Aragoth: A Story of Gods and Men

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The Imperials prepare to set off into unforeseen territory as they venture towards the border of Drakla and Alltra to uncover what clues they can to find the Crown of Thorns.

Chapter 24 (v.1) - Aragoth: A Story of Gods and Men Chapter 24

Submitted: June 01, 2019

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Submitted: June 01, 2019

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Aragoth: A Story of Gods and Men

This is my own fictional story made solely by me and my fantasies all likeness to real life people have given unto me their permission to be used and this story will take inspiration from but never exactly parody any real life  book, movies, etc. all of it is my own makings

IMPERIAL STORY ARC- IMPERIAL HEROES

THIS IS A PLAY FORMATTED STORY WHICH WILL INCLUDE STAGE DIRECTIONS AND THOUGHTS OF CHARACTERS

STAGE DIRECTION WILL BE INSIDE OF STARS: *…..* THOUGHTS WILL BE IN BOLD. EXPRESSIONS WILL BE IN (PARENTHESIS) DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS OF PLACES, PEOPLE, OR THINGS WILL BE IN ITALICS. WORDS THAT ARE INSIDE OF –THESE- WILL TELL YOU OF A MAJOR SCENE CHANGE. SOME OTHER FORMS MAY COME INTO EFFECT AT A LATER DATE. ENJOY!

Chapter 24: The First Ties

-A few hours ago-

*Cody walks into Daybreak Tavern*

Patron 1: “It’s the Chosen Hero!”

Patron 2: “Lord Cody! Lord Cody may I have an autograph for my children!?”

*People quickly swarm around Cody*

Cody: “Hey, hey calm down everyone. I am not that important.”

Patron 3: “What are you doing here milord? We have never seen you outside the capital except when riding to war.”

Cody: “I am on a mission for the Dreadlord, I was told to meet him here.”

Patron 4: “THE Dreadlord? The one who can topple armies alone.”

Cody: “Indeed.”

Tavern Keep: “Hey! Give the Hero some space everyone. At least let him sit down at a table.”

*Cody walks over to the seats directly in front of the bar keeper*

Cody: “Thank you.”

*The people slowly follow*

Tavern Keep: “Anytime, Hero.”

The Tavern Keep is in a nice suit with a white shirt and tie underneath; he has long grey pants that end with his nice dress shoes. He is currently cleaning a cup. The man is a Sub-Human, more mouse like with his ears being bigger than a human’s and them being pink of course, and his nose is small and rodent like and when he smiles, he shows that his teeth are more square and buck.

Cody: “Oh, you are not human.”

Tavern Keep: “Aye, that I am not.”

Cody: “Which breed?”

Tavern Keep: “Laguez, and before you ask. Yes, I may look like a mouse, but I am not one.”

Cody: “I thought Laguez were more like dogs?”

Tavern Keep: “It is hard to tell sometimes. All the sub humans have sub species as well that is why we are called sub human. You could find a Komen that looks like a fish, yet it flies, or a Laguez with no fur but rather feathers or a Loggel like who looks like a rat. The old scholars just did not want to waste time with a million different sub races so they picked three and left it at that.”

Cody: “Why is that?”

Tavern Keep: “Because we are the three who mainly survived the collapse.”

Cody: “The collapse?”

Tavern Keep: “When the Unified Kingdom of the One fell and Aragoth was sundered, well let me just say that every creature of this world had a sub human equivalent. Dog, cat, fish, bird, everything had a sub-human race. When the Gods made humans they became infatuated with that design for mortals and they started making everyone look human in some way. Some still have genes of the old races in them somehow so you get some odd combinations sometimes.”

Cody: “Is that why even the Ogres and Goblins and things like them look pretty human.”

Tavern Keep: “Bingo. Now can I get you a drink?”

Cody: “Do you know what a soda is?”

*Mina and Fella walk up and spook Cody*

Fella: “Boo!”

*Cody is taken aback for a moment before realizing who it is*

Cody: “Mina? Fella? Good to see you two!”

Mina: “He wants a highly carbonated drink that’s sweet.”

Tavern Keep: “Right on it.”

*The Tavern Keep leaves to make the drink*

Cody: “What are you two doing here?”

Fella: “Well the Dreadlord changed plans, so we are taking straight to the Crossroads Tavern at the border now.”

Cody: “Can I get my drink first?”

Mina: “Of course Milord.”

*The Tavern Keep comes back with a drink*

Tavern Keep: “I hope it’s to your liking, milord.”

*Cody grabs his drink and gets up and right as he does that the other Patrons bombard him with questions*

Mina and Fella draw their blades and enter a fighter’s stance.

