A fantasy/Adventure about four characters on separate quests.
Deum Lucis thrust his light sword into a shadow’s chest. It screamed and thrashed in agony as the bright aura burned through it and disintegrated it into nothing. Deum Lucis was light, his brother, Deten Mortim, was darkness. The two had been fighting for centuries, Deum’s army of knights who had the power of the stars. Deten had the darkness, the shadows, the void. He had an army of assassins who followed his rules and his rules alone. The two despised each other, brother vs. brother is a disgrace and neither wanted it but, neither knew how else to handle it.
In reality, the two could not exist without each other. Light alone would eventually burn everything if it’s too powerful. Darkness would consume everything if the light could not balance it out. It was a fact the two god would not accept. In the end it would destroy them both, if they didn’t stop it.
Deum was surrounded by the shadow assassins. They couldn’t actually kill him, only a god could kill a god, but, they could hold him back until his brother came to finish the job. Deum held his sword strong and spun. He sliced every assassin around him, killing them all.
Deten was on equal grounds. Several of Deum’s knights were holding him back, using their mighty shield to push him back with the power of light. The light was more powerful than dark, pushing it away, blocking it out, removing it entirely. However, when the light vanished, darkness filled the gap. Darkness was always there, always waiting for the light to fade so it could take its place.
The knights could handle the assassins easily enough, but, to face the god of darkness himself was a difference entirely. The two gods both wielded long swords (well, according to their size. For the blades were far too big for their soldiers to use.) Deum’s sword was infused with the power of light and shone a bright gold that lit up always. Deten’ sword was silver. It had a black fog that crept from it eerily and it could block out even the brightest of stars.
Deten sported a long black robe and a crown of thorns. He had a thin black beard and cold gray eyes. Deum was more or less the opposite. Having a long white beard and robes, and a golden crown that had the power of light as well. The two had always been, always fought, always hated each other. Neither was evil, nor were they good. They simply wanted control.
Deten stared over the sea of shining knights. Their bright golden armor laced with steel forged by the god of light himself. They had golden great shields that were similar in looks to kite shields. They were equipped with steel long swords and their helmets had horns that pointed upwards.
The god of darkness didn’t fear light, he only hated it. He pushed forwards, sending all his giant body weight into his thrust. He pierced through the knights’ shields, killing a line of them and pushing through the sea of warriors.
This was when Deum had just finished killing Deten’s assassins. The two glared at each other. Deten’s grey eyes filled with hatred, Deum’s eyes the same. They didn’t waste time with looks, the two quickly pushed forward each other and their swords connected, sending a powerful wave of pure energy rushing away from them. The blast shook everyone in the sky, some of the nearest knights, assassins and stars were obliterated.
Light will remove dark. Dark will fill light’s place when it’s gone. This is how things work. It’s how it is and always will be and because of this, Deten was no match for his brother. Deum’s light made Deten’s power leave, he fell to his knees and began to scream, not in pain but, in shame. He could not in any way shape or form defeat his brother.
Some of Deten’s assassins rushed the god of light and tried to help their king. The power of light was too strong however, and the assassins vanished into nothing.
This is what we wanted brother! Deum bellowed. His voice was loud and echoed through the universe.
You can’t. We can’t! Deten was panicking now, his voice was just as loud.
No. I can! Deum yelled. With his final words, the god of light pushed forward, ready to rid the universe of darkness forever.
I won’t let you brother. Deten said.
As everyone knew, light and darkness have to have each other, they have to cancel each other out at times. Less everything be destroyed by light or consumed by darkness.
The wise god of darkness knew this, but, the arrogant Deum was too stubborn. Because of this, Deten knew only one way to keep the two…
By destroying them both.
Deten yelled a defeated cry. He gripped his sword tighter and focused all of his powers, all of his energy into the blade. The sword began to flash with flickers of energy. Energy of light and dark that flashed through the empty space around them that was the universe. With all of their power infused into one, the two gods began to feel the void calling them.
Through the flickers of energy however, shapes began to form. Spheres that looked like stars. They were large spheres of rock that formed around the stars. They began to slowly circle around them. With the energy flashing the Gods’ power began to go out of them and into others. Some of the power of darkness went into the shadow assassins while Deum’s power went into his knights. Not all of the warriors were blessed (or cursed) with this power, only a few.
Ignis received some of the power of the god of light. She was a fierce warrior and as such received some of her king’s power. She was given his pride, his warmth that he used during war. Ignis became the god of fire.
Vita was a wise assassin who received Deten’s knowledge. His knowledge that he used to keep things in line. She became the god of water.
