The Tale of a Hero
Hello everyone! I've posted a story much similar to this one way back when. I was digging through my computer files and suddenly, this old story appeared before my eyes. I looked at it, and made so many major tweaks to the storyline. I have already planned out most of the story and I will be releasing bit by bit every little while to keep the suspense coming. Please post any constructive criticism you have because I truly value what you have to say! Thanks guys, enjoy!
Prologue:A long cold, dreary winter night passed. Hours were wasted generously as many fell or in fact were asleep. Towards midnight, it all seemed awfully quiet, as a normal night might normally suggest. Tonight though was much different. By this hour, it was apparent that many if not all were sleeping. As the dust rose from the very foundation of mighty, brick-built fortress, six shadowy figures encroached upon it without a whisper that their current location was established successfully. More and more dark silhouttes came by the minute, with a dark and mystifying horror that surrounded their approach. Hundreds, if not thousands were in attendance.
The fires upon the torches of these operators cackled angrily with the brittle air of winter, but this sound was quickly overturned by the mystery of a dignified hum that began amongst them. A common lad would believe them all to be mad. These hums slowly ascended into a deep-seated chant, but the echo could not be heard within a mile of them. The dark of night swallowed any sound they might have made. An old Mahjarrat tune began to be played on the drums of younger marching boys, and the sound of war was in the air. This regime was beginning to threaten the peaceful atmosphere throughout the area. Death would be rewarded to the man responsible for this, though he was not hard to distinguish from the rest. A tall, firm man. Heavily dressed in a deep crimson-color, similar to the blood that has been shed at the hands of this parasitic creature. Him and his undying lust for rebellion, and a defying thirst for power made all shudder when they heard the name... Zamorak.
Still standing in the stillness of night, the sound of war grew larger, the sickening chants grew louder, and the emotional hostility grew stronger. All this was broken, as an axe beheads a man, this man's voice made all fractions of commotion subside.
"Let's go." he spoke, in his sharp demanding tone, as a massive amount of Mahjarrat behind the five commanders followed him inside the fortress.
"Men, you are to kill any obeyer or protector of Zaros. Do not let any get away, keep attacking even if the next man falls. Your eyes are to be fixed on what is ahead, and not to your sides or rear. This loss we cannot endure." Lord Drakan commanded. Everyone marched forward and nodded. They knew the importance of this rebellion.
"For ZAMORAK!" they yelled, charging, as they all ran for the main fortress door. Armed with logs to charge the door, they made a swift stampede. Without breaking a sweat, the lead men broke in the door. Laughter erupted as they piled in.
"You call this a heavily guarded facility?" Thammoran chuckled, stepping in through the main gate, behind him were the other cheifs. Upon entering, they gazed upon the inside of the fortress, and surveyed the battle ground.
Silence broke out once more as they began to establish themselves in a position. Finally, the commanders fired spells to give a rude awakening to the residents without hesitation. There was no delayed reaction from the opposition as they quickly began to retaliate. Now, a sea of spells flooded throughout the fortress as it broke out in an intense warlike situation. All combatants were in an intense melee. The rangers fought from behind men and the mages were screaming out all kinds of spells. Magic was the main portion of battle.
Zamorak slowly made his way into the building, as to not be detected. Walking through the melee, he dodged many of the attacks. Once it became apparant who he was, the Zarosian loyalists turned their attention to him, as to look to recieve orders. He was, in fact, their army leader.
He looked upon them with a smile on his face, and ordered them to assume the position. They followed his orders precisely.
"I want all this combat to end, now," Zamorak said.
He then began to speak in a language which was not understandable. It seemed to be a Mahjarrat dialect.
"Meco oijn su ni er yramy, erbtay Zaros, ro ied tiwh het sert fo hemt."
Quickly, a few Zarosian loyalists walked toward the opposition's side, and faced their own in treason. Others dropped their weapons, and some had their mouth's gaping wide open in shock as to what just occurred.
Zamorak began to laugh as he screamed "ATTACK!"
The Zarosians turned around to regroup, some ran away, and the some stayed to hold thier ground. The combat resumed as more and more Zarosians fell. It was apparant Zaros' fortress was not holding up well against this surprise attack.
Suddenly, more and more Zarosians appeared to replace the fallen combatants, and began to give a decent challenge to the Zamorakian army.
"I hope you know that the Mahjarrat population is split. Many are still loyal to Zaros." Hazeel shouted, while in combat. "There just might be too many to handle here!"
"I know," said Zamorak, "Just continue attacking. Don't give up."
