Into the heart of the story Chapter 2 = The Past and the Present
by Scott Baird
They stood on the bridge of light, it was named after them, the Light Warriors.
They had just left the grand city of Corenia, parades and weeping eyes behind them, they had been heralded as the heroes of a great prophecy, they had defeated a powerful evil knight called Garland, who was a great warrior and at one point, a hero like themselves, but when he was denied the hand of the princess of the city of Corenia he turned to the darkness and kidnapped the princess, then word had reached the city of their neighbour city Pravoka being taken over by pirates, hope seemed to have been lost.
Then the four arrived, the ones known as Fighter, Thief, White Mage and Black Mage (each was named after their profession due to there skill in each) and they were charged with the task of defeating Garland, after a close battle they emerged as the victors and were claimed to be great heroes, but that was not what they wanted.
They were outcasts among normal people, their skill setting them apart, the only person who understood was the man who trained the four, a man from a race called Lefain, the last of his species to walk among the humans, elves and dwarves, he understood their pain and taught them what he knew.
It was his dying wish that the four leave the town of Pravoka were they lived and go to Corenia before the pirate invasion begun, in Corenia they were to help the king with his problem, they had done that and now they only wanted to return home.
When they returned to Corenia they were given the best weapons, armor and magic to aid them all, they would need it on the dangerous journey they were about to undertake, they were going to free Pravoka from its pirate scourge.
The one known as Fighter was wearing a suit of chain mail with a shirt with the Corenian symbol drawn on it (A Gold dragon holding a crown and a Griffon holding a Green Rod on a red background),he wore a red cloak and carried a large sword at his side and a steel shield on his arm, on his head he wore a helmet of unusual make (it was a helmet made by the people of Lefain which he acquired under mysterious circumstances), the helmet looked like any other but it held a strange, almost alien aura about it, he was a large man for his age and his skill with the blade had started to become a thing of legend.
The one known as Thief wore a suit of studded black leather armour, he wore a long black cloak (which if he wrapped it around himself at night would make him almost invisible), he was of the light footed race of the elves (all the other Light Warriors were human), under his cloak he kept a rapier made of the finest steel which was his weapon of choice, although he wasn’t as skilled as Fighter with a blade he was faster, he thought himself most skillful in tracking and path finding (although he hadn’t perfected either yet and his occasional wrong turns annoyed the other members of the group) he was the most at ease with the fame the group were gaining.
The one known as White Mage was dressed in long white robes with a red trim, beneath this she wore a chain shirt (mainly to surprise her enemies who thought that she was the weakest member of the group) she kept a silver war hammer hidden in the arm of her robes, but her true weapon was her magic, she worshipped the god of light, the one known as Odin, because she faithfully worshipped him and upheld his ideas he granted her the ability to use White Magic, which allowed her to heal her allies, protect from certain elements and control certain elements, when the Light Warriors returned the princess to Corenia, White Mage was given holy scriptures by the church of Odin, these allowed her to use magic’s that were more powerful than the ones she used before then.
Last but certainly not least was the one known as Black Mage, he dressed in night blue robes engraved with silver runes, he wore a large straw hat to conceal his face, all one could see of his body were his yellow eyes (a mark of his use of black magic),he held a oak staff engraved with red runes of power, yet his true weapon was his magic, the force that a few people learned, the arts of Black Magic was not evil however, it allowed its users to control elements like Fire, Ice and Lightning and various other effects, they were effective in combat and were valuable additions to any city, when they returned the princess to Corenia he was allowed access to the secretive Black Mages guild, from them he learned new magic spells and powers.
They stood on the bridge looking over the side into the river that ran underneath it, they were all thinking the same thing, yet it took Thief to say it.
''What are we going to do after we free Pravoka?”
Fighter turned to him and said ''You seem pretty confident that we will win, there could be armies holding Pravoka for we know, maybe the Pirates are in league with the dwarves or the elves''
White Mage turned to them both and said ''Thief is right, after all we have learnt and done maybe we should continue, I know you do not want to help the people Fighter but it’s our destiny.’’
Fighter turned to her ''I know what you mean; I have had my doubts since the king told us the complete prophecy, but my main concern is Pravoka at the moment, when we have finished our business at Pravoka we will decide from there, agreed?''
They all looked at each other.
Part 1 = The past
It was their first day of travel, it would take them at least 3 days of travel to reach Pravoka, they had made a camp site and it was Fighters watch, he stared at the camp fire while the others slept, the past weeks revelations had taken their toll on all of them, the fact that they were the Light Warriors had never been truly proven before the first time they met the king, Fighter had always doubted it, he considered the prophecy of the Light Warriors to be nothing core than a hoax... yet doubt had always remained.
The idea that he and his friends being the Light Warriors always seemed to baffle him, everyone seemed to think that the Light Warriors were perfect, brave and noble people, who would selflessly sacrifice themselves to save the war torn people of the world, he and his friends had their own problems, the full prophecy was right, Fighter knew that he could not always control his anger, he knew Thief would rather have gold and power rather than to help people, he only did so because he beloved that helping people would get him gold and power.
He knew White Mage would not consider any other view than that of Odin, all other philosophers (including the use of black magic) seemed immediately wrong to her, she considered the doctrines of Odin as law and Odin’s beliefs to be the right ones and Black Mage’s goal seemed to be the accusation of power, he wanted the ability to change the world as he see fit, but he was willing to do anything to gain this power.
He realised, anger, greed, arrogance and ambition, the four demons that plagued the Light Warriors, they would need to be conquered to defeat the darkness without.
Then he heard a noise behind him, a loud noise that was not a wild animal, he drew his blade and shouted for the others to wake up, soon the Light Warriors were up and armed, but they could not see anything beyond the camp fire, White Mage used one of her lesser abilities.
''By the power of Odin, let there be Light.’’
A bright light lit up the area around the campfire and what they saw surprised them.
It was a broom, a walking broom.
''Hello'' a voice seemed to be coming from the broom '' Are you the ones known as the Light Warriors.’’
The four stood amazed at the sight.
''Are you the ones called Fighter, Thief, White Mage and Black Mage?.’’
They still held there weapons, Black Mage noticed a gem near the broom head, it was a magic gem known as a gem of sentience, there was only one person in this land that he could remember who could use those items, but he thought that she was dead.
''Matoya,'' he said aloud.
The broom seemed to turn to face Black Mage ''So you know my master then.’’
''Only through study,'' Black Mage replied ''I thought she died from old age many years ago, at least that is what my order says.’’
''No the people of the orb do not die easy'' the broom replied.
''Who are the people of the orb?'' Thief asked.
''All will be explained, I have been charged with bringing you an invitation, the great sorcerer Matoya requests the pleasure of your company, she requires your assistance in a matter of utmost importance, if you decline then that is fine, but she also asked me to tell you that she has answers regarding your past, I will await your answer outside the camp.''
The broom then moved to the edge of the camp, the four turned to each other in amazement.
