© 1999 Eric Case, all rights reserved Please
don't post this story on any other sites without my permission. Just email
me and ask and chances are pretty good that I'll say yes!
There are some things in the story that may not be explained all that
well and may leave the audience with questions. If you have the patience
to wait till I release the first three episodes, I think most or all of
your questions would be answered by it then, but if it's something that
can't wait, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and
I will respond ASAP with answers to questions, or just to explain things
that aren't too clear.
All chapters as well as glossary's, info on characters, and background information on the story are available at my website The BookCASE - http://members.tripod.com/TheBookCASE/Index.htm
Verdan held Arden tightly as Arden's deep voice finished off his story. "No wonder you find it hard to do that kinda stuff Arden. I'm sorry..." he said looking up at Arden who was now laying on his back. Verdan was laying to the right of Arden with his own right arm wrapped snuggly around Arden's firm waist. Verdan rested his head back down on Arden's chest and began gently rubbing Arden's stomach as Arden rubbed his back in small circular motions. "We don't have to do anything if you don't want. It's okay and I understand now," Verdan said softly. He loved Arden more than he ever thought possible right then. Arden had shared something with him. Something that was hard for Arden to talk about and he had told Verdan all about it to show him why he felt the way he felt.
Arden smiled and kissed the top of Verdan's head tenderly. "I love you," he said quietly.
Verdan looked up at Arden and rolled on top of him laying with a leg on each side of Arden's strong body. He pressed his lips to Arden's gently. This time the jolt of energy was much less intense, and much more controlled. Verdan was relaxing his energies which was difficult being a twelve year old with surging hormones, but he was capable of controlling himself. He pulled away for a moment then looked at Arden smiling. "Is that better? More your speed?" He giggled.
"More my speed?" Arden asked laughing. "I know you've got a stronger sheen than most, but you're not that strong."
"Oh yeah?" Verdan asked. He pressed his lips back to Arden's focusing his magical energy into a powerful serge into Arden.
Arden jumped slightly and Verdan pulled back smiling. "Is that the best you've got Verdan?" Arden asked tickling the boy playfully. "Here," Arden said pressing his lips to the boys. He started sending his energy into the boy slowly, then rapidly increased his energy flowing into the boy. Verdan gasped out loud and moaned as every sexual nerve in his body lit up, sending his brain into overdrive for a moment. Then Arden pulled back leaving the boy moaning and squirming on top of him. "How was that?" He asked smiling at the boy.
"Wow! Ohh wow Arden!" Verdan said breathlessly. "That was the most amazing thing I've ever felt!" Verdan pressed his lips to Arden's again and tried to do the same thing back to Arden, while Arden began doing the same thing back to him. Soon the intensity of their embrace was too much for both of them and they backed off. Verdan was panting like he'd just run a marathon. "... maybe we ... should slow down .... a bit," he said between gasps.
"And you wanted to actually have sex," Arden joked. "But you're right Verdan. Love making should be more relaxed than that or we could end up killing ourselves. Magic is a powerful tool when you've learned how to focus it as well as you have. In certain situations it's best not to focus it on what you're doing or you can hurt yourself or someone else. We're both already lighting the room up from that little bit we just did," Arden laughed.
"So do you think you wanna do any more then?" Verdan asked. He was hornier now than he could remember ever being as he played with another one of the straps to Arden's vest.
Arden held the hand Verdan was using to undo the middle strap to his vest. "Verdan, you're sure this is what you want?"
"Yes Arden. More than anything!" Verdan answered. He kissed the man's big stong neck. "I love you Arden, and I want us to do this together." Verdan undid the straps to Arden's vest and Arden pulled it off. Verdan could see the silver mail lining inside the leather vest and understood why Arden wore it. "Cool is that elven silver?" He asked as his twelve year old brain was sidetracked.
