Rust Red

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: June 22, 2016

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Submitted: June 22, 2016

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Karn looked out over his people, the people of the town and lands of Rust of the kingdom of Spectrum. It was time to rebuild it. Ten years proir, Rust was attacked by orcs and burned to the ground. Karn was the only known survivor of the attack, escaping on his fathers war-horse. Now, the rebuilt town had iron gates and stone walls that dwarfed the massive trees around it. With the help of his magic and the Druids from the changlings, the walls were strong and unlikely to fall to a raid from orcs or a bandit army.

After he had commited Genocide, the slaughter of the Black Tusk orc tribe, Karn had returned to Rust to start anew. He had invited his adopted familiy, the changling tribe that had taken him in after his escape from the raid. After they had accepted, farmers, carpenters, masions, and smiths came in clumps. With them came their families and goods. Settlements were started, homes were built, and the new community was thriving with low taxes and fertile soil from the ashes of a large part of the forest. The new town was slowly growing into a city, but still was no-were near as crowded as the streets of Spectrum its-self. Every residant of Rust had a roof to sleep under and food in their bellies.

An inn, the Travelers Meal and Cot, had opened and had a full common room each night. Tonight was the Harvest Fair and this years harvest was exceptional. The farmers had almost no adverse weather thanks to the Druids that infuenced the magical feilds of the winds and the soil was rich. The townsfolk were busy decorating the streets with wreaths of evergreens and scented herds. The smell of fresh bread, pies, and cakes combined with the scent of the roasting boar and duck.

Karn turned back to his study and sorted through the reports from his troops and farmers, nothing caught his eye.

A knock on his door told Karn that it was time for him to prepare for his appearence for his people. He and his wife, Tatia, would be joining the commoners in the feastivities.

"Come in."

The door opened to reveil a manservant.

"The Mistress awaits you in the dressing rooms, my Lord Paladin."

"Thank you. I wil make my own way there. Have fun during the feastival tonight."

"Thank you, my Lord."

The servant quietly closed the door to the study and made his way out of the new castle Karn had built. The walls were seemless stone and the wards monitored the entire building. The wards were linked to a Wardstone that karn had tied into the mana flow of the area, powering the wards easily and making them almost indestructable without a large group of wizards

Karn left the study and made his way to the dressing room and his wife. Along the way, he stopped to pick up o couple of gifts for er he had hidden in a closet for bedding. The packeges held a set of dragon tooth blades, a charmed necklace, and a crystal inprinted with his magical signature that would shine for as long as he was alive. He had made each one himself for her, weaving his magic and implanting mental wards and protective charms for her.

When he entered the room with the gifts behind his back, Tatia turned to look at him. She was waering her bright rust colored dress, the color of Karns familiy crest. Her brown hair and eyes looked at him and immediatly knew what he was doing. A cute smile dispayed her perfect teeth.

"And what might ou be hiding, my Lord Paladin?" she asked Karn.

"What makes you think I am hiding anything from you, my dear wife?" He responded, a smile on his lips.

"Why, your arms are behind your back. They are normally on your dagger hilts and waist. In addition, you only have that smile when you want to give me something."

"Realy? How observant of you, my dear."

Tatia walked over to her husban and wrapped her arms around his neck. Karn leaned down and kissed her gently on the lips.

"Happy Harvest, love."

Karn pulled the wrapped gifts from behind his back and placed them in her arms. Tatia opened them carefully, wanting to give the wrapping to one of her maids to wrap a gift for one of their? loved ones.Her eyes lit up at the sight of the blades. The necklance made her smile. And the crystal took her breath away.

"You put your magical signature into this. This is... this is beyond words."

Karn smiled. The crystal she had not only told if he was alive or not, but could also be used to control his mind if placed in the wrong hands. It was difficult to break the link to the crystal without being on contact with it. A wizard giving one to someone showed an unbreakable trust in that person.

"I trust you, Ta. Keep it close for those times that Iam away. I have a feeling that we won't be by eachothers sides constantly."

"I will, love."