Black Mage turned to the others and said ''I believe the broom, the only person good in enough in the dark arts to make the stones which can make base items come alive is Matoya, I cannot refuse a chance to talk with her, I go with or without you.’’
White Mage turned to Black Mage and said ''what if it’s a trap, someone may have outstripped Matoya in power, if that is the case then we will not have a chance if we fight, i do not think that we should go.’’
Black Mage turned to her and said ''It matters not, I cannot risk missing a meeting with the greatest Black Mage to have lived, I go with or without you.’’
Fighter spoke out '' I have heard rumours of this Matoya, most I would rather not repeat, I do not think we should trust the words of a broom.’’
Thief turned to Fighter and said '' If it is her can we really risk not having her help, I think we should go.''
The four soon broke into arguing, the broom stepped back into the light and said ''If it helps I was also instructed to say this in order to convince you to come.’’
Fighter turned to the broom and said '' what would you know that could persuade us.’’
The broom said back ''I was instructed to say your real names. Fighter you are called Arthur, Thief you are called James, White Mage you are called Nina and Black Mage you are called Cid.’’
This shocked the four to the core, only they knew there real names, not even the master knew.
The broom then said ''I can see from the looks on your faces that I have swayed you, i will watch the camp and in the morning we will see my mistress.’’
The four only nodded, all was not as it seemed.
The next day the broom led them to a cave, they all had images of a witches home to be dilapidated and filled with unholy artefacts, as soon as they entered the cave the world around them changed, what started as rocks and stalagmites turned into beautiful home, with furnishings and enough expensive items to make the king of Corenia's throne room look dull.
''A simple illusion to detract unwanted visitors,'' the broom explained ''please follows me.’’
The four followed the broom into a dining room, with a large table and five chairs set out, each with a name engraved upon it, the names of Fighter, Thief, White Mage, Black Mage and Matoya.
''Please wait here while I summon the mistress,'' said the broom, it left the room quickly.
They sat down staring at the strange site around them, a cave decorated like a mansion, talking brooms and someone who knew more about their past than they did.
Soon after the broom returned and leapt onto the table and said '' Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the lady of the mountain, the sorceress Matoya.’’
A dark shape appeared in the room, it was made of a black mist that swirled of its own accord and changed its shape constantly, then it formed into a more permanent shape, that of a woman.
She was an old woman dressed in long black robes with silver sigils flowing constantly into different places, although she was small, an aura of power existed around her that would make many people think twice about attacking her, when her shape was complete they looked into her eyes and saw only a blank stare, they realised she was blind.
''I know what you’re thinking you know, you pity me because of my blindness, yet I could destroy you all right now with barely forethought, but that is not my way, greetings, my name is Matoya.’’
She sat in the chair marked Matoya, she turned, facing the four and said ''I can see you all clearly, but that is the root of my problem, but first some explanations are in order.’’
''I am Matoya the greatest human Black Mage, I was one of the four people who first discovered you and your destiny, but that is not the beginning of my story.’’
''It all started twenty five years ago, twenty years before the war of the crowns, i was thirty and quickly I mastered the skills of Black Magic, yet even then darkness existed, when I was a child I heard legends of four people known as the Sky Warriors, people who challenged the darkness of the world and held it back, but they died doing so, inspired by the tales of those four peoples adventures, me and three others joined together.’’
''There was I, the master of Black Magic, there was another known as Lukhan, a master Red Mage, he was the first to foretell the prophecy, there was a White Mage who could bring the dead back to life, his name was Unne and there was our master warrior, the one known as lord Ragnor.’’
''We heard legends of an orb, an orb that could foretell the future, we called ourselves the people of the orb, we finally tracked down the orb, it was guarded by a powerful tribe of Ogres, we barely escaped that day with the orb and the Ogres have been hunting us ever since.’’
''We finally reached a place called Crescent lake, a place where all things were visions are supposed to be clearer, we activated the orb’s power and we saw the future.’’
''We saw the war of the crowns, the hundreds of soldiers dying, we saw a creature that existed in all times bringing four creatures to our times, powerful demons who stole the light from the four orbs you all hold, they threw the orbs away thinking them drained, we saw all this and then we realised what we had done, because we had saw all of this we were helpless to stop it, our actions would do nothing, time had been written, we stood in despair.’’
''Then the orb showed us hope, it showed that four warriors would come, they would come bearing the orbs and that they would change the future, they would break the time loop that had settled, then we saw that four were needed to reclaim the orbs from perilous lands, those four were us, we were told by the orb that we had two objectives, to find the elemental orbs spread across the world and to find the last Lefain that walked amongst humans, elves and dwarves, we where to give him the orbs and then he would give them to you and prepare you for the trials ahead.’’
''While tensions increased around the world we went our separate ways to find the orbs, i eventually found the orb of fire, we met again and we found the last Lefain, he was cut of from his people and he had no purpose, changed that and he found all of you, we made sure he kept you all away from the war, and to make sure you stayed out of Garland’s hands.’’
''Then we went our separate ways, Lukhan spread the word of the prophecy and eventually settled in Crescent Lake where he established the finest Red Mage School in the world.’’
''Unne went to some far off town and has been studying ways to try and bring back the Lefain people, he has apparently been learning to speak there language.’’
''Ragnor became general of Corenia armies during the Crown War, he disappeared and through my powers I found out what happened to him, during his search for the Earth orb he encountered the creature who stole its energy, i always knew Ragnor was afraid of growing old, but the creature offered him immortality, he declined and escaped, but during the Crown war his old age started to slow him down, he left the army and sought out the Earth Fiend who turned him into a vampire, a creature that feasts of the blood of the living, my old friend Ragnor was granted life in death and to this day is said to guard his unholy master.’’
''I took the orb with me and established my own mansion in solitude, I have been protecting the two towns of Corenia and Pravoka from the Ogres of these lands but I was approached a few months ago by a young elf, who wished to learn of the black arts, i taught him all I knew, but then one day he escaped with the orb and I knew what he was, he was a Dark Elf, an elf who gave his soul for power, he had used his unholy power to sway me and he became stronger from what I taught him.’’
''When I first took the orb for myself it offered me power in exchange for my eyesight, I accepted knowing that I could use magic to let me see, but without the orb I have been using all of my magic to keep my eyesight, for without it I know not where the Ogres of the land are, but if I lower my eyesight to use my magic then it takes more power from me to re-establish it.’’
''That is why I called you here, to explain your past and to give a warning for the future, you must find the Dark elf and return my orb, the Ogres are closing in and within a year they will be powerful enough to wage war against Corenia and Pravoka, even now they get closer to my home.’’
''The things that have been kept from you from me and your master have been for a reason, we could not let Garland or the Fiends find you, even now the four elemental fiends are searching.’’
''You must have many questions, but first we must dine.’’
Matoya clicked her fingers and five plates of food and five flagons of drink appeared.
The four Light Warriors sat amazed, so much they had not known and so much they had to mull over.
Matoya mealy smiled, then she said ''Shall we dine.’’
