by Sal I.S
the prologue of a medieval high/epic fantasy
Standing beside Lorynd was his Captain, Phillip who was peering through his scope to get a better view of the Lost Isle a half mile away. Lorynd was briefly distracted by the breeze that had caused their white sail to flap in the wind above their black caravel.
“What do you see?” Lorynd asked with squinted eyes. He shaded his eyes against the sun’s brightness with his hand and looked towards the island. The summer heat itched the scar that went from his forehead through his unhurt left eye to his neck.
“A jungle after the beach,” Philip answered and put down his scope as he turned to Lorynd. “And I think there are mountains beyond the forest.”
“We better get going,” Lorynd said.
“Be careful. I think there is something on the island. I can sense its evil aura.” Philip said.
“Don’t worry. There is nothing there," Lorynd said as he went down into the boat, "there are no such things as auras and ghosts and all that other spiritual nonsense.” His men followed him down the ladder into the boat.
“Good luck,” Philip said. His eyes looked worried.
“We’ll be back in a couple of days,” Lorynd said after the men had released the boat from the ship.
Lorynd listened to the sound of waves as the men rowed the boat. He liked everything about this expedition. The king’s orders were always music to Lorynd’s ears. He liked it when the king trusted him with duties, and he is determined to find what the king wants.
The boat finally hit the beach sands, and the men carried their supplies out of the boat. Two men pushed the boat further into the beach, and the rest followed Lorynd.
Lorynd led the party into the forest. “Careful here,” he said, glancing around him. “You never know what might jump on you.”
“Me and the lads here have explored Serpent Forest in Drake Land,” Tynlon boasted. “We know the dangers of the woods, but Linnet definitely knows more than any of us here.”
Lorynd took a quick glance at Linnet. He was the shortest amongst the men, but his golden hair stuck him out pretty well. Gold hair was an unusual sight in Drake Land, and he was the only golden-haired man in the expedition group.
The men continued their march silently, and in every step they had to remove a tree branch away from their faces. They found nothing in the forest, nothing but green.
“Who goes there?” The voice broke the long silence, and Lorynd scanned for its source. A man appeared from the bushes ahead. Lorynd and his men stopped. Armored soldiers appeared behind the man. They seemed accustomed to the heat. The man had his sword already unsheathed and pointed towards Lorynd, a beautiful sword as white as snow, wielded by a huge bald old man, who whore armor as white as his sword, but his age didn’t show any weakness. Lorynd’s body shivered from the coldness of the sword. His agility was something he always boasted of, and someone with that size can’t be faster than him.
“Who are you?” The bald man asked. “Who do you serve?”
“I am Lorynd Drake,” he showed his unarmed hands. “I server his majesty King Rickmynd Drake. May I ask who you are?”
“You may not.” The man said. “Tie them all up.” He ordered his men.
The soldiers moved towards them. “SWORDS,” Lorynd yelled, and his men drew their swords. The two sides clashed, and the sound of metal and steel echoed through the woods to the beach. Lorynd drew his warm crimson short sword. His sword’s heat relieved him of the white blade’s coldness. He looked at the old man’s eyes, giving him a smile of confidence.
Lorynd instantly appeared behind the man and lunged an attack. The man leapt forward, twisting his body. Lorynd dashed and swung his sword at him. The man parried the attack and launched a counterstroke. Loryned ducked and slashed the man’s right leg then stabbed his left leg. Burnt blood splattered on his hands. The man screamed in pain and hit Lorynd with his elbow. Lorynd hit the green ground. The man held his blade with both hands. Put his weight behind his sword and pushed the sword on Lorynd. He crawled to the left, almost dodging the cold sword that gazed his left shoulder, but the iced shoulder didn’t stop him. He stood and gave the man his fist, pulling his sword from the man’s leg as he fell. Lorynd went to his opponent without emotions and slowly stabbed the man in the stomach, burning his insides. The smoke smelled like roasted ham. The blood encased the corpse in a circle. Heavily breathing, Lorynd took the white sword, bloodied by its wielder’s blood, and turned to his men. He saw five armored, dead soldiers and a young, half dead, one handed soldier. The soldier had lost his arm and all his comrades in the previous exchange, and Lorynd’s men all survived. The surrounding trees turned red with blood that glittered from the sun’s light.
“Keep him alive.” Lorynd said and looked at the physician. The young soldier held his breath as the physician tended to him.
“You lot are from Goddess's Mist.” Lorynd remarked as he stood in front of the young man and looked at the white sword. The sword could have only been forged in Whitespell, he observed. “Why are you so far from home?”
“We came to explore the Lost Isle.” The young man said after he had caught his breath.
“Is the Queen of the Mists looking for anything in particular?” Lorynd asked mockingly, as if he didn't know the answer.
“The Dracoliths.” He said.
“Yes of course…..the Dracoliths.” Lorynd said. “Are there any more of you on the island?”
“I’ll burn your eyes and tongue,” Lorynd warned him. “Trust me, there is nothing more painful than that, so you better think carefully before you lie. Are there any more of you on the island?” He asked again. The physician had closed the wounds and tied the man.
