After the death of his parents, Ryner heads down a dark path to support his family.
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Sartalfheim, home to the greatest engineers and craftsmen across the nine realms, invaluable assets in the wars to come. Dark clouds loomed over Folgoré city as torrents of rain battered its busy streets. Ryner Klaus, a human boy eighteen years of age is suddenly responsible for the well-being of house Klaus following the death of his parents. He sat at one of the many wooden tables in the large dining hall, his bright crimson eyes dimmer than usual. Booom! Thunder cracked outside, rattling the huge glass windows.
"I hope Signey got to school okay," said Rahel as he scoffed down his breakfast opposite of Ryner. He was two years younger than him and his adoptive brother. A starving human child taken in by Ryner's father on a dark and stormy morning, much like this one.
"I'm sure she's fine," answered Ryner somberly.
"Well, these are the last of the star stones," said Ryner's grandmother, Lisbeth, as she emerged from the back room and placed the tray of glowing marble-like gems on the sales counter. She was small and her thin arms looked as if they would break under the slightest pressure. Her long grey hair was partially covered by a soot blackened cloth, she was the guild's starsmith.
"I'll get a good price for them from Darwin but between our loan payments and paying our taxes we won't even be able to eat in a few months," said Lisbeth.
Rahel looked across the table at Ryner. "What are we going to do?"
"I'll think of something," Ryner said somberly.
Lisbeth sighed. "I know you boys want to carry on our families' legacy, but at this point we need to seriously consider selling our house," said Lisbeth.
The soft thud of footsteps interrupted the family meeting. Three dwarves no older than Ryner entered through the large archway into the hall. There stout six foot frames dripping water onto the brown marble floor, except for Burcain. He stood in the middle of the group, his dark brown hair and triple braided beard dry atop his massive frame. Burcain eyed the empty display cases of the sales counter. He scanned the solemn room that was once populated by the lively members of The Iron Roses of house Klaus;before they met their tragic end.
"Now, this is what happens when humans don't learn their place," said Burcain to his two companions.
Rahel's eyes went wide, enraged, he grabbed his kafar -a wooden sword weapons are sealed in- up off the table. "I'll show you who needs to learn their place!" Rahel screamed as he got up to assault the group of dwarves.
Ryner quickly got up after him, grabbing him by the arm, "no."
"But-," Rahel started, as he felt Ryner's hand shaking, his sweaty palm radiating waves of anger, he was moved by his brother's unusual display of restraint. He lowered the wooden blade, "fine."
"Yes, it's my responsibility to destroy those who would dishonour the members of house Klaus!" Shouted Ryner as he drew his kafar from his waist. "Release, Fang orge!" Cast Ryner as a tornado of white magical energy swirled around the kafar and a long black blade emerged. The black blade got wider as you moved from its hilt to its tip and it was serrated with seven silver fangs across its length.
The startled dwarves swiftly drew their kafars. "Release, Mistborn! Release, Sound thunder!" Cast the dwarves Tehram and Galarn, their individual kafars becoming a set of twins daggers, Mistborn and a massive war hammer, Sound thunder.
"Release, Skull crusher!" Cast Burcain, a great battle axe emerging from his kafar. Kanoc lunged at the heavily armed group.
"Rain! Takeina," cast Lisbeth, her arm became completely engulfed in a tardis blue energy. It extended out and grabbed Ryner mid-lunge. Instantly freezing his entire body up to his neck in a bouquet of sparkling ice shards.
"Ahhh!" Ryner cried as he was engulfed in the icy prison. "Lisbeth?! What are you doing?!" He screamed.
"I'm stopping the lot of you from making a mess of the place," she replied. Rahel stood still behind Ryner, stunned and trying to make sense of the situation.
"I spoke to Lord Kullan, about selling our house. And, hes made a very generous offer," said Lisbeth as she walked from behind the counter. She approached the dwarves, their towering frames eclipsing her small figure. "Now, give me what your father sent and get out of our guild," said Lisbeth with unconcealed anger as she glared at Burcain.
Burcain reached into the pocket of his griffin-fur coat and pulled out a scroll. He handed it to Lisbeth. "Your guild for now," he smirked. The dwarves resealed their weapons and left. Lisbeth let out a sigh of exhaustion, grabbing onto a nearby chair to steady herself. The ice holding Ryner in place began to crumble and melt away.
Rahel rushed over to her. "Are you okay grandma?"
"Yes, I'm fine." She walked over to Ryner, who was on his hands and knees panting. "This scroll sets the terms of sale of our guild hall. It's a very generous offer Ryner." As he raised his head and looked at her, she handed him the scroll, "please, look it over and sign it."
"You want me to sell the guild hall to the Moorrens? Those detestable Moorrens have been trying to destroy our house for generations!" He slapped the scrolled out of Lisbeth's hand then struggled to his feet. "I'll die before I sign that scroll!" Ryner shouted then stormed out of the room.