"Yes that's mithril silver.. stronger than any other metal." Arden said proudly. The vest had been a gift given to him by the king of Noch Forjhen, a dwarf stronghold. It was a silver vest of chain mail covered with a leather. Verdan admired the silver lining for a moment longer then tossed it aside on the floor turning his attention to the broad chest that had been covered with the vest. Arden's defined pecks seemed to bulge and grow as the boy looked at them. Arden didn't have a huge build, but his definition made him look much larger.
"You're so big.." the boy commented rubbing his hands over Arden's smooth chest. Verdan undid his tunic pulling it out of his pants and sliding it down his shoulders. Verdan had lifted many heavy loads, and this showed in his build. He was much larger than any other boy Arden had seen, displaying a full fledged six-pack. Arden was still unsure of himself as the boy looked at him seductively. "Relax Arden, I'll take good care of you! There's nothing wrong with love," he said as he leaned forward to kiss Arden lightly again. The kiss was so gentle and loving that Arden finally let go and relaxed into the feelings his body, and this boy, were giving him.
A loud bell began ringing, piercing through the quiet of the night. Verdan jumped suddenly alarmed and Arden sat up abruptly. "Looks like this will have to wait Verdan," he said softly looking at the boy. "That's the call to arms, the city's being attacked."
Verdan got up and put his tunic back on while Arden fastened his vest back on. They shared one last tender moment, kissing one another gently, then Arden grabbed his cloak along with Kyaszar, his sword, and headed out the door to the room next to there's. Arden knocked once and opened the door. Jarin and Joshia were scrambling to get their clothes on. "Arden what is it?!" Jarin shouted over the loudly ringing bell.
"The city is being attacked. I don't know who, or what by, but we've gotta get ready to leave." Arden said. His voice carried to their ears easily over the panging bell.
Darius, and Darien came out of their room slowly with their swords drawn. Arden smiled to them and said to relax for now, since no one would get past the inn keeper. Once Jarin and Joshia were ready, they headed down the hallway then stopped before they reached the bar. Arden stood looking at the wall, and a statue of some great man of old, then reached out and yanked the statue's right arm downwards. The wall behind him suddenly slid open to reveal a dark passageway. Arden motioned the others in the group into the dark passageway and sealed the wall back behind them. Then he took up his position in the lead and took them down a half flight of stairs and then along a dimly lit section where light was streaming in through a few holes cut in the wall.
Arden stepped in front of one and peered through it into the bar room of the in as a Dahk Toufa, or "Dark Warrior", entered the bar kicking it's door open. The creature who had once been a man stood at nearly six feet and was clothed all in black armor. His armor was alive like an insect's shell, and not like any metal wrought by elf or man. Only the best swords could break through the armor with a swing. It walked to the bar as four more of it's kind burst into the room from the growing noise that was outside. "Where is the foreigner?" a chilling voice croaked from inside it's black helmet.
"There are plenty of foreigners in Gracien sir.." the bartender said stoutheartedly looking the creature in the eyes that could be seen through the face mask of it's helmet.
"You know the one we speak of," a second creature spoke up stepping forward.
"The one they call Arden. Where is he?" the first creature asked holding it's blade to the inn keeper's throat.
Arden turned ahead and began walking down the passageway again until they came to what looked like a dead end. Arden reached a hand out and pushed the wall as it swung open revealing the stables. An old man stood in the stable holding the reigns to their four horses. "It's been a long time Arden," the man said quietly. Arden smiled to the man. "They say there's no rest for the wicked, but I don't understand what goes wrong in your case."
"How have you been old friend?" Arden asked as he walked up to the elderly man and lifted him into his arms. "I've missed your smiling face," he said.
"As I have yours. The horses are ready to ride, and the supplies you wanted are loaded into their saddle-packs." The man said as Arden set him down lightly as if he were a porcelain doll. The others simply looked on as Arden motioned them onto their mounts. Arden helped Jarin and Joshia onto their horse, and lifted Verdan into Alkhor's saddle but remained himself on foot holding Alkhor's reigns. He pulled the horses face to his own and looked the mighty beast in the eyes.
