Chapter 1: An Ordinary Life

Chapter 1: An Ordinary Life

A Chapter by J.J. Schelly
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Jaerel discovers a mysterious stone on his hunting trip, only to be stopped by a wise Elf, Siervan, who tells him of these stones, their origins, and how Jaerel has a possibility to end the Darkness

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Chapter 1: An Ordinary Life

 

Jaerel woke with a start; dark and blackness surrounded him and he knew whether he was awake or half asleep still. A cold heavy headrest was behind him, the stony floor cold and damp and from a distance he could hear a ‘drip-drop’ pattern of small droplets. Then he remembered: he was on a hunting escapade for the legendary Silver Elk that roamed near the boundaries of Mulianty, just north of the Veilt Hills where folks from his town claimed to have seen mountain Trolls. Where Jaerel was, though, remained an excellent hunting location for precious items such as skins, food, rare supplies of herbs, and sometimes even a small loot of gold from previous adventures who took unfortunate turns. Many paths and caverns were around Elesjiv but only masters of stealth and quickness could navigate them; Jaerel had many years of practice as his home in Maisin Rokine, in northern Zayfithia, was near mountains, rivers, deep woods, and a few miles south a long stretching prairie.

Sitting up, Jaerel stretched his tired arms and legs, sore from the hundreds of miles he already had to travel. Groping around the close walls of the cave he stumbled upon his leather bag filled with his survival kits and guides; reaching in he grasped a light cold phial and upon touching he pronounced, “Elia-lunia”. Instantly a bright blue light shot out from the glass and shimmered throughout Jaerel’s temporary home. His bow and quiver of full arrows, made by the greatest smith in his city, rested on the opposite end of the cave, only a few steps distance; the Elvish engravings upon the bow glimmered mysteriously in the light but was a sign that the magic was still in at least half of its use for before settling into this specific location Jaerel put up a shield to defend against any surprise attacks from wild animals, goblins, or worse Trolls. To his right was the leather bag of supplies and past that was his travel pack, complete with food, iron pans, maps, extra sets of clothing, and even a strap for his walking stick.

Content that everything was still present, he grabbed everything and skipped through the winding tunnels with his light phial in hand, leading the way. Soon he caught a glimpse of daylight and said under his breath, “Elia-eclia” and the light faded until no more came out, just as Jaerel reached the entrance of the cave. The sun streamed through the forest leaves while the wildlife chirped, sang, and echoed through the woods; a good sign for Jaerel as he knew no predators were present yet, only himself for the one purpose of locating and bringing down the Silver Elk. Already he had found various types of herbs for healing and eating as well as a fallen dagger along the Tilffalen Path, useful for skinning and defending against close attacks. So far luck was on his side and nothing of the extraordinary had met him.

Scuffling through the fallen, golden brown leaves Jaerel listened attentively and quietly to his surroundings, from the calls of the birds flying and nesting above to the sneaky and cunning foxes. This forest in general was not so large compared to the Korlag or Limtor Forests, where danger seemed to be lurking in every bush and branch, watching its strange visitors until the time was right. This forest was small enough not to be given a title but Jaerel simply called it the “Lone Forest” as it had very few guests. In fact, this “Lone Forest” was just across the Sont River and was technically a part of the massive Korlag forest but what was puzzling about this was that when one crosses the Sont River or simply sets foot into the Korlag Forest a sudden shield or magical wall appears and only the creatures and beings living inside determine who and what enters and exits. The “Lone Forest” was just an ordinary forest.

The hunter walked for another three hours until he stopped to replenish his strength; swinging his pack to the ground he shuffled through the various items until he came across a small loaf of bread wrapped in large green leaves. Unwrapping it, he broke half of the bread off, placed the other half of it in the bag and shoved the other half in his mouth. Just then, he spotted movement beside the stream that he was to fill his canteen with. With excitement and a big piece of bread still in his mouth, he lowered himself to his knees and reached for his bow. Across the stream he could see a tuft of white fur poking out from behind a small bush, its leaves rattling from the animal eating.          

