|The Dragon Fang
Prologue - The legend begins
Many years ago ... there were the Shamans. The Shamans were powerful beings that held the forces of evil at bay, and in all seven provinces of the land there was peace.
However, during these times there came a Great Dragon. For hundreds of years the Dragon terrorized the seven provinces of the land and the people lived in fear each day, wondering if today would be the day it would attack once again. The Shamans did hold the forces of evil at bay, but no Shaman could kill a Great Dragon.
So the Shamans came together to decide on a bond that they could forge with the humans to destroy the Great Dragon and wipe it from the face of the earth forever. The Shamans finally decided to choose a human warrior from each of the seven provinces; the best warrior each province had to offer. The Grand Shaman, the leader of the Shamans, then appeared to the seven kings of each province to ask for their best warrior to destroy the Dragon. The Shamans in return would then grant each of these warriors one wish for whatever their heart yearned. Each of these warriors would be equipped with special weapons and armour to enhance their skills to destroy the beast.
Once the Grand Shaman had delivered this message to the kings, the kings' then wrote letters to all the towns and villages of their provinces. From north to south, east and west, all heard of the bond the Shamans had offered to destroy the Dragon.
Each king of each province then held a Grand Championship to find their province’s greatest warrior. Contests were held to determine strength, speed and stamina and before long each province had found their greatest warrior. Their names were Robert, Ashtan, Lithandra, Nolamtai, Datlan, Dreadon and Destin.
These seven warriors then made the journey to the Holy City in the far north to receive their special weapons and armour from the Shamans needed to destroy the Dragon. Each of them chose the weapons and armour of their choice. Once they had then been fitted with their armour, the seven knights set out to destroy the Dragon.
The warriors travelled many days and nights to the far, far south, and finally they arrived at the lair of the Dragon. They then made their way in through a series of small tunnels until they had found the Dragon’s cave. The warriors fought long and hard until the point of utter exhaustion, but finally the beast fell. As the beast's large body came crashing down, the presence of evil they had felt upon entering the cave lifted.
In that instant, in front of the warriors appeared three Shamans; The Grand Shaman, the White Shaman and the Shaman of Light.The Shamans then asked of each reward the warriors wished to be granted.
Robert asked for a higher ranking position in his home province, Ashtan asked for great luck in all he pursued, Lithandra asked for great riches and wealth, and Nolamtai asked for great knowledge. But then just as it came to Datlan’s turn to be granted his wish, he fell to his knees. For during the battle, Datlan had sustained a fatal wound not even the enchanted armour could have withheld. Datlan turned to the warrior Destin on his right, and with his last words made Destin promise to care for his family, and with that he gave his last breath.
The Shamans then turned to Destin, “This is unfortunate what has unfolded, but it is now your turn to be granted a wish".
Destin pondered on this for a moment, “I wish to forfeit my wish to bring this man back to life.”
This answer surprised the Shamans, and for a moment they turned to one another and conversed with what seemed to be silent whispers. Then as the warriors watched, the Shamans turned to Destin, “Your wish shall be granted.” And with that Datlan’s wound from the Dragon closed up and weaved itself back together, and with a deep gasp Datlan’s soul returned to his body and his lungs were filled with air once again.
The Shamans then spoke, “Destin, you are a man true of heart and kind in nature, and this act of kindness has not gone unnoticed.” With this, the Shamans then instructed Destin to remove his sword, shield and armour, and place them on the ground in front of him. Once Destin had done this, the Shamans then instructed him to take a blade and remove the fallen Dragon’s large centre fang. Destin did as they asked and then handed the large fang to the Shamans. As Destin stepped back, the Shamans stepped forward and surrounded the laid out items. The Grand Shaman reached out his arms and held out the fang above the sword, armour and shield and there was a bright, brilliant flash of light. As the light faded, there on the ground the sword, shield and armour had taken on a new form.
The Shamans turned to Destin, “You are a man true of heart and kind in nature. Within the Dragon’s fang lay its power and with your sword, shield and armour, we have harnessed this power. Each of these ‘Dragon Fang pieces’ shall contain their own unique power but combined these pieces will render the wearer invincible. However, before you don these items you must swear your life as a protector to all the lands. Once you have equipped these items together you shall no longer be known as Destin, you shall be known only as The Dragon Fang".
Destin looked down at this new Dragon Fang armour, shield and sword then back towards the Shamans and with a nod of acceptance he began to equip the items. Destin then reached down and picked up the Dragon Fang Helmet, the last of the Dragon Fang pieces. Upon holding this in his hands he turned to the warrior Dreadon on his right, “You have a wish too my friend,” said Destin smiling.
With this Dreadon to turned the Shamans. “I wish to be the most powerful warrior in all the lands and be able to defeat all my enemies with a single blow… I wish to hold the power of a Shaman!”
The Shamans looked to the Grand Shaman, and once again conversed with what seemed to be silent whispers for some time. Then turning to face Dreadon with a nod responded, “Your wish has been granted.”
For a moment there was silence as the other warriors looked amongst each other in confusion. A fast rush of wind was suddenly heard as if the cave itself was inhaling and Dreadon felt a strong force hit him in the chest staggering him backwards. Dreadon fell to his knees putting his hands out in front of him to hold himself up. His fingers dug into the ground as they contorted, a great power filling his entire essence. He rocked back onto his knees his fists clenched as the feeling of this newfound power entering him became unbearable. The other warriors looked on in shock, as an expression of pain overcame his face. Dreadon at last arched his neck back looking towards the cavern roof, releasing a scream as he felt the completeness of the Shaman power enter him. All remained silent as Dreadon breathed in, slowing his beating chest. Now standing to his feet shakily; he felt a power running through his veins like none other before. He looked at his hands, stretching his fingers. “It’s incredible”, he said, his voice raspy from the event that had just occurred.
However, Dreadon was a greedy man and upon seeing this gift of the Shaman’s to Destin he had become filled with envy. Dreadon knew that by asking for the power of a shaman, it would be his only chance to have nothing stopping from having all he ever wanted.
Destin smiled towards Dreadon seeing his wish granted, not knowing his true intentions.
The warriors then turned back to the Shamans, the warrior Datlan still to recieve a wish.
The Shaman's looked to Datlan who was still overcome. "I have already been given the gift of a longer life with my family thanks to this man and yourselves". He said motioning towards Destin and the three Shamans. "It only seems fitting that this man receives his full gift before I. Go ahead Destin, put on the helmet."
Destin smiled at this, once again showing his warm heart, "So it shall be done my friend." Slowly Destin reached up to don the Dragon Fang helmet, to unite all the pieces and become the invincible Dragon Fang, when suddenly, Dreadon ripped his sword from its sheath and with a single blow ran Destin through! The helmet rolled from Destin’s hands with his face in utter shock. Destin fell to the ground dead. Dreadon had gotten his wish and had now just stopped the only thing in his way of utter glory and power.
