Shiroz: Dawning

Shiroz: Dawning

A Chapter by Khance
"

...First and possibly the only chapter I'll post. Fantasy world... wont explain anything else, because its complex... bah, read it yourself

"

Stumbling forward, the old man watched the pulsing blue light in front of him slowly fade into the darkness, his task was hard enough as it was without having to deal with a weak heart. Kronath looked down at his calloused hands and slumped to the ground. The war was truly lost, his plans of taking this ridiculous quest in an effort to escape the fate that he was leaving to the rest of his men. This was his fate, to die alone in the mines dug by his predecessors. Kronath raised his weary body one more time and closed his eyes, trying to grasp his ever fading power with his subconscious. “Please…just one last time.”

 

Going down to one knee, the old man gasped as his hand burst into flame, his wrinkled face curled into a hesitant smile, he wasn’t finished yet. The mine lit up momentarily and revealed the pulsing blue oval far to his right. The energy emanating from it was almost enough to keep the old man on his knees, but Kronath struggled on.
For years the war had raged on, the beings that came through the portal displayed powers alien to that of anything seen before. If only the portal hadn’t been created in the first place, then none of this would have happened. The parallel world wouldn’t have come into contact with Shiroz, and everyone would be safe. Magi would not have needed to drive themselves to near extinction to rid the planet of the foreign creatures.
Kronath took himself one step closer to the pulsing light, his vision became blurred as he drew nearer to it.
Lifting his helm from his head, the captain pulled back his greying hair. This was supposed to be his last campaign, the last fight before he returned home a hero, but these things never did go to plan, and he always said that if he could choose his own death, it would be on the battle field.
“Not on some godforsaken expedition into the unknown!” Kronath spat out in anger. A jagged pain shot through him, forcing him once again to one knee. His heart wasn’t going to last much longer, the cancer running through him was supposed to have killed him years ago, but his sense of pride drove him onwards, a trait his soldiers admired in him… so much so that they rushed into the ranks of foul creatures, and to their untimely deaths.

Of the foul creatures that came from the portal, the Necromancers were the worst of them, a heartless race that seemed set on eradicating the Mortal and Magi people. The weren’t just calculating, they were powerful. It was them that had torn through the ranks of the united armies, they controlled the creatures that never died. It was them that set the old captain on his quest.
“Hah, quest?…we never stood a chance from the beginning!” Kronath spat again as he recovered his breath. He had been at the front of the ranks of captured men when the carnage ended, he was the leading rank, and he alone was chosen for the task. He picked his men and ventured into the unknown, his task to go through the portal and smite a god. His men were all magi, each had a power stronger than his, he was to lead them to glory. They never made it past the entrance of the caves when the Molates struck, they appeared to be dragons, but their taint was immunity to magic. Calling the order to flee, Kronath led the force deeper into the caves, his task force all but dead, only he was able to continue this far.
And this is the end of the line, after this he was to die at the hands of a god, a welcome release to the internal pain his life had led all this time.
“Its… just you now old man, make it for something.” He wheezed to himself as he tried vainly to get back to his feet. He didn’t think to what he might encounter on the other side of that portal, but he knew one thing anyway, he would meet it with a sharp sword.
Taking one last breath, Kronath stood at his full height and raised his sword and helm. The brightness from his hand dimmed and extinguished as he focused for his final effort. The dying colours of grey rock and black stone shards lay around him as he made himself move forward, slowly turning his erratic footsteps into a jog, ignoring the pain emanating from his entire body, the old man screamed as he turned his jog into a run. Every injury this conquest inflicted on him came at him at once, every broken bone from the years gone by struck him down now…every memory of his hateful past reminded him, this was his last chance.

The blue light exploded outwards as the old captain screamed, his armour tightened around him and the air drained from his lungs, his eyes watered and he felt his weak bones crack at the effort, none of this mattered, he was through, he had made it through the portal and left his own world far behind him. Kronath had left Shiroz, and had found his way to somewhere he would never call home.

