A young dwarf puts his plan into action
Dopey's Brother Rise of a prophecy Chapter 2 Date Started 10/19-18
What must be done
The stone wall explodes next to him with white-hot sparks sending broken stone to the dirt floor beneath him.
"I want that artifact now!" Beltron growled.
"You will never have it Beltron!" Fraeon spat out defiantly. "Not as long as I draw breath!"
"Then you shall not draw breath for long!" Beltron barked back.
He turned around and walked slowly to the other wall where his torture devices sat, his hand stroking his short white goatee. Deep in thought, he waved his hand in front of a wall and it slid open with a thunderous scraping sound. A dark spectral figure glided into the cold damp room. He turned to face the man chained to the wall. "I have an idea that might work for both of us." He said to Fraeon, more delicately this time turning back around to face him. "I think that torturing you will no longer benefit either of us, I see that now, your force of will is too strong."
This wizard didn't wear a robe or a pointy hat and he didn't sport a long beard instead, he wore a simple pair of brown leather pants with two daggers hanging off each side in leather sheaths and a rather conservative leather breastplate. The daggers were rather unique though; one had a standard silver hilt, while the other, a sharp blue crystal hilt that stuck out a standard leather sheath. He didn't doubt that both daggers were something of the magical kind. One would never expect him to be a full-blown and practiced mage, maybe an extra tall rogue or an archer maybe.
"You WILL do as I demand! No matter what it takes! No amount of intimidation will get me to back off, remember I wear the amulet of Dykstra." That amulet was the only thing that can stop the vampiric tendencies of the Blood Elf. "So know that you will die by my hand." Saying it more harshly than what he imagined in his mind, though, that worked well enough for him.
The Doors thunderous sound awakened his senses once more, smelling the fresh meat that was dragged into the room his heart sank as he realized it was his dear friend of over two hundred years.
"I'm sorry my friend," Fraeon said to his dear friend as he was being led in front of him and thrust to his knees. With a smile on his face, Beltron looked to Fraeon's friend. Beltron knew they were friends, he wasn't sure how he knew, but then he wasn't sure how he managed to get down here into the abandoned citadel undetected, to begin with.
"Now, let's say we have some fun shall we?" Beltron put his hand on the top of the other elf's head and began to stroke his hair with a cruel smile on his face.
What Beltron hadn't realized was that his prized elven commander had bent the chains away from the wall with his vampiric strength, a light tug and he would break free. Now he tried to figure out how to beat the man who wore that stupid amulet; he could try to grasp it away from him, but of all the tales told about it, the amulet wouldn't allow him to even touch it, let alone grab it and take it away from him. Fraeon saw a pike on the other end of the room near the torture devices and it gave him some sign of hope. He knew that was his ticket to saving himself and his friend. He could easily make it to the pike in time to kill Beltron or at the very least, free his friend. He made plans to make his silent move when Beltron was turned around looking at the torture devices behind him; while at the same time trying to put enough fear into Fraeon to make him talk before he filleted his friend. Not that Beltron didn't enjoy playing with his little toys, he actually took great pleasure in dealing great pain to anyone he could. Fraeon suspects that's why he has wisps as servants, he can't torture them the same way he tortures living beings. Fraeon was sure he had a way to torture these creatures into submission anyway.
Beltron turned his back. Fraeon jumped into action, with deadly speed and ever so silently, he pulled the shackles away from the wall, glided across the room, grabbed the pike and cut his friends bindings loose. With no one else in the room beside the three of them, he motioned silently to his friend to make his exit by the door. His friend silently made it to the door and it began to open. At the same time, Fraeon made his way to Beltron. As the door's thunderous sound roared; Beltron turned around. With the pike in front of him, he ran straight into Beltron, but Beltron was quicker and vanished into thin air in front of him; then suddenly his pike was no longer in his hands. Even as a blood elf he was slower than this mage. He felt an agonizing pain in his chest. He looked down. The pike now protruded from his chest; his blood red shirt now completely living up to its name. The head of the pike was sticking out of him like a spear through a kabob. He felt weakness taking hold; it had been previously blessed so it would be able to kill blood elves, feeling ignorant that he hadn't thought of that. He struggled to stay awake and alert but felt the light in the room darkening. He turned to look for his friend and noticed he was nowhere to be seen. All he could do was hope.
