Author Note: I see I've gotten a few views on my first few chapters! If you read the story, please take a few seconds to give some feedback on what you liked, disliked, or felt needed improvements. It's hard to write a story such as this when I receive no criticism, constructive or otherwise.
Forty years ago, the goddess of chaos, Pandora, unleashed her fury upon the land of Tyron, killing crops and livestock, poisoning the water, brewing hate and despair among the people. Soon, the mortals of Tyron took a stand. Of four kingdoms, each would assemble an army comprised of elite soldiers, headed by their powerful generals.
To the east with the greatest archers and most cunning strategists, the forest kingdom of Vel assembled a great army of rangers, headed by Suron, their queen of tactics. Along with her cunning instincts and her sharp intellect, she was said to be the most beautiful woman of all Tyron.
From the south, the mountainous kingdom of Argoth assembled a great army of the most hardened sentinels. With enormous numbers and the most terrifying weapons, Argoth's army was commanded by the great Arycas, otherwise known as the Lightning Lance. Arycas was said to be the youngest of the generals, only eighteen at the time. Despite his age, however, he was the greatest warrior of all Tyron. Mastering every weapon in the Argoth armory, he was capable of taking on an army of one thousand, with just his lance.
From the plains of the west, Synthos, the kingdom of scholars, brought forth an army of mages. With the knowledge of magic and power of the elements, these mages were a great force to be reckoned. At their head was Zelf, an old, wise man, with the power to make mountains quake, oceans rise and forests grow to tremendous heights.
Lastly, the north was home to the swamp lands of Nyr, the kingdom of the dark. Curses, toxins, thievery and all things malicious called Nyr home. Nyr brought forth a great army of rogues. Leading this army was Krim, a master of biological warfare and dirty tactics.
Seeing the courage and vigor of these warriors, the god of life Miyosh bestowed upon them a magic box, with a message; whoever is strong enough to defeat Pandora's army and march into her lair, could seal her into the box. Once Pandora was sealed, Miyosh promised to restore the land of Tyron to its former glory. But, if the warriors were to fail, the land of Tyron would be lost and Pandora would be free to recreate it in her own image. Death would plague the land and her evil minions would roam free while mankind would be enslaved, cast into chains and made to work for the evil goddess.
So, the kingdoms declared war and fought their way to the center of Tyron where Pandora's lair sat atop a mountain of bones and the ashes of the long dead. Her army of undead met the army of mortals in a grueling strife. Squadron upon squadron charged headlong into the battle as casualties steadily rose, approaching the thousands; but with bravery and determination, the armies encroached upon Pandora's lair. When all seemed won, and the kingdoms thought that they could finally end the war, Pandora turned the tables. To the kingdom of Nyr and it's general Krim, she promised power, wealth and a life fit for a god so long as they pledged loyalty and fought under her. With gold in their eyes and a promising future on the horizon, Krim and his army turned on it's allies in a bloody and devastating betrayal.
The night before the final battle, they struck. Burning camps, and killing soldiers whilst they slept, the army of Nyr laid waste to their once comrades. During the attack, however, the army of Argoth managed to retaliate. Arycas, outnumbered, led his army and any other survivors in retreat, fleeing from the burning wreckage, killing whatever Nyr soldier they came across. When dawn broke, the armies were decimated; camps were burnt to ash, the soldiers lay dead in a sea of blood and morale was shattered. The dead outweighed the living, and the only surviving general was the Lightning Lance, Arycas. Clutching Pandora's box with shaking fists and a head full of rage and anguish, he buried his fallen comrades. As tears rolled down his face, he vowed vengeance against Pandora and against the Nyr. He solemnly swore to himself, his late comrades and his surrounding soldiers, that they would bring an end to Pandora and lay waste to the Nyr.
The kingdoms of Argoth, Vel and Synthos convened into one council known as the Great Trinity. They devised a plan to combine the weapons and might of Argoth, the tactics of Vel and the wisdom and magic of Synthos to create a powerful army, ready to take on any threat. At the head of this new-found force, was Arycas, now versed in the ways of all three kingdoms and with a bright, burning fire in his eyes.
A year passed; with a newly forged army, and a fiery passion, Arycas led his troops into battle. Swiftly and devastatingly, the army of the Great Trinity fell upon Pandora's army and the troops of Nyr. Arycas crushed thousands, striking with his massive lance and striking down enemies with his new-found magic prowess. His kill count rose into the thousands as he stained the battlefield with the blood of his enemies.
