[Fan Fiction] "Origin"

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CrazyBernie
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[Fan Fiction] "Origin"

Post by CrazyBernie » September 8th, 2009, 1:14 pm

A great swell crested over, throwing the small craft high up into the air. It came crashing back down with a force that threatened to shatter its sturdy bow. Two of the four floatation devices lashed to the vessel's sides - air filled bags fashioned from pieces of thick hide stitched together and sealed with resin - tore free and disappeared into the dark waters. The sudden unbalancing sent the craft into a wobbling spin.

Gale winds whipped both rain and sea in every direction, making it difficult to discern where the the two met. Lightning briefly illuminated two figures huddled in the boat, clinging onto whatever handholds they could find. One of the figures was having more difficulty, clutching onto its precious cargo. The other was locked in battle with the rudder in a futile attempt to regain control in the violent waters.

The only indication of where they were headed was from the occasional glimpse of a much larger boat when a wave carried them up high enough to see beyond the swells. Its unnaturally burning deck provided just enough light to penetrate the torrential rains. The rapid distance they were putting between them and the doomed ship provided small comfort considering their current predicament.

Fiena risked a brief moment to wipe the stinging saltwater out of her eyes before regaining a firm grasp on a bit of rigging. The tiny mast with its sail had been ripped away an eternity ago, leaving little to hold onto. As soon as she had secured herself another wave crashed over the boat, threatening to flip them over. After it subsided she checked the bundle in her left arm, making sure it was unharmed. Satisfied, she shifted the sword that was strapped to her back and stole a glance at her guardian as he did his best to keep them afloat.

At fifty-five years, Jokund was one of the eldest in her clan; other than the graying at his temples, there was little indication of that age. He was built like a mountain, and she knew not a single warrior capable of defeating him in a sparring match. It was said that in his younger days, he once bested ten men who ambushed him while camping in a rival clan's territory. The only reason her father was Chief - a position held by the strongest warrior - was because Jokund conceded the position to him based on his superior tactical and tribal magick skills. The old fighter treater her like a granddaughter, and she was glad for his presence.

The bundle she was carrying shifted, and a tiny hand poked its way out. Barely a year old, there were no signs of distress on the babe's small face. Despite their circumstances, her heart swelled with pride as he looked at her and smiled. It's as though he's trying to comfort me, and tell me that everything will be fine. The child suddenly began waving his little arm with excitement. Fiena caught the reflection of orange light in his eyes and looked up.

A large ball of fire was sailing lazily through the sky, unaffected by the winds and rain. It did not follow a straight path, instead stopping and turning in random directions, appearing to search for something. Eventually it came to a halt above its target and began to pulsate. Dimming and brightening for a short period, it suddenly flared up, doubling in size and then throwing itself angrily downward. The resulting impact with the small boat created an explosion that sent wood and flame in every direction.

********

Garbed in the robes of an apprentice warlock, Fiena tried to maintain her concentration. Having just celebrated her tenth birthday, her father wasted no time initiating her training. It was certainly customary to test all children for magickal capacity upon reaching the age of ten. However, the clan leader’s daughter had exhibited great ability at a much earlier stage.

During a melee combat training exercise four years earlier, Fiena suddenly unleashed a ring of fire that wounded several students and instructors before falling to the ground unconscious. Fortunately there was a shaman on hand to handle the healing; there were no lasting injuries. The Elder Warlock could garner no immediate cause for the magickal outbreak, nor detect any traces of powerful energy in the young girl’s body. It was later discovered her mother had perished at that exact moment on the battlefield during a skirmish with a neighboring clan.

While she had little care for the world of magick, the Clan Chief’s orders were absolute. All children who displayed a penchant for the art were required to undergo proper training to control their ability. Additionally, they would face the potential of future placement as a tribal warlock or shaman. A single warlock could be the match for one hundred warriors, and a shaman’s healing spells were indispensable both on and off the field of battle.

Forming the chant in her mind, Fiena took up a combat stance known for its accurate strikes to help her concentrate. She had been practicing the spell for most of the morning without as much as a fizzle, but this time she would not fail. Taking deep breaths, she pictured the magick flowing through her veins. With a sudden start, she drew a pattern in the air and uttered the words, “Sho, chun, fae!”

An explosion sent her flying several feet back, landing hard on her rump. She couldn’t breathe; the flame had seared the air from her lungs. The Clan Chief slowly approached her as she struggled, hands clasped calmly behind his back.

“I will unite these warring clans one day, and I fully expect you to take my place once I have passed on. Your mother died supporting that belief; I will not allow you to shirk your responsibility.” He grabbed a flailing arm, and yanked her violently to her feet.

“You will live!”


********

Her face broke the water’s surface; instinct forced her lungs to gulp at the wet air. Jokund hauled her partially onto the broken bow of the boat, nearly dislocating her arm in the process. Her first coherent thought was for her child, but he was nestled safely inside the bow. The manner in which it had broken off allowed it to act as a miniature version of the boat, but would not be enough to support the three of them. She glanced over at Jokund in gratitude, and her eyes widened in horror.

One side of his body had been badly seared; he had shielded mother and child from the bulk of the fireball as they dove into the water. The side of his face was scorched to the bone and he was having difficulty breathing, but he was well aware of their situation. He leaned close and gasped, “Survive,” before releasing his hold on the bow and slipping beneath the dark waters.

There was little time to grieve, as all energy was needed to survive clinging to a small bit of wood in the raging storm. The passage of time slowed to an eternity as wave after wave crashed over them and tossed the bow around like a bit of cotton caught in a windstorm. The last vision Fiena had was of her son, a calm and serene smile on his face.