Draconem was a fast, skilled assassin. He could put a blade in your heart faster than any other. He was given the god of darkness’ skill. He was just as fast and with his combined power he was the deadliest assassin in the universe. Draconem became the god of air and wind.
Devitam was another of Deum’s warriors. He was a kind, loyal knight who showed no joy in fighting. He was given Deum’s power. The power of light and life. Devitam became the god of earth.
The four warriors didn’t know what was happening to them at the time. They didn’t really care. All of the assassins and knights watched their kings die as Deten made the ultimate sacrifice. He knew that others would be given power. Power that two gods couldn’t handle but, hopefully more could.
Deten closed his eyes and with one final explosion of energy the two gods were gone. Leaving behind their swords and crowns. The final blast finished building the universe. Filling the void of darkness and stars with other amazing shapes and structures. Galaxies were born. Solar systems, black holes, asteroids. All built from light and dark’s destruction.
The knights and assassins were horrified by their leaders destruction. They had never questioned why they fought it was simply, how things had always been. They had not really known how to move on from this. Staring at their leaders’ remaining equipment the warriors questioned their very being.
The they turned and saw what had been born from the destruction of the gods. They saw the new universe, the new worlds that had yet to be shaped. Ignis, Vita, Draconem and Devitam began to feel their new power. The power of Deum and Deten was in them now and they now saw this.
The four happened to be standing by each other. Warriors of light and dark that saw the power within themselves and the others. Looking over the universe they knew they had to be better than the two brothers.
Where to start?
They surely couldn’t shape all of the new worlds at once, none of them even knew how. The dim stars, the moving planets. Could they handle all of it?
They didn’t know and the wise ones knew better than that. So, they set forth onto one sphere. One rock and only one right now they all agreed.
For the rock was dark.
So Ignis started the fire. She lit a star of her choosing and the others set forth on a planet orbiting it.
For the rock was blank.
So Vita covered it in water. Giving the rock color and starting the process of life.
For the rock was dead.
So Devitam gave it plants. Trees, flowers, and grass. The planet was now alive with organic life.
For the rock was quiet.
So Draconem gave it air. The wind that moved the plants and water. The oxygen that gave the planet the ability to sustain life.
For the planet was empty.
So the four gods used their powers together.
From light and dark was born man and woman.
Thus began the world and it thrived for years with the watchful eyes of the four gods.
As the legends say, this was the how the world was created.
So the legends say…
“Sajume Dinner!” Calene called.
Sajume was a young boy, ten years of age. He was athletic and wanted to be a knight when he grew up even though his father was killed in war. He wore blue trousers and a red tunic that fit well with his white hair. He was free spirited and a joy. The most well known face in the village of Ardenti. Sajume always carried a wooden short sword that he carried always. It was given to him by his uncle who was a wanderer. On it was engraved the words: “Natum de terra.” Born from earth.
“Coming mom!” Sajume yelled back.
The young boy began running towards his house. Ardenti wasn’t a poor village and Calene made a living off of cooking and cleaning others’ homes. She was a very kind woman who had light brown hair and big brown eyes. Her deceased husband, Seros, had white hair, which is how Sajume had gained his.
Sajume darted inside, followed by his dog, Ynin. The two ran into the kitchen and Sajume jumped onto his chair and dug into his meal happily and carefree. All of the scraps that fell onto the floor were quickly taken by Ynin, who wagged his tail while he ate.
After the boy had finished he ran back outside to play with his friends. They fought with wooden swords and they all wanted to be knights. Sajume’s best friends were serious about it with him. Yerl and Jest were sons of knights too. Jest’s father was still a knight, being a guard at the castle. Yerl’s father had died before Sajume’s, so Yerl hadn’t known him well.
They all had wooden swords and shields and they would play fight. Little did they know that this was just an early form of training. A lot of the towns people knew the three boys would surly become knights. They played like this every day, nearly all day. Each one’s mother would call them inside to eat dinner at separate times. They would leave and then come back as soon as they were finished and pick up right where they left off.
“Stay back bandits!” Sajume said. Pointing one of his wooden swords at his friends.
They would do this. Go back and forth between being knights, warriors, bandits, monsters, etc. They were very creative.
“Give us your gold!” Yerl ordered.
Sajume looked at them intently. When they played, they entered their own world. They took it completely seriously and only broke away when their mothers called.
“You’ll have to kill me first.” Sajume said.
Yerl and Jest began to smack their shields with their swords as they walked towards Sajume. The young boy watched his two friends circle around him slowly. He had a wooden sword in either hand and looked back and forth at his friends who were going around him to attack both of his sides. Sajume smiled and then jumped for his first attack. The fight began.