Part 2 = the Present
Fighter awoke with a start, images of an undead mage wearing a crown haunting his dreams, he sat up and pulled his blade out of its scabbard, he held it tightly, although he was in the care of one of the strongest Black Mages in the world, he still felt safer holding has blade.
He had went to bed early (rooms had already been prepared naturally) after the questions of the past had tired him, his master had kept him and his friends sheltered from all the trouble and all the ones before that had fought before them and he wasn’t sure if he was happy about that or not.
He looked at his reflection in the blade, one thing that the master had taught him was that he should always keep his equipment in top working condition, his blade was so well tended that it had no burrs or jagged edges and it was so clean that you could see your own reflection in it.
He got out of bed and put a tunic on, he realised that if he was to fight the darkness then he should at least know what he was fighting.
He returned to the dinner hall and he saw that the others were still awake; they had been talking with Matoya all night it seemed.
Matoya turned to Fighter and clicked her fingers, his chair pulled away from the table and a tankard of mead appeared.
''So you have come to join us,'' Matoya said as Fighter sat down ''we have just been discussing the Dark Elf who stole my Orb.''
Fighter looked into his tankard and said ''If it’s not too much trouble, may I have water instead.’’
Matoya sighed and clicked her fingers, a glass of water appeared in the tankards place.
Fighter took a long sip and asked ''So what is a Dark Elf, I know of wood elves, I mean Thief is one, I thought Dark elves were just a myth.’’
Matoya sighed again and took a sip of her wine ''A Dark Elf is not a natural creature, it is an elf who studies unholy magic eventually becomes one of them, it is not a common occurrence, yet the power that comes with it can be tempting.’’
''The Dark Elf gains the ability to alter his form to appear liken to other creatures, but nothing that is not alive, also there magic ability becomes stronger, when the one called Astos approached me he appeared as a wood elf, he used powerful masking and charming magic to protect himself, he made me teach him some powerful magic’s, but I finally realised what he was, I confronted him but his skills had improved, he stole the orb and escaped before I could stop him.’’
''He must have escaped over the water to Elfland, I would know if he had entered Corenia, if you wish to know more then you should ask there.’’
Black Mage seemed enthralled, he had learnt more in the past few hours than he ever learnt in a library or spell book, Fighter realised why Black Mage was willing to risk a trap to meet with this woman, she had the one thing he craved, that was power.
Fighter then had a disturbing thought, what if they reclaimed the orb and Black Mage wanted to keep it, Matoya needed the orb to protect the region, would he be willing to stop, even kill his own friend should he betray them for power.
Fighter merely shrugged these thoughts off, he started listening to the conversation again, this time it was about the fiend of water , the kraken, he slowly tuned out and once again fell asleep, he was more tired than he had realised, he put his head in the crook of his elbow and fell asleep.
The next morning they were preparing to leave, they had a lot of work to do, Matoya instructed them not to return until they had the orb, until then she could not help them.
Fighter, Thief and White Mage were waiting outside the cave, but they could not find Black Mage, then they heard a voice from inside the cave.
In the cave they could see Black Mage talking to a broom and they seemed caught in deep discussion.
The broom leaned forward and talked silently to Black Mage.
''Ignore what Matoya says, magic can be learnt, heart and determination are not all of it, the reason I think she said all those things to you was because she wants to give you something if you return the orb, when she was training that dark elf Astos i picked up a thing or two from him, whenever you need to know where you are in the world, summon your energy and say ''TCELES'', you should be able to see yourself from a distance, but it don’t work indoors though.’’
Black Mage quickly pulled out a book he kept in his pack and scribbled it down.
''Thank you broom, in exchange I’ll promise not to turn you into cinders if we ever travel again.’’
''Hey, I may hold you to that.’’
''Anyway I must go, I will return the orb and no dark elf can stand in my way.’’
''I hope you’re right.’’
Black Mage turned and walked outside.
''Shall we go?’’
They had been tramping through the wilderness for nearly a day, they would reach Pravoka in a day if they were quick, but unfortunately they were lost.
Thief had sworn that he knew the way back, but they all seemed close to hitting him, especially when they started to see the same land marks over and over.
They were in a forest clearing, it was nearing sun down and they decided to set up camp, yet they were concerned.
''I am sure we will reach Pravoka by tomorrow, i just got a little confused, all the forests and hills look the same to me,'' Thief said while making small notes on the map that he brought from Corenia.
Black Mage dropped his pack on the floor and stood in the centre of the clearing, this was the perfect chance to try out his new spell.
He gathered his energy and shouted the word ''TCELES.’’
Suddenly his eyes seemed to be dragged from his head, he felt like he was being pulled thousands of feet into the air, when he gained his bearings he could see all of the cities of the world, Corenia, Pravoka, the lost city of the Lefain sealed away from the world, hundreds of caves and islands, all where placed before him like a map.
The others seemed confused at what Black Mage was doing , he seemed to be in a trance, then he finally came out of it and fell to the floor, Fighter picked him up., he seemed weakend.
Black Mage finally spoke ''I cannot believe what I just saw, I saw the whole world laid before me like some sort of map, I saw all the human cities, the dwarves caves, the Elvin woods, the Lefain city, lost to the world.’’
He finally calmed down ‘‘Pravoka is less than a day to the north, but I think we should rest just the same, anything could be in these lands.’’
They all nodded, Fighter gathered wood and started a fire, Thief took some sharpened sticks and placed them around them camp (another thing the master taught them) so that anything that attacked them might get step into one, White Mage and Black Mage went to find edible plants and game.
When night fall came, they sat around the fire eating what White Mage and Black Mage found, the hours dragged on and they spoke of the days with the master.
''I remember when he bought that sword from the town and he had a practice swing and it flew out of his hands and nearly impaled the shopkeeper, that shopkeeper was furious’' Fighter smiled at the memory.
''Or when he tried showing us what a black magic spell looked like and nearly decimated the field with fire.'' Thief smiled.
''He didn’t realise how powerful he was compared to the Pravoka city guards, when that drunken one challenged him to a fight, he fell to the floor before he pulled out his sword, he shouldn’t have insulted his hair colour,'' White Mage smiled.
''Shame that one behind him hit him with a chair, he sure looked surprised when he got up without a scratch and broke the guards jaw and still he tried to keep us out of the fight, stupid drunks never knew what hit them'' Black Mage may have smiled but it was hard to tell.
Suddenly, they all heard a snap, a branch breaking, White Mage turned towards the direction it came from and used one of her powers.
''By the power of Odin, let there be Light.''
The surrounding woods burst with light and what they saw jolted them into action, they drew there weapons, it was what they had hoped not to see, the strongest creatures of this land, Ogres.
They were easily twice the size of Fighter, there arms were little more than bulging muscle and sinew, they had a reddish tint to there skin and it wore the skin of a grizzly bear (a fact that scared most people, anything that could take on a grizzly bear was something that should be feared), they held huge clubs filled with nails and spikes, they are at the top of the regions food chain and a hunting party had just found the Light Warriors.
