Wandering Through Terran: Chapter 02

January 1, 2010

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Link to the archives…

Chapter Two: The Meeting

Where a Hero Learns How Much Danger

He’s Actually In and a Quest Begins…

The soldier was called Dayspring, a captain in the Royal Guard of Tryps. He and his companions had traveled through what his people called the Deserts of the Damned to reach the Temple of Myr where they would seek the aid of Layla, the High Priestess of Myr. Each wore the standard black armor and heavy leather standard for those in their line of work—a foolish garb for traveling in the desert, but very intimidating should they meet anyone in the blistering heat. Each carried a large traveling bag across their back and a sword on their belt. With shaggy black hair, Dayspring sweat heavily in the scorching sun of the desert. They reached the temple as their canteens ran out of water. The great pyramid loomed before them, built around an oasis in the desert. He climbed the stairs to the temple, the only significant discomfort coming from having worn his armor for almost a full week. The two guards assigned by King Lang followed closely, their glare piercing his thoughts.

For the sake of the Myr! Dayspring thought. You guys could at least attempt to conceal that you are here to kill me once we have what we’re looking for. You’re just being rude now.

He reached the ornate golden gates to the temple and stopped, pausing in the shade as he turned to his companions. He looked back to his two companions. They each stood ready.

I should go in alone,” Dayspring said. “They might think it’s disrespectful for armed men to enter.”

We go where you go,” Olaf said. “Those are our orders and we are bound to them.”

What a bastard, Dayspring thought.

Whatever you say,” Dayspring replied.

Dayspring reached for the large knocker and struck it twice. Stepping back, he waited for the door to open. The doors slowly parted, a stewardess bidding them enter. They entered the temple, the gates opening slowly as they approached. Within they saw the seat of the priestess remained empty but saw a flurry of activity around the room. An attendant asked their purpose and Dayspring answered quickly. The attendant nodded and moved away.

puup

Eseen dressed in her light green robes as the knights entered in the anteroom below, the sound echoing up to her room as she adjusted the sash around her thin hips. She was a very slight and thin girl, a cause for much concern with her mother. A lithe picture of beauty in her loose fitting and exaggerated clothing, she was a skilled mage within the ranks of the magicians and wizards at the temple. Moving out the door to the balcony overlooking the main chamber as she tied her long brown hair into a braid, she saw them enter the chamber. She carefully watched the way they moved, recognizing the roles each of them were assuming. Her father’s teachings ran through her mind as she studied them, closely analyzing their movements as she braided her hair in tight rows circling her scalp.

One of them is assigned to kill the leader of their group once this trip is done, she thought. The other… I’m not sure. Something about him remains concealed. The leader knows they’ve been told to kill him. So he’s got a plan. He’s going to survive this unless something goes horribly wrong. He’s got the capacity to do it if he keeps his head and holds true. I’d like the opportunity to get to know him better…

What do you think of our guests?”

She turned to her father, the wizard known as Slant. He had been silently waiting on the balcony as she finished dressing. He wore ordinary brown robes and carried a heavy staff, looking deceptively plain and simple. His short blond hair was beginning to thin after years of traveling, but he still looked fairly youthful.

I’m curious how long he’ll stay alive,” she said softly. Her voice was melodious, but calm. “Although… it does look to be less of a challenge than I would have ventured to guess.”

Slant smiled.

One would hope that Lang would have more skilled assassins within his ranks,” he agreed. She noted how he did not say king. Throughout the years, her father had associated with a variety of nobles and had formed opinions on each of them. “The second companion is questionable. He’s another assassin to be sure. But his assignment seems less clear. Regardless, I think the lead one there has potential to prove fascinating.”

Why is he here?” she asked.

I think that’s something you should hear from him,” Slant said. “Come along. Your mother will want us there for consultation.”

puup

Dayspring stood in the anteroom before the dais, where Layla sat in the High Priestess’s chair. Though older, Dayspring and his companions could not help but admire the stern beauty of the raven-haired Priestess. Dressed in a flowing white gown with a small crystal headdress on, she gave off a cold purity that scared them. She remained still until all the priestesses and mages and other magicians had filed into the room. When Slant and Eseen took their positions beside the dais, she spoke.

Honorable knights,” she said. “I and all those assembled here welcome you to the Temple of Myr. We greet you under terms of the Great Covenant, and offer you counsel on any matter we give it on. Though your kingdom does not recognize the Pact of Terran, we welcome you with all accommodations that it would necessitate.”

She watched the two companions. Their intentions were a mystery to her, but she could sense their ill will. Her husband had often spoke of his dislike for the present king of Tryps, and this group did little to dissuade his opinions. Still, the lead knight did not seem entirely deceitful.

Gracious servants of Myr,” Dayspring said. “I thank thee for your warm welcome and kind offerings. I am Dayspring of the Tund, Captain in the Royal Guard and Knight of Tryps. I have come to request the loan of the Vuku Gem.”

Layla laughed grimly.