The knight wore thin armor. Easier to move, as such he didn’t have a shield to hide behind. He wielded two steel long swords that had killed everything. Bandits, monsters, dragons, you name it. He was fighting two bandits now. The two had a round leather shield and iron long swords. They were hungry for blood and gold and the knight had to get the first hit.
He leaped to his right and brought both of his swords down onto the bandit. The brute blocked the knight’s attack with ease but, the knight followed up with a swift attack to the bandit’s stomach.
Before he could finish the other bandit rushed the knight. He nearly connected before the swift knight leaped to cover. The knight held his swords at his sides, walking around the two bandits, who were now becoming scared.
The knight darted forward and crossed his arms, bringing the right sword up to the left of his face and the left sword to the right. As he reached the bandits he sliced, making the blades cross and slice the bandit.
The bandit didn’t have time to react and the swords crossed at his neck, decapitating his head and sending it away. As he killed the bandit, the injured one dug his sword into the knight’s leg. He jumped back and glared at the bandit, eager to kill him now.
The bandit gripped his sword and shield strongly and prepared to fight. He rushed forward as best he could but, his sword was smacked away by the knight. The bandit fell to his knees and looked up at the knight. The knight had no sympathy for the brute and dug his sword into the bandit’s throat, killing him swiftly.
Sajume raised his swords up in victory. His friends got up and prepared for their next game.
Before they could however, a loud bang echoed through Ardenti. It came form King Daris’ castle. The three boys ran up a hill that was high enough to see the castle from a distance.
It was a cannon that made the loud noise. The knights used them as weapons along with warnings. The cannons made a loud noise that the three villages around the city could hear. It was supposed to be a warning for an attacking army, or bandits. However, when Sajume, Yerl, and Jest looked at the castle and saw fire, cannon shots and a large winged beast flying around the castle, they couldn’t help but be amazed.
“Sajume!” Calene yelled. “Sajume hurry!”
The three boys didn’t listen. Instead they ran forward, towards the castle, towards the fighting, towards the dragon.
They clearly weren’t thinking. Sajume, Yerl, and Jest simply ran towards the chaos. Unknown to them or their mothers.
“That was a dragon.” Sajume said with a mixture of horror and awe.
“It couldn’t be. They’re only in stories.” Jest disagreed.
“What was it then?” Sajume asked unconvinced.
“It had to have been.” Yerl agreed.
The didn’t hear the barking behind them due to the cannons and roars but, Ynin had ran up to them and joined Sajume at his side as the four ran towards their capitol city, Hammerclaw.
Gall’s pickaxe dug into the mountain side as he pulled himself up to the flat surface. The stone platform held strong for the traveler and he turned to pull his friend, Thraz up with him.
“By the gods I’m tired.” Thraz complained laughing.
“You can’t be getting old.” Gall laughed. “We’re only thirty-three.”
“Ale my friend.” Thraz laughed. “Ale and sweets.”
The two slumped down against a mountain wall. With the view they could see three of the nine kingdoms. Castle Blackhall, Castle Hammerclaw, and Castle Woodbay were all visible to them.
“That’s just beautiful isn’t it?” Thraz said.
Gall started laughing at him.
“I’m serious, you don’t see this in Estersea.” Thraz defended himself.
“Estersea isn’t even really a kingdom.” Gall laughed.
“Don’t do this again, Gall.” Thraz complained.
“Make fun of my home.”
“I’m not, I’m not. I’m just saying that if it were attacked by a bandit or two it wouldn’t last an hour.” Gall laughed again.
“Damn it Gall.” Thraz said getting up.
“Oh calm down, I was joking.” Gall said.
Thraz shook his head, trying to hold off a smile. It was hard to stay mad at the silver tongued traveler.
“I don’t know about you.” Gall said. “But, I’m starving.”
Thraz nodded and pulled out two logs he carried in his knapsack. He threw them down on the mountain flat they were resting on and then began to break branches off of a nearby tree. Gall smiled and began to start a fire by using two rocks.
Within minutes the two travelers had a fire going.
“Might as well make camp here.” Thraz said.
Gall nodded. “You hunting or me?”
Thraz stood. “I’ll go.”
Thraz reached back into Gall’s knapsack and pulled out his crossbow. He loaded it and took out a small quiver of bolts.
“Be back.” Thraz noted, starting into the small forest on the mountain.
“I should hope so, I’d like to eat soon.” Gall joked.
Then Thraz disappeared into the forest, leaving Gall alone by the fire.
After Thraz was gone for ten minutes the sun set. It wasn’t completely night time yet but, it was darker and the sky was darker and the sun lit up a bright orange.
