Chapter 1A Chapter by Darruesh Eetraydes
Kasseck walked into the bedroom of Lord Prius. The light in the room reflected off his pitch black armor plate. His hair danced as only fire could as he stood at the foot of Lord Prius’s bed. Two other men, and a woman stood around the Lord’s bedside. The woman’s beauty caught him by surprise. The old man coughed, and blood exited his mouth. Kasseck reluctantly turned his head towards the bed-ridden fellow. Kasseck examined the old man. “He doesn’t have long to live” he thought. The lord’s very few remaining hairs lay matted down from sweat. His beady little eyes struggled to see from behind his glasses.
“Move closer to my bed mercenary” the old lord ordered. Even on his death bed Lord Prius would never ask, he demanded. The flames on Kassecks head leaped a bit higher, and simmered down. “Are you truly a Genasi from another plane?” The old man asked.
Kasseck stared at the old man. “I am a fire soul Genasi, originally from the elemental plane of fire. Is that enough for you Lord Prius” he said, as if his red skin, fire hair, brimstone like eyes, should be proof enough, and for most it was. The old Lord caught his tone.
“I’m sorry. My eyes don’t work as well as they used to” old Lord told him. “I want the Arcanist stone. My reasons are my own, and you will be paid handsomely” Lord Prius said between coughs.
“Will you even still be alive by the time I return?” Kasseck asked, seriously.
“How dare you say such a thing, someone should teach you manners” a man draped in white cloth of a priest said. Kasseck for the first time paid attention to him. His brown hair hung low over equally brown eyes. His face clean shaven and he gave Kasseck the impression of mediocrity. Nothing about him stuck out as unique. A huge golden medallion swung from his neck in the shape of a sun.
“Calm yourself Hugh” Lord Prius commanded.
“Yes sire” Hugh replied quietly.
“Challenge me again and I will kill you regardless of what is asked of me” Kasseck promised. The fire that passed as his hair flared up as anger passed through him.
“I don’t need you two fighting amongst yourselves because he is going with you” Prius said.
“Why would I want this peon coming with me?” Kasseck mocked. He eyed Hugh the whole time hoping to see anger pass through his average features, but none of his features changed in the least.
“Don’t be a fool” the other man in the room said calmly. “You are going to storm into a tower filled with mages by yourself? Not only is that usually suicide, but you are charging into the tower of supposedly the strongest mage on this plane of existence” he finished with certain flair, and his voice rumbled deep like thunder. ‘I’m sure you will be ok” he voiced dripped venomously with sarcasm.
“Ok, fine you made your point whoever you are” Kasseck replied, more than a little annoyed with these humans.
“I’m sorry for not introducing myself. I am Riswynn” the other man told him. “I will also be going along to help.” He wore many different furs, and skins of other animals. A wooden necklace of a bear hung from his neck. He looked like a bear himself. His shoulders were spread apart so much that he looked squat even though he was almost seven feet tall. Red hair stuck out from every conceivable place, his arms, head, face, and much more was covered with the stuff, but his blue eyes held such wisdom that belied his heavily muscular frame.
“Ok they introduced themselves, but who are you?” Kasseck asked the young beautiful woman standing beside Riswynn. Her black hair hung well past her shoulders to the middle of her back. Her green eyes glowed unnaturally. Kasseck struggled to break eye contact with her. Something about her eyes kept drawing his attention to them. Her pale skin looked soft to the touch.
“I’m Adrie” she said with a wink.
“I wouldn’t mind if you came along also” Kasseck said as he shook her hand. She smiled but it didn’t reach her eyes.
“I know you would, but you aren’t my type.”
“What’s wrong? Don’t tell me you are afraid of fire” he said laughing. He slowly let his hands slide from hers, reveling in her softness.
“No I’m not afraid of fire” she told him. “You aren’t my type because well, you are still alive” she finished with a laugh. Kasseck’s smile couldn’t have left his face faster even if he tried again. He studied her again, looking for something that nagged at him.