Mina: “Lord Cody is now on duty!”

Fella: “Any interference will be considered treason and you face summary punishment!”

*On cue the Patrons of the Tavern leave a path open for them to leave but not before waving goodbye to Cody who happily returns the gesture*

Three horses wait outside two of which are brown and one white, the white one has golden armor while the brown ones have black armor. The three quickly mount the horses and ride off to meet the Dreadlord.

-Hours pass-

*The Dreadlord is waiting outside the Tavern with Matt and Ashley*

The Dreadlord: “Time is of the essence.”

Matt: “Well I mean they can’t just teleport here.”

Ashley: “Actually they can. I think Cody knows that spell.”

The Dreadlord: “Mina and Fella do not however. They will be coming by horse.”

Ashley: “Speaking of, where is Greggory?”

The Dreadlord: “I suppose that is a question for them when they get here.”

*A man walks out of the tavern and notices the Dreadlord*

Man: “AGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!”

*The man runs away towards the Alltrian territory*

The Dreadlord: “It seems I have quite the reputation amongst the Alltrians.”

Ashley: “No, kidding.”

The Dreadlord: “I think it would be wise if I stay out here for the time being even when our reinforcements show up.”

Matt: (chuckling) “You think?”

*Cody, Mina, and Fella ride up*

Ashley: “Woah, Cody! Nice new armor.”

Cody dismounts the white horse and faces Ashley. He is wearing a new black armor that covers most of his body. The helmet placed on his hip is circular, with a face guard that moves up and down, with little wings on the sides of it. The armor on the body covers the chest and back but his stomach and lower back is revealed showing his now black skin tight suit underneath. The gauntlets and arm guards cover all the way up to the towering shoulder pads that cover his shoulders and the sides of his face due to their height. The same goes for the greaves and boots, they cover all the way up to the pelvis where then they cut off. The armor leaves his pelvis and stomach exposed most likely for movement and to avoid irritating his injuries. The armor plates that are supposed to cover those areas are locked to his hips where they currently function as lassets.

Cody: “What do you think?”

Ashley: “Black suits you as well.”

Matt: “Welcome back buddy!”

Mina: “Pleasure to see you again Lady Ashley.”

Ashley: “And you as well, Mina. Do you know where Greggory is by any chance?”

Fella: “He unfortunately got stuck with clean up duty at the Castle.”

Ashley: “That sucks.”

Mina: “You are strong; I doubt you will need his assistance.”

Fella: “Our Lord on the other hand is hurt right now and will need us more than ever.”

Cody: “I am not crippled! What are we doing exactly?”

The Dreadlord: “Ashley, Matt, Cody, Mina, and Fella. You all are going inside, talk to people and get whatever information you can from the patrons here. I will remain out here and watch for…Undesirables.”

Cody: “Alright let’s do this.”

*The group enters the tavern*

The Dreadlord: “May the Gods be with you.”

-Inside of the tavern-

The tavern is large with a dark red lion painted on the middle of the floor splitting it in two. To the left side Imperials, of the many races, can be seen partaking in conversation and drink while on the right side are the Alltrians doing the same. There is a band, which consists of all humans, at the far end playing music for both sides. An Elf can be seen at the counter serving as the Tavern Keep and a few Dwarves are running around in the back preparing drink and food. Every now and then someone will mean mug a patron of the other side. The tension is palpable.

Cody: “Come on let’s take some seats by the tavern keep. Its right in the middle of the place and we can survey everyone.”

Ashley: “Okay.”

*The group seats themselves on the Imperial side of the barstools*

A yellow skinned elf in a nice formal suit is tending the Tavern, he quite small, he is about five foot five, and his dwarf friends are helping, the biggest dwarf seems to be in charge, he is a staggering five feet, large for a dwarf.

Bilker: “Oh my. What do we have here? Chosen Heroes and why are you all in my humble tavern?”

Cody: “You are an Elf? What are you doing here in Aragoth?”

Bilker: “The name is Bilker, and because I was born in Alltra. My Mother and Father could not make it back to the homeland in time, so they had me here.”

Phillip: “Ay, Bilker! Who ye talking to?”

*Cody leans over the counter*

Cody: “A Halfling and Dwarf no less!”

Phillip: “The name’s Phillip nice to meet you milord!”

Cody: “I am Cody.”

*Cody points to the group*

Cody: “This is Ashley, and Matt, and over there are my retainers Mina and Fella.”

Bilker: “The pleasure is ah mine. Now what do I owe the audience of such esteemed individuals of the Empire?”

Cody: (Whispers) “Have you heard the tales of the Crown of Thorns.”

