Zatih: The Legend of Dungrix
An epic tale of Revenge, Regret and Religion
Chapter 1: Zatih
Chapter 2: The Winds of Despair
Chapter 3: Ambush
Chapter 4: The Salt Mines
Chapter 5: The Apothecary
Chapter 6: A Life of Slavery
Chapter 7: The Massacre
Chapter 8: Saradomin’s Chosen Warrior
CHapter 9: Reunited at last
CHapter 10: Dungrix's Enlightenment
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Hrothgar's eyes darted to and thro as he stepped out into the night. He knew that it was dangerous, it was dangerous every where now days. The only safe haven where in various places scattered all over the world and even these were costly and came with their own dangers. He had known since he was young that the only thing you could rely on was the scimitar clenched between your hands and the strength of your person.
Beady eyes glinted in the darkness and Hrothgar's hand flickered to his belt where his faithful curved blade rested. He threw his shoulders back, closed his door and ventured further, only able to see a few feet in front. Each step he took brought him further from his house and closer to unknown dangers. He was a capable fighter but liked to keep his talents hidden unless the circumstances desperately called for it.
Hrothgar was a loner, without a single friend to his name. Any one who had even considered befriending the man had been frightened or intimidated away. He was a cruel fellow with now charity in his mind. He lived each minute as it happened and never thought about things in the long term.
Something snapped behind him and his sword was out straight away. He had lived with danger all his life and was constantly the target of highway men looking to make a quick fortune through killing and stealing. That simple snap could be a foot carelessly trotting on a small twig. That foolish mistake was going to cost whatever was there its life.
He dived at the sound, driving his blade at the spot with ruthless desperation. When he stepped back, he realized nothing was there. He had simply been paranoid. He laughed nervously, placed his sword back in its sheath and turned away.
Then, they were upon him. The first goblin landed on his back silently, driving him to the ground. The four that followed snarled with excitement and wielded their bronze weapons with new excitement.
A spear flew through the air and caught Hrothgar in the side as the little beasts landed on him, stabbing and slashing away at the helpless body of the fallen warrior.
"How?" Hrothgar wanted to scream. "How did they anticipate my actions?"
He went for his sword, only to find it being carried away by a dark green goblin and handed to another. a goblin grasped his black hair, pulled it back and, with a sickening crack, smashed Hrothgar's head against the hard ground. With a scream of despair, Hrothgar passed out.
Chapter 1: Zatih
Zatih eyed down her opponent, studying every blemish on his wart encrusted face. Several things were sharp in her mind as she noted his appearance: His dark green skin and folds of brown armor, his long, crooked nose. She paid special attention to his circular wooden shield, his long pointed spear and his flat feet. These could work to her advantage.
Zatih’s mithril scimitar flickered through the air, twisting and slicing at goblin flesh. The monster howled as the dull metal blade cut through his skin, showering Zatih with warm beads of blood. She delivered a ferocious blow and took the fiends life, watching as it slipped and fell to the ground. Smiling, she turned around to meet a small chorus of applause.
Around her stood her two closest companions, observing her with careful eyes. Daralis watched from beneath heavy bronze armor, his eyes occasionally straying to watch the other goblins. Every time one looked back he would pull his bronze square shield over his eyes and yelp like a distressed puppy. He was young and easily intimidated. That sparkle of fright in his eye was just part of his character. Zatih knew he would grow out of it in time but loved that flaw all the same. It brought familiarity in unknown environments.
Sirlokken was everything that Daralis wasn’t. He was tall, powerful and could easily bind the spirits of magic into doing his bidding. As if Daralis, this trait spilled into his fiery green eyes. He was dressed in jet black wizard robes and carried in his hands a much sought after skull scepter. Sirlokken had taken Daralis and Zatih under his wing when they had first arrived in Lumbridge together. Since then, he had been a reliant source of food, shelter, runes, arrows and weaponry.
Zatih stopped low and gently cut the goblin from its armor. Then, she buried the corpse and felt Saradomin smile down on her as she did. With that, she turned to her friends and beamed a triumphant smile. Sirlokken gave her a sharp strike on the back, showing his pride. He stepped back as Zatih nudged him off and they both laughed lightly. It was a great day for her, she had defeated her first enemy in a matter of blows. Daralis was yelling in excitement and preaching his respect. This enlarged the smile on Zatih’s face. She took Daralis’ bronze long sword from his scabbard and placed it in his arms.
“Your turn” she grinned.
Daralis took a deep breathe and moved towards the dirt path where travelers came and went. One man was obviously a resident of Lumbridge; he wore no expensive or foreign clothing and when he spoke his voice was devoid of any accent. This was the man Daralis decided he would fight. He was tall, with short cut brown hair and clean clothes. He held his head high and looked at the coming and going of assorted people.
Daralis saddled up to his enemy and stood directly in his way, cutting him off.
“I’m very sorry sir” he apologized as he lurched forward. His sword slipped through he man’s chest. A surprised scream tore from the man’s lips as he slipped and doubled over in pain. Daralis looked horrified at what he had done, the man laying still on the ground. Then, his face changed into a smile as he heard Sirlokken’s whooping cries of praise. He shone with pride as he buried the body and hurried back to his friends.
“That will do for today,” Sirlokken said. “Shall we return home?”
Daralis nodded and Zatih followed suite. Sirlokken’s house was a gigantic building located in the small city of Rimmington. It was tall and grand and equipped with everything from a small parlor to a marvelous study. His gardens were expensive, lush playfields and he had rooms to enhance skill and strength in a number of ways. They would retire to the dining room while Sirlokken helped his maid cook a simple dinner and brew ale in the kitchen. After that, they would hobble off to bed and the maid would clean. Every Sunday, they would feed the Steel Dragon in the dungeon. Sirlokken forced them to starve it. If it was well fed it wouldn’t try so hard to hunt for intruders. Zatih was proud to live in such an abode.
They walked through Draynor Village, where the inhabitants weaved through the willow trees and fished in the rich seas. Then, they headed towards Port Sarim where great adventurers sailed off to unknown lands. There was even talk of a brave fool who was on his way to Crandor to settle a score with a great dragon. Zatih pitied him; chances were he would not come back. At least not in one peace.
They arrived in Rimmington just as the sun disappeared behind the horizon and left only a faint, orange glow in its absence. Zatih smiled as Sirlokken pushed open the gates and entered the formal garden that ran the length of the properties outskirts. A fountain carved into the shape of a mischievous imp greeted them with a wicked smile.
Zatih waited patiently as Sirlokken rapped on the door with his sceptre. In a few minutes, a short girl in a black dress appeared. She wore an apron and held a plate of shrimp in her hand. She offered them all food and then volunteered to hang their armour in the display hall. Zatih handed her the mithril scimitar she was holding, as well as her plate body. Daralis did the same with his bronze equipment. Sirlokken handed her his Skull Sceptre and walked with her to the Display Hall, telling her about his adopted children’s individual accomplishments.
They ate together, lived together and trained together. They were a family and just as close as any regular one. Zatih was so happy with her life that she rarely gave any thought to her biological parents. Sirlokken was her whole life and that was that.
They ate a quick meal of lobster and various herbs before quickly retiring to bed. Sirlokken handed his maid her weeks pay before hobbling upstairs to his Master Bedroom. Zatih dimmed her candle and stripped out of her clothes. She lay in bed, pulled her quilts over her head and smiled. She found herself falling, drifting into the world of the dreaming…
Chapter 2: The Winds of Despair
Early the next morning, Sirlokken brought them all into the Dining room. This news brought with it a rising sense of excitement and of anticipation. Zatih voiced her curiosity to Daralis as the moved into the hallway together.
“Sirlokken’s a fairly spontaneous person Daralis,” Zatih explained to her brother. “If he has actually taken time out to plan something, it must be big.”