It was then the smaller Shaman, known as the White Shaman, stepped forward and froze time. She then spoke into the minds of the other five remaining warriors. “You must take these Dragon Fang pieces far away to all different corners of the earth and hide them so that Dreadon may never find them, for with them he would be unstoppable. I cannot hold him much longer, for I can feel his power and hatred pulsing through his veins. GO NOW!” And with that Dreadon broke free of the Shaman’s hold. Dreadon lunged for the Grand Shaman, but just as his powerful strike came down, the Grand Shaman transported himself, the Shamans and the remaining five warriors each with a part of the Dragon Fang pieces to all different corners of the earth.
This is the story of the Dragon Fang.
Part 1: The Quest for the Sword
Chapter One: The prophecy begins
What did you see Shaman!” the dark being screamed, his thumb embedding into the Shaman's temple, forcing him to kneel on the ground.
The unfamillar feeling of pain ached through the Shaman's body. His face distorted revealing to the dark being that the great Grand Shaman had finally met his foe. Forcing back this pain, the Grand Shaman turned to look into his attacker's eyes. "Your wrong doings have finally caught up with you Dreadon. Your time is nearing its end".
Dread’s thin lips pursed together, as the rage within him became difficult to control. His knee connected with the Shaman’s head, knocking him to the ground.
The old Shaman gagged in pain, his mouth filling with fresh blood.
Dread slowly circled around the downed Shaman, his black cloak flapping in the wind as if readying to produce a storm. Lightning flashed across the sky, illuminating both in the darkness. His pale white eyes began to grow slightly darker as his rage grew. "Tell me Shaman! Tell me more of what you know!"
The old Shaman ignored him.
"Tell me what you know!"
He grabbed the old Shaman’s white flowing hair and forced him to his feet, clasping his other hand around the Shaman's throat.
Their faces were only inches apart and the Shaman could taste Dread’s foul breath upon his tongue.
"No matter how strong you become or how much pain you cause others to force them to obey, nothing will stop the chosen one bringing your defeat".
For the first time in 300 years, confusion and fear overcame Dread's face. "Defeat? What do you mean defeat?" Dread screamed as the fear began to grasp him even more. Pushing these feelings back Dread exclaimed "If I am cast down I shall only rise up again!" Silence followed before Dread screamed, "Now tell me what you mean defeat!"
The Grand Shaman smiled, as if his mind had been opened to a great void and he was filled with peace, he uttered a few simple yet devastating words to Dread. "Your defeat rests in the hands of a child and your defeat shall mean your death".
Dread strong grasp weakened.
The old Shaman noticed his chance and turned to a small wooden staff on the ground; it flew to his hands, to its master. He gritted his teeth and with a swift thrust hit the warlord Dread in the gut, making him gasp for breath.
Dread stumbled shocked by the cunning blow.
The Shaman now free from his captors grasp jumped backwards.
Dread glared at the Shaman in a violent rage, angry that this old Shaman had dared not too submit.
“Lies, blasphemy, all of it!” he roared. He grabbed the Shaman’s staff and in one quick motion flung the old Shaman to the ground, and again the tides had turned. Dread revealed a small black dagger from his sheath, and edged slowly over to the downed Shaman. The Shaman bowed his head, he had expected this, he had been told of this battle and his death upon a dark blade.
A voice was suddenly heard, “Grand Shaman, No!”
The two turned towards the voice.
The Grand Shaman’s heart was suddenly filled with fear; this was not meant to happen. The prophecies didn't predict this.
“Yelana, run!” he begged.
A small Shaman had emerged and ignoring her master’s warnings ran to his aide. Standing in front of him, she turned towards Dread.
“You... The one from the cave," Dread exclaimed; remembering the small Shaman from many years ago.
Yelana frowned, tears forming in her eyes. Pushing them back, she cried, "you have caused so much pain, but now it's over, now you shall face the power of the White Shaman!" Dread sneered in slight bemusement. “I expected a great warrior to behold the title of the Shaman’s prodigy,” he laughed. “But a child?” Dread’s laughter ceased as he recalled what the wise shaman had told him moments before. “A child?” he repeated. Dread taking no chances of the unpredictable prophecies, charged with his dagger outstretched, hungry to rid the world of the menacing Shamans.
She closed her eyes and using every ounce of her strength muttered a silent whisper. Dread’s fast charge, became a slow walk, as time itself was slowed. Yelana turned to her master. “Sir,” she groaned, as the spell she was casting began taking it's toll on her small body. “I tried to freeze him, but his strength has greatly increased”.
The Grand Shaman nodded, and quickly replied, “Yelana, you cannot be here, you are a part of a great event that is yet to come and you must assist in its forthcoming”.
“But Sir,” Yelana rebutted, “I can’t let you die".
The Grand Shaman nodded and quickly cast a glance at the slowly approaching Dread.
“You have no choice my child, the prophecy predicts that a Shaman's blood must touch the ground before it can be unfolded. And we cannot risk the prophesy not coming true, humanity depends upon it”.
Tears filled Yelana’s eyes, “I will die then sir, let the prophecy take me".
The Grand Shaman shook his head, “Dreadon is all powerful because of me, only I can carry this burden".
Yelana shut out the words of her master and turned to face Dread. She raised her hands above her head, rendering herself defenseless. "I'm sorry, I cant!" she sobbed, releasing the spell. Dread's slowed pace once again became a fast charge with Dread unaware of the events that had just unfolded.
His dark blade lunged at Yelana's guts ready to spill them, when the Grand Shaman holding up his hand towards Yelana shouted and in an instant the small shaman disappeared.
Dread tumbled to the ground as his blade struck nothing but air. He angrily turned towards the Grand Shaman, and stood to his feet.
The Grand Shaman bowed his head and whispered, “So the prophecy begins".
A painful scream was then heard echoing over the province, flooding the quiet jungle, overshadowing the noise of the busy villages and even reaching the far outskirts of a deserted beach where a young Shaman lay crying.
It was this day that the battle of good and evil had become unbalanced.
Chapter Two: I have found you at last!
The dream was always the same.
A giant Dragon stood before a small boy. The Dragon was covered entirely in rough red scales. Its nostrils flared with every breath, and as it exhaled, smoke bellowed fourth covering the small boy like a thick fog. The boy stared with wide eyes at the Dragon, never blinking, nor covering his eyes to even shield himself from the smoke. An omniscient shadow approached the boy unbeknown to him. Just before it reached him, he turned as if he could feel its evil presence. He fell to his knees in terror, as the shadow engulfed him.
It hissed, “I have found you Sam, with your death the prophesy is void!” The boy’s fear fuelled body was paralysed.
Then he remembered. He looked up at the Giant Dragon who was witnessing the commotion, and using intense concentration placed all his fear and unstable emotions in the Dragon’s power.
