Nightfire: Prologue

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Wing Rider, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. Wing Rider

    Wing Rider Psychotic Cybernetica

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    Here's a story I made. This is the prologue as you can probably discern from the title. Anyway, tell me what you think.



    The emerald colours of the night sky shimmered with the elegancy of jharkets, a blanket of grass sweeping over darkness, snuffing it out like a candle of everlasting light. The light exploded, a soundless vibration that changed and altered the fiery essence of the moons turning in their changeless orbits. Far below, seemingly endless oceans of bright gleaming waters lay dormant, the reflection of the skies glistening on their glossy surface.
    The light continued, passing across the void of blackness and vanquishing it as it did so with the ease of a healing knife. Great, rolling valleys of green sprang to life as the darkness above it receded. All around, huge pinnacles of rock rose out of the ground like golems, shining bright as power flashed all across its surface. More mountains came into being by the same process, until an entire chain of them rippled across the purple-white of the earth. From a bird's-eye view, the mountains seemed to divide the entire planet into two exactly.
    More energy broke apart the black whirling forces that put up any further
    resistance, revealing an unbelievably huge area of grassland that stretched for millions of miles in every direction. It was not empty as it seemed on first glance, but was filled with life, every single acre of it. The plants were in their infancy, but when the time came for their purpose to be served - and the time would indeed come, there was no doubt about that - then the forest of towering, silver trees would stand higher than any other being.
    Within, the darkness moved and hissed. As if sentient, it seemed to sense what was being done to it, and struggled to escape. It fought powerfully to destroy the chains that shackled it, to rip apart its burdens and obliterate the unwelcome force that had invaded its very being and threatened its existence. It roared into silence, immense power screaming out for vengeance and its unsatiable desire to be free, once and for all.
    For a split second, the light flickered, just for a single instant. A glimmer of hesitation, as if to measure the true power of the other force that lurked from within. In the next second, the fountain of resolution overpowered doubt and suspicion, and the black rays of darkness receded into the unchanging pinpricks of non-existent time and space.
    An eye opened.
    The blinding light had stopped, the intrusion of the darkness having temporarily suspended its movement and distracted it from its purpose. It did not move, did not fade, and did not threaten. It simply existed, hanging in limbo between the middle particles of the great green sky and the red shapes above that cast shadows onto each other.
    An eye closed.
    Vibrations shook the air for a few seconds, and when at last they had passed the strange light had resumed its journey across what remained of the shadow that lay upon a tiny region of the land, barely visible. It wiped the blackness away completely, leaving no signs to show what had once been there before. The light had achieved its purpose.
    And unknown to the eyes that watched behind closed doors up above, a small fragment of the darkness gathered itself up into a ball of super-charged energy, breaking free of its chains and rolling back towards the earth. It landed in a range of mountains, merged with the chaotic mists of the peaks and seemed to disappear completely.
    The light faded with it.
    There was no sound, no smell, nothing to even suggest the merest possibility that anything had ever taken place. That was how it had been planned. That was how it must be, and thus would be.
    The last remnants of the fading light shone onto a piece of seemingly ordinary rock. The rock glowed softly with the high-intensity energy, writhing around as its basic arrangement of particles loosened up and began to rearrange itself. It began to change, the colour brightening and the rock itself growing in size. Two pairs of long cylinders sprouted from its core. The main body of the rock, now almost as big as a tree, revolved several times and split into two segments whilst keeping itself completely intact. The top segment was smaller than the bottom segment, yet somehow managed to retain more definition.
    And then came the mighty explosion - a force of such power, of such rage, that it would have ripped into a million pieces anything for millions of miles, distorting the arrangement of their particles and changing the arrangement of space and time. But of course the light still remained, preventing such a thing, and instead there was only a flash of harsh intense energy being released in all directions.
    Only for a split second.
    Then at last the light vanished altogether, snuffed out like a flame, and what remained of the darkness fell away as well.
    Three eyes opened simultaneously, and life began.
     
  2. Carline of Crydee

    Carline of Crydee Beyond eternity

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    Wow!! :D Really good. What's going to happen next?
    I really like the way you 'created life'.
     
  3. Wing Rider

    Wing Rider Psychotic Cybernetica

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    You may be slightly disappointed...there's a few billion years time gap after this which leaps to the first chapter. Ever tried to looking into sci-fi and science? After the Big Bang created Universe, it was billions and billions of years before anything started to happen...
    And that's the case here. But don't worry, you won't need to wait that long for the next chapter, I've already done up to Chapter 10. :)
    And I don't want to spoil the story (although thee's not much of it) but it's got a new species in it for Chapter 1. Not human, of course, that would be far too simple.
    Glad you like it, anyway, would you like me to post the other chapters in soon?
     
  4. Carline of Crydee

    Carline of Crydee Beyond eternity

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    Yes, I'd love to read it!
     
  5. BBallForLife

    BBallForLife New Member

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    That was really good. I hope you post a chapter soon.
     
  6. Wing Rider

    Wing Rider Psychotic Cybernetica

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    Alright, I'll do it in this same topic:

    Chapter 1


    Ten billion years later

    A limbo, hanging in a nothingness that defied the blackness of space, existing in neither day nor night, stretching out across the universe. There seemed to be nobody there. But there was always something there, always. Even the jharkets that lived their invisible existence in the shattered brains of the dead did not see what was there.
    Varrakon the Xargorek stood up with a lurch. His tail, although not visible to the Mortal Eye, swished backwards and forwards, and two of his limbs made large circular movements in opposite directions. Instantly thousands of blazing stars shifted aside to allow him more room, altering their orbit just the tiniest degree so it would not be disturbed. Changing time is a very dangerous thing.
    "Welcome," he said, his voice thundering from all sixty four corners of the universe at once. "Welcome, all Xargorek. I must admit I am slightly disappointed."
    From several thousand light-years away, one of the other Xargorek shifted uneasily. But it could have been anyone. There were uncountable millions of them, after all. But Varrakon seemed to sense the movement in any case.
    "Is someone moving at the back over there?" he barked irritably.
    The Xargorek at the back decided to freeze.
    "Good," said Varrakon. "Very good. So if you don't mind, I shall continue. As I said to all of you, I am slightly disappointed in you. All of you."
    He paused for effect, although he didn't really need to. An eternal silence lasts for a very, very long time.
    "As a matter of fact," he said darkly after a few seconds, "I may be exaggerating. I am quite livid. The only reason why I have not killed most of you by now is because to do so would be completely and utterly pointless. Did we not agree, friend Xargoreks, on the exact time when we would meet and unite together as one?" He spat out the word "friend" as if it were poison. "Did we not agree that? Nine billion years ago, I might add? Friend Xargoreks, it is not too difficult to find a few planets and give them enough power so that they might support life, and their inhabitants serve us. We agreed that a long, long, long time ago. It has been long enough for a dozen jharkets to control enough armies of zombies to take over an entire planet. Considering the low intelligence of the jharket, that is pitiful."
    Two of his eyes swept their gaze over one portion of the universe. Each of the other two swept their gaze over the remaining sixty three portions of the universe. His voice was like steel. "Explain yourselves, friend Xargoreks."
    There was absolute silence for several seconds, as if among the millions of Xargoreks standing stock still from billions of light-years away in every direction their brains had shut down, rendering them unable to speak. Not a single one seemed to able to speak.
    Then the Xargorek that had moved earlier jumped to his feet quickly, and all eyes turned to him.
    "You have something to say, companion Ralzer?" Varrakon enquired, sixteen of his eyes on one spot at once.
    Ralzer gulped down all four throats at the same time, and quickly nodded. Resolving himself, he managed to stare defiantly into the cold eyes of the larger Xargorek.
    "Companion Varrakon, you must forgive us!" he shouted, his eyes wild.
    The silence that followed was, if possible, much worse than the first.
    "Forgive, you say?" Varrakon was smiling in three different ways, none of which was pleasant. "You ask for forgiveness and you order me to deal it out?"
    Ralzer seemed to realise that he had said something wrong, and hastened to amend it. "We were delayed, companion Varrakon," he said defiantly. "Some of us here are mere amateurs. We were unprepared with the coming of the Dawn of Time. We should have braced ourselves, but we did not. The light wiped out the darkness, and none of us ever knew that such a thing could happen. It was absolutely unthinkable." He was gaining confidence steadily, his voice rising. "But now we are prepared. We are ready. I assure you, companion Varrakon, the day will come when we will rise up again and summon enough power to smash apart the light and free the darkness again! Then once again will the gateway to the upper plane be open!"
    His words had a certain effect. It could be felt throughout the universe, in the way the stars shuddered and vibrated slightly, in the way the other invisible Xargoreks shivered with pleasure and anticipation. Then Varrakon raised all his arms at once, and silence fell yet again.
    "I see that you have been studying your history again, companion Ralzer," he said quietly. He wasn't smiling any more, which was quite a relief. "Your words make you wise - or have you been searching my mind? In any case, it does not matter. What you say is true. I did indeed summon you all here to combine our powers and destroy the light that keeps us imprisoned. We will break free, friend Xargoreks. I assure you of it. But it will be difficult. There is much pain and effort involved, and some of us may be lost in the process."
    He raised himself to his full height, his head so high above the stars that only his eyes could be seen. It was a terrifying image. "Will you join me in this?" he roared suddenly.
    "Yes!"
    The response of millions of Xargoreks shouting at once raised quite a volume of sound that threatened to tear the stars apart. "Yes!"
    "STOP!"
    The cheers subsided as a shorter Xargorek, his faces lined with worry, stepped forward out of nowhere. "This is madness!" he screamed at his comrades. "Companion Varrakon doesn't know what he's talking about! He hasn't been out there!" His insane bulging eyes turned to that of Varrakon's. "You must stop now!" he shouted. "The light will destroy us all, and all because of you! Your cursed blood, your cursed flesh, your cursed eyes - they are all a depiction of what you will fail to do! This is absolute madness, and you know it!"
    "I advise you to cease this talk at once," Ralzer barked.
    "No! I shall not be silenced! Do you not understand? Can you not get it into your cursed brains, you haemorrhaging sons of demonspawn? You will be destroyed, all of you, and you must stop now!"
    Varrakon slowly raised a black claw above his head. Then he slashed downwards at the empty space, and a small metal pyramid became spiralling towards the ranting Xargorek. It hit the creature in one of its heads and seemed to melt and shrivel up, tunnelling into the Xargorek's brain.
    The Xargorek screamed at the top of his voice, clutching the head, but still his words came out very clear and distinct to everyone. "You think killing me will accomplish anything? You will all die, all of you, and good riddance to all of you!" He gave out a fresh scream as the thing in his brain continued to move. "Curse you, Varrakon, father of demons, bringer of death upon his own kind!" he roared. "Curse you into oblivion for all eternity!?
    The pyramid revolved one last time, stopped moving and turned a dark shade of red. There was a moment of silence, one last scream, one last chance.
    Then the Xargorek's body exploded into a million pieces, his voice lost forever. Most of his flesh collided with the surrounding comets, incinerating them on contact.
    Varrakon sighed inwardly. It was such a shame, he thought to himself. Such a shame to lose a companion Xargorek who could have had such potential in the times ahead. But there were millions of them here, far outnumbering the numbers of planets in all directions. One loss would not hinder anything they had worked for.
    He raised his claw, and the metal pyramid flew back to him in an instant, disappearing in a second.
    "Does anybody else want to say something?" he asked, leaning forward slightly so all the Xargoreks could see the black fire alive in his eyes. Not surprisingly, there were no takers. "Friend Xargoreks, today is the dawn of a new age, the day that we shall stand together and tear the light apart before it can even detect our presence." His multiple wings raised themselves high, each of them the span of a thousand suns. "And we will begin...now."
    Then Varrakon the Xargorek uttered several archaic syllables synonymous with the movement of his wings, and all Xargoreks there present felt a powerful force lurch through the very essence of the universe.
    The force struck at a single, golden star, still in its infancy, still beginning to grow. The star flashed once, and exploded.
    For an instant nobody dared to move, aghast at what had happened. Then Ralzer pointed ahead of them, into the whirling abyss.
    Out of the remains of the child star, a planet filled with rolling skies of fire and seas of blood began to emerge, revolving slowly as it did so. It was a huge, dark planet, seemingly completely dead, for nothing lived on it. Varrakon seemed unconcerned however. He looked straight at Ralzer, and nodded, as if saying "You know what to do."
    Ralzer wasn't sure that he did. But in the next few seconds or so, he realised what was expected of him. At the same time, he hesitated. Would he have done this? Would he have wanted to start this all off?
    In the next instant the hesitation was gone. His fist surged forward, and golden energy poured forth into the black, murky planet. There was the muffled sound of howling and screaming, and then silence. But this was not the silence like before, not the deadly silence that beings such as Varrakon could create. This was the awed silence that comes when a great relief has come over a whole planet.
    Or in this case, a whole universe.
    "Well done, companion Ralzer," Varrakon said quietly, a single smile on each of his heads. "That was very good. It has started, then. It has begun. We have chosen the planet Kardria as the one to represent the whole universe; for it exists now at the very centre of everything that ever was and shall be. The mortals that live on Kardria will serve us. They shall help us, certainly, for we have created them. Even eternal power is not enough, for the power we require to break through the light is that which does exist beyond eternity."
    His face was excited as he faced the other Xargorek.
    "And break free we shall! With our power and that of the mortals of Kardria combined, we shall summon enough power to destroy the light forever!"
    Caught up in his exhilaration, the other Xargoreks joined him in his cry, their own faces rapt with pleasure. Their cries echoed throughout the entire universe, from one end to the next in a deafening sound that resounded for years. The battle-cry of the Xargoreks went up like a flame.
    "Destruction! Power! Eternal freedom"?
    And on the newly-created planet of Kardria, a single mortal began to stir to life.
     
