© 1999 Eric Case, all rights reserved especially the right to bear arms since I have a sleeveless shirt on! lol
Special thanks to Derek for you support and to AJ for the help with
the html plus being such a stand up guy! lol This one's for you two :-)
This is my second story, my first was of course "Myles and Mark" that
I wrote about two of my friends.
Well I said I was working on a new project and here it is.. Nastradia! What's is about? Well you will just have to go ahead and read it! This is the first real work of fantasy I've ever written so I'm kinda testing the water with this first part. It's a "fantasy" story like Lord of the Rings with a big twist being a gay sex story at the same time lol. Also please note that this is something I am writing for fun, and if I joke around seemingly a bit too much, you will just have to put up with it.
I'll just quickly go over a few introductory points
The world is called Nastradia which is pronounced as "Nahz-Trah-dee-uh"
The main chartacters are:
Jarin - Jare-inn - an 13 year old human, born in the peaceful city of Islan and grew up with Joshia.
Arden - Are-dinn - an 18 year old "warrior prince" from the land of Ardun, Arden was heir to the thrown at the death of his father, but his uncle usurped it from him when he was a child and Arden was banished when he was 11 since he was seen as a threat to the safety of the "king" (can you say prequel?!). He is also believed to be half elf and has a strange power about him.
Joshia - Joe-shy-ah - human and also 13, Joshia grew up with Jarin and now lives with him after the death of his family from a previous attack on the city. He is also often called "Shia" (shy-ahh) for short by Jarin.
Now before we start I must warn you all
that this story will have sex in it, but it is more a tale about
adventure than about sex.
A long time ago, in a galaxy not so
far far away...
city of Islan is about to be attacked by a marauding city called Ithilia.
The once friendly Ithilians have grown more and more evil with each passing
year as Mordak -- the evil sorcerer -- has grown in strength, and are now
a definite threat to all the city-states of the area. Knowing that their
city was in danger, the Islans sent forth for the one known only as Arden,
a warrior prince from another land known for his seemingly unnatural skill
in soldiery and magery. He has come to the city, but with little time to
prepare a strategy has told the leaders of the city that if all seems lost
he will leave with two citizens he deems to be the ones who will travel
with him to the great mountain in the land of Cragen where he will retrieve
Arunfang the fabled Sword of Justice. The magical blade wrought
from a shard of crystallized blood from the last Wigami...
We begin our tale with an early morning in spring, in the great city of Islan. All seemed quiet that morning, but tension was in the air. Everyone could feel it building especially Jarin. News of the invasion force from Ilthilian headed towards the city had been received the previous night and the city was now prepared for a siege. Jarin looked across the room to his best friend Joshia. His feelings of fear melted away at the sight of seeing his sleeping friend lying beneath his bed sheets with the sun dancing of his chest. Joshia's tunic was partly open down the front and his bronze skin showed through it. His brow length brown hair hung at the sides of his face as he opened his eyes to let his deep blue pools be seen by the world. Jarin who had been staring quickly turned his gaze back out of the window he was seated in front of. He was in love but this, his best friend, could never know of it.
"Oh I just wish I could hold him.. be with him!" Jarin thought to himself. He didn't know that Joshia felt the same about him.. Islan had well set laws against that type of relationship, and they were taught that it was "evil" by their teachers in school, but how could it be evil to love someone?
"Good morning Jarin," Joshia said with a sleepy smile and a yawn.
"Hey sleepy head!" Jarin said returning his buddy's smile. Their eyes met for a moment and Joshia's eyes seemed to penetrate through Jarin's gray eyes straight into his soul. Jarin broke their gaze to look back out the window. He didn't want Joshia to know of his feelings. "Shia.." Jarin said slowly. "Have you ever.. like.."
"You know I've never been with anyone Jarin," Joshia answered already knowing his friend's thoughts. They were very interwoven mentally and often said the same things or knew what the other was thinking just by eye contact.
"If something happens in the war.. Shia.. I... I want you to know that I.."
"I know Jarin. I feel the same about you, but if anyone ever found out we'd be banished!" Joshia answered quickly.
"So.." Jarin answered somewhat defensively. "I love you, you love me, and we could both be dead tomorrow! Who cares about being banished! I hate this place."
"It's better than Ithilia Jarin." the more practical Joshia replied softly.
"I just don't want to die never having held you and kissed you and... well.. you know," Jarin said a stray tear running down his cheek.
