Fabian, the Reinhard's Legacy
Preacher last edited by Preacher
The scene takes place in a room with soft lighting.His parents stand in front of him with a serious look.A guard stands slightly behind him,watching quietly and ready to take orders.His father,Richard,is a handsome man with impressive stature and eyes that betraying countless battles.His mother,Elisabeth,a beautiful and at the same time strict presence who seem to influence Richard at great degree.Both are silent for a long moment before Richard talks.
Richard:Fabian,do you know why your mother and I have called you here?
Fabian:No father.Did I caused any trouble again? (the boy is calm and curious)
Richard: Starting today you will leave home and travel south of here to an academy.A military academy…You once told me that you want to protect the most important things in your life.You wanted to be like me.I now give you a chance to make it possible.
Richard: There you will fight for your life.If you fail you will be killed by the other candidates and your existence shall be erased.Survive and appear again before me proud of yourself. (his tone is cold)
The boy stands speechless and everything around him stops.He looks around shocked,not knowing what to do,what to say,what to ask.He then turns to look at his mother who has the same cold look and glances at him without speaking.This is even more shocking spectacle,coming from the person who gave birth to him and raised him,protecting him.
Richard:Take him now. (says with loud voice,covering Fabian’s despaired one)
The guard makes the move to escort Fabian out of the room ,but when he sees through it,he tries to run,to escape.But the guard was already too fast for him and he had grabbed him with enough power to drag him out.Realizing that he can’t avoid the suiciding trip,he looks blankly to his parents as he is dragged,wondering.
Fabian:Why you want me dead..?Why is this happening? (no tears,no crying,just insane fear choking him)
Richard:You already know Fabian..For a long time now you know.Be an example for the rest.Go now… (he gestures to the guard to close the door behind him,as he leaves)
As the door closes behind Elisabeth turns to Richard
Elisabeth:Are you sure it is not a mistake to send him at this age?It is great risk,no matter his stubbornness,he is far too young…
Richard:I told you again in the past Elisabeth,have faith in him.The blood of a Reinhard flows through him.It is a risk,yes.But at the same time the only way for him to fulfill his dreams.And finally to take my place…
"It is easy to love your friend, but sometimes the hardest lesson to learn is to love your enemy."
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War ―
A calm night. Gabriel walks around Peltrach’s alleys under a beautiful full moon. Ahead there is a shadowy figure standing still, as if waiting for him to approach. The young man stops. No particular reason. But a strange feeling, a warm and dark at the same time. A familiar one. The figure takes some steps ahead towards Gabriel. When passing under a torch lit spot the face of his big brother appears. Adrenaline rushes fully. He did not expect to meet with him like this. He would have planned it, bring the fight on his terms. A short moment of hesitation, then he bursts. Even like this, it is still a great opportunity to complete his task.
Gabriel: Why you! Fabian...! You murderer!
Fabian does not move. He feels his pain and that hurts him even more.
Gabriel: How could you!? YOU MONSTER! Mom and dad loved you! I loved you! I didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye to them damn you!
His vision is blurred, the blonde warrior unsheathes his bastard sword and is about to charge. At that very moment, right before he takes a single step he freezes. He cannot move, something is wrong. He turns his gaze around trying to figure out what’s happening. He realizes he is paralyzed by magic. Fabian approaches him and stands a few steps away. First time since 20 years ago. Only this time instead of playing catch at the garden with Fabian, he has to fight a monster.
Fabian: Why don’t you tell them yourself Gabriel?
Gabriel gasps at the hearing, trying to understand but then he bursts again.
Gabriel: What the hell are you talking about you-you, YOU SHIT!? They’re gone! I saw it with my own eyes. You carving the blade through mother’s chest...
Fabian: I don’t expect you to trust me. But the truth is mom and dad are alive and I am going back home to save them. They were always alive. We... no, you were fooled... All this time they have been imprisoned by some people who seek greater power in Impiltur. Our family just happened to be in position of power, a leverage for them if you wish.
Gabriel: Why should I believe you? Give me a reason...
Fabian: Take a closer look around you Gabriel. If I wanted you dead don’t you think I would have done it by now..?
Fabian blinked saddened at this thought. Gabriel noticing this weird reaction from Fabian, looks around to notice his group of mages having surrounded him. But it is not enough reason. No, after what Fabian had done.
Gabriel: NO! I know scums like you brother... It’s not possible. You sure have some kind of those genius "master-plans" of yours, huh? What is it this time? Make me go back and fight my Order and then kill me? Huh...? Tell me!
Fabian realizes Gabriel won’t reason with the chance of a change of character, of faith alone. At that moment he gets more serious, hoping to shake Gabriel’s mind.
Fabian: I will ask you a single question brother. Then it is up to your judging how the future of our parents and our people will change. If there is this little, tiny chance I for once telling the truth and our parents are alive, would you make a leap of faith and help me save them or you would give in to your hate and let them die?
Gabriel was surprised by Fabian’s question. A fight inside him takes place. Instinct against justice.
