One-Shot: Darius’ Trip to the Grocery Store

A blinding whiteness filled his vision, raising his hand outward in front of his face, his senses  overwhelmed and and bleaching the world around him; eyes wincing in the bright glare of the sun. As Darius’ squinted his eyes, thrown from darkness into the blinding midday sun, they began to adjust he looked around him. Not recognizing his whereabouts or what happened to the forest he was just admiring. The soil, an unfamiliar hard black substance, he crouched with outstretched hand; it felt rough and rock like, he was surrounded by this black pool. As he looked around, spinning his head wildly in all directions there seemed to be an odd sort of shiny dome-like cart, lots them all around him. Behind him stood a building like nothing he had seen before, tan walls with giant columns outstretched in front of a strange see through wall, like a portal to another world. Atop the pillars the wall had some strange red symbols on it. Tilting his head wondering, what on earth are these strange red runes meant; S-A-F-E-W-A-Y.

A deafening noise, more terrifying than any war call he’d ever heard, causing him a fright like nothing before; he jumped like a rabbit into the air and his arms flailing about. It was one of those strange dome-like carts he that littered the land around him and a man’s head came out from the side. The head yelled at Darius,

“Get out of the fricking road you ass! Pick a side and get out of the way!”

“Sorry.” Replied Darius, taking steps towards the building in front of him. As the phantom head rescinded back into the cart and moved on without any horses.

Darius’ mouth was gaping in confusion, curious how a cart could move without horses. Darius hears voices approaching him from behind, he spun around and he saw three women walking towards him through the transparent portal. As the approached the portal it slid open in front of him; he wince and stepped back in a bit of fear, his hands slapping himself in his chest. The three women walked towards Darius holding bags and dressed slightly odd. As they approached, Darius’ belly let out a beast-like grumble that echoed. Wrapping his hands around his belly, a loud grumble echoed across the air, Darius decides that he needs to find nourishment soon. Forgetting that he was in an unfamiliar and strange world, much like his normal personality, he thought about how he might find food in this new world. As the women came closer he saw that their bags were full of food, he thought maybe they could help him. Darius pulls himself together and straightens his tunic, putting his hands into his trouser pockets, saunters over to the women.

As Darius got close enough to the the three, he pulled out his right hand from his pocket and positioning with bent elbow across his waist and bowing slightly in front of the women.

 

“What beautiful ladies we have here, I was wondering if you might by chance have any food to spare, I’m awfully hungry and have no idea what this strange land may be or where I might be?”

The women with a fright on their faces shifted their direction away from Darius and ignoring him and picking up the pace. They barely stood a shoulders’ height next to Darius, but they could walk very quick. They then began to exchange glances and whispers. As they continued walking away, Darius stood dumbfounded with a look of surprise on his face. He could hear them talking, “did you see what he was wearing?” said one, “he must be one of those homeless, vagabond, people.” said the second. “Did you smell him? I can’t believe how rank it was.” retorted the other.

Darius, raising his arm up, sniffed his armpit; not thinking that it smelled that bad.

As Darius stood there outside the building, still unsure why the women were so rude to him, decided that perhaps he could find more bags of food inside the building; like the women had. Once again, Darius adjusted his tunic, throwing his shoulders back he started walking towards the portal the women came out of. It whooshed open in front him, startling him again, he slowly reapproached the portal. Putting one foot out and using it to pull himself, dragging his other foot along the ground. His legs trembling, he thought to himself that he must get through the portal, food was waiting inside. Still wrought with anxiety and fear he jumped through the portal as it shut behind him. Breathing heavily he started to laugh, putting his hands on his hips, tossing his head back and closing his eyes; his laugh getting louder and louder. As Darius was congratulating himself he froze, noticing all the people inside the building, they were all staring at him, every one of them. His smile dropped from his face and his cheeks becoming slightly flush, he stood up straight and normal, coughing into his hand before turning and walking as quickly as he possibly could, away from the all the people and right back towards the portal. Expecting it to swoosh open again, Darius walked face-first into the see-through portal. Grasping his face with one hand and pushing on the portal with his other hand, Darius frantically trying to make it open again. As Darius begins to lose his control and begins to stress out, his anxiety and fear overwhelming him, he starts to yell at wall, “open!” He continues to yell, over and over, getting louder with passing moment.

Darius springs up, throwing his covers off, panting and drenched in sweat; putting his hand up to his head, cradling his forehead between thumb and index. He dragged his hand slowly away from his head, hands trembling he bites his lip, when Ariana sat up from the bed, clutching the blankets to her fair-skinned chest, the tips of her ears twitching. She leans closer to him, running her fingers through his soft brown hair, “is everything okay dear?” She looked at him, his eyes were wide and skin flushed white, she could see the the sweat covering his face. Darius, unchanging, he whispered to her, “it was so scary…” His voice cracking in the night air, it was such a horrible experience, I thought I was going to die.”

