I truly apologize for the incredible lameness of this story. It was written merely as pure entertainment for some of my friends, as sort of an e-mail serial of some sort. Enjoy!
Once, in a kingdom called Ravendron, there was a warrior named Skandar. Skandar was the kingdom's protector and one of its most respectable citizens. His weapon of choice was a cross bow and he would sit in a high tower in the middle of the Great Wood where he could watch for enemies. One day, as he sat atop his perch, he saw a black form moving through the dense trees. "Hmm," he said, and quickly made himself ready to defend his people. Keeping a close eye on the black form, he slid down a rope to the ground and began to follow it. "Who are you?" he whispered as he began to gain on it. Now he was but five feet away and could easily take it down.
"Why are you following me?" asked the black form. It turned around to face Skandar and he saw that it was someone in a hooded cape. The voice was feminine, but Skandar did not let that throw him off; he'd seen plenty of female assasins and criminals in his line of business.
"You're a stranger here, and I am a protector and warrior of Ravendron. I demand that you identify yourself and what yor business is here." Skandar never lowered his weapon for a moment, and eyed the person suspiciously as he waited for the answer to his demands.
Presently, the cape was dropped to the ground to reveal something that Skandar was not expecting; a fairy. In Ravendron, fairies were defined as beautiful, enchanted beings who posessed amazing skills of music, magic, and healing. Skandar had often read about them in Ravendron's history texts, but they had disappeared from the kingdom over one hundred years ago after a great war. And so, all he could do was to stare at the enchanted woman in amazement and disbelief. "Yes, Warriror Skandar," she said, her voice sounding like water, "I am a fairy."
"But-but fairies don't exist anymore!"
She laughed, and if you've ever heard a fairy laugh you'd know that it sounded like tiny bells. "Oh, we have exsisted alright. However, when the War of the Thousand Lilies took place one hundred years ago, many of the fairies were killed. Only a very few were left and I am one of the only remaining descendants."
"That's incredible!" said Skandar excitedly. He still could not believe that he was standing next to a fairy. "But what are you doing here?"
The fairy sighed and said, "I'm here on a sad mission, unfortunately. I have been sent to warn the King that a great evil is on its way to Ravendron in the form of the wizard Saber. He is planning to kill the Queen!"
"Then we must make haste and waste no more time. Follow me and I shall take you on the quickest route to the castle." Both Skandar and the fairy raced through the Wood, leaping over logs and weaving through the trees with incredible speed. It was not long before the reached the castle and the throne room of the good King Roy. "Your Majesty!" gasped Skandar, as he and the fairy quickly bowed and stood before the King.
"What is it Skandar?" asked the King, his voice deep and powerful.
"This good fairy..." Skandar paused for he had never asked the fairy her name.
"Arien," she supplied.
"Arien," repeated Skandar, "has come with terrible news. The wizard Saber is on his way to kill Her Majesty the Queen."
"Kill the Queen? We must not allow that to happen," said the King. He jumped up from his throne and approached Skandar. "Assemble the finest warriors in the kingdom to formulate a strategy to foil Saber's plans. We must not let him win!" The King stalked out of the throne room and went to find his wife.
Skandar, with Arien following close at his heels, headed out into a hall that led to the War Room doors. He pushed open the large iron doors and led Arien down a long set of steps and into the underground room. "You can have a seat at the table," he said to her, gesturing toward a long oval table. "I'll be right back." Arien nodded and sat down to wait. Skandar ran up a small set of stairs in the far corner of the room that led to the rooms of the warriors. Once he had them all rounded up, everyone seated themselves at the table to set up their plan of action.
"But Saber has magic, and the help of the Elves of Blackhill," said one young man, Liam. "Everyone knows that the Elves can not be taken down easily."
"Yes, Liam, that's true," said Skandar. "However, we have our wit and the advantage of strong castle walls. Even Saber would not stoop so low as to deprive us of the walls of Ravendron. We can set up our archers in the Wood towers as well as the castle's."
"And we can boil some oil to pour upon the enemy's heads!" shouted an enthusiastic young warrior, Ralph. "Believe me, that stuff really hurts."
