Mt. Yarandor

Mt. Yarandor

A Chapter by Brad Kale
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The Ryker by the name of Seraph starts his journey to locate any remaining survivors of his kind.

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It has been three days since Seraph first step foot on Yarandor, one of the largest mountains in Aurora. A place known for its beauty, yet even more as the harshest region in all of Toruta. Its located further north than any other region on the continent. The terrain consists of snowy mountains that leave the world an icy and unfriendly hell.

Its name comes from auroras that shine at night in the region. If not for them, frost dragons would be terrorizing the lands. They keep the beasts at bay only letting them leave when not there. However, it would be impossible for the dragons to leave even if gone due to the fact they were not suitable to survive in temperatures any warmer than the air in the region.

These auroras are unnatural, formed by a ritual a long time ago by half-elves when in danger by them. As long as the site of the ritual is safe, the dragons are passive.

Layers of snow covered the body of Seraph, the Ryker, leaving his leather armor and fur coat a pasty white now. The blonde hair that went down to his shoulders would occasionally be swept into his face from all the wind, making it difficult to see. His face, uncovered and bare, had begun to develop frostbite from the exposure to harsh winds.

The isolated man quickly became weaker by the day. Harsh winds pushed against him with the strength of a thousand men as he tried to climb the steep cliff. The path, drew even steeper with each step he took. The climb was taking a significant beating of his strength.

With what left in him, he carried on. That proved to be a bad decision, though. His next step caused his feet to slip from under him, toppling down onto the snowy ground. Beginning to roll, his body performed several flips.

The sound of a rip filled Seraph’s ears as his sheathe is torn from his hip. The sheathe that concealed his sword fell down the cliff, with a loud clanging of malachite against rock filing his ears. He dreaded the more with each clash knowing how much he may need it in the future and also because of the history behind it.

His tumble began to slow as a result of him clawing at the snow and he became suspended in the air for a short period of time until he landed on a flat area packed with snow that weakened the fall, but hurt significantly nonetheless. Getting up is a struggle, but Seraph managed. Looking around, he spotted his camp from which he last took rest.

While he trudged through the thick snow over to the camp, Seraph looked above him at the steep face of the mountain from which he fell. His trail, nearly invisible, was marked only by little red flags flapping in the wind.

The ryker went to recreate his temporary shelter once at the site. He removed his pack from his shoulder taking out a large cloth deprived from a buffalo along with a few sticks. Trying to duplicate his shelter from before, he fails. Jabbing the sticks into the ground was not having the same result. A wind kept knocking them down making him restart. Seraph sat there for a while waiting for the wind to die down.

That only took a few minutes.

He tried to set up his tent again, which remained upright. Seraph then crawled into the tent, dragging a good amount of snow along with him. As he found his way inside his little shelter, he began to clear out some of the snow with difficulty.

Now, more than cold before, he scurried his way out of the tent and walked a few paces away from it. Grabbing a few rocks, he rubbed them together, in hope of starting a fire.

  While roasting a goat that he killed earlier, he begins to think of where his friends, Briscoe and Narinah could be. They were the reason as to why he started this journey. They had information that he needed, where he could find their ancestor’s base. They were the only that could help him. Looking at the auroras that fill the sky tore him from that thought, they were just too beautiful for him to not look at. It had become something he has done every night since he was told the story of the dragons and his ancestors. After getting some food in his belly, he walked over to his tent and lay down. Fatigue rushed through his veins quickly taking his body over, falling into a deep sleep.

 

Humans had laid an attack on the native’s homeland, Fara Moah, in pursuit of power over Aurora. The Rykers were the only other race standing in its way. Having been here for about about five years now, the humans had grown tireless. They were in pursuit of the Ryker’s area, Fara Moah. Located in the very center of Aurora, it is the symbol of supremacy. To attempt to overtake this very land could very well transform the land forever changing the structure of the region. There is a specific cycle of the Ritual that takes place in Aurora, if disturbed, the dragons could potentially be rid of the spell cast by the ritual and then terrorize the land.

Fara Moah is not only a symbol of power over Aurora, but an actual place that holds the region together. The humans, being ignorant, are keen on taking over this town to be in control not knowing what the Ritual is and its importance. That is why it is so necessary for the Rykers to win this battle. If not, the lands could be destroyed and potentially be forever taken over by dragons.

Seraph, over here, lift this damn log off me!” Rolan yells.