Gall heard the bandits before he saw them. They weren’t stealthy and they stepped on a large amount of sticks before they even saw the resting traveler. There were three of them, watching him, waiting for what they thought would be a sneak attack.
“You really should watch where you step.” Gall called out to the bandits.
The brutes were startled at first, they didn’t know who he was talking to. They didn’t move.
Gall sighed. “You in the bushes.” He explained. “If you want food or water you’re welcomed to it, but, if you raise a weapon to me I swear I will kill all of you.”
The bandits roared and rushed the traveler.
Gall swiftly jumped up and pulled his pistol out of its holster. He shot the closest bandit and he fell onto the ground. He would have to refill his pistol with gunpowder to fire again so, he dropped the gun and drew his two daggers. The bandits tried to circle him but, he darted forward and dug a dagger into her stomach, the other in her neck, then he removed the one from her stomach and dug it into her right eye.
The other bandit was stunned. He watched his two partners die within seconds and he simply stared at the traveler in horror. Gall looked at the bandit and when he saw he wouldn’t budge he walked forward and placed the blade against his throat.
“Who are you?” The bandit asked.
Gall smiled. “Doesn‘t really matter to you.” Then he slit the bandit’s throat and spun out of the way of the streak of blood.
He wiped the blood off of his daggers and sheathed them. Then he picked up his pistol and carefully poured the black gun powder into the barrel, then the powder charge. He took out his pack of bullets and placed the iron ball into the gun. It was ready to fire again.
A minute later Thraz came running out of the woods, sword drawn in one hand, two dead rabbits in the other. He looked around at the dead bodies, then smiled as he sheathed his blade.
“You could’ve saved some for me.” Thraz laughed.
“They were just bandits, Thraz.” Gall said.
Thraz nodded as he showed his friend the rabbits. Gall took one and began skinning it with his dagger. After he handed Thraz one, he did the same.
Gall started cooking the rabbits while Thraz began looting the bandits’ corpses.
“We got gold!” Thraz announced.
“Try not to waste it on Ale.” Gall laughed.
“Do you know who you’re talking to?” Thraz retorted. “Water, some arrows and bolts.”
“So the usual?” Gall asked.
“You got it.” Thraz nodded, joining his friend by the fire.
The two sat by the fire, staring into the flames. They were silent for a few minutes before Thraz broke it.
“So you really think there’s a dragon egg up there?” He asked.
“Why would we come all this way if I didn’t?” Gall asked.
“Look, Thraz.” Gall said. “If you didn’t want to come that’s fine.”
“I’ve told you before, you saved my life. I’m not gonna not go on an adventure with you.” Thraz laughed.
Gall laughed and took out a bottle of ale. The two ate the rabbits and gulped the alcohol down until there was nothing left.
After a few minutes of resting Gall stood and rolled out his sleeping mat. He looked over at Thraz who was starting to fall asleep.
“You’ll have one hell of a back ache if you sleep on the mountain floor.” Gall laughed.
Thraz shook his head and stood, he started to get his mat but, was interrupted. The air pushed them harshly, putting out their fire and nearly blowing them off of the mountain. The two travelers looked up in horror and awe as a giant dragon swooped over them and towards the kingdoms. Thraz and Gall stared dumbfounded at the dragon who was getting smaller and smaller and it flew towards Hammerclaw.
Gall darted towards his knapsack and quickly threw his gear inside. He wrapped it around his shoulder and started down the mountain.
“Wait! Gall what are you doing?” Thraz asked startled.
“That was a dragon, Thraz!” Gall yelled. “A real, flying, fire breathing dragon!”
Thraz was scared by his friends excitement. He was more terrified of the flying beast than excited.
“Wait, wait where are you going?” Thraz asked.
“To Hammerclaw.” Gall laughed.
Before Thraz could respond his friend started down the mountain. Towards Hammerclaw, dragons and whatever other horrors awaited in the night.
Darius walked in silence as the voices followed him. His jet black hair flowing over his eyes, slightly hiding them. He wore a long black robe that hid his torso and legs. Most people would think of him as a necromancer at first glance. His eye color didn’t help.
Darius made his way through the streets of Woodbay, not even glancing at the peasants and guards. Although they looked at him with curiosity and fear.
Woodbay was in poor shape, thieves and bandits littered the streets and buildings and no one felt safe anymore. A large, black dressed man wandering the streets in silence didn’t help. Darius had a large black beard that was thick and curly and gave him a dirty look.
The black robed wanderer made his way to a bar and entered. He wasn’t interested in booze, simply a meal. He made his way to the counter and took a seat that was vacant, most of them were.
“Help ya?” The old bartender asked.