“But how big Zatih?” he asked in a highly excited voice. “For all Sirlokken’s capable, it could be anything it all. He is a mage Zatih and they can do things the rest of us can’t”
“We’ll just have to wait until breakfast to find out won’t we, brother” she laughed. Daralis fumed with frustration but even he managed to eat his fill of the scrumptious meal Sirlokken had prepared with his maid. He was a hands-on sort of person, Sirlokken, and he wouldn’t sit by while the maid did all the work.
After they had cleaned everything away, Sirlokken stood up and, adorning his purple traveling cape, addressed his children.
“Children.” The word was soft and full of emotion. “Today marks an important day in your lifetime. For, all this time, the small cities of Lumbridge, Draynor, Port Sarim and Rimmington have been familiar to you. But you have never known true civilization. There are great cities of stone and riches that are just brimming with expensive goods and unfamiliar customs. More importantly, new foes are available in these places. I know of two that are quite close by; the empires of Varrock and Falador. Yes children, today I have scheduled in a trip to either the capital of Misthalin or the mighty seat of Asgarnia. Choose one of these cities and we shall head off.”
Zatih and Daralis exchanged looks. They had never been anywhere as grand as their father had mentioned. They thanked Sirlokken and ran to their separate bedrooms, grabbing some casual clothes, gloves, boots, hats and capes. They arrived back looking quite grand in their clothing; Zatih in elegant an elegant white gown and Daralis in a handsome tunic. Sirlokken didn’t look quite as grand; he never dressed up for any occasion. After saddling and loading a horse, they began to leave.
It was a quiet journey, filled only with the peaceful sights of calm landscapes and friendly people. The mansion of the crazy hermit Mezzler towered over them the whole time. The sun shining through broken windows and loose bricks made it a monument to the death of a building and the rebirth that came with a new dawn.
Then, something sudden happened. Zatih was suddenly grabbed by her left arm and, with great force, lifted up and then down onto the ground. He head was in a daze as two masked bandits towered over her, whispering as several more took care of Daralis, and (with great difficulty) managed to subdue Sirlokken.
Zatih watched them carefully, their ink colored hair and equally dark masks. They were highwaymen, and highwaymen were the lowest form of criminals found in Asgarnia. They preyed on the weak and stole from the poor, valuing only themselves and their profits.
“We’ve captured a pretty one today fella’s” one said in crude English. “Far apart from the brutes we usually steal from.”
“Stay away from her Gathe” said another. “She may be awfully adorable but adorable things have a habit of sticking pointy things into you when you’re off guard. Slit her throat now and get it over with!”
Gathe drew a knife from his belt and reluctantly positioned it over Zatih’s throat. “It’s nothing personal Milady” he smiled. “But business is business.”
“No!” Shouted a fearful Daralis as Gathe went to draw his arm back. He pulled on the arms of one of his captors and, with all his strength, sent him flying into another. They both fell down in a heap and he was on his feet. He kicked at Gathe, sending the knife to land several feet away, leaving it now harmless. He pulled out his long sword and lashed out.
What happened then could only be described as a massacre. Daralis was a monster, out of control and butchering every highwayman that stood before him. His sword stabbed, slashed, crushed and skimmed through the air, tearing enemy bodies to pieces. After he was done, he simply dropped to the ground, blinking in horror as he saw the damage he had caused. Zatih sat up to look at him, knowing the pain he must feel.
“Well, you took care of that with no problem Daralis. Now, onwards to Falador lest we arrive in the winter.” That was Sirlokken, totally ignorant to the fact that his son was suffering so much. He turned around and pointed in the direction of a large ruin. “You, get out here, I can see you!”
A man appeared, dressed in rich clothes. A handsome blend of white and purple made up his tunic and pants and he wore a black pirate’s hat across his head. His skin was dark, like none Zatih had seen. He looked confused but also as if he had grasped familiarity in a world in which he was lost.
“I mean you know harm good sir.” The man laid down his rune scimitar to prove he meant what he said. “I merely wanted to talk with you. You see, if the rumors are true, that fine lad over there could make a good investment to anyone who values his neck. How much for the child?”
Daralis looked up at this and Zatih’s jaw dropped. Sirlokken shook his head.
“I will not put a price on my son.” He said sternly. “He is not for sale!”
“A shame really” the stranger said. “But no matter. I may as well do the polite thing. I gather you were on your way to Falador?”
“Yes” Zatih spoke. “We were to see civilization.”
“Well,” the stranger said. “It won’t be civilized for much longer. You see, horrible rumors are spreading that the town will be taken by demons. These demons will possess the bodies of men and make them turn against even their closest friends. I would pass this off for sheer nonsense if it weren’t for an ever-growing clan of enthusiasts. Already, they are setting things in motion. This so called battle for Falador will not be one of demons, but one of mere man.”
“Thanks for the warning.” Sirlokken said. “I wouldn’t go near Falador for a while. Mankind gets greedy in the wake of annihilation. I imagine the looting and plundering has already begun.”
“That is has good sir. May I ask thee your names?”
“I am Sirlokken, the boy is Daralis and the girl is called Zatih. We are a family of warriors and I was hoping to enlighten these children by showing them a bit of civilization. Your name, kind sir?”
“I don’t remember too much about my past but from what I’ve heard, my name is Dungrix. That is about all I know. It is quite confusing to wake up and find that you don’t remember anything you’ve done before.”
“Well, Dungrix, I’m hoping you’ll tell us all about it over a warm glass of tea. Care to come back to my house for a bite to eat?”
“Sirlokken, it would be my pleasure!”
Chapter 3: Ambush!
“You really mean it?” asked an amazed Daralis. “You really can’t remember anything about my life?” He sat on a chair inside Sirlokken’s dining room, everyone else seated at various points of the table. They all had half drained glasses of ale and mead in front of them, the exception being Dungrix, who only had a few empty glasses, drunk dry of all contents. He was a man who enjoyed his drink.
“Yes” Dungrix said simply. “All I know is a nagging suspicion at the back of my mind that my past really wasn’t worth remembering. I don’t know why I don’t, but if the old me was anything like I am no, I probably drank away my memories!”
Sirlokken chuckled at this, while the Pirate garbed man finished off yet another glass of his ale. It was a believable idea. He looked around at his children, remembering how close they had been to death at the hands of common thieves. Then, he thought about Daralis.
He was only twelve and everyone had accepted him to be a poor fighter and more of a thinker. They had left him at home while Zatih and Sirlokken trained and only brought him out when he felt Zatih was capable of controlling the situation. Yet, when his sister was in danger, he took on a berserker’s rage. He was one to watch: a frightened, timid boy with the fighting capacity of a bear if the situation called for it. Daralis would be rewarded, Sirlokken decided. Next time they were by a store, he would receive something valuable. It was the least he could do. But there was time for that later.
“Nearly three months ago” Dungrix spoke again. “I woke up in a small house in Port Sarim. A kindly young woman, pretty little thing, told me that she found me washed up on the sand, bleeding through the head and attracting the attention of gulls, sharks and looters. She took me in and clothed me. Unfortunately, she got pretty sick and died. You see, I got a small cold that didn’t affect me much at all. However, she caught it and within a week she was dead. She gave me the house in a final act of generosity. I have a few things left back at her house but other than that, this is all I own.”
“Sad” Sirlokken noted. “You must be strong to hold your head high after such a horrible life. You can only remember a small part of it, yet that small part contains loss and death. I feel for you Dungrix, we all do.”
“Don’t waste your emotions, kind sir. The hospitality and fine ale is all the sympathy I require.” He pushed his chair out. “I thank you all for this but I must be off. Perhaps the gypsy in Varrock could help release my oppressed memories.”
“We’ll all go!” Sirlokken offered. “I planned to show the children civilization and civilization I shall indeed show them! Besides, I need to purchase a few costly items for my son.” This was a line dropped subtly but it lifted the expression on Daralis’ face.
“Really?” he asked. “Something for me?”
“You’ll see” Sirlokken replied. “To Varrock then?”