********

“Well, well, what have we here? Looks like a bit of garbage washed ashore from that big storm last night.” The bandit leader kicked at the small section of the bow near the edge of the receding waters. “Wonder if there’s anything worthwhile inside…”

The thump echoed like thunder inside Fiena’s skull. She struggled to open her eyes, which were partially crusted over with sand and salt. Every fiber of her body seemed to scream out in silent agony as she managed to partially roll to the side. The best she could make out were several blurry figures in front of her.

“Looks like we got a live one, boss.” One of the lackeys examined the prone woman. “She won’t be for long though from the looks of ‘er.”

Another bandit held up a small bundle. “Look boss, it’s a baby! It’s alive too!”

“Well, that certainly might fetch us some loot. If nothing else, we could feed it to a salamander for some entertainment.” The leader kept examining the wreckage, until a sudden screech caught everyone’s attention.

The bandit who had held up the baby was on the ground, rolling around and clutching his crotch. Fiena was up on one knee, cradling her child, and struggling to stand up. She had a thin, bloody blade in one hand.

The bandit leader motioned to the other men. “Now that wasn’t very smart, lady. I can’t very well let you live now that you’ve damaged one of my men.”

Placing her baby gently against a large piece of driftwood, she stood in front of him with her blade at the ready. “I don’t intend on dying in this place,” she spat.

The group of bandits chuckled amongst themselves.

“Let me get this straight. I’ve just told you can’t live, there’s seven of us here-” he stole a glance at the barely conscious bandit on the ground nearby “- there’s six of us here, you can barely stand, and you think you’re going to survive?” The leader shook his head. “And to top it off, you’re so delusional that you’re going to use a knife to fight us instead of that sword on your back. Not that it would make much of a difference.”

Fiena’s vision had cleared up enough to see the group of six bandits standing before her. They were all tough, grizzled looking men, some of them possibly having been soldiers before running afoul with the local laws. They had no qualms with killing someone, even a small child.

She merely nodded. “This should be more than sufficient to deal with men of your skill.” She took up a combat stance known for its accurate strikes.

The bandit leader sighed. “Let’s get this over with boys, I’m hungry and would like to get some breakfast in before we do some actual work. Work meaning the robbing of people with actual possessions that is.”

********

The bandits did not have much to eat, but Fiena was grateful for the waterskins some of them had carried. Additionally, the local currency she relieved them of would come in handy once she located a town. One of them had even been hauling a bag with some fresh clothes, likely taken from some innocent travelers. Drenching a small cloth with some water, she gave it to her child to suck on. They would need to find some shelter soon though, as midday had already come and gone.

Her own gear was nearly dry, as she had used some driftwood to craft a fire. As she began to pack some of her things in the bag procured from the bandits, she softly sung a lullaby that she remembered her own mother singing to her as a child. At some point she paused, and looked around their little camp. Picking up her baby, she sat down next to the warmth and spoke aloud to the air.

“You can stop hiding now. I am aware of your presence.” Her dagger was drawn and at the ready.

On the opposite side of the campfire, the air began to shimmer, and a figure appeared. It was a short, humanoid form with a face of green, leathery skin and large, pointed ears. It held both hands up, empty with palms spread in a sign of surrender.

“Puts down your dagger, human! I bring you no harm.” Seeing the puzzled expression on her face, the figure continued, “I is not like my brothers! I only wishes to talks with you, fearless human.”

The puzzled expression continued. “I…I be a goblin. Have you not seen my kinds before?”

The question was rewarded with a short nod. At first the goblin cackled with glee, then seemingly sighed as though relieved.

"Well then, you shouldn't be overly startled if I speak in a more civilized manner, I'd expect. For some reason, humans familiar with goblinkind tend to get their feathers ruffled when one of us exhibits a fair amount of intelligence." He took a seat on the stump of a log, after a brief attemp to clean off the sand. "I assume you are not from this area...?"

Another nod.

"Brilliant! Oh, how rude of me. I am known as Beltarg. Might I inquire as to your name?"

In this foreign land with its strange creatures, there was no way of telling who could and could not be trusted. Fiena could detect no ill will from this... goblin, but it would not hurt to be exceedingly cautious.

"My name is Lilith."

"Lilith with the Dagger!" Beltarg rubbed his hands together excitedly. "I likes you, Lilith with the Dagger. I -" He stopped, then cleared his throat embarassingly. "I apologize, but I sometimes relapse when nervous or excited."

He stood, brushing sand of his cloak. The fabric would occassionaly shimmer and become translucent.

"Now then, I'm pleased to make your aquaintance, Lilith of the Blade. I truly hope we can get along; I work for an organization that would benefit from someone of your talents. First, however, we need to find some shelter for you and your child. After that, should you be willing, I have a proposition..."

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Dragonlady
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Re: [Fan Fiction] "Origin"

Post by Dragonlady » September 8th, 2009, 2:19 pm

..and the plot thickens... :)

and to quote a famous line from "Laugh-in" .. "Veery interrestink, very interestink indeed!"

:lol:
Sometimes the dragon wins...
Help save the earth. It's the only planet with CHOCOLATE!

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Painted Lady
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Re: [Fan Fiction] "Origin"

Post by Painted Lady » September 8th, 2009, 2:37 pm

Dang CB - that is really, really good.

Randomizer
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Re: [Fan Fiction] "Origin"

Post by Randomizer » September 9th, 2009, 12:58 am

So that's where she came from.

Getting better every time Crazy Bernie.

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