“What food do you have?” Darius asked. He had a deep, serious voice.
“I can cook ya up some chicken if you want.” The old man answered.
“Anything to drink?” The man asked. He was uncomfortable by Darius’ silence.
“Water.” Darius said.
The old man stared at him for a second but, after Darius didn’t respond, left to cook the chicken.
Darius had skimmed the bar as soon as he entered. There were seven men inside: three in the corner playing cards, two seated on the other side of the bar, and two looking at Darius with curiosity. All were thieves, probably murderers too, and Darius knew it.
A couple of minutes later the bartender returned with a glass of water and a cooked chicken breast with two chicken legs. The old man set the meal down and jumped back when Darius began eating the meal quickly. The bartender had given him a fork and knife but, Darius began tearing at the breast like an animal. Chunks of chicken fell into his thick beard but, he paid no mind.
Within minutes the food was gone, down to the bones, and Darius was gulping down the water. He raised his head back as he gulped down the last drop and then slammed the glass down onto the table, not breaking it but, it made the old man jump again.
After finishing Darius looked at the old man. “How much?” He asked.
The old man looked at Darius in awe.
“How much do I owe you?” Darius added patiently.
“Oh, um two silver.” The bartender said.
Darius reached down to his large dark brown purse and opened it. Inside, the bag was filled nearly to the top in gold coins and jewels. Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, the finest diamonds were crammed together in the leather sack.
“Keep the change.” Darius said after laying a ruby on the table.
“Well now!” One of the men sitting in the corner said standing up.
Darius didn’t move.
“Looks like we got us a king.” The man laughed.
All of the other seven men were standing up, surrounding Darius. They slowly walked towards the stranger, daggers drawn, ready to kill for the bag of riches.
“Now, maybe you can just-.” One of the men had began to order Darius to hand over his jewels but, he never got the words out.
Before he could finish, Darius stood and spun around. He had flipped open his long black robe, revealing thick leather armor underneath that had been painted black with a green symbol drawn on. He also had two handles imbedded into the armor where he kept two repeaters.
The black clothed stranger turned and sent seven bolts into the man’s chest and face before the others had time to flinch. He spun while he shot and delivered bolts into the bar’s walls and into the thieves. They all fell down and some screamed as the crossbow bolts ripped through their flesh.
Seconds had passed, and all seven of the men were dead. Darius nonchalantly reloaded his repeaters as he approached the unharmed bartender who was cowering in fear. The old man peeked over the counter and the first thing he saw was the green symbol on Darius’ chest plate. It was two daggers crossing to form an ‘x.’ The next thing he saw were Darius’ eyes. At first glance one might see them as silver or grey, a common color in the nine kingdoms.
However, the old man was seeing the stranger up close, he had white eyes, pure empty, clear white eyes that popped out due to the heavy amount of black.
“That’s the… the…” The bartender gasped.
Darius didn’t finish the old man’s sentence.
“…the mark of Draconem. The god of air.” He gasped.
Darius didn’t react. He didn’t say yes, or no, or even nod his head. He simply walked up to the old man and placed three gold coins and another ruby on the counter. Then he walked out, leaving the dead thieves and old man behind.
The voices followed Darius out. He ignored them like he always did and made his way further into town after fixing his robe where it hid his weapons and Draconem symbol. He also brushed his hair down to where it covered his eyes again and pulled some of the chicken meat out of his beard.
Darius walked towards Castle Woodbay in search of the king. He was looking for someone and had already been to Glasspond, Stonewell, and Blackhall. Now he was going to Woodbay castle. If he didn’t find him here he would go to Hammerclaw then so on. He had traveled far for this, searching for the name the voices kept whispering.
After the voice Darius heard the roar. Then he saw the dragon. Although Darius was hardened from his training and travels he had never seen a dragon and was simply terrified.
It was heading for Hammerclaw, passing over Woodbay with no interest at all. Leaving these people unharmed while it rushed for the larger city.
‘Why?’ Darius thought. Why had it left this city alone? Darius felt a strange urge to follow the beast. He knew he should look in Woodbay first but, for some reason he wanted to go to Hammerclaw to the where the beast was.
So that’s what he did.
After all, Darius had always followed his instincts and they have never led him astray. Maybe the person he was looking for was in Hammerclaw, maybe he’ll find them there. Maybe…
Blackhall is famous for its sorcery. They have a school made specifically for mages. Whether they specialize in destruction or helping spells, all are welcomed, minus a few.
Laela was one of the newer mages. She was studying to become a cleric and was practicing her healing spell when her teacher, Rolof walked into the library.
“Hello master.” She greeted, not taking her eyes off of the blue aura forming in her hands.