/It cannot be right… Something is off… Why do I feel like he is telling the truth? He can’t. He killed them. But still, something is off… What if they are still alive…? /
Fabian notices Gabriel’s behavior and signals the mage who has paralyzed him, to end the spell. Gabriel moves instinctively with a blurred vision and draws a vertical scar along Fabian’s left eye. Fabian’s luck states present once again. Even though the slashing was not successful, it was enough to mark his face forever. But it matters not. Not now with how their lives have come to be… Fabian eyes Gabriel and nods.
Fabian: Now it is up to you. Here and now you hold our future in your hands. You choose. I die and you earn peace of mind or you take that leap of faith one last time...
Gabriel shakes his head disappointed by how their meeting goes and points the tip of his blade at the dark haired monster, still.
Gabriel: Very well. I will take this leap of faith /brother/... But rest assured. Either saving our parents or not you will die by my hand in the end... I am not buying this change of yours you claim. I know very well how good of an actor you are...
Fabian: A fair deal Gabriel. Thank you for bearing with my presence still. I will make sure to not let this chance go in waste... With that said we have to plan our next moves. And train as well. Both of us must get stronger. We will only have a single shot against them. They are not the type that you can take by surprise that easily. Not to mention they will be waiting for us...
Gabriel: Train along with you? Heh, that would sound like a joke for a long time now... Hmm... Actually it is not a bad idea brother... I /apologize/ in advance for any wounds or rough behavior I may demonstrate during our training… Hurting you in training is not my intention... Lead the way Fabian.
They exchanged an amused glance as Gabriel said and left to rest. The following day would be a new start, even temporary...
"Know yourself and you will win all battles"
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War ―
His journey was long and harsh. His goal simple. To find and bring back home the Soul of Destiny, an artifact that is said to grant power beyond imagination to the wearer. This would place his people in position of power. Once and for all. But the Land had other plans for him. He would face threats, suspicions, obstacles, monsters and many more ambitious entities that would get in his way for their selfish or not reasons towards their personal glory or divine fate. The ultimate dream of every soul. To become great and their name to be spoken long after they are gone. Your death, my glory. Your destruction, my reward. Mighty beings the mortals, blinded by their personal desires. As long it serves their ego, justification is divine gift.
Many thoughts cross his mind. But nothing else matters now. The presence of the artifact radiates an aura, strong enough to force respect among the puny mortals, reminding them how insignificant beings they are when the higher forces speak. The mages managed to locate it after years of research. Deep below the IceLace Lake there is a small habitable island. A field of force maintains fresh breathing air around it. They are not sure if it is the power of the artifact or just the location. The place is bright, there are countless carved crystals around the cave that reflect the white light the artifact emits towards every direction, making the whole place look like colored heaven. No one dares approach it.
A man from his group is about to speak, Fabian raises a preventing hand, silencing him for a long quiet moment as he still stares at the unique necklace that floats in the air. He only then turned his gaze back at the man, expectantly. The mage steps in front, close to Fabian.
Thomas: Sir, I know this may not be the right time but we may not have another chance to let you know about the latest news...
Fabian narrowed his eyes curiously.
Fabian: What are you talking about? What else there is? I know about Gabriel, about the nobles, about everything... Make sure to tell me something worthy...
Thomas: Y-yes sir. Our spies back home discovered something rather... troubling... Your parents, they are alive and captured... It seems Evelyn with the help of a sorcerer had planned this many years ago.
Fabian instantly grabs the mage’s neck and tightens his grip with intent to kill him, baring teeth from rage.
Fabian: What the fuck are you talking about…? I killed my parents! They died from my bloody hands god dammit! What games are you playing!?
The man already on his limit to pass out manages to speak more.
Thomas: Those were illusions created by them sir! They replaced your parents with some criminals they broke out of prison and altered their appearance and speech through magic! They made it look like you killed your own parents!
Fabian right before choking him he threw him away, confused. The bright place darkens, he feels dazed, he can't breath, everything spins around like crazy, and he is on the verge of collapsing. He fall on his knees.
Fabian: Why would Evelyn do that...? Why!?
Jonas then stepped in front as well, as if briefing him once more.
Jonas: Sir, we managed to get on our hands fairly detailed reports from our spies’ network. The god you serve sir, Bane. His church consists of multiple layers of power. It seems you belonged in the lower ones… In short, you were a pawn to them.
A sudden burst as he listens to the crazy scenario, he rises and he punches the wall with all his might. The punch has such rage, and luck too to bring the ring that controlled him all these years in contact with a curved crystal and break it apart. Time stops, all sounds mute, his eyes open widely. Everything is clear. He realizes the truth. All these years pass through his eyes insanely fast. Long gone memories return. He rediscovers his true self. Time and sound resumes, though now he feels more empty than ever. Then he nodded as he keeps looking down.
Fabian: Continue Jonas… I want to know everything. Every little detail…
Jonas nodded at him and as he realized Fabian had changed, he keeps with even more confidence.
Jonas: According to the reports they need the artifact to use its power to enforce their beliefs on Impiltur. So they had to create a fearless, or crazy if I may, warrior who would have nothing to lose if he died. One who would reach hell to acquire it. Though as much crazy one can be he can only go that far. So they decided to push things, to break the limits. They infiltrated your house and kidnapped your parents. They put them in jail, below the Royal Hall specifically and replaced them with those criminals. And the fake ones acted as instructed. They made you believe that you had since birth that rage that would harm your friends, your family. They programmed you to believe so that is... So with that reason they would send you in that academy where you would fight for your life. And at the same time they would make you hate them. They wanted you to cross this bridge that has no return, to kill your parents and give yourself into Bane completely. That would be their first step to control you.
