Dragon Thief

Dragon Thief

A Chapter by Dave Rae
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Chapter 1

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Kuchoma Nyama

 

“And so the high gods of Simmith grew bored. The three had nothing to do but create life, which soon died due to not having the necessities to sustain life,” the high priest, Nindron, yelled to the crowd, throwing his voice like a well aimed spear that penetrated every ear within the city square of the city of Nightfray.

“The gods decided to build an eco-system, which would contain these apparent necessities.” He threw his arms toward the sky and flung his head back. “And they gave us this life!”

 The crowd roared and applauded. Nindron was loved in Nightfray. He told this story on Summer’s First every year. The story of how Simmith came to be.

“And so Ardhi, god of land, created the land we walk on, the mountains we climb, the valleys we descend. He crafted dirt, rock and sand. He created the animals that walk on legs and crawl on and the under the ground. He gave life to plants, big and small. He looked upon his creation, and he was contented.

Bahari, god of the sea, created the oceans we sail, the rivers we swim, the lakes we fish. She crafted the bitter water of the sea and the fresh water of the lakes and rivers. She created the fish that swim in these vast bodies of water, never breathing. She gave life to the water weeds and the slippery moss. She looked upon her creation, and she was contented.

Angani, god of the sky, created the skies we look upon, the breeze we love, and the gales we fight. He gave life to the birds of the sky and the blindwings of the caves. He looked upon his creation, and he was contented.”

The crowd looked upon Nindron in admiration. Every one, even the children, remained silent whilst the old priest recited his story. His voice boomed across them, enveloping them in fantasy and wonder.

“But the gods realised a problem. The trees, unmoving, could not extend their roots far enough to reach the water they require. The moist dirt, which allowed new plant life to flourish, soon dried up. The rivers ran dry and the animals died of heat exhaustion.

This worried the gods. Their creation was dying. They came up with a plan. They would combine their creations and make water fall from the sky. Shema made seas and rivers susceptible to heat. The heat would make the water turn to steam, which would rise up into Gorak’s domain. Gorak changed his skies so the top was cooler than the bottom. This caused to steam to turn back into water and hover in the skies. We call these clouds. The clouds would then slowly warm, whilst being moved across Simmith by the wind, and fall down as rain. This rain would travel across Kreos’s land, soaking into the soft dirt and nourishing the plants. The rain would replenish the rivers at the top of Kreos’s mountains and run down them all the way to the seas. These clouds also had another effect that worked to the god’s advantage. It occasionally blocked the Gold Orb’s heat and light, creating unpredictable weather patterns.

And so the animals and plants were saved! And now, with all their power combined, the gods created night and day. They made Simmith slowly turn and slowly spin around the great Gold Orb that the gods called home.”

The crowd roared again. A man deep within the crowd somewhere yelled “Bless the gods!”

The priest nodded in approval at the crowd’s obvious love of the gods. The priest waved his arm in the air, to hush the crowd. His numerous gold and silver bracelets reflected the light of the Gold Orb into the crowd, creating a wonderful illusion of yellow and white waves of light on their heads.

Priests were not poor men. Donations to Nindron’s chapel had been plenty to enough to keep the church running and buy himself many luxuries, such as the dazzling jewellery he wore. Atop his head was a band of black precious metal, known as Obsidian. The band was undoubtedly the most valuable item in Nightfray. Obsidian was extremely rare and could no longer be mined, due to the methods being lost over generations. No solid, earthly item could break it.

“You seem to have forgotten the fourth god, Nindron.” A new voice ruptured the joyous occasion. The voice was raspy, evil. The voice penetrated the ears of everyone in the square, sinking down through them, and festering like a rotting apple in the pits of their stomachs.

The crowd turned to face behind them. Stood there was a black robed figure, his face concealed by a large, overhanging hood.

“Kifo. God of death, god of pain. Your weak gods forced their brother to serve in the land of death. He dwells on the Silver Orb, alone and loathing. Kifo harvests the souls of your dead, populating his silver kingdom. He has grown tired of his brothers and sisters feeble rule and will soon take control of this world for himself.” The evil voice of death spread across the crowd, devastating the mind of everyone, plunging them into fear and panic.

“Why do you come to our celebration with such stories, Dark One?” The high priest sounded fearful. His voice trembled and dipped in and out of pitch. The black robed man started walking forwards, slowly and deliberately, the crowd parting as if being approached by a stench ridden beggar.

“I bring the truth, false priest! I bring the truth to these mortal fools,” the man shouted, his voice occasionally turning to a whisper due to the rasp in his voice.

“You will leave this place at once, dark minion of Kifo!”

“Minion!” The man raised his hand and pointed at the priest. “You dare call me minion! I am the true ruler of this world! I am death! I am pain!” The dark robed man turned his hand so his palm faced the sky and formed his hand into a claw-like shape. “I! Am! Kifo! Kuchoma nyama!” Kifo yelled, just as the high priest, Nindron, started to scream in pain.

The high priest thrust his arms to his sides, as if an invisible forced pulled them there. He let out a loud, high pitched wail; and burst into flames.

The flames were white hot. The priest’s skin began to melt and run down him, dripping off his finger tips and his chin and nose.

The crowd cried in despair. Their beloved high priest was perishing before their eyes, and they could do nothing.

The sounds of the shrieking crowd was soon drowned out by and evil, bellowing cackle, coming from Kifo. The crowd silenced and stared at him. Kifo continued to laugh loudly as he slowly dissolved, from the feet up, into dark, black smoke. The smoke hovered an inch above the ground and then slid across and down into a grate, that led down into the sewers of Nightfray.