  7. BBallForLife

    BBallForLife New Member

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    That is awesome, keep going!
     
  8. Wing Rider

    Wing Rider Psychotic Cybernetica

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    You actually like that one??? I thought someone at least might be a bit disappointed...
    Anyway, from the next chapter onwards it get's very good indeed. The adventure begins. Sort of, anyway. What there is of it.
     
  9. BBallForLife

    BBallForLife New Member

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    I like how you add so much detail. The whole atmosphere of it is kinda scary. I like how you built up to the real adventure. Though you are kind of right, so far I'm a little disapointed with the lack of action.
     
  10. Wing Rider

    Wing Rider Psychotic Cybernetica

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    Don't worry about that, within in the next few chapters you will see a lot of people die. Well, sort of...
    Anyway, here's the next chapter:


    Chapter 2

    The mortal lay as if dead for what seemed an eternity. In reality it probably was only several weeks. His body took a long time to fully function, muscles flexing themselves here and there, near-mechanical breathing sounding from within the chest, and the actual brain awakening as if from a deep sleep.
    He was a single mortal in a universe of immortals. There were no others. When he awoke at last on the barren wasteland of the planet Kardria that the Xargoreks had created for him, his mind had fully awakened and was alert. Yet he was still confused. Who was he? Where was he? Why could he move parts of his body like he was doing now, and why could he think like he did? More to the point, what was he?
    The mortal had been created in the guise of the Xargoreks. He had their tail, their multiple eyes, and even six of their arms. On one side of his face were eight silver pulsing orbs that were his eyes. On the other side of his face was a web of spikes.
    Most of his arms - if he could call them that - ended in a mass of curved claws, deliberately intended for destruction. Some of them however, simply ended in a single finger that had been curved smoothly. Their purpose was a mystery to the mortal.
    He wandered Kardria for several aeons or so, not quite understanding what his purpose in life was. He did not grow hungry, because the Xargoreks had not given him a stomach of any design. Nor did he grow thirsty, because again he lacked the organs that permitted him to do so. Nor did he sleep; he had no perception of rest.
    It was on the eleventh aeon that the creature appeared to him; a creature so powerful and big that it seemed to engulf the entire sky. Its eyes seemed to focus on him all at once, and its voice rumbled with such intensity that the sun seemed to vibrate with the force of it. The mortal did not feel any fear as he faced the nightmarish creature; he did not run, did not scream, did not flinch in any way except to stare at the creature in absolute wonder.
    "Mortal," the godlike creature growled, "do you know of me? I am a Xargorek, one of those who created you and gave you life. In fact I am the one Xargorek who did indeed create the planet you walk on. Do you know of me, mortal?"
    The mortal looked into the eyes of the creature and did not blink at all. "Yes," it said unflinchingly. "You are on of the creators."
    "My name is Ralzer. You will remember that, mortal, will you not?"
    "I will," said the mortal. "What is my name?"
    Ralzer paused. He hadn't reckoned on this, but Varrakon had discussed this matter a few times earlier on, and he still remembered some of what had been said. Varrakon had not been clear, however.
    "Your name is Szégar, mortal," he said finally. "Do you know why?"
    "No."
    "Well, you shall. Mortal, are you aware of what you are? It is important that you know this."
    The mortal blinked slowly with each eye, one after the other. Watching him blink was rather like watching traffic lights change from red to green.
    "I am different," he intoned.
    Ralzer smiled once, a brief stretching of the sky. "Yes, mortal. You are indeed different. As a matter of fact, there is not a single being that is anything like you throughout the entire universe. There is nothing like you. I had created you so."
    He stopped. It was unnecessary to discuss such matters. There would be time for that afterwards.
    He talked with Szégar for a long, long time. He told him about the creation of the universe, the separation of darkness and light, and the plans of the Xargorek to destroy the light and break through into the real world again, to be free from their chains. He told the mortal of the powers at his command and what the Xargorek expected of him. The mortal listened carefully and understood. He was expected to view the Xargorek as gods. What they really were was not important, Ralzer told him firmly, and even if he knew he would not understand. What was important was that they were more powerful, more advanced, and more developed than himself.
    Szégar began to bring himself under control, and was surprised to find that, against all his suspicions, he did indeed have feelings. Since he had been created in the guise of the Xargoreks, he did not feel fear or weakness or even sadness. What he did feel was happiness, desire, anger, hate and rage. The Xargoreks could have given him the ability to feel terror or horror, but Varrakon had decided that those kinds of emotions were signs of weakness.
    So when Ralzer finished talking to him at last, Szégar's head contained more knowledge than it ever had before. In some ways, it was like knowing everything in the universe, the secrets of everything. But of course that was not true; Ralzer had explained at one point that there were always new things to learn, new developments to be made - although many of these were unavailable until the light was destroyed.
    Szégar was enraged by the imprisonment of himself and his creators. He swore that he would do all he could to help. He promised himself that.
    "I shall strike at the planet beyond the light," he said to Ralzer after he had thought it out very clearly. "I can reach them in a small way, even the Xargorek cannot. It is like a sieve; the stones cannot pass through it, but the sand can."
    He used his new-found powers to create life in a way that interested him. He took sand and dust out of the earth that he stood on to create a nightmarish creature of slime and fiery flesh, eyes bulging out of what passed for its head and staring forward with insane content.
    He called it a Demonspawn, and saw that he liked it. Even better, Ralzer was impressed.
    "Make more," the Xargorek ordered. "Make scores of them. I want to see an army of them."
    Szégar did so, the strain on his powers only minimal. It did not take him very long. He could see that his powers were limitless, and that made it all the more convenient for him. He made Demonspawn after Demonspawn, varying their size and shape where it pleased him, their numbers rising to a hundred, five hundred, a thousand, two million, five million. He experimented with a cold hatred. He gave some of them wings, some of them the ability to breathe fire, and for the stronger ones the ability to distort time. There was no end to the possibilities.
    The Demonspawn roamed the whole of the planet Kardria, perfectly happy to sustain themselves in any way possible, and did so by eating off the earth of the planet. Szégar was unconcerned; he merely replenished the earth as it deteriorated.
    He looked across Kardria, watching his creations crawl across the ground mindlessly, and smiled. Soon the time would come for the Demonspawn to be needed.
     