“I guess I’m just not your type then” he replied glumly.
“Well I can easily make you my type” she whispered. She slowly moved closer.
“No thanks I’m good” Kasseck took a step back. The flames on his head dropped down to barely a simmer. Something about her set off his warrior instincts and scared him. It was her words definitely, but something else was amiss. Maybe it was how she licked her lips hungrily as she moved close. Regardless he decided he shouldn’t let his guard down with her around.
“I want you to lead some of my men as well mercenary” the old man said between coughs. He wheezed and gasped for breath.
“I hope you don’t plan on splitting my fee between survivors, because if you are” Kasseck began.
“Don’t worry about that. The men have been paid already. Just know that if you double cross me… you will be hunted down, and if I die before you are caught,” Lord Prius struggled to sit up in his bed, “I will become a wraith and haunt you until the end.”
“I understand Lord Prius” Kasseck replied. His hair began to blaze, “I want you to know also that if you double cross me, I’ll cut off your testicles and place them in that cup” Kasseck pointed towards a glass of water next to the Lord’s bed. Lord Prius laughed which sounded more like he was coughing.
“You have guts threatening me. I think I chose well” Lord Prius commented more to himself than anyone else.
“I think you did as well. Now we have a long road to travel, so excuse me” Kasseck said with a bow. He walked out with his three new companions.
Hugh led them through the Lord Prius’s keep towards their troops in the courtyard. Kasseck studied the keep. It was well made and sturdy. The many stone arches appeared as giant mouths, and the vines that hung from them like saliva. Kasseck shook the disturbing idea from his head. Hugh stopped on a balcony, and moved aside so the mercenary could see the men better. Sixty men stood in the courtyard. Each wore black tabards with Lord Prius’s coat of arms, a golden axe with a shattered shield below it, on a dark red field.
“Lord Prius wants you to follow me into hell practically” Kasseck yelled to the men. “I don’t expect you all to make it. You will probably will see things that you could only imagine to exist in your nightmares.”
“He calls this a pep talk?” Riswynn asked, shaking his head which made Adrie laugh, because it looked like a male lion shaking his mane.
Kasseck ignored them “If this is truly not what you want, I’ll allow you to leave. I don’t need cowards or weaklings” he finished. Kasseck let his stern gaze fall on every warrior standing in the courtyard. Not one of these warriors flinched. “Fine, be ready for a long trek. Our destination is long” Kasseck barked.
“Actually I can shorten our trek a great deal” Riswynn commented. He pulled on his giant beard, and grabbed a tiny bug that flew into it.
“How is that?” Kasseck asked. The mercenary eyed the bug in Riswynn giant fingers.
Riswynn placed the bug into his mouth, and talked in between chews, “I can transport us some of the way.”
Kasseck fought the bile that rose into his throat, as he heard the bug crunching in the druid’s mouth, “Ok… that will be very useful.” His throat burned as he forced the bile back down.
“Well you know I can’t levitate, so you will have to carry me up” Ezrai said to Angela. Angela and Ezrai walked down the hall to stand in front of a dead end. They could easily see through the illusion. Most visitors would see a wall, but the inhabitants saw a black portal with a rope hanging down. The rope led to another part of the tower, but if you floated upward past the rope to one of the many ledges, you could be anywhere in the tower.
“Just take the stairs” Angela told him.
“I’m too lazy to take the long way, and besides I barely weigh anything. I’m a cat” Ezrai mocked.
“No, if you were really a cat I would” Angela said suddenly angry. Her face flushed red and soon it disappeared.
“You were really upset when you discovered I wasn’t really a cat weren’t you” Ezrai said. He looked deeply into her golden eyes and found pain.
“You lied to me for a long time” Angela whispered to herself.
“Technically I didn’t lie to you, because I never spoke” Ezrai teased.
“Yes, you are right, and now you won’t ever shut up” Angela replied. She picked him up, and walked into the darkness. She instantly dropped into the dark abyss. Ezrai casually tapped the winged brooch on her robe, and their decent slowed. They slowly began to rise, and continued through the dark tube until they got to the last ledge far above the rope.