Jonas kneels to where the ring broke and grabbed some of its pieces, examining it. Then he turned to Fabian as he holds the ring in front of him.
Jonas: Evelyn gave you this ring with the promise of making you stronger and be able to teleport you back to her if you ever needed. But its real power was a different kind. It could control your mind. The warrior types usually prefer to train their body and physical skills and skip to train their mind. And that’s where she found the chance to control you completely. We bear responsibility as well for not being able to trace the ring’s true nature. Many of the lives you took was not your fault sir…
Fabian still looks on the ground thoughtfully. He turns to Jonas. He seems calm and sad.
Fabian: No Jonas… The ring barely channeled my rage. There is no excuse... All of these people would be alive now if I was strong enough to resist… I was played like a little, weak boy. How pathetic, huh...?
Fabian sighs for a long moment. Some of his men ask him what is the plan. He looks at each of them. Without further words he grabs the artifact without caring if it kills him and places it into his backpack. Then he inclines head at each confidently.
Fabian: Gentlemen, change of plans… We have a last mission to complete. In Impiltur. Before that we will make a last stop in Peltarch. There is someone I need to find…
One of the mages nodded at Fabian and chanted a teleportation spell that sent them all back to their base in Peltarch. The field of force instantly stopped working and the bottom of the Lake once again became normal as if the artifact was never there…
"The greatest victory is that which requires no battle."
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War―
The young man practices his swordsmanship out in the open field, west of Peltarch. Jonas approaches him cautiously, being sure no one lurks nearby. After a finishing move Fabian carves his sword in the ground and turns at him expectantly.
Jonas: Sir, I have lot of news this time, I am afraid...
Fabian raised an amused eyebrow.
Fabian: Don’t tell me about the common’s funny evening again... I have more important things to look for.
Jonas: It has to do with it, for starters... Rath Ashald and Ashena Teroldys... after detecting your... mood, they assigned a priestess who goes by the name Celia St. Claire to watch over you closely. I overheard them asking her to report daily about your every actions. They fear you more now as their detection was mere luck according to what was spoken. They had their attention on another person who was next to you and their divine sense caught you as well.
Fabian: And so they send a puppy to play divine justice…
The man laughed at that.
Fabian: Very well, let them think they have power over others. Arrogance. Funny, this is a blindfold a person never realizes. Though I admit this makes things difficult. Locating the artifact is difficult as it is already, and now I am forced to manipulate them too in addition...
Jonas: If I may sir, I believe we are close to the artifact. Our combined scrying is finally strong enough to locate it. Currently, we can’t pinpoint it but it’s a matter of time to succeed at it. So... I was about to... [Hesitation is formed on his face] suggest a change in your... daily habits...
Fabian glances at him expectantly still.
Jonas: Communities usually take lightly of shallow people. Fools, womanizers, showmen, pranksters. Once you become a clown they never look through to your real self. They make the ideal distraction AND cover in your case my lord. This would give us all an advantage until we locate the artifact.
Fabian’s face goes slightly red in anger upon hearing such a scenario.
Fabian: So you’re saying I must pretend to be a fool, an idiot, to bed women, to make other people... laugh with my stupidity to complete our goal?
Jonas nodded awkwardly at that, not knowing if that would end his own life or not. Knowing Fabian’s pride this could destroy everything the group had built until this time. Or take them a long way towards their goal. Jonas risked as he considered this to be time Zero. Then to his surprise Fabian calmed down.
Fabian: Very well... I will try. It’s hateful but sadly a solid tactic to fool the fools in there...
Fabian motioned towards Peltarch as he said. Jonas then reached for a report in his backpack. Without wasting time and words he handled it to Fabian.
Jonas: One more thing... It is confirmed. Your younger brother, Gabriel is taking residence in Peltarch. And he is searching for you my lord. It is revenge that he wants. Our contacts have completed his profile. He doesn’t care about the ways of killing you. He will do anything to see you dead. I know you don’t use to but please do not drop your guard my lord. Remember, we are very close now...
Fabian: I see... Good job Jonas... If there is not anything else, go back to the base and keep srying. Do your best to find it quickly. I can’t guarantee I can keep acting in that disgusting way for long... Also, I am already gone for a long time now, I have left my people’s fate back home to a stranger’s hands...
Jonas inclined his head and turned away to enter again the west walls of Peltarch. Fabian is left staring at the walls of the town thoughtfully. He opens the report and examines his little brother’s sketch. He lets out a sigh as he close his eyes. The falling sun takes his thoughts along...
He sits by the fire and stares quietly at the dancing flames that fade, exhaling slowly while various thoughts cross his mind. One of his attendants enter the room, bringing some bandages to care his burns before he gets some good rest.
J: "That witch got you for good sir. She has turned into a threat it seems lately."
F: "Don’t make me laugh Jonas. I find it hard to call her a threat… If you base your judge on some minor burns then you have a long way to go still."
J: "Why did she attack you sir?"
