Author's note: Everything in this book i saw in a dream
Beginning of the EndChapter 1
The sword glinted in the sun as he held the blade at the ready; His three enemies in front of him. They stood in the midst of a forest.
Blane was of regular height, well built, eighteen, having dark brown hair. Blane had been traveling towards town when the highwaymen had stopped him. He looked from one to the other. His eyes fixed on the leader, who tallest of the men stepped forward, “Give us your ven and we won't have to hurt you.”
“Then we may be obliged to take it from you kind sir,” said the leader, laughing menacingly.
Blane had now moved back against a tree. He took his pack off quickly and set it down, “You may have to just do that then, because for the sake of a town I am not handing my ven or my pack to you or anyone.”
The leader's smile vanished and he motioned for one of his men to attack. With no consideration to skill, the highwayman wildly leaped, leading with a thrust. Blane parried the blade to his left and punched the man with his free hand. The bandit stumbled back with a broken nose. He yelped in pain.
The bandits were enraged. All three came at their prey, fury leading their hands.
Blane ducked under the leader's sloppy thrust while blocking a sword swing aimed at his left leg. The man on his right was momentarily blocked by the tree. Blane punched with his right hand at the leader's gut sending the fool reeling. He dove and rolled forward just in time to avoid a sword slicing down from the man on his right. The bandits surrounded him quickly. Blane flipped his sword to his right hand and swung, catching the man on his right with the edge of the sword. The blow had landed on the thigh; wounded, the bandit fell back.
Suddenly a pain shot through Blane's left shoulder as a blade was thrust into it. He staggered to his right, his shoulder bleeding. The bandit laughed as the leader recovered. The third bandit, was dragging himself off to the side. Blane knew his arm was useless. He regretted taking off his armor earlier that day.
The two remaining bandits faced Blane and he thought it was over, but as if out of thin air an arrow came flying from the brush at the side of the road. It firmly tore itself through the heart of the leader. As Blane began to lose consciousness he saw several more arrows loosed striking down the others.
The last thing that went through Blane's mind as he passed out was, “Forest guard.”
Some time later Blane came to. He was lying in a bed with clean sheets, arm bandaged, and his pack lying next to him. He was in a small cottage. A woman sitting in the corner looked up and smiled, “Welcome back. You've been out quite a while.”
Blane sat up and looked at her. She was small, with light blonde hair, and green eyes; her beauty was indeed stunning. “My name is Silvhem.” The girl said. “I have been watching over you since we found you yesterday.
“Where am I?” He blurted out.
“In the town of Gramsboth.”
Blane was relieved that he had made it. “This package consists of armor and weapons. It's a delivery for the town militia.”
Silvhem's face lit up. “We have been expecting you for the past few days. We didn't know if some misfortune had befallen you.”
Silvhem gave Blane some instructions and took her leave. Blane sat up and was still a bit wobbly, so much so that he almost fell, except that his hand caught the bed post.
As soon as he was able, he got dressed, ate, and started off towards the town hall with the pack of weapons strapped to his back. He walked through the market, which possessed a rare cleanliness not seen in most places of commerce. Most of the people were meandering around in circles. They seemed to be frightened as though evil things lurked among them around every corner. Those that possessed blades wore them openly at their sides. Blane wondered what a little town, such as this could possibly need with so much weaponry.
Excuse me for a moment dear readers for I have forgotten to mention where we are. We are in the world called Dulveda. It is a lush planet with many green forests. Monsters and friendly beasts alike run wild. The world has been split into the northern and southern kingdoms, both wanting power. We are in the northwest part of the northern kingdom, a small village called Gramsboth.
Blane stopped at a bakers stand. Turning to the owner he asked, “What news of the kingdom today?”
The baker gave him an odd look, “Where have you been?”
“Unconscious since yesterday.”
“Well not much has transpired, unless you count another raise in taxes.” The man laughed heavily.
Blane bought some bread and left. Everyone was quiet and no one greeted him. Soon he found the town hall. Two armed guards blocked the gate. There was a wooden palisades surrounding the building. Blane told them why he was there and they admitted him. The gate cracked open and Blane walked in with his package strapped firmly to his back.
The town leader met him at the front door of the building itself. “We have been awaiting your arrival master Blane. I am glad to see that our forest did not claim another innocent life today.”
Blane smiled and said, “I am very glad to have made it here in one piece. I do not think that I shall stay long though.” He stopped talking for a moment as someone caught his eye. It was Silvhem, walking around carrying packages. He smiled and said, “Here are your weapons. They are all in there.” He unstrapped his pack and it thudded as he dropped the heavy load onto the table at his left.