         Seraph swiftly runs through the snow over to his older brother, worried for his health because of the log that lies on his legs, trapping him. He has to hurdle multiple logs along his path over to Rolan.

A chill is sent down his spine as he feels an arrow skim his bare shoulder drawing a bit of blood. Not checking to see if it was worse than it feels, Seraph carries on, trudging across the battlefield taking in the sight of his kind falling to the blades of their foes.

Another boulder is launched from a catapult behind Seraph. The Ryker stops and watches it lands and crushes a tree causing it to tumble down directly on his allies. Knowing there was nothing he could do, Seraph turns and continues on his way over to his brother.

“I am coming, brother! Just hold on!” Seraph yells, wanting to assure him as they were invisible to each other. Fallen trees, boulders, and people fighting are between the two of them.

He has to dodge multiple blades from foes and allies as he weaves through the battle as quickly as he can hearing the clanging of metal against metal. Just as he is about to reach his brother, a man appears in front of him blocking his path.

“Trying to escape, youngling?” A rapsy voice says through a helmet covering his face along with shiny armor covering just about every inch of his body. Red paint is drawn on the center of his body in the shape of a circle with a line stretching vertically in the center. This war paint must be a symbol of his position in the army.

          “I am old enough, eighteen years old actually. And I would get out of the way if I were you.” Seraph replies looking him dead in the place that he believes would be his eye. He knew that he was overmatched, but did not want to show it. All he had to do was buy time to think of something.

         “I bet you are not even as strong as I was when I was a toddler. Look at you! You look to be as skinny as a stick!” the man laughs, trying to intimidate him. Not going to work as only one thing scared Seraph and that did not involve battle. It was the fear of the dragons that he has been told about all his life. Of how they were nasty and malicious creatures just waiting for their chance.

         “Nothing to say? You scared, you little punk? I’ll give you something to be scared of!” The man yells as he begins to charge at Seraph.

         Seraph, having expected this swiftly sidesteps just as he is about to reach him and quickly pulls his sword out, which glows a bright cyan blue in the last sunlight seeping through the trees. In writing he could not understand, the word ‘hakipta’ is written in the Ryker’s language vertically down the spine of the blade. It means ‘ruse’ in English, though. It is a symbol of deception and was given to him after being forged by his father and given to him to represent one of his strongest traits.

         With hakipta, Seraph takes a swipe at the man in the hitch of his armor above his left thigh. His sword reaches the man’s skin as he arcs it upward trying to leave a cut in his side. Turning around, he slashes his sword toward Seraph. The man is too slow, though. His armor weighs him down.

         Seraph times his retaliation reflecting the blade and then countering with a swift jab at a spot in the back of his knee. This brings a loud grunt out of the man, obviously in pain.

         Now, slower than before, the man once again comes at Seraph. However, this time, he does not attack. He simply holds his sword out in front of him in the form of a shield. He was waiting for Seraph to attack first.

         Before he could stop himself, Seraph goes on the attack. He does a spin before his slash for power and aims at the man’s uninjured knee. A force stops him, the man’s sword stops his own and the force of the block sends Seraph back knocking him down onto the ground. Springing back up, he goes back at the man. Just as he is about to reach him, Seraph dives to the right dodging the blow aimed for his chest and in mid air leaves a deep cut into the other leg causing the man to fall. Seraph lands with a roll keeping his momentum and then walks over to the man.

         “Never judge by appearance,” Seraph says and then walks away ignoring the multiple insults and mocks thrown at him.

Seraph is awoken by a howl. The sound of a wolf. Knowing that he is almost out of food and may not find anything else to kill on the mountain, the ryker decides to look for them despite still feeling worn-out.

The howl seems to be coming from above him. Looking further up the mountain, he spots a cave. Taking a few minutes to reach the cave, he begins to worry. The sound of the howls he heard has tripled. This did not worry him, though. He had Seraph is deadly accurate with a bow and could hit someone from hundreds of paces away if needed because of his training at Fara Moah.

The ryker uses the mountain’s features to his advantage, something he learned from his training back at Fara Moah. He inches around the cave silently, careful not to make any sudden movement. Any little sound could draw the wolves’ attention. Looking down, he sees two lying at the entrance. The third one, unknown to him, which worries him. He was clueless to what could be in the cave.

Seraph waits until one of the beasts gets up.

Five minutes pass and he is once again covered with snow.

The wolf now stands at the edge, well away from the other. Careful not to make any sound, he takes his bow off his back and aims an arrow at it. As quiet as the night, the arrow finds its target striking directly into the neck, killing it without a peep from it.

