THE GOLDEN SWORD
The Writings of Rayven – Human Warrior
We had just arrived back to the fortified town of Haven after killing the foul horror in the temple of Vestrial seeing us finally released from the foul beasts horror mark which was a huge weight off all of our shoulders, we should have killed the dread monster the first time we entered the temple but having slaughtered most of its minions we had no choice but to retreat and go back and finish the job once we had healed, but at least now we are back to Haven and Lady Yuriel of the Circle Path Company is safe seeing our rescue mission finally completed and think we were all looking forward to a well deserved rest.
Walking into the town of Haven through the massive gates of the lost city once again gave us all a sense of great achievement knowing we were safe behind the high defended walls meaning we could rest in peace for a while, however on making our way back to our room at the tavern we walked in to find the place had been ransacked by criminals seeing our room over turned and searched like they were looking for something, needless to say this was the last thing we needed after such a hard fight and a long walk home through the corrupted streets of Parlianth.
The group however were probably too tired to be upset about this as we had left nothing of value in the room so we decided to switch taverns for a few nights just in case the would be thieves or assassins decided to come back in the night, getting some sleep however we all felt better in the morning and after a hearty breakfast we set out into the streets of Haven to sell our loot that we had acquired from the lost city seeing us sell various trinkets and old weapons we had found along the way, however it was on our way to see Torgak the Troll leader of Haven that we noticed the streets were unusually busy with adept groups who seemed to have an excited look upon their faces all of which seemed to be gearing up for trips into the lost city.
On arriving at Torgak’s shop we sold the loot for a fair price and asked Torgak what all of the commotion was about, and he explained that the town was aflutter with activity simply because of an old legend about a golden sword that once use to belong to the royal family of Thera, and as the lost city of Parlainth was one the evil Theran capitol it was rumoured that the sword was still lost within the great ruins but had been protected by powerful magic, in fact if the rumours are correct then the sword only appears once per year for a very short time before it magically vanishes off again to protect it from would be thieves, at this stage however Torgak laughed and said many people have gone in searching for the sword but he thought it was all just a myth, but still each year at a set time countless adept groups ascend on Haven all in hope of finding this fabled golden sword which by all accounts would be worth a fortune in the lands of Thera.
I think we all chuckled at this point as the chances of finding a sword that magically appears and disappears within the lost city would be like trying to find a gold coin thrown into an ocean, still however countless groups believed in the legend so much that they were willing to risk their lives in a two day hunt for the sword that happened once per year, by all accounts it had become somewhat of a celebration in the town of Haven seeing various adept groups enter the lost city all following various clues or hints to the swords location, like it was a race or challenge once per year and I guess if nothing else its a dam good excuse to get loads of adept groups to enter the city all at the same time, that if nothing else should kill a fair amount of smaller horrors in the lost city like it was a mass purge once per year, other than that the chances of finding the sword seemed very slim.
Having sold our loot we headed off back to the tavern and think we all planned on having a nice long rest when all of a sudden the black market information pedlar Bastabus turned up wanting to speak with the group as by all accounts Jace our troublesome Windling thief owed the dirty Theran Bastabus a favour after he had helped Jace some weeks earlier. This came as a bit of a shock to the group but by all accounts Jace did admit owing the Theran gossip a favour and what he had to say was fairly interesting as by all accounts this low life Theran said he knew where this fabled golden sword was and asked if we could head back into the lost city to retrieve it before all the other adept groups set off the next day, and have to say this put us in a tight position.
While the majority of us did not care for this quest and was looking forward to a rest we also needed to keep our word and respect our favours as the last thing we wanted was this dirty Theran walking around Haven telling everyone the Circle of Light does not keep their word, and been honest it was a struggle for me not to chop off this Theran’s head after what his people have done to my home land, however wanting to keep the peace and to help Jace honour his debt we agreed to help Bastabus, on that note we had a closer look at the map which showed an area of the Western Catacombs within the lost city which is where Bastabus said the sword was hidden.
