Creative Writing Wednesday: “The Epic Legend of Damien Fell”, Part 3

Posted: July 11, 2012 in The Epic Legend of Damien Fell
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“So you told me to meet you here,” I said. “But you haven’t told me why.”

“Here” was a small, funky coffee shop in downtown Santa Cruz, with posters of long-forgotten punk bands on the walls and a barista with chunky glasses and a goatee. My dining companion… well, I didn’t know who exactly he was. He stood about five feet six inches tall, wore a dingy Dream Theater hoodie, and had a gas mask on.

That was probably why I didn’t know who he was.

“I can’t trust the internet anymore,” my dining companion said. “I’m worried about sending you The Epic Legend of Damien Fell over email. I’m sorry, but I just can’t do that.”

“…Okay,” I said. “Why?”

“Van Eck phreaking,” said my companion. He was talking in a deep, gravelly voice, sort of like Christian Bale in The Dark Knight. This didn’t make him sound imposing so much as it made him sound congested. “There are people all over the internet who tap fiberoptic cables and read everything you put in emails. It’s true. I read it in Cryptonomicon.”

“Um. Well. First of all, I don’t think that’s how Van Eck phreaking works. And second of all, who’d want to steal your story?”

“All kinds of people. Other writers. Like you.”

“Like me? Why would I want to steal your story?”

“I’m pushing the boundaries of fantasy literature here. Nobody’s saying what I’ve been saying. It’s a grim, savage story of good and evil that’s never been told before, and people will want to steal it. You know. Plagiarists are all over the place. Like that guy you like. You know… the English guy, who was in that Simpsons episode…”

I could have said a million things at this point. I chose to simply go along with the crazy teenager who sat across from me. “Right,” I said. “You’re a genius. So, is that what you wanted to talk to me about?”

“Nope. I’m giving you the next installment of The Epic Legend of Damien Fell in hard copy. That way nobody sees it but you and me.”

“Uh-huh. Sure,” I mumbled, wondering how fast I can transcribe the hard copy and post it on my lame blog once my companion is out of sight.

“I’ll be going now,” said my companion. “Got a dermatologist’s appointment to go to. You know how it is.”

“Yeah, sure,” I reply. “Hey, do you mind paying for the scone that you didn’t eat?”

“I’d love to, blogger-man, but unfortunately my mom cut off my debit card after I bought my nunchuks. You know how it is.”

“Oh, yeah. Totally.”

“Be seeing you, Johnson.” And he walks out the door, leaving me alone with the hipsters.

Prick, I think, and begin to read the third chapter…

 

The Epic Legend of Damien Fell

Chapter Three: Shadow Councils

“The unthinkable has happened!” cried King Estuvi of Karass Mor, and the father of Amberella. “The palace invaded— thousands of palace guards slain—- my daughter kidnapped!”

Looking at the King of Karass Mor, one would never expect him to be the father of the most beautiful woman ever to walk the face of the earth. He was short and lumpish, vaugely potato-shaped, with a neck-beard and a bald head. The courtiers of Karass Mor truly spoke the truth when they said that Amberella took more after her mother, the beauteous Wood Aelfynn princess Karyss Al’alanae.

“This is a disaster! Never since my wife has died have I been so distraught! I must convene a war council immediately.”

King Estuvi scowled darkly.

“Whoever took my daughter will pay in blood.”

***************************************

By noon the foremost lords and knights in the country from five day’s ride around the palace had been convened in the Chamber of Battle.

The largest chamber in the Palace of Karass Mor, the Chamber of Battle was far more older, and far more mysterious, than any other room in the palace. It was not constructed as part of the palace: in fact, in the long-lost days of the Karassian Empire, which ruled over three continents, this had been the central tower of a mage-lord of Darke Magycke. The palace had actually been built around this central tower. There were still remnants of the impression that this had once upon a time been a tower: the room was cylindrical, and sixty paces in radius: but even so, there was no cieling, for the top of the mile-tall tower had broken long ago. Staring up and up and ever upward towards the blue Karass Morian sky, you would feel like you were looking out of a tube at the heavens: the opening at the top of the chamber was only as big around as an Ecurian gold piece, and despite the fact that it was open to the sky, the chamber was ever dark, and torches were lit when the warriors of Karass Mor sat in council.

