Barerin sat upon what was once his father’s throne, the glistening golden sunbeams reflecting off its magnificent polished surface. It made him look like a god. He was a tall muscular man with neatly platted black hair, his eyes were crimson red, his face slightly wrinkled by his age and yet he had a youthful manner about him, he wore a glorious golden plated armour which gleamed in the sun, his sapphire blue cloak hang delicately across his broad shoulders. He peered around the huge hall and watched as guards approached, behind them they dragged a thin, tall man dressed in stained rags, his straggly knotted hair was drenched in blood and sweat, his feet dragging along the cold stone tiles, his knees scraping across the floor, his blood gushing out of his open wounds turned the tiles red.
The guards dropped the man in front of Barerin, Barerin stared at the man, and the man clambered to his knees, barely conscious. He lifted his head slightly to see the emperor rising from his throne; the emperor paced over to the man and knelt in front of him. Barerin raised his hand, and lifted the man chin, then the man spat at the emperor, Barerin then grabbed the man’s thinning hair and slammed his head into the floor. The man’s head now cracked wide-open, blood running down his face and into his eyes, as Barerin turned and walked back to the throne as he reached it. The man spoke with a bitter tone and gasping for air “you think you are emperor because you wear that crown, HA, you are pathetic you are not worthy of that throne”. The man laughed through the pain as the guards pounded at his ribcage and chest. Barerin looked round and saw the man grinning with his mouth full of blood, his teeth broken, he spat out some of the blood onto the floor, and the guards kept pounding the sound of bones breaking could be heard. The man looked at the floor and the blood dribbled from his mouth. Barerin paced back up to the man, took out his silver plated sword and put it to the man’s neck, “Any last words before I run you through” Barerin replied in a distasteful tone. The man turned and spoke “yer, the rebels will rise up and bring you and your tyrannical empire down, those who will never submit to your oppression will fight you at every turn, Emperor of chaos”. The man grinned one last time before the tip of Barerin’s sword was wedged in his heart, the man fell upon the cold brittle stone, his blood oozing out of him and surrounding the corpse in a pool of ruby-red liquid.
“Get the servants to clean this mess up, before the nobles arrive” he turned and spoke to the guards, Barerin examined his blade before wiping the blood off, he then returned to his throne, he sat quietly down as servants swarmed the hall, bringing mops, buckets and sponges and had already began cleaning the pool of blood. Two large servants lifted the body, and carried it out the back door, the servants scrubbed. The smell of the corpse had already begun filling the air, it was a sickening smell, and made most of the servants gag. Barerin did not mind the smell; he was used to it by now. Once the body was cleaned up, the servants scurried off in all directions like rats.
The large metal doors opened and a breeze blew the autumn leaves in, the sun lit up the golden hall like some heavenly portal being opened, as nervous nobles tread slowly into the grand hall. Some nobles gulping in fear of what the emperor had planned for them. Their foreheads covered in sweat, the guards closed on them, surrounding there every exit and making the nobles gather into a small circle. The emperor stepped sharply down the throne steps and moved gracefully across to the nobles. His large frame frightened many of the nobles, who all gulped in unison, one of the nobles step forward, his sweat beads rolled down his cheek and into his mouth. It’s taste, that bitter salty taste made his eyes water. He stuttered “my-lord , I – er we have come as you asked”, Barerin paced forward to were the noble stood , Barerin shot a cold glace at the noble, the noble looked away and then took a step back. Barerin drew his sword the noble flinched in fear. Barerin pointed the blade at the noble’s throat. A little cut was made from where the tip of blade made contact with the skin, the blood slowly trickled down his throat, the other nobles watched in horror.
“Tell me, who is emperor?” Barerin asked questionably, the noble squirmed “y-you are, milord” Barerin turned and lowered his blade he paced around.
“Yes I am, and that means whatever I say goes” then Barerin raised his voice “I called you here today, to my home, to my domain, so we can set a few things straight, any of you or any members of your land give shelter to the rebels, will be executed in the most public and most horrendous manner”. His voice returned to a calmer tone “Is that understood?”
All nobles nodded their heads with agreement, then Barerin spoke in a more serious tone “as prove of what I say is true, this worm here will die” Barerin pointed at the noble who was still bleeding. The noble dropped to his knees and begged Barerin not to do it, but Barerin saw no reason. He called his guards to hold the man up, the man writhed and tried to break free of the guards, he kicked one of the guards in the back of the shin. Barerin watched with delight as the man tried to fight the huge men who were holding him. The guard who was now on the floor holding his knee, grabbed the noble’s leg and with his large dagger dug it deep into the noble’s leg, the noble shrieked in pain. More guards came pouring in they were holding the other nobles so they could not help, even though they did not want to get involved.