The Dragon roared, arched its back as if it was dry reaching; a large torrent of fire exploded towards the boy and the black demonic shadow. The boy placed his hands up as a useless shield, but as always the fire was harmless to him and the shadow like every night released a piercing screech as it died and was sucked downwards as if returning to the underworld and like every night Sam awoke, struggling against his sheets and drenched in sweat.
The next mornng a young boy awoke yawning and rubbing his tired eyes as he lumbered out of his small room; pushing past the cow hide material that gently wavered in the slight wind through his doorway.
His mother laughed as she greeted him, “It’s like you don’t sleep Sam".
Sam politely returned the laugh, but grateful his mother had no idea the adventures he unwillingly participated in every night. Slumping himself down on a chair, he thought to himself how the dreams seemed to be worsening and how more realistic the evil presence he felt was becoming. He wished he could speak to his mother about the dreams, but his mother always took things so seriously and with everything that had happened recently…
“Don’t get to comfortable Sam,” his mother said, interrupting and cutting into his thoughts.
Sam looked at his mother confused and run his hands through his dark brown hair, pushing it back. “But there’s no school today,” he questioned.
“I know that Sam,” she scowled, “But its Jax’s honouring ceremony, and you have to get ready.”
“I am ready…” He began, but then stopped as he realized it was useless arguing against his determined mother.
His mother handed him a bucket, “Now go get some water from the well, I’m making some soup for the ceremony".
Sam sighed and started walking towards the door before his mother’s voice stopped him again.
“And clean yourself up Sam,” she said throwing him a small block of soap. “I don’t want my son being known as the smelly boy of the town!”
Sam with bucket and soap in hand stepped out of the small shack and started his walk towards the well.
Sam walked down a winding path, his curious eyes scanning the entertainment and festivities that had been setup during the night.
“I wonder where Jax is.” He thought to himself as he trudged slowly along the dirty cobblestone path.
Sam then passing through the village began his accent up the hill at the side of the village towards the well. He was nearly at the old well, when a scream and a rough voice interrupted his quiet walk.
“You took it, I know you did!”
Sam’s eyes scanned through the small wood to an opening between the trees to where the angry voice was coming from. A large boy was on top of a smaller child, his hands squeezing the young boy’s neck.
“Hey!” Sam screamed and without a thought of his actions and the repercussions the large boy could cause, Sam raced in towards the small clearing and threw his block of soap at the large boy’s head hitting him straight in the back of the head.
The boy screamed a sudden yelp of surprise. He angrily looked up at the culprit who threw the soap and locked eyes with a slightly nervous Sam.
“What’d you do that for?” he yelled as he released his hold on the young boy’s neck.
“You’re going to pay for that Sam!” he screamed charging, and tackling him to the ground.
Sam pushed franticly at the gigantic boy and he could feel the boy’s large hands wrapping around his neck. Sam franticly started jolting with his whole body, trying to gain leverage away from this insane mammoth when his knee unexpectedly connected with the boy’s groin. The boy yelped in pain and Sam could feel the hands around his neck weaken, and with one last shrug, the boy’s gigantic weight lifted and fell next to Sam. Sam lay their gasping for breath, his heart beating fast, when he realized that the huge boy could recover any moment. Thinking fast, Sam scrambled to his feet and attempted to make peace. “Listen, I didn’t mean to do that, I just don’t think it was right you hurting that other boy.
The behemoth didn’t reply.
“Come on, I didn't mean it. Let’s just enjoy the celebration today and forget about it".
But still no reply came.
Sam started getting offended. No matter how large the boy was, it didn’t give him the right to ignore his apology he thought to himself.
Sam stood their for a few moments,still waiting for an answer but the boy lay lifeless, clutching his groin where Sam’s knee had made contact. I didn’t hit him that hard, he thought worried. The boy’s face was in a look of pain and he remained motionless as if the pain had only just happened .Sam turned towards the small boy whose aid he had come to but the boy was gone. He then looked down the path towards the village, hoping someone could help him and the large boy on the ground. His eyes could just make out the people, but the once busy village was motionless. I must have hit my head real hard on the ground during that fight Sam thought to himself. Explanation after explanation entered his head, but nothing made sense. Just then a voice made him weak at the knees as it sent a shiver down this spine.
“I have found you at last!”
Sam whirled around attempting to catch the culprit of the mysterious voice.
“I have found you Sam. I have been waiting a long time to finaly meet you, but I must say you are different to how I imagined you.. I am unimpressed to see you fighting with this other boy of your village.
Sam began to edge nervously back towards the safety of his village, while the mysterious voice continued, "But alas you are here, in this exact place and time, as my vision had predicted and too with the words of the prophesy you must be him".
"Are you going to speak? Don't tell me I travelled all this way to find out the hero is a mute!”
“I’m not a mute,” he suddenly blurted looking around, as the speaker was still not visible.
A warm feeling of confidence started to surround him and he began to not fear the new strange events that were unfolding.
“Show yourself! Voice,” he said smartly, emphasising the word voice, “It’s rude!”
The voice suddenly spoke, this time quite firmly, sending a shiver down Sam’s spine. “Look around boy; and maybe next time you speak you will show me the respect I deserve”.
Sam once again glanced at his motionless village, and finally the reality sank in. “Who are you?” he asked, his voice quivering from nerves an excitment".
“Who am I?” The voice spoke to the boy, “I am a being that is looked on and respected by some mortals as a god. My power to that of a mortal is incomprehensible”.
Warmth circulated though his body, and a feeling of peace escalated through his emotions. He looked towards the direction where the voice had once spoken to him trying to find it's origin. A white aura illuminated from behind the thickness of the surrounding trees and as Sam watched, the trees moved aside, almost as if in obedience. In front of Sam stepped out a beautiful woman clad in white, moving almost weightlessly out from the foliage not making a sound as her feet glided across the leafy covered ground; not even leaving an inprint of her path. Sam's breath was taken away as he marvelled at her beauty. His eyes fell to a small scar, etched on her face and he wondered how such an amazing creature with such beauty could have received such an ugly scar.
The woman spoke, snatching Sam from his thoughts. “I am a Shaman, The White Shaman".
Sam stared, his eyes still bulging from shock.
This time the Shaman replied smartly, “You know it may be considered rude to talk when no one knows where you are, but it’s much ruder to stare”.
"But... Shamans are a myth.”
The Shaman smiled and replied, “Sam, I am surprised you are still doubtful as you are witnessing this 'mythical' power as we speak”.
Sam noting this paused for a moment and replied, “Then, why are you here?” He asked before continuing, “Wait, you said something about travelling all this way to find a hero. Shaman… I think you’ve accidentally frozen him!” said Sam, pointing in the direction of Jax.
The Shaman glared at Sam and her voice became slightly aggravated, “I have NOT made a mistake, Shamans do NOT make mistakes!” Sam became silent, as he realized he had hit a sore point. “So why are you here?” he asked.