F: "She is obviously scared. I may have “exaggerated” a bit during some excursion… Why does it matter to you?"
J: "Just curious sir. Nothing more."
Fabian stared at him a moment before he changed a bandage. Jonas gulped just before he speaks again.
J: "Then why don’t you just kill her? One mage less won’t hurt your reputation. Five years have passed since we came, and most of the people trust us."
F: "You think she would still breathe if I wanted to? I promised Vladimir to at least not kill her. He thinks of her as an asset for our greater goal. He says she is a sheep that can serve well. I have my doubts still but I will go along his plans for now. Besides, he has more experience and connections still in this land. It is only beneficial for me to trust his strategic mind. Though Sharrans are not to be trusted, like Cyricists. In fact those two kinds must be slain at sight. Even their smell of fear is disgusting…"
J: "Understood. What is the plan then?"
F: "We stick to the same plan. Nothing changes. I will keep increasing my influence and when time is best we change course to find it. The “tools” I have gathered currently are not enough… But we are getting closer, I can feel it… Its power keeps increasing day by day."
J: "Then we let the witch think she is safe for now i take it?"
Fabian turned at him with a content face
F: "You learn fast Jonas… Yes, let her be for now. In fact, get her out of your mind. She is of no value right now. Enough about witches. Any news from Gabriel?"
J: "I am afraid not sir. His Order has been doing a good job keeping him out of our reach… Though commoners speak of a blond man lately. They say he has no manners and that he looks as if he is constantly looking for someone. The description they give matches Gabriel's. Could it be him?"
F: "I have my doubts. He is a scared little boy. He wouldn’t be possibly thinking of avenging my parents at this moment. And Gabriel is surely a gentle kid, rudeness is a word that does not exist in his mind. Keep looking, he must be near."
J: "As you wish sir. Have a good night."
Jonas closed the door behind him as he walked away the room. Fabian thinks of a memory when they were kids with Gabriel and throws the glass of wine with anger into the fire with a muttering before he goes to bed.
Preacher last edited by Preacher
The Joy of Oblivion
Three years later…
Citizen folks cheer, praise their new King. The bard speaks of his valor and moral spirit, the preacher makes sure to judge and guide the masses. Only the king’s sword can strike true. Only he can bring balance again…
The man sits on his father’s throne. He wears the crown with pride. Common knowledge has it that he seeks the murderer of his parents with tireless mind. The captain enters the royal hall in haste. His tone is serious. The guards watch his every move. He stops and inclines his head at the seated man, and stay as is while he speaks.
“I bring bad news my king… Your brother is yet to be found…”
Fabian glares at him. A short pause and the captain speaks again.
“Rumors though… speak of the younger heir to have been on the run, towards Narfell. There is this Order also, The Eye of Justice as people call them. It seems as if they were ready to intervene with the Royal family. Your father, Richard had a past with them. The facts imply this Order to be one of his emergency plans from long ago. Also, there is the possibility they have been training Gabriel already. Their teachings are considered... questionable… Their members know no fear or pity. This alone makes them dangerous…”
Then he pauses, waiting for his orders. Fabian then turns back over his shoulder and glances up at the woman who stands next to him, his advisor as it seems. She is of exotic beauty, her gaze is piercing through his eyes.
“What do you think?” he asked her.
“You must finish what you started my king. It is the last bit of the cost you must pay to achieve your final goal…”
After a long pause he nods at her in agreement. He turns to the captain once more.
“Captain, start preparations immediately. We waited long enough. We set course for Narfell. Be sure to make it look like we run a trading business. I will not tolerate failure this time. Dismissed…”
As the captain walks away, he motions to the Royal Guards to escort him out and stay there until ordered otherwise. He peers ahead thoughtfully.
“You regretted it?” She asked him. He pauses a moment.
“It had to be done. It is of no value when the Black Lord wills it.”
He rubs thoughtfully, still, a strangely carved ring on his finger. The woman watches him amused and motions to the ring.
“You like my gift Fabian? It already serves its purpose, doesn’t it? I promised you power that would stabilize your Land and here we are, having united all the people under your flag. Living in peace and safety…”
He nods unsure but at the same time in a trusting way towards her person.
“Thanks for that Evelyn, I wouldn’t be able to make it without you. My family… They were just fools… They couldn’t see the extinction we were facing… DAMN THEM...!”
He balled a fist and stomped with force on the throne’s arm rest. Evelyn places a reassuring hand onto his shoulder.
“Relax… You did what was right Fabian. You will be remembered as a great man. Even your family will greet you with honor in afterlife, after saving what they couldn’t.”
Immediately after, Fabian nods at her as if her words reaching him effortlessly. Her charisma perhaps. He stands up and turns at her, places a hand on her cheek and kisses her.
“Alright, I will do what I have to do. I will finish it, once and for all… We will keep in touch. It’s a good thing this ring can teleport me back to you. I will be looking forward to be seeing you again… Keep my people safe until then, will you?”
The young king then strides off the Hall determined. As the door behind him closes, Evelyn turns back and after some chanting she opens a secret door and enters into what it seems to be a magical room, full of arcane aura. There, a hooded man, a sorcerer from the likes, stands in front of a crystal ball and turns at her. Evelyn nods at him.