The leader's eyes lit up as he saw the package. “We needed these supplies desperately. Thank you. I hope that you will accept compensation for the troubles you had?”
Blane nodded and said, “I believe that I will be staying in town for a few days. If I could use a room at the inn without charge that would be compensation enough, for my injuries.”
The leader thought this a good idea and agreed without hesitation.
Blane turned to leave then stopped. Talking over his shoulder he inquired, “Why do you need these weapons?”
The leader looked back at him, “Security for the townsfolk.”
Blane didn't like the answer, but he went on his way. On his way out of the building he got directions to the inn from a passerby. Off he went in the direction that had been given. Who was he to question an order of weapons anyway? It was only his job to deliver the weapons after all. He eyed some children playing, as he approached the inn.
When he reached the inn, it was late in the day. The sun was setting as the door closed behind him. A wave of noise and smells hit him as he entered slowly. The room was dimly lit with candles. It had a jovial air about it. Blane sat down in a corner booth and waited to order a drink. Almost as soon as he sat there, two other men sat at the table as well. Both were large and strong looking. One was bare headed and the other had brown hair. The one that had hair announced them, obviously out of his wits from the heavy drink, “I'm Jared and this be my friend, James. It looks as if ye have some money to spare. How about buying us some refreshments?”
Blane didn't even look up as he responded, “I think you have had enough.”
The two looked at each other and then sat down at the other side of the table. “I don't think you understand. We weren't really asking. If you wish to keep your teeth I suggest you get us something.”
Blane looked at him in the eye and said, “Jared, right? I don't think now is the time or place to rob someone.”
Jared glared at Blane but held his peace as he got up to leave. James had more to drink and was getting quite loud, “I won't let you leave this table until you get me a drink!”
People had gathered in a circle when James had shouted. Blane got up and attempted to walk away, but James grabbed his shoulder and tried to whirl him around. Bad move. Blane used the mans weight against him and threw James over his unharmed shoulder. The man landed heavily on the floor. He rolled and got up. Blane was ready.
James came in swinging hard. He was off balance because he was drunk. Still, intoxication increased his rage. Blane ducked under one fist and blocked the other with his arm. Blane's leg came under in a wide sweep and James was speaking to the floor once again.
He got back up still attacking. Wildly swinging so that one wild blow caught Blane in the stomach and he fell back into the circle of people. They eagerly shoved him back into the brawl. One man quickly made an exit from the back of the circle, out the door.
Blane came back in only to find his face smashed by Jame's fist. Blane rolled down onto the floor stunned. James stood above him laughing. “Get up little one.”
Blane struggled back up, nose bleeding. He readied himself. He hadn't come this far just to be beat by some drunken idiot. In came the fists, and Blane dodged nimbly to his left, bringing one hand down on Jame's hand and the other on the shoulder, then brought his knee up. He felt and heard the snap, as Jame's elbow folded the wrong way, breaking the bone.
James fell away screaming, his arm hopelessly twisted backwards. Blane smiled at the astonished crowd. “And that's how you rid yourself of a problem.” He spat on James as he sat back down in the booth. A bartender came over. The man was a giant. He was at least a few heads taller than James. Blane looked at him in astonishment.
The man spoke, “I am Ryan. Nice fighting back there. I reckon you could teach me something for the right price.” he paused, “Anyways, can I get you something?”
“A drink, I don't care what brew, and some information.”
Ryan glanced quickly around then sat down. The chair creaked under his weight. “What kind of information?”
“The kind that is not given without first, some payment.”
“Show me the ven first.”
Blane handed him a few shiny gold coins. Ryan snatched them up and then waited. Blane spoke in a low voice and said, “What does the leader of such a small town need with so many weapons?”
Ryan looked at him with a harsh gaze. He lowered his voice and said, “You best be not meddling with the affairs of this town. I can tell you one thing...”
Ryan didn't get the sentence out, for at that moment the inn door swung open and several guards came marching in. They looked around and then headed right for Blane's table. The head guard stopped and said, “Come with me. You are under arrest.”
Blane thought it was for the fight, so he headed with them. He was determined to prove it was self defense. As he walked towards town hall people sneered at him. Obviously the man who had walked out had summoned the guards.
He was searched and his weapons were removed as he entered the building, except for a small dagger hidden his boot. The town leader sat at his desk and looked up at Blane when he finished studying a parchment, “You have some explaining to do.”
Blane looked him in the eye, “The fight was not started by me. It was brought on by another.”
