Knights of Iyatula

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

The Knights have returned to Iyatula, the time to fight is now!

Chapter 8 (v.1) - The Knights of Iyatula

Submitted: May 22, 2018

Reads: 66

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Submitted: May 22, 2018




Liam and Cassandra stood at the gates that led into the castle saying their last goodbyes. Liam noticed that the two guards that had been on duty the day they arrived were at the gates again, but this time they weren’t eying him suspiciously but were bowed as a sign of respect. Liam excused himself from the small group that were hugging and crying all at once and walked over to the two guards.

“Stand up sons of Iyatula and come listen to the words of your king.” Both guards stood up and walked over to where Liam was standing, once in front of him they bowed again. Liam walked over and straightened each up in turn before giving each a farewell hug.

“It doesn’t seem quite fair that everyone gets to say goodbye but the two of you,” Liam said, seeing the shock on their faces. He chuckled and sent them back to their posts. As he turned to go back to where Cassandra and the others were standing one of the guards called over to him and he turned around to hear what the man had to say.

“You will be the greatest king Iyatula has ever had, Your Majesty.” The guard said choking back the tears, for he had never been treated with such respect before. He saluted Liam and walked back to his post next to the big wooden door.

“Your Majesty, you must be extremely careful, the Shadow King knows now. I have received word on the wind that he has had Lucian executed for not killing you on the night you escaped. That means he will redouble his efforts to get at you,” Surta said as Liam joined them again.

“I am well aware of the situation with the Shadow King, and the fact that I still feel some fear for him, will probably keep me alive. Besides Keeper of Secrets you have taught me well,” Laim stated.

“True Your Majesty, but your lack of experience is still concerning. Remember other Princes have a lifetime to learn and gain experience, you had three days.”

“Three days will suffice, besides I am sure on my travels from this day I will gain a lot of experience in quite a short period of time,” Liam said, feeling how the confidence in him had sprung forth, like a well that could no longer be contained.

They finished their farewells and the King and the Protector headed towards the bridge and ultimately to the foot of the High Mountains. The pace was now being set by Liam and Cassandra was irritated that she was now the one finding it hard to keep up. Liam noticed this and smiled at her asking if she wanted to rest.

“We can stop on the other side of the bridge Majesty, there we can have something to eat and drink from the river.” Cassandra was noticeably out of breath. Liam shrugged his shoulders and walked on. They both simultaneously saw the troll as they neared the bridge. Venimis was standing to the one side of the bridge with his large umbrella smartly held up to keep the sun off him.

“Bow you fool,” Venimis shouted throwing himself to the ground, crouching under the umbrella.

“I think his talking to his invisible brother again, I wonder if his bowing,” Liam said, jokingly. Cassandra laughed at this and could only bring herself under control once they had reached the place where Venimis was crouching under his umbrella.

“Rise Venimis the Troll,” Liam commanded in a low voice, like a general commanding his troops. This set Cassandra off again and this time she couldn’t make herself stop, and the look on Venimis’s face when he stood up made it worse. Tears were now freely flowing down her cheeks and it took all of Liam’s self-control not to give in to the laughter.

“You heard Majesty, stand up, stand up you crazy Poysnis!” The troll screamed to the nothingness behind him. Cassandra was now lost to hysterics and had to sit down to keep herself from rolling around on the ground.

“Please Majesty; I and Poysnis are only trolls looking after the bridge of yours. Us didn’t know you was the Majesty. Us is sorry for taking the shiny, pleeeez take it from us.” The troll stood trembling under his umbrella holding out Liam’s wrist watch. As Liam was reaching out to take it from him he spotted some movement out of the corner of his eye. He stopped in mid reach and looked over to where he had seen the movement.

“What’s that Venimis?” Liam asked, looking at a large cat that had been tied to a nearby tree. The sight of the cat finally brought Cassandra from her fits of laughter and she walked over to where Liam was standing.

“Lunch Majesty.”

“Lunch, are you completely mad. That’s a baby Imperial Schneeleopard,” Cassandra screamed shocked, her laughter completely gone now.