  11. King Eduardo

    King Eduardo yo mama's

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    I love it!! this sto :jawa: ry is great I love the detail I feel like I'm there! I can't wait untill the next chapter I hope its a long one!
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2006
  12. Wing Rider

    Wing Rider Psychotic Cybernetica

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    It's going to be pretty long. But in the few chapters after that, the chapters will get REALLY long! This is nothing compared to what happens when the (no, I'm not going to spoil it).
    I used to post this stuff on another forum, but only one person was actually reading it, and they only turned up once every three months or so, so I prefer this forum cos there's loads of great opinions everywhere.
    Ready for the next chapter? Here it comes...and evolution has come! A different world!


    Chapter 3

    Ten billion years had passed and gone. In the world inside the light, shut away from all kinds of darkness and evil imaginable, life also began in a similar fashion. Perhaps they were created as Szégar had been created, but there was no way to tell, for the first Human to walk on the planet found himself all alone, with no God or creator of any kind there to teach him. There was only the Human. He stalked the lands and seas like an animal - not with barely-controlled madness as Szégar had done, but with curiosity. The Human ate food with the two limbs he called arms, and he walked until it seemed he could walk no more.
    He spent the years wandering the earth for no purpose other than to satisfy his curiosity, for his mind was unoccupied and impatient. He did not understand why.
    Then one day he encountered another creature - another Human, similar to himself but different in small things, like its size or the colour of its eyes. A kinship spread up among them. Later more of the Humans gathered with them, scores of them huddled together inside a desolate cave as shelter from the fierce ice storms that raged constantly from without.
    Not all of them were the same at all, as the first Human had found out. Some of them were very, very different; so different, in fact, that the other Humans agreed to call them by different names and set them apart as another race, another species. The creatures that were different varied in many ways; some were very short and never seemed to grow very tall, and were named Dhorrevs; some were exceptionally tall with strange pointed ears and unusually pale skin, and were called Aellfs; others seemed to have near reptilian skin yet still remained human in many aspects, and were known to be Draggelines. Then there were the special breed of Humans that seemed to be more powerful and intelligent than the average Human, and showed superhuman abilities that frightened the others. Later they changed their appearance more drastically, but they came to be known as Lorekki.
    Time passed. The races evolved and changed, developed their own languages, set the borders between the countries, and went so far as to explore the world as far as they dared. Even the names themselves changed over time: the Dhorrevs came to be known as Dwarves, the Aellfs changed their names to Elves, and the Draggelines became known as Drakelings. The Lorekki, however, continued to be known as the Lorekki, their name remaining as it had been for millions of centuries of years.
    The races did not spurn each other or make war at all, not even with the Lorekki; they wanted only peace and had little perception of war. They knew how to fight but were reluctant to do so. The few disputes they had were settled by idle threats and small skirmishes.
    Thus the years passed, coming up into the present day: the same day that Ralzer appeared to Szégar.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    The world was divided into two parts - the Inner Sphere and the Outer Sphere, although nobody really thought of their planet as any kind of ball. It just seemed easier to understand. The races of the world lived in the countries that they called the Inner Sphere. Any further exploration revealed miles and miles of ocean that were impassable.
    The Lorekki lived in the vast expanse of land that served as the last remaining country in the Inner Sphere. Any further steps past that led into the Outer Sphere, which few travellers even contemplated journeying to. It was a place unexplored and unknown, thought to be inhabited by dark and evil creatures that could put an end to your life in an instant. It was thought that within the Outer Sphere there lay mountains of treasure beyond your wildest dreams, however. A few exceptionally brave warriors attempted to venture into the Outer Sphere, but none ever came out again. Now there was nobody who left the Inner Sphere at all.
    Dwarf country was situated far south in the Inner Sphere, a peaceful stretch of land that was filled with people from far and wide across the earth. It was a place that weary travellers and saddened creatures would come to, for it gave everyone exactly what they wanted: a peaceful life. Even Lorekki came to stop in Dwarf country often, and Lorekki were known to hardly stop in one place at once, since they were always travelling.
    Little Chilting was a small hamlet situated on the north side of Dwarf country, a creature's common comfort. It seemed very plain at first sight, but so were most of the other villages on the borders of this part of the land. In general it was populated by Dwarves and Elves, as well as the odd Human passing through. The majority, however, were Dwarves, common farmers who were friendly about what they said and did, likable people who worked hard their entire life and were rewarded by it.
    One of the farms permitted its occupant a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside, of the rolling hills and purple valleys. From there a single person could see almost all of the Dwarf country, and the sight was breathtaking.
    An Elven girl stood by the fence, looking out across the hills. She was tall, about seventeen, with sleek blond hair falling across her shoulders. There was a muted expression of tranquillity on her face as she continued to stare out across the land.
    "Seretia?" came a gruff voice from behind her.
    She turned around, looked around for a moment, and then looked down a bit.
    "Uncle Radrick," she said pleasantly in recognition. "I didn't hear you coming up here."
    The Dwarf smiled. "No, you wouldn't, would you? Not with you lost in your own imagination." He had red hair and a thick beard that enveloped most of the lower part of his face, but his friendly brown eyes betrayed what was inside. "We've been looking all over the whole village for you, Seretia. But I knew you'd be up here." His smile broadened a notch. "Your auntie's been worried sick for a while."
    "A while?"
    "Well, the last twenty minutes or so, I'd say. She doesn't want to let you out of her sight. Too protective all the time. I keep telling her that every second of her life, but she never listens."
    Seretia shrugged. "She doesn't need to look out for me. She should be looking out for herself, Uncle Radrick."
    "I know that, nephew, and she's got me as well, but you know Carine. She's been looking over you since the day we adopted you, and she seems to think she has to spend the rest of her life doing the same," replied the Dwarf. "I've been doing that too, however, but not like she does. The way she acts, you'd think that if she didn't stop caring for you then the world would come to an end." He looked up at her a few feet. "Then again, maybe it will." He gave a short laugh that echoed off the side of the fence. "Your mother's been looking for you as well, by the way. She told me to ask you to come back home."
    She sighed. It had been long and difficult, her life, from the very start. Her closest friends and relations were all Dwarves, and although a small part of the population of Little Chilting was Elven, that did not make her feel much better. She couldn't help thinking that she stood out, just a little bit. Since she towered over her elders, Seretia was somewhat noticed, and she did not like to be noticed.
    From what she had been told, her mother Elile had adopted her after failing to bear any children. A year later she adopted another child, the Dwarf named Kortis who would become Seretia's brother and closest childhood friend in her life ahead of her. They lived together in peace for a time, and as they grew it became evident that Seretia was different from the rest of them. The greater height, pointed ears, sleek hair and violet eyes were a few of the differences that set her apart from everybody else. Elile and Kortis seemed not to mind the changes at all, treating her like one of their own people, and inside themselves that was probably exactly how they felt.
    Seretia, however, became more and more uncomfortable by each passing day. Racism didn't exist in Little Chilting, if it did exist at all, and so she was never pointed out or insulted at school because of her features. After all, there were many Elves like her in the village. Nevertheless, she still felt threatened by the thought that she shouldn't have been born into a family of Dwarves at all.
    Uncle Radrick and Aunt Carine, both Dwarves on Elile's side of the family, heard about what she was feeling and tried to put her at ease. She was being delusional, they told her. She was trying to live a Dwarven life whilst trying to understand an Elven one, and attempting such a thing was enough to tear anyone apart. Better to concentrate more on the Dwarven way of life and keep yourself content, they told her. It would be so much easier that way.
    She did not think so, however. Her thoughts were Elven, and she intended to keep them that way. She left to a far-away part of the village in a small Elven community to live, away from any Dwarves, in an attempt to feel as if she belonged. She learnt the Elven language and the Elven ways of life, although some part of her was still part-Dwarf, because she had lived with them for so long. She still went to see her family and relations at times, but never for very long.
    When she reached mid-teens, she apprenticed to one of the elders of Little Chilting to learn the art of elementalism, an old Elven magic. She found that she had talent in what she did, and became more talented as the years went past. By the time she had finished her apprenticeship, she was a very skilled elementalist, with fire and ice at her command along with the power to break apart the earth if she chose to. Much of what was within her power was untested and imperfect, however, and she did not like that part of it. It was enough, however, that she knew something more of the Elves.
    But it still didn't seem enough. Perhaps it never would be.
    Uncle Radrick sensed her obvious discomfort. "I'll tell you what, nephew," he suggested. "Why don't you stop by at the inn for a bit? The story-tellers will be around in about ten minutes. Kortis and your mother will probably stop there, and if I'm lucky enough I might even be able to stop your auntie from going cooking the chicken so that she can join us all for some high-standard meat and a good story with the rest of the community. You won't have to worry at all, Seretia, and you're always worrying. You need to relax a little bit."
    Seretia nodded slowly. Maybe she did need to relax and calm down more. She hadn't visited the inn in years, and she did miss the good tales told by the storytellers there. Besides, she hadn't eaten for several hours.
    "All right, Uncle Radrick," she said at last. "I might as well come."
    The Dwarf smiled broadly, prompting a smile from her in return. Then he nodded quickly and set off down the path, allowing the Elven girl to follow behind him. "I thought you might."
    The inn was very popular among the inhabitants of Little Chilting, although it was so old that some of it was starting to fall apart. Even the name was faded so much that it was illegible, making it seem forgotten by everyone. This was not the case at all when Seretia and Uncle Radrick came in. The place was virtually packed full of people, all eating and drinking to their heart's content, some playing tunes on a lute or a lyre. Generally, everyone was enjoying themselves.
    Seretia caught sight of her brother Kortis sitting not to near the back of the room, picking at the remains of his food with his fork. His mother was next to him. Seretia caught sight of her and instinctively drew back, suddenly desperate to get out of the room, wondering why she had let herself be persuaded to come back.
    "No, nephew!" Uncle Radrick snapped at her, pushing her forward with one stocky arm. "We all want you here. We want you to have a good time for once!"
    Kortis jerked his head up and saw her. His eyes brightened, and he whispered at once to Elile, who cried out and rushed over to Seretia to embrace the girl as her own. Seretia froze for a moment, but then relaxed when she saw the happiness and tears of joy that filled her mother's eyes. She had seldom seen them like that.
    "Seretia, Seretia, you've come back!"
    "Not for very long, Elile," Uncle Radrick said gently. "For tonight, perhaps. It was difficult enough getting her over here."
    Elile barely acknowledged what he said, as if it meant nothing. She put an arm around Seretia and wheeled her over to the table where Kortis was waiting. "Come along, Seretia, I haven't seen you for years. We must get you something to eat. I've missed you so much in these past months…"
    "Thank you, am I invisible now?" Uncle Radrick said acidly. "My function is fulfilled, so now I am the transparent idiot?"
    Elile smiled fondly. "Of course I can still see you, Radrick. I'm just a little bit preoccupied at the moment. Why don't you find Carine and see if she's about?"
    Seretia sat down at the table next to Kortis as her mother began to order a fresh plate of meat soup. She stared at her brother in wonder. Against all her expectations, he hadn't actually changed much at all. He seemed exactly the same person she remembered him as from half a decade ago.
    "Good to see you again, sister," he said quietly, running a hand through his rich dark hair. "How's things in the Elven community?"
    "I wouldn't know," she replied darkly. "I'm trying to understand them, and I'm still not doing very well. I've got too much Dwarf in me to do that."
    "That doesn't change anything, Seretia. Maybe you have learned something from them. You can always learn something from them."
    Seretia started to speak, but at that point her mother returned with a steaming plate of chicken soup for her, and the girl began to tuck into it gratefully. A few seconds later, all the lights in the inn went out at once.
    "What's going on?" Kortis shouted amongst other cries and curses in the room.
    A few seconds passed, and the lights came back on again.
    "Oh, really," Elile muttered disdainfully. "Do they really have to be so dramatic about it? They only have to announce themselves…"
    "Who?" Seretia whispered.
    A tall man had risen to his feet, wearing a white hood pulled over his face to conceal. Beside him, a knight in armour, heavily armed for some reason, also stood up, although the difference in height was somewhat awkward.
    "Welcome!" the tall man shouted. "Who among here wants to hear one of the great tales of the ancient legends, the heroes of the night?"
    There was immediate applause with the rest of the people in the inn once they realised that there was no danger. A roar of clapping echoed through the room.
    "Then I shall begin!" the hooded man continued. "The tale of one of the greatest heroes of the legends. As the evil approaches the lands, the sign of the master reveals itself, and red clouds of darkness engulf cities to destroy the inhabitants! But all not is lost, my friends. For the great hero Kilgun set forth to destroy the evil at its very core!"
    "And that he did!" the knight joined in.
    "To obliterate the demons that rain down on the forces of good with the power or thunder and lightning!" the man in the white hood went on, raising his voice a bit more and sounding slightly frenzied. "To wipe them out with unlimited power taken from the place where no man has ever gone before!"
    "And that he did!" the knight repeated.
    "So it came that he created a weapon that could destroy any evil creature with a single shot! He became famous for his powerful weapon! He was the only one who could use it! He alone was master!" The hooded man took another stepped forward. "With swords and spears he was lost, but with his weapon he could take the life of the evil with a single shot! Unlimited power!"
    "And that he did!" the knight came in right on cue for a third time.
    "Thus the hero Kilgun wielded his destructive weapon, and took his name after it! He called himself One-Shot Kilgun, and all creatures great and small, evil and…" The hooded man hesitated as adjectives failed him. "…and evil, would tremble in his path! The great One-Shot Kilgun would combat all dark creatures of the netherworld!"
    One of the Elves to the side absently played a few notes on the lute.
    "Shut up!" The white-hooded storyteller seemed to be deep in the spirit of things. "And so a great war was fought, and One-Shot Kilgun and the master of all the evil battled to the death in single combat!"
    Another Elf played some more notes on the lute.
    "I said shut up! Terrible was the great battle, and at last One-Shot Kilgun emerged the victor, although terribly wounded in many places!"
    "And that he was!" the knight added, remembering his cue.
    "Thus One-Shot Kilgun remains to this day as one of the most memorable heroes of the past century!"
    Seretia leaned over to her mother. "Is it always like this?"
    "Why, what's wrong with it, Seretia?"
    "Well," the Elven girl replied, "they could lower their voices a bit, couldn't they?"
    The white-hooded man hadn't quite finished yet.
    "Ladies and gentleman! Thank you for your time, your patience, and your time! And your patience! A new tale has been told, and may it spread across the world!"
    Another Elf played an entire tune on his lute that was completely out of tune.
    "Shut up!" the man barked at the Elf as the rest of the inn applauded the storytelling. His voice was lost in the din.
    Seretia still had her hands clamped over ears, which were worn out from being shouted at. I really need to get out a bit, she decided. Somewhere a bit more peaceful.
     