White Mages light revealed that there was six of the creatures, but her light had (thankfully) blinded them, they had a few seconds to prepare.
Fighter realised that his shield wasn’t much use against such strong creatures (one hit on the shield would break his arm) so he pulled an unlit torch out of his pack and lit it in the fire, he would have to fight with two weapons to get through this.
Thief pulled out a dagger and wrapped his cloak around himself, he ran into the darkness and started to backtrack around the Ogres, he knew his rapier wouldn’t do much good, but a dagger in the back would.
White Mage called upon Odin and started to cast her most powerful new spell.
''Odin, master of light, makes it bend around me, Invisibility.’’
Black Mage was too busy preparing his energies to notice that White Mage had vanished from view; he then cast the most powerful spell in his arsenal.
''Cold that clings and tears, Cynogax Fury Magic.’’
He held his hand in the air and three spears of Ice appeared above it, he shouted a word in the language of magic and they shot forward, the three ice spears shot forward and impaled the first Ogres chest, he fell to the floor, dead.
The Ogres regained there sense and charged, the first one burst into the clearing and Fighter was waiting.
Fighter leapt into its path and stabbed it in its torso, the Ogre screamed in pain but it was not enough to drop the beast, it tried to strike out with its fist, but Fighter dodged and pulled his blade out, it lifted its club above its head for another strike, this was the opening Fighter wanted, his blade shot up quicker than the eye could see and sank into the Ogres neck, it dropped to the floor with blood gushing from its neck.
The next two burst into the clearing but one seemed to drop in pain, as its skull was being bashed in by an invisible hammer, but her spell was fading and soon White Mage was back in sight.
The other charged at Fighter, Fighter threw his torch at it but it swept it away with its free hand, then it hefted its club and moved forward.
Black Mage was about to help, then another Ogre entered the clearing and saw the undefended Black Mage, it charged and Black Mage tried a new spell he had been itching to cast.
''Time bends and breaks you, slow speed magic.’’
The Ogre’s run slowed to a walk, Black Mage sidestepped him and pushed him into the fire, he then gathered his energies and prepared another spell.
The last Ogre recovered from its blindness and prepared to charge, but a dagger sank into its back., it fell to the floor and Thief pulled his rapier out and prepared to enter the melee.
Fighter was still fighting the fourth ogre, he ducked under the Ogres swinging club he punched it in the stomach, but it didn’t even faze it, it pulled its club back with incredible speed and strength, Fighter barely dodged enough to keep his head, he still got a large gash on his arm from the nails.
White Mage struck the Ogre in the back of the knee, it dropped to the other knee in pain, Fighter took its head of in anger with one vicious swipe of his blade.
Thief entered the clearing, they knew he had finished of the last one, they took a breath of relief, until they heard clapping.
An Ogre that was much twice the size of the other Ogres entered the clearing, but unlike them he wore a suit of armour made of bones and he wore a sword made of iron that was roughly the same size as Black Mage.
He then spoke in the language of humans, crudely but understandable.
''So you are the Light Warriors yes, I excepted better, especially against whelps who were on there first hunt, but you not the one I want, tell me where Matoya the slayer is and I will let you go.’’
Black Mage started gathering energies again, Fighter lifted his blade and shouted ''We don’t want your offers, prepare yourself.’’
The Ogre mealy laughed as he pulled his huge sword out of his belt, it held the sword with a skill that Fighter recognised, he knew this would not be an easy fight.
White Mages clear voice rang around the clearing, as she cast a spell before the Ogre could charge.
''The power of compassion incarnate, Cure.''
A beam of light shot from her hand and hit Fighters shoulder, his wound closed.
Fighter and the Ogres blade clashed, Fighter was struggling with all his might, although the Ogre was surprised at the humans might, it still wasnt enough to beat him, he took one hand of his sword and swatted Fighter aside.
Then Black Mage finished his spell, magic flowed around him, he then shouted the chant.
''The power of Lightning bends to my command, Zeus Blade Magic.''
Lightning flashed from his hand and hit the Ogre in the chest, it didn’t even phase him, the Ogre reared up to strike Black Mage with its sword.
Thief leapt over the fire and tackled Black Mage, he managed to get him out of the way before the blade struck.
White Mage pulled her hammer out, she had to start calling upon Odin, but she couldn’t risk being hit while she was casting.
Fighter got up and turned and saw the Ogre about to hit Black Mage and Thief who were on the floor, he stood up and lifted his blade and leapt, he needed to save his friends.
The Ogre turned and swept its blade in an arc, it caught Fighters blade, but Fighter knew that a test of strength was not needed, he needed every ounce of skill and speed to fight this thing.
White Mage saw that the Ogre was busy and she called her energies for a spell, Thief stood up and pulled out his rapier, he needed to help Fighter.
Black Mage stood up and backed away from the Ogre, he needed distance to cast his spells, he gathered his energies, they needed all the help they could get.
Fighter pulled his blade away from the Ogre, the Ogre pushed its blade forward and Fighter ducked, an unexpected move, it was a close call (if he had been any slower then the blade would have entered his skull), the Ogre wasn’t expecting it.
But it especially didn’t expect the Rapier that cut into the back of his arm, it only cut his skin but it was enough for him to notice Thief as a threat.
White Mage started to cast a spell, Black Mage was nearly finished drawing energies, the Ogre knew it was in trouble, it had underestimated the Light Warriors, but it wasn’t finished yet.
The Ogre suddenly charged, it leapt over the fire and was about to run Black Mage through.
Suddenly Black Mage put his hands on the Ogres chest where the armour didn’t conceal his body, the sudden action surprised the Ogre, he thought that Black Mage was in a trance.
Black Mage used his energies and quickly shouted the words to his spell.
''The power of Lightning bends to my command, Zeus Blade Magic.’’
The Ogre screamed in pain., Lightning shocking his body, he fell to one knee and punched Black Mage in anger, Black Mage fell back, he had been knocked out by the pure strength behind the punch.
Fighter and Thief leapt over the fire and lifted there blades in unison, the Ogre span and charged Fighter, he was going to charge him into the fire.
White Mage knew what spell to cast, she finished her chant.
''Water bless me, Nullify Fire.’’
The fire went out and Fighter and the Ogre landed on a pile of hot sticks, the Ogres strength and weight allowed it to get on top, it held its sword and was about to drop it on Fighters head.
Thief couldn’t get there quick enough, he screamed in anger, he knew the blade would get Fighter before he could get the Ogre.
But Fighter wasn’t about to give up, his muscles tensed, he called upon every reserve of strength and he practically threw the Ogre of himself.
All were aghast, the Ogre was four times the size of Fighter and yet he threw him off.
The Ogre pushed himself into a roll and got onto one knee, unfortunately Thief was waiting, Thief’s rapier shot out and took the Ogre’s left eye.
The Ogre screamed in pain, it reeled back, but White Mage was waiting, she struck the Ogre in the head with her hammer.