Sand shifted and covered the decaying corpses that littered the ground around him, it was a hideous sight to behold, and Kronath nearly gagged as he fell to the ground with a resounding thud. He had weakly hoped that the portal would swallow him and take his life away, at least then his anguish would have ended.
But no, here he was…in a barren wasteland full of despair. The clouded sky looked down on him and the rain eclipsed everything around him. Despite his pain, the old captain began to laugh humourlessly as everything around him went dark.
He awoke to the sound of a slow grinding, his eyes opened to see a tuft of pure black grass in front of him, a decaying corpse not far off being torn apart by some strange snake like creature. Wondering how he was still alive, Kronath rolled onto his back, only to look up at the ever clouded sky.
The sight of a Molate caused him to gasp momentarily. The realisation that he was truly in the world beyond was both depressing and exhilarating at the same time. Reaching to the wound at his side, the old captain felt dry blood, his cut had closed.
“I’m stuck in limbo?” Kronath laughed and flinched as the pain shot through his chest. “Obviously not a very good limbo…” he muttered as he tried to get to his feet. The worn armour constricted around him and the greaves jammed, causing his legs to buckle slightly as he rose. Despite passing out, his body remained exhausted and his pain had only numbed slightly. Pressing forward, he turned east as the Necromancers indicated, it led to the river of lost souls. It was there that he would find the guide that would lead him to the Gods realm. It took him a few moments to realise what felt wrong, despite the movement of the grass around him, there was no breeze, nor was there any birds in the sky. It felt as though he was the only living creature. Turning back to look at the creature that ravaged the corpse he noticed the rhythmic movements as though it was acting to a tune. This realm confused Kronath, which spurred him onto completing this quest as quick as possible. The land to the east looked charred as though it had been recently burned, the sight blurred and changed and displayed a lush black hillside, it was almost as if the scenery had changed to confuse the old man. Kronath put the change down to weariness, but made a mental note not to look at his surroundings too closely.
To the north led the land of prophecy, and to the west lay the river of rebirth. He was told to avoid the south as it led into the realm. His position at the minute was centred very close to the river of lost souls, so it was essential that he made it there first. After a few moments, the old man stopped walking as he thought of something, what had happened to his defeatist attitude, he remembered wanting to die only a few moments ago, now all he wished for was to finish this quest.
“…Something is playing with my mind?” Kronath asked as he turned abruptly to realise that he was still standing beside the portal. Just in front of him a cloaked man was perched on a high rock made of black stone. “Who are you?” Kronath asked hesitantly as his hand instinctively went for his sword.
The cloaked man turned his head slightly, the hood not showing any of his facial features.
Kronath took a step back before he repeated his question, “Who are you?”
The cloaked man took a moment before responding, “To a stranger I would reply, a friend, but to you Kronath, I will only answer with a question…”
This was all the captain needed, his sword was in his hand and he crouched low in case he needed to attack, but his greaves buckled again, resulting in him falling to one knee.
The cloaked man laughed before he continued, “What is it you desire, Kronath, what do you want in life?”

