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Rated: ASR · Fiction · Fantasy · #534458
A sword, a dangerous time and a warrior: A Work In Progress!
“I am going to tell you a story. I realize that you probably have more interesting things to do than to sit here and listen to a story but I hope you will find time to listen one day. Her name was Reveria Darnithai. She was born to a beautiful woman, the leader of the clan. Rare as it was for a woman to lead the clan, it was rarer still for the woman to remain unwed. Her mother, Torithea Darnithai, was independent and strong, ruling in her father’s stead after his death. She looked like a goddess and many supposed that was how she managed to remain unwed and yet rule with the loyalty she received.

“Her hair was long and curly, golden blonde with white-blonde streaks. Her eyes were deep green, her lips full and her body shapely. It was no wonder many men craved to claim her as theirs. To have beauty and power was rare indeed.

“Needless to say, a stranger stumbled into their midst. Torithea fell head over heels in love with him. He was tall and muscular, with wild black hair that hung just past his shoulders in unruly waves, crystal blue eyes and sharp chiseled features. She allowed him into her heart and her bed.

“He was there only one night, his name never mentioned, words rarely spoken. Torithea awoke the next morning alone and ashamed. No one saw him leave. Torithea was with child.

“As the months progressed, men offered themselves and their sons but Torithea did not consider any offer. Nine months later, Reveria was born. A beautiful babe with a full head of black hair and gray eyes. Her mother’s pose and features, her father’s presence and strength. All villagers protected her and she grew up, as most children do, too fast.

“On her eighteenth birthday, her mother sent her to the Cave of Silent Weeping to discover her gift. All the clan’s people were excited to see what wonderful gift the gods would grant the girl. She was kind and compassionate, listening to advice and counsel and choosing the wisest course of action. The younger women admired her, the older women protected her, the younger men craved her, and the older men sheltered her. She showed all the virtues of purity in her speech and actions.

“But inside, Reveria was a jumble of confusion. Who was her father? Why did he leave her? What was she meant to be, to do? She knew she didn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. She loved her people but she didn’t want to lead them, didn’t want to choose a husband. That fateful day, the day of discovery, she packed secretly and started off in the direction she was expected to go. As soon as she was certain none would see, she diverted toward the mountains. She would not go to the Cave of Silent Weeping; she would not be forced into her mother’s fate.

“As she journeyed and the day lengthened, she knew how much she was hurting her village. In a moment of selfish thought so unlike her, Reveria realized she didn’t care. This was her life and she was going to live it.

“Since this is a story and I am aware of what occurred in the village I will tell you now. Panic reined as the villagers searched for the beloved Reveria. Of course, she was very far away by this time and so they searched but found no sign of her. All believed her dead or carried off but Torithea calmed their fears. My daughter has not been killed or taken, she explained calmly, but has decided to live her own life away from us. The villagers did not wish to believe this. They refused to accept the fact that Reveria would be self-serving and careless. But soon they resigned to fate and life continued. Torithea married Velardeth, the handsome magician of the tribe, and they eventually bore a son. Velardeth had loved Torithea with all his heart for the longest time but he had never made his feelings known. Torithea had denied how she had felt for a long time as well and with the disappearance of her daughter she finally let love win. They lived happily and their son rose to become a great leader for the people. But that is a different story for a different time.

“Reveria never returned to the village, the place of her birth. She wondered through the mountains and sought her destiny. At first she feared she had made a horrible decision. She was tempted on many occasions to return home, to give in and discover her gift and her place. But she never did turn back. Her resolve was firm and her strength great.

“As she reached the Den of Misfortune, buried deep within the Land of the Lost, Reveria had journeyed far and gained nothing. She had traveled for well over a year, forging for food and living from meal to meal, sometimes not eating for days.

“The Den of Misfortune was to be her shelter for a night for a storm was blowing in. She felt fortunate to discover a warm and dry place. It wasn’t until she read the name carved above the entrance that she wondered just how ‘fortunate’ she was. The rain began to beat down so she entered the cave, deciding to face misfortune rather than drops of ice water pelting her.

“As she sat in the lukewarm darkness and watched the rain far from the entrance she heard a soft breathing. She did not fear, however, for she did not smell animal scents and so believed it was another wanderer resting. Soon the voice touched her.

You have finally come, Reveria. You are finally here. Reveria knew better than to answer so she smiled in the gloom. You are about to receive your gift, the gift you denied yourself by passing the Cave of Silent Weeping so long ago. The gift of redemption. Not yours, theirs. To free the souls out there, the souls dying and killing and longing for freedom. Redemption for the lost.