  13. Carline of Crydee

    Carline of Crydee Beyond eternity

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    It's great!! It took me a while to read it entirely but I'm glad I did, it's just amazing.
     
  14. Wing Rider

    Wing Rider Psychotic Cybernetica

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    Got the next one here as well. This is where everything starts to change...


    Chapter 4

    By the next morning, Seretia had made up her mind to leave Little Chilting. It was something, she decided, that she ought to have done a very long time ago. The noise at the inn last night had been a little too much for her, after her long years of seclusion in her small cottage at the edge of the Elven community of the village. After falling asleep with her head on the table and awaking to see everybody around her snoozing like the dead, she had simply stood up and walked out.
    There was no sign of Uncle Radrick, but she found Aunt Carine on her way out of the village, carrying a basket of fruit. She hesitated, and then called out to the Dwarf woman.
    "Aunt Carine, have you seen Uncle Radrick anywhere?"
    Her auntie shook her head. "He might be in the inn. Or back at the house."
    "Well, if you find him, which you will, I need you to tell him to tell my mother and Kortis that they won't see me for a while."
    Aunt Carine sighed. "What else is new, Seretia? You've literally been hiding from the lot of us during the past eight years or so. I take it you're not just going back to your cottage again?"
    "No, auntie, I'm afraid I'll be leaving Little Chilting altogether. But could you do what I ask?"
    The Dwarf woman nodded. "Of course. Where's Elile and Kortis now anyway?"
    "Oh, they're asleep in the inn, I didn't want to wake them."
    Her auntie glared at her. "Then couldn't you have done all this yourself? What was the point of getting me to do it?" She sighed again. "You're worrying over nothing, Seretia."
    "I know. Farewell, auntie."
    They had always been very formal, herself and her Aunty Carine, Seretia thought to herself as she stepped outside the village at last and trudged across the dusty road in her cheap grey cloak. They had never had much of a relationship, not too close like there was with her mother, not one to share secrets like with her brother, and not completely like friendly like with her uncle. Now she thought about it, about all she knew of her aunty was that she could cook well.
    But as Uncle Radrick had mentioned to her last night, Aunty Carine cared for her deeply more than anyone. She concealed her feelings because she was afraid to let them show, but everybody still noticed them. She did little things for Seretia every now and then, very small things that were seemingly-insignificant, but Seretia knew exactly what was meant for them.
    Seretia thought about this as she continued to walk along, and it helped her put aside her pain. She found herself thinking then about the place she was trying to get to.
    She had only heard of the place, and never even seen it, but she didn't have any trouble at all getting there. It was if her intuition told her exactly which path to take. If there was peace she wanted, then she would find complete and utter peace in this place. She knew that for certain.
    The journey took her only a couple of days to make, leading her over rolling hills and shadowed meadows that were lit up by the friendly sunshine, leading her away from the dusty road that led the way to cities of Dwarves and Men and put away the hardships or the past. She entered a part of the countryside she not had even known existed, climbing over great hills and tiny mountains, feeling the cool wind race through her hair, revitalising her spirits as if my magic.
    On the second day she reached the temple.
    It was indeed an amazing place. The description she had been given was not very accurate, but now that she could see the actual temple for herself she could see why. With towering pillars of sparkling violet marble and spirals of stone winding up to the ceiling and green fires lighting through the darkness on the numerous statues filling the inside chambers, there was an atmosphere of pure tranquillity in the air that was so intense it defied explanation. Seretia breathed in the air deeply and knew she had been right. She had come to the right place for peace.
    "Elementalist, why are you here?"
    The question seemed to come out of nowhere and everywhere at once. Seretia hesitated before realising that it was only an illusion created by the positions of the spirals and the winding pillars. She turned around to the source of the voice.
    "My name is Seretia," she said calmly. "I come from the village of Little Chilting from the near west. I wish to seek complete peace, and so I wish to give myself up to Lorission."
    The fires of the temple flickered for a moment as a tall robed figure appeared out of the darkness. He seemed to be in his middle-aged, although he carried a sturdy metal green staff, and his eyes were full of an ageless wisdom. He had a beard of grey, but somehow did not seem to be too ancient. The robes wrapped around him were also of a pearl green, and his smile was warm and comforting.
    "Would you indeed?" he asked. "Lorission will give you peace if you truly do desire it. What would you give up for peace?"
    "A good many things," Seretia replied.
    "Your magic?"
    "Yes."
    "Your humanity?"
    "Yes."
    The robed man's smile disappeared. "Your family?"
    "No."
    "Or yourself?"
    "Yes."
    The man's smile returned quickly. "Your thinking is good, Seretia. You are worthy of the Goddess of Peace. Lorission will give you what she can. Come with me, elementalist."
    Seretia followed the man through the temple's many winding chambers, past the bright green fires flaring in the near-darkness that lit up every room. They continued on past the corridors and came to a large hall full of many more fires, which were now flaring a comforting violet. From their light, Seretia could make out the marble statue of a woman with great billowing wings.
    "Lorission," she breathed silently, looking up at the statue with a mixture of excitement and awe.
    "Quite," said the robed man. He gestured to a stone altar underneath the statue that Seretia had not even seen. "The Goddess of Peace desires a sacrifice, if you are to serve her."
    The Elven girl looked down at the altar. There was a stone knife lying by the side of it. She picked it up, puzzled, and then looked back at the man.
    "You must give a part of yourself away," he told her quietly. "A part of you that you would be willing to give up for peace. If you make the right choice, then you shall enter into Lorission's service."
    Seretia didn't understand. She looked at the stone knife in her hand.
    The robed man shook his head firmly. "The knife is not necessary. That is for the sacrifice of animals. Your sacrifice is of a different essence."
    She let go of the knife, heard it tumble to the floor. What did he mean? She had to give away a part of herself to the Goddess of Peace, what she would want to give…
    In a flash she suddenly understood.
    As the robed man stepped back, Seretia lay down on the altar, spread her arms back, raised them above her head and looked full into the eyes of the great statue above her. She gave a great sigh, fell back, and released the whole of her magic in one almighty effort, expending all of her energy in one single instant. Her elementalist powers churned towards the eyes of the statue as the energy drained from her body.
    There was no time to try and work out whether she had truly made the right choice or not. The eyes of the statue seemed to glow, but in her weakening state it was difficult to tell whether she had imagined it or not. Her arms fell limply to her sides as the last of her energy left her, and she collapsed on the altar, offering absolutely no resistance as waves of darkness fell on her, drowning her in their sea as she plunged into unconsciousness.