 

*           *           *

 

Daudi saw an opportunity arise. His thief’s blood boiled. His palms sweated and he felt himself ready to sneak and take his prize.

Daudi was crouched in the mouth of a narrow alley near the city square of Nightfray. It was the day after Summer’s First and there was no one in the square. No one except the guards who stood in defense of the remains of the high priest, Nindron. No one had touched the remains, believing that if they did they too would burn.

The thief had no fear of this. He did not believe in magic. He believed that the priests passing must have been of natural occurrence. Or perhaps a trick performed by the dark robed man who called himself Kifo.

Daudi had his plan set his mind. The podium where Nindron had been standing faced south. Daudi’s alley faced west into the square. Opposite this alley, on the other side of the podium, was a tall wall faced with a large wooden trellis.

He started forwards. Staying crouched he padded across the dusty floor, trying to make as little noise as possible. The two guards were deep in conversation with each other, not really paying any attention to Daudi’s alley. Daudi reached the east side of the podium and saw it. The obsidian circlet that had been the only thing to survive the inferno that had consumed Nindron.

He knew he could reach it, but he also knew that he would draw too much attention to himself doing so. He slowly lifted himself up onto the podium, staying low. The podium was only about two feet high, but Daudi’s experience in thievery had taught him many times that jumping made more noise that lifting.

He crept forward. He reached out and grasped the obsidian circlet. It was cold. Extremely cold. Almost painful to touch. It was also very light. Lighter than it looked anyway. Daudi lifted the circlet and tucked in one of the hidden pockets in his deer hide cloak. As he did this, a guard turned around.

“Hey! Thief!” The guard yelled, drawing his sword. Daudi’s heart jumped into his throat. He turned and sprinted towards the trellis. Once he reached it he jumped as high as he could and began to scramble up it. An arrow thumped into the wall beside him. One of the guards had drawn their bow; the other was following him up the trellis.

He reached the top of the thirty foot high building and looked around. The only way to go was a building to the south, which was about twenty foot high. He ran. Jumped. Landed. His feet hit the flat roof with such force it sent bolts of pain up his legs and spine. He gasped in pain but continued to run anyway. This building was long. Daudi guessed his was on top of the market hall.

He ran along the building, glancing behind him to notice the guard had just alighted on top the first building, his heavy armour slowing him down. He reached the end of the market building. There was nowhere to go. The end of the building stopped abruptly with no other buildings within jumping each.

Daudi looked over the sheer drop. Deciding he couldn’t jump down, he turned and pulled out his small, steel dagger.

The guard was just scrambling to his feet after jumping across to the market building. He got to his feet and sprinted towards Daudi, shouting, “Stop right there! In the name of Theodror, King of Nightfray!”

 The guard raised his sword to strike Daudi. As he lowered his blade Daudi ducked and stuck the knife in the side of the guard’s calf. The guard shrieked in pain and dropped to one knee. Daudi rolled forwards and began to run back across the market building. He looked over the side and saw that the other guard was gone, probably to retrieve reinforcements.

Daudi did not stop when he reached the end of the building. Instead he sprung up towards the top of the trellised building he had first climbed. To his dismay he realized, midflight, that he would not be able to reach the top of this building and that this southern side of the building was not trellised. He reached out with his arms to try and find something to grab hold of. About half way down he found a balcony protruding from the side of the building. He grasped hold of it, his arms wrenched as the force of the fall halted abruptly. He looked around and saw no one. He looked down and saw that the ground was only about ten, maybe fifteen, feet below him. He held his breath and let go.

Daudi hit the ground with such force that his knees cracked and buckled, and his breath was forced out of him. He regained control of his breath and rose. He peered to the east and saw that the city square was blocked off from this alley by a high wall.

Daudi ran down the alley and came out into a busy street. Straight in front of him, on the other side of the street, was a pub. He quickly crossed the street and entered.

The Red Keg Tavern was quiet. Not many left their homes this day, fearing that the so called Kifo would return to burn them all. He quickly walked to a table in a dark corner of the tavern and sat. 

Daudi pulled the circlet out of his cloak to inspect its worth. The circlet was a simple black band all the way around the back and sides of the head, which twisted and writhed at the front. Out of the writhing vines of the metal, protruded a pair of hands holding a sword, which pointed directly up. Right in the middle of the design, on the hilt of the sword, was a red gem. Probably ruby or garnet Daudi guessed. Daudi looked on the inside of the plain band. There he saw writing. But it was no language he had ever seen before. It read, “Vifo na uharibifu atayaamsha maovu ndani ya ulimwengu.” Puzzled, Daudi put the circlet away.

At that moment, two guards entered the tavern and looked around. Their gaze came across Daudi and stopped. “There!” The guard shouted.

Daudi rose to his feet and ran. He headed for a door at the back of the tavern, through which he could see sunlight. He sprinted through the door and turned left. Dead end. The door led to the small alleyway where the bar disposed of its stale ale.

Daudi thought quickly. The ale had to go somewhere. He looked down and saw a large grate. The grate was dislodged a little bit. He stuck his fingers through the gap, left by the ajar grate, and heaved. The grate moved. Daudi dropped through the hole and quickly pulled the grate back over.



© 2012 Dave Rae


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Added on July 7, 2012
Last Updated on July 7, 2012
Tags: dragon, thief, simmith, fantasy


Author

Dave Rae
Dave Rae

Gosport, Hampshire, United Kingdom



Writing