Squinting, Jaerel couldn’t figure out if this was a simple deer or something dangerous. He waited for a few minutes before slowly approaching himself behind tree trunks and mounds of dirt and grass. Grasping an arrow from behind, he set it up on the bowstring and with one sudden movement he drew the string back and let loose the arrow; whizzing the air the animal had no time at all to react. Straight through its neck the arrow pierced and with happiness Jaerel picked up his bags and went to retrieve his kill. A lonely Khalavot fox laid lifeless on the forest floor, blood still dripping from the lower section of its neck; taking the dagger that he had found earlier he ran it through the animal’s body to make sure it was a confirmed kill.

Although it was not as large of a hit he was hoping it’d be, he accepted it and began to skin it for its pelts and some of its meat, for Khalavot foxes were almost twice as large as a normal fox and Jaerel was very shocked that it fell in just one hit. After he had gathered as much as he could, he came across the trickling stream and filled his canteen to the brim with clear, fresh water. Onward he went, hiking through deer trails and through thorny bushes; he stopped once to climb a tree where honey was dripping on every side. Taking a small clay jar he filled it almost full and thought of his father and mother back in Maisin Rokine, knowing they would devour this honey with their “town bread” in a matter of days.

The sun was soon setting, the owls began their calls and the nightlife began to awaken. Soon Jaerel was to come upon another small cave; he had been walking for the most part westward through the woods and although with no luck today he would then trudge through south along the great Sont River, the largest and longest river to run through Ordia. Finding a short stick, he wrapped some extra cloth found from his pack around it and with a snap of his fingers and short exclamation of “Flurenda!” a short spark from his fingers ignite the cloth and before he knew it a torch was in his grasp.

One hour passed and the moon was shining bright in the sky but deep in the forest Jaerel plunged in search for his cave; deeper and darker it became before he knew he was being followed. He walked another half an hour into darkness before paused in his tracks, swung his torch around but found nothing behind him or around him. He continued walking but with his bow in hand an arrow set upon the string, cautiously and much more quietly. There could be a ‘snap’ or a ‘rustle’ in the background every minute Jaerel came through. Then he realized: this was the nature of the White Elk. It was a curious beast, following unknown species and creatures to smell it and discover the reason why such thing was wandering around its woods.

Crouching to his knees once again, Jaerel hid beside a tall oak tree and rested his bow against its trunk. He had been studying the White Elk’s behavior both from studies and unfortunate hunters who attempted to capture this amazing animal. The Elk would stare at something until movement was made and determining the movement it would then flee or come closer. For now, the Elk was hidden from Jaerel’s sight but he knew that certain berries would attract it to the location where he remained.

Inside a side pocket of his pack he grabbed a handful of raspberries, blueberries, and a scented herb and placed them in his hands, cupping them and then resting himself upon the tree he waited; minutes passed but it seemed like hours until Jaerel heard heavy ‘hoof-steps’ slowly approaching him from the left. Heavy breathing, a short snort, and soon a sound of licking lips could be heard. Jaerel’s hand remained calm but his nerves were acting up; his head was bowed as he was inspecting the rough grounds but as well as keeping track of which trail the Elk might take off to. Suddenly, his hands were wet and the berries gone in an instant; raising his head ever so slowly he looked up to see the magnificent White Elk. Bright tufts of silver and white hair covered its whole body, as if it had a certain glow to it as it shimmered through the darkness of the forest. Great antlers like an envious crown shown how mighty and dangerous this beast could be if its cunning eyes could see through its enemies. Its short white tail flickered up and down every second, determining if this creature was a friend or foe.

Jaerel was still bowed low before it, showing his respect and awe for the beast but to trick it as well. Although this White Elk was the only one in this particular forest, there were more across Ordia, specifically in the Korlag Forest. This was the closest Jaerel had been to almost any wildlife, untamed of course, and this was his only chance. His dark hair was drenched from sweat and the forest’s dew from the leaves, his hands kept still the entire time but soon enough he had no more patience. Drawing his right hand back ever so slowly he began reaching for his bow; fortunately, the Elk thought of this as a deeper respect and kept still for the time being, still munching on the last remains of the berries.

