Well, what can I say? This idea circled in my head for a really long while and I liked it so much that I've finally decided to actually sit down to it and wrote the first chapter. Now those of you who read my other story and decided to drop by here may start to get worry, but don't: no matter what "Dragonblood" is still my top priority for this site, at least till the popularity of it will be satisfying. As for this story, I'll be updating it if it'll find some readers that'll get interested in it, but only under that condition, so IF YOU WANT THIS STORY TO CONTINUE: REVIEW.
Summary: in the ancient, desert world of Narthia, there's a prophecy that a powerful demon by the name of Grussalag, who was defeated long ago, will come back to life and will embrace the world in chaos again. No-one knows when this will happen nor will it happen at all, however the signs that the Grussalag's awakening has began are starting to become visible. This story follows the trail of a certain, young thief, who travels the world and goes through many adventures, meeting both friends and foes on the way. And on the end of that route, lies the greatest challenge he has ever faced… greater then anyone before him faced.
Genre: action/adventure (duh), fantasy (also duh) and drama with romance and humor a little later on
Chapter #1: Two Thieves
The story that I'm about to tell you happened long ago, in the desert world of Narthia, a world full of magic and incredible creatures. The weather in this world was surely unpleasant: during the day the sun made it almost impossible to travel, creating high temperature and at night the temperature dropped drastically, making the air extremely cold.
The very rarely appearing cities located throughout this world were sometimes the only signs of civilization a traveler would see for days; outside the city walls was a harsh wasteland with golden sand and humps that after a longer journey all began looking the same. If the traveler was lucky, he or she would sometimes spot rocks, which granted them some shade, the only protection from the merciless sun.
But nature was not the only obstacle in traveling through those parts. As if weather hardships weren't enough, on the desert all sort of creatures found their home, eating those that weren't experience or skilled enough to fight back. The number of such monsters is too high to even count them, yet those who live from traveling through Narthia can tell those, who are interested, stories of vulture demons, birds that at first sight seem like normal vultures, but after taking a closer look their victims notice skinny hands ended with claws and a rat's tail coming from the back of their bodies. Others speak of Ragash, strange looking creatures that move right under the surface at an incredible speed and drag their pray underground after catching them in their mouths.
A great battle occurred once on this desert: in the times that nobody remembers, a mysterious person walked through the traitorous sands of Narthia. He had many names and many faces, but the most commonly used name was Grussalag. Everywhere he appeared, chaos appeared along with him. His army struck fear into men's hearts, as never before have they seen orcs, trolls, goblins, even vampires, all walking side by side… it was an army created for a purpose and one purpose only: to destroy the world.
With destruction spreading all over Narthia, the Nine Kingdoms of the Desert united against the enemy. They did not know however that Grussalag was well prepared: his soldiers were armed in weapons humanity have never seen before. Every blade was filled with magic, giving it special qualities… some could create fire, some were able to change shape, other could not be stopped by any shield. Victory seemed further away then every.
It was at that time that Gods decided to interfere. The Nine Protectors of Narthia stood between humans they swore to protect and battle against Grussalag along with them. After thousands of sacrifices, the battle was won and Grussalag was no more.
The Protectors lost most of their power in that battle and even though people of the desert still pray to them, they cannot do much. And dark clouds have not left Narthia just yet, for there is a dark prophecy… it claims that Grussalag was born from human most selfish desires, like greed or lust… and it is said that as long as there will be darkness in human hearts, Grussalag shall return once more, to claim the throne of Narthia and at that time the Nine Protectors won't be able to stop him.
Humans are weak… they cannot control their desires for power nor riches… and the more selfish they get, the closer the awakening of Grussalag is… will humanity choose the path leading to destruction yet again?
Our story begins here, in the city of Ulcarol. At first look the town looks peaceful, however after further investigation, you'd heard:
"Stop, thief!" a loud yell went through the streets of the city and a moment later a boy around eighteen years old appeared from behind the corner, with a large man with black hair and green eyes chasing him.
The boy had a little messy, short, brown hair, green eyes and a quite big, cross-like scar on his left cheek. He was wearing a brown t-shirt and a little baggy, grey pants. All this was covered by a brown cloak. His right hand was covered in bandages. Someone with a good eye would also notice a small, golden medallion with a dragon's head around his neck, three, flat, golden earrings in his left ear and a strange spear hanging on his back. The weapon carried by the boy was made mostly out of silver with a large, 'quarter of a circle' shaped blade and a strange rune on one of the sides of it. The long, silver stick of the weapon had a weird handle placed halfway, which seemed to be used to carry the spear without the need to hold the stick itself.