The Mahjarrat are an elite race that enjoy war very much in Zamorak's eyes. They originated in the realm of Freneskae and many came into the realm of Gielinor. Zamorak was one of these people. If there are any on the other end like Zamorak, they won't go down without a fight, and a good fight at that.
Soon after the combat began to take its toll on both armies, Zamorak quickly fled to find what he came to take. He brought some loyalists with him, as he began to make his way toward the heart of the fortress. There he would find the power he wanted.
As he approached the heart of the fortress with his followers, he was greeted by an unwanted guest...
They stared at eachother. No one dared say a word. It was a while before any action was taken. Zamorak then continued running to the throne room, as if nothing stood in his way. The guest blocked his path by following him closely. Then, he spoke.
"Zamorak! Stop, you fiend!" Brayet shouted, running after Zamorak.
"He's got the staff! Get him... GET HIM!" He alarmed his army, as Zamorak held the staff tightly and made a run for it. Everyone was alarmed and knew exactly where he was going. Quickly, massive amounts of people hurried towards the chase of their master.
Zamorak then made his way into the palace, he was almost there, panting heavily with the rush of adrenaline tingling up his spine. He was at a full sprint. "Fools!" he yelled, cutting a corner, "You dare oppose me?" He was cornered after the next turn in the palace hall, his face was red with anger. He screamed an incantation to throw about fifty people into the air as a fire spell burned them all. There was quite some chatter going on in the fortress now. Some that saw this were frightened, others even ran away from this monstrosity. The assistance to the rebellion, Thammaron, Hazeel and Lord Drakan cleaned up what Zamorak didn't kill. Corner after corner, Zamorak continued to fight his was through the multitude of people to get to entrance of the sacred room.
Finally, he turned to the last corner when he had one last person standing in his way, the same person it had been all along.
"We cannot allow this to happen Zamorak!" Brayet shouted. Zamorak did nothing but ignore it. Brayet was his co-commander in Zaros' Army, and one of his closest friends, it was apparent that Zamorak was hurt emotionally by this opposition, "What are you doing? Have you gone mad?"
"You can say so." Zamorak said, "Just know that I am not like any of you pitiful Mahjarrat. I won't allow Zaros to continue to be the storm raging over my head. I have an undying lust for power. I feel there is an evil in my heart that only Godhood can cure!"
"You are going against everything! Zaros did everything for you!" Brayet said, "He made you the leader of his army, he gave you fame, and he granted you the fortune you desired. After all of this you return for more? Zamorak... That's enough!"
"Zaros may be my master, he may rule over me, but I know I am a more eminent force to be reckoned with. I can do greater, more extraordinary things than he ever will!" he protested.
It seemed the projection of his voice made the palace begin to shake in fear. The walls began to crumble. "He's the only one standing in my way! I am an elite of Mahjarrat race, and as such I want him out! Nobody will stand in my way! Not even you!" Zamorak screamed.
"Shut up!" Brayet said, "I am your friend, I want you to be the best in whatever you can, but Zaros is too much of an elite for you to take, he'll kill you on the spot for a rebellion like this! If you were to take Zaros' spot, you wouldn't know how to control that kind of power! I am not betraying Zaros because of your selfish desires!"
"I don't care anymore! I told you, I am more distinguished! I am going to remove Zaros from my life, he is the only thing that haunts me!" Zamorak argued back. "With a massive ego like mine, you don't want anybody to be better than you! NO ONE!"
The dust from the crumbling walls began to rise and fill the empty gaps of the room.
"Then I have no choice, my friend," Brayet coughed, with dust in his face, as he drew his sword. He prepared to kill his best friend.
Zamorak, full of anger, only replied, "So be it," as he walked towards his opponent. A long silence arose. Finally Brayet rounded up the emotional strength that he could and began to charge at Zamorak.
Zamorak looked at this with an ugly enthusiasm, as he drew the staff to prepare a deadly spell. However, his conscious couldn't seem to find the strength to attack him. He had a fury in his eyes, but it couldn't find a way to break through and let it control him. He looked at his peer, and dodged the attack that Brayet ran at him with.
"What's the matter Zamorak?" Brayet chuckled, "Can't seem to find it in your heart to kill me?" Brayet continued to laugh, where then Zamorak interrupted,
"I, I can't," he sighed.
"This is why you cannot face Zaros, I see you have the intentions to be better in your heart but you don't know what to do with them. You don't know how to let your anger control you. If you did you could kill me with no regret." Brayet said, still laughing.
"You dare mock me, Brayet?" Zamorak said, looking more infuriated by the moment. "I'll kill you, believe me."
"Prove it," Brayet said as he once again charged at his friend, ready to slash him with the sword that might save Zaros, "You're weak... I am disgusted."