“Algel!” whispered Jaerel swiftly, causing both the Elk and his bow to dart across the air in a split second. Aiming as quick as he could, he released the arrow that was previously set and yelled “Ushkiel!” as is zoomed through the air and struck the animal straight through the neck with a solid ‘thud’. Not long after Jaerel heard a bigger thudding sound and knew for certain that the beast was killed. Leaping over bushes, rocks, and branches he finally came across it laying halfway in a stream, panting for breath; but the arrow that Jaerel had launched was poisoned by him and within a minute the Elk was dead.

For a moment Jaerel was in shock that he had fell the White Elk in a single shot and it was by his own hands. Now he began to think: how was he to get it back to Maisin Rokine and trade it in for good amounts of food and money. The city was a few hundred miles from his location and he would have to pass through both Vays, a city primarily known for its wild folk, and Eltorium, a large Elf-city that was built both in the trees and in the grasslands before the forest; Eltorium resided in the north, near the top of the Korlag Forest while Vays remained right above the Sont River and just east of the Korlag. He then decided that he would to carry the Elk to Vays, which was roughly twenty miles from where he was, rent a cart and horse and haul everything back to Maisin Rokine. But for now, he was close to the cave he was in search for previously; within the next hour he had found it, dragging the Elk with him (with the help of magic of course).

This cave was slightly bigger, and much wider than the previous one. First the bags were placed in the back, resting against the back wall. Second, he set his bow and set of six arrows on a small ledge. He glanced outside and judged there was a few hours left of daylight, so he marched across the surrounded area to gather firewood, leaves, extra herbs and plants, and found a community of mushrooms. As he trudged back to his cave he pulled out his map of Ordia, marking the location to where he had found the Elk as well as the many plants, herbs, and wildlife he had witnessed and collected. Finally, he pulled in the Elk at the mouth of the cave and tied its legs together, connecting them to a large boulder on the left side of the cave.

Night passed and no troubles came about Jaerel; the morning greeted him with a warm autumn breeze and the calls of the wildlife creatures. Setting his bags upon his shoulders he was ready to leave until he caught a glimpse of something in the corner of the cave: a small white light shone from a crack in the wall almost exactly behind where he slept. He set down his bigger pack and crept slowly toward the light, his hunting dagger firmly grasped. Peering through the crack he could see a narrow passage but enough that he could fit through; Jaerel’s curiosity had got the better of him as he knocked down the first layer of rocks leading to the passage.

Jaerel now drew out his sword from its hilt, ready for any uncertain or unaware attacks. His head began sweating and his heart pounding with each step he took; the same light as he had always been using was in his left hand and his sword in the right. The passage seemed to go on forever for while looking back after a few minutes of walking he could not see the light of the cave. But now the light that he had noticed was growing brighter and he hid his own light vial into his pack again; closer and closer he approached until he stood in an open cavern with a small pond or lake in the center, black and murky. The stone walls seemed very cold and clammy and the place altogether quite depressing. From within the water, though, shown the glimmering light he had noticed; but to dive into the water Jaerel had no interest.

Cautiously approaching the mysterious water, Jaerel peered in to see if he could identify the glowing; it was far down to the bottom but Jaerel knew he could swim to it and make it back with plenty of air. Grumbling to himself as to why he was doing this, Jaerel set his last bag down and took off his outer leather overcoat. Without thinking he jumped high over and into the black water. Instantly screams from all around seeped into his head; screams of terror and of death and of torture. He could have sworn that he also heard a woman shouting for help, that she and her family would be put to death soon. Constant pounding of war drums, low and resonating, filled the water and mixed with the screaming it was chaos. Jaerel pushed through, terrified as ever, snatched the light and quickly rushed to the top.

Crawling back to the surface, Jaerel decided to lay still for just a moment, wondering what had happened and why the water was full of such terrible screams. Then he remembered he was still grasping the light, which turned out to be a tiny stone. Searching it all over, Jaerel clarified it as more of a jewel than a stone; purple and blue strands flowed through it from each side and in the center, there was a ball-shaped green substance of which he knew nothing about. All about these strands the jewel glowed freely and magnificent, giving off a more “spirit-like” shimmer to it as if it came from a different realm than Ordia’s.