Joshia stood and walked over to his friend, his best friend in the world who he truly did love and held him close. The two pulled away from the window and fell onto Jarin's bed together and their lips found each others'. Jarin's tongue slid into Joshia's mouth and Joshia followed suit quickly. Their minds were realing as surges of the strongest emotions they had ever felt surged through them both. Love, joy, happiness, and even fear shot through them with such intensity that they both gasped allowed! They saw stars encircling them and everything else faded into the background as they began to grind their hips into each other moaning softly.
At that moment the horn blast sounded. It was the call to arms and the city instantly burst into action. The streets quickly filled with the young men moving like an army of ants to the great walls of the city to take up their positions of defense. "SHIT!" They exclaimed together, then they leapt up to head to their positions on the walls. Being both 13, Joshia the older by a few weeks, they were now expected to assist in the city's defense.
They ran through the streets avoiding the other men rushing here and there when they ran into a young man who they recognized instantly as Arden, a foreigner who had come to the city early that month and had been introduced to the townspeople as a great warrior. Jarin had run into his chest and fell backward and hit his head lightly on the pavement and was rubbing his head when Arden reached a hand down to help him up! Normally people would just continue on their way but Arden was different.. he cared about people and was instantly drawn to the two boys in front of him. Arden saw what he was looking for.. that small sparkle that few people had. These were the two he had come for...
Jarin was still worried he'd get a clout up side the head but something about the smile in the man's eyes put him at ease. Arden was not the biggest man in the city by any means, but he seemed to have an underlying power.. a glow, and forcefulness about his manner that everyone spoke about. Both Jarin and Joshia could see something in him they didn't understand. It was like Arden sparkled.. they had never seen anything like it before and both thought they were seeing things so said nothing of it to each other. Jarin felt a trusting towards him when their eyes met and he took Arden's hand. He was lifted easily to his feet in one smooth motion, not a jerk, or a tug, but seemingly effortlessly by Arden. That was another thing he was known for was his uncanny strength for one his size. He could easily lift more than Mardun, the "strongest" man in the city and he was not nearly as bulky. Arden wasn't small, or thin, but he wasn't massive like some of the men in the city either! One thing was certain, that the two boys felt a strange attraction to Arden.. not just sexual, but like a nail being drawn to a magnet.
"Sorry about that little man," Arden said letting the sun dance off his teeth as he smiled. His brown eyes and dark skin caught the sun and seemed to harness it's very energy. He had thick curly light brown hair and it seemed to totally suit his face with it's perfect smile.
"Err.. uhmm... no it was my fault sir, I'm sorry I wasn't looking where I was going well enough!" Jarin said still a little nervous but growing more and more comfortable with each moment.
"Nonsense, I'm the bigger guy so I should have been watching for shorter people," Arden answered winking. "Hey why are you guys headed back that way anyways? The real action will be on the other side of the city! Wanna come along? I'm leading a charge out of the gates so you two can watch from the walls there!"
Jarin looked over to Joshia who just shrugged and before either could answer Arden grabbed Jarin by the arm (firmly, but not hard) and led the way to where they should stand to be safe. He then ran off again and the next time they saw him was a few minutes later when the smaller east gate burst open and he ran out onto the field in front of a large army of citizens. They ran quickly along the grass and Arden left the others easily behind as he rushed forth to meet the large army that was running forward to meet our troops. Arden beet his troops to the enemy by nearly 20 yards and immediately began cutting down Ithilian troops like they were blades of grass. When his own troops reached the enemy he was unscathed and had already fallen seven of the enemy!
"Wow!" Joshia said.. "look at him go! He's so fast!"
"That one's got the will of Tarson (Islan's god of battle) in him lads! Mind you how he swings his blade so easily.. my now it's like he was born with a sword in his hand!" said a man standing next to us. In a sense the man was correct. Arden had been born the son of a king in a land called Ardun and his name, the slight variation of his homeland, literally meant "Warrior Prince". From an early age he had been taught the skills of soldiery, but after his father died, his uncle stole his thrown and banished Arden from the land of Ardun. He was merely a child at the time and had lived a somewhat hard life roaming from one town to another since he was seen as a misfit. He had met up with an old man named Rafiar who had taken him as an apprentice and they had traveled for nearly five years when Rafiar was killed once again leaving Arden to fend for himself. He was by now a strong man with a knowledge for magery and had learned much about strength of the soul from Rafiar. He had also learned much about himself.. who he was from the old wizard.
Now he was putting these skills to use, dancing around his opponents thrust and countering with his own. He made his way seemingly with ease through the ranks of soldiers to where they general sat mounted atop his black steed. "What have we here? A brave little soldier has made his way to me feet only to fall to my sword?!" Taunted Tarius, the Ithilian general, from his horse.