Zamorak just stared as he came closer. He was coming within such a close range and Zamorak did nothing, he just stood. Brayet screamed at the top of his lungs, "Goodbye, my brother!"
The dust in the room covered just about everything by now, but the two men were eyeballing each other and with an intense accuracy that could not be diminished.
Finally, Zamorak looked up at Brayet once he was just about slashing his sword at him. He knew he was finished. Brayet's sword swung and made contact with Zamorak, right across the head. As Brayet smiled to know that the opposition was destroyed, his chuckles immediately diminished once he found that no injuries occurred whatsoever. No blood, not even a scratch. Brayet looked on, surprised. "What the-".
"I have beaten you, Brayet." Zamorak said, now chuckling, as he eyed him with such a fury that his entire body was in a deep crimson-red color and it began to glow. He looked up and drew the staff of Armadyl.
As he threw spells and curses at Brayet, he saw nothing but a bright red light. Unfortunately for Zaros, this was the last thing Brayet ever saw. The curse killed the mighty co-commander of the Zarosian Army. Zamorak looked on without a bit of remorse at his fallen foe and one time friend. With an evil laugh, he spoke beyond the dust and debris that rose in the air, with a thunderous noise that the entire fortress could hear, "Disgusting- all of you. So evil, yet so weak."
To add insult to injury, Zamorak took him and burned his body. "Farewell... my friend," he said, as he watched the flames eat at Brayet's body. Once the fire extinguished, he bent over to pick up the ashes, and stored them in a container which he placed under his cloak.
Thammaron, Hazeel and Lord Drakan chuckled at the sight of the death. Zamorak was also pleased, but he didn't lose focus. "Go look around for anymore disturbances," he commanded, "I'm going to take care of Zaros."
They nodded without saying a word. "I don't believe there are anymore Zarosian loyalist trash here, if any, our army cleaned it up for sure." Thammaron said.
The other two nodded and laughed triumphantly. However, interrupting the celebration were the mighty Dragon Riders and Azzanadra to take out the assistance. Zamorak's army showed up just in time to assist in the fight. They all assembled against eachother outside the throne room door, however it was too late. Zamorak was undetected in the madness, and made his way into the throne room.
Azzanadra laughed as he spoke, "You're all finished. If it's Zaros who you chose to oppose, you will lose. My power is too much for you... All of you!"
And the fight outside the throne room began. Azzandra brilliantly fought against the army and took down the numbers a big amount. The commanders and the Dragon Riders fought. While after a while Azzandra began to fight the commanders as well. It was a very well fought battle. However, it seemed to be getting nowhere.
Zamorak creeped open the door and ran up to Zaros. He pulled out the sacred staff and held it right before his eyes. His hands were trembling, and he was very nervous. This was the moment he was waiting for. Zaros did nothing but stare at the marvelous site.
"This is the staff that will give me Godhood?" Zamorak asked.
Zaros answered, with his voice so mighty it shook the fortress walls as they crumbled more and more, "Why do you come forth to me and ask such a question?"
Zamorak did not speak, he just gazed at the staff in his hands, and peered up at Zaros.
"If it is my knowledge that you seek, it is a thought that tells me you would like something."
"Of course Master, I seek your knowledge to become mighty much like yourself," he joked, "I want to know the true power of this staff. It gives me Godhood no doubt and I know you have something to do with it, so make this easy on yourself and tell me."
"I refuse," Zaros said, very pompously.
"Tell me you fool!" Zamorak said, "Tell me before this has to get ugly."
"Has it not already? You came in here, uninvited, when I have given you everything you could possibly want, you knocked out most of my army, you killed my co-commander, and as we speak, you have minions outside fighting my guards." Zaros said, "Is this your definition of wisdom and true Godhood, Zamorak?"
Zamorak began to build up in his rage. "I want Godhood, Zaros, I want it now!"
"No need to swim in your despicable fury," Zaros said, "You'll be too caught up in your own ambition that you cannot possibly do anything to take my power from me, or put yourself in my place. If this is what you truly want, I can only tell you... If you want it, you need to earn it."
Zaros stood up, and he stared blankly.
"Master," Zamorak said, "I have no choice,"
Zaros angrily looked down and made eye contact with Zamorak.
"I am better than you!" He yelled, "I can do things you couldn't dream of doing, I want more than I already am! My thirst for never ending power will get me places you'll never be able to! This is it, my Master!"
"You have brought this upon yourself Zamorak!" Zaros exclaimed, "You give me no choice as well."
A rage built up in both of them, as they threw spells at each other. Zaros began to collect power to make a Godly, and deadly incantation to rid himself of Zamorak. The throne room seemed to explode with a mighty power. They both knew the fortress would not last much longer.