“I actually do know what it is, Cassandra. But the troll has answered my actual question.” Liam said.

“I apologise Your Majesty, it is just upsetting to see such a beautiful creature in such peril,” Cassandra said sheepishly.

“I understand,” he said to her. Then turning to Venimis he said, “You can keep the shiny, I want your lunch.”

Venimis looked extremely pleased at this proposal and jogged over to the tree where he loosened the cub taking it to Liam. Liam took the rope from him and bade the troll farewell. Cassandra forced herself to do the same. Halfway across the bridge Liam noticed that the troll was following them and stopped.

“What now Venimis?” Liam asked

“Us is coming to help from the bad man king,” Venimis said sincerely.

“Venimis I need you to protect my bridge and the monks of Tibah, you can’t help me where I’m going,” he said to the troll, the whispered something into Cassandra’s ear. She looked at him shocked and then walked over to Venimis. When she reached him she lifted the staff in both hands as if to strike the troll. Venimis lifted his hands defensively, which in itself wouldn’t have helped if Cassandra was attacking him, as he towered above her like a giant.

She brought the staff halfway down and a blue bolt of light shot from the stone embedded in the top, bathing the troll in blue shimmering light. Dropping the staff to her side again she walked back to Liam, leaving the troll shaking his head violently.

“I have given you the gift of being able to see whether travelers coming this way intend to do harm to you or the monks. If their intention is evil, you are to stop them from crossing this bridge. That is how you can help me Venimis, I your king charge you to protect my bridge and do you accept?”

“We’s will do this for our Majesty,” Venimis said proudly. No troll had ever been given a task by the King of Iyatula, no troll had ever been given magic and for Venimis this was an honour he was willing to die for. The three travelers set off again and soon found themselves next to the river drinking thirstily before unpacking lunch.


Both Liam and Cassandra had eaten their fill before sitting back against a tree that was growing next to the river. The Schneeleopard was playfully chasing some butterflies in and out of the tall grass not far from where they were sitting. Liam couldn’t believe that a cat that reached as high as his hips could still be a baby. The Scneeleopard darted in and out of the grass and its brilliant white coat of fur shimmered in the sun and almost blinded Liam.

“Cassandra, I don’t understand. I thought that the knowledge that had been given to me was all of my ancestors’ knowledge and experience combined, yet I did not know what a Schneeleopard was or for that matter I still don’t know. To me it’s just one big cat.” Liam said, not taking his eyes off the magnificent animal with its piercing glacier like blue eyes.

“The way it was explained to me when you were off on your quest of knowledge, is that it is all the knowledge of your forefathers. So I guess your ancestors didn’t know everything. Healers on the other hand are born with the knowledge of every creature in Iyatula I mean we have to be able to heal them.” She shifted into a more comfortable position against the tree.

They sat in silence a while longer watching the cat play when a thought occurred to Liam.

“Do I just let him go, or… What do we actually do with him?”

“Oh by the gods, we can’t let him go free, he’ll die. He has a bond with his mother that is only broken once he turns four years old. I think it’s safe to assume that our big friend back there probably ate her first.” Cassandra said, seeing that Liam was shocked at the thought.

“So what, do you expect me to eat him?” Liam said irritated.

“No, he must eat some of you,” Cassandra said, watching Liam’s irritation turn to horror. She burst out laughing and the cat momentarily turned to see what all the commotion was about. Seeing nothing of real interest it leapt after a brilliant green butterfly that had fluttered past his nose.

“You have to let him bond with you, and the only way for him to do so is to be bound by blood. So prick your finger and let him lick it. This will create an eternal bond between the two of you.” Cassandra said once she had brought herself under control. Liam nodded and got up from where he had been sitting and walked over to the cat. As he called the cat over he realised that he didn’t have anything to cut himself with and was about to turn to ask Cassandra for a knife when one pegged in between his feet.