“Fabian is on the move my lord. Your plan goes as you predicted. We watch closely the Order of the Eye of Justice. The information we gave them, led them easily to Narfell. Gabriel was the perfect bait after all…”
The man nodded contently.
“Good… And what about his parents?”
“Secured as you ordered. We keep them trapped and under strict surveillance. Arcane has been used to keep them isolated.”
She hesitates for a moment before she speaks
“What difference though does it make if we keep them alive or not? Fabian will never know the truth.”
“No difference at all young lady. But years of such scenarios have taught me to keep always an insurance. Rare but possible, they come in handy when needed. Now go and initiate the second phase. Time is not as plenty as some think.”
The young woman bowed her head and turned to walk away as ordered.
“Oh, one last thing…” The man said just before she exits the room.
“I sensed a disruption from the ring you have given Fabian, moments ago… He almost regained his own will… Are you sure it can control him to the extent you claim…?”
He eyes her coldly, expectantly.
“There is no reason to worry my lord. It was merely a fluke… somehow. Fabian remains the perfect tool. A small increase in his power made him give in to the ring’s true power without hesitation. The "Dominate Monster" spell works like a charm. His will is way too weak to even comprehend that he is under control. Give a man power and he becomes your puppet. Especially those in despair, like Fabian…”
“Very well. I will hold to your words for now.”
The man nods and motions her off. She returns to the Hall after a few hours and watches thoughtfully at Fabian from the window as he leaves.
The epilogue of this journey will be the young king’s final act…
Moments of truth
The man entered the great hall with hasty steps. The dark heavy armor clanked along his way. His sharp eyes locked on a noble figure deeper in the room. Straight ahead Richard enjoyed the company of his second son and his wife. He closed to the three, as he passed through a couple of guards. His personal guards accompanied him as well. He raised his right hand, a signal for his guards to stop by the other ones. He continued until he reached his own family. His gaze fixed to each one starting by his mother and shifting to his little brother Gabriel to stop at his father. The young Gabriel, ten years old, smiled and rushed to hug the man, the one he wanted to look like when he grows up. The man looked down to Gabriel and with a serious tone on his face, gestured to the kid to step aside. ''Now is not the time for games Gabriel''. The boy surprised, did as he said and after he looked back to his mother, he went to stand by a guard quietly. The guard cracked a cheering smile to the kid and turned again to the man with a stern face.
Richard turned to the man with curiosity. ''What’s the…rush my dear son?'' The man took out his gloves ''I greet you father. I just returned from Narfell. I have more good news for our people. I settled for a while and gained information about a special town. Oscura.'' Richard looked up at him with a relaxed face ''And I thought a demon got in my son’s body the way you stepped into the room'' The old man laughed a moment at his own comment, the man though stood the same serious. ''What about Oscura?'' The old man continued with a proper tone.The man then continued
''Oscura’s trades are far more profitable than the other towns in those Lands. I managed to convince important people to start trading with us. Now it is in our hands to expand our activities.The goods will brings us gold, far more gold. So I ask your permission to recruit more forces to that purpose.'' Richard went silent for a moment before he stand up and close a bit to his son. ''Tell me Fabian. What kind of goods they trade and more, will this trading follow the same route as the others?'' The man cracked a smile. ''Yes they will follow the same route as the previous ones.Now,as long it comes to the goods, among the usual ones we will bring weapons too. Fine weapons in low prices. And before you speak, consider that weapons will first bring us more profit and second will harden our defense against our neighbors. You know that we must increase our troops numbers,yes?'' The old man shaked his head with a soft laugh. The man looked at him and he shaked his fists. ''Why are you laughing father!?''
The old man raised a hand to pat the man’s shoulder ''Son, if it is to buy a fair number of weapons to improve our defense, go ahead buy some. But to trade weapons for profit…You should know your father better. Most of our people are peaceful. Our troops can do the job quite well, still. Farming and jewelry is our first and only priority. And this will be too in the future. I will not let myself earn gold from wars.'' The man then removed the old man’s hand from his shoulder annoyed. ''You never agreed in the most important things father.I wonder if sometimes you are that stupid. Being peaceful never brought you happiness. On the contrary, who saved our people when we were almost goners?Me.How did I save them?With war…father…War.That time you accepted war.And now you act high.You lie to yourself with such nonsense of being peaceful.Noone ever succeeded without dirting his hands with blood. Now, you better accept my suggestions. It is time I take the lead in this place,yes?''
The old man stepped back and examined his son. He then, took a deep breath ''Young man,you have much to learn still.Being the so wanted leader is harder than you think. I know war made you harsh but in time you will learn.For now,you shall follow my lead.We remain as we are and we will take actions if and when we need to about wars.Now take your friends and leave me be.I need to think and you need to clear your mind.Tempus ways sometimes make you reckless I think'' he gestured to the man’s guards and cracked a smile at him.