Rolof was a master cleric and wore long grey robes laced with red to symbolize this. He had a long white beard to show his age and bright blue eyes that always stood out.
“Hello Laela.” Rolof responded with a bow.
The healing spell wasn’t meant to be used unless there was a wound to heal, as the name obviously states. Rolof and Laela knew this and so Rolof took out his dagger and sliced his hand.
“Master!” Laela yelled startled.
Rolof laughed. “Laela, I‘ve had much worse than this. Go ahead, use the spell on me.”
Laela gulped and placed her hands on either side of Rolof’s. “Da mihi virtutem sanandi” She said as she focused the spell and conjured it to life. The blue light surrounded the wound and it closed quickly. Laela smiled.
“Easy huh?” Rolof noted.
Laela nodded and turned the page of her book. The rest was more advanced forms of healing, too far out of her league. She skimmed the pages a little and then picked up a book for a magic barrier. She placed it on the table and began reading the first page.
“I think you should try a different one, that’s a little much for a beginner.” Rolof said.
Laela just ignored him and he didn’t argue.
She reread the page and focused her energy into her hands as she mumbled the words. “Da mihi virtutem Dei tueri.”
Rolof watched bemused as the young woman began to create a flicker of blue. She wouldn’t succeed at first, no mage ever succeeds on their first try, but, Magic Barrier is a hard spell for beginners so he was curious to how it would go.
She focused as best she could but, after minutes of failure couldn’t produce more than a blue plate, smaller than a buckler.
She sulked after her failure. Then Rolof laughed. She gave him an angry look, not a real angry but, similar to the kind when a child is grumpy.
“Don’t be hard on yourself, most rich kids are spoiled and aren’t even really interested in magic, they just do it because their parents want them to.” Rolof explained. “That wasn’t terrible for your first try.”
Laela nodded unconvinced.
Rolof sighed happily and grabbed another book. “Here.” He said, handing Laela the book. “Practice this one.”
She looked at the cover. “Cure?” She asked.
“Diseases and poisons are everywhere child. That’s a very important spell.” Rolof explained.
Laela nodded and began reading it.
“Master.” A voice called.
Laela and Rolof turned to see their guest. Nicholas, another cleric in training, walked into the library.
“I’m sorry, was I interrupting?” Nicholas bowed. He was young, twenty-six, and was at the same level as Laela.
“No, we were just practicing some small spells.” Rolof explained.
Nicholas bowed and glanced at Laela, who was focused on her work. It was against the rules to have relationships with fellow classmates but, Nicholas couldn’t help but look at her.
She glanced up and they nearly made eye contact, luckily for Nicholas he dodged it by speaking.
“I was coming to ask you about the rumors.” Nicholas said.
Rolof shook his head. “What rumors?”
“Some travelers said that there’s a dragon egg on top of a mountain outside of Hammerclaw.” Nicholas explained.
“Where are these travelers now?” Rolof asked intrigued.
“They moved on, they did have two of their men stay behind and try to climb it.”
Laela was interested as well but, she focused on the spell she was working on. “Da mihi potestatem curandi.” She mumbled as the spell formed in her hand. It held a dim green color and she held it in her hands for a few seconds before letting it die.
“How did the wanderers hear about it?” Laela asked.
“They heard it from someone in Woodbay.” Nicholas answered.
“Why does it matter if it’s just a story?” She asked.
“Because the last dragon died before my grandfather was born.” Rolof explained. “There hasn’t been any stories about them, any rumors in years. They even changed the legends of the gods.”
“What? What do you mean?” Laela asked, Nicholas also didn’t know what Rolof was talking about.
“The legends say that the four gods, two from light, two from dark, put their powers together and created us, humans.” Rolof explained.
Nicholas and Laela listened with curiosity.
“The old legends were different.” Rolof continued. “They say that the gods couldn’t handle their power at first, they say that they made a mistake at the beginning. The old legends say that Ignis and Draconem tried to create the first mortals and with it was born an unbalanced monster. A monster that could move through the air but, also rain fire onto the planet. They couldn’t control any of it, and so the dragons were born.”
“But if they changed the legends, shouldn’t more people know about the old one?” Laela asked. “I mean, it wasn’t that long ago that they changed them.”
Rolof smiled. “No one talked about the old legends. No one wanted to. Now that dragons might be back though, it changes everything.”
“There’s no need to jump about every rumor.” Laela tried to convince her master.
“There is if it’s about dragons.” Rolof noted.
“What do you want to do?” Nicholas asked.
“We need to send someone to look, of course.” Rolof said.
“I’ll go.” Laela said.
“I will go as well.” Nicholas said, a little too quickly.