Jaerel stared in awe of such a wonderful piece and desired to keep it forever, for this could be an heirloom of his house, if he ever was to have one. Stowing it away into his pack he was delighted as ever from this visit to the Veilt Hills. Rushing back to his cave he turned to retrieve his travel pack but noticed that all the items and food within were scattered about, some broken and shattered. The Elk too had disappeared and Jaerel began panicking. Skipping to the mouth of the cave he searched desperately for the thief, or thieves, and within seconds he noticed a group of goblins attempting to drag off the Elk.

Setting an arrow to his bow, Jaerel drew it back and released it in one motion, shouting, “Duavil!”. The arrow then split into many and within seconds hit many of the goblins straight through the neck or head. Five toppled over dead while the remaining three cowered in fear and fled the scene. Sighing to himself he trudged over to the Elk and its stealers; no possession of Jaerel’s was around so he wrapped the Elk in a magic strand (attached to his sword’s blade tip) and dragged it back to the cave where he was to clean up the horrible mess the goblins had made.

“Why must such horrid creatures exist,” grumbled Jaerel, fumbling through his possessions and organizing them back into his travel packs. Along the North-South Road, passing the Korlag Forest to the east, goblins were known to be in packs and raided any chance they could get. Twice Jaerel was attacked in the night but thankfully he was a skilled magician and warrior; otherwise weary travelers would stand no chance to a pack of a hundred greedy goblins. As he finished gathering his items he looked to the sky once more; it was around noon but was much later than Jaerel had desired to leave. He reached back into his smaller pack and pulled out the mysterious jewel, or stone, and gazed at it once more, longer than he had wanted to. A sudden force pulled him back into reality and he realized he was on his knees although he could remember it. Glancing once more at the jewel he slipped it away into his coat pocket and set off immediately to reach Vays as quick as his warrior-pace could take him.

Jaerel quickened his pace after a few hours of walking and dragging the Elk behind and before he knew it the rest of the day quickened as well; sunset dawned on him and he was still in the forest. Judging by the distance he had traveled though, he was to come across a riverbed soon and after that a small open plain that lead to the North-South Road, a more careful route to take since that Road was constantly filled with large groups and trading caravans. The first day was over and no harm was done or throughout the night; taking off immediately at dawn Jaerel hurried to the riverbed where he washed everything and replenished his health until his arrival at Vays. Indeed, the river he was to cross was the mighty Sont River, the largest and fastest flowing river in all of Ordia, but since this portion of the river came through a forest the width and depth was no more than a stream or two.

Locating and gathering more local herbs, he took his time through the afternoon as this was the last time in a long time, he felt, that he would be visiting this place. Nearing the edge, he noticed the open plain in the distance and feeling relieved he skipped ahead, humming a song he had attempted to make up, for his was lonely in his travels and the beasts and birds of the world could not have a conversation with him.

 

The Open Road, the Lonely Road

The only place where I belong

I breathe the air, I hunt the beasts

Until at last I am at peace

Where have I come from, where have I grown?

The only place where I belong

The Open Road, the Lonely Road

 

Although Jaerel was no poet and could not think of any more verses it kept him company in his journeying through foreign and familiar lands. He continued the humming until at last the sun’s beams danced across his face, illuminating his joy and thrill of his hunt and findings. A few more hours of travel and Jaerel reached the North-South Road; a stone road built simply and loosely into the earth it marked the trade routes between Maisin Rokine and Vays, sometimes Eltorium would peak some curiosity in rare items but mostly stayed out of dealings and barters. Maisin Rokine was city based mainly around the race of Mankind but still had its “outsiders”. Vays was a place for everyone and for any race, but no dark forces of Zaarlan were to be creeping about. Eltorium, as one may guess, was primarily an Elven kingdom and remained solitude in their homes in the trees and other peaceful places such as the sea.