For the second time that day, they headed off to a great city. This time, they steered clear of the main roads and used the trees and bushes to shield them from prying eyes. Zatih had had enough of danger for one day, her near death experience was all the excitement she needed for a long time.
The sun set early and they quickened their pace just to beat it. When the sun went down in Gilineor, the rule book was thrown aside. Monsters roamed and horrible excuses for men preyed on their victims. It was always good to be in a safe place when night fell.
She followed Sirlokken, who knew his way around better than anyone she new of. He took shortcuts to avoid detection, managed to find a few stones to form a rough path over water and, at one point, teleported them all directly over the top of Draynor Manor. The mighty city of Varrock was in view.
Sirlokken stopped abruptly. He looked into the distance, trying to see things that, as far as Zatih could see were not there. Then, as it got quiet, there was a huge tearing sound followed by maniacal laughter.
Zatih spun around to see that a portal had opened up in the air, a swirling mess of fiery colors inside. A short goblin stood at the mouth of the portal, eyes blazing and dressed in torn robes. He carried a long staff topped with a orb of fire. Zatih pulled out her scimitar, Daralise his bloody long sword. Dungrix took his own scimitar from his belt and Sirlokken’s eyes glimmered as he called on magic.
The mage goblin stepped out from the portal and as he did, it widened dramatically. Goblin’s bigger than men began to file out of the portal, dressed in sturdy armor and wielding powerful weapons. When twenty such goblins stood tall and surrounded the group of heroes, two more mages emerged. Zatih glimpsed a flicker of black dragon hide as three ranger goblins emerged and took to the trees.
“Take her alive! The other’s are disposable!” ordered the mage that had opened the portal. He was obviously the commander of this small army. They all stepped forward and Zatih was painfully aware of loaded crossbows pointed right at her head.
Zatih charged at the oncoming goblin’s, with a mind bent on destruction. She stabbed, lunged, parried and sliced at her attackers, bringing three goblins to their knees. A enchanted bolt whizzed by her head but she paid it no heed. She ducked instinctively as Sirlokken unleashed a great torrent of flames. The goblin it hit died instantly, an inferno of pain and fire.
Zatih heard a loud crack as the three mages cried their curses. Three great balls of magical energy ripped overhead, crashing into Sirlokken with a massive force behind them. The old wizard groaned and toppled backwards, eyes devoid of life. His pulse weakened dramatically as he lay still.
Daralis stepped over his father’s body, tears filling his eyes as he delivered three stroked with his sword. A goblin fell over dead but two more stepped up to take it’s place. Daralis’ next sword stroke landed ferociously on a goblin shield, snapping the bronze weapon in two. With only the pommel remaining, he knocked a goblin out cold and ran for his life. He grabbed Sirlokken’s body and dragged it to safety.
This left only Zatih and Dungrix fighting together. Zatih could see that he was a master with his blade, pulling off complex movements and routines. His memory returned with every swing and he was able to recover his precious survival skills. He decapitated two goblins then and there and, with a small, concealed throwing knife, knocked an archer from its perch.
There was a small click from the treetops as a bolt shot down with amazing speed. Zatih felt the barb tear through her neck, driving her into the ground. Blood spurted from the wound with every heart beat as more and more goblins climbed over her, kicking, stabbing and tearing.
Daralis sprinted in, eyes burning with rage. He never reached the battle in time. He was halfway there when he felt his feet knocked out from under him. He looked over and saw Dungrix, his palm smoking with energy and his arm outstretched.
“I’m sorry Daralis!” He roared over the laughter of goblins and screams of Zatih. “It is too late!”
He held both arms out and cried out loud incantations. In a burst of golden light, Daralis felt himself become lightless. Sirlokken’s body and Dungrix’s figure were the only visible things as he felt himself float up, up, up. Then, the light exploded and when it cleared, they were gone.
Zatih felt her life force go, beaten by goblins and deserted by her family in her time of need. As she closed her eyes and her mind stopped, the goblin mage cackled with laughter. He tore open another portal and the remainder of his army slipped back in. He took Zatih by the arm and dragged her with him.
“Master will be quite proud” he smiled as he closed the portal and floated onwards to the Goblin village.
Chapter 4: The Salt Mines
"Zatih!" a powerful voice rang through her mind. It was not unfriendly but sounded impatient, as if talking to Zatih wasn't an adequate use of its time. "I must talk with you."
"Go for it" Zatih managed to say crudely with her broken brain waves.
"Zatih, I will not lie to you. You should be dead! It is only through the swift actions of my brothers and I that have allowed you to continue to live. You role is yet to be played in the events soon to unfold. I feel that you need to stay in the world of the living, that is where you will help the most!"
"Who are you?" Zatih managed, her thoughts becoming stronger with every exchanged word. "What do you want from me? Who are you to control the passage of life?"
The voice chuckled at this. "I have every right to control life, I invented it after all. Yes, child, you speak to Guthix the Lord of Balance. You see, there is a war soon to break out and you need to be there. It is but a small part to play yet you must be there to assist those with greater roles. The next years will be difficult and challenging but if you survive, I promise you will meet those you love at least once more!" the voice seemed to weaken. "Now, Zatih, Wake!"
The voice was gone and suddenly she was aware of a painful throbbing in her neck. She grasped both hands around the point, feeling a rough, circular scar with her fingertips. She looked at her hands and found that they were caked with dry blood. She managed to sit up and, with blurry eyes, surveyed her surroundings.
She was in a small room with rotting planks nailed together as walls. The floor was devoid of carpet and the deep, brown earth was exposed. A pile of hay was strewn to one sit, forming a crude bed. Other than that, the room was bare. She pushed herself up and felt memories flood into her foggy mind.
She remembered dark embers of flame, streaking across the plain between Varrock and the river Lum. she remembered yelling and cruel laughter. She remembered Sirlokken hitting the floor and lying still. She remembered Daralise disappear in an explosion of light. She remembered Dungrix the Pirate displaying amazing swordsmanship. Most of all, she remembered the pain of the crossbow bolt in her neck. So that was where she was....whatever city the goblin's called their capital. Zatih tried to stand up but immediately felt a resistance. She looked down and found a huge chunk of iron clasped to her knee, making standing impossible.
She yelled out, allowing the darker reaches of her vocabulary to spring to her tongue. She cursed the goblins, she cursed her luck, she cursed Dungrix for showing up and taking them to Varrock, she cursed her family for leaving her at her time of need. She cursed Saradomin and Zamarok. She felt Guthix nagging at the back of her mind and thought it best not to offend him.
Zatih scanned her memory for the words Sirlokken had taught her would light fires. She selected a few and held her hands out to the poorly made walls. She whispered the incantation and felt a slight tremor of pleasure run through her body as a huge fire quickly covered the wall in seconds. She then used a wind spell to fan the flames and soon the whole room was alight. She felt the heat draw sweat from her pores as it burnt away at wood and mould. Zatih decided she would just let herself burn, knowing goblins, her life wouldn’t be worth living any longer.
"Forget Guthix!" she whispered. "He may value my life but I don't!"
Her right arm caught alight and she fell to the floor. Suddenly, a door that she hadn't noticed slammed back and a huge goblin stood there. He grabbed at her arm and threw her out into the city. The building collapsed as she landed on the ground and the flames quickly burnt themselves out.
"You foolish woman!" he yelled. "Big Punishment Awaits!"
He dragged her too a massive building at the back of the city where two goblin's even bigger than the warriors were waiting.
"General Wartface and General Bentnose!" the warrior spoke. "I present the prisoner." He threw Zatih to the floor just inches from the toes of a green armored goblin. Zatih glared at him and began to think of words that would strike him dead where he stood. She couldn't think of a single one. Instead, she decided to speak.
"Why am I here?" she yelled. "Why me!"
"You kill our brothers for training!" General Wartface yelled. I hardly think that I would let such an offence pass unpunished. The fire at the imprisonment hut made things worse for you. Much worse!"