“Hey, you could have taken my toe off,” he shouted back over his shoulder, bending over and taking the knife from between his feet. Liam stuck the point of the knife into his thumb and winced at the pain. A tiny bubble of blood sprang from where he had punctured his thumb and he called to the cat again. The Schneeleopard stopped mid jump this time and raced over to where Liam was standing, almost knocking him over as he skidded to a halt against Liam’s legs.

Liam reached out with his right hand and scratched behind the cat’s left ear while holding out his right thumb so the cat could lick at the blood dripping from it. Smelling the blood the Scneeleopard licked at his thumb and an amazing sensation overtook Liam as the cat’s tongue crossed his thumb.

Liam could only think of a picture in picture television, as he was able to see his own hand as the cat was looking at it. Then he saw the cat’s gaze go up and was startled to see himself and Cassandra standing next to one another. He now turned his own head and looked at her and saw that she was grinning at him.

“Just concentrate, you can turn it on and off. It’s called gazing, very few people are able to bond with animals and I had a feeling that you might be one of them.”

“Wow, why didn’t you tell me that this would happen it’s amazing.” Liam was hardly able to contain his excitement and found that he didn’t have to concentrate extremely hard to turn it on or off, and just to be sure he turned the gazing on again, then off again.

“I left it as a surprise; besides what if you were unable to bond, it would have been a little disappointing don’t you think? Just one thing though, you and him share a blood bond he doesn’t grow out of it like with his mother, you are bonded for life.” Cassandra made her last statement sound like a warning. She looked Liam square in the eyes to ensure that he understood, and to her relief she could see that he had.

“I’ll call him Avalanche, for he is beautiful but can be dangerous. What do you think Avalanche?” Liam said to the cat. It leapt up and placed its huge paws on Liam’s shoulders bathing his face with his tongue, Liam decided that the cat was most definitely happy with the name.

Liam was still euphoric when he gathered his backpack to continue the journey back.


They reached the long range of extinct volcanoes where they had camped before as the sun burned high in the afternoon sky. Liam was about to go over the rocks that had spilled out from the collapsed roof as they had done before. He knew that this would lead them through the volcanoes and down the slope toward the others encamped at the base of the mountains. But Avalanche jumped up against his chest and pushed him over onto the ground.

“What’s wrong Ava…?”

“Shush!” Cassandra hissed in a muffled tone. She was crouching in front of the ledge that lay just off the access to the flat area below, looking at something below. Liam lifted himself onto his hands and knees and crawled over to her, lifting his head slightly to look over the ledge. Liam furrowed his brow as he noticed a division of soldiers camped on the flat surface, next to him Avalanche let out a silent growl.

Cassandra pointed out the leader of the detachment without saying a word. His pock marked face was a dead giveaway and she had recognized him immediately from stories her father and Zane had told when they thought that she was sound asleep in her bed, instead she was hiding on the stairs listening to them. She saw that years of war had taken their toll on General Licentious, and he seemed even more formidable in real life than she had imagined.

The General’s small eyes were sunk deep in his head, showing like black holes into the back of his skull. The skin on his shaved skull glistened in the noon sun, his large, flat nose, big lips, and prominent cheekbones seemed out of place on his body that was sculpted to the proportions of Michelangelo's David.

Cassandra led Liam around the division of soldiers that had set up camp in the trail through a massive crack, in the face of one of the extinct volcanoes, which opened up into path hidden from the army on the far side of the mountain on a narrow ledge. Liam was hesitant as the narrow mountain trail was treacherous, more of a goat trail than a noticeable footpath, but Cassandra moved quickly along the narrow ledge, seemingly oblivious of the danger. Liam was again the one hard pressed to keep up with Cassandra as she was almost sprinting down the face of the cliff.

Avalanche jumped up against the side of the cliff and used the momentum to get ahead of his companions. Liam threw the switch in his head and turned on his gazing, allowing him to scout ahead with Avalanche. They had long since lost sight of the Shadow army, but that did nothing to diminish the pressing urgency of their mission. Unless they reached the others soon, Iyatula would never have a chance.

They moved at a blistering pace and neither of them noticed that the sun had reached the horizon. Only when the dark orangey glow of dusk was creeping in on them did they finally slow down and come to a stop to take a much needed rest. Liam was surprised at his new found strength and how much his life had changed in such a short time.

