Tales of Arcania I

Part II

A day gone by and after a long and arduous journey, Astalar and his mysterious savior had finally arrived at their destination. Melor’s home, at the edge of very small village that was placed between the tallest woods of a luscious forest.

The strange looking man with the white hair, had all sorts of trinkets in his house. Despite the beautiful scenery of the forest that they passed through during the journey while Astalar was awake, his house was the exact opposite; an untidy mess of things that looked as if they did not belong together. “I suppose you have more questions my friend,” said the human while extending his hands towards Astalar, offering him a cup of a hot beverage that smelled like tea. Astalar decided not to speak and just observe for the rest of the time, for he did not know what this human was going to do with him. For all he knew, this beverage could be poison or some other kind of substance that would put him at the right state in order to be cut open. Astalar had heard of all sorts of rituals that required a living being as one of the ingredients. More importantly, an awake and fully aware of its surroundings living being. He had also heard horrible stories of how all sorts of casters around the realm would force people to be their ingredients in order to complete these rituals.

“My friend, I understand. The haze of war is still in your eyes and you have no good reason to trust me. Nobody ever does really, but soon all will be explained,” said Melor in a very calm voice. Astalar thought to himself that he had nothing to lose anymore, so he finally broke his silence. “You call me friend, yet all I know is your name. What do you want with me?” he said in a most worried voice. Melor turned to face the wounded tiefling once again and kneeled down to be on his level. “I am but one of the few people that were trusted with preserving something devine. You, are to become another one of those few,” said Melor and moved aside his worn brown robe to reveal a sword in his belt. He unsheathed the sword and as it was drawn out to the light, its blade radiated with all sorts of arcane looking magicks in the color of teal and purple. Magical runes, engraved all over it, glimmering as Melor slowly placed the sword on the ground before Astalar. “This, has been my guide to finding you. It is now your own choice to make. Will you follow me, or will you choose your own destiny.”

Astalar was baffled. He understood nothing of what Melor was saying and the glimmering sword before him only made the whole situation even more shrouded in mystery. Astalar continued to wonder what his fate would be and thus asked Melor once again. “I care not for your sorcery human! Answer my question!” he screamed towards Melor.

In that very moment, the room darkened before him and an image appeared above the sword. Astalar felt as if he was looking at some sort of holographic projection before him. There was a soldier looking person and she was approaching a wizard fellow at the edge of an outpost’s wall. Astalar recognized the soldier’s armor to be that of Yldir’s and the wizard to be one of the mages that held the barrier around Yrilien. As soon as he made that discovery though, he saw Yldir cut through the unsuspecting wizard’s body with her sword. Astalar was speechless. He had never felt more betrayed in his entire life.

“What kind of wicked sorcery is this?! What kind of lies are you spitting, you despicable human wretch?!” he yelled at the top of his lungs, even hurting his already weakened and bloodied body. Melor stood up and slowly stepped away from the sword and Astalar. “Now that you know, you can either stand up and fight alongside me, or you can be angry and allow your emotions to guide you to your inevitable end,” said Melor and went over to a table behind him to pour more of the hot beverage into another cup. “Is this a joke to you? I cannot even move!” yelled Astalar since he felt like he was being mocked. “I will not lie to you my friend, but the stars are your only way of redeeming what is left of your senses,” said Melor as he kneeled down to hand over a book to Astalar. Astalar accepted the book with the only arm of his that he could still move. He turned it on the front side and saw the image of a golem looking person on the book’s front page. The title of the book read The Arcane Art of Warforging. He put the book on his lap and flicked through some of the pages, quickly glancing mostly through the pictures that he saw in it. Astalar had read plenty of books in his free time and he could easily tell that this was no ordinary book. It looked as if it was a novel that wanted to be a spellbook, only it didn’t do that great of a job at describing spells in order for a caster to be fully sure those spells would work. He understood though what Melor wanted him to see; he could be remade anew. A new body. A shell.

He closed the book and took a moment to think through all of what had happened that past couple of days. The fall of Yrilien. The slaughter of his brethren. Yldir’s betrayal. He knew that revenge was not the way and yet, vengeance was all he could think of. Yldir was dead though. He saw her drop to her very knees before she was stabbed through her heart. As much as he wanted to learn more about her part in all of this, he knew he had to keep looking forward. The reason why he was a commander was not just his natural leadership skills, but also his endless wisdom on matters that others would approach with great frustration in the heat of a moment. This was one of those moments, when Astalar would have to show his resolve as well as his wisdom.

“So be it,” he said in an almost whispering manner. “I will follow you, but you still have a lot of questions to answer,” exclaimed Astalar as he laid the book on the floor.

“A leap of faith is all it takes sometimes in order to be set on the right path, and you, my tiefling friend, have made the right choice.”

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