    * * * * * * * * * * * *

    When she came awake again, she found herself on the floor, curled up in a tight ball. She opened her eyes as the robed man walked towards her and helped her up. Seretia still wasn't quite sure what had happened. She had dreamed, however, in the short passage in which she had been unconsciousness. She had dreamed of peace. It had been such a wonderfully exhilarating feeling that she would have given a lot to experience it again. But now she was back in the real world.
    The robed man sat her down and gave her a small potion to drink that settled her and gave her back some of her energy. He waited while she coughed some of it up again, seeming quite unconcerned with her condition but not willing to make it worse. After she had finished the potion and assured herself that she was actually breathing normally, he took the empty bottle and washed it out before refilling the potion and handing it back to her. She took another draught of it, and felt its warmth fill her body. She did not cough it up this time.
    "Seretia," said the man at last. "I must congratulate you on your recovery. You have passed the high demands of the ritual, and are now in the service of Lorission, Goddess of Peace. My name is Agrilos. I am High Priest of Lorission."
    Seretia finished the potion again and placed it on a small wooden table by her chair. She wasn't really sure what to think. Part of her was excited at the thought of serving the Goddess that she had only heard about and actually being able to experience once again the feeling of utter peace. The other part of her had been weakened by her ordeal on the altar, and was screaming at her to seek something back for what had been taken from her.
    Somehow it didn't seem enough. She hesitated for a few moments, and then remembered.
    "My magic," she said. "Is it truly…taken from me completely? I sacrificed it, didn't I?"
    Agrilos nodded. "You did. It can be recovered again, but at a cost. You still have a small measure of your elementalist magic remaining to you. In time, with continued devotion to loyalty to the Goddess, you will be able to take some of it back. Perhaps even all of it." He smiled. "But now is not the time to speak of such matters. Come, Seretia."
    Shakily, because her body was still weakened, Seretia followed the High Priest through the rooms of the temple. He spoke to her as they came to each room, telling her their purpose, what they were to do, and how they were to see to the needs of the temple. He showed her through each of the sacrificial ceremonies, the lighting of the green fires in the corridors and the violet fires of the main hall, the specific way of washing and bathing as was proper in the temple, the different prayers and forms of worship that were recognised in each room, and also how she could speak to Lorission Herself. Seretia found herself paying very close attention indeed. It was quite possible, she considered, that she would very well spend the rest of her life here. It seemed quite an appropriate course of action to take, after all.
    The days went by, and Seretia started to get used to the way of living in the temple. She had to awake at six-thirty in the morning, and be cleaned, bathed and dressed in the pearl-green robes of peace so as to be able to sound the gongs of the upper regions of the temple at ten to seven so as to awaken the spirits of peace that resided inside the earth. Her food was deliberately frugal and simple, taken from small scraps of meat and vegetables left-over from the night before, whilst the food she didn't eat was sacrificed to Lorission so as not to be wasted. She had to make sure that the fires were lit at all times, so that the evil spirits of war and havoc were kept well away from the temple. At exactly half past eight she was to perform the Ritual of Silent Leaves, which involved several mixtures of thanksgiving prayers to Lorission of the peace She had brought. The rest of the morning was spent in mainly meditation, to put herself at peace with any of her own doubts and fears that might exist.
    Sometimes Seretia found that a tiny shred of her magic was coming back to her, if extremely slowly. Agrilos had been right - she could hardly make much use of her magic. Her powers were so limited that even the tiniest flame barely lasted a minute.
    Her rituals continued, so that at eleven o'clock she hunted in the nearby woods to bring back an animal to the temple. She and Agrilos were to feast on approximately an eighth of the meat, but the rest was to be sacrificed to Lorission. If they were still hungry, then another animal would be killed to satisfy their hunger and their own peace. At half past two in the afternoon, the Ritual of Fireflies took place, where the gong was sounded three times over chanted incantations of peace. This re-summoned the spirits of the earth, Agrilos told her. At the end of the ritual the worshippers were also permitted to ask a small request of the Goddess. Strangely enough, Seretia never had one of her own to ask, although it seemed that she had spent her entire life wanting things that had always been denied to her.
    At four o'clock exactly, the statue itself was to be cleaned and polished until it shone, and the rest of the floor of the main hall had to be washed in a similar manner. The fires that dimmed were to be re-lit, and the overall atmosphere of peace that filled the temple had to be re-established if it had diminished at all. Seretia did not complain about the work, feeling inside of her an urge to actually make something of her life, to actually achieve something like she was doing now. It seemed to her that she had never made much of her life at all.
    By six-thirty, dinner was eaten, a slightly more filling meal that was intended for the benefit of the worshippers alone, for Lorission did not require appeasement all the time. This usually consisted of a large soup of fish and vegetables that Seretia found strangely appealing, although she had never liked fish soup that much. At seven in the evening, the gong was sounded one last time to signal the sleeping of the temple, and to bid the spirits of the earth to rest once more. Seretia generally slept at this time, whilst Agrilos continued to perform other unknown ceremonies in the temple that she never thought to ask about. They did not seem too important, after all.
    Every day went on like this, a seemingly endless chain of devotion to Lorission that Seretia begin to enjoy thoroughly. She no longer minded the hard work or the harsh conditions under which she had to live. She began to find that it was a part of her own life.
    On the eighty-eighth day of her service in the temple, two important things happened that changed Seretia's life as she had come to know it.
    The first was that she was now fully in possession of the whole of her magic. Enough time had passed that she was able to use it without too much effort, and the knowledge of this pleased her very much.
    The second came in the guise of a message from Lorission herself. When Agrilos heard this, he informed Seretia about this, but did not tell her the message herself. It was better that she should hear it from the Goddess of Peace Herself.
    So it was that she prostrated herself at the altar, kneeling before the great winged statue. She waited a while, with the High Priest by her side.
    An then at last, the eyes of the statue came to life, shining with fire and turning towards her to talk with as her as they had never talked before. Agrilos had tried to prepare her for her encounter with the Goddess, but even so it seemed frightening. Seretia steeled herself, determinedly, and managed not to flinch before the gaze of Lorission.
    "Seretia," the great voice of the Goddess came echoing out of the temple. "There is danger coming. I can see it. I can see a red cloud of evil floating towards the villages to the West. What lives inside the cloud I cannot fathom, but it has purely wicked intent."
    For a moment Seretia was at a loss as to why Lorission was telling her this. Why should it matter what was happening on the other side of the country?
    "You may not think it matters, Seretia," intoned the Goddess, as if reading her mind, which she probably could, "but times have changed. If you serve me as a true worshipper, you must keep peace as I want it kept. And evil is here after so many aeons of peace. It must not be allowed to continue."
    Seretia opened her mouth to protest that this talk of red clouds and evil was ridiculous, when another thought entered her mind. Little Chilting! she almost wailed. That's my home village out there in the west!
    "This cannot be true," she said stubbornly.
    "Seretia," said Agrilos from somewhere to her left, "I should ask you not to take the word of Lorission lightly. What She says here is law. Sometimes She is wrong, or a tad inaccurate, but not always."
    The Goddess smiled. "I do not remember when I have ever been wrong. I see, Seretia, that you have been shaken a little bit."
    This was a bit of an understatement.
    "Great Lorission, my family is out there!" the Elven elementalist cried. "If there is anything of what you say there is out there, then they could be in danger." Her expression suddenly narrowed in suspicion. "How do you know all this?" she asked somewhat sceptically.
    Agrilos sighed. "Just take Her word for it, will you? It may be very complicated explaining it, and I'd have to talk about the formation of mountains and about telekinesis, and I'm not sure I understand all of it." He looked straight at her, his face long and serious. "What you need to know, Seretia, is that something is coming. It's bringing with it something to shatter the peace, and unless you do something it will come for your village."
    "What do you expect me to do?" Seretia exploded. "I want to go and help them. I want to see my family again and see that they are all right. But how can I, with all the work I have to do here? I can't just leave it all. You can't cope with all of it on your own."
    "I was coping well enough before you or anyone else had come along," the High Priest said calmly. "I can continue to do so. Tell me, Seretia. Tell me the truth. Do you want to go to your family and help them, if only to see that they are alright?"
    The Elven girl didn't hesitate. "I do."
    "Then so you shall, elementalist. Go to them now. Leave the Temple of Lorission and journey to Little Chilting. If evil lingers there, do what you must. Bring your family to safety if you want. Whatever you wish. When you have done everything you can, return to this Temple and continue your duties. We will talk again there."
    Agrilos reached inside his robes and brought out a beautifully crafted hand-held mirror, which he handed to her. Seretia examined it, noting with surprise that instead of showing her reflection, there was only mist and fog engulfing the straight glass surface.
    "This will allow us to keep in touch, Seretia. It is no ordinary mirror, as you can see for yourself. When you wish to contact me, release a tiny portion of your magic into the mirror to clear away the magic mist that obscures it. Then we shall be able to talk over long, long distances, no matter how far-away we are. But heed, Seretia - it should only be used when truly needed. There's not much point using it to tell me that you've hurt your foot. This is a very serious issue here. The mirror is the only one I've got, so the only way I can speak back to you is through Lorission, and you have no idea how much energy that requires."
    The elementalist tucked the precious mirror inside her robes, and nodded. Already she was aware of what she needed to do. "I understand, Agrilos. But all this could be wrong, you know. It might be that nothing is wrong at all."
    "Yes, Seretia, I know, but it never hurts to take precautions."
    "It'll hurt you to maintain a connection if I use the mirror. You said that."
    The High Priest of Lorission smiled broadly. "I was being metaphorical. There's no need to take me so literally. Now let's see you off. Safe journey, Worshipper of Lorission!"