“Just like old times huh” Ezrai laughed. He rubbed his head on her breasts. She fought the urge to just drop the cat down the chute. Angela slowed her ascent, Ezrai jumped from her arms onto the ledge, and she followed soon after.
“Not like old times. Back then I thought you were a cat, and now I think you are a perv” Angela said angrily. Ezrai’s laugh didn’t stop in the least. He actually laughed harder when he notice the glare she gave him.
“Back at it again I see” Alset said. He stood looking through the translucent walls of the top of the tower. Stars twinkled in the night sky, blinking in and out, painting a beautiful tapestry in the sky. The Arcanist stone laid in the middle of the room on top of a pedestal designed to look like a dragon’s claw. Runes of power danced along the Arcanist stone as it cast a blue light in the room. Alset’s desk was as usual a mess, with books and random papers everywhere around his desk. A Bookcase crammed with many books in the different languages laying against the wall next to his desk. Ezrai knew that Aslet was at peace at this very moment, because the Arcanist stone and Aslet were one, and it mirrored his emotions. He remembered when Aslet was angered because he couldn’t figure out an equation. The stone glowed red that day, the runes made danced flaring with flames, and the room became unbearable to stay in.
“Dad, I found out that Lord Prius is the man who wants the stone” Angela told him.
Aslet looked at his daughter for a minute, “wait who again? I’m sorry dear my mind is everywhere right now.” He said, while looking through the scattered papers on his desk.
“Dad, focus please” Angela begged. She knew that when her dad was trying to solve a mystery, that was all he cared about. ”Lord Prius is coming for the stone” she said again.
“Ummm” Aslet said out loud.
“Dad if you ask me to repeat it one more time, I’m going hit you with a lightning bolt” she promised.
Aslet laughed hard, “I was just playing Angel” Aslet used his pet name for her.
“I swear between you and this monster right here” Angela murmured. Both of them heard it and laughed harder.
“On a serious note though, Lord Prius is a problem” Aslet said seriously. His golden orbs perused his stacks of books. Angela stared at her dad. His stark white hair designed as dreadlocks bounced on his head. His dark skin still looked wrinkle free even though he was more than seven hundred years old. His eyes, magical golden balls set into sockets that allowed him to see the truth in whatever he looked at.
“So who is this Lord Prius anyway?” Ezrai asked. Ezrai yawned and stretched himself to the lengths of his cat body. He began to clean himself using his rough tongue.
“Really, you are going to do that while he explains?” Angela asked incredulously.
“Jealous I’m not licking you?” Ezrai asked lewdly.
“Ughhh shut up!” Angela stomped.
“Here it is” Aslet said. He moved his hands out wide, and the mess of books on his desk parted. Aslet moved his hands in the air in intricate patterns, and the books began to stack themselves. Scattered papers lay side by side, and instantly his desk was clean and organized. A thick book floated from the bookcase to hover openly above his head. Aslet’s voice became deep and demonic. His words sounded harsh as he chanted words of power. The Arcanist stone glowed white and the dancing runes burst into flames. The pages of the book were torn out by an unfelt gust of wind. Page after page were torn out, and they floated around Aslet. As more pages were torn, they flew faster around him. Aslet’s mouth moved on its own accord. His voice was forced from him as the spell began to draw life on its own. The pages flew around Angela and Ezrai as well. The magic began to take effect. Sudden the tower fell away. Angela, Ezrai, and Aslet stood in a war torn city. Smoke rose like serpents slithering up a wall into the sky. Aslet led them through the city. Suddenly the house beside them burst into fire. The glass windows shattered, sending glass to rain into the streets. A woman clutching her child ran out the building. Smoke followed her tattered clothes like dog chasing a rabbit in the yard. Soldier’s grabbed the woman, and flung her child to the ground. They began to rip off the remains of her clothes. She screamed and clawed for her son, yelling for him not to look. The child yelled for his mother, and kicked a soldier in the shin.