The man’s eyes darkened at his father’s words. He then shaked his head with a laugh, a laugh that got louder. He then said amused ''Tell me father. Wasn’t Torm the one who slaughtered thousands of his own followers once to win a battle and become a greater deity? Maybe you -know- some of the Martyr’s progeny,yes…?What kind of god is he? A villain… that’s what he is. You speak of Tempus but you never spoke of Torm’s slaying. You live in a dream of your own and fail to see your god’s tainted heart.In the end he did not gain worthy followers.From my point of view, Torm failed…''
All the present people in the room looked in surprise, and a hint of shock crossed their faces. He stopped laughing and turned to look at the old man once more with a bloodthirst. His left hand extended and let the gloves fall on the ground. The man’s guards saw the gloves falling and suddenly grabbed their swords fast and slashed the Richard’s guards. The old man’s guards relaxed as they fixed their attention to the father and son and could not move at all.It was a sudden death.
Richard surprised raised a figure to point the killers and shouted loudly, the same time he stood in front of the man to protect him from them. ''Fabian look out!'' The man was too calm and grinned at it. Richard then turned to him and after a moment of pause he stepped back from him in shock. ''Fabian, what madness is this? What happened to you!? Who are you?'' The man then with a satisfying face grabbed his sword ''I am your son,father…In fact, it is YOU who never learned,the one who has much yet to learn.Or better said,you had much to learn…'' Richard looked down at the man’s sword and then back at him.He then realized that he was wrong when he spared his life in the past,as his advisor told him. They had told him that this man would mean his own death in the future,yet he was his child.
He couldn’t do it.The current moment though was too much,even for him.The man closed slowly to Richard with some slow swings of his sword.The old man then spoke sadly ''Fabian…son what are you doing?'' The man then with a dark satisfying grin replied ''Isn’t it obvious? I ''suicide'' you father…’’ The man then pierced the blade through his father chest and pushed him to fall on the ground.The old man just a few moments before leave this world looked at him with tears. ''What is this?Tempus turned you into this fiend?This is not what Tempus wants.This is…'' The man then with a serious tone once more closed to the old man’s ear and whispered ''Bane father… No one can stand against the Dark Lord, not even Tempus can. You were too blind to notice it. Torm’s pride is his weakness too. And that is why he will fail once more… Now die and watch me from the afterlife.You maybe then understand why the Dark Lord must be feared,and why he is the only one who must be praised.''
The man then raised and looked at his mother and the little kid who had run to his mother panicked. He cracked a smile at them. ''Oh mother,mother….You were always too nice…But you see,I am not…Now,don’t cry,I will send you to the same place as father.And Gabriel too…'' the man looked down at the boy and laughed.The mother kneeled slowly and with tears she whispered something to the little kid.She then handed him something like a small bottle.Then with a sad face turned to the man ''I hope one day there will be someone who will do what your father couldn’t back then.To kill you my son….For this is what suits you.I hope you will die soon…I will be waiting for you…'' the woman shouted to the kid ''run Gabriel!Survive my son! You were and will always be your parent’s pride!'' the boy then downed the bottle and went invisible.Steps could be heard down the hall as Gabriel was escaping,while his mother attacked the man without hope.Only to buy some time for the little kid to escape.
The man used a hidden blade to kill her and whispered to her some words.He then turned to his guards who were standing still. ''What are you waiting for idiots!?Hunt the boy and kill him!No witness must be left alive! Find him or you will be the next ones…'' The guards then rushed out of the hall and with signals to others nearby scattered around in hope of finding Gabriel…
One month later, Fabian returns and enters the hall where his father rests. Upon seeing Fabian, a warm smile fills Richard’s face.
Richard: My son,you have returned.How was your trip?
Fabian: It went quite well father.We managed to push back the giants and recreate a safe trade route for our people.They were a bit ‘stubborn’ but in the end even they ‘agreed’ to give us some space [he smiles satisfied].Now we can stand on our feet again, after all the trouble Orcs and giants caused us. How about you and mother, all is well?
Richard: All is great my son, kind of you to ask. She is outside and relaxing.
Fabian: Very well, that is pleasant to hear. And a chance to tell you more good news.
Richard: What about?
Fabian: The route we opened leads to Narfell. Rumors say that a wealthy port named Peltarch exports goods. They have fair prices if we were interested. Now it will be easy to transfer our goods and sell them, and maybe buy also whatever is of interest.
Richard: That sounds indeed interesting. [looks amused]. You did many good things lately son. You saved this place from the beasts and brought skilled troops along to serve. A father can be only proud of such a son. Alright, travel to Narfell and start procedures for trading process.
Fabian agreed and in the next two days he had organized the trip to Peltarch. Two weeks later, he returned to the same place
Fabian: You will be pleased father to know that we managed to make a deal, agreement with Peltarch. They were more than pleased to hear our selling prices.
Richard: Excellent! That’s indeed one of the best things that could happen for all of us. When do the trading starts?
Fabian: Since yesterday. I was carrying along some of our gems and fine leathers to show them. They lost no time in buying them. We gained their trust, as they gained our. Now, we are set to start.
Soon trading goods from one side to another became a source of wealth for both. Fabian travelled a lot between and two months later, had returned with more and new kind of products. Some troops always accompanied him until the borders and preparing for the way back.
Richard: I trust you bring the same good news as in the last months Fabian.
Fabian: We managed to make an agreement with another town in Narfell, Norwick the name. It sure took some time, but in the end they were more than happy to accept our offer.
Richard: Great, that is what I want to hear. The same route will serve this export?
