The Forsaken Race; The Warning

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

Chapter 2 (v.1) - Rise And Fall

Submitted: April 23, 2019

Reads: 61

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Submitted: April 23, 2019

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"Bastards."

Timbur lowered the spyglass from his eye, one animalian ear twitching with irritation. Despite it being a late summer's midday, the wind at this elevation was throwing strands of his dark green hair about, and threatened to blow away the small book, practically a mere stack of papers, that he held in his other hand. He was wearing a loose-fitting dark purple shirt with a red vest and dark knee-length pants. Red bands were wrapped around either of his hands and wrists, and either of his knees.

One thing that didn't change, of course, was his temper. He was already angry upon seeing this mayhem below.

This place was famous for being 'cursed' or 'haunted,' and knowing its history, none could be too surprised. It was a large area, enclosed by rigid stone cliffs with very discreet paths. There were old flags, random shrines, broken statues, and other such things scattered about. No matter what position the sun took on, the place would always be dark, completely consumed by the cliff's ominous shadows. Only the mysterious moonlight would illuminate it.

However, this mysterious place was now ruined. Statues and shrines were completely obliterated. Flags, relics, and rubble were thrown aside to make room for war tents and artillery. The tents were green in color, supported by thick logs and branches. The weapons were built from a fusion of iron and a rusty bronze metal.

An ancient burial ground for legends, now turned to a dwarven war camp.

"Yes, a very unfortunate sight."

Not far from Timbur, also glaring down on this all, was his master. Leiytning looked as blank as ever, somewhat infamous with his raven hair and dark attire. He didn't look much different with his dark motif, but now he had a charcoal-colored shirt with red borders, flaring as short coattails in the back, alongside gray greaves and a small Zyrean flag on his shoulder.

"It's annoying," said Timbur. "Even if this nonsense was necessary and justified, they could pick a better place to put it."

"What's concerning is their weaponry," said Leiytning. "The hexes and enchantments, more specifically. Either half of them."

"'Half'?" Timbur repeated. "What do you mean by that?"

Leiytning crossed his arms. "First things first. Where are we, what are its coordinates, and why is this a bad place for any form of civilization, war camp or not?"

"It's Hangman's Graveyard, but..." Timbur groaned, facepalming. "I don't know anything besides that. Just that a lot of legends ended here."

"Known 'in general'? That's your answer?"

"Yes. I apologize."

"I don't expect everything to sink in immediately, though you seem intent on not remembering certain places. This is one of them."

"So much for an ominous hint," Timbur muttered.

"I know why, and so will you," Leiytning replied. "Go on, review your research."

Timbur nodded, flipping through the pages of his small book. He stopped nearly halfway through.

"Hangman's Graveyard," he spoke. "It has a lot of different names among locals, but they all come down to meaning 'haunted' in some way."

"And why is it called that?" Leiytning inquired.

Timbur found this stupid; asking questions when they both knew what the answers were. Even so, he knew Leiytning would act oblivious until he said the answered or admitted he had no idea.

timbur closed the book. "It's not actually haunted. Ages ago, when Shadow Star confronted Vekull in this place, he broke his neck with a nearby chain, hence its real name. Due to Vekull's legend ending here, others decided to make it a graveyard for not just him, but other legendary icons, be it an individual or an entire race." He sighed, eyes landing on a familiar flag. "And that includes ours."

"Ignore that," said Leiytning.

"Right." Timbur cleared his throat. "Anyways, building a war camp here would be bad because of the surrounding territories. They don't have the strength to fight back against a number like this, nor do they have any known problems with these people, so it's just more orcish behavior. Also, this is relatively close to the mountain terrain where the Raven's Cavern is. It's too close to our own territory."

"That wasn't in your notes, was it?"

"No."

"Then very good."

Timbur rolled his eyes. "Thanks, but please, enough of the lesson. What did you mean by 'either half' of their weaponry?"