“It’s okay dear, it was just a dream, it wasn’t real.”


Chapter ?: (Unknown-End?-In-Progress)

As Darius stood there atop the colosseum , hunched with his arms crossed on top the wooden railing. He stared out at the beaten field, pondering the past struggles, and his thoughts trailed off; his grip with reality started to waiver. Startled, he jumped, a soft, pale, hand now rested on his shoulder.

Breathing heavily, he brought his hand to hers’, “you gave me a fright, my dear,” as his voiced wavered.

Still breathing heavily, turning his head towards her while looking into her deep emerald eyes, finer than any jewel. Princess Ariana giggled while she tossed her head to one side.

“What are you doing up here?” she asked.

His face turned up and he looked back toward the field, “just thinking about the past and how much has changed. It’s been quite the adventure hasn’t it?”

She laughed and stood next to him on the fence, still holding onto his hand. The breeze blew threw her hair as she laughed. He stared at her from the corner of his eye, her caramelized waves and light skin glowing in the fading sun. Her laugh subsided as she brushed her hair back, over the long points of her ears.

“It really has been something else, and we’re still alive too” she replied.

His face went smug as he looked at her, “like you have to worry about dying anytime soon, you’re immortal. I’m the one that has to worry about death here.”

Looking up she gave an innocent kiss to his cheek. “Immortal or not, I can still die in war…or a broken heart. So don’t leave me again, I don’t think my heart would survive it.”

“Don’t worry dear, I don’t plan on taking any more adventures.”

“Good,” she replied her face aglow with a smile.


Chapter 8: The Halfway Point

“Whoa!” beckoned Baran.

As the wagon came to a halt Darius sat up and looked around, but it was too dark to really see much of anything; there were very few torches lit. He looked in front of the wagon and there stood a great gate that blocked their path.

“Wait here,” Baran told them. He stepped down from the wagon and walk up to the gate and swung the metal ring down; the sound echoed through the silent night air. Again he swung the handle. As he went to knock it for the third time and small hole slid open in the gate.

A little man stuck his quite bulbous nose through the slit and looked at us all hanging from the wagon. When he looked up he let out a womanly squeal, Baran was looking down at him; his face void of patience. “What busy do you have here?” squeaked the little man.

“We come seeking food and hospitality of the inn. We’ve been on the road for two days now; we’re on our way to the great fountain.” Baran calmly replied.

“We’re not a place suited for a giant and his family,” piped the man at the gate.

“We’re not a family of giants, I assure you. As you can see my wife and all the children are or normal stature.” Baran turned his hips and gestured to the wagon. Isolda was fast asleep against nook of the wagon, her dark hair blending into the night hanged off the side of the wagon. The kids all smiled at the little man and waved; Darius gave a half-hearted smile and a nod.

“Very well…” The man jumped down from the opening and yelled at to open the guest gate. An opening within the gate opened up and allowed us to pass through. As we trotted by the little man Baran stopped.

“Thank you for the safe passage good sir.” said Baran.

“Not all replied the man” His nose taking up half his face, while the rest was covered in a large beard the hung to his belly; and a double headed axe on his back. “I’m not sure if the inn will have enough room for all of you, but it’s just down that path; and the stables are across the way.”

“My many thanks.” replied Baran.

He was a strange looking man, Darius had never seen someone so small and yet so scary at the same time. He was very curious now as to where they were and what happened to the man. “Is he cursed?” Asked Darius.

Baran let out a booming laugh that confused Darius. “No, he is not cursed.” Still laughing Baran continued, “He’s a dwarf, probably from the Ironfists tribe of Orocarni; judging from his large nose and that battle axe. Their weapons usually give them away, a dwarf’s weapon and beard are his pride.”

A real dwarf thought Darius, amazing, he’d never seen one before. Sure he’d heard about them from the books at school, but he’d never seen one in real life. “I thought dwarves would be taller,” he replied.

“Well they can be, but he’s about average size for a dwarf.”

“So where are we exactly then?” asked Ryn.

“Oh, we’re in Itrusk, far to the northeast of Basorsia.” answered Baran. “You’re going to see quite a few things that you’ve only read about, and some that aren’t even mentioned in your books.”

“Is this where the great fountain is?” asked Maka.

“No, from here, we’re about halfway there” said Baran.

“Halfway!?” exclaimed Ryn and Maka.