Jaerel had no interest in going to Eltorium, or Vays for that matter, but had no chance but to take the Road that passed just east of the settlement. By the morning of the next day he caught a glimpse of the walls of Vays, complete with brick and stone almost twenty feet thick and metal gates that barred any suspicious characters from entering. This was the right place to trade. By noon Jaerel approached the front wall, where two guards stood in front and four directly in front of the gate. Clad in silver and red, the soldiers remained still, swords sheathed for the moment and their bright helmets resting in the shade of the wall. A symbol of an eye was worn on the center of their armor, signifying that not just the soldiers, but the citizens as well, always kept close attention to unknown characters.

The high walls loomed above him, straight and tall, and at each side of the enormous black gate stood two watchtowers with silver flags waving at the very tip. Gatekeepers in each tower watched and scoured the empty lands before them; magicians they were, for the city needed keen eyes as well as magic eyes to see through the cloaks of evil.

“A weary traveler from Salmoria, eh?” guessed the guard on the right, tightening his grip around the hilt of his sword.

“Close,” admitted Jaerel, appearing calm but knew if he said anything wrong he would be thrown out. In the past he had caused a ruckus but since that was many years ago the guards had not recognized him in his travel gear. “I come from the Veilt Hills; I am a huntsman and have had many miles of travel dragging this kill with me”. Jaerel pointed behind him to the creature behind him; previously he had put a spell on the Elk to disguise it as two deer (as the Elk was just about the size of two deer) so as not to cause more commotion than he wanted.

“Hmm...,” the second guard turned and tilted his head, inspecting the animals.

A moment of silence followed until at last the second guard laughed and said, “Well, I guess you could say you’re a huntsman, but try killing five times as many and you’ll beat me!”

“If by some chance came I would take that challenge,” Jaerel grinned, knowing his true kill was worth far more than a local hunting record. “For now, I must return to Maisin Rokine. I have some family business to attend to; my father is ill and while I was in the Veilt Hills I found many herbs to help ease the pain and to hopefully cure his diseases.” He pulled out an example of the Ureliam plant, the leaves to aid cuts, bruises, and if used correctly, broken bones.

“I see you are quite skilled,” complimented the first guard, keeping eye contact with Jaerel. “Perhaps someday you will teach us this skill of yours”. He finished with a friendly smile and beckoned the gatekeeper at the top of the watchtower to let this traveler in. Before Jaerel could enter, though, the guard placed his hand on Jaerel’s shoulder, whispering, “You seem like a good fellow, but one thing is clear: if I see you thieving or harming others, we will find you. The watchful Eye is always present in this city.”

Pausing to find the right words, Jaerel finally came up with the courage and said, “Understood. I have no need for thieving, only to find safe passage to Maisin Rokine.”

Loosening his grip on his shoulder, the guard stood to his full height, and said, “There are no safe passages anymore. I do not know how long you’ve been with your forest friends, but word has been rumored that the Darkness has been seen.”

“The Darkness?” Jaerel was puzzled yet intrigued, eager for more knowledge.

“Have you heard nothing?” came the other guard, approaching them silently. “Perhaps you know this evil by another name, by a name mentioned in our history.” He was talking quietly now as if it were a secret. “Zaarlan, the sorcerer in Threlonk in his dark tower of Olgur-Var, has been seen walking here and there. Carrying with him is a black book with black spells for dark reasons alone; enchantments and spells maybe but I believe it is for calling upon his forces, the ones who have been dead for centuries.”

“And that I believe is rubbish,” admitted the other guard. “I do believe there are powerful wizards in the world but none can bring the dead to life.” Jaerel had said nothing but was taking everything in. “And if this so called ‘Necromancer’ was roaming around at free will calling upon the dead, more lands would be filled with dread and death.”

Another moment of silence followed until the first guard said, “You see, traveler, the Darkness is unavoidable and it only takes a few days till someone else hears of it. If you are looking for safe passage, I would advise to skim along the Road, to the west along the Korlag Forest. Bring only provisions and sell those deer if you can; the more food and drink the better on a long road.”

“I do not think it would be Zaarlan,” came Jaerel at last, trying to think when last the dark wizard came to power. “It’s been many decades since he was last seen and heard of, and even then he could not take over Salmoria, if my history is correct.”

“Yes, yes, his reign to end Salmoria and win it to his territory failed,” agreed the second guard. “But that was when Intashim walked the lands of Ordia; he has traveled to the Immortal Mountains. No one can reach him anymore.”