The Shaman held out her hand revealing a small parchment. It looked worn and quite out of place against the Shaman’s clean pale skin.
Sam stared at the parchment for a few moments not sure whether the Shaman wanted him to take it, but he quickly took it when she spoke again with her voice stern and rushed.
“Sam! Hurry! Take the parchment, we are running out of time!” Sam looked confused then turned his attention to the parchment and read the few sentences scrawled upon it.
A child shall arise from the village of Electrus. He shall be the one to unite all the pieces of the Dragon Fang and upon wielding the Dragon Fang Sword shall bring defeat to the Warlord Dread. He will be called the Chosen One!
Sam’s eyes darted across the parchment multiple times, reading each word slowly. Finally he stopped reading and spoke, "This must be one of my dreams, this can't be real".
The Shaman frowned. "Sam I assure you, this is not a dream".
“I must have hit my head really hard when I was tackled to the ground," Sam said turning his back to the Shanam. "This can't be real,"he repeated casting his gaze towards the once motionless village. "
Now seeing the village once again teeming with life, Sam smiled with relief. "I must be coming to". He thought to himself.
A scream was then suddenly heard coming from the village, a realness sweeping back to Sam and wiping the smile from his face.
“Sam…” a weak voice behind him spoke. “He comes. Evil walks towards us!”
Sam turned to face the pale woman. Her once prideful stance was wavering. She was using all her strength to stand. Her eyes met his, and she spoke quickly in a raspy voice. “Don’t just stand there, RUN!”
The grim familiar feeling Sam witnessed every night as he slept began to creep over him. But this was no dream, this was too real. Sam looked towards the village knowing the only place he could be safe was inside was within the village church.
He ran down the path towards a panicked village. Everyone was screaming and also running towards the church. As he ran, he could see demonic looking creatures chasing men, women and children, picking them up and tossing them through the air as they all ran.
The creatures hissed and spat chilling Sam to the bone, but he kept running.
Just then as Sam was nearing the edge of the village he heard a screech coming from behind him. It was one of the creatures! The creature began to chase Sam, like a crazed wolf chasing down its prey. Just as the creature was right on his tail, Sam dived into the bushes down the side of the path. The beast took a mighty swing at Sam missing him by inches as it ripped past.
Sam ducked and dived, tumbled and rolled along the steep ditch down the side of the path. Sam, ducking low and scurrying like a wild animal, found refuge inside the trunk of a small hollowed out tree, just big enough to curl his legs up in. From here, he had a clear view of the village through a small bush and could see the last remnants of the town’s folk, including his mother, who hadn't been mauled making it to the church. Sam was terrified now; he would be a main target if he continued his run for the church. Just then, a few trees back, Sam could here branches moving and snapping and a grunting snout, smelling the air for a scent. It was the creature from the path! Sam held his breath waiting for the creatures claws to pull him out from his hole at any minute when…
”ARRGHHHHH! ARRRGHHHHH!” The large boy who Sam had scuffled with earlier came running down the path.
This quickly attracted the creature’s attentions. Snarling, it burst through the bushes tackling the boy down the gully on the other side of the path.
The boy screamed in agony as Sam heard the creature’s snarling grunts and limbs being ripped in different directions. Before Sam even had a chance to plan his next move…
“DREAD!!!” A voice called out challengingly to the leader and commander of the violent attack. “Dread! I command you to leave this village at once!” It was Jax! The saviour and hero of Electrus.
After hearing Jax’s heroic voice, Sam began to crawl out from the small hollow, readying himself for a mad dash to the church.
Dread, ammused by this retaliation, raised his left hand ordering his men to hold back. “Ah Jax, the ‘almighty’ hero that has vowed to put a stop to me!”
Sam noted sarcasm in the leader Dread’s voice.
“I am warning you Dread,"continued Jax, "Leave this village now!"
“LISTEN TO ME JAX!” returned Dread, “All I want is just one boy, one small insignificant boy. Is it really worth this waste of an entire village just for one pathetic boy!?”
Jax stepped backwards noting the deserted village; now bringing him peace knowing that the remaining villagers at least were safe. Holding the hilt of his sword, he drew it out slowly. The sliding of metal from Jax's sword against the inside of his sheath echoed across the now quiet village as Dread's attacking force and the villagers from the safety of the church looked on. He then raised his sword pointing it towards Dread.
"People may not remember my name, but they will remember my ideal and that is standing up to you, even in the face of death!"
Dread stared at Jax as a sick grin appeared across his face."Then I say let them come! Cause all it will bring is more fuel to the fear I cast upon all who oppose me!" Dread turned to face the cowering villages peeking through the windows of the church. And let this be a message to you all!"
He then stretched out his right hand towards Jax as if holding a small round object in his palm.
Jax backed away slowly, taking a defensive stance, not sure what the Warlord was doing.
Dread smiled, showing his teeth. Then as his eyes flashed with burning anger, Dread squeezed his fist together as if crushing a rotten tomato in his palm. Jax fell to the ground screaming, holding his head. Sam stared mortified at the village’s hero, screaming in agony defenceless. Dread’s men stared at Jax, holding back the vile creatures they commanded, before Dread's left hand signalling for them to hold dropped. The beasts now released attacked, ripping and thrashing at the thick armour of the screaming warrior.
Sam looked away horrified, then once again realising the situation he was in decided now may be his only remaining chance.
Sam charged for the church. 'Demons can’t enter the church,' he thought to himself as he ran, he prayed his teachings were correct. Dread looked around at the deserted village, now noticing a boy, Sam, charging towards the safety of the church.
“Villages and their ridiculous superstitions!” he shouted. He lifted his hand at the people packed church, and slowly raising his hands to the air, the church started to crumble. Dread laughed as he heard, screams echoing inside the building.
Sam slowed his pace in shock, metres from the church door. Dread screamed and with a sweeping motion of arms, slammed his hands shut. At that moment, the church ripped itself apart, imploding from the inside and then exploded with a devastating force. The blast of the eruption echoed through the countryside and left nothing but a few smoking stumps and a black burning foundation.
“Master,” one of Dread’s men shouted.
Dread looked over to see the boy, Sam, lying on his back with his arm outstretched towards the smoking rubble where his mother had just stood.
“More food for the beasts?” Dread's man snickered, the creatures surprisingly still hungry after the meaty banquet they’d just consumed from Jax.
“No, we take him; we will question him about the Chosen One.”
The beasts snarled disapprovingly as they had hoped to devour the child. And with that two of Dread's men grabbed the now unconscious Sam, tying his hands and feet together and strapping him down to one of the horses.
Sam awoke briefly in a sore stupor, only to mutter the words, "Mother... mother.." Before passing out once again a few moments later from shock.