The boy turned into another alley and found himself right before a high wall. He looked up to see the top of it and with a tiny smirk appearing on his face, he reached for his spear.
A moment later the man that was chasing him entered the alley as well, just to find no-one there. He looked at the wall in front of him, that seemed at least five meters long. "Where did that brat go?" the man wondered as he looked around.
---Some time later---
"Okay, so where should I start?" Zora asked herself as she walked through the streets of Ulcarol.
This was her first time visiting the city, so she curiously looked around every corner of the town. The buildings were made out of white brick and took many shapes: from simple squares, through pyramids, towers made out of circles and ending on palace-like mansions with roofs made into circle with a spike on top, painted with golden paint (A/N: think Arabian palaces… I don't know how to describe this well, sorry). The windows were either round or square, yet there was no glass in them, most likely to keep the fresh air in the houses as the temperature was rather high during the day, but she did noticed rolls of material above every frame, which was supposed to be a protection from the sand if a sandstorm was to come… and possibly for keeping the warm air inside during the cold nights.
With every step she lifted up a little dust as the streets were covered with sand. On every side of the street stood wagons and stalls, all filled with merchandise: from food and clothes to even weapons. The only plants near the streets were palms, however there were spots used as parks, where the citizens grew cactuses and other plants, capable of standing the high temperature.
Wells were almost on every street, placed usually in the center of it. In some spots she saw white fountains, decorated with stunning statutes, however these were a rare sight indeed.
As she looked closer at the buildings, she noticed stripes of golden paint here and there and on smaller houses there were also strange markings written on the walls. For what she knew, those symbols were supposed to scare the demons away and assure a safe sleep to the people living inside.
"Well, I guess this'll do…" she said to herself as she came to a stop before a small tavern named 'Morning Wind'. She walked right through the empty door frame and entered the building, instantly noticing that the light inside was rather dim and smoke from tobacco pipes floating just under the ceiling.
The moment she walked in, she attracted the stares of almost every man inside. The reason for this was pretty simple, at least in her opinion: she was very attractive, even for a sixteen-year-old. She had long, blonde hair, clipped in a high ponytail and blue eyes. Her nose and lips gave the impression of being small compared to her head, yet for some reason those features were the ones that attracted the attention first.
She was wearing a red suit with the front quite uncovered: the material hid mostly her female features, leaving her navel along with what's above her breasts uncovered. The top of the dress seemed more as a waistcoat, which front was connected by thin, red lines and a small, brown belt just above her navel section. The sleeves of her outfit weren't even reaching her elbows. Her leg-guard was also red and rather short with a belt just above it. She also wore white boots tied with black lace and she had four more, red bandanas (two on ever leg) tied just above her knees.
Some of the stares were also earned by a strange weapon that she carried on her back: it was more or less a sword with a really long blade (A/N: the weapon itself seemed almost as big as her), however the shape of it was not typical. The blade would've been quite wide if it wasn't for several holes that made the blade look more like a saw with three, large teeth rather then a sword. Also the handle wasn't a common one: it was made out of metal with small spikes going outside.
As she walked through the tavern, most of the people stopped tracing her or at least pretended they did, some however kept their eyes on the young girl openly and one, who seemed to be only a little older then her, suddenly stood in her way and with a big smile he announced: "It's rare to see such a beautiful girl in this part of the city… maybe you'd like to join me?" and with that he pointed at the table nearby.
Zora looked the man over: he had a medium-length, black hair, hazel eyes and a little beak-like nose. He was wearing a black t-shirt and pants in the same color. The blonde sighed internally and thought to herself: "What a jerk… but I guess he'll do just fine…" and with that she headed to the table, saying out loud: "Sure, why not?"
As the two sat at the table, the guy placed his chair close to the one Zora sat on and wrapped his arm around her. The blonde girl smiled to him warmly, not giving away that the smile was forced, and asked: "So, what's your name anyway?"
"It's Jarret. And what about you, eh?"
"Just call me Zora…" she replied, still smiling. "So, why did you invited me? Don't tell me that it was just to exchange names… I mean, a guy like you certainly wouldn't stop on that, now would he?"
"Of course not!" yelled Jarret with a smirk. "You can order anything you want! It's my treat!"
"Is that so?" at hearing this Zora's smile changed into an evil one.
And with that single smile he attracted the stare of another boy that seemed to be around Jarret's age. A boy with messy, short, brown hair, green eyes and a cross-like scar on his left cheek. He kept observing the two the whole time they were seating at the table, which took about an hour, when suddenly the girl announced she had to go to the bathroom. As she walked out of the room, a man with short, blonde hair and blue eyes, wearing a white, thin armor that covered his torso, shoulders, arms and legs, and carrying a saber, who also got curious about the girl, headed outside and the boy with a scar soon followed his steps.