The noble’s yellow satin trousers were soaked in blood, the noble was now losing consciousness, he was pale and cold, he looked up at Barerin and struggled to speak, when he did, his last words haunted Barerin and made him lose his grin “ The light is rising” the noble collapsed Dead.
Everyone except Barerin was puzzled by what the man said, “get out all of you” Barerin yelled, all guards dragged the nobles out of the palace, Barerin pounded his fist onto the arm of his throne and looked down, thinking about what the man said the light is rising. About five years ago, Barerin travelled to the tower of seers, the tower itself was a tall grey tower split into three equally tall towers that stretched up to the heavens, and it was the home of the seers. The seers were three ageless women who each wielded a physic ability, to see into the past, the present and the future; he travelled everywhere to find the lost forest. The tower was hidden and protected by powerful charms; the lost forest was home to barbarians who are nothing but savage beasts that care only for destruction.
When Barerin reached the tower after killing several barbarians, he got one of the mages who had accompanied him on his mission; the mage studied the runes that surrounded the tower. The mage glowed with amazing light, mana swirling around him, and then his hands glowed with a bright blue beam. He then shot the beam at the tower. The force field that surrounded the tower exploded with such a force, Barerin and all his companions were thrown backwards, some of the companions hit trees, others were launched into the air and smacked down, and the impact shattered their bones. Barerin’s armour protected him from the worst of the impact, when he got into the tower, he paced up the third tower were the seer of the future was. She was named Luna, daughter of the moon. The room was bright and candles were lit all around the room, there a woman sat, she had long pale lilac hair that reached the floor, her eyes were pale blue. Luna spoke in a gentle tone “What brings you here Emperor Barerin”, Barerin was shocked “How do you know me”, she replied “I see the future, I see you… Ask your question”
“Fine, many people say I will die, but who will kill me”, the seer’s eyes turned black and the room darkened, gusts of wind blew in and around the room. The candle light was extinguished. Barerin was cold as if he was standing on a block of ice he shivered.
Luna’s voice changed a deep, dark masculine voice spoke from Luna’s mouth “The light will rise, the light will rise, you death will come at the hands of the light, the keeper, the protector, the guardian, the ancient prophecy will be fulfilled, she is coming”
The room was bright once again; Luna’s mind was returned to her. Barerin was confused, “What is the light?” Barerin asked, Luna looked at Barerin, her eyes were blue again, and she spoke softly “the light is an ancestral being, the very essence of pure good and light, why? What did I say?”
“Hmm- you spoke about an ancient prophecy and about a woman I think, the light will rise”
“Oh, I see, you should take your leave now, please go”
“What aren’t you telling me?”
“Trust me young prince, you do not want to know more, nor will it change that will come to pass”
“So…you’re saying my fate is sealed, no matter what I do”
“The future cannot be change, it is destiny”
“I don’t believe you; I will hunt this guardian down and slay her”
“You’re not listening, destiny has chosen your path, now leave”
“Fine, we will see about that”
Barerin remembered that day well, the day he found out who was going to kill him. Barerin continued looking at the throne, and then he heard footsteps drawing near. Barerin turned and faced one of large broad doors that led away from the throne room; a young short blonde haired man marched forward through. He was tall, youthful and yet he had a cruel demeanour about him, he wore a similar plated armour to the Emperor, though it had not seen as many battles and was more lustrous. He wore a fiery red hooded cloak over his armour; it bore a large embroidered insignia. The young man knelt before the emperor and spoke with a tone of admiration “Father, is there anything you would like me to do”
“Yes, since you ask”
“Yes, I would like you to hire Marcus Davos mercenaries, and tell them to attack the monks of the Darklands”
“As you wish father, But Davo’s minions control the west border of Argon”
“Thank you Dorian, and your concern is misplaced, they are there on my orders” Dorian smiled and hurried out the hall, he continued until he reached the outdoors. He looked around before walking down the steps; the steps were large and now made of granite. Dorian paced over to the giant metal gate that separates the palace and the town from each other, a barrier that separates the poor from the rich. He struggled to lift the large rusted latch. When he did, he grabbed hold of the gate and pulled it towards him, it took a great amount of strength. He raced up to the horse stable, his stride equal to three steps and mounted a brown horse with a brilliant white mane. The horse neighed and trotted gracefully across the mountainous terrain. The rocky ground gliding past the horse’s hooves, he rode quickly to the narrow alleys in the centre of Argon; he pulled his blood red hood over his head and crept swiftly further into the alleys. The alleys were long and filled with rubbish, the smell was nearly unbearable. Dorian pulled his cloak over to cover his mouth and nose, the smell of rotting flesh and garbage filled the air, and the smell got worse further in.