"You will never have it Beltron!" Those were the last words that Fraeon ever spat; as the blood gurgled up from his chest and down the front of his shirt. He watched himself hit the stone floor face first as he felt his heart slow and his skin gets clammy and wet, and then complete . . . nothingness.
When Mortog awoke the next morning, breakfast was already on the table. He had overslept again. The wagon was already there to pick up his sisters for school. He knew he'd be late today again, and that his mom was going to give him slack about it. As he walked into the dining room he was able to hear his sisters arguing about something outside as usual. He swears if they were best friends they wouldn't be his sisters.
"Ye slept in again today, I told ye it was now yer responsible te get yerself up an movin in da mornin. How are ye te learn responsibility if-n ye don't even try." His mom came in carrying a plate of potatoes and mushrooms with some fruit, the same basic breakfast for all of them. That was her plate. That seemed to be the only foods that they were allowed since the doors closed. There were some fruits from the trees that grew there, as well as the plantable necessities. There was a couple of farms with pigs and cattle, but the meat from them was carefully rationed out as to last as long as possible. Their 'grand' new king got most of it.
"I know's ma, I's jest can't seem te get in da rhythm yet, I'll get dare." In fact, he knew that sleep was going to be hard to find once he leaves Camfor citadel. He was both excited and terrified of what lay ahead of him, he'd be lying to himself if he didn't get really scared sometimes and thinks to himself about totally aborting the quest altogether. Something pulled at him to take up this quest; an irresistible urge of some kind. Everything he needed was ready for the taking, he just needed to go forth and take it.
He really didn't mind the quiet walk that day, he had too much to think about, too much to plan, and his mind had wandered to what he had to tell Telis when he saw her that night. He had no idea what he was going to say, she might give away his plan before he could execute it. He just decided that he had way too much on his mind to think about it anymore. He would go to class and talk with Telis and the others as if nothing was going on. He was at least that smart.
Most of his day went okay, he had lunch with Telis and the boys, he attended all of his classes, he followed his normal routine just like every other day, until he got to his trainers class.
"I've got somtin special fer ye today, yer class won't be startin till a bit later," Dargus explained. "Ye got some time te kill, so ye might as well do yer homework er somtin."
So Mortog went over and sat down at the table on the far corner of the room, took out his books and started his homework. He partially listened in on Dargus's lecture for the day, 'Rudimentary stuff' he thought. He finished up his homework which was too easy for him anyway, all he really had to do was listen in class and he could do his homework blindfolded; so he listened in on the class.
"Mortog, follow me, I gots a treat fer ye today." Dargus told him after class. They walked past the sparring arena where they had always fought together. He brought him through another building that looked similar to his classroom. Wooden beams crawled across the granite ceiling and several more all over the room, reaching upward with the cold featureless stone of the carved cave walls in between and behind them.
Then he followed him through a wooden arch that looked like his father's handiwork. The next room looked like a sparring rink, but this one had weapons all over the walls: Double-bladed axes, war hammers, a scythe, swords, some weapons, the likes of which he had never seen; some were decorative and some had a use. Then he saw the dummy swords tucked away in the corner of the room and he got excited to think that maybe he'd let him practice. Noticing the way Mortog was looking at them he said.
"Would ye like to try your hand at one, could be dat's a weapon you could see yerself usin." He watched as Mortog picked one of the swords and started to do some basic moves with it. He looked at Mortog and shook his head in defiance. "Naw, that don't be feelin right." Mortog loved the feeling that the dummy sword gave him in his hands; he twirled it in his hands like an expert. Dargus went into the small office and when he came back with the weapon he could see Mortog with, his mouth dropped to the floor. Mortog was already an expert. 'Where did this prodigy come from?' Was his only thought until Mortog noticed what Dargus had brought out for him to try. Mortog flipped the dummy sword into its place next to its brother sword and immediately reached for the dummy double-bladed axe that Dargus had brought out for him to play with. Grabbing it he found that it was much heavier and it felt like it had a very different weight to it. He would have to practice this for a while before he could get used to it; but as he would soon find out, he wouldn't have much time to learn.