Zaros knew how to control his rage, and made it his power. Zamorak, on the other hand, fought with the sole purpose of winning and used his rage to get there, without controlling it. The battle went on for a while as spells continued to launch back and forth. The battle seemed to be going no where. Zamorak seemed to have trouble holding his own, and his defenses were lacking.
Zaros nearly broke all of Zamorak's defense and was just about to fire his Godly incantation. Zamorak was struggling, he couldn't risk another mistake. Eventually, he did make a mistake and the incantation was fired. Zamorak fleed very luckily, and as he did he ran towards Zaros with the staff. Zaros, shocked at the sight of Zamorak running at him began to make a run for it. Zamorak eagerly slammed the staff on his cloak, causing him to trip.
Zamorak immediately picked up the staff and impaled it directly into the back of Zaros.The room instantly shot up with white lights, "NOOOOO!" Zaros screamed, as it donned Zamorak with Godhood.
Immediately, Zamorak grew in height, his muscle mass increased, and a lifetime's amount of knowledge all changed him. The soul patch that was on his face now became a full-grown beard, and his hair began to recede and gray. His senses immediately became acute, his hearing could hear anything he'd like all over Gielinor, his touch became so sensitive that he could feel the item he touched right down to the atom, his sight immediately sharpened, allowing him to see even the tiniest of objects, his smell also sharpened which allowed him to detect even the scent of a human being within thousands of feet of him.
The only detection he could not sense, was the whereabouts of Zaros. They were nowhere to be found, but his power was felt inside the staff of Armadyl. However, as he searched the grounds, the legendary Godsword appeared before his eyes.
"Is this the Godsword that Zaros created?" Zamorak said, pondering. "Ah, I understand, it has to be given to the one who defeats him." As he laughed very loud in such an evil tone, it shook all of Gielinor. "I have defeated Zaros, he is stuck in the staff! He is no longer the one who haunts me!" He went over to touch the sword, and as he did, it rose to the top of the world slowly, and shattered, and with the pieces spread out upon all of Gielinor. "Hm? How did this happen?" Zamorak questioned, "Well, no matter, I will easily retrieve it, and become the most powerful being there is!"
And indeed, he did defeat Zaros, and became the one we know now as the God of Evil. As Zamorak continued to laugh, a much greater force entered the throne room. Lights everywhere, green fog and an immense amount of power appeared all at the same time. The great god Guthix, the creator of Gielinor appeared before the new god, infuriated.
Zamorak was truly frightened at the sight of Guthix. Then, Guthix spoke, and in the process caused what seemed like an earthquake with every word he spoke, "You!" He said pointing at Zamorak, "How dare you take out one of my own!"
Zamorak was speechless, he didn't know what to say at all. Guthix looked at him, "Since you have commited such heinous acts, you have removed balance from my universe. I cannot remove your power, but I can remove you from Gielinor, in which you are hereby expelled and never to return."
The expulsion of Zamorak was immediate, and it was known very quickly. A huge split between most of the population occured, whether to stay loyal to Zaros, or convert to the new God of Evil, Zamorak.
After hours of tossing and turning, I finally woke up from a horrible nightmare. What did this have to do with anything that is occuring in my life right now. I don't know if it was some kind of message sent to me from a higher being. Could it be the diety of Zamorak was toying with my head?
I removed the bed covers and jumped out of bed. I quickly draped my cloak on and opened my door to see the encampment outside. It was very early outside, possibly three o'clock in the morning or so.
I sought out help but everyone was sleeping, so reluctantly I forced myself inside and read a book for the next few hours until I could speak to someone for the help I seek.
My name is Dura, and here is my story...
Chapter 1 - Surveying the Salve
It seemed like ages for an appropriate time to lift my head from the pages of my book to go outside and seek out help in my encampment. The nightmare that Zamorak cursed upon my mind still haunted my thoughts. Needless to say, I was very paranoid. Even a bird's chirping outside my tent made me think of the sounds of those horrific spells being fired.
My german shepherd puppy, Sage, was playing around with various chew toys and whining at me for some breakfast. He seemed completely mellow as well, which bothered me in a way. He usually knew what I was thinking just by the expression on my face.
I played with Sage for a little while, but eventually he was too tired and went to sleep once more. As he fell asleep, the sun was just about coming up. I continued to wait. I picked the book back up and read again. Then, I finally set the book down and prepared myself to go about half an hour later. I let an hour pass for it to be seven o'clock, for me to finally head outside. I opened the tent's flaps to head out.