"I mean they have two different kinds," Leiytning explained. "Only half their weapons are enchanted with white magic and are clearly built for taking down things higher in fortitude. The other half is cursed with black magic, and built to obliterate something with less power and more speed. They're clearly targeting the nearby elven race, oblivion knows why, but there's nothing worth using the other half on. If we're not including the demonic, of course."

Timbur's ears pricked. "Dwarves always fight with elves, but demons? Ghouls, sylphs, sometimes elves; yeah, we've had our good and bad run-ins with them, mostly bad. We never encounter dwarves."

"There's always a new enemy to be made," said Leiytning, "Especially nowadays."

Timbur looked around. "The Animas' territory is a day-and-a-half trek from here, but as stated, the cavern is about the same distance. Either way, it's no good."

Another voice interrupted. "Of course it's no good."

As Timbur turned, he saw Thundur approaching them. She was clearly in an irritable mood, which made Timbur hold his tongue.

"Late again," Leiytning taunted, "And you say I have no sense of time?"

Thundur smacked him. "Shut it, dope."

"You explained everything to her telepathically, didn't you?" Asked Timbur.

"Naturally," Leiytning responded.

"And out of curiosity, Thundur, what's with the mask?" Asked Timbur.

Thundur looked unamused. "I lost my eye patch, and nobody wants to see this." As she tilted the mask up, it revealed a very notorious eye; black in color, with two small white rings as an iris.

"Yeah, that may cause some panic for others," Timbur agreed.

Thundur sighed, looking about. "Damn dwarves. Of course, I think I have a further explanation for this, after taking one of our finds into consideration. It's most obvious with their new armor, is it not?"

Timbur looked closer, and as it turned out, the armor scattered about weren't like the thick, heavy, bronze pieces that dwarves would proudly wear. Instead, they were silver and built a bit lighter. Furthermore, some of its engraved runes seemed strikingly familiar.

Timbur's eyes narrowed. "Some dwarves were trading with the Aubades, or that's what Savux said."

"We knew, but never found much," Thundur agreed. "Perhaps now, Corelia is finally putting them to use."

"Someone just said they're clearly targeting an elven race," Timbur remarked.

"A deal, maybe," said Leiytning. "Aubades would supply the weapons and armor, allowing them to destroy one of their enemies, but then the Aubades get whatever they need to keep producing these monstrosities."

"Suppose that makes sense," Timbur remarked. "But what about the pact? Wouldn't that stop them?"

"It only takes one mishap to break it, unfortunately," said Thundur. "Either a sylph already got them to fight, using the same loophole we've been seeing, or they're going to do it soon."

"Either way, it's unacceptable," said Leiytning. "Risks are too high, here. Those elves are helping drive back even worse threats, and are respectable, and these dwarves could just as easily turn on demons."

"What do we do about this?" Asked Timbur.

"The numbers are higher than usual," Thundur murmured. "But dwarves are magic-less mortals, and as if that weren't enough, they're built to be mere scavengers instead of warriors. They're not so confident during a magic ambush, especially one as powerful as a storm."

"Won't that take much of your power?" Asked Timbur.

"Yes, but we'll recover soon enough," Thundur responded. "Let us worry about that, will you?"

Leiytning muttered, "I'm more worried about your complaining."

Thundur didn't dignify a response. Instead, she only grabbed her brother's hand.

As she did, aura started to manifest; grey spiraling magic, with electric sparks spitting and making static noise. It grew and churned to the point that it looked lethal.

The next came as they raised this mess skyward. The magic fused to one ball, and a beam shot into the air. The clouds above turned from thin and white to a churning mass of grey and black, with the occasional spark.

The beam stopped, but the tiny storm above continued to grow and spread. Another result was the skin on either of the twins' hands; it had melted off, revealing the stocky bone and black sinews beneath. Timbur could tell the spell required much strength, but the two showed no other symptoms.