Soon enough, his army approached the base of Mount Netherfall, the home of Pandora and the new king of Nyr, Krim the Traitor. Arycas and Krim's army laid into each other, but Krim was not prepared for his opponents might. His army was quickly crushed, and he himself soon fell to the might of the Lightning Lance, Arycas. Once Arycas defeated Krim, there was no stopping. Tired, wounded, but still confident, he led his army into Pandora's lair and sealed her and her evil army into Miyosh's box. With her parting words, Pandora swore vengeance on Arycas, the Great Trinity and the entirety of Tyron, vowing to return one day to lay waste to the realm and to reap the souls of anyone who dare stand in her way.
From the waste of Mount Netherfall and all over Tyron, the goddess Miyosh kept her promise, and restored the land of Tyron to it's former glory. Arycas was named Arycas the Blood Lance, Champion of Netherfall by the Great Trinity. The three kingdoms converged into one massive realm called Arrago. Soon enough, Arycas founded the village of Trell in-between the forests of Vel and the Mountains of Argoth. And they all lived, happily ever after, the end.
"And that, children, was the tale of the War of Netherfall,"Master Crow finished. The group of children surrounding the crackling camp fire sat open mouthed in awe.
"Tell it again Master Crow!" One said, wide eyed.
"More! What happened the the Nyr of the north? Did Miyosh smite them with her awesome power? Did Arycas slaughter them all? Tell us, Master Crow!"
Crow laughed and threw a twig into the dying fire, "perhaps another day, child." He got up from his log and stretched his old legs, then put out the fire. The children replied with a disapproving groan in unison. "Now now, don't be upset; there are plenty more stories where that came from." Crow looked up into the full moon, crossing his arms and letting out a deep sigh. He stroked his graying beard and looked at the now disappointed children, "Maybe next time I'll tell you about the great dragon and the Beast Slayer from the land of Tor."
A child of eight, Sam, looked up with excitement, "Tor? The place across the great water to the east?"
Crow winked, "Of course, child. But for now, off to bed! It's already late and your parents will be wroth with me."
"Yes, Master Crow," they replied in unison. The children left, reluctantly dragging their feet as they returned to their homes.
Master Crow looked on into the shadows, "Enjoy the story, lad?" From the shadow of night emerged a youth of fifteen, not too tall, but not too short; long brown hair fell over his shoulders. He was clad in simple garb, a leather vest over a white tunic with brown breeches and leather boots. His blue eyes reflected the moonlight in the most peculiar way.
"I'm no fan of folk tales, old man, especially ones about false heroes," Theo said, "and when are you gonna wash those old robes? They stink of booze and look like they've been dragged through the mud by Pandora's hounds."
"Arycas is no false hero, no matter what grudge you hold against him, lad. And these are no folk tales, it is your history and you'd do best to learn it," Crow replied.
"Because those who do not learn of their history, are doomed to repeat it," they both said in unison. Theo gave a mocking smirk.
"Shouldn't you be home, lad? Don't worry your mother anymore than you already do; with your father gone-"
"You don't have to remind me!" Theo yelled, perhaps too loudly. A flock of birds retreated from their nests overhead, and silence soon permeated the atmosphere.
"I didn't mean to deepen fresh wounds, boy," the old man said, "what happened to your father was a loss for the entire village. Even if Arycas had been here, I don't think-"
"I don't want to talk about it," Theo exclaimed, fighting back the tears, "look, the only reason I'm out here is because my mother wanted to invite you to supper. So just shut up and stop trying to pry into my life!"
Crow could see the pain in Theodore's eyes. It was a fresh pain, one that hadn't been given time to heal just yet. Though the accident happened just a year ago, to Theodore it was just yesterday when his father was taken from them and the entire village. Theodore's father, Simon, was a great farmer and an even greater man. He taught the children to care for crops and livestock, and listened to the woes of the old and young. He was a figure of great admiration to the entire village and his life was dedicated to helping the people of Trell.
"I'm sorry, lad," Crow apologized, "and of course I'll join you."
"Fine," Theo said, wiping at his eyes, "mother made stew, so be sure to thank her!" Theo started off in the other direction, through the bushes and trees.
"I'll be sure too," Crow whispered to himself. He snuffed out the remaining cinders of the fire with his tall staff and proceeded through the brush with Theo.
The village of Trell was located in a forested mountain-top in the eastern part of Arrago. Just west of the village past a thicket of trees was a cliffside where the village priest and scholar, Master Caravus Crow, would teach the children of Trell the religion of Miyosh and the history of Arrago and Tyron.
Even at night, Trell was a bustling village of fun and laughter. The children would laugh and play while their parents worked on the crops and livestock until nightfall. Then, village men would sit around a large fire, drinking ale and recalling tales of adventure from their youth while the wives would sit inside, tucking in their children and sewing new clothing or blankets. At the center of the village lied the Temple of Miyosh where Master Crow dwelled. To the very right of this temple was a large stone cottage, with a brick chimney patched with mud and stone. This is where Theodore, our hero, calls home.