Hi everyone. Here's chapter 14. Please e-mail me your comments!! Also feel free to view my webpage at http://spiffy_psycho.tripod.com. They really let me know whether or not this work is worth the effort. Oh yes, there's naughty words and some sex scenes, so if you're under 18.. Well, you know the rules. It's your butt, not mine. ;-) Thanks for reading!



The Dark One

by David M. Roduner

Chapter 14

"Call the kingdom to court," Mørkt Servio ordered the pageboy. "The king has a last great announcement to make."

"Aye, sir," the young boy said, obediently dashing off.

"Jotes," Mørkt said, "prepare the-"

"I know what to do!" Stefan interrupted in a surly voice, sauntering away.

Elsewhere in the castle, King Calamon smiled to himself, his face wrinkling, yet looking years younger. Roland had found Venes. Amazing how a simple smile can make one feel life again, if only for a moment.

Mahou had joined Roland and Venes on the icy beach. "We're never going to be able to make it back in time," Roland observed sadly. Mahou had been drained by their earlier exercise. He was still showing obvious signs of fatigue, though covered with a smile. "That ship just won't make it."

"Ship?" Venes responded, rather surprised. "Who said we were taking a ship?" Roland stood, confused. Venes looked to Mahou, who with a tremendous effort, stood. "You are an earth wizard, are you not?" Mahou nodded affirmatively. "Then this oak seed can be used for a very precious purpose."

The Cardinal snarled at the Xyanth Cat. Two animals faced each other: one a gift from the Goddess, the other a cruel depiction from the Dark One, molded from filth, but given a fair face with its own sinister mind. Bother lips on the creastures' mouths curled up in an angry snarl. The Xyanth Cat released its razor sharp claims from their sheaths as the Cardinal withdrew a sword from its scabbard. The Xyanth let out a terrible battle cry as he leapt in the air at the Cardinal. Suddenly, the Cardinal pulled out a crossbow and shot the cat in its head. As it fell to the ground, the Cardinal kicked it in its lifeless head and spat. So maddened was the Cardinal by his murder that he did not notice the sky's angry red glow.

"Great people," Mørkt Servio shouted to the assembled kingdom, "your king is on his deathbed! Your king has proclaimed this day as your day of Freedom! As his life is ended, so shall you have freedom." Mixed, embarrassed applause rang throughout the kingdom. What as he up to? "Do you wish your Freedom?" Mørkt asked in a shout.

"Yes!" the crowd responded, now jubilant.

"And when do you want this?" Mørkt bellowed.

"Now!" they responded in an out of sync unison.

"Very well," Mørkt Servio replied. Jotes walked up to the balcony upon which the left hand of the Dark One stood, lifting up King Calamon's failing body. "First to free your king." Mørkt withdrew a dagger from his cloak and plunged it into the king's weakened heart. "This is for lasting so long, you doddering old fool," Mørkt hissed as the king's vision faded to black, and his soul rejoined the Goddess, until called upon again.

Mørkt then snarled and threw the body of the dead king over the castle wall. The crowd parted in shock as the body clumped in the ground in a bloody heap. "now you shall all be free!" Realization dawned upon the foolish crowed, and they screamed in fear for their very lives as they attempted to flee the left and right hands of the Dark One.

"Brutes," Jotes commanded, "attack!"

A horde of lusty, hungry brutes encircled the now screaming people. The crowd of people were pushing into each other, knocking into each other as their more selfish inner-instincts took over their reason. To them, the group could go to hell; their own survival was all that mattered. The horde of misshapen beasts withdrew weapons of a variety of flavors, all equally malicious. A small row of brutes in the far northeast corner of the courtyard had pulled out their scythes. They were approaching the five women, as they were known. A group of gossips, always peeking their noses into as much trouble as possible. As the scythes were plunged into their stomachs and pulled upward, until exiting the body as the deadly blade broke the shoulder, dislodging the head only partially from the body, they gossipped no more.

The fat friar, the religious outlet for the peasentry, who had taken far too many liberties with the young girls of the kingdom, was not lucky today. A huge double edged axe performed an instant amputation on his left leg and a vow of celibacy. As his neck was broken before he even had the time to fall on the ground, his handicap was soon ended.

Some of the brutes became too lusty and were feeding on the flesh of the fallen early. The blood that dripped in their mouths and down their wicked throats was like the sweetest candy to them. Stefen caught a number of this unfortunate group, however, and cast bolts of lightning at them.

The family of Erichson were clever. Seeing the deathlust of brutes, they avoided their first strike. When a number of the brutes began to feast on the raw flesh of men, they escaped, fleeing to the hills. Stefen was so busy casting his anger at the created servants of the Dark One that he failed to notice a man, his wife, and young boy escaping the massacre.

"Are we fully recovered?" Mwezi asked, highly amused. John however, was not. "Oh lighten up, young kit. It will all be well.. I hope." John had not forgotten the reason he had to stay and protect this land.

John looked over to his sweet boy, Cor, who had the brightest smile of anyone this day. John squeezed Cor's hand and whispered, "I love you, my boy." Cor's eyes became a bit damp as he embraced John tenderly.

"We must be victorious," John said, with an odd glint in his eyes, "or all will be lost. I do not know how to fight a ware, but I will protect your land to my death if I must."