The greatest knights and warriors of Karass Mor sat in the seats spaced around the circular chamber, and all gazed towards the king as he sat on the trhone. Assembled in the hall were the three Jarkesh Lha’am brothers, Urik, Uric, and Urrick, sitting in their armor with their long swords Battlecleaver, Stormbreaker, and Irontail at their sides, respectively; the dark-skinned warrior-priestess Lasheena Dh’or, a beautiful betwixting jungle maiden from the depths of the cloud forests high in the Harharrakhan Mountains of southern Karass Mor; Sharrik the Fair, a handsome-looking knight in red demonscale armor, hailing from the tiny Sapphire Island in the Rushing Sea to the west of the Palace; Markessa Thûne, the greatest archer in the human kingdoms, famed for slaying the dread dragon Orrulgamakalagrhamakhan in the volcanic reaches of Shuurrggaatth Hhuul’l; General Estavar Kúne, the grizzled general of a thousand campaigns against the deadly power of the Frog Men of Danshevar; Wayne Wain of the Eastern Marshes, a frog-dwelling bog-eating spearman who had fought at Markessa Thûne’s side as she rode to the ice-lands of the far North in order to kill a Demongiant Swordmage who had killed her brother; Lord Maywolf Merrywheather, a prancing fop of a young man who never the less managed to be incredibly skilled with lute, rapier, and womens’ undergarments; Sir Jherrigal Umláut, eighty years old and the legendary champion of a thousand and ten tourneys in the days of his youth; Märzan Kal’Kättû, the Dwarvyn chieftain of the neighboring Stormhollow Clan, who dwelt under the volcanic Firespear Mountains and had forged strong swords as tribute to the kings of Karass Mor for a thousand years; Urgeth the Unwary, paladin and Lyghte Mage, who defended King Estuvi on the Battle of Yllamór; the king’s bastard half-cousin once removed, Darkus Chayne, the famed assassin and dread martial artist who traveled in the East in his youth and brought back techniques that let him kill a man to death in less time than it takes him to pick his nose; Tulweg Al-Bariq, the honey-skinned desert shieldmaiden who knew no man as master and whose beauty was reknowned throughout all of the Human Kingdoms; Lord Golrag Ukk, the only Orkish war-leader in the human kingdoms, and a skilled spearman and warrior; Admiral Kastaelanna Sal’dae, the bewitching half-aelfynn pirate captain turned naval admiral, mistress of a thousand ships and famed for her raven black hair, betwitching smile and the second-most beautiful pair of breasts in Karass Mor (after Amberella’s of course); Earl Shaemon Ysgallar, the young lord of the eastern province of Schlang; the wood-aelfynn ambassador and uncle of the Princess Amberella, Highlord Jaeron Láu’thi; plus a lot of other people who aren’t really all that important.

To the right of the King sat a young blonde man, hair cut short, wearing intricately wrought armor and the fabled two-handed sword Rayventallon across his back. He had a cleft chin and sparkling blue eyes, and his smile was as fake as the breasts of Ecydasia, Goddess of Those Who Go Unclad in the Night. He was the price of the neighboring land of Rayvenhawke, and his name was Travyss Hawke.

“I’m very glad you could come to this council, Travyss, my son,” said King Estuvi. “You are betrothed to my daughter, and I would wish to see that no harm will come to her.”

“It is my pleasure, my lord,” said Travyss, smiling his gleaming-toothed smile. “I love your daughter. She is the most beautiful, bewitching creature that ever I did see. I want to protect her. I will not let her come to harm— and if I do, I will fall on my sword immediately.”

Estuvi smiled and nodded approvingly. “I care for you as well, Travyss Hawke. In the short weeks that you have lived here in Karass Mor, I have grown to care for you like a son. And since I have no son, only daughters……”

“And each one fairer than the last,” Travyss said, winking.