*Bilker looks around shifty eyed*

Bilker: “Not many do anymore.”

Phillip: “What did he say!?”

Bilker: “Calm down Phillip. He wants to know about a legend.”

Phillip: “I think I would be a wee bit more help for that. We dwarves know legends galore.”

*The dwarf scoots up a chair and faces Cody*

Phillip: “Huh? Yee be small even by Alltrian standards and you’re an Imperial?”

Cody: “I am not that small.”

Phillip: “Twelve bronze on he is five foot six.”

Cody: “Six?

Phillip: “If ye were foot nine it would hurt me neck anything smaller and I be able to see right clear atcha. Frank, ye be pretty small barley taller than Bilker.”

*Cody’s eyes go wide*

Matt: “What is so shocking about that Cody?”

Cody: (In a whispered scream) “I forgot to make myself taller after I changed back from being a woman!”

Matt: (Shocked) “What!?”

Ashley: “Long story and we don’t have time.”

Phillip: “Ah ye humans and your magic. Make for funny tales don’t they.”

Cody: “Why do not try magic out sometime, I think you would like it especially being able to grow taller.”

Phillip: “I am tall for a dwarf, would not change that for a good coin either. Being five foot is tall for us I will have you know.”

Bilker: “Dwarves cannot practice magic even if they wanted to.”

Cody: “Why?”

Bilker: “Only Humans and Elves can harness the Gods magic. All the other races cannot.”

Phillip: “That is why thee Alltrians over yonder are all human because the rest of them are in the Slums because their daft Gods say no magic, no money, no life.”

Matt: “I am sorry to distract you guys but we kind of are on a mission.”

Cody: “Oh that’s right. Phillip, what do you know about the Crown of Thorns?”

Phillip: “Well ain’t that a tasty legend. An old relic of ye old Kingdom of One back when more like me walked around. Some of me mates tell me that an old burial tomb up to the north holds it ever still.”

*Cody gets excited*

Ashley: “Do you know where we might find that tomb?”

Phillip: “Tales of Yore say that is located at the womb inside a peak of an old mountain.”

Mina: “The entire north is practically brimming with mountains everywhere.”

Fella: “And to climb to the peak of each and every one of them.”

Cody: “There has to be something that tells us which one it is.”

Bilker: “I might be able to help.”

Cody: “How so?”

Bilker: “Legends tell of the First King being an Elf, they say his armory where he stores all the legendary relics of old is located at the heart of the problem and there so happens to be a mountain far up north called the Hearth of the Heartland. That might be your mountain.”

Matt: “What do we have now? A mountain peak and deep within to a mountain called The Hearth of the Heartland?”

Cody: “If the tantalizing allure of treasure was so easy, how come not more people have tried to claim this powerful artifact?”

Bilker: “Most of Alltra and Drakla have forgotten the legend and those who do were felled in their greed. The roads to the mountains are treacherous and some say the tomb even more than the way.”

Cody: “Fear.”

Bilker: “I can show you where it is if you would do me a favor.”

Matt: “And what’s that?”

Bilker: “I need someone to lighten the mood. For too long the people here keep to their sides and look like they are about to kill each other, I need some sweet harmony for once instead of always having my hand on my hip waiting to brandish my blade.”

Ashley: “You are asking us to bring temporary peace to two nations who have hated each other over ten thousand years?”

Cody: “What better way than music?”

Matt: “What?”

*Cody walks up to the band and interrupts them for a moment gaining the attention of the people in the tavern*

The Imperials recognize the Hero from pictures, missives, or gossip so they don’t say anything but rather wait attentively while the Alltrians seem visible angered.

*The band starts to play a rapid upbeat dancing song*

Cody: “DRINKS FOR BOTH ALLTRA AND DRAKLA ARE ON ME!”

Cody runs over to the nearest Imperial couple and beckons for the two to join him in dance, they refuse at first, but after a few insistent looks the two jump up to join him. The two seems to be of higher birth as people start to come up and join them, but then Cody stuns the audience of Imperials he had gotten to dance with him by rushing over to the Alltrian side and putting a hand out to a young Alltrian man who looks rather somber in the back.

Alltrian: “You want to dance with me, why? I am from Alltra.”

Cody: “What does faction matter when we are all here to enjoy ourselves?”