    Two nights later, the inn at Little Chilting was completely packed of people, as it always was. The owner was a big fat greasy Dwarf that was probably the richest businessman in the whole country, let alone the village. Tonight was the night that the storytellers were coming, and for some reason everybody liked to hear a good story, even if it was a loud one. If you had a good pair of ear-muffs, then the story-telling would be just fine.
    Seretia arrived just in time to hear it. She reached the village without trouble, and found nothing wrong at all, just as she had suspected and hoped. It had been a false alarm after all. She was about to take out her mirror to tell Agrilos about, but then decided that there wasn't much point worrying him about it.
    She was moderately irritated at the thought of having to make the journey all the way back again, and offered a short prayer to Lorission of how annoyed she was, which she hoped would be taken well. But Seretia was also quite hungry from the journey, and decided to stop by at the inn, to at least see her family again.
    Kortis and her mother were overjoyed to see her again, and somehow managed to get her a good seat on top of three tables. Seretia looked out for Uncle Radrick and couldn't see him; maybe he was coming along later. Then she looked out for Aunty Carine and thought she glimpsed the Dwarf woman near the back.
    In the next instant, the lights all went out, but by now everyone was used to it. When they came back on, the big man in the white hood with the armoured knight by his side appeared at the front of the inn, trying to look as dramatic as possible, which wasn't too hard.
    "Behold!" the hooded man roared at the top of his voice. "The story telling shall now begin! Know that the great warrior, the superman, the almighty hero of the night called Galderos was born from the ashes of an elephant!"
    "And that he was!" the knight chorused.
    "The great Galderos fashioned his mighty broadsword out of steel and blood, to become the greatest warrior ever! And no evil could stand before his weapon of destruction!"
    "Hang on," Seretia muttered under her breath, "that's basically the same tale as last time, they're just sticking someone else's name in the gap."
    The man with the white hood seemed intent on rupturing everyone's eardrums as well as damaging his own throat, and showed no sign of stopping.
    "And when evil came upon the land, there was only man to stop him! The great Galderos, with his sword of steel, to banish the evil forever, and then destroy it as well!"
    "And that he would!" the knight joined in.
    "So thus it came to that he would arise in shining light to fight unknown dark powers and unleash his skill with the sword! And he would battle the God of Evil himself, to fight the immortals and make them pay! Revenge!!!"
    Seretia yawned openly. This was getting slightly out of hand.
    "And so they sought the help of Lorission, Goddess of Peace - "
    Seretia jerked her head up in mid-yawn. What had he said?
    " - and they agreed on what must be done!" The robed man paused, irritation showing on his hooded face. "Hang on! Are you lot at the back paying attention? What are you doing over there?"
    Seretia glanced towards the back of the inn. The ones nearer the door were not paying attention. Instead, they were shouting loudly and pointing to something outside that was upsetting them rather badly. More people were pointing and shouting incoherently, gesturing outside. What was going on out there?
    Several people dashed outside of the inn, amid protests from the storytellers and the innkeeper. Seretia almost stood up to join them, then decided not to. What was happening outside?
    An instant later, somebody screamed.
    It was a scream of delight, happiness, or even of pain. This was a cry of one who was terrified beyond imagination.
    A few seconds later, an enormous cloud of red passed across the sky, and a shadow of some kind seemed to pass across the windows of the inn. Several more people outside were screaming as well. The red cloud outside seemed to emit a kind of hissing sound.
    More of the people inside the inn, along with Elile and Kortis, rushed outside. Seretia was desperate to do the same, but she remembered her promise to Agrilos; she was to do no more than bring her family to safety. Could the red cloud outside be what Lorission had warned against? Frightened now, Seretia called out to her mother and her brother, but her voice was lost amidst the screams rising up all around her. The noise outside was reaching fever pitch.
    She crept over to the door and peeked outside through the keyhole. A horrifying sight greeted her eyes - the red cloud in the sky she had seen earlier descending to the earth to engulf the frightened townspeople of Little Chilting, seeming to swallow them up without a trace. She tore her eyes away from the keyhole, suddenly aware that she was alone in the inn. Everybody else had run away. She was trapped in this small building with nobody to help her, and that red cloud was coming, whatever it was - but what could she do?
    Help me, Lorission! she almost wailed in the silence of her mind.
    In her desperation, she tripped over a fallen chair and landed on the floor painfully. As she rose to her feet, her hand wrapped about the latch of a wooden trapdoor underneath her. Barely able to believe her luck, she unlatched the trapdoor and slipped through into a small room below the inn.
    It was pitch-black, and she lay there for many long minutes, barely able to breathe. Above her, wood splintered as something broke through the door of the inn. Seretia huddled up in a tight ball, terrified. She was desperate not to be found by whatever was outside.
    At that point she remembered the mirror Agrilos had given her. He had told her specifically not to use it unless she truly needed it. It seemed to her that now was a very, very good time to use it.
    It wasn't inside of her robes where she had put it. She caught her breath in her throat. It was impossible - she had checked it before she had entered the village! She double-checked, triple-checked - but the precious mirror was nowhere to be found. Somehow she had lost it.
    A second later, something above her began to try and open the trapdoor, jiggling at the latch and pushing it from side to side. Whatever had broken down the door had found her at last. She was done for.
    In total despair Seretia crawled backwards as far away from the door as she could, aware that she was probably going to die in the next minute, and that there was nothing she could do about it. She raised her hands, ready to release her elementalist magic the second the intruder broke through the door. She felt fire coming to her fingertips…
    The trapdoor collapsed inwards as the latch gave way, and two people fell on top of her. Seretia cried in dismay, unable to get her magic to bear on her assailants, trying to get to her feet.
    Then she realised who the two people were. She recognised them clearly, even in the semi-darkness.
    It was the two story-tellers she had seen - the big man in the white robe, and the armoured knight. She stared at them for a moment, completely taken by surprise. What in the world were they doing here?
    Before she could speak, the robed man pushed the remains of the trapdoor back into place and place a finger to his lips. "Quiet, now," he whispered. "We have to be quiet. That red cloud stuff is still looking for us, and it'll find us otherwise."
    Seretia was aware that she was holding her breath. She let it out very slowly. A second later, she realised that the horrendous screams from outside were beginning to decrease in volume and number. Whatever had happened outside was just beginning to finish.
    The robed man caught her expression and shook his head sadly.
    Then he seemed to remember something. Plunging a hand inside his robes, he brought out a small hand-held mirror, its surface covered by mist and fog, and handed it to Seretia.
    "Yours, I think," he said quietly. "I found it on the way down here,"
    Seretia stared at him for a moment, and then pocketed the mirror. Her barely whispered thanks was almost inaudible.
    Up above them, the screams continued, although not as frenzied before. They seemed to be calming down. Underneath the trapdoor, the three of them shut away the sounds as best as they could, crouching in the tiny room, and felt the shadow of the red cloud pass away from the village at last. Even then they did not try to move an inch.
    Seretia was still clutching her mirror as if it might disappear into thin air. As she crouched there, there was only one thought passing through her head.
    Lorission had been right.
     