I was greeted on the road by a stray dog, who continued to pester me for a bone. I tried shooing it away but it was no help at all. I then found some bones of a dead rat along the road, and gave it the the dog, who was very joyful now. The dog reminded me of Sage quite a bit. I felt bad that I left him in the tent and didn't bring him along. He could've played around with the stray for a while in order to ease what was going on for me.
The dog finally left and I followed the road down to find some place or someone who could help me. An idea finally hit my head... I'll visit the elders of the encampment. Their sound knowledge might be able to help me with something like this. I trotted along the road to the heart of the encampment, where a building for town meetings and such is currently being built, as we are beginning to build a city.
When I finally made it, I searched the grounds to see if any elders were present, and to my luck, there was one. While I was running towards him, I seemed to have startled him.
"Er- hello, young one," he said, "Are you..." he stared at me for a bit, as if he were to say my name, but he finally said, "In need of something?"
"Hello sir," I said, "Yes, I am in need of something, but it's a bit odd."
"I see," he spoke, "I have a question for you, however."
"Yes sir," I said.
"Is your name by any chance, Dura?" he said inquisitively.
"That would be me," I grinned.
"Ah, I see," he said, "Well, I am Elder Jack, I apologize for not knowing you. It is a shame, considering I am one of the main surveyors of these grounds, I should've met you sometime while I was out and about. This is what age does to you, I suppose," he chuckled, while I smiled at the comment.
"Nice to meet you sir," I said, "So you're a surveyor..."
I smiled at the thought of this. Maybe he had seen something that could help me ease my thoughts a bit. Or at least figure out the mystery of why this evil being sent this vision into my head.
"Yes, yes I am dear boy," he said.
"You've surveyed most of these grounds?" I responded.
"Yes, since I was about your age, sixteen or so," he said.
He was remarkably close. I am age fifteen at the moment.
"How far have you gotten to?" I asked,
"About to the River Salve, way far east of here," he said, "I don't plan on going far beyond it, it's dangerous beyond that point. Many ghosts and other wicked beings occupy the land now."
"Interesting," I said, "Is that the Morytania Region? I read it in a book earlier today, that ghosts and other beings occupy a haunted region similar to it in the east."
"Yes, it is known as the Morytania Region. We are speaking of the same place." He said, "Those are the lands that Zaros used to occupy largely of, as well as the Asgarnia region where the Avarrocka encampment is located now and a large amount of the Northern Regions."
The name Zaros sent shivers down my spine. I forgot about my dream during the conversation, and now I feel paranoid once more. I stalled for a while.
"Dura?" He said, "Are you alright, boy?"
I remained shocked, and didn't say anything for a few seconds.
"Sir, the thing I came to ask you about is... it's about a dream, well, nightmare that I had," I said, "I wanted to see if it meant anything."
He looked at me, and nodded. I knew he was paying close attention.
"I had a dream about that diety that the Mahjarrat follow, the expelled one. Not Zaros but another one-"
"Zamorak," he said hauntingly, "The former leader of Zaros' Army."
"Yes," I said, "I had a dream, that he overtook Zaros, with a staff."
"A staff?" Elder Jack said.
"Yes sir, and there were many people involved in the rebellion. Lord Drakan and Hazeel and Thammaron, do they ring a bell?" I said.
He ignored my question, yet proceeded to speak, "Dura, this was no dream here boy." he said, "This was a true event. It happened in the past. The Staff of Armadyl was stolen to rid the world of Zaros. It was taken by a Saradomin follower that was loyal to Lord Drakan, because they wanted Saradomin to be the only powerful diety. Zamorak used the staff to his advantage and became a God by taking it from Zaros. I don't quite know how he was expelled from this realm, however."
Everything started to come to me piece by piece. I understood why Guthix said Zamorak took one of his own and expelled him.
"I got to know all of these things from going so far out, learning most of the histories of areas," he spoke again.
"I believe I know the answer to how Zamorak might have been expelled, sir. During that dream I had, towards the end of it, I saw the God Guthix." I said.
Elder Jack gasped, and listened patiently.
"Guthix came in the end of my dream, to expel Zamorak from Gielinor, and he was accused multiple times of taking one of Guthix's own, and not knowing how to control his anger." I said, "There was a sword that Zaros left behind too. It shattered into pieces when Zamorak touched it. It's all over Gielinor now."
"The Godsword," He said in awe, "I can't believe it," his eyes closed for multiple seconds, and opened them with a sharp look on his face, "I have a mission for you, Dura."
I smiled and looked up at him.
"You'll find out other things that you are looking for if you do this, such as the location of the Staff of Armadyl" he said filling me in, "Take these maps of the areas I've surveyed and use them to get to the River Salve. Also, take these empty maps to survey some of the land beyond it, and I think you'll find some answers to your dream." He said handing me the maps.
