have been. Turing could have ended the turn and been cut down, or ended his own life to set Protheana free. But I had a happy ending in mind when I wrote the story, and although drama would dictate Turing dies, I like happy endings.
…Whew. Tired. I’ve been writing the last chapter and epilogue for around 6 hours straight now. So forgive me if I miss a few points I wanted to bring up. But let’s just say this: I think Erfworld is great. I think stories are great. Regardless of how people like it, I think fanfiction is great if done well. It’s not on par with the actual story, but it’s like a sundae. You can eat it and you might feel sick and puke it up, but sometimes sundaes are good. Just eat actual food as well.
If you’ve liked reading my story so far, I’d hope that you checked out The Wandering Inn which is entirely my creation. I’m hoping to become a self-employed author someday with the money I earn from Patreon, and stories like this are the first step to improving and letting people know I exist. If I might ask a favor from all of you, if you tell a friend or know of a group of people who might like either this story or The Wandering Inn, please, tactfully, let them know about it.
Again, sorry for the self-promotional stuff, but feel free to ignore that part if you want. Honestly, I’m just grateful anyone reads what I write and hope you all enjoyed it. For Turing and his overpowered Warlady, I hope they live a long life.
But this is Erfworld. Who knows what’ll happen? I’m not planning on writing a sequel to this anytime soon by the way.
Thanks for reading,
(NOTE: User was awarded 75 shmuckers for this story. -Rob)
I loved the story, and I am really glad that there was a happy ending.
Yes, it could have ended with i being cut down.. But somehow. This ending feels right. It feels compleet this way.
Also, (In my opinion) you don't have to excuus yourself for the "promotional"stuff. Infact. I'm really glad that you did!
I would have never found "The Wandering Inn" story otherwise, and I'm really glad I did.
I love it, read averything in a day and am eagerly awating new installments.
All in all, what I want to say is: "Thank you for your story, And please keep suprising us in the future".
Ps. I don't have any proof readers, so the above text is probably a mess :p
Cool story, bro! Stand and be tipped. ;-)
Definitely will check out your original story when time permits.
Regarding spelling errors, of which there are a few, in some fandoms it is usual that fanfic authors act as beta readers to each other: idea-bouncing , proof correction, continuity checks, characterization consistency, fandom compliance... it would be great if some of the authors around here would build such kind of community, based on their mutual need to express themselves as writers and their love of Erfworld.
Great work, and thanks for sharing.
It is not really relevant, is it? Unless she explicitly states that she doesn't wish to be my bro, which I will henceforth respect. Until then, though...
A positive side of virtual relationships is that you get rid of any prejudice. Pirateaba is no more, but no less than an internet entity who wrote a story that I enjoyed, and that is awesome enough for me. In real life she could be a soccer mom, a zit-ridden prepubescent male teenager, a new kind of AI or friggin' Donald Trump and it shouldn't really matter. It is still a cool story. ;-)
I'm kind of shielding my eyes from all of the comments above and the entry itself. I've been meaning to read The Last turn for a while now, but in the mean time I just wanted to say "Congratulations!" It takes a lot of dedication to make and finish a multi part story, and that should always be recognized, for which I salute you.
Hey everyone, thanks so much for the comments! I'm really glad all of you liked my story, and I'm glad so many of you gave The Wandering Inn a shot and liked it!
Also, thanks for the warm wishes Spicymancer! It's always good to hear from another author, and I salute you in turn for your substantially longer saga!
Finally, @cu and @bandaid, I'm okay with you calling me bro or sis or anything you want. I'm not picky. I have an actual gender of course, but would it be better if you knew what it was or is mystery good? For that matter, how many people think I'm a bro and how many think I'm a sis? I need to do some polling if I ever get a lot of readers just for statistical fun.
...Regardless, I'm glad you've all commented and read my story. I might not be writing here for a while, but I hope The Wandering Inn continues for at least another year. Have a great 2017 everyone!
Thank you so much for everything you put into this story. I read the whole thing in the last few days. Like Miya Yam, this story is unique. You explored passion, desperation, pain, loyalty, madness, and especially that greatest constant of all - time. Powerful stuff, tremendous writing. I am DEFINITELY going to check out your other work.
I cannot disagree with you more about describing your work as a sundae that could make someone puke. It's excellent, it compares well to any other Erfwork, including cannon. This was a story without any cheap gimmicks, any trick twists, but it was consistently surprising. I could never see what was coming next. I was sure that one of them was going to die at the end. That made the happy ending not cheap at all. Sometimes a tragedy has a happy ending after all.
Have a (admittedly small) tip.
An absolutely mesmerizing experience, bravo, and tomorrow after I recover from the satisfaction of reading this amazingly crafted story in a single sitting, you will have another reader of your Wandering Inn. Seriously, I can not remember the last time a story captured me so much that I forgot to do other things I was supposed to be doing, so bravo with that too =3
Great story! I think the hardest part for Erfworld stories is making the story interesting that doesn't focus on some sort of caster. I always found warlords themselves to be on the bland side, but you figured our how to make them compelling.
I appreciate the references to Erfworld canon without trying to be a part of them. Boo on stories that actually have main characters from the comic in them. :p