A story about a young man and his journey to an ancient city.
| Cain and Dire mountains are two mountain ranges standing a few miles apart. The snow cone tops disappear into the clouds while large eagles soar above the peaks. Coarse Valley, sitting at the center of both ranges, collects and discards rocks down the steep canyons. King Ryzor commands the verse mages to travel through the gorge and clear the terrain for smooth passages. The valley pass, a quick journey to the tri-forts, provides an ideal supply route for an invasion to the west. Coming down, an army marches through the sparsely grassed field in a centipede-like fashion.
With each man carrying his own spear, hundreds of armored foot soldiers march through the valley in a twelve-man formation. The Dalmecian Hound black and white banner flaps wildly in the gust while captains shout orders to their soldiers on their black and white armored horses. Four rows of verse mages, donning robes colors of red, blue, brown and green and wearing silver guards on their hands, all march together in perfect unison.
Riding on the side of the marching formation, King Ryzor and his two twin teenage daughters Dissandra and Ordenia steer their white steeds near the army. The girls’ slender black armors, with pink and purple linings on the side, aid the King in distinguishing his twins apart. Swallowing the lumps in their throats, they nervously clench the brown straps of their horses. Their long black silky hair waves in cold, blood scented breeze. A distant roar of a Dragon sends chills down the twin's spine as they glance at each other with petrified expressions on their faces.
Noticing their fear, Ryzor pulls the reins on his barded horse and slows down for his daughters to catch up to him.
“Dissandra, Ordenia” Ryzor calls, “You shouldn’t be so tense. The fearful will err on the battlefield, but the bold will dominate it. If you wish to return home alive, then you must face your fears and destroy the enemy.”
The two young women gaze into their father’s dark brown eyes with a newfound confident resolve. They nod their heads together, and Ryzor responds in kind before looking ahead.
“Stay near me,” he says while his sword scrapes from his sheath as the front line approaches the sandstorm, “And watch how boldness wins in the face of savagery!”
“WIND VERSE MAGES, GET READY!” Ryzor shouts as he lifts his blade in the air.
Various soldiers throughout the formations repeat Ryzor’s commands, and all of the mages wearing green robes remove their hoods and raise their silver covered fingers ready to write.
“WINDSTREAM!” Ryzor, waving his sword in a circle, shouts again.
The mages follow his command, and the enchanted words glow a gusty emerald green. Afterward, a gust of roaring and whirring wind erupts from the row of verse mages. Forming a powerful vortex, the tornado spiral towards the sandstorm in a furious rage. The spiraling wind collects brown sand in its cyclone and reveals a dragon gliding above an army of snarling Alterneans.
“There they are!” Ryzor says, “SOUND THE CHARGE!”
Then a deep bellowing blow from a horn sound throughout the valley and the soldiers begin running towards the Alternean army in a thunderous war cry. As the Dalmecian soldiers close the gap between themselves and the Alternean military, Ryzor gives his next commands.
“VERSE MAGES!!” Ryzor shouts holding his silver sword high in the air. “ENCHANT THE ARCHERS!!”
Then all of the verse mages write ENCHANT in the air each in their own elements, and the wooden bows of the Dalmecian archers start glowing.
“ARCHERS READY!!!” Ryzor says.
Archers pull out their arrows and pull thin strings back in unison aiming upward for an arching shot.
Then thousands of colorful arrows fire into the sky whistling as they soar into the skies in a rainbow-like arch. The arrows hit their targets causing multiple elemental explosions. Fire arrows plow into Lizardmen erupting them in searing flames while ice arrows freeze and shatter others. Alterneans shriek in pain as whooshing blades of wind shreds them apart by the wind arrows and earth enchanted arrows transform into large stones that smash some into a pulverized pile of bones and sinew.
Despite the attack, the lizard men continue their charge and slam into the Dalmecian soldiers. Banging against their shields, the Dalmecians try to hold off the snarling lizardmen. Men grunt and wail as the armies mix on the battlefield in a fierce melee. A lizard man’s sharp ax sinks into a Dalmecian’s skull and kicks him away only to have cold steel pierce through its chest from behind by another soldier.