"DOWN!" Boomed Arden, his voice which shook the earth beneath the feet of Tarius' mount causing the steed to reel and casting Tarius from his saddle. Tarius leapt to his feet, enraged by the embarrassment of falling from his horse. He ran towards Arden who stepped aside at the last moment sticking his foot out in front of his assailant tripping Tarius to the ground. "Take your troops and leave.." Arden said as if he was telling him to eat his veggies.
"I will NOT leave until the city falls to me! I cannot!" Tarius answered as he jumped to his feet. His sword was drawn and he lunged once again at Arden. The soldiers fighting around them stepped back to give the two room to fight. If Arden lost, the battle would continue, but if he won, the battle would be won for Islan and Ithilian's troops would return home since their general was killed and such was the way of war in those days long ago. Hmm see now where was I? Ahh yes the combat of Arden and Tarius!! Yes such a battle between two had not been seen in many a day. Tarius was a great swordsman, but Arden who was smaller in size although taller could move more easily. He thwarted Tarius' blows before they struck returning with his own swings in seemingly the same motion. After only a minute or so it was growing clear that Tarius was no match for Arden and as he began to back away Arden continued to advance on him. Tarius continued to swing repeated arcs of cold steel at Arden but he was no match for this man with speed, age, and strength on his side and with a devastating blow Arden knocked Tarius' sword clear from his hands and brought the sword to Tarius' throat.
"Now sir.." Arden said hoarsely to the panting beaten man before him. "Do you yield your troops, or must I run you threw?" Arden questioned with that hint of flame in his eye that made most men step back.
"I cannot yield! Nothing you can do to me would be worse than the fate which will befall me if I fail!" Tarius answered defiantly.
At this one of Islan's troops who was near by ran forward and fell on Tarius with his sword shouting "there will be no choice for this one!" It was not his place to do so and the action angered Arden. "Back fool! This one is NOT yours, it only takes a coward to kill an unarmed man!"
It was nearly at that precise moment that the horn blast was sounded in the city and Arden looked over his shoulder to see a huge army of cavalry spill over the western hills towards them. He recognized their banner as being of the Geskan army of Mohl and knew his men were in trouble. The Geskans shouldn't have been there and he wasn't waiting to find out what it was all about. "BACK TO THE CITY!" he yelled. With that, the men began fighting their way back to the city gates which were nearly closed.
Arden stayed with the wounded and dying Tarius a moment. "Why could you not yield?" He asked solemnly.
"Mordak.... he is evil ... and ... set me to this work..."
"Who is Mordak? Where is he? Tarius please I must know!" Arden asked softly seeing the man before him's life draining away with each passing moment.
"He is the evil one!" Tarius said sitting up abruptly grabbing Arden's tunic. "Ohhh Arden.. my life is ending for this! I should never have...." he trailed off wincing in pain. "You must find a way to stop him Arden! I knew Rafiar the wizard well, and have heard as much of you as you have of me.. you are the chosen .. one and ... you .. . must .. stop ....... Mordak.... He lives in Ar..." Tarius' speech was cut short by an arrow that landed in his chest between him and Arden.
Arden rose slowly looking at the advancing foe defiantly. He ran to the gates through many enemies to help his troops into the city. Arden stood outnumbered against the enemy until the last of his men were inside. Arden fell back through the gate at the last moment before it was closed and he jumped to his feet and threw himself against the gate. The gate was not fully closed and the Ithilians were keeping it part way open so that the boom lock could not be dropped into place.
The people watched in horror as the gate was slowly forced open by the masses of enemy troops pushing from the other side. Knowing that it was too late Arden left the men at the gate and returned to where panic stricken Joshia and Jarin stood watching. "It's too late, your city will fall." Arden said calmly. His voice seemed to ease the boys' anxiety somewhat and they looked at him to hear what he had to say. "I have to leave.." he continued. "Your city's counsel would not take my advice on how to fight the battle, and I have done all I can from here.. Now I must travel to Cragen mountain far to the north and east.. I will need some help, and this city will soon be overrun by the Ithilian. Do you want to come away with me?"
The boys looked at each other, then to Arden and Jarin spoke with a trembling voice. "S..Sir.. we would l..l.. we would like to come with you, but our people.."
Arden cut him off, "there is nothing you two alone can do to help your people." Again his tone was calm and Jarin had to fight hard to resist the urge to wrap his arms around Arden and beg him to keep him safe. "I promise you we will return to free your people from the Ithilians, you have my word on it!" Arden finished this line with a power in his voice that made the boys know that their people would be freed. Arden seemed to take on that sparkle again now, and the boys almost felt like electricity was passing through them when Arden spoke with such force.