Good knight, your kingdom is ill-informed on certain matters,” she said. “The Gem you seek is not here. It was taken from these halls a thousand years ago by Mikai, the Kani mage. We do not know where the Gem is, and our last attempt to retrieve it ended in failure. Might I ask you what need there is for such an obscure relic?”

It is my quest to bring it to my King for defense,” Dayspring said. “Our land is beset by a perilous evil.”

And what evil is so perilous that the King of Tryps requires such a journey on your part?” Layla asked.

A Dark Elf has risen against our nation,” Dayspring said. “He has cast a blight on our land. Our information tells us that he is called Duneway. He is raising an army of ghouls and we need powerful magics to confront his menace.”

Layla looked to Slant with a raised eyebrow and the slightest grin. He smiled wryly and nodded. Standing, Layla smiled as she turned her focus back to Dayspring.

Come with me Knight,” she said. “I think there are a great many things you should know before we proceed further. You and I must speak alone for a moment.”

puup

Eseen turned to Slant. Seeing the expression on his face, she could tell he was disturbed the mentioning of a dark elf. Her history with them was just another factor in that opinion.

You know Duneway,” she whispered.

Come with me,” he said. They moved into an alcove away from the attendants. “Yes, I do know him. When I was younger and known for doing battle with Dark Elves, I fought Duneway and his brothers. The battle ended in a stalemate for the most part, the both of us too drained to continue. I recently heard he was seen in Resa, but was unable to investigate it myself. He’s choosing his targets carefully.”

What do you mean?”

Resa was the site where I defeated him and his brother, your adoptive father, Urborg. Where Duneway hatched a plot to steal you from me. He’s trying to get my attention.”

Vengeance.”

Seems quite likely. My worst fears are coming true. Despite being unable to ultimately defeat him, I did bind him and strip him of his power on that night years ago. I exiled him. Now he is returning.”

Can you defeat him again?” she asked.

I do not know,” he said. “From what the knights have said, he has acquired some new power that Lang and the wizards of Tryps cannot overcome. Until I know what gave him this power and its nature, I do not know if I can face him. I will ask these knights more of it and see what that tells me. But we will find out about it later.”

puup

Layla sat down in her private office, offering Dayspring a seat across the desk. He did so, glancing out the room nervously. It was a larger room than he expected, with a great many paintings and tapestries hanging from the walls.

It will be miraculous if you live to see the end of the month,” she said.

Olaf and Rick are painfully transparent,” he said. “King Lang was told by the soothsayers that only I could find the Gem. He does not trust me. On our return journey, they are to kill me.”

I see,” Layla said. “Dayspring. You said you were of the Tund. You have an interesting name. From one of the frontier clans in the annexes?”

I am of the Nord Clan,” he said.

Interesting. I come from the Kyrie Clan myself. I studied the healing arts of the Nord Clan in my childhood. Very complex arts. There are a great many things happening that you should be aware of. Like the banning of the Rangers from Aven. Reports from the Citadel of the Rangers indicate that they are even now contemplating how best to respond. I have communed with some of the wizards in Aven over the crystals and they express a grave concern for the happenings there.”

What does that have to do with me?”

The High King of Aven, King of the Kings in Terran, is in some unknown danger from beyond my sight. And now you come to me asking for aid against a Dark Elf. In some ways I suspect the two are connected… Eventually it will have to be confronted by us all. And I suspect there are hidden connections to your own case that you do not see yet.”

I see.”

Dayspring is your open name. What’s your name among our people?”

Why do you ask?”

I intend to save your life and perhaps more. All I ask in return is your clan name. Do not worry. It will remain with me alone, as the honor of the Tund dictates.”

puup

From the alcove in the audience chamber, Eseen watched as Layla and Dayspring came out of the office. She noticed her mother’s smile, as though the knight had instantly become a friend. A small thing, but it comforted her mind. Layla ascended the dais once again to take her seat as the Knight retook his position before the platform. Both looked calm as they returned to the places they were before.

It is the will of the High Priestess that our agents will go forth from the temple to assist these knights in retrieving the Vuku Gem,” Layla said. “I will choose two of our soldiers to accompany the Knights on our quest, adding their own skills of combat to those of the knights. However, this quest is not one for warriors alone. I ask for the magicians to find the courage to accompany the party on this quest. Who answers my call?”

Silence throughout the hall.

Slant stepped forward.

Slant, wizard of Dello, answers the call,” he said. He looked to his daughter expectantly.

Eseen stepped forward.

Eseen, Mage of the Forest answers the call,” she said.

Layla nodded.

Go then with my blessings,” she said. “May the Myr guide you truthfully.”

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One Response to “Wandering Through Terran: Chapter 02”

  1. ahelmic6 said

    Very interesting… 😀

    ~~~~

    Within they saw the seat of the priest remained empty but saw a flurry of activity around the room.

    known for doing battled with Dark Elves

    with a great man paintings and tapestries hanging from the walls.

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