It was an age of
tragedy for all. The humans were under attack by mysterious,
mythological creatures from the Other Realm, under the leadership
of newly appointed king, Jovian. Many humans had fled, fearing
for their lives, but many had stayed, ignoring the warnings, and
been captured or killed as many villages were raided and burnt to
the ground. The creatures, as they were known, did not hold any
mercy, for they had been brainwashed into believing that their
King, Jovian, and the human King, the fool Athos, would cleanse
the two realms of bad, and become emperors, or overlords,
whichever way you preferred to look at it.
King Athos and his
band of loyal civilians in the capital were safe from harm, and
many creatures had gone there to shelter and to rest. This left
the Other Realm defenceless, and thus was a perfect target for
the rebels to strike back.
A large group of
rebels had been gathering in the Other Realm, under the
leadership of Prince Nicolaus, who was technically supposed to be
king, but his brother stole the throne from him. Nicolaus and his
band of loyal warriors had a secret weapon up their sleeves; a
powerful young woman called Sekrite.
Sekrite was the Keeper
of the Elements, which meant that she had the power to use the
elements as a power source. Also, she had a duty to protect them
from harm, and with the assistance of a certain voice, had killed
many enemies, and also had killed her best friend, a young man
But that was in the
past, and now it was a year later. Jovian and his men had taken
hold of the Human Realm, and settled down there, biding their
time until Sekrite would come to them. . .
It was only a matter
In a quiet,
undisturbed northern village lived an old weary man and his adult
daughter. They were still mourning the disappearance of the girl
they had taken in at birth, who had become family to them. She
had gone missing a year or so ago, with her best friend, and they
hadn't been seen since. But, so thought Arnol, it was to be
expected, for Sekrite had met her uncle and witnessed his death
the day before, and had scared off a small army of warriors from
the King, led by the valiant, yet foolish black haired man known
As the village chief,
Arthfael's father, Cornelius, had married the widowed chief's
wife, and now thought of Ralf as a replacement for his son. Aeson
had been killed while hunting, by a wild bear, and had a hero's
burial outside the village. He had been a very respected member
and chief, and everybody was going to miss him.
twenty-one, had married the young man Roran, and they now lived
in a brand new hut next to Arnol's. Arnol felt lonely in his
small hut; fond memories of Sekrite and Daciana as children often
popped up in his head, and he could almost imagine their laughter
as they played with one another, and the delighted excitement
they had when Arnol told them a story. Arnol could recall the
time they found the abandoned Isis outside the village, nearly
starved, and how Sekrite had pleaded with him to keep the
half-wolf pup. Arnol's face always cracked into a smile as he
remembered the fond memories.
But that was in the
past now, and he would never see Sekrite again.
Beautiful day today, eh?" called Erik as he passed Arnol,
carrying a plank of wood over one shoulder. It was a gorgeous
Autumn day, the beginning of Autumn, and the trees were just
starting to turn from lush, fresh green to the copper crimsons
that made the autumn season so beautiful and
Arnol, on his way to
visit Cornelius, gave a small, tired smile, and answered gruffly,
"Aye, a beautiful morn, if I may say so myself. You off to fix
the gate?" The village gate had been damaged by a skittish young
colt a few days ago, and nobody had got around to fixing
"Yes, yes I am.
Somebody's got to do it." Erik gave a booming laugh, making his
small beard go up and down, and then bid goodbye to Arnol and set
off towards the village gate.
tunelessly as he walked over to where Cornelius would be
smithing. Even though Cornelius was the chief of the village, he
still liked to pull his weight by crafting tools for the young
and old alike, providing bolts, and shoeing horses. Arnol
secretly admired this thoughtful, caring man, and they both held
a similar pain in their heart, for both had lost their
Cornelius was putting
the finishing touches to a short dagger when Arnol approached.
Cornelius was a stocky, well built man, with big strong muscles
and a ruddy face. His dark brown beard hid most of his tanned
face, and his startling hazel eyes were intelligent and cunning.
Cornelius looked up, and broke into a toothy grin. "Ah, Arnol.
How are you today, my friend?"
"I'm doing well,
Cornelius. How are you?" replied Arnol, sitting down on a wooden
bench in the shade of the overhanging roof. Cornelius finished
the dagger, and placed it to one side. His eyes were twinkling
"Ah, Arnol, I feel as
happy as can be. I have a beautiful wife, a step-son, and am
chief of this untouched village. What more could I ask
Arnol didn't share the
blacksmith's joy in life, for news had reached him whilst coming
back from a neighbouring village, that the creatures and their
king were heading their way. Cornelius, sensing the older man's
dark thoughts, sat down next to him, a slight stale smell hanging
over him, and asked, curiously, "Look, Arnol, I know about the
creatures. But we'll fight 'em off, like we did with those
warriors the king sent up."
depressingly at Cornelius. Obviously, this bright cheery day
hadn't infected the craftsman with its joy, for he said in a
morbid tone, "Alas, my dear friend, we did not scare them off. It
was Sekrite who did the deed, with her amazing power, that we
have discussed many times."