“But we’ve been in her forever” exasperated Ryn.

Baran merely chuckled and kept driving them through the town. Darius, eyes wide open, was staring around the city; it was so bright, with all the torches and fires, it almost felt like midday. He could see all sorts of people, and he recognized them from the pictures in his books; Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Hobbits, Aaenshi, Ratfolk and Bullywugs. He even saw a Shade, he’d only read descriptions, but never even seen a picture. Darius was amazed at how so many different races could all reside in one place, but at the same time he was curious about so much more; there were so many different people and many he did not even know what they were. One creature was larger than Baran and covered head to toe in golden scales; his feet like his hands were are ended with three strong talon-like claws, but without a thumb, instead it protruded straight back into the ground. His face had a blunt snout, large fangs and a strong brow; and on the back of his head, he had a crest of hornlike hair that resembled a mess of stringy hair. You could feel the tremble of every step he took. Another creature was off in the distance, but looked like some sort of human like hyena wearing armor, but just as tall as the previous creature. Outside his armor he was covered in reddish-brown fur which became shorter around his faces and hands; he looked quite terrifying. Everywhere Darius looked he was filled with amusement and wonder, with a slice of fear.

The wagon finally came to a stop outside the inn, “alright, everyone out; bring in your bags.” The kids jumped up and clambered to get out of the wagon and get into a real bed. Baran softly nudge Isolda, “Dear, we’re here, wake up.” He shook her a little more and she started to wake.

“Huh?” her eyes still half closed as she looked around with a yawn, stretching her arms out. “What is it Baran?”

“We’re here, at the inn, in Itrusk. I need you to take the kids in and get us rooms; I’ll take the wagon to the stables and get the horses fed.”

“Okay, umm… mmmm.” Isolda slowly rolled down the side of the wagon, dragging her feet towards the inn. “Come on kids, lets go inside.”

“Mom, can I look around town? It’s amazing here!” asked Darius.

“No, we’re going inside to get cleaned up, eat and sleep…Now grab your shit and get inside.”

Darius reaching down angrily rips his bag off the ground and throws in over his shoulder, “fine whatever” he said; it was his conditioned response to mother when he didn’t want to fight.

As they all rush in and head for the front desk, Isolda is the last one through the doors and barely makes it up the steps. She looks around for the Innkeeper, but doesn’t see anyone.

A littlest old lady pops up from underneath the counter.  “Welcome to Frog and Flurkins Inn, how long will you be staying?” she asked. Darius stared at her, her face was adorned with a very pointy nose and a silver beard; her face had more hair than Baran’s. And her slightly pointed ears that held her silver mess of a hair at bay.

“Just for the night,” replies Ryn.

“Mmmhmmm….and how many rooms will you be needing?”

“Just two,” interjected Isolda. “One for my husband and me, and the other for the children.”

The old lady’s beedy grey eyes stared intently at the children, like she was examining their very souls. “Okay then, well we only have two rooms available, one has two beds and the other has one. Will that be acceptable?” she said.

“Yes that’ll be fine,” replied Isolda.

“That’s not enough room for all of us!” said Richard, who’d remained silent this whole time, scared of the old hag.

The old ladies eye’s darted to Richard, giving him an uncomfortable feeling, “Is that so…?” she retorted.

Isolda turned to the children, “you all can share the beds, one person may have to sleep on the floor.” She looked back to our host, “that is if you have a few spare blankets?”

“Of course replied the woman.” The smile she gave was the most terrifying thing Darius had seen all day, her misshapen and missing teeth, sending shivers through his spine; making him feel uneasy. “This way please,” she hollered as she jumped down from the counter. Darius again looked at her, having to almost stare straight down, she was barely waist height to him and walked rather strangely, almost like a waddle. As they walked down the hall Darius could hear strange noises and sometimes screams from the rooms as they passed by. “Don’t mind the noise,” said the old woman “they usually quite down in a couple hours.” Darius still felt a bit uneasy being in this place, it was on the outskirts of the town and gave him the creeps. “Ah! Here we are,” cracked the old woman. She opened the door to a room and turned to Isolda, “this will be your husband’s and yours room.”

“Thank you kindly,” replied Isolda. “Where will the kids be?”

“Just down the hall over there,” she pointed down to the end of the hall, it was not lit as well as the rest of the inn.

“Okay, and will you bring my husband up, he’s still at the stalls taking care of the horses; you can’t miss him, he’s quite a large man and smells of fish.”

“Not to worry miss, I’ll show him the way when he arrives.”

“Thank you.” Isolda turned to her children, “Now you five, behave yourselves and no fighting; I’m tired and don’t want to deal with any of your crap tonight.”