"You are going away for a long time. You will work in our salt mines, the most dangerous and exhausted task we goblin's are involved in. We send many prisoners there. The unlucky one's die in almost fourteen months. The Lucky ones don't last the week. You will sleep under guard, mine after guard, travel under guard and even shower under guard. I hope you die soon! What do you think Jarft? Should we start her straight away?" this time he addressed the warrior goblin.
"Right away sir!" Jarft took her into a small hut with a trapdoor inside it. A badly made ladder poked its top through the opening. Zatih heard cries of pain, thuds of axes and tired limbs flailing from the tunnels underneath. She gulped.
"Salt mining!" Jarft had a sort of pity in his eyes. "I didn't expect it would be quite so bad. Normal prisoners have rights. Salt Miners are only resources. I'm afraid these would be of better use elsewhere."
With trained swiftness, Jarft ripped off Zatih's gloves and boots. He then removed her shirt and belt. He tied the bundle of clothing up together and stood tall. "This is all you have now human!" he declared. "Some old trousers. See you in hell!"
He pushed her down the shaft and left the room hurriedly. Zatih fell for a couple of seconds before hitting the ground with a dull thud. She groaned. She was in pain, captured by mere goblin's and half naked in public. A fierce goblin with an abyssal whip lashed at her, yelling commands. She received a bronze pickaxe and was immediately set to work.
A black haired man with a haunted face stood beside her as she mined away salt from rocks. The Salt mine was so dark that all you could see were huge walls of rock and salt. Worker's mined away, many bearing heavy wounds on their back from whip lashes. The man beside her moved in close.
"Don't worry Milady" he said with slight respect. "I'll stick by you in this place. It'll be helpful to have a friend down here. I'm Hrothgar!"
"Zatih!" Zatih greeted. She felt as if Hrothgar was right. In a place like this, she would need all the help she could get. Her future was the cold, dark caverns of the goblin salt mines. She lifted her axe and sent it crashing down again. She wondered how long she would last in this prison.....
Chapter 5: The Apothecary
The great palace of Varrock towered over the small market set up in Varrock Square. People came and went, dressed in clothing that was rarely seen. Mages in elegant robes, archers in tight, scaly dragon hide and warriors in bulky armor advertised their goods and ability to work for pay. Strange things occurred at Varrock Square, which were now considered the norm. So nobody paid much heed when an elegantly dressed Pirate and a small boy appeared out of nowhere in a cloud of golden light.
Dungrix stood tall over Daralis, who was clutching the robed body of Sirlokken. A single tear rolled down his youthful face as he contemplated life without Sirlokken or Zatih. His father and sister, wiped out in an instant. He remembered watching his sister disappear below the army, him powerless and unable to help. He needed someone to vent his anger upon. Then, his mind turned to the man who had teleported him away when he tried to rescue Zatih.
“Dungrix!” he roared at the top of his lungs, causing several people to turn their heads. “What did you do?”
“Be silent Daralis” Dungrix replied calmly, turning his focus to a stall that sold fur. “And be grateful for your life!”
“I want answers Dungrix!” Daralis yelled stubbornly. “Who are you? Surely you remember part of it? I have only met two people who can teleport people! You must be a skilled mage? Why didn’t you fight back against them with magic? Why couldn’t you heal Sirlokken? Why didn’t you teleport my sister? Why were forced to flee like cowards? Why?”
“What makes you think I will hand out answers just because a seven year old boy asks for them!” Dungrix was mildly annoyed now.
“I’m twelve!” Daralis yelled stupidly. His face was red as he pulled out what was left of his sword. “You owe me answers! My family is gone Dungrix, gone!”
“Not quite, Daralis!” Dungrix said reasonably. “Your sister, maybe. But as long as we have the body of Sirlokken, there is still hope.”
“What do you mean?” Daralis was calming down, although he still struggled hard to suppress tears.
“There is a rather good apothecary in this city Daralis. If I recall correctly, the owner of the Apothecary can brew up a Necromancy potion if the customer has the right amount of gold. Let’s get the old man back on his feet.”
Daralis pulled Sirlokken along, dragging the robe clad mage along the cobblestone ground. He followed Dungrix as he wound his way past the bank and down a path. The building’s on either side of the path were charred ruins that told their own story of destruction. Daralis wondered what had happened here.
Suddenly, he realized that Dungrix was showing him around a city. He knew about a Necromancy potion and an Apothecary owner. He must be regaining his memory.
“You remember don’t you?” he asked. Dungrix stopped and looked at him. Daralis was a mess, blood covering his bronze armor and eyes bearing the haunted expression that came with loss and grief. He seemed unfriendly towards Dungrix, and the pirate could understand why.
“I do remember Daralis” Dungrix said. “I just don’t remember much. I know how to fight and cast spells. I know my way around Varrock. I remember vaguely the sweet face of pretty young maiden. That’s about it. I’m getting there Daralis but I still don’t know who I am. Now, let’s hurry-I don’t know how much time Sirlokken has.
They quickened their pace until the Apothecary came into view. It was a little brick shack in the midst of ruins. The great walls of Varrock cast a giant shadow over it. Its windows were taped together and its door handle was rusted.
Dungrix pulled back the door and stormed in unannounced. He was a very abrupt man who threw formalities out of the window. The Apothecary owner stepped back was a table where he was mixing chemicals and turned his head at the doorway. Daralis watched as the man’s jaw dropped.
“Dungrix?” he asked uncertainly. “Why, it’s been years!”
“I’m sure it has been!” Dungrix said uncomfortably. “But there is no time for exchanging formalities. I have a dead man out here and he is in urgent need of recovery. Money will be no problem, I will sell my clothes if I have to!”
“You might just need to do that, captain” the Apothecary owner said with an air of respect. “ I don’t dabble in that kind of thing anymore. It would take a lot of money to get me do that I’m afraid.”
Dungrix looked as if he had been struck with something in the ribs. He gasped in frustration before something popped into his memory.
“7218” he said suddenly “7-2-1-8” He turned to Daralis. “Daralis, leave Sirlokken here. I want to you to run over to the bank we passed and tell the banker 7-2-1-8. Bring back as much gold as you can find!”
Daralis was confused but he abided. Breaking into a sprint, he quickly entered the bank and almost fell onto the floor inside. A wealthy archer and a hulking warrior frowned at his bronze armor. He stuck his tongue out at them childishly before walking over to a female bank teller.
“7” he gasped, breathlessly. “2-1-8”
The woman consulted her notes before beaming at him.
“Master Dungrix, I presume?” she said. Daralis nodded as the lady unclasped a rope and allowed him behind the barricade. She led him to a small door with a rusting door handle. Daralis raised an eyebrow as she opened the door. Surely the wealth of Runescape was not stored in a tiny room.
The door tore open, revealing a portal similar to the one that goblin army had come through. The woman shouted “Dungrix!” and pulled Daralis into the portal. He felt lightheaded for a moment as everything went dark.
Suddenly, he was in a well lit room with walls of marble, trimmed with gold. He gasped the wealth that decorated the room. Gold coins were stacked high in every corner, a handful of the metal strewn across the floor. The three sets of God armor were mounted on the wall, beside a set of rune and an adamantine one. An abyssal whip, a majestic sword and an Obsidian cape were hung in prime position, bordered by several amulets of power and a dragon stone amulet. Every wealth that you could think of was hidden in this small chamber, causing Daralis’ head to spin. Who was Dungrix to own such wealth! He quickly scooped up gold and coin after coin in his pockets. When he was done, he traded in his bronze plate body for the Adamant one that was hanging on the wall. He did the same with his legs and took a new weapon for himself. Then, he bowed to the Banker and allowed her to teleport him back.
Daralis sprinted back, the jingle of gold in his pocket attracting unwanted attention. He pulled his sword tighter in his grip as a sly looking mage nocked an arrow to his bow. With a wicked grin, Daralis hurled two of the bronze coins Sirlokken had given him his last birthday onto the ground. The Ranger swooped upon them and by the time he realized they were near worthless, Daralis was gone.