“No,” he repeated without fear.
“I see.” Lorynd said. He turned and looked at Willet. “This sword will be useful.” He gave the cold sword to Willet, his best warrior. Willet was so huge that Linnet seemed like a dwarf to him, and Linnet was barely taller than his broadsword.
They continued their forest exploration and took the young soldier as a prisoner. Night came, and the men had scoured the entire forest, yet they didn’t find any wild life. Lorynd led the party out of the forest and towards the mountains with high peaks that almost pierced the sky. They had reached the rocky, grey grounds, full of gravel. “Where are we Linnet?” He asked as his gaze tried to reach the peak of the mountains.
Linnet, the navigator, held the map with his four fingered hand and the compass with his other hand. He had lost his finger in Serpent Forest when a snake bit it, and he cut it off with his dagger before he even removed the snake from it, better a finger than a hand. Lorynd liked his wit and tenacious attitude. Linnet’s eyes moved from the map to the compass and back to the map then glanced around. “We’re in the eastern part of the island.” He said and put his compass away. Lorynd stared at the map, and Linnet pointed at their location.
“We’ll set up camp here,” Lorynd said, “and start for the mountains after sun rise.”
Each man built his own tent, and they tied their prisoner to a huge boulder. The heat had helped heal Lorynd’s shoulder, but he still had troubles sleeping.
Lorynd woke up at the sun’s luminance, and he woke the his men up. The men wore their leather garments. “Tynlon, you’ll stay here and watch the prisoner,” Lorynd ordered, and Tynlon obeyed in silence. The rest of the men moved for the brown rocky mountains.
“Do you think we’ll find it?” Linnet asked as he treaded with his short feet.
Lorynd almost couldn’t see him, “The king has high hopes,” he said, “and I hope we don’t fail him.”
The walk didn’t last long, and the men reached the base of the mountains. Willet stood, and Lorynd stopped to look at him. Willet’s face paled. His brown eyes almost popped, and his pupils dilated. “What is it?” Lorynd asked.
“There is something there.” Willet said as he slowly turned to Lorynd.
“I can feel it too.” Linnet said
“There are no ghosts there.” Lorynd said and smiled for a mere second. He tried to hide his fear, but he sensed it too. The mountains were silent, and even the winds made no sound. The men stood, and Lorynd was confused.
“We should head back.” Linnet said.
“I have never failed his majesty,” Lorynd said after Linnet’s words broke his confusion. “I will not start now.” He started moving, and the men hesitantly followed him.
There are no such things as ghosts, Lorynd kept telling himself that as he moved, trying to show no fear or hesitation. They climbed the short hills and came across a cave. “Whatever’s in the cave…..it’s not pleasing.” Linnet warned, but Lorynd ignored him and continued in silence. Lorynd lit his torch and entered the cave. The men followed him after they had lit the torches. The cave had a narrow path, and in every step Lorynd grew more scared, as if he was getting closer to his doom, yet he continued. They walked in silence for a long time, and every time the light from the torch revealed more of the cave’s darkness, Lorynd was relieved but scared. After fear had tortured him enough, he saw it, the light of the exit in front of him. The fear had gone for a second, but he realized that whatever that scared him and his men was probably waiting for them behind the exit, the thought made him shudder, and he wished he had not seen the exit. He reached the exit and went farther out. He stood there and looked at it, its humongous size covered the skies above and the mountains around it. Lorynd couldn’t gaze at anything else, and he didn’t know what it was. The men came behind him, and he stared at it as he moved farther near it. It looked like the mountains have taken the form of something else, or was it something that had taken the form of a mountain?
Rubble and stones were falling from its back as rock slide, it had a rough, rocky, light brown exterior. “What do you seek mortals?” the voice was a woman’s voice, but it lacked a woman’s warmth. Lorynd felt the fear crawl into his body and to his spine. It was the biggest dragon he had ever seen, and he had seen many flying around Drake Castle. The dragons back home were only the size of this one’s fang. The dragon lay on the ground, and Lorynd tried to imagine the dragon’s size if it stood on four legs and flapped its wings, but he couldn’t.
“What do you seek?” She repeated as she moved her head to Lorynd and his men. Her head was the size of a dozen galleons.
“What are you?” He asked with fear.
“I am Gaea, the earth dragon.” She said. “And there is nothing I hate more than you humans. Why are you here? I won’t repeat again.” The slow warning almost killed Lorynd.
“We are looking for a Dracolith.” Lorynd answered.
The dragon stood and roared so loudly, the roar echoed through the four continents, and the sound killed most of the men. For a moment, they saw death looming above them, but death didn’t go away, it’s still there in the shape of the biggest creature ever, Lorynd tried to muster every courage he had.
“Run.” He shouted to his men, all of them lay on the ground, and they remained on the ground. Willet and Linnet were paralyzed with fear. Lorynd saw himself running alone, abandoning his men. He realized that, but he kept on running. Fear took control, and only bravery wins against fear, but how can someone be brave when facing something like that? Lorynd was never a religious man, but he thought, how can the creator of that be anything other than godly?