“Yes mother,” replied the three followed by Maka and Nibenay, “Yes Isolda.”

“Good, now good night and I’ll see you in the morning for breakfast.”

“But what about supper?” asked Darius, and all the kids looked from him to Isolda with curious eyes.

“Fret not children,” spoke the innkeeper, “I’ll have some snacks prepared for you and the extra blankets sent up.”

“There, it’s settled,” said Isolda, ”and be sure to thank our host.” She went into her room and closed the door behind her.

“This way children,” squeaked the old lady. They followed close behind her to the end of the hall where she let them into their room. “Now I’ll be back with some snacks and blanket, feel free to get settled in.” She shut the door behind herself and waddled off.

The other kids immediately started to jump around on the beds and fight over who was sleeping where; as usually Darius got outvoted and ended up being stuck with the floor again. Darius, upset that he had to again sleep in the worst spot for the second time this trip, hastily set up his bed in the nook next to the window. He wanted to be able to look out and see the town and everything that was going on, it seemed liked the people here didn’t sleep and he wanted to explore it all.

After the kids finished the snacks from the innkeeper, that they learned was called Viveca, and her name meant Little Woman. Though they learned her name, none of them dared asked her why she was so small. As they settled in for the night, Darius huddled in his corner, blanket overhead and small lantern in hand stayed up reading one of his books. While reading he could hear the snores of his sister and older brother, and he thought to himself about exploring. So he snuck out of the room and down the hall. While he was sneaking down the hall he bumped into Viveca, and his face turned to guilt.

She turned her nose up to him and gave him another terrifying smile and said, “don’t worry, I won’t let them know you’ve gone. There’s more food in the main hall if you’re hungry; and plenty of guests to talk with if you’re in the mood to conversate.”

“Umm..thanks,” whispered Darius. She started down the hall skipping and whistling a shrieking tune, Darius thought to himself that maybe she was trying to scare away ghosts with her tune.

As he continued down the stairs and into the main hall, he saw so many odd looking creatures, some he couldn’t even find the words to describe; others just looked terrifying. But out of all the people he saw, one caught his eye; a man that oddly resembled Viveca in a way, but less hairy and a more youthful look to him. Darius walked over to the man, “is this seat taken?” he asked him.

“No, it’s free.” replied the man, his voice cracking so heavily that it felt like needles were being stabbed into Darius’ brain.

“Thanks,” he said with a grimace. As he started to snack on some of the table bread and random fruit he looked at the man, “I’m Darius Siegfried, of Astonia.”

“And I am Egan,” he cracked, as jumped to his feet atop the table and he raised his hand; a fireball appeared within it, “the little fire, from Bytopia!” Egan beamed and looked full of himself, like a great spellcaster of the ages.

Darius stared at the fireball, he’d only ever seen one that small once, and it was made by a small child. With a bit remorse, Darius gave a very unconvincing, “that’s incredible!” holler. “So Egan, can I ask you something?” he stammered.

“Sure, my young halfling.” Egan replied as he sat back down.

“Oh, I’m not a halfling, I’m a human.”

“Are you sure?” Egan replied and looked quite perplexed.

“Umm..yeah, last I checked. I’m just a young human boy, about twelve years of age.”

“Oh, well if you insist, but I’m not so sure about that.” Egan gave Darius a very concerned and penetrating look.

Darius laughed and felt a bit awkward, not knowing how to fully respond; he asked his question, “Um, what are you, you remind look kind of like the Viveca, the innkeeper?” Darius began to fidget in his seat, “I mean, what type of person are you, or rather race I guess?”

“That smelly hag,” snarled Egan, “Yeah, I guess we’re similar, that old bat.” He stood up and shook his fist in the direction of the front desk, though no one was there. “Well, we’re Gnomes, little halfling. Though she’s a sorry excuse for one, despite her scary demeanor.” Egan looked around him, as if checking to see if anyone overheard him insult her.

“Oh, well what’s a gnome?” asked Darius.

“You mean to say that you’ve never heard of a gnome before?”

“Not once…” Darius felt a little uneasy and started to twiddle his thumbs and look around the hall.

“Well to put it simply, we are skilled in the art of magic and illusions, we live in the hills and mountains usually near dwarves…the filthy beasts…and, as you tell by meeting me, we are pretty energetic and kind.” His face, beaming with pride and happiness.

“So you’re not like dwarves?” asked Darius.

“Well some say that the dwarves are our ancestors, but I’ll never believe that load of codswallop.” Egan spit at the ground with force, only to spit on his own shoe.