Chapter Three: The Great Battle
Sam’s tired blood shot eyes jolted open as he quickly recalled yesterday’s events. His eyes scanned his new morbid surroundings. He had awoken to a small concrete cell, with bars placed jaggedly across two small windows. A wooden plank was fixed crookedly behind the bars, in a poor attempt to block out the sunlight and the rest of the outside world. In the middle of the cell, there was a large rag that had been made into a makeshift bed. Sam suddenly heard a noise in the back of the cell. His eyes nervously landed to a dark shadow fidgeting in the cells darkened corner. “Is there anyone there?” he stuttered.
A mumble replied, so faint it was unrecognizable.
“Hello?” Sam asked again, hoping his cellmate was friendly.
“I said, what’s a kid doing in here?” a now louder voice returned, slowly emphasizing each word as if Sam was simple.
“I don’t know,” Sam replied, still unsure of what had happened, as everything had happened so quickly. “I was just getting ready for Jax’s honouring ceremony, and then all of a sudden Dread and his men were attacking the village, there was a bright flash of light, I was captured and the next thing I remember is waking up here". Although everything was still fuzzy to Sam he still remembered the White Shaman appearing and telling him that he was some kind of Chosen One but he decided to leave that part out.
The voice grunted once again from the dark corner of the cell, “Funny, normally Dread only keeps people captive if they are of use to him, or he wants to make an example.”
Sam then foolishly asked, “What does he do to the rest of the people?” He felt like he already knew the answer to this question.
Sam heard shuffling from the back of the cell, before the man behind the voice made himself visible. An old man appeared. His face was wrinkled, and he was sporting a large grey beard. His mattered gray hair exceeded past his shoulders and he clearly hadn’t seen a washcloth in a long time.
He limped towards Sam, and smiled. “If Dread doesn’t need the person, he kills them! And only kills them if they’re lucky". The old man laughed, clapping his hands swiftly together as if in an attempt to startle the boy.
It was then that everything came flooding back to Sam. With the clap of the old man's hands, Sam remembered the swift clap of Dread's hands as he had killed his mother and everyone inside the church. Sam's eyes grew wide and he began to sob, his body too sore and his spirit too crushed to even let out a cry. "Mother... Dread, he killed my mother..."
The old man's snickering stopped as he saw the pain in the boy's eyes and he felt sympathy for him.
Footsteps were suddenly heard coming down from the staircase towards the cell. Upon hearing this, the old man quickly scurried back into the cells corner, concealing himself in the dark shadows once again.
A large man suddenly appeared at the cells doors. He swung them open with brutish force and lumbered towards the frightened boy.
“What’s going on!?” Sam screamed.
The large man said nothing, grabbing Sam by his hair and dragging him out of the cell.
Sam was thrown roughly onto the ground, skidding for a few moments before landing in a crumpled heap at the centre of a room.
He was covered in cuts and scrapes and his knees throbbed from being dragged up the cells stairway. Sam’s eyes were shut, too afraid to open them when a voice made him fear even further for his life.
“Who are you?” the voice asked quietly.
Sam remained quiet.
“Answer me boy, who are you?”
Sam answered quietly, “My name is Sam …”
“Sam, you come from the village of Electrus? Is that correct?” The voice asked, Sam nodded. “Speak to me boy!”
“Yes!” Sam screamed choking on his terror.
“Last question,” The voice continued. “What do you know of… the Chosen One?”
Sam now began to cry, “I don’t know anything,” he gasped, as the panic made his breathing difficult.
“I don’t believe that!…” the voice rebutted. “See you come from Electrus, and the legends state that the Chosen One comes from that village, so I’m assuming that the Chosen One would be a hero in your village if he is supposedly destined to put an end to me.”
Sam gasped as it dawned who he was speaking to, Dread!
“So,” Dread continued, “I will ask you again, what do you know of the Chosen One?”
Sam denied it again. “I don’t know!” he screamed. Sam felt Dread kneel down next to him, as Dread rested his hand upon his shoulder.
“Come on Sam,” He said softly. “I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to know the truth of what you know.”
Sam opened his eyes and looked up at Dread, into the eyes of the warlord who had so carelessly ended his mother's life without even a second thought. Dread cunningly smiled, his smile only coming across as sadistic to Sam.
“I want to know because someone has said that this Chosen One is meant to kill me and I really don’t want to die. I want to sort this misunderstanding out. So please Sam I beg you, please help me out".
Sam forced back his tears. “I just want to go home.”
Dread nodded, “You can go home, just answer me this one question. What do you know of the Chosen One?”
Sam slowly sat up, and looking at Dread replied, I don’t know much, but… a white lady, a shaman came to me and said that I was the Chosen One. I don’t understand! I...”
Dread’s hand pulled from Sam’s shoulder as his eyes widened in shock after hearing Sam’s words. A now obvious sadistic smile came over Dread’s face as he spoke, “So you are the Chosen One! Guards! Take him; we will execute him at dusk! We will kill him in front of the people as an example of what happens to ANYONE who defys me!”
Sam screamed, “But I didn’t do anything! Why have you done all this to me!"
But Dread couldn’t hear Sam’s sobbing through his laughter. The same large, brutish guard then grabbed Sam by the hair once again and began dragging him out of the room, along the hallway, and back down the stairs, returning him to the morbid, daunting cell.
Sam was thrown back into the cell, letting out a groan as he hit the hard floor. The cell's door was slammed shut and locked behind him, before he once again heard a scurrying of feet revealing the old man who he shared a cell with.
“You're back boy, thought you would be dead.” Sam looked up at the old man and wiped his swollen eyes. “Dread said he's going to kill me at dusk, in front of everyone.”
"You actually spoke with him, face to face?" The old man replied in surprise with a hint of anger in his voice. "He's seemed to go to alot a trouble to make an example out of you boy. What is it you've done that's got him so worked up?" The old man continued, still unkowing of Sam being prophesied to be the chosen one.
"Dread's done all this because I'm supposed to be some kind of chosen one." Replied Sam bringing astonishment yet annoyance to the old man.
"They're still going on about that damn prophesy out there!?" He snapped, although while saying this he still felt somewhat intrigued. "Who told you that you're supposed to be the chosen one?" The old man asked wanting to know more of why this boy was here.
"A lady came to me just before my village was attacked, she told me she was a shaman and showed me a prophecy and said that I was the chosen one the prophesy talked about." Said Sam, still with grief in his voice as his thought's continued to go back to his mother.
"Wait, you're from the village of Electrus aren't you boy?" Questioned the old man, "And that shaman you talked to; she wouldn't have happened to be the White Shaman?"
"Yes," replied Sam, "And yes, she said she was the White Shaman; how did you know that".
The old man replied, "I knew the White Shaman many years ago, I hadn't even seen her for some time before I was locked up in here and just the amount of time I have been in here itself has been ..." he paused for a moment as if thinking really hard, “…has been, well I’m not really sure how long I’ve been here, I lost track at 100 years".