Zora walked through the alley filled with empty boxes and crates with a tiny smile on her face, as she threw a small sack into the air. "Boy that guy's stupid… just few, more gold pieces and I'll have enough… only a little longer, Dhalia…" but as the sack landed in her hand again, she stopped, noticing the man wearing the white armor. He held the blade of his saber close to her neck: "How may I help you?" she asked calmly.
"This city doesn't tolerate thieves…" announced the man coldly as he narrowed his eyes. "For robbing that man in the tavern, you'll spend several years in our dungeon. Come with me, unless you want me to kill you…"
"This guy is the town's guards… dammit, this isn't good…" Zora cursed in her head.
A second later however another blade appeared, this time near the guard's neck. The girl looked behind the man's back and saw a boy with messy, brown hair, green eyes and a cross-scar on his cheek: "It's not nice to point your weapon at a defenseless girl… you should at least allow her to draw her blade, coz the way you did things, she doesn't have a choice really…"
"Thieves don't deserve the same rights as other people…" the guard shoot back, without turning around, keeping his calm. "And besides, who are you to talk? You're practically doing the same thing!"
"Lower your weapon…" the boy ordered in a calm voice. "And I shall lower mine…"
The guard hesitated for a moment, but then did as told. A moment later he felt the cold blade of the boy's weapon retreating from his neck as well. At that second he spun around on his foot and cut with his saber with an intend to chop the boy's head off. His eyes widen however, as he noticed he only cut air. "Where did he…" he wondered just before a tiny stone felt on his head. The man looked up and saw the boy hanging on the balcony just above him with his left hand and held his spear in the other. "How did he get up there?"
"Well, you're pretty slow…" announced the boy with a smile as he placed his feet against the balcony and used them to spring right at the guard. Before the man could react in any way, the boy was already right behind him on the ground and attacked his feet with the blunt side of the spear's blade.
The guard lost his balance and felt to the ground, lifting up a little dust. The man slowly got back to his feet, tightening his grip on his saber as the boy jumped back with a grin. In an instant the guard charged right at the boy with an intention to pierce through his heart, but the spear user just spun around in place, deflected the attack and hit the man in the back of his head with the hilt of his weapon, making the guard fall onto the ground yet again.
"You really suck…" he teased as the guard was once again getting back to his feet. "Maybe you'll just consider letting us go? It'll be better for all of us…"
"Don't be so full of yourself, you damn brat!" yelled the man and charged at the boy again.
The boy just sighed and suddenly Zora saw strange aura emanating from him. As the man got closer to the boy, he lifted his spear up and called out: "Second stance: Sting!" and in a fracture of a second the spear transformed itself into a long chain, ended with a scythe-like blade. The boy threw the blade back, which 'captured' one of the barrels scattered around the alley and tossed the box right at the charging guard.
Moving at a top speed, the man didn't manage to dodge in time and got hit in the head by the barrel thrown by the boy. The spear user, who kept his weapon in the form of a chain, held out his hand towards Zora and said simply: "Lets go."
She didn't knew why she listened, the fact was that the next moment they were already running through the streets, away from the unconscious guard that tried to arrest the girl. They disappeared in another, dark alley and began to pant, tired of running.
Once she was able to speak again, Zora smiled to the boy and said: "Thanks for helping me out back there… I owe you one… they call me Zora, what's your name?" and so she held out her hand to him.
"I wanna get one thing straight…" announced the boy with an emotionless face as he walked over to her and bended over so that his face was only several millimeters away from hers, completely ignoring her hand. "I didn't helped you out of my good will… to be honest I hate thieves like you… the only reason I came to the rescue is because thieves should help each other out… there's no need for you to thank me…"
"Wait, you're saying you're a thief too?" Zora's eyes widen.
"Yes, I am…" nodded the boy.
"So what is your name?"
"It's Halan, if you must know…" replied the boy as he turned around and began walking away. "But it shouldn't matter since I don't intend to get friendly with you… I helped you out and that's pretty much it… I'll just take my reward and head on my way…" and with that he held up a small sack of gold.
Zora's eyes widen as she searched herself only to find out that what she was looking for, was gone: "That's mine!" she yelled, pointing her finger at him.
"No… that WAS yours… now it's mine…"
"It's not fair! I stole it so it belongs to me! Be stealing it you show you have no honor!"
"You sure talk big for someone who stole this sack just few minutes ago…" replied Halan calmly as he turned around to face Zora. "But you're saying about honor is a first class joke… we're thieves, woman! Word 'honor' has no place in our dictionary… just like you stole this from that Jarret guy now I stole it from you… that'll teach you to stay alert all the time…" and so he proceed to walk away.