"That would be like fighting dirty though, Ralph," said Liam, "and if anything we must keep our honour!"
"I agree with Liam," said Skandar. "However, if we really must use oil, than at least it will be to defend our Queen. The Queen's life is worth much more than the honour of a Warrior." The strategy planning went on for quite some time, and throughout it, Arien had remained silent. In the middle of some discussion over where to place which archers, she suddenly stood up. "What is it?" Skandar asked.
"Have you thought of setting traps in the Wood?"
"Yes, but we haven't been able to come up with anything so far that will not destroy the Wood and its creatures. Why, what have you thought of?"
"Dig," she said. "Dig large holes and then hide them. When Saber's army comes through the forest, which is quite unavoidable, they will fall in the holes."
"We tried that once," said Liam, "and they just climbed out again."
"Oh," said Arien. Then she furrowed her brow and tried to think. "I have another idea, but first I must ask a question. Is Ravendron still in posession of the gifts of the early fairies?"
The men all looked at one another and wondered what she meant. Finally, one man, an aged and wise warrior named Pierce, stood up. "Yes we are, but I do not see what you could use them for. Since they were received the only use found for them has been to keep our laundry in."
Arien smiled. "Alright, first I shall explain to everyone what the gifts were. Long ago, when one of the early Kings of Ravendron helped out the Fairy King, to repay the favour my people made for Ravendron a gift made up of ten parts."
"Which would be..." said Ralph impatiently.
"Have patience, Sir Warrior," said Arien. "They were ten large tubs made of glass. Each was roughly large enough for two or three grown men to fit in."
"Oh those things? Those are the gifts given by the fairies?"
"Well then why are we using them for our laundry?" asked Ralph.
"Because no one could find a better use for them, until now," answered Arien. "Now here is my plan..." For the next few minutes, she explained her plan and the men agreed to it. After some further strategizing and discussion, everyone went to the King to tell him to receive his approval. While in the midst of explaining everything, the throne room doors suddenly flung open and a large gust of wind blew in, nearly knocking the men to their feet.
"Who is it?" asked the King, rising from his throne.
An elf strode in, a look of pure evil upon his face. Long ago the elves had been good and were considered friends of Ravendron. Then one day, when Saber had been a good wizard and advisor of the castle things went wrong. He felt that since it was he who had the power, he should be king and he tried to commit treason. This, of course, had him exiled from the kingdom. His royal assistants had been elves, and unfortunately they had been more loyal to Saber than to the king himself. And so, when Saber left, so did they and ever since then they had harboured a great hatred toward Ravendron. They had no valid reason for this hatred, but Saber had used some of his powers on them to make them think as he did. "I am Sly, and I bring to you a message from my master Saber," said the elf, coming forward to the King and handing him a piece of parchment.
I assume that by now you have received the news of my plans to slaughter your wife, and I wish you to know that my threat is no joke. Expect my arrival at Ravendron in exactly two days. Expect the defeat of your 'honourable' warriors. Expect that I will find your beloved wife and slit her throat. Ah, but mostly, expect that by the end of our day of battle I, Saber, will be the new King of Ravendron.
Saber the Wizard
"No!" roared the King. Sly smirked and then departed after the King told him that they would be ready for battle and that they would not lose. Once the messenger was gone, the King began to pace. "Saber is truly the most evil being I have ever come across. His plans to kill my wife are not relevant to anything! He is simply doing that to hurt me, and I will not allow it. Skandar, we must win this battle. If my wife is not living by the end of it then I will hold you responsible." And with that being said, he stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him with such force that several small chandeliers fell from the ceiling to the ground and shattered.
Everyone turned to look at Skandar who had his head down and was deep in thought. "What are we to do?" someone asked.
"The only thing we can do," replied Skandar, lifting his head. "Win." He then walked out of the throne room, the warriors parting to let him by, and walked right out of the castle and out to his watch tower. Arien followed him, and they sat in silence atop the tower.
"Are you alright?" she asked him.
"I don't know," he replied. "Saber is so powerful. What if we lose? I could never live knowing that it was my fault." Arien said nothing. For a long time they just sat there, thinking. "You're a fairy," Skandar said suddenly, "use your magic to help us." He turned and faced her, a pleading look in his eyes.