Sam frowned in confusion and disbelief, “What?” he asked, “You can’t be more than 100 years old …”
The old man laughed, oh but I am lad".
Silence followed and Sam looked at the ground in disbelief wondering just how crazy this man's time in here had made him".
The man looked at Sam waiting for a responce "boy?" he said.
Sam finally looked up at the man.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I just find it hard to believe".
The man grunted, “If you don’t believe me, let me tell you a story!”
Sam knowing there was no escape from his prison and wanting to shut out everything that had happened even at least for a few moments leaned against the far brick wall and began to listen to a farfetched story that didn’t make a lick of sense, but it did sooth his thoughts, taking him somewhat away from his pain.
“We shall win! Dread will feel the wrath of our lands against him! He will come to see that when the provinces are united, we can achieve what he thought was impossible". The speaker paused for a moment, staring into the eyes of a few in the numberless crowd before continuing.“Tonight Dread will be crushed into the ground beneath our victorious feet!”
The crowd cheered. They began to chant out the speaker’s name, for they could see victory.
Queen Julia stood strong looking at them with a forced smile on her face. Her grey hair waved in the wind that seemed to be much stronger as she stood on a high balcony. The sun beamed down on her jewelry through the thick grey clouds making her majestic prowess seem much more influential. She lifted her hands and slowly edged backwards through her castle. The cheering continued, and the praise of their beloved queen was clearly heard. She began to close the blinds, when a high-pitched voice quickly spoke.
“Your majesty, I shall close the blinds”. She smiled and signaled for him to be seated.
“Leon,” she said with gratitude, “You have done enough for me already.”
Leon sat unhappily in a chair upset that his queen did not want his help.
Queen Julia then closed the window, blocking out the cheers from the sea of people below. She then walked over and took a seat behind her large beautiful desk.
Leon noticing his queen’s unhappiness asked, “My Queen, should you not be happy? Tonight we lead the attack against Dread. He shall not have enough power to destroy our army, and even if he does, the new forged alliances will be unbeatable! We have a guaranteed victory awaiting.”
The queen looked at him, her eyes moist. “Leon, my dear Leon. Have you heard of the Dragon Fang Legend?”
Leon looked at her curiously. “Of course I have my queen. My father used to speak of it quite regularly. He was a firm believer. Myself, I have my doubts.”
The queen looked away. “Yes Leon, we all have our doubts.” She stood to her feet. “I wish to be alone now, I need time to think.”
Leon nodded, obeying his queen’s orders, left her room.
She walked slowly to her cabinet and reached for a clean piece of paper. She read it many times before calling for her most respected knight.
“Robert! Please come to me now!”
Footsteps were heard and a worried voice followed. “My queen, are you alright.” He opened the door and looked at her anxiously.
She smiled at him and issued an order. “Robert, prepare the horseman. We shall ride into battle and attack Dread at once!” Robert looked at her still worried, “My Queen, you are coming with us? We cannot risk your life.”
Queen Julia looked at him sadly. “I must ride Robert, Dread’s defeat rests with me”.
Robert looked to his Queen confused, not knowing what she meant. “My queen, I do not think it is wise,” he began again.
“Robert I am your queen, and this is my wish.”
Robert became silent, and with a bow he replied, “Alright my queen. We shall ride at once. I shall prepare the horses.” He left without saying another word.
Queen Julia again looked at the parchment she held and clenching it tightly followed the confused and worried knight. “The prophecy
must be completed,” she whispered, already knowing the outcome of the battle.
Screams were heard. Fire and smoke from the burning battlefield caused the exhausted knight to close his sore watering eyes.
“The battle is nearly over,” a voice said to him.
He opened his eyes and stared at the frail figure that was determined to stand strong. “My queen,” he said, his voice quivering from pain, “Dread’s victory is inevitable; we will not survive the night”. He wiped away the tears that were forming in his eyes. “But we can escape, I can get you to safety and you can live to one day see Dread’s defeat!”
Queen Julia looked at him smiling. “I wish it was that easy,” she said quietly.
They both became quiet, staring into each other’s eyes. Screams from the battlefield continued as Julia spoke, more in an effort to smother the torment her people were enduring. “Have you heard of the Dragon Fang Legend?”
Robert looked at his queen in confusion before saying “Yes my queen, that name is familiar.”
She smiled and handed him a piece of paper.
As his eyes scanned the parchment specifically adressed to his queen; she quoted silently the wording as if she had read it many times. He looked up at his queen’s face in horror. “You see my faithful knight,” she said bravely, “That is the reason I must ride in this Great Battle.”
Robert began to sob as he clutched on to his beloved queen’s hand, “Please no!” He cried over and over.
Julia wiped the tears from his mud filled eyes and drew her sword, “For the Legend!” she yelled.
Robert too stood to his feet and forced words to come to his mouth, “For the legend!”
Sam stared at the old man, hanging on to his every word, “I’ve heard that story before, we learnt about it at school,” Sam said. “Queen Julia and the great battle, It makes quite an entertaining story …”
The old man stood to his feet angrily, “It’s not a story lad, it’s true!”
Sam laughed at the feeble old man,
“And how do you know that it’s true, it is said to have happened more than 300 years ago!”
The old man stopped moving, and fell to the ground. “300 years, that’s how long it’s been?”
Sam stared at the old man, “What? You can’t be 300 years old …”
The old man looked at him angrily, “Oh but I am, and, I fought in the Great War!”
Sam had heard enough, but he thought amusing the old man was the safest way out of this awkward conversation and the old man’s delusions.
“Then who are you,” he asked. The old man stood shakily to his feet and proudly proclaimed, “My name is Robert, Sir Robert, Commanding General for Queen Julia!”
Sam stared at the old man in bemusement, before warily stating the obvious flaw in the apparent Roberts proclamation, “That’s impossible … The Great Robert is said to have helped defeat the Dragon that terrorized the lands … and that was meant to have happened 500 years ago…” Sam stopped speaking and eyed the old man up and down before rudely saying, “I mean you look old, but not that old!”
Robert spat at the ground in disgust, “Watch your manners boy and do not be quick to dismiss what you do not understand. You know of the Great Dragon then, and of the seven warriors chosen to defeat it. Then you also have heard of the special armour the warriors received that enhanced their skills. Well let’s just say the armour didn’t only enhance our skills, it also enhanced our life spans. Something even those Shamans hadn’t expected. After the Great Battle, Dread left mine intact and welded it shut; I was a prisoner not only in this cell but inside my own armour. It was Dread’s long and endless punishment for defying him, and only recently did he bore of this and remove it. I have been on a rapid decrease ever since.”
Sam shook his head in disbelief, if a crazy man had of told him this yesterday he would have laughed, but lately with the Shaman and everything else happening in his life lately, he was more open to things that would once bend his reality beyond capacity.