"Wait!" the girl yelled behind him. "I really need that money…"
"Tell it to someone who cares… thieves that uses their charms to seduce their targets and then steal from them are the types I hate the most… I won't pity you and that's final…" and with that he disappeared around the corner.
Zora immediately ran after the boy, only to bump into a big, muscular man with short, messy, black hair, a short beard and hazel eyes, wearing a black shirt with short sleeves and white pants. The girl looked up to his face and shivers ran down her spine as a small smile appeared on the man's face.
"Zora, I finally found you…" he said in a deep voice. "Where did you ran off to for so long? Master Shira is not happy with it… he wishes to see you… immediately…"
"But…" began the girl, but before she could finish, the man grabbed her by the hand and dragged her after him.
Halan observed the whole scene from the distance and after the two disappeared from his view, he only shrugged and went on his way with no emotions showing on his face just like before.
---Some time later---
Zora slowly entered a dark room that was in a terrible shape: the walls were dusty, the floor prove to be a little sticky and the windows that were suppose to let the light into it were so dirty, that barely few of the sunrays managed to get through them. Several columns, that formed something like a tunnel leading from the entrance to the other end of the room were in bad shape as well, but the girl didn't paid any attention to those. What her eyes were set on was a black throne at the end of the room with a man sitting on it.
The man that made Zora's body shiver uncontrollably. He seemed bald at first sight, but as the shadows cleared, the girl noticed a very long, thin ponytail going down his back. He had long, black mustache, falling down his face and green eyes. He wasn't wearing any shirt, thus revealing his muscular torso and had slightly baggy, green pants. He had a golden bracelet on his left arm and carried a large saber tied to his yellow belt.
"Zora, my dear, I'm glad you returned…" he began with an evil smile appearing on his face. "I was getting a little worried, considering you haven't give any sign that you're alive for over a week now… I almost thought that you've decided to leave Dhalia behind…"
"You know I would've never do that!" she yelled from the bottom of her lungs as anger slowly build up in her. "I told you that I'll buy her out and I'll keep my word! I just need a little more time!"
"Ah, but time isn't something I'm willing to give you…" replied the man as he got up from his throne and walked closer to the girl. "You know the funny thing about deals in the underworld is that they tend to change quite often… you still haven't paid me for this week…"
"I just got the money I needed…" Zora began, lowering her eyes slightly. "But I got robbed…"
"You got robbed?" the man asked with a playful smile replacing the evil one. "Now there's one thing I haven't heard in a while… my dear, the most shameful thing for a thief is to get robbed by another thief… you know why that is so? It's actually pretty simple: it proves that your own skills aren't as good as the same skills of others… it's basically the same as when a swordsman gets defeated by another swordsman… it ends with death, for there is someone better… with that, you just proved that it's doubtful that you're capable of getting the money on time…"
"I will!" assured the girl with desperation in her voice. "Before the end of the week you'll have the whole among! I swear it!"
"Thief's word isn't worth a single golden coin!" the man shoot back with irritation in his voice. He then bended over to her and grabbed her chin: "However it's not right to go against such a beautiful lady such as yourself… I'll wait for you to bring me the money, however the among you still have left to pay has doubled… prove that you're not as worthless as you seem…" and with that he headed towards his throne.
Zora stood there a moment longer and then quickly walked out of the room, leading the two men to themselves.
"Was it really wise, master Shira?" asked the big man with the beard that brought the girl here. "What if she'll actually manage to get the right among? It's not a very good idea to play in this sort of situation… after all, you never planned on releasing that other girl…"
"Fear not, Ganza…" the bald man, Shira, replied. "I know Zora… she's skilled, but there are things that she just won't do… and because of that, she won't manage to collect the money she needs in time… besides, even if she will, the rules can be changed again… one way or another I'll get the Black Sun… I'd just prefer to do so by performing the ritual… killing two, such beautiful girls would be a waste… after all, they fit my tastes perfectly…"
And so the sun goes down on the horizon, bringing the cold night to Ulcarol. As most of the city drifts off into the land of dreams, the streets become the territory of other citizens of the town: thieves. And before sun will rise again… a lot of things will happen.
---to be continued---
And this concludes this chapter. Hope you enjoyed it and that you'll leave me a review once you're done. If you wanna know what happens next, do leave a comment, so that I'd know it's worth continuing this story.
And if you enjoyed this chapter, you might wanna check out my other story that's on this site as it's kept in a very similar climate.
That's it for this time. Take care and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!