"That should scare them off," Thundur remarked, heading back. "The lightning will be drawn to tall metal structures, so their tents and artillery don't stand a chance. Built for destruction; rise and fall, simple as that."

Timbur nodded. "I'll stay here and keep an eye on things, just to make sure."

"Just be wary of stray warriors," Leiytning responded. "And don't fight any more than you can handle."

Timbur nodded. "Very well."

That being said, Leiytning started after Thundur, who stopped halfway down the rigid slope. Once her twin caught up, they both proceeded on. Naturally, Thundur was first to speak.

She sighed, "I wish sylphs weren't so finicky. Sometimes they're bringing the apocalypse and we brace for the worst, then they become completely inactive for months before bringing some other mayhem to light."

"It could be better that way," said Leiytning. "Should they attack consecutively, then we'd have no time to recover. Regardless, I do see your point."

Thundur only grunted. Leiytning didn't like that, of course. Even when Thundur looked empty of care for anything, he could tell very well that something was troubling her. It became easy after being bonded since birth, and rarely separated since.

"Be honest," he spoke, "What's the matter with you?"

Thundur shot him a glare. "Coming from you?"

"Exactly. You're supposed to be the paranoid one, so remaining silent would be far more concerning than if you told me."

Thundur rolled her eye. She was amused, even if it didn't show much.

"It really is nothing," she explained. "Trust me, if it wasn't, I'd tell you."

"That's the one thing I can't trust you to do," Leiytning muttered.

"Again, this coming from you?" Thundur retorted.

"Leave details out of it," Leiytning insisted.

Thundur crossed her arms. "It's just the Aubades' activity. I think..." She hesitated. "I'm not sure, but maybe I was warned about it."

Leiytning seemed confused. "How so?"

"It's happened twice, now," Thundur explained. "You know perfectly well that I'll receive visions from angered spirits, corrupted gods, or I accidentally give one to myself. Even Kasan can help with that. Furthermore, they're usually clear; I hear everything and I can often tell who's talking to me."

"But..."

"But there were these two visions beforehand. The first was actually while I was unconscious after taking that damn spinal hit, then it happened again about eight days before that chaos with Kita's quest."

"Convenient timing. What were they of?"

"It was the same for either. It was literally a blur of confusion, not just because of the message or who was there. I couldn't tell what either of them was."

"What does that mean?"

"It is what it is, of course. For maybe a little over ten seconds, there was just a disaster. A distorted voice that said nothing sensible, and a blurry mess of random colors and silhouettes. Then it ended abruptly, like the giver just gave up. It definitely wasn't the everyday spirit update. I don't even know what to try calling them."

"A misinterpreted message, most likely," Leiytning remarked.

"Of what, though?" Thundur responded. "It could be some random plea from a desperate spirit, completely unrelated to us, or it could be a warning from something a lot bigger. We don't know the severity, and I fear it may be something important. As you said, the timing was conveniently close to major events."

"Either way, we shouldn't be worrying about this. Sure, visions and omens can be a good hint, but they've never been straightforward. We already know that trouble's ahead, which is what really matters."

Thundur nodded. "Very well."

Leiytning's eye narrowed. "Don't believe me?"

"Think about it, Leiyt," Thundur replied. "Just knowing that trouble is ahead is useful, but is it enough? A few months prior, would you have predicted that 'trouble' meant you suffering an outburst caused by Zin's temporary betrayal? Or would you have guessed that the weak little Aubade we've been keeping is really a descendant of the Zyrean, Ash, and has power beyond anything we've seen? Or would you have predicted that our worst enemy was settling into our former territory, holding Ritin hostages?"

"Maybe not, but we pulled through, didn't we? Especially now. We've seen just how severe and unpredictable things have become, and therefore know how much will be required of us to endure the next hit. Things will surely take a turn for worse at some point, but we'll pull through, just as we've been doing. Not just recently, but for countless seasons."

It was obvious, at least to Leiytning, that Thundur was not appeased, but she didn't say anything. Just continued in silence.

 

 

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