They kissed again and when they parted, Karn began donning his Rust-red festival armor. on his back was Iorn Tusk and Rust, his two claymores. One was his reforged childhood blade and the other was his families blade that was passed down father to son and marked Karn as a Paladin, one of the kingdoms generals and protectors. Around his head was his signature rust colored head-band that protected others from the mental powers of Karn's mind. Even after his training, he leaked thoughts and emotions and had a teadency to read the thoughts of dozens of people at once.

"Shall we?" Karn asked after he finished dressing, offering his arm to Tatia.

"We shall."

Tatia took his arm and they walked out of the castle and joined the festivities, ending at the inn were they danced, drank, and talked to the locals. Karn was speaking to the village silversmith when the inn door opened and everyone went silent. Karn looked up at the figure in the doorway. The man was shirtless and wore a skirt of furs and dragon skin boots that had spikes on the top. in his belt were two war-axes of black steel and the bldes were carved in the shapes of dragon-skulls. decorating the belt were orcish skulls, each missing tusks. Those tusks were probably in the bags hanging on his belt, trophies from the border-wars.

The strangers eyes scanned the room and his red eyes fell on Karn.

"Karn, I need to speek with you... alone. The matter is urgent."

Karn regarded the man for a while. The red eyes indicated that the man was a born beserker. Karn himself had known a beseker growing up. He was younger than Karn a bullied because he was afraid of his own abilities. Karn helpped him grow confidence in himself and helpped him learn to control his beserker.

"Continue the feastivities. I am sure the matter at hand will be taken care of soon."

Karn stood and walked out the door, indicating for the man to follow. Using his telepathy, Karn told Tatia to continue celebrating, he would figure out the situation himself. He felt her mental reply. Turning back to the new comer, Karn adressed him directly.

"What is your name?"

"People call me Dragons Breath, but you Know me by Leo. I was guessing that you woulden't remember." the stranger replied.

Karn paused a second then continued walking. Leo was the beserker from his childhood. But he had been caught in the orc's raid. Olnly Karn was supposed to have survived. But at a second glance, it all came back to Karn. This was the boy Karn had grown up with. How he had lived was beyond Karn.

"How are you alive? Everyone was reported dead but me after the body count."

"The soilders miss-counted. I was nowhere near the town after the Orcs were finished. I had fled like you did after I had killed a number of the green-skinned bastards. A healer found me and saved me from the skin of my teeth. How about you, how did you manage to survive?"

Karn paused in thought, gathering the peices of the story in his head and how best to tell it.

"I had jioned my father on the front lines and had killed a few of the beasts myself before i saw my mothers body. After that, I headed home to grab fathers war-horse and try to escape to fight another day. Then I watched my father get killed by the cheiften. I took a swing at him and his blade shattered mine. I grabbed Rust from my father and took a one-handed swing and got lucky. Took out his eye and I slipped away. Everything after that is a blur. I rode into the forest for three days without rest and we colapsed."

Karn paused."Then the changlings found us. They took us in and cared for us. I woke up and talked to the elders. They allowed me to stay. I was adopted by a loving tribes-woman and her family and spent the time training and waiting. The rest can be deducted from the ballots of bards."

"So you realy did finish the Black-tusk Tribe. Who would have thought? would you like the tusks of the ones I killed?" Leo asked.

"Yes, Please. We have made them into necklaces that are awarded to people that do a great favor for the lands of Rust. One hangs in the Greathall of my castle, one on the Kings neck, and one on my adopted brothers neck. The next will be yours."

"I am honored, But what have I done to be so deserving?"

"You killed your share of the Black-tusks. Only three people are alive that have done that. You, Rex, and me."

The two warriors entered the empty castle and moved to Karns study.

"What has brought you to my Lands and seeking my audience?" Karn asked.

"A new group of orcs seems to think that they can topple your new city and cripple you as they did your father. I saw this and came to you. I knew there was too many for me alone, easily a thousand green-skin warriors and about a hundered more shamans. No Dracs, thank the gods. They would have already made it here if that was the case."