The King grinned. “Aye, they take after their mother that way,” he said wistfully. “Anyway, I was hoping to give you the crown after I die, uniting the kingdoms of Rayvenhawke and Karass Mor when I pass from this life.”

“It would be my honor, my lord,” said Travyss, bowing his head and smirking.

“So be it, Travyss Hawke, Prince of Rayvenhawke,” said King Estuvi. “I name you my son and heir.”

From a nearby seat, a man spoke with a voice like thunder. “WHAT????” it cried.

Everyone turned to look, and there was Sharrik the Fair, Lord of Sapphire Island and the Rushing Sea. His eyes were blazing with angry fire.

“My lord, you cannot mean this? Surely you do not mean to give the Kingdom of Karass Mor to this……. this outsider???

“Prince Travyss is no outsider, but has become to me like unto my only son. I would be honored to give him my kingdom when I die.”

“But, sire, surely you have not forgotten? Your grandfather, and your father— they both died in the wars with Rayvenhawke! At the hands of the ancestors of this young stripling!”

Prince Travyss put his hand on the hilt of his sword. “I will not stand here and be insulted by this seafoam lordling,” he snapped. “I am a Prince of the Human Kingdoms, and I will not be spoken down to.”

“Calm yourself, Travyss,” said King Estuvi. “You have no quarrel with good Sharrik here.”

Travyss scowled, but he released his hand from his blade.

The King of Karass Mor turned to the Lord of Sapphire Island. “As for you, Sharrik, there are more greater things afoot here. With the kidnapping of my daughter, all the human kingdoms are threatened— verily, not just the human kingdoms, but the lands of Dwarves, Wood Aelves, Dark Aelves, Orcs, Trolls, Gnomes, Giants, Lizardfolks, Minotaurs, Frog Men, Crab Men, Ticktock Men, and Dragons alike have fallen under threat. If we do not stand together, the whole world is doomed.”

“I don’t care!” cried Sharrick. “His grandmother killed my father— and I demand revenge!”

And he drew his long sword Garthgaléna, the fabled ancestral sword of Sapphire Island. It’s blade was carved of a single gigantic sapphire, and it shone in the dime light of the hall with a cerulean glow. Charging screaming at Travyss, Sharrik the Fair brought his sword up into an attack position.

Travyss drew his family’s sword Rayventallon, a massive six foot two handed blade forged from black iron, and dropped into a defensive posture.

The swords rang out for a second, then with a sudden long cut, Travyss severed the handsome head of Sharrik the Fair.

There was a sudden fountain of pulsing red blood from Sharrick’s neck, and then his still-standing corpse fell to its knees before the prince.

Does anyone else doubt my claim to the throne of Karass Mor??” exclaimed Travyss exclamatorially.

“No! We’re good!” replied the rest of the lords.

King Estivu shook his head as he looked at Sharrik’s kneeling, headless corpse. “You poor fool,” he murmured. Then he addressed the whole Chamber of Battle. “Now that the preliminary business is taken care of, then I suppose I must let you know why I called you all here today,” he declaimed.

“Well, I can tell you: tragedy has struck the kingdom of Karass Mor. Our castle was broken into by members of an evil cult, and my daughter Amberella kidnapped.”

The members of the council gasped and murmured. Highlord Jaeron Láu’thi, the aelfynn ambassador and the pRincesses’ uncle, said, “By the Nine Aelfynn Gods! Brother-in-law, what is to be done?”

“The bravest and most skilled in battle knight must go forth from the kingdom into lands of darkness to find my daughter,” said King Estuvi. “And I know exactly who the one to rescue our Princess must be.”

“Who?” cried the councilmembers. “Who? Tell us who!”

“It will be my daughter’s betrothed, Prince Travyss Hawke of Rayvenhawke,” exclaimed the king.

At this there were angry mutters among the councilpeople, but Travyss knelt down beofre the King, and bowed his head. “I would be honored to search for your daughter and my beloved, my lord and father\”

“This is an outrage!” cried Wayne Wain of the Eastern Marshes. “He’s not even a Karass Morian!”