The old man continuned, “If you know of the warriors, you also know of the warrior Dreadon who betrayed the others and wanted the Dragon Fang pieces for himself?”
“Yes,” replied Sam,
“And the other warriors hid their pieces away from Dreadon and Dreadon’s descendants have searched for the pieces for 500 years…” Robert said.
Sam paused as a realization came to him.
“Yes,” Robert continued, “Dreadon as he was once known is the very same Dread we know today. No one wants to believe that under that armour he’s the same warrior who lived those 500 years ago. He still wears the armour he was given by the Shamans to defeat the Dragon. Dreadon was given the nickname of Dread as he moved throughout the lands, devastating all the provinces in search of the Dragon Fang pieces. I guess he liked the name so much that it stuck.” Robert slumped to the ground, “But now I’m an old man, to weak to even avenge my Queen’s death… If only she didn’t have false hope for that legend …”
Sam gazed at the defeated old man confused, “So you’re not a believer?”
The old man angrily snapped, “Of course not, that legend killed my Queen! She died because she believed the words of some false prophet! That some ‘Chosen One’ would bring defeat to Dread.”
Silence followed after Robert’s short outburst. Sam looked at the ground, as the negativity from Robert made him doubt his brief encounter with the White Shaman even more. “Maybe he’s right,” he thought to himself. “Maybe it was created by some person wanting to bring hope to a terrified people…” Sam curled up in the corner and closed his eyes, knowing that in a few hours… he would die. But as he slept, his dreams were once again plagued by Dragons, demons and the same dark voice…
Sam awoke to the sound of an opening lock and the same ugly, brutish man that had taken him from his cell before. The man lumbered over to the small cowering boy, and grabbed him by the hair once again, forcing him to his feet.
Sam grimaced in pain, but this time didn’t struggle as any hope he had clung so foolishly too, had all but gone.
A pair of beady eyes watched from the dark corner of the cell, as the two disappeared up the stairs; the gate slammed shut and locked behind them.
A sad voice from the dark whispered, “May your death be quick boy…”
The sight was incredible.Thousands had emerged, under a dark gray sky, to witness the chosen ones death.
When Sam appeared, the crowd cheered, forming a pathway for him to walk down. The Brute leading Sam pushed him down the direction of the path. Ugly creatures held back by their masters pulled on their chains, snapping at him while other onlookers spat at him. Further in front of Sam was a large device situated near a small case of steps. They were going to hang him. He was pushed further along the corridor of men and creatures till finally he reached an opening.
The crowd’s noise ceased as a loud voice began to speak. “Today the prophesy is void!”
Sam looked up towards a balcony that was situated above the now once again screaming mass. Then as the screams of the gathered crowds excitement died down the loud voice continued.
“They said they could stop me!” Sam looked up, confirming his suspicions of who was speaking. He could make out a victorious smile forming on Dread’s dark blue lips.
“They foolishly thought that by putting their faith in a small child, he would somehow destroy the king of darkness!”
The crowd laughed and began throwing rocks, dirt and handfuls of whatever was at their feet at the frightened boy.
Dread raised his arms to silence the rioting crowd. “But before we void the legend; let us have some fun as we verify this foolish prophecy's mistake!”
The crowd cheered as the brute that had walked Sam from his prison cell appeared holding a large leather whip. Sam closed his eyes and prayed. A pain suddenly hit him in the back, slicing into his thoughts and making him stumble forward. He screamed. The whip hit him again and warm blood dripped down his back. With the third strike, he fell to the ground whimpering, not even able to let out a scream, his back burning from the repeated crack of the whip against his small body. The brute forced him to his feet and punched him in the ribs. Sam released a gasp in an attempt to fill his winded lungs with air. The brute whipped him again; this time across his face; slicing his cheek causing what would be a permanent scar. Blood trickled down his cheek; and the crowd cheered in excitement.The brute slapped him in the face, and Sam once again fell to the ground crying weakly, begging for them to stop. The brute then raised his foot above the boy’s scarred face, ready to bring it crushing down when Dread shouted.
“Enough! Let us finally prove the truth of this 'prophecy', that there is NO Chosen One!” Dread paused as he savored his next words, “Execute him!”
Sam was dragged to the device and a rough piece of rope was tied around his neck as his hands too were tied up behind his back. Pulling the rope tight, the braid cut into his wrists. Sam jammed his sore eyes shut and waited for the rope around his neck to tighten. The noises around him echoed in his ears. The crowd cheering, Dread’s heavy panting. Even the blood that dripped from his back made a heavy splash as the drops hit the ground. Then there was silence.
After waiting for what felt like an eternity inside but a few brief moments, Sam started to get agitated at Dread for toying with his life. “Just do it already … please …” he begged silently.
Then just as Sam could feel the mechanism beneath his feet about to drop, a voice spoke, “Sam… run… now… my power will not hold!” Sam dazed from his beating, argued silently inside of his head. 'Who is that voice disturbing me? I just want to sleep!'
“Sam don’t be a fool, Escape while you can!”
'Go, it’s over!'
“I was right, you are no one special, you are weak!”
Sam eyes bolted open and looking up towards the balcony stood Dread, frozen, his arms out stretched, that same horrible smirk on his face. He then looked down to see a pale woman amongst the crowd, brought to her knees as if her strength was fading. It was the White Shaman.
Sam felt the binds fall from his wrists and the noose rope cut from above his head.
A rough deep voice spoke behind him. "Get out of here kid!"
Sam turned to see a hooded man dissapearing into the motionless crowd.
He turned back towards the Shaman, as she desprately mouthed the words 'run'.
Pulling the loose noose from around his neck he limped towards the small case of stairs, that hadled up the platform, tumbling down them as his weak legs could barely hold up his beaten body. Forcing himself to his feet he knew he had to run. Each step made the pain in his back burn; but he knew had to ignore it. He ran until the howling creattoures and the shouts of the amassed crowd faded and until he could no longer feel the evil aura that illuminated from Dread surrounding him. Finally with his gut heaving and his stomach in the back of his throat causing him to feel like he was going to vomit, he reached a grassy ditch and collapsed; meeting the sleep he had longed for. But even in his dreams he was tormented with pain and images of Dread cursing him and vowing the chosen ones death.
Chapter 5: The boy becomes a man
The White Shaman and Robert followed along a dirt path, now many miles away from Dread’s fortress. Robert wiped the sweat from his forehead as he dawdled along behind the Shaman, as this path they were following seemed to stretch on forever. The more he stared at the Shaman’s back, the more agitated he became, wanting to know the whereabouts of their destination. “Shaman?” Sir Robert asked. How do you intend to find Sam?”
“The legend speaks for itself”, The White Shaman replied, not looking back and continuing her brisk pace, “He will be on his way to the Dragon Fang Sword; our paths shall cross at that place where the sword is kept”.