“Not long now Captain!” the owner of the Apothecary said. “Just a few more ingredients.”
Daralis had arrived back at the store some time ago, providing more than enough money for the potion. Although, Daralis noted, he never did get his change back. The strange potion maker laughed as he threw a coil of onionskin and the contents of a vial that contained a mysterious red liquid that looked startling like blood into a small cauldron. There was a small, gaseous explosion and a cloud of dark purple smoke seemed to drift from the black cauldron. The man then scooped a beaker through the potion and handed Dungrix the beaker.
“That should do it” he said. “Pleasure doing business with you!”
Dungrix smiled. He took of his hat and bowed low to the man. “Thank you sir” he said happily. “You have saved a life tonight!”
“Not at all!” the man said. “Just repaying the favor captain. For you, I’d do anything!”
“Just one question, good sir. Why do you insist on calling me captain?”
“Because that is what you are! You’re my captain. We traveled together on the King of the Tides some time ago. You were a hard captain, but fair and occasionally generous. This handful of gold is all the reason I need to believe that you have changed. The Dungrix I know would have rather let a man die than part with any of his treasury!”
Dungrix seemed disturbed by this notion as he led Daralis and the departed Sirlokken from the room. With a final goodbye, he slammed the door shut and held the vial out to Daralis.
“Take it!” he said aggressively. “Make him drink it all!”
Daralis was surprised at Dungrix’s sudden anger but he tipped the entire contents down Sirlokken’s throat. Sirlokken coughed once, and then blinked before slowly getting to his feet. The wind blew his hair apart and his eyes lit up with powerful anger.
“Where is she?” he roared. “Where is Zatih?”
“I don’t know father.” Said Daralis, shaking with anger, “But with Saradomin as my witness, I will see to it that these goblins are all slain and my sister is returned, dead or alive. Revenge will be my mine, even if I die trying!”
The wind picked up again as and howled around Varrock was the small boy started to cry. Daralis felt tears of anger, of joy, of grief and of pain trickle down his face. The moon shone upon him as he added in whispering tones “Zatih, do not worry. I will find you”. He lifted his head and gazed into the eyes of the remembering Pirate and the wizened Mage. They smiled comforting at him with all the understanding he needed. Sirlokken hugged him tightly as the heavens cracked and rain dripped to the earth, washing away the sins of the world.
Chapter 6: A Life Of Slavery
Life with the goblins carried on like this for months. At the crack of dawn, Zatih would wake up and look forward to another day of slave labor; exhausting herself slowly to death in the Salt Mines. She worked lethargically, not caring if she lived or died. All that she was aware of was pain, fatigue and the cruel whip-wielding artist who used her back as a canvas. Not even the companionship of Hrothgar could swipe her feeling of loneliness to the side.
But Zatih wasn’t alone. At the back of her mind was the slight presence of Guthix. Zatih could always feel him there, sitting and waiting for her to respond to his call. From what she had heard from the stories of Guthix, her part would not be a dazzling display of evil, nor an astonishing act of good. No, it would be smack bang in the middle. What she did could tip the scales in the mysterious events still to unfold. Was she ready for that responsibility?
Three months into the ordeal, the goblins called Zatih into their grand halls. With a slight glow of affection, they returned to her the clothes she had been wearing when she arrived. They said this was a reward for her loyalty. Zatih bowed and quickly pulled them on. She was gladdened to receive her dignity back.
The miners in the dark caverns that held the salt mines were only fragments of true people. They were all mindless workers, whose souls had been crushed by cruel goblin masters. Death was preferable to the days of long hours, dark caves and constant cave ins. Somehow, through, a year and a half went by with Hrothgar and Zatih living to see it through. As reward for their dedication, each was allowed to rest and do smaller hours. The goblins seemed to have a relationship similar to a bizarre form of friendship. This was a side of the goblins that Zatih would never have expected.
And then she found out why they were so affectionate towards Hrothgar and herself. One early morning, while she was resting, a warrior goblin entered her small cabin and yelled loudly to rouse her from her sleep. He presented her with a steel rimmed cap, hefty wooden shield and loose, leather goblin armor. She was confused, until he explained.
The Goblins were at war, he said. He wouldn’t say who with, only that every long serving miner was to join. It was much easier job then the mines, and upon joining, each slave was paid for their labor. Zatih accepted, it was better than her previous life. Guthix urged her to decline but she had long since stopped listening to him.
Training was mid afternoon and Zatih turned up, looking quite formidable in the goblin armor and weaponry. She smiled at her fellow recruits, acknowledging the hardships that they must have felt. She met with Hrothgar after a few minutes of conversation and they both hugged with familiarity. Hrothgar had replaced Sirlokken and Daralis for Zatih in this past year and the people whom she had once loved were only a memory of better times.
In the next four hour training session, she was only slightly tired compared to her times mining. She managed to overcome Hrothgar’s rusty weapon and defeat the powerful man, who smiled in defeat and then went to fight again with a tall, pale man. Zatih battled a goblin trainer and easily won. She smiled as she picked another opponent, and this time lost.
Day after day, this happened. She covered fighting, magic and archery until she was a profound warrior in all aspects. Guthix always seemed to give her an advantage, some how sharpening her reflexes and increasing her strength whenever she needed it. Her and Hrothgar moved on to form an elite force of about twenty men.
It wasn’t long after that when Hrothgar came into her cabin, dressed in his armor and sweating profusely from his brow. He raised his sword up, and quickly spoke.
“Zatih! Get your armor and come with me quickly. We are leaving!”
“Zatih, use your head. An army doesn’t just train and sit around. They are taking us to war. To war with the cave goblins of Lumbridge!”
Zatih was clothed in an instant, tying the lace on the back of her armor as firmly as possible. She quickly polished her sword with a rag and tapped on her shield to make sure it would hold in actual battle.
“I’m ready!” she said to the darkness.
When she arrived at the training ground, the army was still waiting for a handful of people to arrive. Zatih found her marching position beside Hrothgar and looked around at her follow warriors. She discovered that the force she moved with was a revamped version of the elite squad she had joined some time ago. They had a few extra men, three dwarves and roughly thirty goblins. Some of these goblins were mounted on bears, their mounts growling at everything around them, displaying mouths of jagged teeth. General Bentnose led the battalion, starting the march as soon as the last people arrived. Then, they began their march.
They moved without detection into the wilderness, a barren plain of darkness and terror. Zatih was disturbed by such a place and she watched Hrothgar carefully as his face began deep and tranquil, as if thinking his way through a problem. His long black hair was cut short and his eyes were full of a spirit that had not been there before. Zatih remembered how he had mastered the art of sword, scimitar and whip combat. He had been able to accurately throw knives and spears, and he could fire a bow with expert precision. However, when it came to magic, he couldn’t manage even the simplest of spells. This had shattered him. The goblin elite mage told him he lacked concentration. The face that Zatih looked upon seemed fairly concentrated to Zatih.
She moved in routine, never falling a pace more behind, nor moving a pace more in front. General Bentnose yelled out random comments and instructions as they marched. Zatih found these annoying and pointless but she dared not say so. If the past year of slavery had taught her anything, it was discipline. That and the notion that caution was a virtue. Her strength had grown dramatically and she felt almost like a goddess when she used her arm muscles, the power that flowed through them was pleasing.
A Monastery came into view as they left the wilderness, a peaceful building with a small garden and sheep farm facing north. As the army marched across, they casually fired arrows into sheep, slaughtering monks who rushed out to greet them. Zatih was shocked at this random display of evilness and power. Hrothgar seemed even more upset.
She had seen Sirlokken do it many a time. That powerful light in his eyes as he called upon the spirits of magic. She never thought she would see the same look in Hrothgar. With a smile, he pushed Zatih from out of the way and unleashed a storm of glowing, raw magical power. He floated off the ground and fired his magic at everyone beside him. Warriors turned to ash where they stood as Hrothgar blasted them from the air. A tornado of spinning light swiftly obliterated General Bentnose and a handful of bears and goblins. Then, the army turned on him, swords slicing and arrows piercing the skies. None dared use magic, as it was obvious that Hrothgar was their superior in that field at least.
