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Herald of the Dawn

I think I wrote this story 15 years ago. In retrospect, it's pretty pathetic, but I've seen worse.

Fire… burning… hatred… evil… flames… a skull… ashes… death. A blinding light directly ahead… approach it. Reach for the light… Reach for the light…

A thunderous cracking sound awoke Eresavan. A rush of pain hit his head like the very flames of the fire lord.

“Gahhhhhhhhh!” he screamed, “Get out of my head!”

And as quickly as it had begun, the pain subsided and a rush of calm hit Eresavan. He sat up and wondered where he was. Then he realized that he couldn’t remember. He couldn’t remember where he was, how he got there, he couldn’t even remember what happened the day before.

The dream, he thought, I remember that dream. I’ve had it before, but when? Why can’t I remember? Who am I? I am Eresavan, son of… son of who? Why can’t I remember anything? And what was that cracking noise? I’m in a room somewhere. Maybe it’s an inn. Maybe I had too much to drink. That must be it, oh, I hope that’s it. Seravin. My sword. Where is the Seravin, where is my sword? Maybe it’s downstairs. I’ll look. He got up and walked to the door, begging the lord of light to let him remember something, anything. As he reached for the doorknob he heard a scuffling in behind him, as though and oversized BURP was digging at the wood on the floor. He inhaled deeply and then whirled around on the balls of his feet. But nothing was there. Then Eresavan saw it. A rune, burned into the wall. It was fairly small, not more than three inches wide, but it struck Eresavan dumb. He knew that rune from somewhere, but where? He approached it cautiously preparing for the worst, but nothing happened. Then it hit him, the shape. It was a large circle with a smaller circle in the center, and along edge of the smaller circle where lines, evenly spaced apart reaching to the outer circle. Eresavan reached for the rune and as his fingers touched the burned emblem, he felt another rush of pain to his head. Suddenly a flow of memories began to come back to him.

My father… Sarasirim the Wise, of course! I’m 17 and I have become an honorary guardian of Lore. The paladin Galsung has agreed to forge me a great weapon of light. The Seravin. It is the day I slew a fearsome groglurk. I am standing there, holding the Seravin high into the air, when darkness falls over the city. It is… It is…

The memory had ended, and when Eresavan reached for the rune again, he realized it had begun to fade away.

“No! Wait! I must remember! Please!” He screeched

But it was to no avail. Eresavan walked to the door and grabbed the knob in what felt like an act of defiance, and turned it. The doors brass hinges creaked and the ancient barricade opened onto a courtyard. It was a courtyard of stone. No matter where he looked, Eresavan could see nothing but stone. There where no other door, and the sky was cloudy, thus adding to the dismal sight. Something was odd about the place, something besides the emptiness and depressing setting.

Something is out of place here. Someone must be messing with my mind. Wait the stones on the floor. What an odd pattern. I have a hunch, now if I could only get to a better vantage point. That pile of rubble should do well.

The young guardian of lore climbed to the top of the pile, and perched himself there precariously. He stared at the ground, and a strange look came over his face. It was a mix of terror and realization, for there on the ground, in a pattern of stone was a rune. Not just any rune, the very same rune that was on the wall in the room where Eresavan had awoken.

“It c-c-can’t b-b-be!” He stuttered “This can’t be happening! No!”

The warrior leaped from the pile and made a graceful landing. He rushed to the center of the megalithic symbol. A lone brick of gold sat there. It was round yet it was so small that it was barely noticeable from four feet away. It gleamed even though there was no sun to be seen, and, which no longer came as a shock to Eresavan, it had the same rune on it. He grabbed the disc and threw it. He threw it as hard as he could, fueled by hatred, anger and terror. The golden object flew about 13 feet before it abruptly stopped and hovered in mid-air. Then it suddenly spun, and as if spurred by an unseen force the discus flew at Eresavan’s head. He didn’t even have a chance to scream. The moment the disc was about to make contact Eresavan felt a feeling of sudden calm, and everything went dark.

As his vision cleared, Eresavan sat up and saw an old man standing in front of him. The man had a kindly disposition, but looked as though he had lived past his expiration date.

“Hello Eresavan, son of Sarasirim” Said the man. “I am Aljedron the Lord of light.”

“That can’t be” Replied Eresavan with great confidence “The lord of light is an elemental, not a man.”

“Yes, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take human form. You speak with great confidence for one who’s thoughts are broken”

“So you know what is going on with my mind?” enquired Eresavan.

“Yes, and that is the problem. That is why I needed your sword.” The lord replied.

“So you took the Seravin. Why? What is going on that is doing this to me? Please tell me you can stop it.”

