The Dragons were mighty beings with the ability to shift from human form to their Dragon skin with ease, each were gifted with the ability to breathe an element. Some more gifted than the others. Oh, how they were beautiful.
King Tharos and his wife Adelind were kind and just beings, strived to make sure their people were happy and the land at peace. They had succeeded to keep the peace in their rule, each race happily coexisting, that was until the darkness began to spread.
The first to be affected were the humans, the darkness fuelled their envy and hate, for why did they not have gifts like the other races? The Faeries were next, their homes tainted with a sickness that caused the trees and plant life to erode.
Rivers grew rapid, confining the Merfolk to their lakes and seas. It was the Elves who were the worst, their minds easily corrupted and a war begun.
The Dwarf king Fenrir and the Dragon king Tharos struck an alliance, the dwarves would craft armour for the Dragons and in return, they would protect. And protect they did, with a variety of races by their side fighting for their freedom against the Corrupted, but one by one they the mighty Dragons began to fall, King Tharos the last to do so.
They had failed. Those that had survived, well no one really knows.
“What happened after King Tharos died?” Malliath shook her head free of the memories and looked down at the half eaten food before her and then to the kids next to her.
“Well no one really knows, Elmina.” The man, the one Malliath knew to be the teacher or the storyteller of the village.
Malliath snorted, drawing the attention of those around her. “King Tharos instructed his sister to take the heart of their people and hide, protect what was left of their clan and power. His sister did as he asked, as it was his dying wish and took the great heart of the Dragons and the last of their clan, and disappeared into the wild. If you ask me, I say the sister was a coward.”
The Man, Storyteller, stared at her and it was then Malliath realised what she had done.
“What makes you think that?” The Man asked, causing Malliath to snort once more.
“Do you know the oath Dragons made to the free people? To the last breath. The sister ran and was never seen again, breaking the vow, she is a coward.” The tone was bitter; she was unable to hide that whenever she spoke of the sister.
The Man watched as the woman got to her feet and made her way out of the Inn. He quickly followed after her and cast a look in each direction once he was outside and saw the woman making her way down to path that lead to the Sacred Forest. His heart sped up at the thought of anyone going near the forest, let alone in it.
“Hey! Wait!” He called out, shoving his way through the people. “Wait!”
“I wait for no one, Master Storyteller!” The woman yelled over her shoulder.
“Jóni, my name is Jóni, not Master Storyteller.” He called, blinking when the woman stopped and glanced at him, her violet eyes unlike anything he had ever seen before.
Malliath squinted at the man. “Jóni, that is a very Dwarven name you have there.”
Jóni couldn’t help but blink at the woman, how did she know that it was a Dwarven name? Not many people left in the world who remembered the race, their names being hashed down and mixed with humans. “How do you know?”
The woman before him smirked, a twitch of the lip really, before she shrugged and began to walk once more. Jóni kept the same distance, before coming to a complete halt as he reached the edge of the village that backed into the woods. He was torn on staying where he was or following her into the depths.
“Jóni!” A voice gasped before he felt himself being tugged back forcefully. “You know we’re not supposed to go in there!”
“Henru, I wasn’t I swear it.” Jóni replied instantly, waving away his friend while never taking his eyes away from the forest. She, the woman, wouldn’t go in there would she? The only ones who ever venture into the Sacred Forest were thieves and Hunters, those that know the land well for it always shifts and plays tricks.
People swore that the trees moved, that one second they would be on a path and then in another for it to disappear without a trace.
Malliath hid behind one of the trees and peered at the Master Storyteller and the Baker with curious eyes. There was something different about the Storyteller- Jóni – the man with a Dwarven name, a proper Dwarven name. It made her curious, he made her curious. It wasn’t often that someone spoke fondly of Dragons or dare to follow her with curiosity. She would have to keep an eye on him.
“Then why did I pull you away from the edge? I saw you go to step over into the border, come Jóni let’s take you to see Veva, she’ll fix you up right good.” Henru urged, more like fussed
Jóni dug his heels into the muddy earth at that. He was fine, he wasn’t feverish or hallucinating, and there was no need to worry Veva.
“I swear to you Henru, I am well. I was following a woman from the inn, she knew my name heritage, she knew about the Dragons!” The excitement and astonishment was easily heard in Jóni’s voice, though Henru became more worried.
“Jóni, this woman, you saw her go into the forest?” Henru was worried, beyond it for he too knew what people ventured past the safe barriers of Adren.
Jóni nodded quickly, the smile never leaving his face. “Yes! But were you not listening? She knew about Dragons, the oath the Dragon’s made to the free people.”