Karn thought on  this. Dracs were large lizards that were used as mounts by ocrs, goblins, and some low-power necromancers. An armed force mounted on them could cilmb over walls and even mages had trouble killing them. It was good that they weren't being used or the unexpereanced defenders would be over-run in time. They had a shortage of powerful mages to deal with the shamans though. The shamans used blood-magic to create super-soilders from their troops, Making them harder to kill with magic or steel.

"What do you propose?"

"A small, mounted force, armed with bows and spears could beat them at a pass that they have to pass through to get here. There, we could bottle them in and crush them after harasing them on the way there. If we kill the shamans, the rest will run. Have the Mounted men run circles around the bastsards and then fall back slowly towards the pass. Force them to fight a moving battle on our terms. They would be too thick headed to think about running from a smaller force. While that happens, we set up an ambush that will take out a least a chunck of the fighters and then we move to crush the shamans."

"Then at first light I will take three hundered volenteers and as many mages as I can munster to come with. Fifty soilders and most of the mages will stay with at the pass to set the ambush. You and the rest will harass the main army. Take any chance o kill a shaman. Use the mages to keep updated, and have the most expeienced mages lining the cliffs to create a volley of deadly spells over the army directed at the shamans while me and the rest pool mana and create a wall of flame from the front that will take out the first lines of orcs. Any that make it through the fire will have to deal with a mental shock-wave capable of killing a Golden Dragon." Karn paused. "I really am over powered."

Leo laughed.

 

Karn had managed to round up sixty-someodd mages and an even three hundered riders to carry out the assult. Currently, the force led by Leo were on their way to the narrowest part of the pass were Karn and the other men waited. Karn and his twelve hand picked mages stood and watched the riders break through the tree-line and pause in a staggared line. Moments later, a wall of ocrs burs through behind them. The riders shot a volley of arrows into the horde before turning tail and making for the rest of the riders.

We have taken no casualties and have killed at least a dozen shamans, a voice in Karns head informed him. It was Trenton making his final report before the finale.

Thank you Trenton.

"Ready..." Karn heard the archers noch arrows onto their bowstrings.

The rest of the force thundered around them with Leo wooping and shouting curses at the charging horde, stopped and took up their positions and notched their own arrows.

"Aim..." Karns voice thundered out again. Bow strings were pulled tight and aimed at the oncoming horde of green-skins.

"FIRE!!" the command was both vocal and mental, it was projeted to every mind within easy reach of Karn, making the front lines of orcs hesitate in their charge. The twang of bows and the sound of spells impacting in the middle of the hoarde were follwed by the sound of wounded orcs. Quickly, Karn and the other dozen mages around him began to channel their energies. Karn acted as the focous and drew from his pool in his crystal implant that connected him to the infinite reserves of his patron god, Leiber the Goddess of love, and shaped the spell. He felt the other mages doing the fine tuning and smoothing out the weave of the spell to be the most mana effective it could.

Karn watched th ewall of crimson flame rise up and swallow the front line of orcs. It began to move forward and burn up the next lines before the orcs began to run. The barage of spells from on the cliffs became more scattered as the last of the shamans were killed. The orcs ran like bugs fleeing the light. chard bodies littered the ground and the fires burned all over the pass. Mages from on the cliffs began to turn up to claim their mounts and reward.

"Victory for Spectrum!!" The call came from the voices of three hundered throats.

 

 

Later that day, every volenteer for the defense came riding throught the iron gates of Rust. The crowds on either side cheered for the victorious warrirs of Rust.

The prosesion moved towards the castle, where a feast was laid out for all in the growing town.

In the front was Karn and Leo, sitting high on their horses and waving to the cheering crowd.

"You know," Karn started, "this town could use a warrior like you. I have a position as Kinght of Rust open, if you're interested."

"Sounds wonderful, what's it pay?" Leo asked.

"Free food, free housing, and a sizable income. Enough gold to set you up for life, my freind."

"I'm in."

"Glad to hear it, old freind."



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