"You will be victorious," Mwezi countered, "because the love in your heart burns brighter than the most brilliant star. We can not be fully defeated so long as the people Frivesland still stand."

The company's attention was quickly diverted as Roger the White fell to his knees in agony. "They have killed the entire kingdom! I never imagined he would do this just to transport-"

"Such is the way of the wicked magic they use. But the trine rule will make them suffer," Mwezi said, cutting Roger off.

The left and right hands of the Dark One were sharing the unnatural powers of their amulets, spreading its wicked fingers throughout the courtyard. The brutish army had basked themselves in the blood of the innocent- and not so innocent. The people of the kingdom of Calamon, it seemed, were deceased. Stefen and Mørkt shouted mad incantations, and the wicked brutes of the Dark One disappeared.

"They are coming," Roger the White whispered, ominously.

In a flash of light, the planes of Sior Geimhreadth were populated with the brutes of the Dark One's menace.

"Four against four thousand," mused Cornelius, taking John's hand. "Doesn't seem quite fair, does it?"

A commanding brute stood forward, before the others. "Well boy! Learned a bit, have y'?" he called at Cor. Cornelius' eyes expanded with fear. This was the very creature that had cornered him in the crypt so long ago. "We shall go easy on all of you. Jus' han' it over t'me. I might not make your man's death so very painful. Just surrendur y'selves and it'll be over."

"Surrendur this!" snarled Mwezi, scorching the brute commander with a wave of angry fire. The creature howled in pain as it was burned to death.

"Bring the beast," it managed to call out before it perished from sight. Then with the sound of flesh being torn and stretched, and bones being snapped and remolded, the beast was formed.

"I'm glad," huffed Roland, "that it's nice and warm weather for a brisk walk!"

After a mile, the party of Mahou, Roland and Venes were rather worn. But they were almost to the place of growing. "Not the best land for growin, eh earth wizard?" Venes mused.

Mahou smiled and replied in song,

Any land that has a seed,
Any track that still has breath.
Any place where water leads,
Is not o'ertaken by death.

Any bird that has the will
Can fly up in the clouds.
Any home that has a mill
Will surely too have plough.

"It is an old saying from Serlatùn. You silly nitwits from Frivesland and beyond would not understand."

"Maybe we do," Venes answered cooly.

The four wizards gazed up. The beast was an enormous, loathesome creature full of malice.

The creature was an enormous beast with grey skin and rought, white fur jutting out intermittently at odd angles. The creature snorted a threatening note as it listed up its cloven hood and slammed it on the ground.

"Fucking hell," John exclaimed. "It's a bloody boar!" The brutes began to chant as they stomped their feet in unison. "We're going to die out here," John stated in a stoic manner.

Just then, a native ran up to Mwezi with the body of the Xyanth Cat. Mwezi took one look at the villagers' desecrated god and howled in pain and anger. "We may die out here," he said through grated teeth, "but those brutes will rue the day that they attacked our Cat!" Suddenly out of the bushes, scores of villagers appeared, armed with spears, pikes, arrows and whatever makeshift weapons were available.

"One hundred to four-thousand? It still seems a bit unfair," Cor mused.

"Either way," John responded, "we must defeat this beast, or be defeated ourselves."

"Grim options, eh nephew?" Roger the White chuckled in a very forced way.

"Grim or not," Mwezi said with eyes flashing, "that evil creature will be destroyed." John shifted his eyes to Cor, not feeling quite as confident as his comrade.

"This is it?" Roland questioned. In the tundra, a mere square foot of grass lay free of ice and snow. "So what are we doing here?"

"Starting life," Mahou simply answered. "Dig, friend from the West."

Roland looked at Mahou in disbelief. Why on earth would Mahou require such an odd task? Roland looked into Mahou's eyes and saw that he was completely serious. Roland recalled the magic that Mahou had performed for him, wearying Mahou to the point of exhaustion. Rolande began to dig. Between grunts, Roland said to Venes, "You are fair to behold, boy. My mon's one of them milis súile types. I hear lots o' ye wizards are." Venes grunted in response, a bit embarrassed about this call on his sexuality. In fact, Venes was deeply saddened by the memories of the past, haunting him still. His mind recalled past experience, a seemingly other lifetime, of his beautiful lover that was taken for him. Venes wiped away a tear, brushing away memories that he once again locked into the inner recesses of his mind and heart. That was long ago, and would never happen again.

Roland was struggling to uncover the earth, as it was frozen. "Let me help," Venes said meekl. He drew in his energy, centered and pulled this ice from the small patch of ground. Roland then dug a two foot deep hole.

"Good enough, you silly man of the west," Mahou said, his usual humor not apparent. Mahou looked at Venes, who nodded. Mahou dropped a single seed into the earth. This time, Mahou nodded at Venes, who then pushed the now melted ice-water back into the ground. "Grow quickly, little seed." Mahou whispered as he sprinkled a finely ground powder onto the earth. Venes and Roland huddled together, trying to remain warm over the next hour as Mahou coaxed the sapling to growth. It had now proudly raised four feet.

Mahou then turned to Venes and Roland and simply waved before disappearing. Venes and Roland looked at each other in disbelief. "Well it's me and you, blondie," Roland grumbled.


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