"Come on out." Dargus tells someone in the little office that he originally grabbed the axe from. Mortog was a little more than shocked to find Branthony walk out with a sword in each hand.
"Ready, Attack!" Dargus yelled and Mortog was shocked, to say the least and had no chance to get a strategy together, or practice; all he knew was reactionary action as he defended himself with the axe as best he could. Mortog knew how to sidestep away from a sword attack. He dodged a few thrusts and parried the best he could. He got hit with the dummy swords more than once; luckily they wouldn't have been deadly strikes. Branthony bore down on him, and he saw the look in his eyes as he came at Mortog. Invincibility, he was cocky and looking for retribution, maybe that's why Dargus put the two in the rink together. That must have been what Branthony felt. A thought dawned on him as he realized he was defending against an attacker who obviously knew what he was doing, he needed to use the axe as a sword and go on the offensive. Mortog couldn't help but push Branthony slightly off balance giving him a slight advantage as he used the bottom of the axe handle to swing at Branthony. He now had the time to regain some control over this . . . mess. He stood with his axe directly in front of him; he stood feeling the calmness of his center all the while watching Branthony's eyes to know where his next strike would come from. A swipe to his left was easily blocked and so the right came, also blocked. Branthony faked another left and then took a stab directly at Mortog; he side-stepped the thrust bringing the axe head sliding it down the blade of the sword giving the axe head a chance to grab the sword in between one of the blades and the handle, Mortog twisted the axe and disarmed one sword from Branthony instantly as his dummy sword slid across the floor. With only one sword remaining, Branthony switched it to his right hand, his dominant one. Mortog now having a little bit better control over his new weapon; his muscles originally straining to hold on now felt just as strong as they needed to be. He grabbed the axe by the pommel and used the axe as it was meant. Mortog gained his advantage quickly enough to be able to put Branthony on the defensive for the first time in this fight. Mortog got a slice down Branthony's left arm with his axe. In real life that would have shaved the skin right off his arm making that arm completely useless, but because this was a sparring match, Branthony was able to just shake it off and come at him fully now. Mortog used his axe like he had been trained for years. Mortog chopped down on one of Branthony's attacks knocking this sword away from him also.
Mortog brought his axe to bear on Branthony's left shoulder right next to his head, as he was knelt on the floor with one knee; what would have been the death strike if he were an actual enemy. He was beginning to like Branthony, oh, not for his skill, but his arrogant nature. He was so sure of himself that he thought he was invincible, as the smile on his smug face suddenly vanished.
"Marvelous!" Dargus yelled as he clapped his hands. "Absolutely marvelous! Branthony, listen up. Mortog, how did ye figure out how te disarm him?" Now speaking directly to Mortog. "An what in da world was dat move?" Dargus almost looked confused. "I ain't ne'er seen anytin like dat in me life; so how'd ye do it?"
"I's just used my axe as a sword until I's no longer on da defensive. I's took a deep breath an blocked his two simple swipes, then thought about what advantages me had with da axe and used one. Simple really." Mortog stood proudly, then, he took a step back behind Branthony as to make sure he wouldn't hit him.
"I ain't ne'er seen anyone disarm you Branthony, let alone in record time. Just Marvelous." Dargus said more to himself than to Branthony.
"Let me try again Dargus, I know I's can beat him. Just give me another chance." Branthony cried. "He won't be able te do it again. I's promise ye dat!"
Dargus motioned behind him to force him to look back. Mortog was handling his new battleaxe like he was already an expert like it was part of him already. He was even throwing it up in the air and catching it by the pommel and twirling it around before performing a mock chop downward at his invisible foe.