“Oh please spare me your stories. We know why you are here, spy.”
“Wait spy? I am no spy. Why would a spy bring you weapons?”
The mayor laughed saying, “That is one of the oldest tricks in the book. You needed a way in, and obviously this is the only way you could think of.”
“If you know so much then where did your suspicion come from and how would I accomplish such a feat?”
The mayor sneered, “Oh that is the easy part fool. Now tell me why have you chosen me as your target? Consider it your confession for the afterlife.”
Blane didn't know what to say. He sat for a few minutes before replying, “So what now? You kill a man with no actual proof that he has done anything?”
The mayor was a bit taken aback. “I regret to tell you that bandits had named you as an assassin after we caught them raiding a country shack outside the walls.”
Blane was tired of this craziness. He had to act now or be hung. He brought his left elbow up hard under the guard's chin knocking him out. Blane swiped the guard's sword out of the sheath and had it at the mayors throat before the man could react. “What do you really want?” he asked.
The mayor could have called out to a guard, but whispered instead, “I'm not the one who should be worried about getting killed.” He whispered in a deep voice. He threw his arm up and knocked the sword away with inhuman speed. Blane stumbled back two steps. The mayor was no longer the mayor. He shimmered for a moment before his skin turned red and he grew in size at least half of Blane over again. Where his hands had been now were claws. Large wicked curved claws, covered in barbs. Three horns sprouted out of his head. Where the mayor had been now towered a demon. His muscles bulged, and he roared showing several rows of razor-sharp teeth lining his mouth.
Blane was stricken with terror, as he turned and attempted to run toward the door. He wasn't fast enough and the demon cackled as he caught Blane's leg, “Going somewhere?” It threw him at the door with incredible strength.
The door split as Blane flew through it, debris scattering everywhere. The four guards in the next room went reeling back as Blane hit the floor and rolled. He lay there moaning in pain. His body ached and would not respond as he tried to move. The demon ducked down low and came through the doorway, claws gouging huge holes in the wood.
Blane raised his head, as painful as it was, off the floor and looked at the creature. It was one of the more powerful ones. The four guards had regained their footing and rushed the creature, giving cries of battle. Blane managed to make it onto his knees as the last guard was cut to pieces. The demon looked at him and smiled, “I think I have a special plan for you little one.”
The creature grabbed Blane in one hand. He was in too much pain to resist. The demon walked out the front door. There were a few more guards cut down as they went towards the wall that fenced in the town hall. With seemingly little effort the demon leaped over the wall. With the insanity of the situation Blane had trouble clearing his thoughts, he had to get away. Blane groped for the dagger he had stuck in his boot. The villagers were fleeing in fear and more guards were coming, but unless he could get free the creature would escape. Blane felt the hilt of the dagger hit his hand. He grabbed it, pulled it out, and shoved it into the creature's wrist, which was not armored like the hand of the demon. It screamed in pain as it dropped Blane, hard, onto the ground.
Blane rolled in the dirt, his body racked with pain. The demon raised an arm, readying to finish him. He knew he was done for, but the demon hesitated, “You're lucky he wants you alive.” Then it turned away and bolted into the forest.
The guards reached him a few moments later. Though pain coursed through his body nothing felt broken. It was a miracle that he had even survived. One of the guards started questioning him, “What happened, where did the demon go?”
Blane motioned to the forest, “He went that way only a few moments ago. I'm surprised that you missed him.”
The guard sighed, pain had not rid Blane of his sarcasm. The guard started speaking to himself “I wonder what he was trying to gain? Probably nothing less than all of our deaths.”
Blane nodded as he regained his feet and said, “I think I should leave as soon as possible. I have the feeling that's not the last we'll see of that thing if I stay. It was after me. For some reason it wanted me alive. Get me my sword and some supplies and I will be off.”
The guard didn't argue and trotted off. Ryan came lumbering towards Blane, “I saw from a ways off what you did. That was quite amazing. I haven't known anyone that hasn't killed a demon with their first strike and survived. You lucky fool.”
“At least it wasn't a hellcat.”
“True, true. Where are you headed?”
“South. I have to get back to my employers. I'm quitting this blasted job. Too many risks.”
Ryan smiled and said, “I think I'll come with you. Life around here may not last much longer after what you did. No one else seems to notice, but I do. These creatures will remember. It may take a while, but they will be back.”
Blane thought the man was crazy, but agreed. He didn't want to have to go through that forest alone. With a giant like Ryan at his side he wouldn't have to worry much about anything. The man looked as if he could take on a demon or monster with his bare hands. “We leave in the morning.”