A storm of elemental castings was what completely overwhelmed the force. In an instant, the ground rose and sank, breaking bodies and killing men as they fell. The Monastery heaved loudly, then fell to the ground. Debris rained everywhere, which Hrothgar used to his advantage. Bringing about a swift wind, he blasted the jagged rocks at men and goblin alike with astounding speed. Men died like flies as the rocks hailed down on them, screaming in pain before going still. Hrothgar wasn’t finished yet. Great waves of water appeared from nowhere, drowning some and sweeping others into the cliff faces on either side of the Monastery. Lastly, a scorching heat swept down on the survivors, combusting some where they stood and setting the grass on fire.
“Run Zatih!” he shouted as he dodged a emerald bolt and flew into the sky. “Run Into the Wilderness!”
Zatih ran with great speed towards the Wilderness, sweating in fear, confusing and amazement. Once she was in the wilderness, she watched, not able to take her eyes away as Hrothgar seemed to explode with power. A solid sphere of energy covered the ex-slave, spreading out to cover the army that was attacking from underneath. As soon as that energy made contact with flesh, it sent men flying and burnt them as they watched, rooted to the spot.
Zatih realized that Hrothgar had been faking his magical ability to avoid detection. Someone who had every reason to hate goblins with that much power would surely be kept under watchful guard. Instead, Hrothgar was by far the most powerful mage Zatih had ever seen. His powers were almost those of Gods. Guthix agreed that the power was great, but he assured her that his own power was much, much greater.
A handful of goblins were left and began to run into the wilderness. With a casual approach, Hrothgar lit up each finger with magical energy. He then unleashed five small balls of magic, which hunted down each goblin and pierced through their mail.
Hrothgar floated down and extended a hand of friendship to Zatih. He smiled happily, having no apparent regret for what he had done. Zatih smiled happily and accepted Hrothgar’s hand. She pulled him close and hugged him; affection bursting from her for the first time in years.
“We are free Hrothgar!” Zatih smiled.
“Free” Hrothgar repeated. The word flickered off his tongue and he was truly happy for that moment of his life.
Chapter 7: The Massacre
Daralis cautiously entered the mighty city of Fallador, watching his surroundings for any clues to what was about to unfold. He was a tall boy now and his armor had long since been replaced by the hard to forge Runite. A power amulet hung from his neck and he grasped a rune scimitar in his hand. A long, purple cape swung in the wind behind him.
Behind him was Sirlokken, dressed in rough, wooden splitbark armor. The last year and a half had been a difficult one for him, and the years had begun to catch up to him. His agility and strength were deteriorating, yet his reasoning, logic and spirituality had never been stronger. His hair had grown silvery white down to his shoulders and he carried the dusty Skull Scepter that he had uncovered when he first began mage training. Sirlokken kept an eye out for danger but he usually let the boy deal with it. Using magic was exhausting for him these days.
Dungrix, dressed in the armor of Saradomin, quickly followed Sirlokken into town. He smiled at the aging mage, remembering the times when he had been younger, stronger, better. His death and resurrection had left him an old man. Dungrix himself was much better off. He had trained with Daralis until they were both strong, fast and forces to be reckoned with. The riches of his bank account had been shared generously with his friends.
When they entered Fallador, what they saw was a city gone mad with greed and fear. Men and women looted from every building and broken doors and shards of glass were scattered everywhere. Dead bodies slipped to the ground as skillful warriors in white armor tried to deal with the situation the only way they knew how. Fires were lit in the confusion and whole buildings burnt to the ground, crazed people often still looting inside.
Perhaps what would be called “The Great Fallador Massacre” would be caused by the panic that came with such a thing? Maybe the city would fall because people were so frightened that they looted and killed. The situation was getting out of hand and as the death toll began to rise, so too did the chance of all out war.
Dungrix slipped in unseen by anyone, staying a head of Sirlokken. The old mage looked at the damage and frowned. This was not a tranquil setting by any stretch of the imagination. A man with a crazy fire in his eye crept up to Daralis. The man held a sturdy battle axe in his hand.
“Give me your armor!” he yelled over the background noise. “Or I will kill you!”
Daralis casually thrust his sword out, twisted it around and pushed the stricken man to the floor. The man choked as he moved his hands to the gaping wound in his stomach. The last thing he saw before he died was the destruction and terror that man can cause.
They were in Fallador for one reason. To find Zatih. Merely a month ago that had found a goblin, fresh from the Goblin Village. After filling him up with ale, he drunkenly told them about the new goblin army and managed to name a few recruits: Hrothgar, Tilosh and Zatih.
They had trained even harder for a few days before setting out on a trip to Fallador. They had been sidetracked when they stopped to slay the vampire that was threatening Draynor Village. But now they were on task and nothing would make them budge from their goal.
With Sirlokken unable to perform his spells of teleportation and the Draynor Forest was rumored to be dark and haunted, the only quick way into the Goblin Village was by walking through Fallador. To make things worse, the Massacre was rumored to happen very soon.
The trio moved into Fallador park, where fires were blazing on flower beds and gardener’s dead where they lay. Suddenly, there was a crack of thunder and a blinding light as a section of Fallador’s large walls burst open, showering the park with huge white rocks. Sirlokken managed some feeble magic to protect his family. The rocks landed either side of them, leaving huge impressions in the ground. Smoke came from the explosion in jets, obscuring vision for everyone watching.
Sirlokken, however, still had the cunning eyesight of a mage. Time may have damaged his body but his senses were still sharp as ever. What he saw astounded him.
Roughly twenty men stood in the wake of the explosion, dressed in robes darker than those worn by supporters of Zamarok. Strange pendants hung at their chests, glowing deep purple. Beneath hoods, the eyes of these men blazed the same deep color. The all held daggers, long swords, battle axes and scimitars. The woman who stood in front of them held her hand out to the wall and it was obvious that she had caused the explosion. She held an Ancient Magiks staff in her other hand.
People had stopped looting and were running to see what was happening. Sirlokken grabbed Daralis by the hand and pulled him out of the way as the leader of the group shot a spell towards him. The spell struck a man wearing rags in the chest. He blinked twice as the spell disappeared inside him, then he exploded in a fiery hell fire.
“Run!” shouted Sirlokken to Dungrix, who immediately followed him. A few of the spectators acted on Sirlokken’s word as well and followed the old mage out of the park. A huge explosion rocked the ground as several more people met their match at the hands of the woman.
The small group of red robed men entered Fallador, killing any person who got within their sight. They laughed as they sent spells careening all around the city, destroying people and buildings.
“Let the Massacre begin!” the leader yelled. Her voice was high pitched and very feminine.
Sirlokken looked upwards, praying to any god that might be there. A dart of magic whizzed over head and he just managed to dodge the spell. The bank behind them burst into flames. Daralis was forced forward by the shock wave, dropping him to the ground.
As Dungrix grabbed him by the back of the plate body and pulled him up, Daralis got a glimpse of what was happening in the city. By now, warriors from all other the world were pouring into the city, eager for their share of the riches to be found. Elite mages, soldiers and rangers filed in, killing each other in fast paced battles. The ground was littered with blood and rune plate bodies, corpses and dragon hide, and pain was as abundant as the runes that were scattered all over the place.
Daralis and Sirlokken ran, Dungrix slightly behind. He had stopped dead, his eyes focused on something. A beautiful, blonde woman stood dressed in the holy robes of Saradomin. She read from a book of spells as she cast magic at her enemies, killing with the power of her god. This was the face that Dungrix could remember; the fine dimples in her cheeks, the emerald eyes that flashed as magic surged through her.