Kronath gasped as the air left his lungs once again, his anger at being reduced to nothing in front of a stranger made him answer instinctively, “I want to be remembered for the man I once was, not the feeble old man that stands before you!”
The cloak man’s head seemed to twitch slightly to the side at these words. “So your desire is not to kill me?” the cloaked man said with humour in his voice. All colour left Kronath’s face as the cloaked man’s words sunk in. “…why….why are you here?” was all the old man could bring himself to say.
“I’m waiting for the portal to grow big enough to allow my power, so I can destroy the planet of my brother. It is going to take quite a number of years, but I suppose it will be worth the wait.” Ecroz replied slowly.
Kronath slumped to the ground in front of the god, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing, but the god continued.
“I never was able to create life, no, that was my brother’s speciality, I could only bend beings to my will, such as the creatures from your planet…I used them as a template for my creations.” Ecroz said as he got to his feet. Kronath took a step back, his sword was visibly shaking in front of him, fear had long since enveloped him, and rationality had long since left. “What is to stop me from striking down now?” Kronath asked, amazed that his voice had held up for the question.
“Well, I can only imagine that your hesitancy to do so is your way of showing that you value your temporarily miserable existence…however, if you would allow me to finish my sentence, I’m sure we’ll both benefit greatly.”
Kronath relaxed slightly at the words against his will, but something didn’t sound quite right in the god’s sentence, but the old captain held onto any questions that he may have had for fear of incurring any of the evil god’s wrath.
“Excellent, as I was saying, all my glorious creatures are directly related to the creatures from yours, if you are wondering why I am telling you this, it is because you are the first audience I have had in decades that hasn’t died from the conditioning of my realm. Why is that you ask? Because I tainted my own realm so no Necromancer could return here to make an attempt on my life.”
Now Kronath was confused, “Are they powerful enough to do that?”, instantly regretting his question as Ecroz’s head snapped around to look at him. The old captain stared into the shadow before breaking his gaze. The god sighed before answering, “I can see you are new to the concept of conversing with a deity, but may I just remind you that if you interrupt me one more time I will burn you asunder, understand?”
Kronath nodded, hating himself for adhering so easily, even if it was a god.
“Firstly to answer the question, no they are not powerful enough to make an attempt on my life, but I did include a foolish factor in my plans for taking over your planet, I gave the smartest of my creations, the Necromancers, the ability to learn.”
The old captain nodded silently, trying to stop himself from asking any more questions. The god seemed to have a very human like physique, but that might just have been an illusion so he was able to converse easily with other mortals.
“Yes, they were magnificent, my finest species, I based them on your kind, the magi. But now my realm is tainted so that they cannot survive here nor use their powers. Incidentally, it would seem that I inadvertently made it inhabitable for your kind. It was quite difficult levelling out the realm without killing my other beauties…” Ecroz said as he gestured towards the sky where a single molate could be seen gliding through the sky. Kronath shuddered at the sight of it, it was a hideous version of the glorious Dragons that roamed through Shiroz.
Kronath imagined the god to be smiling as he gazed at the captains reaction. “You do not appreciate their beauty I take it? I do suppose it is an acquired taste.”
Ecroz looked to the sky momentarily before bringing his attention back to the captain, “It is about time I told you my proposal.”
Expecting to be killed, Kronath lowered his sword slightly at the words. “But you know I was sent here to kill you?” the captain said with a confused look on his face.
“Yes, you were sent to kill me by the very people that warred with your planet, killed your beloved and have the nerve to live there now…I however just want them dead, that is where you come in.” Ecroz said as he perched back on his rock.

Kronath was speechless for a moment, it took a few calming breaths before he was able to open his mouth to answer, “As much as I would enjoy killing all your rouge minions, I am still an old man, I was only supposed to lead men here to kill you and even if I was in my prime I would be struck down instantly by any of them. The truth of it all is that…I am too old for this, I cannot fulfil your quest, nor do I think I would want to, even if I could, you are evil and untrustworthy after all.” Kronath said as he got to his feet, he would at least die like a soldier. The old captain closed his eyes and awaited his death, but instead a warm feeling grew within him. “What are you doing?” Kronath asked in a panic as he opened his eyes. He was surrounded by a green smoke that was winding around him, it seemed to be emanating from Ecroz’s hands.
“You will learn that defying me is worse than death eternal.” The god said as Kronath was entirely engulfed by the green smoke.

The captain screamed as he felt his limbs tearing at themselves, his armour constricted painfully and his vision blurred completely, the pain was excruciating and Kronath’s voice could hardly scream fast enough. As soon as it started it was over, the captain fell to his knees, tears falling shamelessly to the ground in front of him. As he opened his eyes, he looked down to see lush green grass around him, the green smoke lingering momentarily around it, before it started to fade into a dark grey again. The pain left his body completely and the old captain got to his feet and looked at the cloaked figure, only to realise that he was looking at the god at eye level, his chest was no longer constricted and his legs felt full of energy, Kronath guessed that this was another illusion concocted by the god to raise up his hopes before crushing him.

Ecroz smiled as he watched the transformation occur in the captain, his worn old armour started melt around him slowly before reforming itself into a marvellous markan styled plate mail, his sword glittered a fantastic black and red, and the faint red hue could be seen across his finely embossed helm. The change from a bitter, old, worn man to that of a young knight was amusing to the eye. He could only imagine what was going through the once-old man’s mind as he analysed his own body.
Kronath tried not to play up to the god’s twisted joke, but it was hard to resist flexing his arm and straightening his back out, his muscle was regained, his vision was intact, and his sword felt as light as a feather. This was what he imagined the after life to be like, but the harsh reality stood before him in the form of a twisted god.