Cody lunges slowly forward and the man stands up and Cody grabs him by the hand and beckons the others around to join him and soon enough the dancing of the people, the music, and the fun that it looks like draws everyone from both sides to join in and even with the others. Imperials and Alltrians are dancing together have just a merry time. All it took was someone making the first move. The war they are fighting does not also have to be amongst their civilians as well. After a rather long time the dancing dies down as people get tired but the scene is still beautiful as Alltrians and Imperials have crossed sides to converse with each other. Some Alltrian men are trying to flex for an Imperial woman whose muscles far exceed the ones of the Alltrians, in another area an Imperial man is holding Alltrians up using only his biceps and causing cheers from the watchers of the spectacle, from the Imperial side some Imperial and Alltrian women seem to be gossiping and even so some men of both sides are talking rather business like. Cody soon returns to the bar stools set up in front of Bilker’s desk.

Cody: “Well?”

Bilker: “By Gods boy! You did it!”

Mina: “Unbelievable.”

Bilker: “Here, where is your map, I will mark the location of the mountain on it.”

-Outside-

*A squad of Alltrian mages is coming up onto the tavern*

The Dreadlord: “You four better hurry up in there. We have company.”

*The Dreadlord vanishes into a veil of darkness to hide*

-Inside-

Fella: “I will fetch a map to compare to this one, I shall return shortly.”

Cody: “In the meantime, may I order the Salmon meal?”

Bilker: “Of course milord. Phillip!”

Phillip:” On it Bilk!”

*The Young Alltrian man and two Alltrian women walk up to Cody*

Alltrian: “Hey, Umm sire?”

*Cody reaches out a hand for a hand shake*

Alltrian: *Shakes hand* “Pleasure to meet you Lord…?”

Cody: “Cody, Lord Cody of Drakla.”

Albert: “I am Albert Cornelious, Lord Albert Cornelious. I have to thank you on behalf of my sisters and myself here. I never thought in all my days I would be having a jaunty with an Imperial. Thank you.”

Cody: “I need no thanks. This is a war not by the people but for the people, the civilians should not be affected especially when out of a warzone.”

Albert: “I had no idea Imperials could be so…Civil. We are taught that you are all savages. I was supposed to go to a war meeting today but I decided to come here instead and I am glad because I am going to start advising King Drella to reconsider those peace agreements. I really think our two nations can get along.”

Cody: “Really!?”

Albert: “Yes.”

*Bilker returns with Cody’s food and the two chat for only a few minutes before the Alltrian guards enter*

Alltrian Captain: “Hey! What are you Imperials pigs doing on our side? Get off!”

Alltrian Mage 1: “You guys over on the Imperial side, get over here before I take your identity cards and mark you for treason!”

Albert: “Gods damn them. I will see you around Lord Cody. I am truly sorry about this.”

*The Alltrians and Imperials quickly scurry back to their sides, Bilker’s face quickly droops to a frown once more as the Alltrian Mages walk up to the counter*

Bilker: “How may I help you?”

Alltrian Captain: “Yeah, give me something hard, anything; I just need to wash away this sorry sight from my mind.”

*Fella returns with a map*

Fella: “Oh no.”

Cody’s anger has become visible

Cody: “Maybe if you looked closer you would see how great of a time everyone was having just before you got here.”

Alltrian Captain: “Excuse me, pig? Who asked for you opinion?”

*The Mages look at each other for a moment*

Alltrian Captain: “You are on the wrong side.”

Cody: “But this is the Imperial side of.”

*The Alltrian Captain pushes Cody down off of his chair and makes him shriek from pain due to his injuries*

Mina: “Hey!”

*Mina and Fella draw their blades*

Alltrian Captain: “Oh look at what we have here boys. This Imperial runt has retainers, who did you impress to get these fine women?”

Cody: “Bugger off dogs!”

*Ashley and Matt slowly come closer to Cody*

Alltrian Captain: “You filthy bilge mucker! I will make you eat those words.”

*The Mages light up their hands with magic and Mina and Fella prepare to fight*

Bilker: “Not in my tavern!”

*Albert puts his hand on the Captain’s shoulder*

Albert: “Hey, I think you ought to stop, can you not see you are ruining our time?”

Alltrian Captain: “Lord Cornelious……?”

*The Imperial Lord that Cody got to dance walks up*

Imperial Lord: “Perhaps you don’t know but this is neutral territory meaning we can do what we want. Alltrian or Imperial.”

*Cody stands up with a cocky smile on his lips*

Alltrian Captain: “Alright you two made a fair point I think we will just leave.”

*The Alltrian Captain shoots Cody with a blast of magical energy sending him flying over the counter*

Alltrian Captain: “Die pigs!”