It dropped to the floor, Fighter got up and lifted his blade and he finished the Ogre off.
They all dropped to the floor with a sigh of relief, the battled had been tough.
White Mage healed Black Mage and Fighter stood up and said ''We must hurry, more may be on the way, it means a flight into dark, but that’s more preferable than more Ogres, agreed.''
The four nodded and they gathered there packs and with White Mages magic, they ran into the wilderness , with the hunting horns of Ogres chasing them all the way.
Part 3 = the legend of the Red Hellion
Fighter stood in front of the house he grew up in, the pirates had left it alone, for that he was thankful.
The abandoned farm house was outside the city of Pravoka yet far enough for the pirates to leave it, Fighter quickly checked the house one last time and went to meet the others at the master’s grave.
The night before they had been chased by Ogre hunting bands, it was only due to Thief's Elvin sight (elves can see better than humans under the moonlight) and White Mages light spells that they managed to reach the house, the house that they grew up in and the house that the Ogres feared.
Once during there childhood Ogres had attacked the farmhouse, the first time it happened the master instructed them to stay out of the fight and to hide in the house.
But they snuck away from the house and went to watch him fight, he was facing at least 12 Ogres who were looking for plunder, he dealt with them effortlessly, leaving one alive to tell the other Ogres about the house, when they were older, the Ogre that they slew when they were young had a map upon its body and the map had the Ogres biggest warning (a broken skull) next to the house, the one that attacked them must have been trying to make a name for itself.
They relied on the reputation of the house to keep them safe, soon the cries of hunting horns could be heard from further and further away, Thief was right, maybe the master was protecting them, even in death.
Fighter met them at the cliff, only White Mage and Black Mage were there, Thief had left earlier in the day to scope out the city.
White Mage and Black Mage where kneeling at the grave, there heads bowed in prayer to Odin, Fighter joined them at the simple grave site.
It was done in haste, at the time they were preparing to escape from the invasion force of pirates, it was a simple burial site, with the masters sword embedded in the ground, they knew that the house was safe, its reputation was enough.
''When all this prophecy nonsense is over, i will make my fortune and have a grand memorial for you master.’’
His thoughts were interrupted by theirs arrival, Thief moved over to the grave and knelt down, he bowed his head in prayer, they prayed at the grave for a few hours and finally Thief stood up.
''Come, lets go to the house, we have much to discuss.’’
They sat around the table in what was the biggest room of the farm house, Thief pulled a scroll out of, it was a crudely drawn map of Pravoka, Thief rolled it out on the centre of the table.
He cleared his throat and began ''I came upon Pravoka a few hours ago, the guards on the wall were all drunken pirates, but rather than take a chance I noticed that the walls were unmanned, so I scaled over.’’
''I sought out the Thieves guild of Pravoka and I finally got to meet the head himself, he had been wanting to see me, I finally met him Black Tom.’’
''Black Tom told me what happened after the fleet arrived, apparently the pirates sent a messenger on a lifeboat to the town, stating that the fleet would not invade on two conditions, the first being that the pirates were allowed to take control of the town and there leader, the self styled king of pirates, some guy called Bikke, would be the new leader of Pravoka, the second condition was that the current mayor, John Guiley would be locked aboard one of the ships, never to return to the town.’’
Fighter leant forward and said ''So, what happened, did the guards fight valiantly, did they butcher John, what happened.’’
Thief took a sip from his water skin and carried on ''John resigned himself to his fate, he knew that the pirate fleet would win, so he saw no need for pointless bloodshed, he gave himself up and no one stopped him.’’
Fighter leapt out of his seat ''WHAT.’’
Thief sighed ''The people let him go and now, they got what they deserved.’’
''The pirates are a drunken lot and the people of Pravoka are practically there servants and Bikke is the worst, he just lounges in his throne room, yet they are a mighty force anyway, if we go in swords swinging and spell throwing then we will be cut down, but I have a plan.’’
It was nighttimes in the city of Pravoka and the pirate city guards were asleep at there posts, so when four people approached the eastern wall of the city, no notice was taken, so the four Light Warriors managed to sneak into the city unharmed.
Thief led them through numerous back alleys and streets, he was following the crude map that he had used in the house, after half an hour of wandering Fighter grew impatient.
''Where are we going Thief, we will be found by the pirates at this rate,'' Fighter whispered to Thief.
''We are meeting an ally,'' Thief whispered back.
''What, how do you know that it isn’t a trap,'' Fighter hissed at Thief.
''The people we are meeting want to get rid of the pirates as much as we do, they are the remains of the Pravoka guard, them and the Thieves guild, the Black Mage guild and the church of Odin have created a sort of resistance group, they are going to help us get close to Bikke.’’
They went through a few more streets and they finally came to an abandoned building, Thief knocked 12 times on the door, it opened and a man in an apron answered.
''So you are the new people, Black Tom told me about you he and the others are waiting in the main bedroom for you and go through the kitchen there are pirates in the bar ill make sure that the meeting goes undisturbed.’’
The four went through the kitchen and took the stairs, they finally came to the main bedroom, Thief knocked 3 times, they heard a voice whisper ''what’s the password.’’
Thief whispered back ''Shark.’’
The door opened and the four went inside, they saw a dimly lit room with three people inside, the first was an old man dressed in black, he had a certain aura that would make anyone reconsider attacking him, he was as much a legend to the people of Pravoka as much he was infamous to other cities, for Black Tom was once the greatest thief who ever lived and was never caught for a single crime, Thief nodded to Tom and he nodded back, for Tom saw in Thief what he had saw in no other (that is why he agreed to help him) and that was someone who could be a better Thief than he.
The second was a man dressed in white robes, with the symbol of Odin upon it, White Mage bowed as she recognised the head of the Pravoka temple, he was Bishop Enron, he had an aura of holiness that brought tears of reverence to White Mages eyes and yet he seemed saddened, as if the recent events had stunted his power.
The third and last was a diminutive figure, dressed in the robes of a Black Mage, Black Mage recognised him as the head of the order of the Black Mages in Pravoka, the revered Guild master Barnaby, although he was small (he was one of the dwarven race but that did little to stop his ascension in magic) he still was a force to be reckoned with.
The three were sitting around the room, Black Tom called them in while unfurling a map, he called the four to stand in front of him.
''Greetings, Thief knows me, but to the rest of you my name is Black Tom, this is Bishop Enron and last but not least is Guild master Barnaby, and we have called you here because we need your help to get rid of the pirates.’’
Barnaby spoke up ''After Guiley left the pirates took the town, although the guild house and the temple were left untouched most of the city has been demolished by the pirates, most of the former guards and soldiers were exiled, most of them are in the woods outside Pravoka planning to take the city back, but with the pirates numbers they will only be cut down.’’
Enron cleared his throat and took over ''After observing what was happening the three of us contacted each other, we are trying to free Pravoka and together we had an idea, the weakness of any force is there leader and the pirate king Bikke is no exception.’’