Breaking the momentary silence, Ecroz took a step forward and said, “Here is the deal, you will remain in this state for one year for ever Necromancer you slay. However, if you fail me, I will make sure you revert to old age once again, and your death will be very painful… do we have a deal?”
Kronath looked at the god and tried to read any sign of jest from his words, but looking down at his hand, it burst into a fierce flame, causing the captain to grin widely, “Oh, I’m sure that’s fine!”
Ecroz smiled as he watched the awestruck captain retreat into the portal, his armour now imbued with the evil god’s taint. When Kronath disappeared, Ecroz turned around and started walking south, talking to himself on the way. “And then it was set in motion…”



© 2008 Khance


Author's Note

Khance
...its an acquired taste :P

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Featured Review

Finally!! A story with some gumption to it, haha, Necromancers are a filthy breed, and I don't know how they enjoy conjuring up dead things all the time, twisted, twisted uglies at that. But great story, Kronath's name fits him, he's a gritty and bitter character that you flesh out and make believable. But the Character that I can relate to is definitely Ecroz, his cynical statements are very humorous in a deathly sort of way. My favorite phrase was "may I just remind you that if you interrupt me one more time I will burn you asunder, understand?" haha, sounds so condescendingly real, haha, I'd say something like that, had I the power.
I enjoyed this one immensly! Great Job Khance!!!

Posted 11 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

WOAH! This was a very well written and interesting first chapter. You had me caught from beginning to end, and left me wanting more!

I actually like dark things from time to time, especially when it comes to drawing them, so Ecroz's world really connected with me. The discriptions that you gave were wonderful, and I felt like I was really there, lying next to Kronath, feeling his pain. And I totally agree with FoolsGold23, Ecroz's personality is funny in a scary, cynical sort of way. :]

Lovley job!

Always,
-Aurelia ♥

Posted 10 Years Ago


hey, you know, I really like this! It is very interesting, and kept my attention all the way through. you are right, this isn't quite my type of writing, but I think it helps to read other genres! The characters are very real and unique, and I loved Ecroz's character. What a elegant, cynical personality for a god. Their motivation is clearly set, which is a must for any first chapter. Your writing style in this story is very beautiful, almost saga-like. A New York Bestseller so far, in my opinion! And don't give up on writing stories like this, you're great at it. I'll certainly be reading more, but it may take awhile so be patient! (I'm a slow reader and reviewer.) Oh, and thanks so much for sending me the read request! I was going to read it anyway, but the RR really prodded me forward! :D Happy New Year!!

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

It is EXTREMELY well written, I love it, but really it is not to my style. Perhaps I shall come back and look at it again tomorrow with fresh eyes.

Posted 10 Years Ago


"I can see you are new to the concept of conversing with a deity, but may I just remind you that if you interrupt me one more time I will burn you asunder, understand?"

Ecroz is wickedly epic.
I started to think Kronath was going to be a sour old remnant of a valiant warrior, but he turned around in the middle of the chapter, just before he met Ecroz. Irony?

Posted 10 Years Ago


Finally!! A story with some gumption to it, haha, Necromancers are a filthy breed, and I don't know how they enjoy conjuring up dead things all the time, twisted, twisted uglies at that. But great story, Kronath's name fits him, he's a gritty and bitter character that you flesh out and make believable. But the Character that I can relate to is definitely Ecroz, his cynical statements are very humorous in a deathly sort of way. My favorite phrase was "may I just remind you that if you interrupt me one more time I will burn you asunder, understand?" haha, sounds so condescendingly real, haha, I'd say something like that, had I the power.
I enjoyed this one immensly! Great Job Khance!!!

Posted 11 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 20, 2008


Author

Khance
Khance

Dundalk, Ireland



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People are reassured when they think you know what you're doing... Being honest, I make all of this up as I go along... When somebody complains, then i might stop :D more..

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