“How much time do you think we’ve lost with this detour?” Liam took a large swig of water from his water bottle.

“At least half a day, we’ll have to push through the night. The soldiers may figure out that we have avoided them and head back down to find us.” Cassandra answered. Liam just nodded and called Avalanche over to where he was standing. The cat sprinted towards the boy immediately and came to a skidding halt in front of him. Liam tipped the water bottle and water came trickling out of the opening where Avalanche lapped at it in mid air thirstily.

“Are you sure they’re looking for us?” Liam asked. Cassandra was standing at the edge of the cliff staring into the distance. She motioned Liam closer with her hand not taking her eyes off whatever she was looking at. Liam lifted the water bottle and capped it before going over to where Cassandra stood. Lifting her arm she pointed to dozens of small tornadoes blowing up and down past one another, looking to Liam like a bustling highway in mid-day traffic.

“Those are messages running between the lands, I have never seen so many. The fact that they’re so strong can only mean that everyone knows about you by now and that includes the Shadow King. So to answer your question, they’re definitely looking for you.” Liam looked out at the tornadoes and felt a chill in the air.

“I think we better get going again, Ahgma is the only one that can tell us what to do. I would like to have that chance before they kill me.” Liam said picking up his backpack and walking to the front to lead them back to the camp.

“As long as I am with you they’ll have to go through me first.” Cassandra stated seriously and followed Liam into the growing darkness. Liam switched on his gazing and used Avalanche’s exceptional night vision to navigate the treacherous path.


As the sloping path began to level out into the bottom of a steep-walled cut, Liam slowed his descent. Cassandra stopped behind him, watching as Liam narrowed his eyes, glancing up at the rocky outcrop that surrounded them. The daylight had crept up on them and the first rays of the sun were penetrating the mist that had obscured the High Mountains the night before.

“We should reach them just over this rise,” Liam said pointing to the outcrop closest to where they were standing. Cassandra nodded and was still trying to catch her breath after the long climb through the night. She too was amazed at Liam’s strength, he had looked so fragile the first time she had seen him and wondered how he could be the true King. What Cassandra didn’t know was that the spells that instilled his ancestor’s knowledge in him, had also saturated his body and had given his muscles the experience they had lacked.

Liam walked forward without another word and started clambering over the outcrop, fifty yards from the slope he saw their camp, but was perplexed to see that it looked abandoned. Avalanche followed close behind him, with Cassandra bringing up the rear. Liam skidded down to the bottom in a cloud of dust and loose rocks and pebbles, coming to an abrupt halt at the bottom, where the slope met level ground. He was soon joined by Avalanche followed by Cassandra, who almost lost her staff trying to maintain her balance on the descent.

“Where is everybody? The fire looks as though it’s been dead for at least some time.” Cassandra said sticking a finger into the burnt out remains of the fire they had used to cook.

“I don’t know. I hope they’re safe.” Liam said, wondering whether the detachment of soldiers had passed this way. Avalanche let out a sudden cry and raced off toward the bush that guarded the gate. Liam followed his movement and watched as he stopped in front of the bush clawing at it with extreme urgency. Liam walked over and put his ear up to the bush and heard the faint cry of voices coming from the other side.

“They’re in here, quick open it.” Liam commanded. Cassandra obeyed without question and lifted her staff, the blue jewel at the tip gave off a brilliant light and the bush obeyed its command and parted as it had done before. Ersus was the first out, rushing towards his daughter and sweeping her into his arms, the others seemed to spill out all at once. The only one that seemed to show some composure was Ahgma, as she came out last without any drama.

“What happened?” Liam asked Cronos as he finally came to a standstill. His voice suddenly brought everyone back from their ecstasy of being freed from the confines of the cave and they realised that they were truly in the presence of a King. They all swung around almost simultaneously and bowed to Liam. Liam felt his face go red and he was sure that he would never get used to the way he was being treated.