“The voice died and visions filled Reveria’s mind. Visions of her wielding a large, heavy looking sword and fighting evil. She shook her head. She was not a warrior. But the visions remained and soon the sun was shining through the opening, the night had passed and in the hazy dim light she saw the sword and shield from the visions leaning against a wall of the cave.

“Without thought she picked up the sword and tried it out. It moved easily in her hand, her thrusts smooth and well executed. It was almost as if she had always possessed the sword, always used it. She tied the shield to her pack, sheathed the sword at her hip and started out.

“And now we join her. Reveria, the warrior, the redeemer, Reveria.”


The winds swept across the barren plains like the grim reaper, sweeping up dust and debris, twisting and turning them in it’s grasp before releasing them to fall useless to the ground miles from their original origin. Reveria tossed her wind blown hair from her eyes and searched for her foe. The battle had been fierce and tiring but she was not about to let the evil warlord leave. Her eyes picked up movement on the far ends of the plains, a dark shape moving against the wind, against the night. A small smile of pleasure touched her lips as she leapt from the small outcropping and ran headlong across the field.

The wind fought against her as it did her foe. She trudged on, running full tilt toward the horizon. Her sword drawn, her long black hair whipping in frenzy behind her, a black cloud of doom following the bearer of redemption and atonement. Despite the opposition and the elements, Reveria made more progress than would be possible in normal situations, her long muscled legs worked fluidly, carried her across the uneven grounds. She knew she wasn’t in a normal situation; she wasn’t a normal person.

She came upon him like a shadow, falling upon him like a predator upon its prey. With quick movements, she slit his throat with her small dagger and pierced his heart with the blade of her sword. He fell to the ground dead, his lifeless eyes staring into the wind tossed night. Reveria sheathed her sword and turned about, walking with the wind back to her horse.

Much had changed from that night in the cave. Then she had been a nameless drifter, questioning herself and every move she made. Now she was Reveria, war goddess and savior of the people.

Armetriis, the man she had just killed, was guilty of many deaths and should have been publicly put to death in the land of Arethos but he had fled. His escape should have never happened, but the guards had taken payment and looked the other way. Though none could prove it, the fact that they could not meet Reveria’s questioning gaze head on proved the fact for her.

Armetriis had built up an army of great magnitude. During the battle for Arethos, many had died. Reveria managed to do as the ruler of the land had asked and had brought Armetriis to them alive. In foolishness known to proud people, they had jailed him for a night to publicly execute him in the morning.

And thus Reveria was forced out into the storm, riding upon Tarmyren at full gallop, chasing down a man that should have been put to the sword long ago.

Tarmyren stood waiting, a black shape standing stoically against the full fury of the wind.

“Good girl.” Reveria said. She had no intention of returning to Arethos but the storm did not send a good omen. Sighing with regret, Reveria turned her steed back toward the lights of the town.


In the tavern a celebration was going on. Reveria steered clear of the chaos as she led her horse down the narrow cobblestone streets. All she longed to do was sleep the night away and rise fresh the following day to depart from the city. The Inn of the Spoiled Boar stood stoically at the end of the street. Only a single candle burned in the window.

Reveria took Tarmyren into the stables and covered her with a nearby saddle blanket. “It’s going to be a cold one tonight.” She whispered as she patted Tarmyren’s neck. Quietly, she left the stable and latched the door.

She walked into the inn and welcomed the warmth that assaulted her. She closed the heavy wooden door and grimaced as a light flared behind the desk at the front of the room.

“Ere now! We ain’t got no more room!” Came the gravelly voice of the innkeeper.

“I just vacated my room. I’ll be needing it for one more night, sir.” Reveria said calmly as she approached the desk.

“Reveria! ‘Tis you! Yes, yes!” He bustled around the desk and handed her the small key. “Go on up!”

“Thank you.” Reveria said as she spared him a tired smile. She walked up the narrow staircase and took the first right. Her room was at the end of a long hallway, isolated from other rooms with it’s own washtub and privy. They honored her with the highest priced room for free. She stood beside the chest and stared at the looking glass positioned above it. Her gray eyes glimmered with secrets only she was privy to, her nervous habit of gnawing on her lower lip was once again in practice. She sighed and turned to the bed.