"Be careful though, Dura. Be sure to have some weapons with you." He warned.
"But what about the Godsword sir?" I questioned.
"I have to do further research on that, Dura," he said, "I think you'll find some answers to it as well on your way there, though."
I nodded, shook his hand, and thanked him. I had enough weapon skill to survive any beast that attacked me. I also know my ways with the bow and arrow. I began walking back to my tent in a heroic manner. I felt that this mission would take me all the places I wanted to go to and help me grow stronger. It would be quite the sight if I found the Staff of Armadyl as well.
I got back into my tent and rounded up my gear: weapons, money, pickaxe, hatchet, tinderbox, fishing equipment, bows, arrows, armor, food and water. After about two hours, I was all set to go. Sage was right behind me. I was ready with all of my gear and I set out eastward, on my journey to the River Salve and beyond with Sage.
Chapter 2 - Uprisings
Strictly obeying the map's directions, I headed towards my final destination, the River Salve. The map stated I had to head North-East first. I walked up the road to
Trotting along the road with Sage was quite interesting. I got a nice view of the scenery, some of which I didn't know existed. One of the sites was a huge lake, which appeared to the west as I walked up the road. I stopped for a second to gaze at the beautiful site. It seemed like I had the perfect view from the location I was standing at.
Through all of this, Sage was happily sniffing around the dirt roads. I smiled at him. He replied by eagerly wagging his tail. After about a minute or so of gazing at this beautiful site, we continued on.
After about another ten minutes of walking, I met a stranger running down the road. Panting, he approached me. Sage growled at the man, as he stumbled back.
"Yes sir?" I said.
"Run! Run the opposite direction while you still can!" he yelled, "There's danger!"
Sage continued to growl and started barking at the man. I pulled him back.
"...Danger?" I asked.
This didn't surprise me, I always found trouble, or it found me. This has been a habit for me, lately.
"Yes! Turn around and run with me now!" he yelled once more, "This is not the time to ask questions!"
He really seemed as if he were in a rush, but I was determined to get to the Salve, so I kept the man longer.
"What kind of danger, sir." I said.
"Must you ask questions?" he groaned.
"Please tell me!" I begged.
"Riots, plenty of them." he said, "This is the eighteenth time this week!"
"Riots? Why?" I questioned.
"Cloaked men... Running from town to town beginning riots," he said, "Nobody knows why! Burning houses, killing innocent citizens, I feared for my life, thats why I ran! They are in the encampment up ahead!"
I just stared at the man, I didn't exactly know what to say. I felt sympathy, but there was nothing I could assure him of.
"They've basically chased me from over the mountain!" He cried.
"Over the mountain?" I questioned, "You're an Asgarnian aren't you?"
"Yes, my boy, I am." He was puzzled by my enthusiasm, yet he still looked as if in a hurry. "You must run, quickly! They won't show you any mercy. Anything you hold dear is what they'll take!"
I turned my attention from my mission and began to fear for Sage now. That dog was with me since I was seven years old. I knew he was a fighter, he wouldn't back down. If he saw these cloaked men he'd immediately lose control and jump into action. I needed to think of something.
"Is there any shelter nearby?" I asked urgently.
"There are a few master rangers and apprentices up the road building an encampment there," he said, "If you can prove you're worthy, they'll probably let you in."
"Thank you." I nodded, and saluted him as a sign for him to go.
The strange man just nodded and procceeded down the road screaming. I stood there staring at him as he idiotically continued to holler and shout as he ran down the road. Grabbing Sage by his collar, I began to make way for the ranger encampment up the road.
I walked for about five minutes, and I could see an astoundingly large flame blazing from the town about half an hour away. It brought pain and fear to my heart to watch this from my stand point. I took time to ask myself why these riots were occuring, but nothing seemed to hit me right in the face like they usually did.
Sage tried to break free of my hold but I wouldn't let him go, I carried on dragging him by the collar. I saw the encampment up ahead. Taking a deep breath, I looked at Sage, let go of his collar and said, "Let's go Sage! Up there, boy!"
Sage wagged his tail and looked at me. I started to run as he followed me. It didn't take long for us to get up to the door. Guards were on their posts. I walked up to the doorway and spoke to the guard.
"Hello. I am Dura," I said, "I'm just seeking some shelter to hide from the approaching riot."
"We can provide shelter to you, young man. However, there is a deal you must make with us." The guard said.
"Anything, sir." I replied.
"If you are here, you are here to assist us in defeating the cloaked men approaching quickly. You must take an intense training course over night and be ready to fight by tomorrow."