I am unsure exactly where he came across this information but Bastabus seemed certain it was the right location and he again pleaded with us to set off as quickly as possible to get a head start on the other adept groups who would be setting off early the next day, so sadly without a moment to lose the Circle of Light once again prepared to delve into the lost city seeing us resupply our essentials and have a hot meal before getting ready to set off into the accursed city, asking around Haven however no one really had much information on the area where we would be going other than its a very dangerous area covered in traps strange magic’s and horrors which is about normal for the lost city of Parlainth, however with time against us and various adept groups following shortly behind us we decided to set off into the lost city early meaning we would have to walk through the late afternoon and possibly most of the night to get a good head start.
I think as we walked up to the huge gates of the lost city just as the afternoon sun was beginning to set we all looked at Jace with menacing eyes enough to thank him for dragging us into this mess, but at the same time he is a loveable character who has risked his own life to protect the group on numerous occasions so this time at least he deserves our help seeing the Circle of Light once again march off into the lost city to help our friend. Seeing the sun finally set was a tense experience as walking through the streets of the lost city in the day is dangerous enough but at night all sorts of creatures and demons come out to lurk in the shadows, however keeping our heads low a moving silently through the carcass of the great city we made good time and who knows perhaps the passions was watching over us that night as we arrived at our destination without any issues.
By this time we had walked most of the night and whilst the entire group was tired and needed to sleep we had little choice but to push on as we knew countless adept groups back in Haven was about to set off seeing the race to find the golden sword begin, whilst the entire group were cold and tired we at least had the advantage of a head start and a map pin pointing the location so we pressed on further into the area known as the Western Catacombs with sunrise close behind us. Heading into the dusty old streets we soon found the area marked on the map seeing us confronted by various old buildings some of which looked like they had not been searched in hundreds of years, for a moment I think we all got greedy and deciding to search one of the old buildings Jace tried to open one of the old door when suddenly about ten rusting metal spikes shot out towards him like some ancient arrow trap had been set up on the door, this not only left Jace hurt but on opening the door we found little more than a wall behind it like it was built purposefully as a trap.
With that in mind we had little option but to press on towards our main goal which was an area deep within the Catacombs that looked liked it had never been searched before, and it was not long before we found the location Bastabus wanted us to search seeing us come to a large building with a passage that led off underground. We had little time at this point because by now countless other adept groups had already set off from Haven and whilst we had a good head start its fair to say some of them might try killing us if they think we have found the golden sword, this left us little choice but to get in and out of the complex as quick as possible and think we all hoped we did not lose our lives on this stupid and ridiculous wild goose chase, in fact by this point I think a lot of us was ready to turn around and simply tell the Theran Bastabus that we had not found anything.
That said however we all wondered what would happen if the golden sword was really in this complex or what other riches was waiting within the darkness, in fact we had come this far so the entire group decided to head into the passageway with Jace the thief leading the way which was perhaps a good thing because while Jace is a master a building and finding traps he managed to set off every trap we came across seeing us dodging ancient arrows and spikes that shot from the walls and ceilings, and think by this point we were all feeling fairly depressed until we suddenly noticed a large doorway up ahead with a strange shimmer of light from within, so readying our weapons we headed towards the ancient doorway and have to say what we was about to discover was enough to make all of our eyes open wide with desire.
Slowly peeking around the corner I think all of our mouths dropped open as what we could see is a large shadowy room with a huge stack of gold and treasures in one corner, not only that but sticking out of the top of the treasure was a glimmering golden sword seeing all of our hearts race with excitement, was this really the golden sword that people had spent years looking for and if so how the hell did Bastabus know it would be here. Needless to say we scanned the room the best we could before heading in cautiously, as we did however we suddenly heard movement followed by a massive growling sound as two large figures came crashing out of the shadows at the back of the room seeing us all jump in surprise as two large dragon like creatures came charging into the middle of the room snapping their fangs at us and growling in a threatening way.