Sirlokken and Daralis caught a glimpse of the woman through their eyes as she cackled loudly and blasted her spells at the awe-struck Dungrix. Daralis stopped in his tracks. So too did Sirlokken. They gasped, not knowing what to do as the ball of holy light sped at Dungrix. With the agility that can only be achieved by years of training, Dungrix rolled out of the way and pulled his scimitar from his belt. He charged the woman down, dodging to the side as another spell was cast. He then jumped and twisted, bringing his scimitar down at the woman’s neck. With desperation, the woman blasted a huge spell, striking Dungrix directly in the chest. The force that was produced was amazing. Dungrix was knocked out cold immediately, his body sailing back ten metres where he lay still on the ground. The girl smiled, then turned her sights on a new target. Daralis screamed loudly.
That was all he could take. Now, he had seen every person in his family struck down. He wanted to kill that mage, to tear her apart with his bare hands. His eyes lit up as he took on the beserker rage. Rushing forward, something stopped him. Dungrix was moving. Slightly, sure but moving never the less.
Sirlokken grabbed Daralis by the hand and pulled him along. They were near the gates now, this little battle taking place near the moat to the White Knight’s Castle. Daralis objected but relented sadly. Suddenly, there was a flash and he was kicked in the chest by a red robed figure. Sirlokken grabbed a foot that sped towards him, pushing the owner of the foot to the side. When Daralis looked up, three of the figures towered over him. With a startled whimper, he realized that one was the leader.
“Sorry boys!” she said cruelly, hands glowing as she made to release the magical energy that had taken so many lives. “I’m afraid that your armor is much to valuable for me to allow you to leave!”
She blasted the spell at Daralis and Sirlokken, very nearly hitting both. Sirlokken dodged slightly then grabbed hold of Daralis using magic. He pulled him back, just out of the spells range. They were both sent flying as a crater formed in the ground where the spells had hit. Sirlokken managed to stop himself from hitting the ground but Daralis struck it with all his weight, shattering his collarbone.
Sirlokken dodged some spells that were flying out of the Ancient Staff. He swung one around on his scull scepter and sent it back where it had come from. The woman gasped as everything around her exploded, her two henchmen blown apart.
Sirlokken stepped back as she attacked his feet, striking her with a spell of his own. She stepped back under the impact, swearing loudly. Then, she managed to cast a shower of exploding spells down on Sirlokken, each one leaving blisters when it met the skin.
Daralis got up without detection and quickly moved behind the lady. He made a slight sound as his sword rapped against his plate body and she turned around. Fast as lightening, Daralis plunged his curved sword into her robes, bringing blood to the surface. Sirlokken thought of the Lava Maze, a cruel fiery lake in the darkest reaches of the wilderness. Still thinking off that place, he ripped open a portal behind the woman and pushed her back. She fell into the portal, sinking into oblivion as she headed off to what would become her cold, dark tomb. When the portal was gone, all that was left was a small amulet.
Chapter 8: Saradomin’s Chosen Warrior
Zatih and Hrothgar walked out of the wilderness, eyeing each other with a newfound affection. Zatih now felt something close to love towards the powerful fighter that had rescued her from the goblins. Hrothgar felt very much the same; the girl whom he had spent the past year and a half with had suddenly found a place in his heart. This was difficult for Hrothgar to understand; Zatih was his first real friend and he was unsure of the emotion he had never felt before.
A man dressed in sooty brown robes ran out to them, eyes panicky with distress. He was short, with a well-rounded figure and a bald head. He wore a holy symbol around his neck and his robes were torn in several places.
“Demon!” he accused Hrothgar angrily. “Who sent you?”
“Sir, I am not a demon.” Hrothgar said keeping his cool. “I’m merely an goblin slave who has had enough. Now, If you’ll kindly let us pass!”
“You shan’t deceive me, Zamorak Spawn!” yelled the monk. “The destruction of Saradomin’s Grand Monastery is a weak blow. I’m going to kill you, horrible beast!”
The man shot forward, punching with his bare fist at Hrothgar. Hrothgar stepped back, out of each and smiled as the little old monk spun around and lost his balance. Eleven more monks appeared from the destroyed monastery, slowly circling Zatih and Hrothgar. Hrothgar frowned. He didn’t want to kill these monks but it might be inevitable.
Suddenly, Hrothgar’s scimitar slashed though the air, tearing through robes and skin, spraying the floor with blood. The monk in front of them fell to the ground, blood seeping through the gaping wound. He yelled out to his god for help but none came.
Hrothgar thrust his hands inside the wound to the Monk’s distress. He shouted an incantation and a green light appeared. He slowly moved his hand up the wound, magically knitting it closed. When he was finished, only a faint scar remained of the injury he had caused. The Monk sat up, looking at Hrothgar with wide eyes.
“You spared my life!” he said confused. The other monks whispered to each other uneasily, shifting their feet around and looking straight at Hrothgar. Zatih was confused. Hadn’t the monks thought of Hrothgar as a demon seconds ago?
“Was no big deal” said Hrothgar helping the monk to his feet. “I apologize about your monastery, I really didn’t mean to destroy it.”
“No problem sir” the monk said, with an undertone in his voice that made Zatih realize that it was a big problem. “It is just we have no where else to go. Fallador is full of warriors and riches that make our order ashamed to live amongst. Camelot is too far away and we don’t get on well with Seers. And we can’t go to Entrana because our order requires that we have a dagger slipped up our robes for protection and as a sacrificial tool.”
Hrothgar hung his head, thinking of a solution.
“Besides, we must not abandon our post. We must continue waiting until we find Saradomin’s chosen warrior.”
“What?” asked Zatih. She had never been must of a religious enthusiast and knew only the powers of the Gods. Guthix was a balanced deity with a hand over nature; Zamorak was recognized as the master of chaos, betrayal and evil. Saradomin seemed to be some sort of spiritual judge, full of wisdom and enforcing law. Surely someone like him discouraged fighting.
“Saradomin’s Chosen Warrior!” A small monk who was about a head shorter than the others said. “The one mortal chosen by Saradomin himself to lead his forces in the God Wars. Legend has stated that he will do battle with the last remaining god and that battle will decide the fate over Runescape. Each God has chosen its warrior, although Zamorak is still a little unsure about who his might be. We are supposed to remain here until the holy warrior of Saradomin arrives.”
“Wait a minute!” Zatih yelled. “You mean the Gods will go to war again?”
“Yes. Well, perhaps not literally but they will definitely fight, be it through their champion or by themselves. The God will make their champion stronger than mortals, granting them powers through prayer and resurrection at least once. God and mortal will bond unlike any bond seen before. Their minds will become one; neither will be able to hide feelings from each other.”
Zatih felt her heart skip a beat. She focused in on Guthix’s presence in her mind and sent a message of anger at him. She definitely suspected that he was using her as a tool for his own battle with his brothers. And Zatih would not be a part of that!
Strangely, Guthix seemed relatively unresponsive and, frustrated, Zatih focused back on reality. Hrothgar was speaking to the monks and they all listened to him with growing admiration. When Zatih managed to become fully in tune with reality, she heard a few words such as “Fallador”, “Quite Modest” and “House”.
“I’m sure that would be fine!” The head monk said. “That way we will be close enough not to abandon our post. I doubt that our Master could object to that, especially if we live in modesty. Thank you Master Hrothgar!”
The Monks headed back into the ruined monastery, apparently trying to scavenge together a few supplies. Zatih took Hrothgar aside and made him explain what was going on.
“It’s very simple Zatih. You see, I used to have a little shack in part of Eastern Fallador. Modest is probably the best compliment anyone could ever think up for such a place. It barely stays up. Anyway, when I was captured by the goblins, that house, and my other one, was left deserted. I offered to let the monks stay there. It’s close to here so that can look out for the warrior of Saradomin and it wouldn’t violate their vow of poverty by any stretch of the imagination.”
“I guess it makes sense.” Zatih replied. “I’ll help the monks find their things”
With that, Zatih hurried into the ruins, leaving Hrothgar alone. He looked up into the sky and gazed into the sky. When it all seemed hard, everyone turned to god. And for that, he could not be sorry.