"I's be thinkin we could give him any weapon here an he would be an expert in just a few minutes. He's a prodigy. I dunno what is going on wit him but it's amazing. Don't ye be feelin's so bad Branthony. I doubt even I couldn't beat him after a few minutes, and I's be an ex-battle commander. He just learns to quickly." He and Branthony watched in awe as Mortog practiced with his newfound weapon of choice. "Unbelievable."
Even basking in his own arrogance at the miraculous win over Branthony that night, Mortog still walked home more slowly than normal. His thoughts were of his daring new plan to restore his family's honor, a plan that would take a few days to put together; but with the help of his friends, he could do anything. He was also thinking about his poor, poor mother who is trying so desperately to keep her families honor intact and indeed the family itself intact.
His father, a miner, had lost his business when they needed him to mine the Mythril for weapons, or at least he thought he had lost it; he could always start it back up as soon as the war was over. Although if the war could be completely averted, he could re-start his business right away and that would really bring up his spirits; though his father didn't think his business could persevere through the war. He seemed a lifeless man and was always moping around the house when he was home. He had lost all interest or pleasure in doing things and that didn't help his mother's depressed mood either. He stopped really paying attention to her and that got her depressed, even mad sometimes, he could hear them fighting about it after he went to bed. Mortog knew he had to act quickly for the sake of his family's honor, that in itself would put an end to his family's honor problem, and if he could do something to thwart the progress of this war, all the better. They would truly consider him a hero when he returned home, and he liked the thought of that, oh yes he was all smiles with that thought until he arrived home.
He sat at the kitchen table quietly waiting for dinner to be served with his father sitting at the head of the table, looking lifeless, as usual. Mortog watched as his mother soullessly walked through the actions of preparing dinner for them. She did so with a smile but he knew it was just a fade to make her family more comfortable. Mortog knew better. He saw the sorrow in her heart and he would weep later knowing that his mother was in such pain. He knew he had to hurry, he knew they all needed that artifact quickly; he also knew that when he enacted his plan she wouldn't have any reason to be depressed about her family's honor; who knows, maybe the council would forget about it too. They would be too worried about his safety, even his father; it may even put a little bounce back into his step. The thought that his family would be worried sick was hard for him to swallow, hating the fact that this might be the only way to go; but she still had his sisters to watch over. 'Dat should at least be keepin her somewhat busy.'
His younger sisters, not knowing her pain, just wouldn't shut up. They were arguing about this boy at school and how each of them was going to 'get' him for herself, none of them knew exactly what they were going to do with him once they 'got' him. One would yell about how her sisters didn't look as pretty as her and that boys liked pretty girls. He really couldn't argue with that logic, he liked pretty girls anyway. The only reason he finally went with Telis was that she was hot. Which that thought reminded him to talk with her tonight. He needed to let her know that he was going to be gone for a while. He knew she would keep his secret because she loved him, or so he thought. He would soon learn his first life lesson about betrayal.
Mortog was thinking about his grand plan. He had to somehow get a certain book from the sacred archives. He knew exactly which book he needed and where it was. The field trip they had taken last month got him interested in the artifact, that and he heard Branthony's father talking about it; he researched it as far as he could in his own library at school but not much is known about the artifact or why it was crafted. He even went so far as to try to study the book at the library; they had turned him down at least four times telling him that he was too immature to handle its pages. So he had to keep trying, given the lack of facts given about this artifact. It was created by elves, it was hidden in an ancient citadel to the north somewhere by dwarves, but it was said that it was guarded by a group of undead soldiers that a necromancer had conjured up so that no one could ever use it again; it was supposedly indestructible. The book he sought contained a map and a full explanation of what the artifact could do; as well as what it looked like. He was really curious about that, he liked cool looking artifacts. He just knew that it was important to the upcoming war. Mortog wanted nothing more than to gain back his family's honor, and stopping this war was a clear bonus. It would stop his father's woes about his business, then he could do what he really loved; it would give their family their honor and self-respect back. It might even perk his father back up and get him excited about life again.
That night he went out to The Cherub, a local diner, and pub, to meet Telis. She would always show up there clean-shaven, except for her long braided beard of course, which drove the boys nuts! Tonight was no exception, only this time the other dwarves treated him differently, some seemed to respect him more, others had terror in their eyes. It made him proud but then he liked it when people respected him, even more so those that feared him, he thought they all knew better.