  15. BBallForLife

    BBallForLife New Member

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    Wow... That's awesome!
     
  16. Wing Rider

    Wing Rider Psychotic Cybernetica

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    I did say that the action was coming up soon :)
    By the way, I could say that from the next chapter onwards, there's virtually action in every single chapter. But that would not be quite true, because at a certain future chapter, the action actually doubles completely and gets very, very good.
    There's some more characters coming in. Those two storytellers are actually very important.
     
  17. Wing Rider

    Wing Rider Psychotic Cybernetica

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    Here we go then:

    Chapter 5

    The three of them remained there for almost an hour, huddled together in the complete
    darkness of the cellar, frozen to the spot with fear and horror at what they had witnessed. The screams had long since died away, but the memory of the tortured sounds had not ebbed by a single iota. They did not dare to speak for fear or being seen by the unknown force they knew had been above them only second before. They could barely breathe in the confined space, and they were glad of it.
    Time passed, and still they did not move.
    Time passed, and it became increasingly difficult to breathe.
    At last, the white-robed man stood up with a sudden abruptness and pulled himself up out of the trapdoor. Fresh air streamed through the gap and Seretia began to breathe somewhat easier, gulping huge amounts of oxygen into her lungs. She stroked the mirror that she still held in her left hand, a single lifeline that could help her.
    There was some scrambling above them, and then the friendly face of the robed man reappeared.
    "They've gone," he called down to them softly. "There's just us here, and it's perfectly safe."
    The other man, the armoured knight, seemed to accept this. He stood up with a clanking of metal and clamoured out. Seretia hesitated, and then followed a second after, although caution still prodded at the outer edges of her mind with the insistence of fiery razors.
    The inn was deserted, as they could see, but it looked like a horde or wild beasts had run wild across the inside of it. The lamps were all smashed, the tables overturned, and the chairs broken and tossed to one side as splinters of wood. Part of the wall was caved in, as well as some large chunks taken out of the ceiling. The doors, however, had been completely obliterated, and nothing remained of them at all.
    Beside Seretia the man in the white robe inspected one of the tables with interest. "Claw marks," he muttered, almost to himself. "Something bad came through here all right. But now clawed creatures on the face of this earth can do this kind of damage."
    The two of them passed through the giant hole in the wall where the door had been and came into the open air. Seretia was holding her breath. What had happened out here? What she had been expecting to find was something terrible, something out of her darkest nightmares, like pools or blood everywhere or mutilated corpses.
    There was nothing like that here.
    Seretia stopped dead in her tracks, horrified. She had expected anything but what she was seeing now.
    Across the entire expanse of Little Chilting stood all of the villagers, hundreds of them all standing still. They were not bleeding or suffering, not even seeming to be injured in the slightest way. There did not seem to be anything wrong with them at all.
    Except that they were not breathing.
    Seretia went up to the nearest villager, a burly peasant staring ahead with lifeless eyes that were fixed on something nobody could see. His eyes, although bereft of anything, were moving from side to side in a relaxed pattern that was coldly chilling. He did not seem to be able to see her or anything else around him. His heart was beating, but somehow he was not breathing. She waved a hand in front of his face, touched him, tried talking - he did not respond. Only his eyes continued to move, swirling from side to side in exactly the same mechanical pattern.
    Seretia cried out and fell backwards, running to another villager, and then to another and another. The same thing had happened to all of them. Their eyes were all moving coldly and mechanically, but nothing else of them was. They should have been dead, but at the same time they seemed to be alive.
    The white-robed man pushed one of the villagers. The peasant put up no resistance; they toppled backwards and hit the ground, their eyes still swishing from side to side.
    "What's going on here?" he shouted. "What happened?"
    Seretia was suddenly overcome with a huge wave of nausea, sickened by what seemed to have happened, even though she didn't know what it was. She dashed away from the unseeing gazes of the people of her villagers, hiding behind haystacks and cottages. They were everywhere. They were…
    She turned around and came face to face with the glazed eyes of her mother. Elise's eyes were moving sideways in exactly the same way as the rest of the village. She could not seem to see the Elven girl in front of her, not could she seem to hear the wail of despair that her daughter howled. Beside her was Kortis, his own body stock still, his arms hanging limply by his sides.
    Seretia found that she was crying, crying tears that cascaded from her eyes and into the trampled ground of her village, crying her despair and sadness that threatened to overpower her. She ran through the alleyways and streets, still clutching her precious mirror, horrified at what she was seeing, wanting it all to just disappear. She continued to run, flying through the air until…
    …she found herself outside the village at last, away from the blank faces of the very people she had lived with for her entire life. The tears stopped, and Seretia lay on the ground for what seemed an eternity. She felt a new feeling of such intensity that she could taste the hard steel of it in her mouth, although she could not possibly identify it.
    At some point that was unclear to her she was aware of the robed man beside her. His face was twisted with horror and disbelief, almost mirroring her own feelings except for the hatred in his eyes that was cold and hard. He stood up, his white hood still over his face.
    "Vyrell!" he roared.
    The armoured knight appeared out of nowhere. He was panting hard, but he was obviously as much in shock as the two of them. "What in the name of hell has happened here?" he said coldly. "What have those things done to those people?"
    The robed man shook his head. "I don't know. I've never seen anything like it. But I intend to find out." His face softened a little as he knelt down close to Seretia. "Are you all right?"
    She nodded quickly, which up until twenty minutes ago was the truth.
    "Good. I don't know what's happened here, girl, but I don't like it. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't mind getting out of here as quickly as possible. What's your name?"
    "Seretia," she said quietly, calming down. "I shouldn't have come back."
    "Come back?"
    "I was serving at the Temple. I was going to stay there, and I should have." No tears fell. "I shouldn't have seen any of this."
    The man shook his head firmly. "Nobody should. Not in a million lifetimes. Not in aeons from the dawn of time to the end of time. Have you got somewhere to go to, Seretia? Vyrell and I do, you see, but you might not."
    She thought of the Temple, and was halfway through a nod before she remembered something else even more important.
    The mirror.
    "I'll know where to go," she told the robed man. "But where are you two going?"
    "Us?" He snorted derisively. "We're going to kill those bastards who did this to your village."
    "What?" Seretia could not disguise the amazement in her voice. "A pair of storytellers? Against something that can do - " she forced the memory out of her mind " - that to people? You don't even know what happened!"
    There was silence. The robed man was smiling so broadly that his grin had disappeared into the inside regions of his hood. Then he laughed long and loud, which again took the Elven girl by surprise.
    "Storytellers! Ha! Storytellers! You think us as simple storytellers! Ha, hahaha ha!" His laugh continued for a few more seconds. "Do you fool that easily, girl? Vyrell here is a knight! Who do you think employs a knight to tell stories?"
    "But you - " she stammered.
    "Me! Well, in that case you must be forgiven in that respect!" The man bent closer to her, lowering his face to see hers in full view. "See me, the great storyteller of Little Chilting, the teller of legendary tales of glory and power! See me, then unmasked! Or should I say unhooded!"
    With that he removed the great white hood that engulfed the greater percentage of his face. The sunlight shone on him, and his skin turned a light purple in contrast to the golden colour of the Elven girl's skin. His pupils turned a darker violet, his hair changed to waves of jet black, and he stood up in a ray of sunlight, his hands drawing long steel swords in each hand that were almost as big as he was. He cut the great swords through the air in an elegant stroke that made Seretia step back in spit of herself, and the swords slipped back into their relative scabbards.
    "This is I," the man whispered, the man Seretia knew now to be not human. "I am Malgeron Steelmaster of the Lorekki of Trakset, and this is little I have seen that has been a match for me. But these creatures are something more. I want them dead. I want them destroyed."
    He turned towards her suddenly, his purple eyes fixing on her. "What say you now? Do you still think men as such as we incapable?"
    Seretia smiled. "I see I was mistaken. But how will you know where to go?"
    "Difficult," he replied without hesitation. "These creatures have had the better part of an hour to escape, but Vyrell here will tell us of the tracks that lead - "
    The armoured knight gave a loud cough.
    "What?" he snapped.
    "There aren't any tracks, Malgeron," Vyrell said. If his face hadn't been concealed behind his helmet of metal then his expression would have been one of complete bewilderment and sheepishness.
    "No tracks?" the big Lorekki repeated. "A horde of creatures overrun the village. They leave the village. There's claw marks everywhere, Vyrell. What do you mean, there aren't any tracks?"
    "I don't know, exactly," the knight said somewhat dubiously. "It's like they disappeared into thin air."
    "Creatures do not disappear into thin air, Vyrell, they are completely solid and can leave tracks whenever they…"
    Seretia was not listening. A part of her had remembered something that almost seemed as if it were from a very, very long time ago, but in reality had only been a few hours. Lorission. Her name had been mentioned. Malgeron and Vyrell had been doing their last storytelling of the village, and they had mentioned her name at some point…could this mean something?...
    …"And so they sought the help of Lorission, Goddess of Peace - "…
    She looked up directly into the eyes of the Lorekki, searching his without knowing what she was looking for.
    "Malgeron Steelmaster," she said formally, "you know Lorission."
    He surprised her with another laugh, instead of being disapproving. "Seretia," he said, still smiling, "you can be very perceptive sometimes. How ever did you work that out?" She started to speak, but he interrupted again. "No, it doesn't really matter, I suppose. I don't serve the Goddess personally, but I do know Agrilos."
    "High Priest of Lorission," she said.
    "Yes, that's him. He's helped me out of a few tight corners sometimes. He can do magic, he can, and the whole time I thought that was only something Elves could - "The Lorekki stopped himself, suspicion narrowing his eyes. "That's enough about me, Seretia. What about you? You're an Elf yourself - and I think you know magic. And somehow you know Agrilos. Tell me, Seretia, what do you know of this, and why do you keep holding that damn mirror as if it might disappear?"
    She hesitated, wondering how much she should tell him. He was a Lorekki, after all, and taller than she was - nobody was much taller than she was with all those Dwarves around - but at the same time she thought about how he would know Agrilos. What harm could it do?
    "I am an elementalist," she explained at last, her mind made up. "You are right - I can do magic. But only one kind. The Elves are not the only ones with magic, but we are the only ones who reveal our use of it. Elementalism is one of several kinds of Elven magic."
    "Is it, now?" asked the knight Vyrell. "Magic of the elements, is it? Fire, earth, air and water?"
    Seretia wasn't sure how to respond. "Not exactly," she said uneasily. "It's a bit more complicated than that…"
    She took a few seconds to decide whether she should give them a few hours' lecture of the structure of the earth, the formation of mountains, and the history of two thousand years of Elves arising from the dead through dark necromancy to conjure up a whole variety of complicated things that led to the creation of the elements, most of which she couldn't understand. After another few seconds, she decided not to.
     