Chapter 9: Reunited at Last
Hrothgar led the dozen monks down the mountain, eyes flashing around cautiously, trying to spot out any danger that could await them. The war between land and cave goblins was probably just the beginning of something larger. The Goblins lived on both ends of the earth had Hrothgar could safely bet his freedom that they had never came into contact with each other. Someone must be stirring up tension, rallying new forces for something much bigger than just a simple Goblin fight. Zatih walked just behind the monks, who still gazed upon Runescape was changing, getting more dangerous than ever.
Hrothgar as if he were some sort of miracle. For people who had seen him as a demon of destruction just an hour ago, they had changed remarkably. The leader of the monks still looked at the slash in his robes, remembering the cut that Hrothgar had made with his scimitar. Zatih was very confused. Just by healing the wound that he had caused in the first place had completely changed the monk’s opinion of him.
They didn’t know where they were going. Zatih could remember only one place where she would be truly happy after a year and a half in the Goblin Village. The finely carved walls and the beautiful gardens of Sirlokken’s house in Rimmington filled her memory with glorious music. One day, she would go back and see what happened to her friends. She hoped that they were alive and well.
Suddenly, two dark figures appeared on the horizon, coming from Fallador, up the dusty path that led between the holy city and the Barbarian Village. They walked slowly but their obscure figures gradually came into focus as they came closer. A glint of blue Runite shone in the sun, causing Hrothgar to smile.
He ushered Zatih and the twelve monks back into the shadows, where they could barely be seen, all but their bare feet. Hrothgar watched the strangers come, slowly weaving their way below the mountains that held the Dwarven Mines. He drew his rusty goblin sword and jumped up and down twice in anticipation.
“Hrothgar!” Zatih demanded. “What are you going to do?”
“Pretty soon, some wild rumours are going to hit the Goblin Village when their small army never shows up for the war. Then, they’ll send messages telling everyone to watch out for humans that wear goblin armor, in an attempt to bring all their warriors back to the prison. We would do well to change our attire as soon as possible!”
“So you’re just going to kill them and steal their clothing?” asked the timid, young monk that stood a head shorter than the others. ‘Isn’t that a waste of two innocent lives?”
“Surely you don’t object to giving your god a little more company?” Hrothgar said slyly as the figures came into view. A purple cape, rune plate body and amulet of power instantly caught Hrothgar’s eyes. The other figure wore things of apparent little value, some wooden armor and a staff made of animal bones.
Hrothgar jumped out of his hiding place, grabbing the tall figure in the rune armor by the neck. He wrapped a hand around the man’s waist and placed his rusty weapon to the man’s neck. The second figure stepped backwards in surprise, raising his old staff up threateningly.
“Try it!” Hrothgar challenged. “But don’t count your friend still being alive after you do!”
The man Hrothgar held in his grip squealed in panic, as Hrothgar demanded their armor and clothing. Zatih dropped her sword and shield to the ground in disbelief. She stepped out of the shadows, jaw dropped and eyes boggling. Just as the man had screamed, a small flicker of fear had sped through his eyes, unnoticed by anyone else. Zatih knew that flicker anywhere, she had grown up around it.
“Daralis?” she asked uncertainly. “Sirlokken?”
Hrothgar let go off his grip. He stepped backwards, looking at Zatih, then back at his captives. Daralis stepped backwards, running back to Sirlokken. He looked at the girl in the goblin mail with disbelief, wonder and confusion.
“Z-Zatih?” Sirlokken said. “But, It’s been years. How?”
He wasn’t the only one with questions. Hrothgar and Daralis were shouting their own at Zatih, so fast she couldn’t tell where one question started and another finished. She held up her sword and sent it crashing done on a small rock beside her. The noise was loud and painful, causing everyone talking to stop and look at her.
“Sirlokken.” She said gently to her father. “Daralis.” They both looked at her with teary eyes as she opened her mouth again. “A year and a half ago we were attacked by goblins. I don’t quite remember the details of what happened but I do remember waking up some time later in a goblin camp.” She skipped the part about her mind merging with Guthix, not even Hrothgar knew about that. “I was put to work in the salt mines where I met my friend here, Hrothgar.”
“The one who tried to rob us?” asked Sirlokken. His voice was calm but Zatih could detect that his tone was aggressive and unfriendly.
Zatih angrily justified Hrothgar's reaction. She explained to them that Hrothgar was just trying to keep them from being thrown back into the Goblin Camps. Sirlokken was not exactly convinced but he seemed to realize that he was fighting a pointless argument. He glared angrily at Hrothgar, then back at Zatih.
"It's been too long my dear daughter." he said teary eyed and hugged her tight. "I never want to let you go!"
Chapter 10: Dungrix’s Enlightenment
For a long time, Dungrix was aware only of the sharp pain in his torso and the complete darkness that surrounded him. The rhythmic beating of his heart was what saved him in the end; each time he acknowledged a beat, it kept him in the world of the living.
Just as his breathing began to diminish and pain began to overwhelm his mind, a strange, serene music seemed to flood from the darkness, bringing with it glorious light.
“You have a choice Dungrix,” came a voice from the dark. The voice was commanding and yet oddly sympathetic. “You can sleep now, or you can keep fighting.”
“Surely that choice has been made for me. I am to die am I not?”
“Not if your wishes follow a different path to that one. Personally, I would like to see you take up your sword again and battle on for at least another little while. There are still those whom the stars say must meet their death at the hands of you.”
Dungrix opened his eyes when he heard that, and he saw a face that held emotion and wisdom that mere mortals were incapable of. An elderly figure stood in front of him, dressed in robes of faintest blue. A cape fluttered behind him, despite the fact that no wind blew. His hands were gloved and were wrapped firmly around a decorated staff. The only sign of the man’s age was the heavily wrinkled brow that sat above his eyes. A sense of youthful energy and beauty so perfect it was alien seemed to leap from the man’s eyes.
“I And thus, Dungrix, by clapping eyes on me, you join our minds forever. For I am the Lord Saradomin, God of Wisdom and Justice. Of all mortals, it is you I have chosen. You are the one destined to take my place in the God Wars.”
Dungrix said nothing, he was totally in awe of the God that stood before him. A smile touched the face of the powerful deity as he offered a hand out to the fallen Pirate. Dungrix took his hand, and as he did, a flash of blinding light obliterated any outside thought.
The Isles of Karamaja were in prehistoric states and strange plants and animals roamed the jungles. A tribe of primitive man looked up into the sky as Saradomin and the other Mahjarrats stepped into the world….
The image changed quickly. Dungrix was a baby, pressed against the back wall of a wooden hut, watching as two men wielding bloody swords entered the home. A young man and woman stood up to them, and immediately found their death on the cold steel of a long sword. Dungrix realised that the people whose blood ran freely along the wooden floor were his parents….
Saradomin had a look of pure concentration on his face as he blasted a beam of holy energy at his brother Zamorak. The evil Lord dodged and returned the blow with a jet of black fire. Saradomin braced himself for the impact, setting huge energy shields around him….
Dungrix was a young boy, training under the eye of the pirates who had killed his parents. They found he was quite skilled with a blade, and later on the agility course. Later on, he was a ruthless pirate captain, killing innocent people and raiding ports. He killed his own men for small crimes and was feared from Brimhaven to Mos’ le Harmless….
Guthix stopped the God Wars, momentarily stripping his brother’s of their powers. The world was save once more….
They’d had enough now. Dungrix’s crew were performing mutiny as they wrapped thick rope around the sea captain and threw him from the ship. He struck hard stone and almost drowned. The next thing he remembered was waking up in the house of the kindly old woman.
Saradomin smiled at him and vanished in a blast of golden light. Dungrix appeared back in Fallador, lying face down amongst the other corpses. He sobbed long and hard, he knew who he was and was ashamed. He cried for quite a while before a voice commanded him to stop. He felt the urge to travel south-east, so he picked up his scimitar and walked straight out of town.