"You know what to do Alkhor. Protect him, and lead them to the safe place if something happens to me," Arden said. The horse snorted and stomped his right hoof tossing it's head up and down. "Thanks again," Arden said looking back to the man who was headed to a door leaving the stables.
"Don't worry about it Arden. Remember if you ever need me I am here for you," and with that he left through the door.
Arden held Alkhor's reigns as he took the mighty steed over to the stable door that was hidden from the outside. "When I open this door, all of you ride out the main gate and wait for me on the eastern side of the city. I'll be along shortly after. If one attacks, cut it's head off or attack at it's joints. I'll give you all your new swords later, but for now those will have to do. Remember attack where the plates join!" Arden shouted and he threw open the door while swinging outward violently with his sword which was now drawn, singing, and ready for battle.
Alkhor burst through the door and out into the night air which was no filled with the cries of battle. The people of Gracien didn't have a chance at winning as the evil army swept into the city. They looked almost like an army of ants or locusts.. insects of some type at any rate, and they caused destruction wherever they went. They had slipped silently across the fields in the growing darkness of the late afternoon when the sun disappeared behind the foothills. Then having reached the city, several had climbed the walls using the clawed hands of their armor and opened the main gates for the rest of their army of only 300 troopers to ransack the city in search of Arden and his band.
Arden watched the four horses and their riders speed off through the city. Arden then turned back to the site of the troopers storming the city. He held his sword strong as a group of them gathered around him. Focusing, Arden began hacking wide arcs against the troopers. His sword was a sharp enough blade that he could easily cleave heads and arms from torsos, and the sword was strong enough that Arden could severely dent the armor to the point where it would crack, or at least cause it's bearer enough pain that Arden didn't need to worry about them anymore.
He made his way through the city to the eastern wall where a large group of townsfolk had assembled. Arden stood with them and together they brought down most of the enemy. The Gracien "army" was 400 men strong, and with Arden accounting for nearly 45 dead or incapacitated enemy, the battle didn't last long. The townsfolk were beginning to relax when the second wave of far more troops than good be counted poured into the city from it's western gate as well as over the wall.
Arden turned to the leader of the townspeople, his face showing the deep sadness he felt at that moment. "Surrender to them," Arden said horsely.
"What??" Markhal asked in disbelief.
"Look, they're here for me. Not for the town. Surrender and with any luck they'll just move on. If you fight the whole city will be destroyed." Arden said watching all hope fade from the man's eyes.
"Then there's no other way.."
Arden turned and to leave, then turned back and grabbed the man's hand. "I'll be back Markhal. I give you my word on it!" They locked hands and shook on it, and Arden dashed up the stairs to the battlements of the wall and looked over. There was a 40 foot drop on the other side and as he looked out further from the city he could see his companions waving to him. Arden glanced back one last time to the people of Gracien, placed both hands on the wall and jumped over. He dropped quickly and hit the ground rolling down the slight incline that the wall was built on. Arden leapt to his feet feeling slight pain in his legs from the landing, but he'd managed to absorb most of the impact with his sheen.
Alkhor galloped back to Arden and stood fast as Arden lifted his heavy frame up to sit behind Verdan. Verdan's face showed his fear, but as Arden wrapped his arms around him to hold the reins of the horse, he relaxed back against Arden's chest feeling protected. He sighed deeply enough that Jarin's ears picked it up and despite himself and their current situation, Jarin giggled out loud. "What's happening?" Darius asked in a hushed voice.