The battle intensifies, and the red dragon swoops down towards the ranks behind the scuffle and
unleashes orange flames from her mouth causing men to dance in a fiery hot blaze. A menacing look envelopes Ryzor’s face as he releases an icy cold breath. He looks behind at his anxious daughters looking at the dragon set their armies ablaze.
Ryzor kicks his horse, and it starts galloping towards the flying red dragon.
“FOLLOW ME TO BATTLE!!!” Ryzor shouts as he charges ahead with the thunderous hoofbeats of his horse.
The two daughters look at each other, and one of them gave a confident nod to the other.
“Let’s go Dissandra!” Ordenia says.
Then both kick their heels and their horses’ whines as they break into a full gallop.
Ryzor quickly approaches the flying red dragon that is busily burning Dalmecian ranks with her orange flames. The dragon notices him and starts flapping its wings towards the king. The creature releases an orange blaze of fire towards Ryzor but Ryzor holds up his cold gauntlet covered hand, and a barrier of white frost deflects the hot flames.
Ryzor stands on his steed with his knees bent, hungrily eyeing the giant dragon. Cocking his left arm back, he leaps high towards the fiery dragon, and with a deep thud, he punches the dragon hard in its face. The red dragon crashes down onto the ground Rolling over Dalmecian and Alternean soldiers alike in a plume of dust and smoke. In shock, the dragon quickly gets back to its red scaly legs shakes its dizzy head and roars aloud at her attacker. Ryzor slams onto the ground and holds his sword at the ready.
“Come and face me, dragon!” Ryzor says.
However, the dragon backs away, and scores of snarling dragoons charges towards the King. Ryzor turns his head and elbows a creature in the face and shatters its sharp teeth.
He then turns and cuts the creature in half with his sword, grabs the neck of another with his icy white gauntlet and freezes it while he jugs his sword into another in the gut. Squeezing its frozen neck, Ryzor shatters the creature and yanks his sword from the other creature’s torso. He then throws his sword straight through several lizard men as he bashes a few more into ice crystals with his enchanted gauntlet.
Both Dissandra and Ordenia leap off their horses and charge into the fray. One of them takes her silver rapier, and thrusts it in the chest of a lizard-man, yanks it out and slashes another at the neck. The other twin leaps and unleashes a bone cracking thrust kick in another creature’s face and follows through with several multidirectional slashes. The twins then stand back to back amidst the battling forces and dying warriors.
“Let’s do it sis!” Ordenia shouts amid the warring screams of the battling armies.
The other twin nods her dusty disheveled head, and with their fingers, they write UNION in the air in shining white letters. A shining white light envelops their bodies and combines forming one singular being.
The light dissipates revealing a woman taller than every man with her long straight raven hair waving in the wind. Carrying two rapiers, the woman’s eyes shine white while dawning black armor with half pink and half purple linings.
Carrying axes and mornings stars, the Alterneans charge towards the newly formed woman. The woman takes her swords and leaps over the charging group and lands in the midst of them. Her eyes flash a bright blinding light disorienting the creatures and start swinging her dual swords. She hacks and slashes her way past the many disoriented foes kicking a few as she spins around in a circle. She thrusts both of her swords in a creature’s scaly gut and with one maneuver, rips it in half sending each mound of flesh flying apart.
Seeing the battle turn against her the red dragon flaps its black wings lifting its heavy body off the ground and flies towards the mountain range where she lands high up on a large stone cliff. Looking down, her red scaly body morphs back into her human form with her red hair now lose waving in the wind with her dark blue skins suit. She pants as she watches Ryzor and his daughter tear through her ranks in sheer bewilderment.
“Impossible!” Debra says steadying her feet on the cliff’s edge. “Humans shouldn’t have that much power! Its no wonder why Queen Reina was killed by them”.
“Laugh all you want humans!” Debra says sneering with an angry look on her face. “You’re not the only ones who can use verses.”
Then she takes her cream-skinned finger and writes NITRO in the air in windy green, BLASTVOLLEY in burning red and OUTREACH in sparkling white letters all side by side.