I looked at him and gave him a nod, "But- my dog sir. Will he be safe?"
"Yes, he will be in the encampment safe and sound, please come in so we may discuss this to a further extent." He said.
I felt relieved. He let me into the encampment and we discussed the different matters that needed to be tended too. I enlisted for the training in combat, ranged, and magic arts. They gave me a tent to use and supplies I would need. I was to report to training at six o'clock, which was nearing very quickly.
The tent was very comfortable. Sage enjoyed it very much. I dropped off all of my supplies. I brought all of my needed supplies and put some food and water down for Sage. I left him in the tent and went off to my training.
Marching towards the training grounds, I stood for the enlister to inspect me.
"Dura Kurandor, six foot two, short black hair, brown eyes, one-hundred eighty-seven pounds." He said as he scribbled this on paper, as I nodded at him. "You are good to go, please step inside and begin your training."
Scared, I slowly made my way towards the instructor and his screaming. "Drop and give me fifty!" I hesitantly made my way to the ground and began my pushups, and as I finished my last three, I see the sergaent right over my head, as I'm panting. "Do you call those pushups, dirtbag?"
"No sir, please forgive me I'm-" as I felt a whack on the head. He hit me with his club. "Ouch, what was that for?" He hit me again, and I learned that I should just stay quiet.
"You are here to give me one-hundred percent effort, or none at all. These riots have to be put to an end, we must enforce the law, now quit your whining and show me another fifty!"
"For the love of Guthix," I moaned, and dropped and showed him proper pushups.
"That's more like it, keep this work up." He said.
After that we proceeded about two hours of nonstop agility training, pushups, sit ups, weight lifting, and the three forms of combat. I excelled within the combat and magic arts, however, I was all but good at my ranged performance. I failed to hit the targets properly, as my hand cramped from the constant sting that the bowtring left on my fingers. Picking up the arrow, I lamely lined it up to take a shot, when finally an instructor showed me the proper form in which I should be ranging. I put up a mediocre performance, but to my luck, we had a dinner break.
As I sat alone in the mess hall, I looked through my maps on how I would be getting to the salve, and felt that this training was important for me to survive out in the far east. Morytania had to be dangerous, so I had to take this training seriously. The attendants served lousy food, yet I devoured it thankfully and scarfed at least three plates full.
A pretty attendant was watching me the whole time, giggling as I continued to eat plate by plate. I looked at her every little bit with a smile and she smiled back. As I began blushing, I went up to retrieve some more food, as if I hadn't eaten in a million years. Again, she started to giggle, and looked at me as she said, "Any more and you'll get cramps in your next training session, soldier."
I began laughing as I said, "Well, if it's you who is serving the food, it must be worth it to come back for more."
Her beautiful blue eyes lit up, as she stared into mine. She blushed at the comment and flashed a big smile. She moved her long, dirty-blonde hair out of her face as she pondered what to say. I smiled and just grabbed the tray, and moved out of the way without further comments. She had an inquisitive look on her face as I went and sat down to finish the last bits of my meal. I got up, threw out my trash and proceeded back to the training grounds.
While I trained, I began to think about the girl. I felt stupid for not even asking for her name, or anything about her. I took a heavy fall when I was tackled in one of the drills, and decided that it was best to not think about her, just to focus myself on the training. I did just that as I proceeded to train my ranging abilities. Still, I would not hit the target correctly and my hits would not be strong nor quick enough to do sufficient damage. Frustratingly, I began to snap my arrows as I threw my bow on the ground.
As the sergeant looked on, he came over to give me a good slap on the head once more. "Dura, focus you scum!"
"I can't sir, I've tried over and over but it's not working, maybe I'm not good enough!"
"I need you to shut the hell up and get back to your training, frustration will get you nowhere."
"But nothing, you listen to me! This is not playtime, this is serious business."
"It's not like we're going to break out in war or anything, why does this even matter?!"
"That's where you're wrong, child. This could result in the very beginning of a war. Unless you want children younger than you are to die in the streets, animals to perish, and women to be forced to work for the opposition, to be held against their will, then go ahead, give up."
I just stared at the sergeant. This was truly something serious, and if there was anything more dear to me, it was my dog Sage. He was the only family I had. I lost both of my parents when I was a baby. It was never told to me why, or how. I was told by my caretaker, the respected Elder Carval that he found me in the dust of Witchaven, and he took me in to the encampment of Venardougvil. He named me and gave me the only friend I ever had, my Sage. As time went on, he aged and I lost another person that was ever close to me. I'm just afraid to ever be close to anyone again, in fear of losing them. If I lost Sage, I don't know what I'd do.