Darius let out an amused laughed. Him and Egan sat there talking for a while, Egan told him about some of the adventures he’d been on and educated him about some of the creatures in the main hall. After about an hour or two, Darius decided that it was time for him to go; he wanted to explore the city. “Good luck, my young halfling friend.” shouted Egan. Darius smiled and gave a wave as he walked out of Frog and Flurkins and into the street.


Chapter 7: Day One

Darius awoke with a bump, and the wagon bounced hard off the tree root.

“Hey boys, how does that left side wheel look?” asked Baran. Ryn and Maka jumped up and started climbing around the wagon like it was a tree fort, hanging off the sides by their fingertips and toes.

“It looks fine!” they replied in unison.

“And the axle looks fine too dad,” added Maka.

“Thanks boys, everyone okay after that bump? It was a big one that I couldn’t avoid.” said Baran.

“Fine.” all the kids, but Darius, replied.

“Darius, you okay?” He asked.

“Mmhmm.” Darius replied, not paying attention to what really was going on.

“Okay, just making sure.”

Darius was still thinking about that dream, it was about his dad, but was it real? For some reason it seemed so real to him, but he didn’t know why. He honestly never recalled hearing a story about how his dad got the scar. Let alone about dad ever meeting an elf, dad always hated elves he thought. He wasn’t too fond of the elf friend, Tuinir Aldaríon, he had back in Astonia. Or at least he didn’t think his dad liked him. Though his dad was always busy, he was the Captain of the Guard and had a lot of responsibilities. Darius stared off into the sea of land running though that dream in his head. The more he thought about it, the more it bothered him. As far as he knew his father hadn’t been in any big battle of any kind, just the occasional riot, thief, or assassin.

“Alright kids, we’re stopping for food and to stretch, but behave yourselves,” said Baran. The kids all jumped up hollering and climbing over each other like a pack of ravenous fhorges, foaming at the mouth with tusks down and charging in for the kill. But Darius took his time and waited for the hungry animals to all leave before he even began to move.

“Are you coming Darius, if you want to eat stop dilly dalling around and lets go!” harped Isolda.

“Coming…” He replied, “you bitch,” he muttered under his breath, still upset from before.

Darius climbed from the wagon and stretched out his back with the sides of the wagon, his back making a loud cracking noise. “whew…ugghn,” the noises just came out as he began to feel better. He looked at where they were, but was not familiar at all with the area, or the name of the inn in front of him, “The Meat Bucket.” It sounded like a dump to him, but he was really hungry and wasn’t going to complain, he’d just enjoy the meal. When he walked it, the smell was overpowering his noise, like the building itself was nothing but rotting flesh stretched out over wood to look like a building; it was one of the most foul things he had ever smelt. Clutching his nose in his tunic he walked up to his brothers and asked them, “so does anything actually sound appetizing on the menu?”

Ryn looked at him and said, “yeah a few things look alright. And Baran said we can each have a pint of honey mead! But each of us will be sharing food with someone; it’s crap. But Maka and I are splitting the roast mallard, we’re hoping it’s big enough. Nibenay and Richard are splitting something too.”

“Does that mean I get my own?” asked Darius.

“I don’t know, you took too long to get in here.”

“Darius, you and I will be splitting something,” said Isolda.

“But mom, that’s not fair, you don’t eat meat! So I have to eat the crap food.”

She bent down to be eye level with Darius and softly said, “Shut it, do you want to eat or not?”

“Fine, whatever.” he said out of habit, not wanting to be hit again.

“Well what do you want?” She asked “there’s mashed tater and corn stalk stew and carrot barida and sister’s stew and—”

“I don’t care, pick whatever you want!” he said cutting her off, “It’s not like it’s going to be anything that I really want to eat, so whatever, just pick it and I’ll have to eat it.”

“Fine, or maybe you’ll just not eat, I don’t know.” she sneered back.

They all sat at the table waiting for their food to come and when it did, everyone but Darius began to dig in. He just sat there sipping on his honey mead and nibbling at the table bread while watching Baran eat his two pieces of mutton and taters with envy. His mom decided to go with a smaller salad, leaving nothing for him to eat, but the bread. As everyone started to finish, Maka and Ryn slid over the remains of their roasted mallard, “we saved some for you.” said Ryn.

Darius thanked his two brothers for the food and was grateful for something besides just bread. He ate every last morsel of meat off the bones that he could find and covering his table bread with the juices to prolong the favor. Before long everyone had finished eating and it was time to get back on the east road. All the kids piled in and they were off with a “Hyah!” and crack of the reigns.