Debra raises her hand in the sky, and the three verses begin spinning rapidly blurring them
together in a deep humming noise. The spinning verses rise into the grey clouds stirring them into a thunderous vortex with blue spider like lightning flashes. Debra’s red hair starts to erect as small bolts of electricity pass between the strands. Debra smiles as a tingling sensation shoots through her entire body.
Ceasing his assault, Ryzor notices the thunderous calamity unfolding above him. Tilting his curly brown head up, he sees Debra holding her hand high in the sky with crashing lighting bolts dancing around her body.
“Nice combo princess!” Ryzor says scoffing. “But it won’t be enough.”
Then, Ryzor removes his icy gauntlet and throws it to the ground. With his ashen finger he writes, TREMOR in brown earthen, SHATTER in sparkling white and QUICKEN in windy green letters. The three verses spin similarly to Debra’s, but Ryzor takes the blurred verses and drives it into the ground with the palm of his hand.
Then a deep earthen crack sounds as a fissure rips through the ground in a circle around Ryzor. Afterward, a large cone-shaped rock with falling dirt lifts into the air with Ryzor standing on top of it. He folds his armored arms smiling as the massive piece of land floats towards her.
A frustrating look envelops Debra’s face as a thick blue thunderbolt strikes the palm of her hand in a loud, windy crash. She reaches up and grabs her wrist with her other palm trying to contain the powerful flash entering her right arm. Screaming in a high pitch tone, she reveals her white-fanged teeth as her face writhes in pain from the volts coursing through her body. Her skinsuit’s sleeves tear off her arms from the overwhelming force emanating in her limb.
The lightning bolt disappears as she closes her palm with blue sparks flickering around her clenched fist. She lowers her fists towards Ryzor and opens her hand firing a thick light blue stream of ear-splitting light directly towards Ryzor.
Ryzor’s smile disappears from his face as he leaps off the large chunk of rock floating in the air. The lighting bolt meets the large boulder in an expansive explosion of dust and rock mixing with blue flashes. A wind shifting shockwave spreads from the point of contact as small chunks of rock trailing with brown dust clatter on the ground.
Sitting on her hands and knees, Debra pants as her arms and legs tremble in weakness. White sizzling smoke rises from her body as her disheveled head slowly raises to see Ryzor land beside the giant crater where the massive chunk once rested.
No… way…”She says in a shaky voice with white smoke ebbing from her mouth.
With the battle now lost Debra cuts her losses and struggles to her feet.
“Get me away from this place!” Debra says in a trembling tone.
Then two flying lizardmen with leathery brown wings fly out from behind the mountain, grabs her by the arms and starts flying away with her slump body dangling in the air.
A shake from Kevin’s hand wakes Drake up from his slumber. Drake opens his eyes and see’s Kevin looking at him.
“Hey, wake up. They’ll open up soon.” Kevin says as he starts walking with his sandals meshing the green grass.
Drake blinks his eyes and wipes them with his toffee hands while he stands to his feet. Drake turns around and is immediately frozen when he sees in the day what he couldn’t see at night.
The tall mountain-like walls bewilder him as he steps back trying in vain to get the whole wall in full view. The dark grey stone wall stands in direct contrast to the light grey sky as a gentle gust of wind tickles his head. No matter where Drake looks, to the left or right, all he saw was an expansive sky-reaching stone discouraging anyone from trying to climb over it.
“Amazing isn’t it?” A sinister voice says interrupting Drake’s gaze.
Drake turns around and sees Darkall with his spiky black head tilted up looking at the vast construct. Stepping away, Drake's arms begin to tremble, and the hairs at the back of his neck stand on end as he
It's that feeling again. Drake says to himself.
“Such a grand design speaks wonders to those gazing up at it. Bold, smart, industrial…and insecure.” Darkall says as his head turns towards Drake with the look of disgust on his face.
“Humans craft great things from such petty ideals like protection, entertainment and preservation knowing that the things they create can’t stop them from dying,” Darkall says. “It’s almost sad to waste such great skill on creatures with so little vision.”