Robert nodded questioning this to himself silently, before interrupting the silence again. “The Dragon Fang Sword, where is it?”
The White Shaman stopped and turned to Robert with a stern look upon her face. "You're the first person I'll divulge this information to in 500 years, I never imagined this would be a secret I would have had to keep for all this time..." The White Shaman paused for a moment before continuing with a tone in voice as if a great weight had been lifted off her shoulders. "The Dragon Fang Sword lies within The Great Temple of the Dragon”.
A frown appeared across Robert’s wrinkled brow, “Are you leading me to my death as well Shaman just like you did my queen?” snapped Robert angrily. “You think me stupid not to know that place is covered by a powerful curse?”
The White Shaman replied firmly “I thought it would be more obvious to someone like you why the temple is protected by a ‘curse’.”
Hearing the White Shaman’s emphasis on the word ‘curse,’ Robert replied, a realization coming to him, “there’s no curse at all is their … the people said to have died while trying to venture in were killed by whatever is protecting the sword, weren’t they?”
The Shaman nodded, “Very good Robert, now we must continue; time is short, we don’t have time to converse on such matters”. The Shaman turned and continued her monotonous walk along the path, leaving Robert standing there after the Shaman’s sardonic tone. Robert feeling degraded slowly continued to follow.
The two both continued in silence while unaware to them, a dark figure loomed above them in the trees. "So the Great Temple of the Dragon! My master will be pleased!" The dark figure hissed quietly, before swooping off back through the trees to deliver a long hidden secret.
A flicker of sunlight shone through the window, licking the hard wooden floor and shining across onto a young boy’s face. It was the next morning and Sam awoke squinting in the sunlight that had awoken him. The small cabin was quiet and empty. Sam flinched in pain as he sat himself up, his body stiff and still aching from his beatings. Holding his ribs, he reached up and ran his hand through his dark brown, now matted hair, reminding him of his mother who had always told him to keep himself clean. Sam pushed his emotions back, even though he still hadn’t had time to grieve. He slid on his shoes and walked to the door of the cabin and stepped outside. Just then he saw a figure appearing from the thick trees of the woods, it was Janser, carrying with him what looked like two large sticks and a freshly captured rabbit.
As Janser approached he called out to Sam, “Ahhh, good to see you’re awake, I hope you slept well, cause if not, you will tonight!” He said chuckling.
Sam was taken aback by this but was glad to feel that his new companion was warming up to him. As Janser came closer, Sam realized that what Janser was actually carrying, weren’t just two sticks, but two sticks that had been fashioned into two wooden swords.
“After yesterday's attack I've realized that you’re going to be a real hindrance for me if we get attacked again. My plan is to have someone who can at least defend themselves, by my side and not a crutch. Come on Sam, step down from the porch,” continued Janser, placing the captured rabbit and newly fashioned wooden swords upon the deck as Sam hobbled over. "Stand up straight Sam, to attention, strong stance.....good, Stick your chest out."
Sam groaned as he did so, his body stiff and sore.
Janser stepped around Sam, circling him, and Sam could tell Janser was still planning what he had in store for him. Janser stopped circling and stopped in front of Sam turning to face him. “I'm going to train you Sam; you are destined to face Dread and it's part of my path to train you”.
Sam was just opening his mouth to speak with a thousand questions as Janser interrupted. “Now Sam, I want you too close your eyes, stay to attention! Sam, a wise man once quoted ‘The key to a successful knight lies not in the blade, but in the wielder; do you know what that means?”
Sam nodded and replied, “So, you mean it’s not the size of the blade that counts; it’s how you use it?”
“Yes,” Janser replied raising one eyebrow, “That's one way of putting it … “Now let’s move on. Sam, the first step of becoming a good swordsman is learning how to breathe.” Sam opened his eyes, “But I thought you were going to show me how to sword fight; I already know how to breathe. I've been doing it since I was born.”
“Quiet Sam, you need to listen”. Janser said, “Now close your eyes!”
Sam quickly did as he was firmly told.
“Now Sam, I want you to imagine striking at your enemy in your mind. With each attack I want you to breathe out as you strike with the force of your blade. But always remember to breathe between your attacks and to stay focused. In through the nose and out through the mouth. I want you to continue this. Stay to attention and keep your eyes closed, I'll be watching.”
Sam didn't see the point of this task but did as Janser said not wanting to get told off again. Sam then imagined the face of the monster Dread as he saw himself striking out with a sword, breathing as Janser had instructed.
Janser while watching Sam, stepped around to the side of the porch noting the anger in the boy’s expression.
Sam imagined blocking the evil Dread's attack then stabbing him through the heart as he was off guard. SPLASH! Sam’s eyes shot open as he jumped before quickly groaning again from his aching body.
Jansar stared at Sam stone faced, holding a half emptied bucket of water.
What did you do that for?” Sam snapped.
“you were thinking of killing Dread weren’t you?” Janser said.
“YES”, screamed Sam, “HE TOOK EVERTHING FROM ME! HE KILLED MY MOTHER, HE DESTROYED MY VILLGE AND WHEN HE ABDUCTED ME I LOST THE ONLY THING I HAD TO REMIND ME OF MY FATHER,” Sam fell to his knees wailing, finally grieving for everything that he had lost.
Janser began to feel sympathy for Sam, but he ignored this, as he knew it would only hinder with his plans. Janser crouched down beside the distraught, crying boy, “You can’t let hate control you, I also have great anger towards him and Dread has also caused a lot of pain in my life. But if you begin to act through hate, it's all you'll ever know. If in the process of defeating a monster you’ve become one yourself, then you have achieved nothing.”
Sam looked up to Janser, his eyes red and swollen, as he once again screamed “WHY DID THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN TO ME? I DON’T WANT TO BE THIS CHOSEN ONE! I NEVER WANTED THIS!... I'VE NEVER WANTED THIS! TAKE IT FROM ME! YOU HEAR ME! TAKE IT!”
Janser stared at Sam stonily, “Don't let him defeat you Sam, if you give up now he's already won. You’re the one that must stop this. You can stop this from happening to more families. You have to be strong!” Janser placed one of the wooden swords in Sam's hand. “Now... TRY AND STRIKE ME!”
Sam pulled himself to his feet, still wiping the tears from his face and lifting his fashioned wooden sword struck towards Janser, making Janser block the attack. “Good, now again.” The two continued into the day and over the next few weeks Sam’s wounds healed and he fast became a talented swordsman. He was a natural and Sam’s trust for his new friend Janser grew, but unbeknown to Sam, Janser stayed emotionally distant, because Janser had a plan, and he wouldn’t let that plan fail.
Chapter 6-10 are currently in revision. Part two chapter one has been completed, an exciting chapter on the Shamans and introduces a new Shaman who is perhaps more terrifying than Dread... To find this chapter please search, The Dragon Fang - Hunt for the Gauntlets