"I will go with you," Joshia spoke for the first time. "Jarin here will come too," he said as Jarin slowly nodded his agreement.
"Very well, the two of you both will not regret it." Arden said. "Now follow me closely pray you both, and follow my instructions well and we shall be on our way shortly."
was a loud cry as the gates were forced all the way open and the Ithilians
rushed into the city. Arden strode along the city walls past the frightened
townspeople and then through the city towards Jarin and Joshia's house.
He walked to the door and cast it open and moved the two boys inside. "Get
yourselves some clothes and blankets and put them into those sacks in the
corner." Arden said, still with his calm tone that almost made the boys
forget what was happening. It was partly magic, but mostly it was knowing
that Arden was with them and that they would be safe so long as he stayed
with them. "Now leave your parents a note saying that you're both safe
and that you will return home in a few months." Jarin sat down to the table
and wrote his parents a letter telling them what Arden told him to say:
I hope you and dad get this note so you don't have to worry. Joshia and me met up with Arden and we're going with him to get something and then we'll be back. It might take a couple months though and we will miss you both so much!
I love you mom, love you dad and I promise I'll come home soon as I can!
"Where are we going sir?" Jarin asked looking into Arden's brown eyes.
"The river that runs through the city. We will leave through the river and swim under the wall." Arden answered. "You can both swim right?"
"Yes sir, we can both swim pretty well sir, but I don't know about going all the way under the wall!"
"Don't worry about making it under the wall, I'll take care of that.. Oh and it's Arden, not sir. We'll be traveling a long way together, and I will call you both by your names and you will call me by mine. Forget the sir nonsense, now lets go!" he said smiling. With that he flung open the door and the noise from the street flooded the house. Arden stepped forward with the two boys close behind him and grabbed Jarin by the arm once again to pull him around the corner of the house. Arden lead them quickly through back alleys to another house. It had two stories and he took them inside and locked the door behind him. "This is the house your town has given me.. we will wait downstairs until the fighting cools a bit and we can make it to the river." Arden said.
The boys looked around the single main floor room and saw only one staircase leading up. "Downstairs?" Joshia asked with a questioning look that only a boy can give.
"Yes of course downstairs," Arden said as he walked towards the empty fireplace. He lifted the rack the timber sat on, and the grate beneath it lifted with it. Below was a ladder leading down into darkness. "Okay boys down we go!"
"Down there?" Jarin asked. "It's DARK down there! You go first Shia."
"No way Jarin!" Joshia giggled. "You go first!"
"It's just a basement!" Arden said amusedly. "Come on.. I'll go first then you two can follow." he said plainly getting a smile from both boys. They were so full of youth and innocence Arden couldn't help but begin to love them both as he climbed down the ladder looking over his shoulder at the two of them, Joshia smiling, Jarin looking like he was afraid some monster was about to grab Arden. Once he was downstairs he used his tinderbox to light one of the lanterns and turned back to help the two boys get down the ladder. He then climbed half way up and slid the grate back into it's place.
"Wow!" Jarin said looking around the dimly lit room. "This isn't so bad.." he remarked feeling silly about his earlier reluctance to go downstairs.
"So how come we're down here?" Joshia asked.
"So that if the bad guys come in the house they can't find us of course!" Jarin answered giggling. "Right Arden?"
"Well.. partly.." Arden answered enjoying the look he got from the boys at his answer. The look of a child about to be let in on a big secret "See that door over there?" Arden asked watching them both look in the direction he had motioned in and then nod to him. "Well that leeds to a passageway we will be leaving through. It takes us closer to the river and from there we will have to high-tail it to the river and hit the water swimming! Most of the fighting should be away from the river by then alright?"
"Ohh.. so we're here while the Ithilians make their sweep of the city and round people up, then when they're past us we will come out where they've already been and get to leave pretty easily right? Jarin asked.
Arden smiled the answer and patted Jarin on the head. "In the meantime, you two may want to grab a little sleep, once we're out of the city we will have to travel a fair ways through the forest on foot so you may get tired in hurry." Arden said. The two boys curled up on a large mattress set in the corner of the dark room while Arden sat at a table to think about their next move.
Nearly an hour and a half later, Arden awoke abruptly from his sleep when he heard the door upstairs burst open. "There must be someone in here! The door was locked!" rumbled a rough voice. "Search again!"
"There's no one here sir! There's only one empty room down here and two empty rooms upstairs! A window was open so maybe they escaped that way!" answered another voice. "Let's get out of here and head to the next house! There's no food in this one and I'm hungry!" There was another nearly inaudible grumble then footsteps to the front door, then the door closed.