It was a topic of
gossip for all of the villagers, about Sekrite, her uncle, and
how they scared off the men. Many parents told their children
about the mysterious sorceress Sekrite and her amazing psychic
powers that could scare even the biggest of armies. Of course,
the older folk scorned at the younger people, and told the truth
to their grand children. It had raised many an argument in the
village, which were often aimed at Arnol, Daciana, or
their thoughts, Erik appeared, flanked by his seventeen year old
son Seth and another boy called Zachary. All of them had fearful
expressions on their faces, as if they had just clasped eyes on a
Cornelius and Arnol
stood up, curious and slightly perplexed. "What's wrong, Erik?"
barked Cornelius, looking hard at the gate fixer.
Erik's face was bright
red, and he wielded a small, fairly harmless hammer in one beefy
hand. It was his son, Seth, who answered, "Sir, three figures
approach on horseback! They're about to reach the village!" Seth
looked ready to faint right there and now. By now, all of the
other villagers had taken positions outside their huts,
defensively, apprehension and terror thick in the air. A cloud
passed over the sun, blanketing them in a shadow.
Cornelius grumbled in
annoyance, and with Arnol hot on his heels, rushed to the village
gate, where three horse men had stopped. All three of them wore
cloaks and a hood, to mask their identity. The tallest rider was
at the front of the group, riding a handsome, elegant, regal
looking crimson coloured stallion. To his left was a slightly
shorter, yet just as regal, midnight black stallion, pawing at
the ground in anticipation. However, to the man's right was a
shy, rather reserved, beautiful snow white mare, with a single
black ring around one eye, which almost looked like a black eye.
The three riders all had swords on them, and sat up
A few of the
villagers, including Daciana and Roran, came out to see the
strangers, tense expressions on their faces. They instantly
relaxed when they realised that there was only three of them, and
that they weren't creatures (as far as they could
forwards slightly, and boldly exclaimed, "Greetings, strangers.
What brings you to the village, and who may I ask, are
The leader of the
group withdrew his hood, and the small gathering flinched. It was
a bald, slightly red skinned man, with rich emerald eyes and a
serious expression. His gaze flickered onto Arnol for a moment
before returning to Cornelius. The stranger said in a clear
voice, "Greetings, chief of this village. My name is Nicolaus,
the brother of Jovian-"
At the mention of
Jovian, the group hissed angrily, and Arnol and Cornelius
exchanges looks. Was this the legendary leader of the
unperturbed by the reaction of the crowd, "My companions and I
are passing by on our journey to another village, many miles
away. We wish to stock up on supplies, if you will permit it." he
did not say this sardonically, or mockingly, but as it was,
factually. This made the villagers stop hissing angrily, and
brought a small smirk onto the face of Arnol.
curtly, and added, "If you want, you can stay for the night, and
journey out in the morning." at this, the rider to the right of
Nicolaus stiffened, but the other rider dismounted his horse and
gave the reins to one of the villagers. Nicolaus did the same,
and they waited for their other companion to do so as
"Come on!" moaned the
rider standing next to Nicolaus. He pushed back his hood to
reveal wavy black hair and an unforgettable face, that made
"Ivan!" barked Arnol
in surprise and shock. The very man who had been scared away by
Sekrite...was here again, fighting against the King! Cornelius
rubbed his chin thoughtfully, but made no comment.
The unknown rider on
the mare reluctantly dismounted, and flinched when Daciana took
the reins to lead the horse inside. Daciana frowned at the
reaction of the rider, and said, "What's wrong?"
The rider stayed still
for a moment, then stiffly removed their hood, to reveal long
blonde hair, and intelligent blue eyes, and a pale, yet smooth
face. Daciana and Arnol gaped in shock, and the small gathering
of villagers froze where they were, startled expressions on their
faces. The sun shone down on the young woman's hair, making it
glisten like gold. She looked around warily, nostalgia in her
spluttered out, "S-Sekrite!" he rushed over to her and took her
in a back breaking hug. She flinched slightly, then returned it
awkwardly, eyes locked with Daciana. Daciana looked at her foster
sister in a mixture of shock and happiness.
alive! W-what happened?" she stammered cautiously, stroking the
white mare softly. Sekrite broke the hug with Arnol, and locked
her left hand over the black hilt of her sword. Arnol looked at
the now sixteen year old in awe.
Sekrite had grown a
few centimetres taller, and was now towering above Daciana and
Arnol. She was about a head shorter than Nicolaus, but the same
height as Ivan, and Arnol could see a similarity in their faces,
which he hadn't seen before.
Daciana flung herself
at Sekrite and squeezed her tightly, weeping in happiness.
Sekrite patted her back comfortingly, and murmured, "I'll tell
you what happened later. Right now, I need to tell
had other plans on his mind. "Villagers," he announced, "Prepare
a feast in honour of Sekrite and her friends."
And so, all of the
villagers bustled off, to prepare for a feast that would surpass
even the grandest feast held in the King's hall.