It was around that time one of the group said “Drakes” in a shocked and anxious voice and they were right to do so as I myself have heard of these creatures and while they are not as powerful as dragons they are still savage killing machines use excel in both combat and magical abilities, in fact Drakes are such smart and magical creatures they can not only transform themselves into name giver form but they can also speak various name giver languages making them highly powerful and sentient beasts and with only second they were hissing at us to leave this place. It was at this point that the Nethermancer Kaerless slowly stepped forward with his hands open in a peaceful manor and bravely tried to speak with the Drakes.
Even master Kaerless was afraid at this point seeing his hands tremble slightly as he tuck several steps forward telling the Drakes that we mean them no harm and that we have come here only for the golden sword, he even tried to explaining that countless other adept groups was searching for the weapon and was not far behind us, that their nest could soon be overrun if the other adepts found this place, the Drakes however still hissed and threatened our lives if we did not leave. I remember at this point Kaerless reached inside his large belt pouch and pulled out a sizeable emerald and suggested to the Drakes we could trade then fairly for the weapon without any hostility, it was at this point however that the Drakes launched their attack.
Suddenly one of the Drakes let out some kind of powerful spell against the group which smashed into the horror stalker Gron and also hurt both Kaerless and Elora, the other Drake however darted straight after Jace seeing it let out various vicious attacks, with that however the entire Circle of Light had no choice but to charge into a daring and dangerous battle against two powerful beasts, and needless to say this was a shame because while Drakes are devastating enemies of vast power they were not tainted by the horrors, this put the group in a difficult position of killing some of the worlds natural creatures which is never an easy task in our corrupted world, sadly however we had little choice so the entire group ran into the biggest of the two Drakes which looked to be the male.
Huge claws ripped down against us and even more powerful spells flew against the group seeing the Drakes do vicious damage against us but focussing all we had against the large male Drake we soon began doing damage back, in fact I myself ran into the combat bringing my massive sword crashing down onto the large Drake seeing it yelp in agony as my blade sunk deep into its flesh seeing he slung several yards back as it lashed out against me, only seconds later however one of Elora’s arrows hit the beast again seeing it yelp in pain as it reared up above us ready to strike, luckily in thos last few seconds before it plunged down on top of me with its gruesome claws Kaerless let out some kind of dark spell which shot across the room where is smashed into the Drake seeing it crash to the floor dead, what happened next however we did not expect.
Suddenly the smaller female Drake came crashing over towards her dead mate letting out a fearsome roar towards us she began pulling her mate away from us seeing her drag his body back into the darkness, in fact looking closer she dragged the huge Drakes body down a darkened passage where a steel portcullis soon slammed shut. Quickly getting the wounded to their feet Rastin checked over their wounds and we began applying several magical healing potions before we ran and grabbed the golden sword along with as much gold and treasure as we could carry, it was as we loaded up our bags however we heard the female Drake whimpering in the darkness, we even heard her speaking in name giver words begging her love to wake up and crying out that we had killed her love, that we has killed her mate seeing her whimper in sheer devastation.
I think at this point the Circle of Light showed their true compassion and with a feeling of guilt in our hearts we decided to approach the steel gateway seeing Kaerless shout into the darkness beyond where he said we could heal the dead Drake, that there is a chance using powerful magic that we can bring the Drake back alive. The female Drake at this stage did not believe our words seeing a huge gust of flames burst out of the darkness nearly engulfing Kaerless who quickly ducked behind the wall to avoid the flames. Most people would have given up by now but the brave Kaerless again tried to reason with the female Drake telling her that we meant no harm and that if she drags the body of her mate back to the steel portcullis we will try and save his life and bring him back from deaths door, in fact for sometime Kaerless tried reasoning with the beast.
I think after sometime the female Drake knew she had little other choice but to trust us and partly against her will and with an angry and vicious look in her eyes she dragged her male companions body back to the gateway seeing her growl fiercely towards Kaerless as she watched every single move he made, in fact in a brave and noble act Kaerless bent down slowly next to the gateway meaning the huge female Drakes head was only inches away as it snarled and showed it massive teeth, Kaerless however closed his eyes and calmly began to chant ancient words of magic seeing his hands begin to swirl and weave with a dark and mysterious power before he reached out through the bars and touched the dead Drakes body seeing it jolt with power and shake for several seconds, still however the beast was dead hearing the last of the air come from its mighty lungs.