  18. Wing Rider

    Wing Rider Psychotic Cybernetica

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    Instead she told them of the Goddess Lorission's warning and her reluctant return to Little Chilting. She was half-way through explaining the purpose of the mirror that Agrilos had given her when Malgeron stopped her with a huge purple hand.
    "You can speak to him through the mirror?" he asked curiously.
    Seretia nodded. "It requires great energy for him to reply, however. Most of the magic is centred on my side. It's to do with equilibrium of magic, I think."
    "In that case, I would like to speak with Agrilos. I haven't seen my old friend for a while. If he's so attached to his Goddess then maybe she is omnipresent enough to be able to tell Vyrell and me where those creatures went, so that we can go after them." He paused for a second. "As for you, Seretia, if you've truly got nowhere else to go except that great big Temple, maybe our High Priest can offer some suggestions."
    He examined the mirror that she had showed him, turning it here and there and carefully scrutinising every detail of it. After five or ten minutes or so, he handed it back. Vyrell took a glance into the shimmering mist on the surface of the mirror.
    "I can't see my reflection in it," he objected.
    "You're not supposed to, friend," Malgeron told him calmly. "It's not glass." He looked towards Seretia expectantly. "Well, get on with it. See if you can contact him."
    The elementalist held the mirror up in front of her and released the tiniest particle of sonic light through her left hand. There was a crackling noise, a few pops, the sound of somebody cursing very loudly under their voice, and then the mirror disappeared completely out of Seretia's hand.
    The tall figure of the High Priest of Lorission materialised out of thin air a few metres above her, his emerald robes swishing back and forth. His eyes searched the air for a few moments, and then went downwards with some disgust.
    "Well met, Agrilos," Malgeron Steelmaster said pleasantly.
    Agrilos still looked disgusted. He turned instead to the Elven girl, at her shining face. "Did you have to do that. Seretia?" he snapped.
    "What?" she asked innocently.
    "Holding the mirror at face level instead of putting it on the ground. My image comes out of the mirror, doesn't it? You didn't really think that my face would appear in the mirror, did you?"
    Vyrell gave a false cough.
    "Enough of this," the High Priest sighed. He looked around with faint amusement. "What's happened here, elementalist? I don't know what Malgeron's doing here, but he always gets into trouble."
    "Now, Agrilos," the Lorekki smiled, "you know that's not true."
    "I know it's true, Malgeron, because you always go looking for trouble. Seretia, tell me what's happened."
    The Elven girl jerked her head in the direction of the village. "Look in there and see for yourself."
    The High Priest grinned. "I'm afraid I can't do that. The magic of the mirror is all that sustains the connection between itself, my heart, and the location of where I am in the Temple of Lorission. For my image to be moved, the essence of my body must be shifted to maintain equilibrium, so the magic must be distorted via a shift-and-control mechanism that proceeds through the mirror as input, so that my essence in the Temple is thrust forward as output."
    The faces of Malgeron, and also Vyrell, if his face could be seen beneath his helmet, remained completely blank.
    "What?" Vyrell said after a valiant attempt at comprehension that failed.
    Seretia sighed. "I have to move the mirror to move the image," she translated. "That is, I have to re-activate the mirror inside the village so that his image will re-appear inside there."
    "Well, I sort of surmised as much," Malgeron said very unconvincingly with great confidence. "Let's do that, then. Let's show you what happened to the whole of the village, Agrilos. Don't say we didn't warn you."
    "You didn't."
    The mirror was de-activated by drawing back the magic into Seretia's body, and the three of them entered the village again, deliberately positioning themselves in front of the crowds of dead-eyed peasants that stood there still as statues. The sight of the villagers was absolutely sickening. It was all Seretia could do to not throw up everything she had eaten over the past few days. Fortunately for her, neither Elise nor Kortis were among this crowd, otherwise she would have been in hysterics.
    When the image of Agrilos re-appeared, this time on ground level, the face of the High Priest was one of absolute shock. He moved towards the nearest peasant and waved a hand in front of their face with no effect. He poked them, touched them, and even invoked a short incantation to try and bring them back from wherever they had been sent. Still the villagers did not seem to be able to see, hear or even have a functioning mind of their own. They simply existed.
    "I thought you said he couldn't move," Malgeron hissed quietly to Seretia at one point as Agrilos frantically tried to command the attention of the crowd of people that may as well have been completely dead.
    "Only with in a given area. The mirror is supposed to be hand-held, after all."
    The High Priest turned back to them at last, his face contorted with horror. "What has happened to these people?" he demanded.
    "We were hoping you could tell us," Vyrell growled.
    "You were here! You were all here!" Agrilos shouted, his eyes still wide. "You must have seen what kind of creature does this sort of thing to people!"
    "We were hiding," Seretia said shortly. "If we'd seen what kind of creatures these were, we'd have ended up like them. We were lucky, Agrilos, that's all. We don't know what happened here. I don't think I really want to know, to be honest." Her face tightened a notch. "My mother and brother are here, do you know that? The two people who most mattered to me are worse than dead, and I want something to be done about it! What do you think should be done? What are you going to do about it, Agrilos, High Priest of Lorission?"
    The tall man in emerald robes shook with almost uncontrollable fury for a few seconds, then relaxed. "Calm yourself, elementalist. I will do what must be done. You, however, must be safe. What about you two?" He turned towards the armoured knight and the heavily armed Lorekki.
    Malgeron did not hesitate. "I shall put an end to these bastards that did this to these people. I shall find them and rip them apart." His voice was completely cold and calm.
    "Somehow I expected something like that," Agrilos said, smiling in spite of himself. "But caution is needed. Before you contacted me, Seretia, I received more warnings from Lorission, the Great Goddess, about other apparent similar attacks of evil in many, many other villages. By now they must number up to a few dozen or so. You will not be safe!"
    The Lorekki next to the Elven girl flared up immediately. "You might like to rearrange that term, High Priest! When I come after them, nobody is safe from me!"
    Agrilos was unperturbed. "That will not matter! You know nothing of what you challenge!" He paused until the red anger had faded away once more. "I shall speak with Lorission and determine a specific village that is still safe and has not been completely destroyed in the way of Little Chilting. Bear with me."
    The image of the robed man flickered out of focus for a while as the three of them waited patiently. Seretia wondered for a split second exactly what she was getting herself into. It was running away, wasn't it? She'd always meant to do that, but had never got round to doing it - and certainly not in the manner that the three of them were going to. Her mother and brother in that crowd, probably with Uncle Radrick and Auntie Carine as well in that mass of stationary bodies - she wanted nothing to do with it. But what choice did they have?
    She was brought out of her thoughts as the image of Agrilos shifted back into focus, commanding their attention immediately.
    "There are three villages still safe," the High Priest told them. "Lorission has seen that this is so. The first is far away and too long a journey to risk. The second is a village of such small strength and tiny fortifications that it would be too stupid to try seeking safety there."
    He raised his head. "The third, however, is completely safe. You will have to move out of Dwarf country and into Drakeling country, however. A village of medium size called Kurokh. There are people there who will help us, and I will also try to send across a request for more help so that we might be better protected."
    "Kurokh, is it?" Malgeron asked. "I've been there a few times."
    "Good," smiled the High Priest. "I won't give you a map, then. Stick the road and you should be fine. I'll meet you there."
    "But Agrilos," Seretia stammered, "you're all the way back in the Temple of Lorission. Not even you can fly all the way to Kurokh in one go…not before we get there, anyway…"
    Malgeron grinned. "You think so, girl? You underestimate him. He can blow up a whole range of mountains if he chooses to."
    "Not that much," the High Priest said, smiling back, "but almost as much. But the Goddess of Peace will aid me in my journey. Until then, farewell…Seretia, Malgeron, and you, what's your name again?"
    "Vyrell," the knight growled.
    "Whatever. I'll probably forget it again, so there's no point in me trying to remember it." Agrilos rose to his full height, his green robes billowing out around him. "But for now, goodbye! See you at Kurokh!"
    The image of the High Priest flashed once and disappeared, leaving only his small mirror at Seretia's feet.
     
  19. BBallForLife

    BBallForLife New Member

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    Still amazing.
     
  20. BBallForLife

    BBallForLife New Member

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    Have you thought about creating a story to be published? I think you have a good chance with writing like this. :)