When he reached the centre of the alleys where all alleys joined, and where a band of mercenaries kept their base, two mercenaries stood guard. Both wearing brown leather armour, which covered their torso and thighs, it was studded with blunt metal spikes and bore the mark of Marcus Davo. They both carried large wooden spears, which had large iron barbs. The men stood blocking the way forward, Dorian strolled towards them, as soon as he reached them, and they drew their spears across the centre of the path.
Dorian thought for second something tells me they don’t want me getting past them, Dorian spoke harshly “ move aside, I have business with your leader” one of the men , a tall broad man spoke “ I highly doubt that”
He sighed “ look , I need to hire some , help as it were, on my father’s behalf” the men turned and the man continued “ and that depends on who your father is” Dorian grinned and removed his hood, the men gasped “ of course young prince , follow us”.
Dorian smiled and followed them; the other man glanced back at Dorian, and then continued down the path.
When they reached the centre of the alleys, one of the guards bent down and opened a small drain that led deep into the sewers, the same man jumped down, Dorian did the same and the other guard followed. They marched through the foul smelling sewer. Dorian tried not to pay any attention to it. He looked around, the walls were damp and black, they travelled deeper into the sewers. Until they reached a wall that was not like the others, it was clean and made of brick and in the wall was a large iron door. The guards took him through it and into a huge cavern, and there sat upon a silver throne was Marcus Davo. A red headed dwarf dressed in fine chainmail armour, his beard plaited and long, he sat there with guards either side of him, and he glanced in Dorian’s direction and smiled.
Marcus leaped out of his throne and walked towards him, speaking admirably “Well if it isn’t prince Dorian, son of the mighty king Barerin”, Dorian raised his eyebrow in response then Marcus continued, “What brings you here, I mean surely you should be making friends with the nobles and not hanging out with the likes of me”. Dorian sighed and said “listen Marcus, my father has asked me to hire some help to deal with the monks of the darklands”
“Oh I see, well we aren’t cheap”
“Of course” Dorian reached into his pocket and brought out a large leather bag and threw it at Marcus’ feet “ in that bag, is two thousand Argas” Marcus reached down and picked up the bag, and peered inside.
“Great let’s talk business, shall we”
“All my father wants, is the monks eradicated”
“It will be done young prince” Dorian left the cavern and run back up the sewers and up the drain, Dorian had terrific memory and had remembered the way back through the alleys. He ran to the beginning of the alleys, his cloak swaying either side of him, he paused for a second and peered around to see if people were about, he found none. He continued back to the centre of Argon’s town, he searched for his horse, when he found it, he mounted it, the horse whinnied and began trotting, then suddenly he hit the horse’s thighs and with that the horse burst into life, galloping as fast as its legs could carry it. Dorian leaned in the direction he wanted the horse to go and the horse obeyed.
Finally, he reached his father’s palace, the beautiful golden palace; he demounted and led the horse back up to the stables. The horse trotted happily alongside Dorian, now and then, it would stop and graze on nearby grass, he watched and waited for it to stop when it did, Dorian and the horse continued.
When they reached the stable gate, he lifted the wooden latch and led the horse inside; he tied its reins to the wooden hook on the shelf, he turned a petted the horse, it neighed happily and nudged Dorian’s arm. He patted its back and brushed its mane, then paced out and hiked back to the palace.
He rushed into the palace throne room, but Barerin wasn’t there, he raced up the stairs and knocked on his father’s study, there was no answer, he knocked again, and again there was no answer, he was getting worried.
Dorian ran as fast as he could, searching every room but he found no trace of his father, then he heard a faint mumble outside, he looked outside the bay window, and saw his father talking to one of the nobles, a local lord who had favour with Barerin. He smiled and ran back down the stairs and headed outside, into the garden.
“Father, wait” he shouted, Barerin and the noble turned, Barerin sighed and muttered “I apologize for my idiotic son”
“Of course I have two of my own”
“I’d better find out what he wants”
“Of course milord, I will leave you to deal with your son”, the lord bowed and walked towards the palace. Barerin paced over to Dorian “What is it son”
“Father I’ve been looking for you everywhere”
“Well, you have found me, what is so important to interrupt my meeting with one of the local lords”
“Father, I wished to inform you that Marcus Davo has sent his mercenaries to the Darklands”
“Good, the monks will finally be destroyed once and for all”