“We can’t send a group of clerics.” Rolof reminded them. “Those forests can be harsh, and Woodbay…” Rolof trailed off, everyone already knowing the poor condition of Woodbay.
“Send some others with us then.” Laela said. She clearly wanted to go.
Rolof nodded. Then he stood and left the room to gather the rest of the group that would make the trip to the mountain.
Rynn was a mage who was training to be a pyromancer, specifically training in fire magic. He had learned the spells Fireball and Flash. He was twenty-eight and wore a brown robe and hood. He also had a thin black beard and mustache, not very common in the school where most men had shaved faces besides the elders. He was chosen by Rolof and the other elders to join Nicholas and Laela.
William was a mage who was training in destruction magic. He was from Woodbay so wanted to learn to defend himself. He had learned Fireball, Lightning Bolt, and Ice Storm. All which were very useful. He was thirty-four and was in charge of the group due to his age.
The group greeted and then left promptly the next day. There was no time to waste when a dragon could be involved. They marched towards the mountain and found themselves in Hammerclaw before sunset.
“We gonna rest at an inn?” Rynn asked. He had a deep thick accent that gave him an interesting voice.
William looked up at the sky, trying to predict how much time they had. He nodded.
Hammerclaw was the second biggest kingdom, only behind Fairbourne that had fifteen more stores and eighty-six more houses. Since the two were on the other side of the continent, however, Hammerclaw served as the capitol for the four kingdoms closest to it. Estersea was in the middle of the two but, it was very small and most didn’t even consider it one of the nine kingdoms.
The streets were alive even though it was nearly sunset. Hammerclaw was the place to be when the shops opened up, hundreds of people littered the streets, buying, selling, talking. There wasn’t a thieve in sight too due to the guards who wore thick steel armor and carried just as powerful long swords.
The four mages pushed their way to an inn that was near them and went inside.
“Welcome!” The innkeeper boasted happily, customers were money to her and she was ready for night time, where more customers came inside.
“How much for two rooms?” William asked.
“Two gold.” She smiled.
“Gold?” William asked stunned. The inn wasn’t a dump but, it was hardly royalty.
“Yeah, look at you! I can tell you’re from Blackhall. Mages right? You rich kids are good for it.”
William looked at the woman angrily. It was a stereotype that all the mages were filthy rich and it was times like this when it hurt them. The four mages hadn’t brought a lot of money and didn’t know if they would need it for food.
Before William could pay, or argue, with the woman the sound of cannons shot through the air. It came from the castle, as they could tell since the boom shook the building and made their ears ring.
“What the hell was that?” Laela asked startled.
The three men looked at her stunned. They had never heard a woman swear, and they didn’t expect to hear a rich, cleric do it.
They all snapped out of it after hearing a second bang.
“It’s a warning.” William explained. “We need to go.”
The four mages left the building. They were amazed at how the streets looked. They were completely empty. The citizens must have went inside the shops or something because there wasn’t a soul in sight, save for Laela, Nicholas, Rynn and William.
Then they heard the roar.
The area around them turned dark as the large beast passed over them. The four stood in awe, gaping at the dragon as it flew overhead. Some knights rushed out of the castle that was a few yards away from the inn the four mages were going to rest at.
The dragon roared and started breathing fire onto Castle Hammerclaw. There were guards on the castle walls and they loaded their muskets as they fired at the beast. Cannons and bullets hit the dragon but, they only did minimal damage. It irritated the beast however, and it ruthlessly ripped the stone building apart.
Then the dragon roared when it saw the army of knights just outside the castle. It flew and landed on the other side of the inn, ready to face the army of knights. The problem with this was that Laela, Nicholas, Rynn and William were behind the knights. Now they were in between the knights and dragon.
With no where to run, no where to hide and no other plan. The four mages readied themselves, and prepared to fight.
“Where did it go?” Jest asked, worried that he couldn’t see the dragon anymore.
“We just can’t see it anymore, it’ll be there.” Sajume encouraged his friend.
The three boys were nearly at Hammerclaw now. They had been running nonstop since spotting the flying beast and hadn’t lessened their speed once. Ynin kept up with them too, the small dog just as eager to follow his master.
“What are we gonna even do when we get there?” Yerl asked.
“Look at it, duh.” Sajume said. “It’s a dragon! You know, like the ones in the stories.”
“What if it attacks us?” Yerl asked.
“The we’ll push you into it and run.” Sajume laughed.
The three boys made it to Hammerclaw swiftly. After they got there they ran through the empty streets to the castle where they would, hopefully, get to see a dragon.
“The castle’s right around the-.” Sajume had started to say. After they turned they saw it.