“Oh for goodness sake, get up. What were you guys doing in there?” Liam asked

“Some soldiers came not one day after we were notified of your ordainment. As the bush was still open we all ran and hid inside, we didn’t know that the bush was going to close and none of us had a way to open it again, Your Majesty.” Ahgma answered, without getting up.

“Would all of you please stand up, as your King I command it,” Liam was now quite irritated. The command seemed to work as all of them stood up and walked to their King. They shook his hand and touched his face as if trying to make sure that they weren’t dreaming. Liam smiled despite of himself and noticed that Cassandra was on the verge of laughing herself.

“I think we should go back inside the cave, we have much to discuss. It’s a great hiding place and at least we can get in and out now.” Cassandra said, holding the staff in the air as if to reassure the rest of her companions. At this they all piled back into the cave with Liam leading the way. The bush guarding the entrance closed as Cassandra crossed the threshold inside and everything went pitch black. Ahgma went around feeling her way in the dark until she found a candle. She snapped her fingers and the wick burst into flame lighting the cave in a dusk-like orange glow, not quite reaching the furthest recesses of the cave.


“My dearest Ahgma, Cassandra and I have endured quite a journey. We believe that you have some things you would like to explain to us.” Liam said as he seated himself on a rock next to Cronos. The cave was dark and long, it seemed older and was covered with mold. Water fell down the sides off one wall in small streams and dripped to the floor into a small pool of water, Liam wondered whether the water was drinkable.

The hair on the back of Ahgma’s neck stood on end, but she walked forward from the darkness into the dim light of the candle. Every step echoed off the walls and she was not sure how she would now tell the rest of her tale. Ahgma wasn’t sure where this path would lead. She only knew that she had to go forward right now.

“Well, this is the best place I can think of to start.” Ahgma said while nervously shuffling her feet from left to right. “For years I have carried a secret so devastating that it has eaten me up inside. As most of you are aware I was once the great seer of futures and was employed by two generations of kings to protect the realm with my visions. But alas, like a fool I became arrogant and I started dismissing some of my visions as I was sure that I could manipulate destiny.” Ahgma fell silent, trying to think of a way to continue.

Liam took the break in Ahgma’s silence to reach out and light more candles with the one she had lit earlier. The bright light that suddenly filled their vision almost blinded them as the candles sprung to life. When Liam’s eyes adjusted to the light and he could see the mix of emotions battling inside of Ahgma. The memories had flooded her mind from the prison where she had hidden them many years ago, before she had had a chance to prepare for them. She was astonished that the memories had not faded and that all the events seemed to have happened the day before.

The cave was silent except for the drip, drip, drip of the water falling into the puddle. She wasn’t sure what to make of the images. Ahgma decided that it would be best to continue.

“The memories…I don’t…I don’t want to remember…believing that…I was perfect before…” Ahgma spoke softly, surprised by her own thoughts.

“You see, I saw our victory at Formangue, I also saw the darkness that would come to reign over the land due to our depleted army. Instead of warning the king, I left out the last part of my vision, believing that between the king and me we would be able to change fate and control our destinies. As you all can see an old woman’s arrogance has cost everybody dearly.” Ahgma took a deep shaky breath and let it out slowly, closely watching for some reaction from her audience.

When she saw that they were not going to say anything she continued, “So I sold the only valuable thing I owned for a chance to put the true king back onto the throne. Along with Motlock we devised a plan to hide the boy until he was ready to return. The problem however was that the Shadow King wanted to be crowned as the true king and he believed that he needed the crown of the ancients to fulfill his twisted desire.” Ahgma paused to let the reality of her mistake sink in and then continued

“He turned the realm upside down looking for the crown and I could sense that he was getting closer. If he had found the crown and was still unable to be ordained he would have known that the prince was still alive and it is for this reason that I had Cronos bring him back sooner than planned. You see your majesty, you will need to keep hiding where he cannot find you until we are ready to defeat him completely, if he had known you were still alive he might have stumbled upon the other realm and that could have been disastrous for both realms. Now at least he thinks that you are hiding in plain sight.” Ahgma breathed deeply again, but this time because she was out of breath.