“If all this ends tonight I will be woefully unsatisfied.” She mumbled to herself and was ashamed. She lived for her calling, lived for her purpose. Even as she salvaged the lost and redeemed the forsaken, Reveria enjoyed the hunt. “Woefully.” Exhausted, Reveria fell upon the bed and shut her eyes. Her sword was still strapped to her side, her dagger still on her thigh as always. Still clothed in leather breeches and shirt, thick cloak wrapped tightly about her body, she slept.


As Ranos Dirth stood outside the tavern, noise plagued his ears and troubled his mind. Rumor was that the villain Armetriis had escaped and Reveria had gone out after him. Ranos shook his head as he pushed open the tavern doors and entered the loud smelly room.

Ale soaked the floor and men drank deeply from brimming mugs. Whores touched and robbed, moving from victim to victim. When one approached, Ranos sent her scurrying off with an evil glare.

Cutting through the throng, Ranos made his way to the barkeep. “Ale?” The pock marked man asked, his greasy black hair hanging unkempt in his eyes.

Ranos smiled and ran his hand through his shoulder-length blond hair. “No.” He met the man’s bland brown-eyed gaze with the steely green one he possessed. “Answers.”

“What can I do you for?” The barkeep asked as he pulled a white rag from under the bar and wiped his hands. Ranos looked at the dirt stained hands the man attempted to wipe clean and decided it was a lost cause. That dirt looked caked on, baked in. Ranos silently swore not to eat in the tavern.

“Reveria. Where is she staying?” Ranos lifted his eyes to the man once more and looked nowhere but directly at him, his steely gaze keeping the man locked in place. Ranos’ square jaw relaxed, his firm lips curving open over unusually white teeth. The stubble on his chin itched and he longed to shave off the five-day old growth.

“The inn. At the end of the lane.” The barkeep said and Ranos lost his grin. Reveria was not safe in this town if all it took was a harsh stare and a cold tone to extract information. Ranos turned and left the tavern, his thoughts on giving Reveria a stern talking to.


Reveria battled the evil in the dream as she always did. Standing upon the flat ground of nothing she swung her sword in wide arcs and the enemy fell dead before her. And as always she was attacked from behind and fell to the rebel blade, her back bloody, her sword heavy. She hits the ground hard and it is suddenly covered with blood, her blood.

She lifts her eyes just in time to see the blade fall upon her once more, ending her life and the dream.


Reveria sat upright in bed, wondering once more about the message of the dream. She knows she is fierce enough to do battle, fierce enough to live. She wiped the sweat from her brow and lay back down, closing her eyes once more as her hand automatically goes to her blade. She realizes it is natural to experience fear but the dream has become more common.

Reveria smelled the sour stench of decay. Her eyes bolted open and she saw the large form of a troll standing beside her bed, reaching for her with gnarled hands covered with hair and filth.

Reveria rolled to the right, revealing her blade at the same time. She stood with her back to the wall and stared at the troll.

“Come on.” She mumbled as the troll hesitated.

Suddenly there was a crash and two more trolls entered the room. Reveria slashed at the closest one, deftly removing his left hand. She drew her dagger and hurled it through the air at the troll’s neck. A soft gurgling sound was heard as the dagger hit its mark and buried itself deep in the tough flesh. Large arms circled her and pinned her arms to her sides. She kicked and twisted but the arms held tight. As they tightened, squeezing the air from her lungs, Reveria thought of the dream and fainted.


Ranos entered the inn and glared at the small innkeeper. “What room is Reveria in?” He asked.

“Reveria left town today.” The innkeeper replied calmly. So calmly, in fact, that Ranos didn’t believe him for an instant.

“I believe she is here. What room?” Ranos drew his dagger and made an act of cleaning his nails.

“Trust me, sir, I would not lie to the likes of you. She is not here.” The innkeeper replied just as calmly as before.

“Hmm.” Ranos had to admit that this man made him feel slightly better about Reveria staying there.

There was a loud crash upstairs and Ranos looked up. His eyes quickly found the innkeepers panicked gaze. “Upstairs. First hall to the right. All the way to the end.” He said quickly as he pulled a club from under the counter.

Ranos dashed up the stairs and headed down the hallway on the right. As soon as he neared the door he smelled the stale scent of urine. “Trolls.” He growled as he kicked the thick wooden door open.

Ranos almost tripped on the bloody body of the dead troll in front of the door. His trained gaze found Reveria unconscious in a troll life squeezing grip. Without thought he hurled his dagger through the air and lodged it in the troll’s broad forehead. The creature crumpled to the ground, it’s grip loosening on Reveria, causing her to fall in a heap beside it.

Ranos drew his sword and faced the third troll. It stared, it’s beady eyes contemplating what little the small-brained creature could. Survival. It lunged for the only window.