Jarin let out a soft breath and looked at Arden who was still surprised that he had fallen asleep. "Come boys, it's time to go," Arden said as he rose to his feet. They've passed us by and we must away at once!" he moved towards the door leading to the passageway he mentioned before to the boys and swung it open. He began walking forward into the darkness and Jarin and Joshia marveled that they could still easily see him. It was like stars were moving all around his body.
"Can you see that?" Joshia whispered to Jarin.
"Yeah can you?" Jarin answered back.
"Hehe duhh.. why else would I ask?!" Joshia giggled teasing Jarin for his reply. The boys giggled softly then saw the same thing on each other faintly. The same twinkling shimmering glow that was in Arden. "Whoa now wait what is that Jarin?"
"I don't know Joshia! I don't know!" Jarin whispered back.
They walked in silence following Arden through the pitch black for a few more minutes before they reached the end of the tunnel. It ended with another door and there was noise coming from the other side. It should have been quiet by now but Arden could wait no longer. He kicked the door (since it was locked from the other side) knocking it clean of it's hinges. Arden leapt forward hacking an Ithilian from his horse and pulled another Ithilian rider from another horse. He then jumped onto one and lifted Jarin easily onto the horse behind him and lifted Joshia onto the other horse next to him. "Hold on tight boys, it looks like we won't have to run much after all!"
Jarin wrapped his arms around Arden clasping his hands around his waist and pressing the side of his face into Arden's strong back. he could feel the muscles moving in Arden's back and the closeness was beginning to excited him. Joshia was holding onto his horses neck while Arden held the reins leading them quickly through the city avoiding the fray wherever possible, and occasionally sticking a foot out to knock an Ithilian to the ground. As they reached the rivers' edge, an arrow struck Arden in his shoulder and he tumbled off his horse. He hit the ground and landed on his feet turning quickly to help Jarin and Joshia down from their horses with his good arm. He then turned in the direction of where the arrow had come and saw a single Ithilian bowman standing across the river. He was putting another arrow on his bow and began to take aim. Arden grabbed a dagger from a fallen soldier on the ground beside him and let it fly towards the bowman. The dagger sliced through his bow and landed in the bowman's shoulder in the same place the arrow had landed in Arden's shoulder. "When next we meet you will pay with your LIFE!" Arden bellowed and he jumped into the river.
Jarin and Joshia followed him and were soon near the city's edge where they would swim beneath the wall. They stood on the river bank for a moment taking one last look at the city. The sky was now growing dark, but the three of them could see the red hue of where the city was burning. The shrieks and wails of the fighting could still be heard and Jarin and Joshia both began to cry for their city, their people, their family, and most of all themselves for being placed in their circumstances. Arden knelt and opened his arms to them and they shared the comfort of each other's arms for a moment. Most men would be laughed at for this type of display, but Arden made his own rules and no man who was a sane man would laugh at him. "We have to go now boys.. we will wade out into the river as far as we can, then swim near the middle. The current gets stronger the closer we get to the wall since the river narrows there so we will have to hold tight to one another so we don't lose each other.."
"I can't hold my breath long enough to get under the wall!" Jarin said worried about the distance and the darkness of the water.
Arden said some strange words in a tongue unknown to the boys. "Now you will both be safe from drowning." he said calmly. He hadn't done a thing since doing a real spell would take too long but it eased Jarin's mind. With that they moved out into the water and were taken by the current. Arden swam with powerful strokes while Jarin and Joshia held onto his cloak. They were headed toward the wall at a speedy pace now and Arden turned his head slightly to say "DEEP BREATH" and they dove below the surface as they reached the wall. Once they were under it they could see where it ended and they were being pulled rapidly towards it's edge. Arden began swimming again pulling them towards it even faster, and after only a few seconds they reached the outside of the city. The three of them made it over to the riverbank and crawled out of the river.
"cough.. Okay Arden.. where are we going?" Jarin asked
"Have you ever heard of the land of Cragen or the Great Mountain?"
"Nope.." Jarin and Joshia answered in unison.
"Well that is where we are going, but we will talk of it later when we are further away from the city." Arden said as he stood. He pulled the arrow from his shoulder and tossed it to the ground, then took a jar from a pouch in his pack and spread some of the paste in it around his wound. The bleeding stopped almost as fast as the arrow had sunk into his flesh. "Come on.. we have a long way to go. Don't look back, only forward and soon your eyes will rest on your city once again when we are returning." The boys did as they were told and followed him into the forest.