“Ahgma, you messed up big time.” Liam said and walked over putting his arms around the old woman’s shoulders. “I don’t care though, as we have all messed up at some point in our lives. Cronos, you didn’t quite teach me like you were supposed to, Ersus you fought for the Shadow King, Zane you followed him there and I can go on and on. But look around you, you have all made up for your mistakes tenfold and that is the noblest thing there is. Stand up my brothers and sisters of Iyatula and follow me into the gaping mouth of the beast and let’s take him down.” At this a cheer went up from all of his companions and Ahgma burst into tears, happy that her king had forgiven her.


“All of you for the first time I command you to kneel before me.” The cheering immediately died down and they all kneeled in front of Liam, surprised at this sudden change in his demeanor. Liam walked over to Ersus and drew his sword from his scabbard and walked back to the front of the tiny group.

“Sorry General, I feel that a battle weary sword would serve as a much better symbol than this brand new one I now carry.” Ersus looked at Liam puzzled. He was not quite sure what the young king was up to. Liam lifted the sword into the air and said: “By the power vested in me by my forefathers and the gods of Iyatula I now knight all of you present Knights of Iyatula. Arise Knights and join me until death sees fit to separate us.”

The new knights jumped up and this time the cheering was deafening in the cave. Liam looked around at his extremely small army and was sure of only one thing; he would have to outsmart the Shadow King to win Iyatula’s freedom. Liam cleared his throat and when they had all gone quiet, he motioned them to sit down.

“Cassandra, would you please read this aloud, wrote this down so that there could be no confusion as to our responsibility.” Liam said handing a parchment to her. She stood up and walked to the front, Liam then sat in the vacancy she had left.

Cassandra cleared her throat and waited until she had everyone’s attention before starting to read.

‘The Knight’s Manifesto of Liam the first

  1. All those knighted by Liam the First will conduct themselves with honour and dignity at all times

  2. All those knighted by Liam the First will fight and defend the rights of the weak and helpless

  3. All those knighted by Liam the First will fight and die for Iyatula and all it stands for, forsaking all other false kings

  4. All those knighted by Liam the First swear allegiance to good and will never give in to the allure of evil, casting out any who threaten the freedom and liberty of all in Iyatula’

When she had finished, all present declared in one voice that they swore to the manifesto and that they would stay true to the one true king of Iyatula. Avalanche sat at the entrance to the cave watching all the excitement, and decided that he had been ignored long enough. The young cat jumped up and sprinted over to Liam knocking him over in the process. Both Ersus and Cronos unsheathed their swords and started toward the cat that they had not noticed until now. Liam saw them approaching and jumped up between them and Avalanche.

“Wait, he’s with me!” This stopped both men in their tracks. Liam and Cassandra then took turns in telling them of how they had come across the Scneeleopard and how they had saved him, and how he in turn had stopped them from walking into the soldier’s camp. With the tense mood broken they all stood closer and started petting Avalanche to his immense enjoyment. Enoch was just about to reach out and scratch behind an ear when the huge cat growled and ran back toward the door. This sudden change in Avalanche’s demeanor quieted everyone down and Liam cautiously walked toward the cave entrance, placing his left ear against the bush.

He heard a muffled voice from outside and motioned to Cassandra to come closer. She moved toward the door and mimicked Liam, except in the opposite direction facing him, making it look like a mirror image gone wrong. Cassandra quickly came upright and ran toward the back of the cave where she had placed her staff. She turned staff in hand and waved it so the bush would part. The sudden burst of sunlight blinded all of the cave’s occupants, but Liam and Cassandra stormed out before anyone else was aware of what was going on.

Moments later they returned supporting a large humanoid figure between them, the thing had placed his left hand on Cassandra’s shoulder and his right on Liam’s, using them like crutches. No one was able to make out what they were supporting as the light was cut off by the bush once more. Once safely inside, the twelve foot humanoid sagged to the ground and fainted. Everyone crowded around what they now saw was a troll, but Cassandra waved them off and sat down on her knees next to him.