Black Tom handed the map he pulled out to Thief ''Here is a map of the city, a more accurate one, this is the city in its present condition and Bikke is constantly watched by at least nine guards, more depending on how drunk or paranoid he is, so the idea we had was that you have to get his attention,you four have to become the greatest pirates in the city.’’
The four light warriors seemed lost for words, they expected some daring raid by the combined rebel forces, not them becoming one of the enemy.
Barnalby pulled a book out of his robes and handed it to Black Mage ''This is a book of pirate legends, customs and beliefs, with your talent it shouldn’t take long for the four of you to impress the other slovenly lot.’’
Fighter turned to Tom and said ''I can understand me and Thief. I can beat any of those idiots in a fight and out strength any of them and Thief may as well be a pirate, he can out-scam any of them but what about White Mage and Black Mage, its going to be harder for them to fit in amongst the pirates.’’
Enron turned to White Mage ''I too had considered this, I also looked through the temple library and I came across a strange legend book about a group of women who worshipped the sea god Leviathan, but the religion died out long ago yet you can pose as one of the members of the sect, although you are pretending to be revering another god, because of your purpose your Magic will stay and who would doubt you.’’
Barnaby turned to Black Mage ''I also thought of this, but there is still Black Mages who travel with crews, who use there magic to aid the vessel and destroy others, all you have to do this put a few shells around your neck and pretend your one that has gone awry and use you power to scare anyone who doubts you, although I don’t condone this use of power your a pirate now, so forget the rules of the order, if the other pirates see you staying your hand then you will be caught and this mission is too important to jeopardise.’’
Black Tom finished the speech ''I will have some of my boys drop of some clothes for you, you need the look and feel of he pirates, then you must start by getting a name for yourselves, go around the taverns of the city and try and impress the locals, that should be a good start, then you should find a man named Hook Peterson, he isn’t hard to find, he has a hook for a left hand, if you can impress him enough then he can arrange a meeting with Bikke, ill arrange it with the innkeeper so you can stay here tonight , tomorrow ill have one of my people bring the clothes, if you need any help contact one of us.’’
Thief turned to the other Light Warriors ''Well are we pirates then?’’
Fighter sighed ''It looks like it.’’
The 'Hook and Hammer' tavern was one of the most dangerous places in Pravoka, due to the name many pirates went in, but most came out carried by the innkeeper the next morning, not a night went by without a brawl or a killing, if a pirate could prove himself here then they would gain the respect of any pirate who couldn’t disprove the tale, it was the roughest bar in the city.
Fighter was sitting on what appeared to be a table, but all the cuts in the wood and blood stains caused doubt on its true form, but the same may also could have been said about Fighter.
He was dressed in a black tunic with metal plates placed in random places on his arms and shoulders, he wore a pair of black breeches with metal knee guards , he still had his sword, but Thief insisted that he keep several daggers on his person, some in open view and some concealed, Thief had also convinced him to keep his hair unkempt and dirty, while the only thing holding it together was a black bandana.
Thief brought a tray with drinks to the table where the others where sitting, he was wearing a long black trench coat with daggers hidden in the sleeves, he had many concealed weapons upon his person, he was going to be dealing with some of the most untrustworthy people in the world, he needed a few surprises to give himself an edge.
White Mage was dressed in blue mottled robes, she wore shells and fish bones across her person (she had many people staring at her when she came in ) she openly wore a symbol of Leviathan ( a blue sea serpent wrapped around a shell) although she wore her symbol of Odin close to her heart ( the six sided red star ) so that she could justify her actions, although what she was doing was (technically) blasphemy, she was only doing it for the good of the innocent, she also had the blessing of the head of the temple and yet she still felt wrong as a priest of a dead religion.
Black Mage was wearing an old robe of his order, but all the arcane symbols had been replaced with names of ports and lines connecting them, it was almost as if his robes were like a map, he also been given a magical staff that had the points of the compass on the top and when he was facing a certain direction then its symbol would light up (if he was facing east then the E on his staff would shine, was an indispensable item for sea wizards) he felt that he looked stupid, but the guild had assured him that he looked like a true wizard.
Thief sat down and gave each of them a tankard filled with some dark brown liquid.
''What is this?'' Fighter asked with a look of disdain.
Thief reached into his pocket ''I asked for the strongest drink available, I figured if it appeared that we drunk some of this vile stuff then we could gain some respect,'' he pulled four small white cubes out of his pocket and passed three of them to Black Mage ''pass them round and slip them in your drinks, these are purification cubes made by the red mages who work for the thieves guilds, slip this in your drink and give it a few seconds, all the alcoholic content will be nullified, it should then be just foul tasting water.’’
Black Mage turned to Thief and said ''Part of the training of my order is too protect against mind numbing influences, it is meant to protect against mind controlling spells, but it also works against drugs and alcohol, not even the strongest ales can affect a Black Mage.’’
Black Mage downed the drink in one, the people at the bar who saw Thief order gasped, everyone who drank Braggers brew went blind for a short time and lost all coherence and yet the strange little man was still sitting straight and asking for another.
White Mage closed her eyes and mouthed a few words, words that only the other Light Warriors could hear.
''Odin, purify all that is wrong, Pure.’’
The ale in front of her slowly changed form to water, she quickly downed the tankard, the people at the bar gasped again.
Thief slipped the tablet in the drink when everyone was looking at White Mage, a few seconds later he drank the drink.
At the far table a large man in a vomit/blood stained shirt stood up, he was the largest man in the bar. Bordering on seven feet and with muscles like steel, he was one of Bikkes crew and one of the most feared pirates in the port, he was known to the other pirates as Crusher (due to his preferred method of killing, smashing his opponents until they stop moving), no pirate could say his name without a slight shudder.
As he was standing Fighter lifted the tankard to his lips, Thief stopped him ''Wait, you didn’t put in your purification cube.’’
Fighter mealy shrugged ''If we are to play by there rules, then we live by there rules,’’ he pulled the tankard to his lips and drank it in one.
Then a fireball exploded in his head, he could feel his mind burning, he was breathing smoke and his conscious thought had escaped him, all things seemed to blot out and were replaced by visions of his nightmares, his mind swam and he fell into his own hatred and then light.
He was then back at the inn, Thief smacking him on the back, White Mage had here hand on his side, she must have used her magic to heal him, he was coughing, Thief whispered in his ear ''You nearly blacked out, you shouldn’t drink pirate ale, they put herbs that change what you see, now pull yourself together, there’s a pirate roughly the size of a house coming our way, this is your department.’’
Crusher moved up to the table and pulled out a club from the back of his belt, it was twice the size of Fighters sword and was studded with rusty nails, he slammed the club on the table and turned to Fighter, Fighter quickly sat up straight and faced the man.
''What a we got here den lads, a few new faces who think they can out drink da Crusher.’’
The people at the table crusher were sitting at and all the people at the bar laughed.
Crusher put his face next to Fighters, Fighter could smell the ale and vomit from his mouth.
