Sword of Aendil
By Jason Finigan

This story is completely fictional. Any similarities to any persons or events, past or present are purely coincidental. This story may contain scenes which involve sexual situations. If this type of material is offensive to you, or it is not legal for you to be reading this type of material, please do not read any further. This story is copyright © 2007 by Jason. Please do not copy this story for distribution or post on any online server without the author's permission. Please send all your comments to: jasonfinigan@yahoo.com You can also visit my site at: www.jasonfinigan.net. Thanks and enjoy the story.

Chapter 1

By the Gods, all I want is to get home and lie down in my bed. I can't believe another summer has gone by, and for the whole of it, I've spent working for my father, tending the fields and selling his crops in the market at Icelea. Don't get me wrong, I love my father, but I really don't like farming. Every year since I was fourteen I have made this trek, pulling my father's wagon to the market, and at the end of the day, returning home after selling as much of the crops as I could. By the time I came home, I was worn, and tired. The only thing I wanted when I returned, was to lay down in my soft bed and go to sleep,

My name is Taey Elanessë. I was born sixteen summers ago in the small farming village called Fallhaven, which is located near the western shores of the Kingdom of Aendil, and is only a few hours by horse, East of Icelea Point. My father's name is Durrae, and my mother's is Lienka. I'm not much to look at, at least in my opinion. I have long brown hair, which hangs just above my shoulders, and I have blue eyes. When it comes to my height, I'm not very remarkable, standing only five foot eleven, though I do have a slender build which makes me seem somewhat taller. Working the fields has built up some of my muscles, so I am not exactly skinny, though I have nowhere near the muscles that the town blacksmith has.

For the most part, I guess you could say that I resemble most of the other kids in town, though most of them are a lot younger than me. It does make growing up in town very boring. Besides that, my father is always keeping me busy in the fields, harvesting the crops, and running to the market where we sell them. Only late in the evening do I really have time to myself, spending countless hours sitting at the base of the tree behind our home, just looking up and wishing on the many stars for something better.

What made all the work I do even somewhat bearable for me is my best friend, Weiss Áedh. Since the first day I met him two summers ago, we've been practically inseparable. Even on those days when I have to go to the market. In a way, he's become a part of the family. Without him, I would mostly be bored out of my mind and wouldn't have been able to sell sell as many of the crops as I did.

I can still remember the first day I met him two summers ago. I was fourteen at the time and my father had harvested a rather large crop which we loaded into the wagon. Since we had no horse, I had to pull it all the way to Icelea myself. The road to Icelea, which was the main town located on the edge of Icelea Point, was well known to me, having traveled it with my father for many years before my fourteenth birthday.

Alone for the first time, I set forth that day, pulling the wagon behind me. At first the going was easy, with most of the road running on an even terrain, but as I approached the woods that separated Fallhaven from Icelea, I had to travel uphill. The road that earlier had been so easy, now exhausted me, making me work harder than I'd ever worked before. I was much relieved the moment I entered the forest, into the shade and out of the blazing sun which had already turned the air hot and sticky. I was thankful the ground had once again become even, allowing me to pull the wagon at a steady pace, though I was still exhausted.

By the time I had left the forest, found that I could go no further. Collapsing to the ground, I rested under the shade of the wagon, trying to catch my breath. It was then that another shadow cast over me. Looking up, I saw a boy about my age staring down at me.

"You look like you could use a hand," the boy said.

"No. I am alright," I told him. "I am just resting for a while."

"You have come from Fallhaven, haven't you?" he asked me.

"Yes, from my father's farm, down in the valley," I replied.

"That is a long way to come, alone. My name is Weiss, and if you don't mind the company, I would like to join you."

"Mine is Taey. I thank you for the offer, however I am on my way to Icelea to sell my father's crops. It is the first time I have done it on my own since turning fourteen," I said, attempting to get back up onto my feet.

"You are in luck then," he said, reaching out with his hand to grab mine, and he helped me up. "I am on my way to Icelea myself. I live there with my mother."

Dusting myself off, I got my first good look at Weiss. He was as I mentioned, about my age, though that is where the similarities ended. His hair was a golden blond, cut short, and it seemed to glow in the sun. His eyes were a dark brown colour, which made them look larger than they already were. His face was lean, as was the rest of him. He didn't have the muscles that I had developed, working on my father's farm, though I had no doubt that he was quite fit. In height, he stood a few inches taller than me, but despite his size, his face was soft and pleasant to look at. I could see a gentleness about him that I would not have expected from someone his size. He was such that I couldn't help but trust him, despite the fact I had never seen him before.