Arien looked down at her hands. "I can't. My power is not strong enough on its own, and even if I could gather my family we would not be of much assistance for we are few and Saber's army is many." Skandar nodded sadly and was quiet again. "Wait," said Arien, sitting up straight.
"What is it?"
"If I can get the correct ingredients in time then I could give one or two people the cloak of invisibility," she said.
"Really? What ingredients do you need?" Arien listed them off and Skandar thought for a moment. "Come with me," he said, "I think we might be able to find what you need." They descended the tower ladder and then ran through woods together, gathering various leaves, flowers and berries. Once they had everything assembled Arien pulled her wand from her cloak and waved it over them. Slowly, each item rose up into the air and then they all began to spin, and a beautiful blue light glowed from them. After saying some words in her own language, they fell and in their place stood a blue bottle. "Is that it?"
"I hope so," said Arien. "I've only made this once before, so I shall have to try it myself to make sure that it works." She picked up the bottle and sipped a little from it. "Tell me when you can't see me anymore."
Skandar watched as little by little, Arien began to disappear. "You're gone," he said. "It's amazing. Who all will drink this potion?"
Arien said, "I have only enough for four other people. I was thinking that perhaps you could drink it, as well as two other warriors of your choice."
"What about the fourth person?" asked Skandar.
"The Queen," she replied.
"Perfect," said Skandar. "Let's go back to the castle now." As they walked, he asked, "How long does it last?"
"I'm not sure actually, but I know that it will last for the battle. Perhaps you should stop talking to me."
"Because we just passed a goat boy who looked at you like you're mad."
"Good point," said Skandar, and then from then on they did not speak.
Two days later the battle was about to begin. Arien, Skandar, the Queen and two of Skandars associates were all invisible. The King, while still incredibly enraged, managed to calm down somewhat so that he could give his army an encouraging speech.
"Men," he said as he paced in front of them. "Today we embark upon one of the greatest and most noble battles in the history of Ravendron. We are up against an unfathomable evil, but I have every confidence that we will win in the end. I will fight alongside you, and together we will defeat Saber and save our Queen!" He raised his sword high in the air above his head and his men did so as well.
"Huzzah!" everyone yelled.
Everyone then made haste to their assigned positions. Skandar and about twenty of his men followed Arien to the War Room to fetch the glass tubs so that they could carry out her plan. "What exactly do we do now?" he asked her as they carried them outside the castle.
"Grab those chains there," she said, pointing to a pile of chains, "and follow me ot the moat." Around the castle was a large moat. It was nearly twenty feet wide and certainly more than thirty feet deep. The water was dark, murky and rumoured to house pirhanas. After attaching the chains to the four corners of each tub, they lowered them into the water, upside down and fixed the chains to the moat walls about six feet down. The air pockets inside each tub would enable these men to dive down and attack from under water without having to come back up for air and risk being killed. Special arrows had been fixed so that once they hit the fresh air after being shot through the water, they would ignite and set on fire. Once everything was set up, the twenty men that Skandar had assembled dove down to hide in the tubs and await their signal to fire. Meanwhile, Skandar and Arien rushed inside the castle to be sure that the Queen made it to a safe place.
"Your Majesty," said Skandar, "Arien will stay hide with you. You're both invisible so even if your hiding place is infiltrated, you will not easily be found. We're putting you in the Western Tower, as it is most difficult to reach." The three of them raced through the castle and up to the Western Tower. "Stay quiet and I'm confident that you'll be safe."
He was about to dash down the stairs and outside again, when Arien stopped him. "Skandar wait," she said.
"What is it Arien?" he asked.
She was standing several steps above him and leaned down to place a kiss on his forehead. "You keep safe." Skandar nodded and continued to run down the stairs. As soon as he was out of sight, Arien smiled strangely and then locked the Queen and herself in the Western Tower.