Ranos was quicker and sliced the troll open from chin to navel. As guts spilled to the wooden floor, the troll slashed out with a small, dirty knife. It grazed Ranos’ arm, cutting his sleeve but not touching the flesh. Ranos quickly scanned the room then retrieved his dagger, Reveria’s dagger and sword. Those secured on his body he picked up Reveria and carried her down the hall.

“Which room is vacant?” He called down to the innkeeper. There was no answer. Ranos sensed danger. He placed Reveria on the ground in the shadows. A dark shape climbed the stairs, eyes flashing despite the lack of light.

“Well done, Ranos. Too bad she didn’t see it.” The voice said in a deep growl-like tone. “Reveria will be hard to win over. And she needs you with her. Now more than ever.”

“What are you talking about?” Ranos asked, drawing his sword and holding it between him and the stranger.

“She is in grave danger. She should have killed Armetriis.” The man said.

“She did.” Ranos replied.

“Did she? It was dark. There is more to Armetriis than meets the eye.” The man put up his hands to show himself unarmed. “Take her to the room down there.” He said, pointing down the hall behind Ranos. “Fifth one on the left. It’s empty.”

“Who are you?” Ranos asked as he sheathed his sword and lifted Reveria into his arms once more.

“Her father.” Came the reply.


Reveria had a pounding headache. Her whole body ached and she longed to fade away, keep her eyes closed. But the warmth at her back and the gentle pressure of an arm across her waist forced her to open her eyes. She was lying upon a bed staring at a door. The room was much smaller than she remembered.

Suddenly the night’s events rushed back and she sat up quickly. The arm tightened, pushing her back into a lying position beside its owner.

“Stay still.” Came a muffled voice.

“Unhand me.” Reveria replied as she struggled against the solid weight pinning her to the mattress.

“Stay still, I said.” Came the voice and with it a tightening of the arm.

“Who are you?” Reveria asked as she ceased struggling.

“Ranos.” He said. “Don’t get up.”

“Ranos?” Reveria felt her anger rise. “What are you doing? Where am I?”

Ranos growled and rolled over, releasing his grip on her. The warmth of his body was quickly filled with cold air. Reveria sat up and turned, staring at his naked back in alarm.

“What are you doing?” She asked hiding her panic well.

“I was sleeping.” He growled. Reveria lifted an eyebrow. “And don’t lift your eyebrow and act like I’m lying.”

Reveria stood. “What happened?”

“You mean why am I not asleep?” He asked and Reveria could hear the smile in his voice. “You wouldn’t let me.”

“I’m leaving. You can sleep all you want.” Reveria said. As she made her way to the door she was shocked at how quickly Ranos moved to block it. Naked. Her eyebrows shot up. “What are you doing?”

“Preventing you from leaving.” He said calmly. Reveria looked up at his fine masculine features, wavy blond hair and deep hazel eyes.

“You’re naked.” She blurted. Ranos had always infuriated her, always where he shouldn’t be, always claiming he was protecting her.

“So are you.” He replied with a crooked grin that sent Reveria’s heart pounding. She looked down and saw herself fully clothed. Before she could look up again, Ranos lunged at her and tossed her back on the bed. “Grow up, Reveria. We need to talk.”

"You're truly a fool if you think keeping me here listening to you is going to change anything, Ranos." Reveria snarled as Ranos stretched. She tossed a thin blanket at him, which he deftly caught and wrapped around his waist.

"Reveria. You are in danger. You need me." Ranos began with a crooked smile.

"Need you?" Reveria fumed.

"Alright, alright. Desire me." He amended.

Reveria threw a pillow at his head and wished it were her dagger. Her dagger! "Where are my weapons?"

"Over there." Ranos nodded as he retrieved the pillow from the floor and tossed it back on the bed. Reveria glanced at the far corner of the room and saw her sword and dagger lying clean and neat upon the wood floor.

"What do you want, Ranos?" Reveria asked as she stood and crossed the room to retrieve her weapons.

"Thank you, Ranos. 'Tis no problem." Ranos mumbled.

"What are you talking about?" Reveria asked as she replaced her dagger and sword to their proper places on her person.

"I saved your life, Reveria. The trolls-"

"Hah!" Reveria laughed as she advanced. "You saved me, did you?"

"That I did. A little gratitude. Thanks. A kiss. Money." Ranos listed off on his fingers as he watched the seductive sway of her hips.

"Money?" Reveria asked, her eyebrow raised in disbelief.