Chapter 6: The Battlefield

The crisp night air reeked with the stench of burning flesh. A whistling sound tears through the sky as a rock pummels into the side of the keep, the debris falling on to the soldiers below. Thatched roofs burning in the cold of night while the townspeople try to extinguish them; throwing buckets of water from a nearby well onto the roofs. Screams and cries pierce the air and ears. Drums could be heard, like a rumbling thunder during a great lightless storm.

“Hold fast men!” screamed one man, as who stood at the forefront of the castle wall, clad in armor stained by blood and fire. He waved his sword overhead, screaming at the top of his lungs, “Loose the arrows!” and a flurry of arrows left the ground and fluttered over the wall. Enemy troops fell in clumps as they rushed the castle, some raising their shields and others volleyed their own arrows back. The battle raged and the fires burned. The man yelled again, “Brace the gate!!!” As the invading army came upon the portcullis with a battering ram. Together they pulled the the ropes back and lunged forward, knocking on the castles’ front door. The sound echoed through the night and struck fear into the hearts of the men, the enemy was upon them and their position looked meek.

Some men ran to the gate and braced their backs against it, wedging huge wooden beams between the dirt and gate. Braced against the the gates a giant of a man yelled,

“Captain Siegfried! The gate won’t hold, we don’t have enough men to spare and they’re bringing up the siege ladders!”

Another crash against the gates echoed over the battlefield and drowning out the screams. The men bounced off the gate like dolls and they jump back to their feet, lunging back into the gates again; holding the lives of the castle with their backs. A sword comes slicing down Siegfried’s face, splitting open the left side of his face and eye. He jumps back as an orc leaps over the last part of the wall; standing heads taller than an average man, a sword in one hand and great hammer in the other.

“Your teni laz qoni you fehtly lunam” bellows the orc. The enemy siege ladders have finally made it over the wall.

“I don’t speak Orc, you foul creature!” replied Siegfried, bringing his sword up from the ground striking at the orc who parried the attack with a grunt. Siegfried continued exchanging blows that only seem to connect with air and metal. The orc raised his sword striking from above and Siegfried, seeing his opening plunged his sword at the orcs chest, hoping that his sword wouldn’t strike air again. The orc spins its massive body striking Siegfried in the chest who gasps in pain. Knocked to the ground by the painful chest blow of an orc hammer and his sword has fallen from his grip. As he lays there, the left side of his face bleeding and blind, he feels something under his hand. He hears the orc running towards him about to strike. Right as his sword comes down, Siegfried rolls out of its way, jumping to his feet and thrusting the top half of a spear into the orcs jaw and threw the top of his head; thrusting his arm with all his might once more before releasing the spearhead. The orcs body slowly fell to the side and Siegfried kicked it back over the wall. Captain Siegfried searching for a way to stop the enemy at the gates with his one good eye, the blood running down his face, when he spots the gatehouse cauldron smouldering the fire below still burning hot.

Breathing heavily he grabbed up his sword again and heads to the gatehouse. Engaging the enemy on the ladders and kicking the ladders off when possible. Another thundering knock echos across the gate. Siegfried finally makes it to the gatehouse and the turn rope has burned through, there’s no way to dump the boiling oil. Looking for another way to turn the pot, he grabs hold the cauldron himself. Slowly burning the flesh off his hands, he pushes it over with all his strength and it spills down onto the enemy; burning the enemy forces, and Siegfried knows it will not hold them for long and he knows he needs to stop them here and now to hold off their attack until the reinforcements come. He grabs a torch from the wall and lights it over the fires and he drops it down onto the oil below. The enemy battlements and orcs ignite instantly. Siegfried stumbles out the gatehouse and yells, “GET WATER ON THE GATE!” before collapsing.

He awoke screaming, “GET WATER ON THE GATES!” The men jumped on his arms, holding him down. Siegfried struggled and yelled again, “GET WATER ON THE GATES!”

When came a woman’s voice, so soft and calming, “Calm down Captain, you are among friends.” Siegfried looked upon her and began to stop resisting and the men slowly moved off him. She moved with the utmost grace, like she glided across the ground and instead of walking. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, with the most beautiful looking skin he had ever seen. As she bent down Siegfried touched the tip of her pointed ear ever so gently and she made a soft whimpering noise before jolting to a stand. “Please refrain from touching my ears please,” she said with a stern voice.

“Sorry,” he replied, “I’ve just never seen a real elf before.”

“Really? It was elves that came to your aid in your last battle.”

“Oh, I didn’t know. I don’t even know what happened. Or where I am, where am I? Where is this? How did I get here? Did we we win!? How long have I been out!?!?”