Pondering Darkall’s words, Drake keeps his distance as he can’t break his eyes off his opponent.
“Welcome to Belle City,” Darkall says as walks in front of Drake with his hand behind his back. He stands between Drake and the wall with his grey coat flapping in the wind.
“It seems you’ve developed a little since we last met,” Darkall says with a grin on his face.
“Though,” he continues as his smile turns serious. “Is it enough to handle what’s waiting for you behind these walls?”
“I don’t know.’ Drake says crassly glaring at Darkall in suspicion. “What’s behind the wall?”
Darkall giggles as he runs his pale hand through his spikey hair.
“Wouldn’t want to spoil it for you,” Darkall says. “But I’ll leave you with a hint. It is a place where Griselda frequented quite often.”
Grandma? Drake thinks to himself. She’s been with me in the quarry as long as I can remember.
“Well,” Darkall says sighing. “Time is running short, and I must bid you adieu.”
Then he writes TRANSMIT in the air with his pale finger.
“I wish you well,” he says in a normal tone. But the next time we meet… he continues as his face contorts into an angry glare. You will die!
Then Darkall disappears in a bolt of blue lightning.
The off-putting feeling disappears from Drake’s body along with Darkall, and he sighs in relief. Many questions begin floating through Drakes’ head, but he soon shakes his head.
No time to think about it. Drake says to himself. Need to find the answers.
Drake turns and starts jogging towards the crowd that gathered at the iron gate. Anxious, the crowd talk amongst each other as Drake shoves and pushes his way to the center where Kevin is standing at the door in his long blue cloak.
“What’s going on?” Drakes asks looking at Kevin. “They are supposed to be open right?”
“I don’t know,” Kevin says looking up at the large door. He takes his clenched fist and bangs on the iron gate several times to get the other side to respond.
“HEY OPEN UP I HAVE WOOD TO TRADE!” Kevin shouts.
There was no response.
“What if those golems made it over the wall?” Drake asks.
“It can’t be,” Kevin says calmly. “Tyranese and Celta are guarding the place along with some generals. Those golems are no match….”
A loud metallic creak of the black gate interrupts Kevin’s talk. Everyone at the gate gasps as they see the half-dead Dalmecian exit the door. Blood runs down parts of his white cracked armor with his helmet half destroyed revealing his bloody face. An exhausting grunt comes out of the man’s mouth as he falls to the ground face first.
Kevin and Drake look at each other with a disturbed look on their faces, and Kevin quickly kneels down to address the man’s wounds.
“Hey, what happened in there!?” Kevin says as he turns the man over on his back.
“T…there.” The man said in a faint voice that Kevin couldn’t make out.
Kevin lowers his ear down to the man’s mouth.
“T…there…were…too…many…”He says before his head drops succumbing to his wounds.
Drake runs past Kevin and into the broad gate, and Kevin follows running as well. They run through a stony corridor where they encounter Dalmecian soldiers lying dead along the path. With his boots beating against the concrete, Drake covers his nose from the unbearable stench of blood that filled the hall. He pushes open the metal door at the other end of the corridor, and a brisk of warm wind rushes his face as his eyes widen in sheer horror.
Drake sees wooden rubble that scatter across the ground and crackling noise of burning houses with numerous golems tearing through the city. Terrifying screams of fleeing civilians mix with multiple explosions from red beams of the golem’s ruby face. Streams of light pass through groups wearing fancy clothes and perish in the ensuing explosion.
Kevin runs up behind Drake and places his hand on his shoulder, leaning forward huffing.
“Man...” Kevin says exhausted “I didn’t think they made that wall…. “His voice halts when he witnesses the carnage in front of him.
“There has to be at least ten of them,” Drake says staring at the stomping titans.
“With this much destruction, they’ve been at it all night,” Kevin says.
“Why didn’t we hear anything?” Drake asks. “Everything seemed normal.”
Kevin then taps Drakes soldiers and points to the expansive wall behind them. Drake turns around, looks up and sees the verse SILENT in large black letters.
“It’s a dark verse,” Kevin says.