“Have you seen her wander around here before?” Henru asked as he began to lead his friend deeper into the heart of the village and away from the forest.
“Nay, but I will remember her if I were to see her again, eyes the colour of violets.” Jóni hummed.
Henru came to a complete stop as he heard Jóni describe the woman before looking around and pulling his friend into an empty alleyway. “Jóni Tellathir, you listen to me and listen well. You do not go near that woman again; she is bad news, Jóni.” Henru urged, afraid.
Jóni frowned and cast a look at his longest friend. “Why?”
“Because she is a Mercenary, Jóni.” Henru stressed, his eyes shifting around nervously.
At hearing the quiver of fear in his friend’s voice, Jóni paused and focused on Henru once more. He waited and watched as Henru opened and closed his mouth a few times before sighing heavily. “Never mind my friend, we must hurry Veva will be waiting for us.”
Jóni shook the last vestiges of violet eyes from his mind and clapped his friend on the back. “Then we must not keep her waiting, your wife has a mighty sharp tongue that I’d rather not be on the receiving end again for delaying you.”
The laugh that escaped Henru’s lips was loud and boisterous, the opposite of the fear filled quiver he had not long ago. “Ah, well that will teach you to drag me into your messes, my friend.”
“Farmer Thomas still hasn’t forgiven me for the mishap with the sheep.” Jóni explained with a slight roll of his eyes and an easy smile.
“That mishap you call it caused the sheep to stampede through his wheat field and destroy a third of his crops.” Henru pointed out, earning a shove from Jóni in return.
“You boys are nearly late!” At the voice of his wife Henru quickened his pace.
“I know Dearheart, you can blame this fool again. I caught him about to enter the forest.” Henru rushed out, trying to divert her wrath onto Jóni, completely ignoring the glare he could feel from his friend.
Veva frowned and marched towards the Storyteller and gripped him by the ear, twisting it. “You know no one is allowed into the forest without permission! What in the goddess’s green earth were you thinking Jóni Tellathir?”
Jóni jerked as he tried to escape the angry woman’s wrath and painful ear pinch she had him in, but only succeeding in causing her to twist it more. “Ah – ah, Veva that hurts!” He cried out, nearly dropping to his knees as she dragged him inside.
“One of you better answer me right now or so help me, you’ll both be sleeping in the barn.” She scolds, glaring at her husband when he shakes his head wildly as Jóni opened his mouth to reply.
“I was telling the kids of the old days in the Inn, when a woman replied to my story. She knew about Dragons, Veva. She knew the oath that they made and she knew my name was Dwarven, I followed her to the edge of the village where the trees lead into the eastern part of the village.” Jóni explained as he took a seat and rubbed at his sore ear.
The memory of the woman came flooding back, the way her eyes shone under her hooded cloak. He had never seen that before, the colour and the glint in her eyes, and he had lived a long life indeed. There was something about the woman that he couldn’t place, something that just tickled his senses and screamed he was missing something.
“A woman went into the woods?” The panic was noticeable in Veva’s voice. “Henru, the guards must be notified!” Veva was a guard’s daughter and a nursemaid, as well as a healer. She had a big heart and worried for anyone easily when they seemed to be sick or in danger.
Henru shook his head. “No, the fool was following the Mercenary without knowing who she was.”
“The Mercenary, with violet eyes?” Veva asked concerned before moving forward and placing a hand upon Jóni’s forehead.
“What are you doing, I am fine? And what’s so dangerous about this woman, beyond the fact she’s a mercenary?” Jóni asked, he didn’t understand the worry and fear his friends were displaying. He had interacted with a few Mercenaries before when he was working at the Tavern and they didn’t seem to worry then, what is so different about the woman with Violet eyes?
Veva and Henru share a look. “Never you mind Jóni, come now let’s get dinner started, you boys must be hungry if I am.” Veva fussed.
“No, I want to know why she is different! Why won’t you tell me?” Jóni demands, slamming his hands down on the table in frustration it wasn’t like his friends to beat around the bush so to speak.
“She works for Shadelin, Jóni. When she’s in the village, people die. Good people.” Henru explains with a tired sigh. Veva cast her husband a scowl as she began to prepare the food for dinner, Henru knew better than to even mention that name in their house let alone mention it to Jóni who was more curious than any creature.
Shadelin Drake was a man that everyone feared. He came from the mountains one night, the fog billowing out from him like a warriors cape and decimated a Tavern and all within. Ever since then, the deaths – mysterious or sudden – that did happen were always connected back to him, or so they say.
Author Note: Well what do you all think? This is what i’ve been working on for a while.