Mina and Fella quickly rush two of the Mages and quickly slash at them with incredible speed and precision. The so called dauntless blades of Alltra are in a frenzy trying to stop the two maids from piercing their armor and killing them. The Imperial Lord and Albert fight the Captain with bare fists while the Captain is obviously being unfair and using magic to deter them. Ashley and Matt are focusing on the last two Mages; Cody on the other hand has no weapon so he rushes outside to his horse. Mina and Fella with an unseen skill quickly dispel the two Mages they were after; Mina decapitates one of them while Fella quickly stabs through the other mages knees causing him to fall on the ground before she slits his neck open. The crowds of people around them are shouting at the top of their lunges

Imperial Crowd: “Kill the Dogs!”

Alltrian Crowd: “Destroy the traitors!”

Matt uses his mastery of many sword techniques to sever the head of his opponent with ease while Ashley cleave through her opponent with her axe and practically leaves his entire body in pieces. The two Lords are still fighting the Captain, they throw punch after punch but the Captain uses magical wards to block them and then shoots blasts of wind at the two launching them about, however they are resilient and do not relent and eventually the Captain backs himself in a corner and the Imperial Lord picks him up and tosses him directly at Albert who kicks the Captain in the air and with the speed of his flight through the air with the impact of Albert’s foot causes his body armor to bend and crack slightly and the Captain topples over defeated. Cody then rushes in with a black broadsword with golden engravings only to see the battle has ended.

Alltrian Captain: “I submit, I plea. I am defeated please stop.”

Imperial Lord: “That is what happens to those who attack a Chosen Hero of Drakla.”

Alltrian Captain: (Frightened) “Oh my apologies, how could I forget, yes. Sire please let me go.”

*Albert faces the Imperial Lord*

Albert: “I guess I won’t be a Lord for much longer after this.”

Alltrian Captain: “That’s right traitor! You lost privileges to your head!”

Mina: “I suggest you pick you next word carefully dog.”

Alltrian Captain: “I do believe I meant to say that if you let me go I promise to silence my tongue.”

*The group looks at each other*

Alltrian Captain: “Surely there must be a way I can prove to AGGH!”

*Cody has his blade shoved up though the back of the Alltrian Captain and the blade can be seen piercing through his heart and out his chest*

Matt: “Oh my god, Cody!”

Ashley: “Jesus!”

*Cody removes his blade and lets the Captain’s body flop to the floor*

Mina: “Milord?”

Cody: “I had to do it. He would have ruined a chance to bring peace between Alltra and Drakla if he continued to live.”

Fella: (Baffled) “A fair answer as any, my lord.”

*The Dreadlord enters the tavern with two scouts and his sight causes both imperial and Alltrian to back up to corners*

The Dreadlord: “Ha ha ha! Quite a display Lord Cody, invigorating indeed.”

Cody: “You saw?”

The Dreadlord: “Indeed I did. You may act all prissy outside of battle but when your blood starts to flow you leaving nothing remaining, even mercy.”

Imperial Scout 1: “Our report Master Dreadlord.”

The Dreadlord: “Yes, proceed.”

Imperial Scout 2: “Of the eight scouting parties that left seven came back with the same information with one party missing. Our mage located a strong source of magic deep within the range but every attempt to get closer to it returned us to our previous positions unable to proceed any deeper.”

The Dreadlord: “Does that information have any use, Cody?”

Cody: “The Hearth of the Heartland.”

The Dreadlord: “The Mountain at the center of the farthest range?”

Cody: “Yes, we believe that is where it is, but how do we get there if there seems to be a curse that keeps us away.”

The Dreadlord: “We will find that out when we get there and test our outcome.”

Ashley: “We are leaving then?”

The Dreadlord: “Yes.”

*The Dreadlord turns to face the Alltrians and causes them to reel back in fear*

The Dreadlord: “You will tell me all about what transpired here on the way.”

Cody: “As you wish.”

*Cody turns to Bilker, who has a disappointed expression. *

Cody: “Sorry about the mess.”

Bilker: “’Tis not your fault. I just wish nothing came into ruin the mood.”

Phillip: “Time to get cleaning.”

Ashley: “Come on Cody, we…. we have to go.”

*The group leaves and Cody waves to the keeper so the tavern and its patrons with a large smile and despite everything they return the gesture all the same*

-In the back of the tavern-

Daniel: “Well that was eventful.”

Kai: “You were right Daniel now we know where they are going and we just now have to follow them.”

Daniel:  (Concerned) “Was that the Dreadlord the one with the deep black armor?”

Kai: (Angered) “That’s him.”

Daniel: “When I looked at him I felt cold, very cold, unlike anything before.”

Kai: “He is known by the Alltrians as the Terror of the West for a reason.”

Daniel: “Well enough of that, let’s go before we lose them.”

*Kai and Daniel sneak out the exit*

END OF CHPAETR 24


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