“He’s a cold-blooded murderer!” exclaimed Urgeth the Unwary. “He killed Sharrick where he stood, just a minute ago!”

“Let me find the girl, my leige!” bellowed General Estavar Kúne. “I will bring honor back to Karass Mor!”

“No, let me find her!!!” shouted Admiral Kastaelanna Sal’dae. “I’ll take half the cash up front and the rest on completing my job!”

LET ME TAKE HER,” cried Lord Gorlag Ukk, “OR I WILL TAKE MY AXE AND MURDER EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU RIGHT HERE!

SILENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” shouted the king……..

……..and everyone obeyed;

“Travyss is the strongest warrior of his generation!” cried Estuvi. “He is a knight of consumite skill and power! If any of you will go to the Fiendfang to find my daughter, let it be him!!!!!!!”

“The fiendfang?” asked Sir Jherrigal Umláut. Legend had spoke of the dark mountain and its hideous fastnesses for thousands of yeas. “But that is a suicide mission!”

“Yes, and it is why Travyss must go to the Fiendfang,” said the kIng. “For he is the only one skilled enough to survive a suicide mission!”

There was a long pause, and then Jherrigal Umláut said, “So be it. If the Gods have ordained that Travyss is the one who must go to the Fieldfang, then we will pray for him here.” And all the lords and knights in the hall bowed at Travyss.

“I will leave at once, my liege,” said the Prince. “The journey to the Fiendfang is three thousand miles. It will take me at least two weeks to get there.”

“Then we will wish you safe jounrey,” the King of Karass Mor said. “May the Lyghte be on your side, and when you return, we will have a wedding merry enough to wake the dead.”

***************************************************

In the mountains at the north end of the world, surrounding the Fiendfang, a woman in black road up to Lord Hateshadowe’s tend, her mount weary from thousands of miles of journeying. She gave her mount to one of the nearby cultists, and entered Hateshadowe’s richly austere domicile…….

Lord Hateshadowe sat by a writing desk, reading an ornate grimoire entitled How to Kill Princesses and Bring Chaos Neverending. He didn’t even bother to look up when she arrived.

“So, Shaira,” he said. “You succeeded in murdering that man Blackthorne?”

The woman in black, or Shaira, as she was named, removed her face mask, and revealed a beautiful lush face, with a small pointed nose and a pair of full ruby lips.

“I did, Hateshadowe,” she said. “Now yo have to honor our bargain. You promised me a fortune in rubies when I returned. I don’t see any fortunes here.”

“In good time, in good time,” smiled Lord Hateshadowe. “We must wait, though. When I sacrifice the Princess tomorrow night, then you’ll have rubies and more besides.”

“I’m not a member of your cult, Hateshadowe,” said Shaira. “I’m a member of the Shadow Syndicate, and I want my payment. You promised me that you would give me the money when I finished the job.”

Lord Hateshadowe’s shadowed face smiled hatefully. “I lied,” he said.

Bastard,” snarled Shaira, and she drew her throwing knife and prepared to send it hurtling straight through Lord hateshadowe’s smug face……………..

………but as soon as she drew it Lord Hateshadowe said “DEPPARTER’OUYAHAH!” and tendrils of shadowy substants came out the ground and wrapped her tightly in a chocking embrace.

“What is this?” she cried.

“It’s a little spell to keep out from attacking,” he said. “Don’t think about dismissing it, or doing any kind of magycke—– if the spell detects any kind of magic being cast it’ll squeeze the life from you like the juice from a potato.”

“You son of a—” screamed Shaira, but a tentacle closed over her mouth, keeping her from saying anything.

“You know,” said Lord Hateshadowe. “Sacrificing a nubile princess is such hungry work. Maybe when I’m done sacrificing Amberella tomorrow I’ll come back and eat your heart.” He laughed then, long and maniacally, and the tentacles that wrapped around Shaira’s body squeezed her tighter, and she slipped into un-consciousness as the sound of Lord Hateshadowe’s laughter rang in her ears………………………..

END CHAPTER 3

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