It was night by the
time the feast was ready, and Sekrite hadn't been able to speak
to Cornelius about Arthfael. She would wait until the other
villagers had retreated back into their huts before she did
Sekrite spent most of
the morning speaking to the villagers about general information,
hanging out with Daciana, Arnol, Roran, and Ralf. Ralf was
delighted to have Sekrite back in the village, and Sekrite was
dragged all over the place by the eager young boy. Nicolaus and
Ivan found it very funny; the keeper of the elements being
harassed by a young boy. Ivan even made a comment that Nicolaus
had competition, which was unfortunately overheard by the ever
curious Daciana. Sekrite told her that she would reveal all that
In the afternoon,
Sekrite and Daciana prepared for the feast. They went down to the
river, which brought back many memories for Sekrite, and they
washed and cleaned. Then, they returned to the village, and
retreated to the confines of their old hut, where both used to
As soon as she stepped
inside, Sekrite was taken back in time. This was the place where
she first remembered the voice speaking to her, at the ripe
innocent age of four. Tears trickled down her cheeks as she
remembered getting into trouble for nearly burning down the hut,
recalling all the times with Isis, and just being with Daciana
and Arnol. She quickly wiped the tears away as she changed into a
black dress, similar to her travelling clothes, in the event that
she had to make a quick getaway.
Daciana was delighted
to have somebody to fuss over, and spent ages brushing Sekrite's
hair, whilst revealing that she was three months pregnant, with
Roran's baby. Sekrite felt elated for her sister.
"Congratulations, Dacia!" cooed Sekrite, eyes bright in delight.
This would make her an unofficial aunt.
prettily, and said, "Well, I haven't told father yet. . . I don't
know how he'll take it."
"Well, you should tell
him soon!" insisted Sekrite, standing up and doing a little
twirl. She giggled like a child, and skipped around the fire.
Daciana rolled her eyes, and staggered to her feet, pretending to
be more pregnant than she actually was. Sekrite could see a small
bump on her brown haired sister's belly, and gave a secret smile.
It was nearly dusk when they exited the hut, and Sekrite was
immediately confronted by the sight of a large, square table laid
out in the middle of the village. At the top was a grand chair,
(where Cornelius would sit), and long benches down the sides.
Already, there was an assortment of meats and vegetables sitting
patiently on the table, and more was still arriving. Sekrite
inhaled deeply, and sighed contentedly, taking in all the
familiar smells of her childhood. It felt good to be home after
all that had happened since last year.
Daciana wandered off
to meet her husband, so Sekrite walked aimlessly around the grand
table, smiling at the villagers, and occasionally saying a
greeting or two. Nicolaus appeared beside her, adorned in dark
clothes, but with the exception of a regal looking cloak. The
villagers treated him the same as Sekrite, and he soon felt at
"What a lovely
village." he commented to Sekrite, as they passed a group of
babbling girls. Sekrite rolled her eyes, and glanced up at the
full moon. For some strange, primitive reason, the full moon
always set her heart pounding.
" Yes, it is." she
answered quietly, eyes darting to the fire-bearing torches that
lit up the table. She spotted Arnol and Cornelius at the top of
the table, and they waved at the walking pair. Sekrite gave a
small wave back, and glanced up at the grinning Nicolaus. "What
are you grinning about?" she queried, as they approached the two
his grin, then said, "Just thinking about
Sekrite rolled her
eyes, then smiled at Arnol. He looked at her in delight, then
frowned slightly as he noticed that she had her black hilted
sword with her. Sekrite must have noticed his gaze, for she put a
protective hand on the hilt. Cornelius, too, looked at the sword,
and said eagerly, "Sekrite, may I see that sword? I, of course
being a blacksmith, have an interest in all types of
Nicolaus sat down on
the bench, as did Arnol on the opposite side, and they all
watched as Sekrite slowly drew out her sword. Cornelius' face lit
up like a child's, as his eyes examined the glistening, snow
white blade of Sekrite's sword. He noted that the sword wasn't
that long, for it was more of a short sword, but it suited
Sekrite completely, and also, was a sight to behold. It was
Cornelius held out his
hands, and Sekrite hesitated for a moment. A few other villagers
gaped at the stunning white and black sword, then dutifully
returned to the preparations. Seth and Zachary, the two older
boys, came over and looked at the sword, as it was passed into
the hands of the chief.
Cornelius checked the
balance of the sword, which was perfect, and went on the examine
the hilt, and frowned at the inscription on the guard. "Dragon
Tongue?" he mumbled. Sekrite nodded absently, blue eyes locked on
"The sword is called
Dragon Tongue," she said. Seth looked at Sekrite, and felt his
cheeks turn crimson. She had changed a lot since he had last seen
her. No longer was she an innocent young girl, but a
strong-willed, fighting woman. He could see the passion in her
eyes, and the way she cared about others, that she had been
through hard times.
eagerly took her sword back, and drew it back into its sheath.
The feast was ready, and time for Sekrite and her companions to
tell their story.