He was early. He didn't care; it got him out of the house and away from his sulking mother, whom he loved dearly, and his lifeless father who he really wished would be a little happier. He was the only dwarf Mortog knew of who wasn't excited about the prospect of working with stone, the same thing that ran through his bones.
"Hey." Came the voice from behind him. "Heard ye got into a bit o' a scuffle did ye'?" Telis looked down at him as she sat at the table. Of course, he had already ordered for them as always. He had to go with burgers this time because they were out of her favorite, Salmon due to the closure of the gates and the river.
"How'd ye he hear bout dat?" He asked her with a slightly arrogant smile.
"Oh, Dargus is spreadin the news far an wide." She retorts.
"How in da hells does 'e know about that?! That would explain the surprise attack today against Branthony." He told her. She knew nothing of the axe fight that happened earlier today, but that didn't matter.
"I'm no' fer knowin, just dat ye took out tree o' his best students. That's a plus in me book. An dat's why I love ye honey."
"Yeah, 'bout that hun, we got'sa talk." He guided her by the hand down to the seat next to him. He knew he couldn't tell her everything, but he could give her a run down, after all, he trusted her.
"What's wrong?" she asked with some worry in her eyes.
"I's gonna be gone fer a bit. I have some things to take care of, but when I get back, things will be better than they e'er have been. Ye can count on dat!" He said with as much delicacy as he could, 'tell it to her like it is. Straight up', is what he thought.
"Well watcha gonna be doin?"
"Savin Camfor, dats what!"
"What makes ye think you can do dis, what makes ye so special?" She about cried.
"I's can do it. Dats what!" He responded. "I know's what needs o' being done."
"Canno' someone else be doin what yer doin, jest tell em wha yer doin!" Her accent came out in full spirit when she got worried or angry.
"I's be needin te do dis Telis, you's havin a hero when I gets home-"
"If-n ye get home! Wha ye planning on? Ye stupid dwarf?!" She was scared. As the burgers and ale showed up, she just sat and stared at him with tears and fears in her eyes. He saw the fear in her as she figured out that he was planning on leaving Camfor Citadel. It was too late to hide his secret from her. She knew and that was that, but he didn't have to let her in on the specifics.
"Let's just eat and have some fun tonight, this may be da last week I'm here for a while." He said with truth behind his eyes, trying to give her the impression that he was leaving later that week, when in fact he was leaving the next day, or the day after. She gathered her wits and came to grips about what was to come. He thought that she had no idea what he was planning. He would be lucky, to say the least, to make it home alive, and luckier still, with the artifact in hand; but he had to try, it was the only way.
He was hungry and knew eating would have to become a necessity when he's out there in the wild, maybe one more meal here, and that's it, so he ate aggressively. She sat there in relative silence thinking of the different ways the outside could kill him. Isn't it just like the dwarven kind to automatically assume the worst? She tried her hardest, as they sat in silence eating their meals, to think about him returning in glory. She so hoped that was what was to come. She tried to convince herself that his, was a quest worth taking. Then she would think about all the reasons it could fail and she started to weep right there at the table. He reached across the table and grabbed her hands, which were clasped tightly together on the table with tears in her closed eyes. He put his finger under her chin to try to get her to look at him in the eyes and she pulled away so he couldn't see her. She knew this was serious. He finally got her to at least bring her head up to look at him in the eyes that were now colored red. Could it be that she actually does care about him? He thought about the time they first met and she liked him because he was great in school and number one in the rink and she looked at him as if he was her everything. Just a trick to get him to go out with her and he fell for it hook line and sinker. But now he sees her as becoming compassionate and kind, yet still snobby, she was better than all the other girls, at least in his mind.
He had always known that she was shallow to a "T" but to see her, you would never know it. It looked as if she actually cared. For a moment he got mad, knowing that this was probably a fad, but then, the look in those serious glowing eye's of hers told him how much she had grown since those days. He knew this conversation was over; all he had was the passion they would share later that night.