Angela started to cast a spell, but Aslet stopped her. Angela stared at her father hard, but her expression softened as he shook his head.
“There isn’t anything you can do. The spell just allows you to watch history unfold” Aslet told her. “It’s one thing to read history from a book, but this helps me to understand what really happened.”
“Come on Angela” Ezrai said. He patted he leg with his paw, “you shouldn’t look at this foulness.”
A soldier struck the child with the butt end of his spear. The child grabbed his stomach and fell over. The child fought to stand back at his feet. He looked up to see a man holding his mother’s breasts in his hand while he bit her neck. The man drove his mom to the ground. The men standing around whistled and clapped. The child grabbed a long shard of glass. It cut deeply into his hand, but he growled through the pain. He screamed as he ran towards the soldier holding his mom.
Angela, Ezrai, and Aslet couldn’t turn their eyes away from the spectacle. The child swung the glass at the soldier. He turned to face the child screaming, and ended up screaming himself, or would have if the glass hadn’t cut his neck open. The child looked into the man disbelieving eyes as blood pumped from the smile in his throat, the child gave him. The soldier fell over dead. The soldiers angrily gripped their weapons, and surrounded the child.
“Wait, don’t touch him” A man clad in black armor ordered. He wore a tabard of a golden axe above a shattered shield, on a dark red field. His black axe casually lay in his right hand. His black Mohawk capped with metal spikes. The child nearly dropped his glass weapon in fear. He now faced someone known to be merciless to women, children, and the elderly. He didn’t care who you were. He didn’t have time to be afraid though.
“Stay away from my mom” the kid yelled. His legs wouldn’t stop shaking no matter how much he wanted them to.
“You killed my soldier, brat. But you knew that right?” the armored man told him. His voice remained even and calm.
“Ye… yes I know” the child stuttered.
“You just want to save your mom isn’t that right?” the armored newcomer mocked.
“Pick up his sword” the armored man ordered. “Hold a real weapon kid. You are now a killer.”
“No he isn’t” the woman on the floor yelled. She picked up her torn clothes, and tried to cover her naked body.
“Shut up woman!” the armored man yelled. “Can’t you see men are talking” he told her. He faced the child once again, “that’s what you now are boy. You have crossed the fence to manhood, now that you have become a killer.” The child picked up the sword that lay at his feet. He had to turn over the corpse of the man he killed to get it. The dead soldier’s eyes still stared off into his.
“That’s him isn’t it” Ezrai asked.
“Yep, that is Lord Prius the Merciless” Alset answered.
“Do you feel better, now that you hold real steel in your hands?” Lord Prius asked. The kid nodded his head. “I’m going to give you options because I like your spirit. Join me, remain loyal, and your mom will only have to sleep with me” Lord Prius chuckled, ”or you can stubborn and watch as my soldiers have their way with her before I chop your head from your shoulders.” Lord Prius looked at his soldiers with a devious grin. “What do you guys think, aren’t I merciful?” The soldiers all shook their head mostly because of fear.
“Well I think we should still be able to enjoy the fruits of our hard work” a soldier murmured. His eyes never left the woman’s naked body. He licked his lips repeatedly, and edged towards her slightly.
“Oh, you really think I should let you have her right now?” Prius asked. He gripped his axe tightly. The child lunged at the soldier creeping his way towards his mom. The soldier swatted the kid’s sword away with his gauntleted hand. He drew his sword and swung half-heartedly to test the kid.
“Isn’t Prius going to help him?” Angela asked.
“That’s not the way that b*****d works.” Ezrai commented. He licked his paw clean. “Let’s hope that the child gets a lucky hit, otherwise he is a goner.”
© 2010 Darruesh Eetraydes
Stone of Arcanist
AboutYo whats up people! I'm a 19 year old class clown from Texas. I've recently gotten into writing and I'm trying to get better at it. I'm better at telling stories orally, but hey I got start at some po.. more..
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