Fabian: Yes, the same one will be fine. We will double though the troops for this, as the goods are almost double this time. And this may give birth to more enemies. We must secure our agreements, right?
Richard: You speak smart my son. Do as you feel right, you have proven to be smarter than I am nowadays [a warm smile on his face].
Soon Fabian recruited more soldiers and increased the trading activity. That gave him satisfaction, but he knew they could do more.So, three months later he enters once more the Hall
Fabian: Father, we need to talk.
Richard: Sure Fabian, have a sit.
Fabian:[waves it off] I know we are doing well lately. But, we still can make more gold if we-
Richard: Listen son, I know you care for your people but if we expand more, it is possible that everything we built, you built, will collapse. Already some of our neighbors are rumored to plan an assault in order to take a part of the wealth. And on top of this, we still can’t trust the troops that have joined our ranks. They are still strangers that earn a living from our business. They are mercenaries until we gain our trust. And the opposite of course.. In other case, I would reconsider about such action.
Fabian: But father, those troops are to be tr-
Richard: Enough. [a serious tone on his voice] I spoke once and it is how it is. We will remain as we are for now and crush whoever threats again our safety with Torm’s blessings.
Fabian: Understood. [his fists were shaking. It was a thing he couldn’t accept] As you wish father, you know better…
Fabian left the room with haste and steady heavy steps, motioning to his troops to follow outside the Hall.
Anything does not kill one,makes him stronger
Time was passing and Fabian was getting better with every battle he fought.He did things that a kid of his age wouldn’t have to in order to survive but he knew it was the only choice to get out of that hell alive.It was him or them.That one small community called his first win a miracle,the second lucky but shortly after they started speaking of a skilled kid.
Many of his opponents started training harder for the moment they would face him would come.That made his survival even harder,he almost died in couple of battles but being truly lucky at times,he somehow managed to reach the final stages of that sick “tournament” alive.
His master gave him some important books to read,so that he wouldn’t lose contact with the “civilized” part of him.After all he was the successor to his father.His future had already been decided by others.A couple of notes by his mother was the only ones that reminded him the reasons he should live.His pride should be kept high if he was to make it.
He finally got to a level where he could wield a bastard sword as a fighter should.Four years later,a grown man already, he was reading one of his books and to the side a note could be seen with his father’s name on it. Christopher enters his room
Christopher:Fabian,the masters demanded that you will show up for the final battles.Eight combatants with you managed to make it through this.I watched them fighting…I have to say they are very-
Fabian:Tell the masters I will offer them the show they want. (his tone is confident as he interrupts Christopher’s sentence)
Christopher:Look,Fabian I know that you have become-
Fabian:Send my words Christopher… (again he seems to not care about his foes or the results.Like one that do not care about dying).
Christopher looked at him confused, wondering if he was absent when he said so or that crazy to go unprepared.He then bowed his head and left to send the message.Later that night eight young comabtants had gathered in the center of the battleground,waiting for instructions.The same woman that had appeared four years ago, now had the presentation task to perform
Woman:Tonight… (looks around at the crowd,now consisting mostly of masters and the academy’s guards)…_we have gathered here to watch the final battle of this generation’s warriors.
Alice Greenwood, Alexander Stonehand, Eric Silverhead, Fabian Reinhard, Maya, Tiffani Rainecourt, Bruce Lightfeather,Meixiang
They proved to be the best until this point.Only four of them though will be the last survivors.Four battles will be given.Those who left will return to their houses richer and grateful to our academy for raising them properly.Now,you all must-_
Suddenly a loud noise,changing to warcries is reaching their ears. A huge number of warriors trying to break down the gates of the academy, obviously the latter had been exposed.The people inside disorganized running around to gather their weapons, and others their personal stuff to reach the way out. That day many fearless warriors fell…
Two weeks later,back to his house, Fabian enters the same room where his parents announced to him that he would leave for the academy.This time his eyes are confident.His father is standing up and in front of him,an Orc.They seem to have a conversation.Fabian strides with heavy,from the fullplate,steps towards both.He passes by the Orc without turning to look at him,more in a ignoring way,and as the Orc steps intimidating in his way,Fabian nudges him without effort.The Orc,two heads taller and muscles three times as his,grunts at the nudging surpriced.Richard,who is watching the scene gives a hard look at Fabian.
Fabian:Father I got your message.What is the tas-
Orc:You stupid child!You dare to break in when we speak!?More,you dare touching the mighty Chi-
Fabian:Silence Orc.You do not deserve to speak when you are not allowed. In fact…you do not deserve to live.If you want your life shut up.Your turn to speak will come..
Richard:Fabian,here with the mighty warrior we have a discussion that involves an upcoming truce between the two sides.
Fabian:You do what?Truce with Orcs?Father,they are ORCS.
Richard:…And possible allies if we are to face the giants.And yes,a truce with them is a good deal.
Fabian:You forget what they have done in the past?They are born to destroy.You can’t trust them.But mostly,you can’t forget the past.
Orc:You arrogant kid!WHO DO YOU THINK YOU A-
Fabian with his sword manages a brute slashing through the Orc’s chest while he leaves open a blank spot in his armor.He then approaches the Orc as he is piercing the sword slowly,through his body
Fabian:I told you to remain silent if you wanted your life.Now reconsider it in afterlife,pathetic monster…
After the Orcs falls,Fabian turns again to Richard.