“Only you can stop it, you see this is the work of a foul necromancer. His name is Xeriandros, and he is the self styled lord of death. You most likely don’t remember, but he was there on the day of your victory over the groglurk. He saw what a powerful warrior you were and swooped down from the sky atop a gargantuan raven. In his haste, he grabbed you but dropped the Seravin. I appeared to stop him but he vanished and the sky turned dark and cloudy. I grabbed the Seravin and came back here. That was a week ago.”

“Where is ‘here’ anyways, and why did Xeriandros want me?” asked Eresavan.

“You were the only mortal stronger than he, and he knew that with you out of the way he could take Lore by force. Since that day the sun hasn’t risen and the clouds haven’t parted. You are in the ancient forge of Gli’ Kathnu, the great forge of light. This is where objects of pure light are created, like that transporter stone you found.”

“That thing almost killed me!” retorted Eresavan.

“No, you were never in any danger from it, it was placed there by me to protect you.” Replied Aljedron

“Why couldn’t you have just zapped me out of there?” Eresavan asked discontentedly.

“Alas, Xeriandros’ power has grown to strong. He meant to trap you there for eternity, but luckily I was able to slip in last night for a moment and leave that stone.” It was to small enough to escape Xeriandros’ surveillance. Those runes you saw were meant to guide you here, but they were almost destroyed by Xeriandros. Luckily I created a loud cracking noise and he rushed off to investigate. By that you were saved, for the most part.”

“The most part?” Eresavan asked with mistrust.

“The crack broke the spell Xeriandros had on you’re mind, but it left you with a partial, incomplete memory. That is far from the most serious matter here though. Within a week Xeriandros’ spell of eternal darkness will prevent the sun from rising ever again. If this happens then I will die and hope will fade from the world. Plants and trees will die and kill the earth lord and chaos will reign. There is only one way to stop Xeriandros, and that is where you come in.”

“What can I do?” Eresavan asked warily.

“Bring the dawn.” Replied Aljedron

“What?” Eresavan asked, afraid he already knew the answer.

“You must ride to the small town of Lolasia astride my horse Lasev, wearing the great armor of reflection. If you make it to the center of the town then the clouds will part and light will pour down. This will draw Xeriandros to the site where he will fall into my trap and be obliterated.”

“Alright then, where is this armor?” asked Eresavan

“Ah yes, the armor of reflection, now where to begin? I have spent the week since your disappearance designing a cast for the armor, it now only needs one more thing, your Seravin. You see, the Seravin is the only thing pure enough to create this armor. I must melt it down and create as many pieces of this reflective armor as I can.” Aljedron said promptly.

“Melt the Seravin?!? Is there no other way?”

“No, it must be done.”

“Very well” Eresavan said with dismay.

“Good”

Aljedron clapped his hands and a bucket of magma fell into a hole. Eresavan ran to the hole to get on last glimpse of his beloved Seravin but it was too late, it had melted. Much to his astonishment, Eresavan saw that the magma had turned golden and let off a blinding aura. He gaped with astonishment as his eyes filled with the sight of the pure light.

“Now for molding in the casts” ejected Aljedron

With another clap a good 50 casts of identical form flew over. The forge poured the liquid light into these molds one at a time until all were full and every drop of light was gone.

“Allow me to tell you more about this armor” said Aljedron. “Since it is made of almost pure light, it has the power to return magical attacks back at there caster with blinding force. I expect that when Xeriandros shows up and sees you, he will blast you with a necromantic spell in hopes of eliminating you. This reflective will protect you and send the spell hurtling back at him, hopefully destroying him forever. Ah, the armor has cooled.”

“Cooled? In 2 minutes? Nothing can cool so quickly. Can it?” interrupted Eresavan. “Light can” Aljedron said with a glint in his eye.

He took a large hammer and smashed the mold. The stone crumbled revealing a stunning sight. It was a glowing yellowish armor with a clear, liquid-like tone to it. The shoulders were rounded and glowed with equal beauty and intensity. Eresavan gawked with amazement as Aljedron went around smashing the other molds.

“Wait!” yelled Eresavan, “We won’t be able to make any more!”

“I know!” returned Aljedron “It is to risky, it could fall into the wrong hands.” He said as he smashed the last mold.

No one knows exactly what happened to Eresavan, son of Sarasirim, but there are many rumors. It is said that when he brought the dawn to Lolasia and called out Xeriandros, Aljedron’s plan succeeded, and peace was restored. After that day neither Xeriandros nor Eresavan were ever seen again.


Fiction | Short Stories


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