Quickly, the ryker looks around and spots the second, lying in the same spot

as before. He crawls over for a better angle. Now, almost directly above it, he aims and shoots an arrow into the beast, but it turns around as the arrow flies toward it. It was too late. A screech sounds from the wolf as it falls over, echoing along the mountains around him.

Seraph gets up and walks over to the wolves, but stops in his tracks. A growl fills his ears. The third, this one a direwolf, stands at the entrance of the cave. The beast, this one completely white unlike the others, is faster than he, there is no way in Toruta he could outrun it. Rykers are fast with their long legs, but pale in comparison to a direwolf.

The beast stares him down, its yellow eyes, much like his own glow in the darkness. Saliva drips from its yellow stained teeth, it must be hard for it to get food this high up on the mountain. Seraph almost feels bad for it; he has always had a thing for the species, thinking they were just marvelous. Almost

Seraph points his arrow directly at the beast, raising it slowly, and releases. The beast does react in time, taking the hit. Ignoring the arrow, it barrels its way towards him. Seraph reaches for his sword, but comes up empty. He dropped it off cliff!

He dives just in time, the direwolf barks in rage. He sprints as swiftly as his legs could carry him in the powder. With a little height over it now, he quickly turns around shooting another arrow into it. Blood now stains the beast’s white coat, making it look awfully gruesome now. As though it had just swam in a pool of blood.

Just as the direwolf is about to get him, the ryker jumps over him, performing a flip just evading its outstretched teeth. He lands gracefully on his feet and trudges toward the edge. Turning around again, he lands another arrow into the beast. Now, after three arrows it weakens significantly, but still runs in his direction and lunges at him. That is what he hoped for. Seraph dodges the attack at the last second diving to the side. Too weak to react, the beast still in mid air flies over the edge. Its screams heard as it rolls down the cliff getting lost in the snow as it lands at the bottom. The blood now gone, all of it smeared against the mountain.

Seraph falls to his knees and stares down at the blood for a good two minutes. The cold breeze knocks his hood off and snow soon covers his face, blinding him. He does not react, he stays still. Direwolves used to live alongside his people back at Tara Moah. Killing it did not cross his mind until it attacked him, it reminded him too much of his old life.

“My old life. Are they still alive? Could I make it back?” He thought.

Clearing his face, the ryker slowly rises and makes his way over to the entrance to the cave.

 

The narrow tunnel is as dark as the midnight hour. The only source of light coming from a blue light radiating from mushrooms. These mushrooms were common around Aurora, most commonly found in caverns like this and occasionally inside of buildings. It was unknown as to how they came about, but Seraph was told from Master Yatare that a mist that comes around every few years created them. That mist, called the Great Haze was poisonous, but not enough to kill a human. It did leave humans very weak for a few days, though.

Icicles suspend from the ceiling, water dripping regularly. Along the walls, letters were written. No, words were written. Not in a language Seraph could understand, though.

Something about the place felt familiar, he had grown up living in a place just like it. That is, they both shared the claustrophobic feel as underground tunnels linked each of the quarters back at Fara Moah. The air was humid and the walls were cold just like home.

“Anyone there?” Seraph calls out.

The sudden sound brought out a loud bark filling his ears. Following the sound, he carefully walks along the icy floor keeping one hand on the cold wall as a guide.

The tunnel opens up revealing a large cavern. A beam of light escaping through a hole in the ceiling illuminating the place At the center of the beam of light lay what looked like a wolf. Drawing nearer, he recognized it as a direwolf, a cub that is. Identical to the one he flung off the cliff, white fur and all.

The ryker inched up to it, careful not to make any sudden movement. The animal gazed at him, as if in a trance. Now, right next to the cub, Seraph lowered two fingers down to its nose as a sign of peace.

The direwolf stands up, stretches its little legs and then drops back down rolling over on its back. Seraph understood, the cub trusted him.

Picking the little one up, he walks out of the cave pleased to have a companion, especially one deadly once fully grown.

 

 

 



© 2017 Brad Kale


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Added on January 27, 2017
Last Updated on February 3, 2017
Tags: Fantasy, midieval, action, adventure


Author

Brad Kale
Brad Kale

Atlanta, GA



About
A senior in high school with a mind that never seems to shut down. All the time, my brain is giving ideas about what I should write, good and bad ones. Ever since I was little, I have been a fan of se.. more..

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