The beast was pure black with fiery orange eyes. It was larger than anything they had ever seen and the army of knights gave it a spectacular scene. The three boys stared in awe at the large monster and brave knights. They saw the beast raise its head and knew it was going to breath fire. They only had a dew seconds to react but, they managed to jump behind one of the buildings. They heard the scorching flame as it left the beast with a roar. They expected to also hear the sound of screams and burning wood as it destroyed knights and buildings. After they didn’t they peeked around the corner of the building.
There was a man dressed in blue robes that was holding his hands out. He had created some kind of blue barrier that was blocking the flames of the dragon, protecting the knights and buildings. Sajume had never seen the man before, and after looking he saw another in white robes, one in brown robes and one in black. All of them had hoods that matched their robe color as well.
“Whoa.” Sajume said in awe of the magic.
“Fire!” A knight yelled. It shook Sajume out of his trance and he saw a line of cannons and shooters at the top of the castle fire bullets and cannon balls at the beast.
The ground exploded around the black monster and it roared as it flew upwards to kill the shooters. As it started to fly the man in brown robes unleashed a large fire ball at the beast and struck it in its left wing. The other man in black sent a blue strip of what looked like lightning into the beast. The dragon roared in pain as it fell back to the ground.
“We gotta get closer.” Sajume said with excitement.
“Are you crazy?” Yerl asked.
“Look at them, they’re going to kill a dragon,” Sajume said. “A dragon, Yerl. Don’t you want to be able to say that you were there when the knights killed a dragon!”
Yerl looked at Jest unsure. Jest simply shrugged and prepared to run with Sajume.
Sajume nodded and the two darted into the street, with Ynin following, and then Yerl a few seconds later.
As they were in the streets the dragon rolled back onto its feet and roared at the small army. As it was roaring, the mage in brown sent another fire ball at it, hitting it right in the mouth.
It roared even louder after that and drew on its hind legs, it breathed fire into the castle once again and then, as it came back down, slammed its front legs into the ground, sending a large group of knights and the mage in black flying. They hit the ground hard but, the majority of them stood right back up and rushed the beast again.
Sajume, Jest, Yerl and Ynin watched in excitement, even hungrier to become a knight now.
The dragon leaned back again and tried to use its fire attack. Again the mage in blue blocked it with a spell. Up close, it looked like the mage in white was angry at him after he used the spell. She might have yelled something but, it was impossible for Sajume to hear her from where they were.
“We could get closer.” Sajume said, eager to fight with the knights.
“No.” Yerl said.
“You’re not the boss of me.” Sajume said angrily at his friend.
“Sajume, we don’t have anything to fight with!” Yerl reminded him.
“We’re not gonna fight, I just want a closer look.” Sajume smiled.
“I don’t-.” Yerl started to say something but, stopped when he saw Sajume’s sword. “Hey.”
“What?” Sajume answered frustrated.
“What’s wrong with your sword?” Yerl finished, pointing to Sajume’s holstered wooden sword.
Sajume glanced down at his sword and saw the faint glow. He carefully picked it up and studied it.
The words, Natum de terra, were glowing a faint golden color. After he held the sword the words glowed an even brighter aura.
The dragon roared louder as the words glowed brighter. It looked straight at the building the boys were hiding behind and charged.
“Sajume!” Yerl yelled.
The boys turned and ran down the street away from the dragon. They were panicking and ran at full speed down the empty road. The dragon came around the corner just as Yerl made it around the corner. Sajume turned and looked to see where the dragon was and he saw it lean its head back to breath the fire at him.
Sajume didn’t react properly and placed his arms up to cover up, although it wouldn’t really save him from the beast’s horrible flames. As the dragon attacked, an arm leaped around the corner and pulled Sajume into the cover of the building, the man turned and used himself as further protection from the flames.
The dragon roared again and Sajume could hear yelling, the small army of knights and mages must have rushed the dragon again.
Sajume looked for his savior and recognized him. It was Jest’s father, Aldar. The knights looked at the children in confusion and, somewhat, anger.
“By the gods what are you boys doing here?” Aldar asked.
“Dad we wanted to see what was happening.” Jest said.
“You know better than that. You know the cannons mean to go inside, to hide.” Aldar reminded them.
The knights was in poor shape. His helmet was missing and his nose was bleeding. One of his gauntlets was also gone and the arm that was exposed was broken. He also had blood on his thick steel breastplate, luckily it wasn’t his.
“You boys need to go.” Aldar said.
“Now!” Aldar yelled. Then he drew his sword with his one good hand and rushed around the corner to fight the beast again. Leaving the children scared and shaken from the near death of Sajume.