Three mornings had passed since Burcain's visit to house Klaus. Now, it was a bright Saturday afternoon. Ryner and his twelve year old sister, Signey had just arrived at the Keyshawn's residence. Signey's crimson eyes lit up as her friend, Aly answered the door. She was a grood, a race desended from the treants. Her skin was a dark vibrant brown, a white daffodil like flower rested gently about her dark brown hair on either side of her head with a single green leaf sprouting from the base of each one ending just above her ears.
Ryner had planned to drop off Signey to spend the weekend and be on his way, but the girls roped him into taking them to Sawgrass bazaar. Sawgrass was like a collection of many small shopping buildings inside a much larger building, similar to the shopping malls of midgard.
The group moved through the crowded bazaar, populated by a multitude of races from across the nine realms. "Hey you guys slow down," called Ryner after the two energetic twelve year olds. "I can't keep an eye on you if you guys run away from me."
"We're not scared, the Viper would protect us," said Aly pointing to a nearby column with the symbol of the Viper defacing it. The Viper was a nuisance, or a hero, depending on who you asked. A lone warrior of vengeance and justice.
"Well, the Viper would protect her is not something I'm looking forward to telling your father if you disappear," said Ryner, "Just stay close and I'll protect you."
"Oh look! Folgoré Apparel has new arrivals," cried Signey pointing at the sign outside the store. The two girls rushed off through the crowd completely ignoring Ryner's instructions.
"Ugh, what did I just say..." said Ryner chasing behind the girls. Ryner loitered outside while the girls went on an expedition inside Folgoré apparel. As he surveyed the many passer-bys he noticed a suspicious looking orc. The suspicious figure made his way to an alley a few stores down. Where he met with three shady looking characters.
High Nines, Ryner thought as he watched on. They were a gang that operated in this area, major Logi dealers. The lone human among the drug dealers turned in Ryner's direction, he was about to avert his gaze when he realized he knew him. Charles Ancunan, Ryner's old classmate and a close friend once upon a time. As he stood there Ryner had an epiphany. Is this the answer I've been looking for? Ryner thought as he pondered on the idea.
Four months had passed since Ryner approached his friend Charles that day in Sawgrass bazaar. Since then, he's made a lot of money trafficking logi. And Rahel even got a job with a unicorn meister. Still, it was just barely enough to feed them while keeping the creditors at Bay.
It was a cool Sunday evening when Ryner heard Charles shouting for him down stairs. He was much earlier than usual. "What? Did something happen?" Ryner asked as he came down the stairs and into the dining hall.
"Yeah, we got to go. The bosses brother got snatched and now he's out for the viper's head. He's calling in everybody," explained Charles.
"No, you know I'm not in this to be a killer," said Ryner.
"Well you're one of us now. And if you don't show up, when the boss is finished with the Viper you know he'll be come for you," warned Charles.
Ryner and Charles arrived at Hayden Tavern about an hour later in the violet glow of the setting sun. The Tavern was owned by James Rancoli, leader of the high nines gang. They walked through the pub, which was filled with a platoon of high nine members. The pub was devoid of its usual ale drinking merry makers, the air filled with a tense anticipation.
The pair made there way to the back and down to the basement. They arrived at a small room, poorly illuminated by the yellow glow of a fading light stone hovering over head. Rancoli was there, the tall, slender elf was standing beside the six foot frame of a muscular dwarf; his right hand man Barmir. But, what caught Ryner's attention was the little girl tied to a chair behind them. She squirmed and tugged at her bounds when the pair entered, her muffled cries for help saturated the room. Her dark green eyes filling Ryner with guilt as they peered into his very soul.
Wamp! "Aaahhhh," she cried out as Rancoli smacked her at the side of her head. "Be quiet!" He yelled.
Ryner fought the urge to intervene as Aly slumped quietly back into the chair, her pretty white daffodils a trampled mess on her head. What am I doing? I- I can't help her. Even if I wanted to I can't get her out of here, thought Ryner to himself.
"We should kill her now, just in case," said Barmir. "If the Viper makes it here and sees her dead, he'll be paralyzed with grief. We could catch him off guard."
"Just who is this girl?" Asked Charles.
"She's the Viper's daughter," replied Rancoli. Momentarily stunning Charles and Ryner. Mr. Keyshawn is the Viper?! Ryner wondered.
"I think you're right," said Rancoli to Barmir. "Ryner, you've been with us for a while now. It's time to prove yourself."
"O-Oh no, I can't," Ryner stumbled.
Rancoli drew his kafar from his waist. "Release, Daimond Blader, " he cast as his kafar became a silver bladed katana. He pointed the blade at Ryner. "Well, are you one of us... or aren't you?"
I don't have a choice, I can't save her and I need the extra coin. Ryner thought trying convince himself. He drew his kafar. "Release, Fang orge," Ryner whispered. He looked at the unconscious Aly slumped in the chair. He raised his black-silver sword above his head. I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! His mind screamed as he brought down his sword.
On the next episode of Demons of Folgoré