“Exactly,” Jaerel pointed out. “Why would Zaarlan be walking on his own? And additionally, it is in his native land of Threlonk, a country that has been silent ever since the dark wizard’s reign.”

The guards stood to ponder these ideas and questions until they realized how long they had kept their visitor to chat with them about the outside world. Saying farewell and good luck they allowed Jaerel through and with many doubts he went searching for the stables right away. Unfortunately, the stables were on the north side of the city, taking almost an hour to walk through the busy streets full of men, elves, dwarves, and beings Jaerel had not seen in many years. Vendors, stores, restaurants, and the like begged him to come visit the entire time he came through; this was another reason why Jaerel had disliked the city so much: too many greedy salesmen.

Arriving at the stables, Jaerel stepped into the small wooden building first, tying his ‘deer’ to a post just outside. A bell rang clear and loud as he stepped in, followed by a warm greeting of the present owner. He was a bigger fellow, rounded belly and a thick neck; a thick mustache he wore proudly to make up for his bald head. Jaerel guessed he was around the years of 50’s and had much experience with travelers from all around.

“Looks like you’ve been walking around all day!” shouted the owner, coming up to Jaerel, shaking his hand firmly. “And not just anywhere, but in the deep forest as well. What brings you here into my stables, eh?”

“A simple reason as you might guess,” answered Jaerel. “I need safe passage to Maisin Rokine; I have family there, and my father is quite ill.”

“Then why even leave the city, my boy?” chuckled the man.

“I’ve been on a hunting trip in the Veilt Hills. My kill is outside, two magnificent deer, and I’ve collected the herbs to cure my father.”

“Well, that is a good reason indeed. I’ll tell you what, I’ll let you rent one of my sturdiest steeds I’ve collected this year. If it is to Maisin Rokine you have many miles ahead of you!” he laughed heartily. “I have a friend up in that city, Barlin is his name, and if you let him know that you’ve done business with me you’ll owe just the one trip there.”

“You charge for the travel back to others?”

“Yes of course! The distance is long and I would not see half my horses if I did not send word for them to return. I have the travelers’ names; if they end up thieving my horses they’ll end up behind bars. Take, for example, my last customer. His name is Arkel; he rented one of my horses almost three weeks ago to travel to Tulvia, not even fifty miles from here. I had not heard of him or my horses in a week; sent word to the city’s stables and turns out he had kept the horse for his own and sold it! Put him behind bars the very next week they did.”

“Serious business this is,” admitted Jaerel. “But you have my word. I am a man of trust and honor; stealing is none of my business for I work only for myself.”

The owner looked at his curiously for a moment. “I do not believe that such kind words come from travelers very much…but it is certainly nice to hear them. I’ll make a good deal for you here: 100 gold for the travel, make it to the city in a few weeks and tell my friend to write to me about the horse. I want a letter from him about this by the end of this next month.”

“That, my friend, will do,” Jaerel agreed, shaking his hand once more. “Now, if you excuse me, I am off to find a place to stay. I am weary and wish to sleep under a roof for once. I’ll come back in the morning to pay you and be off.”

“Well, sir, if you don’t mind, you are welcome to stay at me and my wife’s place, free of charge of course. You seem different than other wanderers.”

Jaerel thought of this offer; he would not have to part with as much gold, which meant more supplies for the road ahead. But at the same time, would he trust this stable master over the night and if he wasn’t a spy for this certain Darkness that was constantly spreading. Jaerel took his chances and agreed to stay the night, which made the man very joyous and anxious to hear of an outsiders’ tales.

“The stables are around all night but I have my nephew Haleph look over it then. An old man needs his sleep, eh?” he laughed again. “Oh, name’s Helagor if you are still doubting me. Do you have a title of your own, traveler?”

“Alivenn is my name,” Jaerel answered, knowing if he gave his first and true name and he ended up in some sort of trouble he would be recognized immediately. Alivenn was indeed his name, though, his family name.

“Alivenn, a mighty name! I’ve known a few Alivenn families in my past; proud and strong families, almost like you. Now, I am sorry for keeping you. You must go gather your supplies.”