The female Drake was about to go into a rage and think she was seconds away from letting out another burst of fire which would have surly engulfed Kaerless in flames when all of a sudden Kaerless opened his eyes looking straight at the massive female Drake in front of him he simply said “The spell did not work, but there is another way” and I could tell the female Drake at this point was growing very nervous and anxious as Kaerless slowly tuck his backpack off his shoulders seeing him pull out a highly powerful and expensive potion which us adepts call a Last Chance Salve which if used quick enough after death can revive a dead soul.
Once again reaching his hands through the bars Kaerless began rubbing in the powerful liquid into the dead beasts open wounds and even managed to pour some into its massive mouth before he stepped back telling the female that is all we can do, and I have to say it was a tense few minutes as the powerful salve began to take effect as slowly we began to see the huge Drakes wounds begin to close and heal like magic before our eyes. We held out little hope at this stage until all of a sudden we heard a massive deep breath from within the darkness and noticed the huge Drakes eyes slowly judder open seeing it come back to life before our very eyes and at this point the female Drake was ecstatic with joy and disbelief, it seems she could hardly believe that an adept group like ourselves had saved her mate and that we had honoured our word.
Reaching inside his bag Kaerless pulled out a basic healing potion and rolled in through the bars telling the Drake to consume the contents within an hour which would again provide more healing to the injured animal, he even warned them to hide and escape this place in case more adept arrived in the following hours and with that we slowly backed away as we heard the female Drake crying tears of joy as her mate returned to life in the darkness. By this stage we were injured and shattered as we had not slept all night and had been involved in a heavy and nearly deadly fight seeing us head out of the place as quickly as we could carrying various bags of loot and a gleaming golden sword that looked to be many years old, in fact we not only needed to get as far away from this place as possible but we also needed to avoid countless adepts on the way home.
Rushing out of the complex the wounded and dazed Circle of Light was met by the dazzling mid day sun seeing us cover our eyes for several seconds, having no time to stop however we headed off as quickly as possible into the ruins of the lost city. It was at this stage that Rastin a skilled map maker suggested that we take a long route home as we tried to avoid the various adept groups heading into the city after the golden sword and I have to say this plan proved wise as arching round in a large circle we avoided the direct route home and mainly kept to the shadowy side streets of the city and while totally exhausted we made good time seeing us walk all day without incident.
Not long after the battered and beaten group could see the huge walls of Haven in the distance and we all smiled as it seemed we had once again managed to make it home with our lives seeing us all bless the passions for their mercy and protection. Heading into Haven we kept the loot we had found and the sword quiet seeing us race back to the tavern where we locked ourselves in our room and began looking at our treasure haul, and while all of our eyes lit up at the gleaming golden sword in front of us it seemed the blade was not magical or even much use in combat and we could only assume that it had vast sentimental value for the noble family of Thera.
It was not long after this that the Theran Bastabus turned up and have to admit his eyes lit up with fantastic look of surprise when we pulled out the golden sword in front of him, and while we begrudged giving the sword to Theran scum we had to honour our word seeing his thank us deeply before he headed off into the night with the sword hidden under his cloak, we can only assume that from there he started his long trip back to the lands of Thera where he would obviously claim his fame a reward for recovering the golden sword of his ancestors, in some respects even that made me smile as it was one less dirty Theran in Haven to worry about seeing us all smile at the bags of gold and treasures we had found with the sword.
From that point the entire group locked ourselves away in our little room here in Haven and whilst we were exhausted, whilst we were still injured and aching from our wounds and the long walk home we all sat there with huge smiles on our faces as we looked at the pile of gold and jewels in front of us and remember us laughing and congratulating each other until the early hours of the morning, in fact that night I think we all fell to sleep thinking of the Drake we had saved, of the golden sword we had found, of how we had made it home alive to fight another day, but most all we smiled knowing that once again we had helped our friend and that we had done it together as a group, in fact from that point the entire Circle of Light looked forward to several weeks off the front line as we relaxed and basked in the glory of our little success.