“Shhhh” she pressed her finger to his lips. “It’s alright now, you needn’t worry or freak out. You are in Lauca Tuilës, the home of my people and the Elves who came to your aid against the Orcs. And the battle was won, thanks to you that is.”

“What? What do you mean”

“Fret not, but rest more. Your eye and body need rest and time to heal.” She pulled some powder from a puch and sprinkled on Clarke’s face as she whispered softly, “Quel kaima callo, Clarke Siegfried.”


Chapter 5: The Great Fountain

    It was Darius’ twelfth summer when his mother and Baran decided it was time to take all the kids to see the Great Fountain of Hyperion. Baran, as cheap as he was, still wanted his children to see the grand spiritual site that his father took him to and his father before him. And he wanted his new children to experience it too, it’s been a couple years since their families joined and Baran thought it’d be a good bonding experience. That year all the kids were jumping with excitement about their upcoming trip, because their friends had told them all about their own trips to the great fountain. The tales of wonder and amazement were grand, but the the most amazing stories Darius had heard were about the journey there. Everyone had told him that the Griffon ride up to the Great Fountain was the greatest thing; the winds beating against their cheeks and the freedom of flying through the clouds on the back of a griffon compared to nothing else and took two whole days. Every time he thought of the stories of the journey, his face lit up like a candle in an the endless nights during the long winter. When the day finally came to leave for the great fountain, Darius wearing his backpack and knapsack rushed out of his room, down the steps, and out the door into the still darkness of the early morning. His face beaming with excitement quickly faded. In front of him laid no Griffon, no Boobrie, and not even a Roc; what lay before him was his step-father’s horse drawn wagon. Darius’ disappointment could be seen upon his face by all.

“Don’t look too excited now” snorted Baran.

“But what about the Griffon’s?” asked Darius

“They were too expensive, the Stable Master was asking just too much for us all to go. There’s seven of us here, and he wouldn’t budge on the price. We’re not just taking you, don’t forget about your brothers and your sister.”

“She’s not my sister and those two aren’t my brothers!”

A loud cracking sound echoed through the air, Isolda’s diamond and ruby covered hand sparkled in the air above Darius head, “watch your mouth, they are your siblings; whether you like it or not, and you will not speak ill of them like that.” Scorned Isolda.

Darius’ face becoming a soft red, and his eyes began to leak. The tears’ pigment started to change to red hue as they ran down his cheek. Darius threw his bags into the cart and ran back into their cottage.

“We leave as soon as the horses have been fed, don’t go too far and be ready to go leave soon.” bellowed Baran, his voice carried atop the wind.

Darius raced inside knocking over his step-brother Maka and stumbling up the the stairs to his bedroom, slamming the door behind him with a force that shook the walls of the cottage. Huffing and puffing he began to pace as the rage inside him began to build up. He was losing control of himself and wildly swinging his arms at the wind and fighting with the shadows of his mind. The tears on his face evaporating as the sweat ran down his brow. The anger inside him flushed his face so much that you could not tell the difference from blood or cheek.

Under his breath you could hear the words he grunted, “Fucking bitch! What the hell is her problem, that psychotic wench!” Striking at the air with even more force than before. He continued to pace around his room that resembled that of a Berserker before war. “Why’s she always hitting me?” He cried as the tears ran down his face even harder. “What’d I ever do to make her hate me so much?” He sobbed sniffling, wiping his nose on his tunic.  Through the window a soft melody began to drift in. When the somber tune touched Darius’ ears his anger began to melt inside him, a calming sensation took over his body and the tone his face slowly began its normal hue. He went to the window to try and locate the source of this calming and painful tune. He is eyes scanned the treeline stressing them to see as far as they could. His ears twitched trying to lock in on the direction of the sound, but it was if the melody was apart of the wind itself and coming from every direction around him. Darius climbed out the window and onto the roof, sitting at the peak, just listening to sound on the wind. He sat there bathing in the sound until the sun had begun to rise. When he felt the warming rays on his skin, he noticed that his face felt wet. He touched his face softly and cringed. He looked at his hand and it was blood stained. He quickly searched his room for a cloth, but settled with an old pair of trousers. is face burned with pain at each wipe, it felt as though there were needles pricking him on his cheek. When he finally finished cleaning off his face, at the cost of a pair of trousers, the room felt like a void of silence. Jumping to his feet he ran back to the window and thrust his whole head out it, yet nothing. The sweet melody that he had heard was gone, yet he still stayed there hoping it would come back; nothing.

“Boys it’s time to leave! Get in the wagon and lets go!” yelled Baran and Darius jolted his head back into his room and gathered the rest of his things. This time he did not run with enthusiasm or have a skip in his step. Dragging his feet at the pace of a Hobbit he descended the staircase, getting bumped by his brothers as they ran past him to get out the door.