Helagor was a kind man, and loved his handshakes as he shook once more with Jaerel as he exited the small stable keep. Grabbing the Elk, he snuck it behind the actual horse stables, tying it to the end of a post and casting a cloaking ability on it, the Elk blended into the thick grass around it. Content with the spell, Jaerel left it be to explore the city of Vays. The streets were as busy as they were before he came, filled with shouting, laughing, and arguing. Maintaining a close eye, Jaerel was still on the lookout for anyone who might be following. An old man, dressed in a large grey cloak and had a long grey flowing beard, had been keeping up with him for the past hour, following his footsteps and hiding in corners when Jaerel had been turning his shoulders.

Unknown to most, Jaerel was a half-breed: half Elf and half Man. No one could notice such a thing for his ears were not pointed and his skin was not as fair, but to make up for outward appearances Jaerel’s sight was keen and his reflexes cunning and swift. His sensing ability was much more advanced than a Man’s, as he could tell when a certain being or person had a lingering sense of darkness. Once the old man had begun to follow, that sense had begun to bother Jaerel as he turned left and right and visiting various shops to single out the individual (as well as to find his provisions). At last, he turned into an alleyway and waited for the old man, who appeared just seconds after he entered. He had an old cane in his hand, made of wood, and had a twisting design along the top where a dark blue gem rested inside what looked like crooked fingers.

Wobbling slowly towards Jaerel, he said in a raspy voice, “You…have something…of great value, traveler…of distant lands.” He pointed a wrinkled, bony finger at Jaerel proclaiming, “You have…the Stone! One of the three Stones…of Imlikan. Show me.”

Jaerel came closer but kept his distance from this strange man. Looking into his eyes, the old man’s were black, no color could be seen. But Jaerel could feel him staring intently at him, as if he were reading his life story and figuring out who he truly was.

“You are not…armed well enough to protect…such an item,” continued the man. “Do you wish…to be killed?”

Jaerel had hidden most of his gear with the Elk, including his sword, his bow, and his equipment such as gauntlets and studded boots. Presently he was wearing a simple shirt with loose leggings and brown walking boots, all to fit in with the citizens of the city. With his belt, though, came a small dagger which was hidden by his magic, blending in with his ‘city outfit’. This dagger was his own, containing Elvish runes on the blade and a firm leather hilt to grasp it better. It fell loosely into its sheath in case of quick action.

“Who are you?” Jaerel asked quietly, backing up.

“That would be…unwise to reveal…my true identity,” answered the man. “But who…are you, and how…did you come by…the Stone?”

“I would give the same answer as you. How have you known about the Stone? It is quite small and practically unnoticeable. You have some skill with magic I assume.”

“Much practice with it…yes. Your covering shields…are not strong enough. The Stone…how have you come by it?”

“I feel like such a conversation should be kept quiet and in secret. Yes, I have a jewel, or a stone if you call it, with me. But it would not be the one you must be talking of.”

“They have…a glow, a spirit glow. They are hidden…where they are least expected.”

Jaerel fell silent. Now he knew for sure this man knew this stone was no ordinary stone and it had a great significance to either this area or to Ordia itself. But to talk about such an item in the open was a dangerous thing to do, especially in a city like Vays. Stopping in his tracks, Jaerel said, “You know of these powers, of these items, and their importance. You are no ordinary man either, whether you are old or if this is a fake body. Why confront me rather than stalk and kill me in the middle of the night?”

“Because…only a half-breed…can hold a Stone…and not perish.”

 

 




© 2017 J.J. Schelly



Author's Note

J.J. Schelly
Try to pronounce the fictional names I've provided, if there are grammatical errors or anything that needs improvement please comment/review. Thanks!! Tell me what you think of it!! :)

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Added on November 6, 2017
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Tags: fiction, fantasy, adventure


Author

J.J. Schelly
J.J. Schelly

IA



About
I am a beginning author hoping to write fictional/fantasy novels, as well as poems based off nature, some life experiences, and themes based in my upcoming novel. I will be posting the beginning 5 cha.. more..

Writing