''It seems dat dis one here thinks has a swordsman, look at dies pretty ickle tooth pick he has here.’’
The crowd that was gathering around the group laughed louder, Black Mage and White Mage drew upon there spell energy, Thief flicked his wrists under the table and the two daggers that were concealed in his sleeves appeared in his hands.
''But I think dat dis little fell here shouldn’t be carrying such a dangerous weapon, maybe me and the boys should confiscate dis from the little man.’’
Crusher reached out to take Fighters sword from its scabbard, Fighters hand shot out and intercepted his wrist before it got close.
''Don’t you dare touch my weapon, no one touches my weapon.’’
Crusher smiled a toothless smile at him ''So whose is you then.’’
Fighter thought for a second and shot back ''The Red Hellion.’’
Crushers other hand swung lazily towards Fighters head, but Fighters closed fist struck Crushers face as fast as the eye could see, people in the bar merely stared as Crusher fell backwards onto another table and from the floor he shouted ''What are you waiting for lads get him.’’
The fight was on, blades were drawn, bottles were broken and the inn keeper ducked behind the bar and pulled out a sword from below the barrels, it was going to be one of those nights.
Thief crawled under the table and from underneath it he flipped it onto Crushers gang, Black Mage and White Mage stood up and cast there first spells.
‘‘Leviathan, master of the waves hide me within the tides, Invisisbility.’’
White Mage disappeared from view, Black Mage then finished his spell.
''Time bends and breaks you, Slow speed magic.’’
Crushers group slowed down, Black Mage gathered his energies for an attack spell.
Fighter drew his blade and backed away, a chair broke on his back, he turned and punched out the man who hit him, three pirates with knifes leapt at Fighter, he turned and pulled out a dagger from his belt and he leapt to meet them, something that they weren’t expecting, they looked at each other with uncertainty, then with resolve they moved to attack him.
Thief was soon on Crusher, he held a knife to his throat, but with a speed unnatural for his size, he pushed Thief off and into a wall, Thief got back up and saw Crusher charging him, he jumped to the side and barely escaped being crushed, he rolled away and saw Crusher (who had smashed into the wall and fell on his back) getting up, Thief grabbed a chair and threw it at him in an effort to slow him down, Crusher barely noticed in his rage, he charged again.
Black Mage finished his spell , he pointed his hand at a group of the brawlers.
''The power of fire burns to my will, Imix Hatred Magic.’’
Flames leapt from his eyes and into the direction of the brawlers, they ran and most leapt through windows, the bar was starting to empty, then White Mage chose to act.
''Water bless me, Nullify fire.''
The fire in the bar was put out and there was a lot less people there, Fighter was still fending off the pirates with the knifes, Thief was dodging Crushers attacks.
Fighter was outfighting the gang and they knew it, he soon found a hole in there defence and his dagger sank into one of the pirates stomachs, he fell to the floor in agony, the other two crew members ran and leapt through the smashed in windows.
Thief ducked under Crushers punches and saw what he had hoped for... Crusher normally didn’t fight for long... soon his stamina was gone and Thief smashed him with the butt of his dagger and he pushed Crusher over.
Crusher fell back and Thief knelt and placed his dagger at his throat.
''Whets do you want, money, ships, anything, jus don’t kill me,’ Crusher broke down into tears.
Fighter stood over the two and held his blade at his side.
''We are the four who are the terror of the sea, we are the followers of the path of the pirate and all we have seen in this city is laziness and drunkenness, you may be able to arrange the one thing that can spare your life.’’
Crusher’s eyes brightened ''anything.’’
''Arrange a meeting with Bikke, we need to talk with him, I am the Red Hellion and he is sitting in my place.’’
Thief turned and smiled at him, his friend was learning.
White Mage pulled the dagger out of the pirate who Fighter stabbed, then she healed the wound, Black Mage stood at the door with a magical flame hovering above his hand to ward off strangers.
Crusher stood up and quickly left the bar, Thief turned to Fighter and said ''My friend you are learning, you truly look like a pirate king.''
Fighter smiled and put his sword back in its scabbard, he left the bar with his friends and not a single pirate stood in there way.
Part 4 = A King without A Throne
Bikke sat upon the throne, a gift from his men (although it had originally belonged to an Ogre king, the thought was there), he sighed because he missed the sea.
Since the war of the crowns there had been nothing but hardships for the pirate, half of them went to join some army or another and those that stayed had little to no plunder, merchant ships were protected by military ships, towns and farms were guarded and all entry forbidden, times were tough.
But it was due to such problems that he had been able to unite the captains of the other pirate vessels and create an armada, they needed refuge and a permanent base of operations, Pravoka was arguably the weakest of the cities in the area (no one wanted to face the powerful General Garland on the field of battle), yet now he held the city in his grasp, he longed for the life of the of the pirate again, the danger, the excitement, the rewards.
He leaned back in his chair, he couldn’t leave the city, there was a price on his head, if his ship ever left the harbour then he would be killed, and yet the longer he remained in power, the more chance that someone was going to usurp him, he looked at the ring on his finger, he had a few defences yet.
There was a knock on the door to his throne room (formerly the mayor’s office), one of his servants came in.
''Sir the four people who were involved in the 'incident' in the hook and hammer are here sir and they come on the authority of your crew member Crusher, should I allow them entry?''
Bikke cursed under his breath, that stupid Crusher had allowed some unknowns to get close to him, however if there skill was not exaggerated then maybe they could be useful.
An Elvin male entered the room, he was dressed in a long black trenchcoat,he strode straight into the room in front of Bikke and bowed, revealing the rapier kept at his side, Bikke wondered if this was a mistake or a ruse to direct attention away from another weapon.
''Greetings almighty Bikke, I am Black James, me and some associates of mine have come to make you an offer, an offer you can’t refuse.’’
Bikke didn’t seem impressed by this, he fidgeted in his throne.
''May I present to you, the first my group, the warrior extraordinaire, he has slain a thousand men and a thousand more will fall before the tide goes back, for he is the Red Hellion.’’
A large red haired man came into the room, he wore black clothes with metal plates upon his arms and shoulders, at his side he wore a sword that was the length of Bikkes arm, he marched into the room and stood next to Thief and bowed to Bikke.
Bikke still seemed unimpressed, he had seen hundreds of swordsman who claim to be expert swordsman, yet in Bikke’s experience most of his people kill with poison rather than the blade.
''Next is beautiful carrier of a forgotten religion, she is the last sea witch, the last follower of Leviathan, with the power of command over life and death, she is the Siren.’’
A beautiful women wearing a blue robe decorated with shells and fish bones walked in the room, she stood in front of Bikke and bowed to him.
Bikke was doubtful, he had seen many people who had claimed to worship Leviathan, and yet none had ever shown him any proof of White Magic, he had met most of the pirates in the fleet and not a single one had ever heard of a Sea Witch returning, why now when the city was out of danger.