“His name is Venimis, the troll from the bridge.” Liam explained once they were all clear of Cassandra and her patient. The others just nodded in acknowledgement, but Avalanche was still growling even though the troll was not a threat anymore. Cassandra bent over Venimis’s body and rubbed her hands together, a red glow emanated from her hands and added to the light in the cave illuminating it as much as the sun had. She placed both her glowing hands on his chest and Venemis gave an involuntary jerk, which reminded Liam of the hospital shows he had watched where people had been defibrillated.

Cassandra repeated this three times before standing up and walking over to where the others were standing.

“His been touched by very evil magic, there’s nothing I can do for him.” Cassandra whispered to Liam, who was still watching Venemis. He watched as he lay on the floor, quivering and breathing rapidly. Venemis slowly awoke and lifted his hand to his forehead but there didn't seem to be any bleeding, though he was now sweating so much that it was hard to tell in the gloom. He turned his head into an awkward position to look back at the group watching him and when he saw Liam he painfully lifted his arm and beckoned Liam by holding his hand open in mid air. Liam walked closer and Venimis dropped his arm, breathing with greater difficulty.

“I is t…I is trying to stops the bad king, but he shooted me with fire, I is still feelings it. Th…the bad king shooted fire and killed the good king’s friends at castle. I is sooooo sorry mine king, venemis is failed at his missioning.” The last sentence came out in a long howl that echoed off the walls and seemed to run from side to side before finally disappearing.

“It’s okay Venemis, you did your best. Did any of the monks escape?” Liam asked in a soothing tone.

“No mine king, he is pulling their dead skins and bones behind his devil horses. And Venemis is counting, yes he can, and Venemis is seeing all mine kings’ friends hopping past Venemis, and Venemis is counting and Venemis is counting everyone. The bad king thinking I is dead he leave Venemis and Venemis come find good king and tell good king and give good king something.” Venemis rummaged around in his little treasure bag and brought out a small gold cube roughly the size of a thimble. Liam took it and the troll rummaged in his bag again bringing out Liam’s watch and holding it out to him.

“No my friend that is yours to keep. But what did you give me.” Liam placed the watch in the troll’s palm and closed his huge fingers around it, before returning his attention back to the curious object the troll had given him.

“I is not knowing, when the old one from the castle come hopping past he throw me with this and tell me to give it to good king. Lucky for us two no one is hearing or seeing.” Venemis coughed twice and blood trickled down his chin from his mouth and with that Venemis smiled and closed his eyes for the last time. Liam jumped up and let out a howl of pain before dropping to his knees, face in hands, sobbing. The others left him alone, waiting for him to stand once more. As Liam he stood he grabbed up a fist sized rock throwing it at the wall where it shattered into pieces. He stood with his back to his companions a while longer before turning to them.

“Now we fight. Tomorrow is the dawn of a new day; I want all of you to think up a plan to stop the Shadow King and anything goes, no plan is bad and no plan too daring or vicious.” Liam felt his anger boil and seethe in his body and he wanted nothing more than revenge, killing some of the few friends he had ever had was the last straw for Liam.

They dragged the troll from the cave and dug an oversize hole for his oversize bulk and laid him to rest. Liam’s anger was evident with every shovel full of earth that he put back in the grave. They all stood around the huge grave and were silent. Out in the swamp Burnu watched and when they were done he returned to the murky depths to tell his queen that the one and only king of Iyatula had returned.

They all followed Liam back into the cave and dined on leftover meat and bread that they had cooked that morning, though no one had much of an appetite. Liam stood up and sauntered to the rear of the cave and Cassandra stood up to follow, but Enoch stopped her by placing a hand on her shoulder and shaking his head.

Liam stood with his back to the others and removed the small cube from his pocket. He turned it over in his hands and regarded the strange inscriptions that had been carved into the surface. The significance of the cube was not lost on him and he knew that he had to figure out exactly what it meant. Slipping it back in his pocket he composed himself and turned around to join the others.

© Copyright 2019 PJL Dawson. All rights reserved.


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