"Gracien is surrendering. The Dahk Toufas aren't after Gracien, they're after us.. We've gotta head up the mountain." Arden said as he nudged Alkhor towards the eastern slope. The others followed closely behind and the four horses made their way up higher into the mountains swiftly. Soon however, the rear horses were having trouble carrying their riders. Joshia jumped down from his horse and ran along beside it to lighten the load. Seeing this Arden knew they couldn't make the crest riding. He looked back down into the mountain valley and saw parts of the city were ablaze, then saw the riders. Dozens of dark riders headed up the slopes behind them. It was growing darker, and the riders were barely visible in the shadow cast by the foothills on the western side of the valley.
"Oh shit.." Darien said as his Elvin eyes picked up on what Arden was looking at. Arden called the group to a halt and too the leather case that was slung over Alkhor's back from it's straps and opened it up. Inside were five swords. Two were long and Arden handed them to Darius and Darien, as well as a short bow for the keen-eyed elf. The two midsize swords he handed to Jarin and Joshia who strapped the sheaths to their sides and stood shoulder to shoulder facing the enemy. The shortest sword that was more like a large dagger with it's hilt covered in strange chevron's made of rune stones. Then he told everyone to dismount he had a plan.
Arden turned to Alkhor once again. "The northeastern pass you can see ahead. Lead the horses through it. On the other side of the mountain there's a large plateau. Meet us there." The horse again made the same display it had in the stable and headed off towards the pass followed by the other horses. The other five members of Arden's party looked at him stunned for a moment. Arden then turned to Verdan. "Well you know how to focus your sheen well enough to release it, so do your thing. Jarin, Joshia, you two gave me some strength before, and if you could do the same thing now, I'd appreciate it." Arden said solemnly as he cast his gaze, and his arms up towards the clouded sky. Almost instantly there was a gust of wind as Arden began chanting verses in ancient Kayan. When Arden turned his eyes back down the mountain side towards their assailants, his eyes were glowing with a silver-blue flame. The veins of his forearms seamed to coarse with this same fire, and the entire group save Verdan stepped back with slight unease. They had never seen Arden fight without his sword, and they were in for quite a show. The first of the riders were closing to within 50 meters when Arden lashed out with his first bolt of light. Energy surged in coiling beams of light striking their riders and piercing their dark hides. Several simply dropped from their horses in fear, but were quickly beheaded by other riders as they came up from behind. The clouds swirled overhead. A sight like the one Jarin, Joshia, Darius, and Darien, beheld had not been seen since Rafiar's last stand nearly 5 years before.
Verdan joined in casting his own bolts of energy at the oncoming riders. All at once the others seemed to come out of their daze as Darien fitted an arrow to his bow and began firing his own kind of bolts at the riders. Jarin looked up again at the clouds swirling overhead and realized they weren't clouds, but were great eagles circling over the battle. He could see their massive wings flapping as he looked more closely. To Jarin everything seemed to be moving slowly and he couldn't make it speed back up again. He felt weak, tired, and only wanted to go back to his house in Islan and fall asleep in his own warm bed and wake up to Joshia's beautiful face across the room from him, or better yet, laying next to him in bed. More riders came up the mountainside followed by troopers who ran on foot. Arden drew his own sword now casting his cloak off and bellowing a loud cry of battle that seemed to shake the entire mountainside. As Arden broke forward into the first of the Riders cleaving him in half, the swirling eagles above plummeted towards the mountain and promptly began dismembering the riders, and troopers, while picking all six members of Arden's party up lightly.
Once the mountainside was cleared, the eagles swooped down into Gracien carrying Arden with them. Arden leapt from the great eagle carrying him and along with his flying companions began removing the troopers from their positions around the city. When there were only a few remaining, Arden called to the lead eagle he had flown on and jumped lightly onto it's back and was carried high into the air. Moments later he felt the sensation of the air whipping past him as he was flown through the air to the Kara Azure, the home of the great eagles, and the Petrüia.
his magic so rapidly and with such little preparation, Arden had drained
himself to the point of exhaustion. He had gone for days without sleep
and fought far too much and despite his best efforts against it, sleep
came for him.