“Dark verse?” Drake questions looking at Kevin.
Then Fane speaks to Drake’s mind.
“There are six elements that verses dwell in. Fire, Wind, Earth, Water, Light, and Dark.” Fane says. “The four primary elements are simple to understand as you have seen them before. However, Light and Dark verses are different from the rest. Light verses are common verses that can alter the physical form of anything it is assigned to. I can cause something to grow and shrink, expand and contract, or stretch and condense. However, Dark verses are rare and can alter the senses. Sight, touch, taste, hear and smell even some six senses. Dark verses can also manipulate emotions as well.”
"Who placed it there then?” Drake asks.
“Only a powerful verse mage could’ve done something like this,” Kevin says.
“Darkall!” Drake says. “What is he up to?”
“LOOK!” Kevin says pointing past a few burning houses.
In the distance, Drake sees a more massive golem with a spiked head, bulkier build and an octagon shaped onyx stone in its face.
“Drake if you defeat that one, then all of the other golems with fall as well,” Fane says.
Drake then turns to Kevin and says. “Do what you can to help the wounded. I’ll deal with the golem.”
“Right!” Kevin says as he runs off in the other direction. “Don’t get yourself killed ok?”
“I’ll do what I can,” Drake says looking at the massive golem with a lack of confidence.
The golem stomps its feet shaking the wooden wreckage around it while it clenches Tyranese’s body in its large stone hand.
The woman coughs red crimson out of her mouth as her sword arm dangle outside its clutches. With blood trickling down from her forehead, she clenches her white teeth and her double-edged sword as she raises her arm over her head and whacks the stone hand in a desperate attempt to escape.
“Ughh!” She coughs. “Why won't you die!” She says as her metal sword clanks against the stone fist. She grunts and grunts trying to break free with white sparks popping from each fruitless strike.
The golem holds up Tyranese to its face tilting it sideways observing her attempts. Then an ear-splitting white blast forces the golem to stumble forward in ground shaking stomps. The golem turns its head and sees Celta with parts of her white armor cracked with her knees turned inward in exhaustion. Panting, she points a sparkling white crossbow at him in one of her hands.
“Let her go!!” Celta shouts as she fires several more shining white bolts that explode on contact with white colored blasts. The golem staggers back a few steps loosening its grip on Tyranese. The tomboyish woman falls and lands on her feet revealing her cracked armor.
“I WILL SEND YOU STRAIGHT TO HELL!!!” She shouts as her sword glows black.
But the golem swings and smacks Tyranese sending her crashing into a half-destroyed house. The house collapses shortly afterward burying Tyranese in a pile of wooden rubble.
“TYRANESE NOOO!” Celta shouts as she starts limping towards the rubble with her sparkling white crossbow reverting back into a double-edged silver sword.
However, the golem slams down in front of Celt causing her to fall on her backside from the tremor.
The titan balls its hand into a stony fist and throws a straight punch directly toward her.
Celta turns her head away bracing herself for the worst, but Drake sprints, leap and tackles her away from the pulverizing punch. The fists slam into the ground sending rocks and dirt flying in all directions while Drake and Celta roll together on the ground with Drake’s hands wrapped around her.
Drake stands to his feet pulls Celta to hers. The golem starts beating its chest in a fury with chunks of rock falling off with each strike. Drake adjusts his red tunic and starts walking towards the golem.
However, Celta pulls him back around by the shoulder.
“Please!” She says. With desperate tears running down her face. “Save Tyranese! Save my sister!”
“I’ll fight the golem,” Drake says with a stern look on his face while pointing his brown finger at the bulky stone titan. “You get your sister. But remember what I’m doing today. He continues. I’m helping you when you even though you tried to kill me. I don’t want anything from you only that you remember the people you’ve ignored outside these walls.”
Celta nods her head, and Drake turns towards the chest beating golem as it's onyx stone shines under the rays of sun piercing through the grey clouds.
“Drake,” Fane says. “You will need to use all three of your verses in this battle. Get ready.”
“Here we go again,” Drake says as he writes FANE in the air.