Dark and Autumn

Return to: More Fan Stories
Main Fan Fiction Page | The White Stag Inn Fiction Forum | Return to Mal of Europa’s Many Tales Page 

She looked over as he spat on a rag and proceeded to clean his paldron.

“You would think” the armoured knight began, “that out of all of the things in this entire city, a bird would find something better to drop surprises on then myself” he moaned. The young mage laughed at him heartily. Over all the years she’d known him, she’d never understood why he insisted on keeping his armour, the one thing guaranteed to be dented and smashed, in such great condition, especially before a battle. She absently ran her hand through her hair and carried on grinning as he cursed the passing seagull.

The smell of salt filled the air now as they made their way through the yearning stone gate way and onto the wooden promenade. They strode past rows of old fisherman’s boats, her admiring the view, and him checking his provisions. From his pack, the old knight wrenched his heavy plate helm free and tucked it under his arms. They made their way to the cliff face at the end of the harbour. As they approached, the mage was rather sure she could smell sulphur. The rocks themselves were yellowed with the substance, and the air stank of rotting eggs and the grass at the foot of the cliff was withered, and to the knights delight, there were no more seagulls.

As they walked about the base of the cliff, the smell of sulphur grew until the source of the stench could be seen. Almost hidden from view, the mouth of a cave lay tucked into the ancient rocks. The knight knew from experience the second smell in the air. It was musky and sinister, and caused bile to become unsettled in the stomach. He snorted to himself as he checked his scabbard, incase he had somehow lost his trusted sword. The mage set down on the grass and opened a small pouch to check out the contents. From the pouch the knight made out an assortment of familiar weeds and powders. He didn’t pay too much attention to her preparations, he had been raised as a farmers son, and was somewhat cautious about magic. He took his own pack and found a small patch of heather, which he used to conceal his belongings. Before he left, he took a few oddly coloured potions from a side pouch, and his bandages which he placed in a smaller pack that hung from his baldric. He unsheathed his sword and checked the edge for its familiar keenness, and then awaited his companion.

He hated waiting, but had learnt to respect her old rituals, after-all it had saved him on many a skirmish. He always noticed something strange. After she had finished preparing herself, she seemed to produce a different aura. It was as if the friend he knew and loved was replaced by something much more detached and powerful. She seemed to grow in the wispy morning air, and her face lost its carefree quality. He shuddered inwardly at thinking what spirits had to be provoked to allow her access to her tremendous power, and perhaps this is one reason the knight felt more then inclined to keep her out of harms way, incase the wrath be incurred on his own person.

Slowly they entered the cave, the sulphur stinging their eyes. She muttered ancient words of power and soon they could both see as though it were day. She gave the knight a small piece of cloth she had prepared, and when he placed it over the bottom part of his face, he could breath as though they were in the spring forests and his eyes were irritated no more. The mage allowed the knight to proceed first, knowing he felt a sense of duty to protect her, especially when she was busy inciting incantations. He strode with pride into the deep cavern, his shield held in front of him, and his sword held behind his head. He stalked like a lion, full of pride and fierce instinct, his eyes watching every shadow in the cavern. His sense burned as he traced the landscape for signs of danger. In the distance was a faint light and a rumbling noise, like the fall of rain upon sheet metal. He proceeded more cautiously, the blazon on his shield almost screaming in it defiance to the beasts ahead.

They made their way down a slope, deeper into the dungeon, amongst stalagmites and scree pressing towards the light which glowed like embers in a dark night. The growling become louder, and there were heard noises of scrapping and pawing. The knight bade the mage to hang back as he proceeded, and behind him he heard the familiar utterance of Corp Por, as she prepared for the worse. The acrid stench, like burning meats and charcoals filled his head as he rounded the final corner. He breathed heavily as he heard the clawing, tearing sounds barely a few feet away. The sound of flames were a deafening roar, and his sweat was soaking his hair to the back of his neck under the heavy gorget. He felt his instinct urging him to run, but his heart bade him stand fast. He raised his sword ready to strike and slung his shield in front of him once more. With a mighty bellow he leapt out from his haven to confront the terrors that lurked.

“Nothing….” he spoke to himself. The mage called over, “what did you say, what’s there?”. The knight checked about once more and lowered his shield. He walked back around the corner. “There’s nothing there, only rocks.”

The mage stepped towards him uncertainly. “I’m sure there was a light Dark….you’re sure there’s nothing there?”

The knight looked about again, and then suddenly a great ball of fire rushed at him. He had barely the time to raise his shield before it hit him, knocking him from his feet and into the cavern wall. There was a mighty scream from the darkness of the cavern, which was engulfed in flames. From within the fiery maelstrom, a single figure began to appear, a black pin prick in a sea of flames. The form grew in size and its appearance slowly became more defined. The Mage stood with a look of horror on her face, and her jaw dropped as she stared. The knight rose to his feet. “I’ll kill it!” He roared. “What the hell hit me! I’ll make it sorry it was ever spawned” he challenged to the figure. He noticed the look on the Mages’ face and looked again into the dancing flames. “What is it Autumn?” he asked.

She turned and screamed “BALRON!”

Darks jaw dropped within his helm, but he did not show his fear to his old friend. It was an old muse, he would charge in head first as per usual, and she would feel inclined to stay and help, no matter the odds. The knight thew himself into stance and hurtled himself at the mighty beast, a deep gutteral growl raising from his throat into an all out scream as he collided into its leg shield first. He hacked with frenzy at the beasts molten flesh, each blow letting loose a shower of sparks and embers that burnt the flesh, yet he faultered not. He ducked a mighty swing from the beast which smashed a rock loose from the darkened cavern walls, and started his assault on its arm. From behind him, there came a great sound, familiar to angry bees swarming from their hive to assault an invading bear. He had not time to look at that it was before another shout filled the air. There was a cry of ancient power words as the fragile looking mage let loose a tsunami of magical energies, each blow more powerful then the last. Each burst of energy blew large chunks of molten evil from the Baldrons body, causing it to cry out in anguish. Dark continued his assault, twisting away from a second blow and this time leaping onto its shoulder as it leant forward in an attempt to crush him like tha comparative bug he was.

Dark slammed his sword deep into the back of its neck, almost submerging all but the swords hilt, wrenching it around inside the wound. The baldron tried desperately to remove him from its back, but as it struggled there was another utterance from the mage. From her palms sprung a grand ball of cackling blue energy that struck the beast in its throat, knocking it clean from its cloven hooves. Dark fell from its back, landing on his flanks and was forced to roll aside as his adversary came crashing besides him. Dark quickly rose to his feet and drove his blade into its throat, turning the baldrons death defying roar into a mear muttle gargle. After soom time, the beast cieced its thrashing, and moved no more.

Dark began routing through its bags, staring at his friend out of the corner of his eye. He grinned to himself as he wrentched a slightly tarnished chainmaille tunic from the body, which shone its own light, most obviously magical. Autumn came to his side to aid him in the relief of the Balrons possessions, but caught Darks questioning stare.

“Whats wrong?” She asked carefully. Dark stopped what he was doing, and looked her in the eye.

“Where did you get such power from?” He asked, slightly alarmed. “Of all the years I have known, and thought beside you, I have never seen such might!” he proclaimed.

To his suprised she giggled at him. Dark looked on with shock.

“Silly me, I forgot to tell you, I grandmastered magery last night.”

Last modified: March 27, 2011

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.