Back outside the castle walls, Saber had just arrived with his Elves and the battle had begun. Swords clashed and created sparks; arrows flew through air and punctured unsuspecting victims; limbs flailed about wildly, sometimes being cut off in the process; and it was not long before Ravendron became a bloody mess. Skandar ran through the mess and killed, using his invisibility and being mindful that he did not get himself killed. He soon found himself approaching Saber himself and drew his sword, ready for action.
As Saber's army drew nearer to the castle, something strange happened; arrows began flying at them from underwater. The Elves did not understand how this was possible, as the arrows were on fire and there were no men to be seen. However, if they thought that was strange then they were in for another surprise; suddenly, along with the flaming arrows, there also flew pirhanas. Being flung through the air obviously enraged the little fish and when they landed on top of the Elves, they bit down with their razor sharp teeth. In short, the land near the moat was pure chaos.
Skandar was just a few feet away from Saber now, and was quite sure thatin a matter of seconds this battle would be finished. "Hello Skandar," said Saber. Skandar froze in his tracks. "No, don't stop. Come closer, brave warrior."
"How can you see me?" Skandar asked the wizard.
"You haven't noticed that your invisibility has worn off?"
Skandar looked down at himself and saw that the wizard was correct. "How did you do that?" he asked accusingly.
"Oh it wasn't me," replied Saber. "It was my assistant, Arien."
"What?" Skandar replied, his voice trailing off. Then, realization dawned upon him. "No!" He instantly turned and raced back to the castle.
"You'll never make it in time!" called out Saber from behind him, but Skandar knew that he had to try.
Up in the Western Tower things were going quite calmly. Arien had just made the Queen a cup of tea and they were making small talk. "This is a lovely castle you have here, Your Majesty," said Arien, "I just love what you've done with the place."
"Why thank you dear," replied the Queen.
They sipped their tea and then Arien stood up. "May I tell you something?" she asked.
"I'm going to kill you," said Arien bluntly. She then pulled a long sharp knife out of her sleeve. Slowly, she stepped toward the fear-stricken Queen. "I'll try not to make it hurt, but with knives these days you can never plan ahead."
Just then, they heard a pounding at the door. "DON'T KILL HER!" shouted Skandar.
"Sorry Skandar," replied Arien, "but I have no choice." She raised her arm and placed the knife at the edge of the Queen's jaw. Just as she was about to dig the blade into the skin, the door broke open and Skandar burst into the room.
"Drop it," he said, pointing his sword at Arien. "Now."
"Not a chance. You're too late Skandar. If you come a step closer, I will kill her." Arien turned back to the Queen, with her bak to Skandar.
Inch by inch, Skandar drew closer to Arien. She was too busy describing death to the Queen to notice him raising his sword. In a flash, and without warning, he brought his sword down right in between her shoulder blades. Arien shrieked, a blood curdling shriek, dropped her knife and collapsed to the ground. Skandar grabbed the Queen's hand and led her down out of the tower and into the throne room. "Hide here Your Majesty," he said, showing her to a large trunk. She climbed in and then Skandar ran out to fight.
The King, upon hearing the blood curdling shriek, believe his Queen to be dead and thus fought with more anger than anyone thought possible. It was not long before he had the head of Saber at his feet and a triumphant gleam in his eye. The battle was over just as night fell, and he went back into the castle to mourn the death of his wife. When he reached the throne room where he was going to remove his armour however, he was greeted by his wife and she was very much alive. They embraced and he told her about how he had defeated the wizard.
Meanwhile, Skandar was back up in his watch tower, nursing a wound on his arm and pondering the events of the past few days. He could not believe that he had nearly allowed the Queen to be killed. He could not believe that he had trusted Arien. Skandar gripped his sword and grit his jaw. It wasn't until many years later that he could finally forgive himself. Not until then did he realize that he could not have known what Arien's true intentions were, for she had seemed sincere and helped them to strategize in a way that gave them the upper hand.
One night, as he sat there in his tower watching the forest, he saw a balck figure moving through the trees. He climbed down and approached the figure, demanding his business. A black hood was pulled back to reveal a woman, and not just any woman...a fairy...and not just any fairy...Arien. "But..." said Skandar.
"You should always make sure that someone is dead before you run away," said Arien, and then she plunged a knife into his chest and killed him.