After staring for several minutes, the sergeant spoke...
"...I'm in." I said.
"Then get back into this, and don't give up, I've had enough of you today!"
After the guilt I felt from that conversation, I felt that this sergeant was becoming attached to me, he felt like a father figure, to push me to my limit. I felt that it was my responsibility to protect everyone at the guild.
I continued at my training until about three in the morning, at which I called it a night and went back to my tent. As I walked out of the training ground, sweat and all, the girl was outside waiting for me.
"Working hard, soldier?" she said.
Blushing, I just flashed a smile and continued to walk. Again, with a puzzled look on her face, she persued me and then spoke again,
"Please, allow me to escort you back to your tent." She said.
"That's a generous offer miss, but I should be okay."
"Miss? You're referring to me properly and with dignity?"
"Yes, isn't this a common way to speak to a woman?"
"Yes- but, I've never been spoken to that way around here," she sighed.
"Why is that?"
"The men here are so demanding, all they've been crazed with is defending the land, it's been put upon them by King Arthur to stop the rioting."
"Well, it's for a worthy cause, a war could break out soon."
"Yes, I know. I just miss the calmer days, when the riots weren't around."
"I do too, but I'm discovering the past, and I'm making it my job to create a solution for the future."
"A hero, are we?" she joked.
"If that is what I must be, than yes," I spoke proudly.
She nodded and flashed me another smile. It made my heart skip a few beats, and I didn't know why. I haven't felt this way around anybody before.
"Well, erm-," I paused, "Good night."
"Why so soon?" she said sadly.
"It's quite late, and I need rest for my training tomorrow morning."
"Ah, I almost forgot." She said, "Pleased to meet you though. After your training tomorrow, would I be honored by your presence? I enjoy it very much."
I blushed, as I spoke shakingly, "If the time p-p-permits."
She smiled once more as I turned to walk away. As I reached my tent I was filled with regret. Sage wagged his tail upon me entering. I grabbed the bucket of water as I began to wash my face. I changed my clothes as I laid into the hay bale that was laid on the ground for my sleep.
"I can't believe I didn't ask for her name!" I said angrily. Tossing and turning, I didn't sleep. Breaking my own promise, the girl that I swore that would not be on my mind would not escape it.
The sun quickly rose as I readied myself for my training. I was greeted by the sergeant as I returned to the basis of my ranged training. Eventually, I broke away from that and I went to lift some weights for strength training. Quickly enough, it was time for breakfast, and my heart began to pound as we approached the mess hall. I knew I would see the girl again, but I tried not to make it apparent that I was looking for her.
Walking inside, with the fresh smell of breakfast wafting through my nostrils, I looked around in sight of the girl. She was no where to be found. I went to pour some breakfast to see if I could get a closer look, however the was still nowhere in sight. I sat down disappointingly as I reluctantly ate my food.
Halfway through my meal, I felt someone rubbing my back. I assumed it was one of my comrades messing around with me, so jokingly, I said, "Very funny, guys."
I turned around to find the girl staring right into my eyes, giggling once more.
"I'm sorry soldier, are you not pleased with me doing that?"
"No, it's not that, I apologize, I thought it was one of my comrades."
"Ah, I understand. I hope you are enjoying your breakfast."
"I am, thank you."
As I took another bite, I figured it'd be a good idea to ask her for her name now, so I very nervously attempted to ask her.
"I w-w-was w-wondering..."
"...Where you were this morning, you didn't serve the food."
I cursed at myself for not asking her, I didn't know what was wrong with me.
"I actually woke up late, but I ran here to see if you were still eating."
"You came here for me?" I asked, in a child's tone.
Blushing, she replied, "Yes."
I opened my mouth to reply to her, but all of a sudden, the guild sirens went off, and the lieutenant announced that there is a fire burning nearby in the Seers' Village, King Arthur was in jeopardy!
"ASSUME THE BATTLE POSITION," he screamed, "THEY ARE COMING DOWN THE ROAD, WE MUST ATTACK!"
Sighing, I looked at her upset, and she did the same, and I went to retrieve my weapons and prepare myself for battle. I lined up with my comrades as we stood outside the gates of the guild, with the rangers and mages in the guard towers.
Due to my gifted combat ability, I was placed on the front line of the melee combatants. I saw the cloaked men marching their way down the road. I knew it was time for battle. Right now, is where everything had to stop, the riots must stop here.
"Do not attack unless attacked first, men. Hold your ground, I do not want us to be the start of violence." The lieutenant commanded.
"Aye," we all said in unison.
The cloaked men marched in an army-like fashion, and stood directly in front of us. And the battle was ready to begin...