“Come Darius, hurry up!” Yelled his mother.

“Coming…” he replied, “You crazy bitch,” he mumbled under his breath. He climbed into the wagon, the last of child in; and they were ready to depart.

“HYEAH!!” boomed Baran as he cracked the reigns of the horses, who all neighed loudly, and they were off.

“How long will it take?!” screeched Ryn, Darius’ youngest brother of nine years, as his small body wiggled up to the front of the wagon and behind his mother.

“It’s about a three or four days ride from here, if everything goes without a hitch.” replied Baran, cracking the reigns again.

“That’s forever” complained Maka.

“Well would you prefer to walk or not come at all?” Asked Isolda.

“No, I want to go” replied Maka, “I’m going! Just everyone told us how quick and awesome their trips were, course they all got to take Griffons and we have to ride in this crummy and cramped wagon” he said snidely.

Baran turned around to face his son, “well unfortunately we have too many kids to take such luxurious means of travel. If it was just two or three of you kids, it wouldn’t have been an issue; but there are five of you and that’s just too much money.”

“Darius, what happened to your face?” Asked Richard, Darius’ elder brother by three years, as he slapped Darius on the cheek and laughed.

“OWW!!” yelped Darius. He punched Richard in the head and jumped on him.

Reaching back Isolda grabbed Darius by his hair and pulled him off Richard. “Do you not want to go on this family vacation Darius! If you would prefer you can get out right here and walk back for all I care! Behave yourself or you won’t be coming with us!”

“But Richard hit me first!!!” he replied.

“I said shut it! I don’t want to hear your excuses!” She release her hold on his hair and flung Darius back into his seat.

    His eyes began to tear up and he leaned out the wagon from his seat, crossing his arm just underneath his chin. He held his eyes closed with all his force, trying not to let a single drop escape his lids. All he could think about was how unfair everything was in his life. He wished over and over that he could be living a happy life with his father, but his father was dead and that would never happen. He was doomed to live out his life underneath his mother’s fists. Even still, he thought about how things could have been if only he had been born into another family, or perhaps he could go live with his grandmother, his father’s mother; she loved him and always treated him nicely. He thought of howgreat it would be to live in her small cottage, out away from everyone; it was his favorite place to go during the long summers, no one bugged him there or beatbeat him like a slave. The last time he was at his grandmother’s he remembered all the fun he had playing in the forest nearby, it was full of wild animals and had the best little pond to swim in. He could swim, fish, and climb the trees, he always felt so free when he was there. He stared off into the distance as he dreamt of all the what ifs that could change his life, he fell asleep there on his crossed arms hanging out the side of the wagon.


Characters

I have added a few character bios take a look, I will add more when time permits (as well the images used are not mine, I am only borrowing them in stead place until I can get my own creations made and posted)


Introduction

Some time ago, back in simpler times, but not so long ago really; a human boy was born into the world of Corosia, in the land of Hyperion, his name was Darius. He was born and spent his childhood in Astonia, a small farm town, to Isolda and Clarke Siegfried. Now this is not just a story of the boy, but of how the boy became a man. First let me say this, if you are looking for action, adventure, fighting, heroism, and amazement; this may not be the story for you. This is a story filled with romance, drama, and love with a side order of adventure.
Where to begin? Most stories start in the beginning or jump you in right smack in the middle. So how about we start after the beginning, but before the middle. Draius’s father has long since passed on. Since his passing Isolda has been twice more married and widowed; like a curse upon her, death befalls those she beds. But lets not get ahead of our story here. Let us begin sometime after her second marriage with Baran and his two half-giant children, Maka and Nibenay.

Isolda met Baran at the Fish market a couple years after the passing of Clarke. She noticed him one day, he stood out like an Orc at a festival, towering over every man there and carrying thrice the load of any other man. He was the First Mate of the The Bane Saber, a glorious warship that turned to fishing during these peaceful times. As Baran carried the crates of sea creatures to the market stands, Isolda just watched. She began to frequent the market three times a week to try and see him come in to harbor. One day she devised a way to get to talk to him, she got a job in the market. With long dark and curly hair, she easily stood out amongst the other smelly fishmongers. After that it was only a matter of time before she brought the half-giant home to meet her children, Darius (the hero of our story) and his two, brothers Ryn and Richard. Soon after they were married and Baran bought a lavish cottage with lots of land in Basorsia and moved his new family in with his own; Baran kept being a fisherman, but he would be gone for weeks at a time, and Isolda opened up an Inn with the help of the children.


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