''The last but not least, the terror of the waves, sharks and sahaugin alike change course when they see him, a Sea Wizard of the highest order, the power of lightning itself bends to his command, he is, the Storm.’’
A man in a blue robe with a map apparently drawn on it came into the room...in his life Bikke had met a few Sea Wizards and this one seemed no different.
Black James spoke again ''We have spent time finding your crew, we managed to get enough recommendations to get a meeting with you, for we come to tell you that your reign of terror is at an end.’’
The four drew weapons; Bikke sat up and shouted ''guards!''
The Red Hellion spoke ''We dealt with them on the way in, for you see you made some mistakes during your reign, you left the people who could rise up and defeat you alone, for the former guards of the city have taken most of the barracks in the city, the Thieves Guild have most of the ships out to sea and the Black Mage Guild and the Temple Of Odin have all of your high ranking men under lock and key and now, we the Light Warriors have come to deal with you, your time as king is over.’’
Bikke laughed ''Do you think that I would leave myself undefended,'' he held up a ring on his left hand ''by the power of the sea, command the greatest warriors of the fallen sea to rise, RISE!’’
A strange light emanated from Bikke’s ring, suddenly nine beams of light shot out and touched the floor and then a flash erupted from each spot and in its place, a skeleton armed in ancient armour with a cutlass appeared, Bikke stood up and pulled a two daggers from his belt.
''How long do you think the former guards will hold the city, we outnumber them 3 to 1, and how long can a bunch of thieves hold a ship on the rough sea for and I taught my men about them Mages, we know how to fight them, when they run out of magic then they are easy to fight, my men like it here and we aint leaving without a fight, lads attack.’’
The skeletons eyes shone red, they lifted there weapons and emitted an unearthly scream, they charged the Light Warriors.
White Mage called upon her power, the undead were her department, Black Mage knew that fire was powerful against undead, they both drew upon there energy, it was up to Fighter and Thief to stop the skeletons getting to them.
Fighter and Thief pulled together, they drew there weapons and prepared to meet the attack.
Bikke threw one of his daggers at Thief, he easily knocked it out of the air with the butt of his own dagger, Fighter marvelled at the precision and skill of the attack, then a skeletons blade came at him.
Fighter was soon facing five blades, he ducked and struck out at the first skeleton, his sword merely deflected of the bones... sharp weapons would not work against bones and armour.
Thief was concentrating on defence, he ducked and dodged the blades easily, but he was getting pushed back, he couldn’t last longer, they needed the mages help.
Then White Mages clear voice rang out, she finished her spell.
''Zanetsuken, sever the tie of death in life, Harm.’’
Nine blades of light sprang into being, the blades slashed at the undead, they were carving away at the very force keeping them together.
Black Mage started chanting, Fighter and Thief knew of the undead weakness to fire, they leapt to either side.
''The power of fire burns to my will, Imix hatred magic.’’
Fire shot from Black Mages eyes, it enveloped the skeletons, the bones started to crack, then crumble into dust.
All that was left of Bikkes mighty warriors was a pile of hot dust, Bikke cowered in the corner in fear, it was times like this that he wished he had a secret passage installed.
Fighter walked over to Bikke and put the tip of his sword against his neck, Bikke became desperate.
''What do you want, I can get it, gold, a fleet, you can be king just don’t kill me.’’
Fighter looked Bikke in the eyes, Fighter pulled Bikke onto his feet.
''Your reign is at an end, come, its time for things for to be settled once and for all.''
A week later the new Pravoka fleet had taken to water, a peace treaty had been signed, the pirates had agreed to become a fleet for the newly aligned cities of Pravoka-Corenia, John Guiley had been reinstated as mayor and soon the Pravoka guards had taken to the streets again, for the first time since the war of crowns a truly peaceful alliance had been started.
Bikkes fate had been beneficial for all, he was now the captain of the greatest ship of the fleet, ‘The hope', the personal vassal of the Light Warriors and it was time for the Light Warriors to leave.
The Light Warriors were preparing to leave, there first stop was the capitol of the Eleven lands, know in elfish as Qualinost, but to the humans and dwarves they merely called it Elfland.
They had been called for a personal meeting with the mayor, a farewell.
They entered the hall where they fought Bikke, it had been restored to its former glory, a long table had been set across the room; sitting at the end was the mayor, John Guiley.
They had not seen him much over the years, he would visit the house on rare occasions because he was a friend of the master, he wasn’t an old man, yet his ordeal on Bikkes ship had made him seem ancient, it was almost as if he had aged twenty years while on the boat, his hair had thinned and was greying, his skin seemed worn and was full of lines, he had a hacking cough that kicked in whenever he breathed any sort of smoke or fog, he was mess.
He bade for the Light Warriors to sit down, he looked up and smiled.
''So you are the Light Warriors, I knew old Berrandar had something special planned in that house, but training the Light Warriors, how is he anyway.’’
The Light Warriors faces turned downcast, John understood ''I see, he was a great man, among is own people and among us, I will make sure a monument is created for the greatest hero of an age, my old friend'' tears welled in the old man’s eyes.
''Don’t worry ill make sure that Berrandar is recognised for all the work he has done for good, but that is not why I truly called you here.’’
''I have for you a letter to give to the Elvin king it is signed and has the signet of me and the king of Corenia, it proposes an alliance, but I do not think it will work, word from Elfland is that the prince of the elves was attacked by a Dark elf who had fled into Elfland and was cast out, but before he left he shot the prince with a poisoned dart , it was the princes hunting party that was chasing him. his men had to take the prince back and the poison is so effective that it leaves the prince on the border of life and death, he is alive but his mind is dead, so I don’t think that the elves are too interested in peace.''
John started to cough, he pulled a bottle of purple liquid out of his coat and drank it, it smelt horrible, White Mage knew what it was.
''Bacchus wine,'' she said.
''Yes,'' he replied ''I was given it by the White Mages, it tastes fowl but it is supposed to heal my throat.''
''Anyway, I have had the ship supplied for the journey, watch the waves for Sahuagin, they are nasty creatures who try and sink ships, I wish you good luck in your journey and I hope you know that Berrendar did a fine job of raising you, he is very proud i am sure.’’
The Light Warriors thanked John Guiley, when they left he retired to his private chamber, there in the silence, he said goodbye to a fallen friend.
The Light Warriors were on the water the next day, Bikke had called them to the captain’s hold, there Bikke had all the maps displayed.
''So is Elfland our next destination then, from what I hear there’s trouble going on in Elfland, since the Queen left years ago the country has been on the brink of civil war and the whole prince thing has escalated it, are you sure you want to go.’’
Thief looked downcast, he pulled the map towards himself and looked at Elfland.
''If my people are in trouble, then I want to see what we can do to help, I have always wanted to see my people, to see if I could find the fate of my parents, Arthur, Cid, Nina, do you wish to go.’’
Fighter put his hand on theirs shoulder and smiled.
Bikke knew what the destination was, words didn’t need to be said, between friends.
''Crusher set sail for Elfland.’’