"Or something. Show you're grateful. Glad to see me." Ranos smiled and pulled her into his arms.

"Unhand me, Ranos!" Reveria demanded.

"Ah, yes. Unhand you." Ranos replied as he lowered his lips to hers and kissed her. Reveria fought against the familiar emotions, the passions, which rose up in her. Soon, the kiss was over and Ranos released her from the warm circle of his arms. Too soon.

"That was uncivilized." Reveria seethed, hiding her confusion and desire.

"I never claimed to be civilized." Ranos grinned. "I'm your new travelling companion, my dear."

"You have no say." Reveria said.

"I have been commanded, Reveria. But regardless, I didn't track you this far to let you run off on you own again." Ranos replied.

"Commanded? By who?" Reveria demanded.

"By me." Came the deep voice from the now open door. Ranos stepped aside and a tall, muscular dark haired man entered the room, shutting and bolting the door behind him.

"And who, pray tell, are you?" Reveria asked as she crossed her arms.

"I thought it should be obvious. I am Firledert of ShadowLeaf Mountains. Your father."


Reveria struggled in her mind to comprehend the fact that her father had found her, not the other way around. She had always envisioned saving her father's life, causing him to regret leaving her and her mother. Causing him to become indebted to her.

"Firledert?" Reveria mumbled and Ranos stepped silently into a corner. For once he was willing to be in the background, to be a silent observer rather than the center of all before him. He studied Reveria's reactions and watched Firledert closely, watching for any signs of change.

"Yes, Reveria. I have been watching you from afar for many years." Firle crossed his arms in the exact replica of his daughter without conscious thought.

"You could have been involved had you remained with my mother. You caused her great shame." Reveria countered.

"Great shame. Yes. But she knew what would happen. She knew the price." Firle smiled softly.

"And you have paid no price? You have lived as you have wished, without the scorn or the humility." Reveria said hotly.

"Humiliation, you mean." Firle replied.

"No. My mother was never humiliated but she was humbled. Humbled by a lover who was nameless and faceless. None could truly recall how you looked." Reveria gnawed on her lower lip in frustration. "What do you want?"

"You are in grave danger." Firle responded quickly, not hesitating even a moment.

"I'm always in grave danger." Reveria replied.

"Armetriis is not dead. He lives, hunting and building an even greater army than the one that came before. He will destroy all he can. Only you can stop him."

"I killed him in the field." Reveria said in disbelief. "I slit his throat and stabbed him through the heart. He is dead. I assure you."

"He is not. You cannot kill something that is already dead." Firle moved forward and sat upon the bed. "He made a pact with Ythguan, a devilish pact, that promised him eternal life in return for his destruction of the chosen four. He has already killed Ecilop the high priest of Truoc."

"If he has not killed all four, how is it he still lives?" Ranos asked from the corner.

"A promise is a promise and a vow is binding. Armetriis asked Ythguan to keep him alive long enough to fulfill his purpose. He has shown his loyalty by killing Ecilop. He has proven himself worthy." Firle replied. "Dress yourself, Ranos. This is no time to be indecent."

Reveria smiled softly and Ranos coughed as he snatched up his breeches and shirt and deftly stepped out of the room and headed for the washroom.

"What can I do to stop him?" Reveria asked after her mirth faded.

"You fight him." Firle said plainly.

"I've done that. He still lives." Reveria countered.

"Ranos and you must seek out the remaining three. They reside in far places, distant from strangers and each other." Firle said.

"Who are they?" Reveria asked.

"Elbisivni, sorceress of Emalb; Nogard, scholar of Nibbor; and Etartsigam." Firle listed them off effortlessly.

"Etartsigam...the Shadow of Sollirrec." Reveria whispered.

"Yes." Firle replied grimly. They sat in silence. The Shadow of Sollirrec was the cruelest and darkest mage in the known lands. He rose to power by crushing those weaker than him. Finally, he moved up and destroyed those stronger. He strikes fear in the hearts of all that hear his name and he possesses such power that his fortress crackles with the unused magnitude of it.

"Etartsigam." Reveria whispered again.

"He knows of you as well. He seeks you." Firle replied.

"He is powerful enough to protect himself." Reveria decided.

"And you as well." Firle said.

"How can he kill all four chosen ones if Etartsigam cannot be killed?" Reveria asked.

"Etartsigam can be killed, child, never doubt that. With the others dead, Armetriis will be more powerful than before. He will build up his power and attack when Ythguan tells him to." Firle stood and the door opened. Ranos entered fully dressed.
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