Fabian:You were saying father?
Richard:What did you do!? Now we are in disadvantage.The Orcs will forge alliance with the giants.This will be the end for us.We have half the number of what they have in warriors.
Fabian:That is not quite true..I have already contacted with dwarves from the west borders.When they heard of giants they easily accepted to fight along with us.Now with Orcs,they will be more than willing to clean the Lands from them.
Richard:By Torm.Why you act fast?We must wait and-
Fabian:We do not have time to lose father.While we speak they are most likely to plan a raid!Torm’s will demand we win this fight and bring safety to our people.
Richard:…Very well.Now we must cross this path.No choice left.Go Fabian,lead the troops in this.We have three days until Orcs realize their messenger is dead and contact the giants.May Torm protect us.
Fabian:Will do father.You took the right decision.Now it is time they pay.
Fabian led successfully the army into that battle, defeating the enemies and claiming again their long lost Land after a week of war.
Even a puppy can bite
The trip to south took three days on horses.It was a quiet,uneventful journey.When they reached the academy,they saw a huge area decorated by grass,exotic trees and flowers but not any fancy entrance.It was probably nothing more than a cover for the traveller’s eyes.A muscular man in robe opens the wooden gates and glances at the ones that pass in front.Two more keep cutting some dead flowers,their gaze still fixed to the newcomers.
Fabian had already given to his fear and as one of the guards keeps glancing at him,he suddenly screams and think of escaping.At the right moment,one of his personal guards placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder,shaking his head and gesturing to the hidden assasins nearby.
Guard:You have been already imprisoned.Since the moment we passed the gates.Every attempt to escape means death for you.It is the rules…If I were you,I would think about escaping twice.
Fabian just looked at him like a puppy that is waiting for a miracle but being unable to even think of hoping in it.The guard who was watching,chukles at the scene like he had seen many times before the same and looking at Fabian he said we will have a good time here,fresh blood arrived….
As night followed the creepy day,all them who had come for the same reason found themselves in an underground big hall.There,in the center, a platform were set and a beautiful woman arrived out of the crowded guards and when all went quiet
Woman:You have all gathered here (looks around slowly as she says so) to fight for your lives…
(an image of terrified young men and the guards who watch amused at them).
Here you will learn important things,if you survive that is…You will learn to value your own life through which you will learn to value the weight of your decisions if you are to lead others in battles…And where those decisions will lead to…Of course,the academy is not eager to judge you wrong,so you will be given a period of training before the battles begin.You all must have met your personal masters until now.It’s them who brought you here and your only, “maybe”, ally in here…
Fabian suddenly looked to the guard that had accompanied through the whole journey.The guard returned a stern glance and gestured Fabian to keep listening to the woman.
Guard:What she says is crucial for your survival here.If I were you, I wouldn’t turn elsewhere this moment.
Fabian nodded and turned to her again
Woman:Starting today,you will be given 3 months of “peaceful” time.Use this time wisely.It may be your last in your life.Now,go eat and rest.You will have a tough time.In the end,the best of you will gain worthy moments afterwards…
Right after her speech,the guard –now his master- advised him to sleep and be mentally prepared for the next day.A new start of a short maybe life in that cage. The next day,early in the morning a loud noise reaches Fabian’s ears wake up puppy!You ve got work to do!
Just before Fabian open his eyes the same voice is followed by a throwing of him on the floor I SAID WAKE UP PUPPY!
It was his master that was laughing at the sight and after the boy stood on his feet come,we don’t have all the day Fabian.
He drove him to his training room.There was one for each.A huge one with all sort of weapons set on a rack and shields too.Some kind of armors also,heavy and light.On the floor some blood added tension to the atmosphere.Fabian was looking at those and his gaze fixed to a bastard sword.Then his master after letting him see what he wanted
Guard:You want that weapon?
Fabian: Uh..I do…
Guard: Then you must be worthy to weild such a fine one.Are you?
Guard: ARE YOU "PUPPY"?
(his tone is serious and Fabian finally sounds more confident)
Guard:Show me…Grab it.
Fabian tried to take it,but barely he could raise it.He was too weak.Then he looked at him disappointed.
Guard:You are not worthy,”puppy”….Yet.When I am done with you,you will swing it like a dagger boy.Now,we ll go with the basics..(chukles) Grab that short sword.
Fabian did as he said and stood in front of him,ready to absorb what ever he would teach him.
Guard:AHH…My manners of course…I am Christopher.The only one,as she said, you can rely on…Got it?
Christopher:How old are you boy?
Christopher looks at him and after a moment of holding himself,he bursts in laughing
“A boy!They sent a boy here!HAHAHA…. ”After he stopped laughing “You know how old are most of your foes in here?”
Fabian shaked his head disappointed. “18 at least….They sent you on a suicide…BUT!Lucky you,if you die then I will not get paid the full amount I agreed to your fafther.So i would not like it if you fell that easily…Pay attention and you may see your parents again,mhm?
After some preparing moment he nodded to Fabian
Alright!Come on me with intention to kill me now!COME PUPPY!!
The first day was the day he bleeded most in long time.