"Shall we travel together?" he asked me, looking at me with those large penetrating eyes, and finding myself being drawn to them. "It would make getting there a lot quicker for you, and much easier," he pointed out.

"Thank you, Weiss. This is my first time alone, and I wanted to prove to my father that I can do this."

"And so you will be," he laughed. "I'll just be with you while you travel."

"I never thought of it that way," I said laughing with him. "I like how you think, Weiss."

"Why now, you keep complimenting me like that and I might just join you for the rest of your stay in Icelea," Weiss said, smiling at me. I don't know what it was about him that made me feel so comfortable, but the more we talked, the more I found myself liking him.

"I think I would like that Weiss. There is no one in Fallhaven my age that I can be with, so it gets very boring sometimes. That is, when my father isn't making me work my fingers to the bone in the fields."

"Well everyone needs a friend, and I am beginning to like you, Taey. I would be happy to consider you mine."

"Friends it is then," I said, smiling at him.

"There is a condition to our friendship however," he said, looking serious.

"And what would that be?"

"You have to let me help you pull this wagon into Icelea," he said, pausing for a few seconds to look at my reaction, and then burst out laughing.

"Very funny! Fine, it is your muscles to punish as you see fit. Don't say I didn't warn you," I told him.

"Yeah, yeah. You just pick up that handle and I'll grab the other." And grab the wagon he did, waiting for me to grab the other, which I did. Together we pulled that wagon all the way to Icelea, and I found the time passed much quicker than when it was my father and me.

Along the way he told me all about himself, how his mother had raised him alone since he was six years old after his father had left and never returned. She was a tutor, teaching the children of Icelea the arts, and language, and history. I learned that he was fifteen years old at that time, and had already learned much under his mother's teachings. I was impressed with his knowledge and hoped one day to learn as much as he had. As it turned out, his mother did take me on on those days that I was able to visit, teaching me all she could in the short time I was there.

Weiss was a restless person, never able to stay in one place for a long period of time. It might have been because there had not been anyone or anything to focus himself on. He told me that I was the first person besides his mother that he really enjoyed being around. In that short time, we learned a lot about each other, and as a result, we became very good friends.

Our friendship during these past two years has continued to get stronger. Like he has every year since out first meeting, Weiss was once again traveling with me, as we made our way back to Fallhaven, although right at that moment, I wished I was alone. Not because I didn't enjoy his company, which I did, very much, but rather because as I often do, I did something that embarrassed me to no end, and right in front of him.

"Taey you are the clumsiest person I know," Weiss said laughing, looking down at me as I lay sprawled out on the ground. I had just tripped over a rock embedded in the road.

"Shut up Weiss," I said, getting back on my feet. Brushing myself off, I looked over at my best friend.

"Come on Taey. Let's get back to your place. You know, your parents are going to kill us for being out this late."

"Hey, it was your idea to sneak into the Black Dragon," I pointed out.

"True, but it was worth it. Did you see the look on old Dael's face when that chair collapsed under the Governor?" Weill laughed.

"See it?! Are you kidding? If you hadn't stopped me before I burst out laughing, I think we would have been peeling potatoes in the inn all night long," I said, laughing almost hysterically now.

"Yes, but it would have been worth it, it was so funny. How Neka could ever have become Governor is beyond me. I never thought a person could get as fat as that old crone."

"Tell me about it. But you know what I thought was best? How Dael was practically bowing before her and apologizing."

"Yes," Weiss said, still laughing. "Those two were made for each other!" That comment caused the both of us to laugh uncontrollably for several minutes before we were able to get ourselves under control.

"Hey, where did the money pouch go?" I asked, suddenly noticing the lack of weight around my waist where I had tied it on my belt.

"Right here," Weill said, holding up the bag.

"Oh good!" I said, breathing a sigh of relief. Taking back the money, I once again securely attached it to my belt. "If I had lost that I would be a dead man."

"Oh, I have no doubt about that, Taey. I know your father, and he would have torn strips out of you."

"Don't I know it," i groaned.

My father, as much as I loved him, could be your worst enemy if you got him angry. I had been on the receiving end of his anger many a time, which usually ended up with me having to work longer in the fields than I normally did. By the time I was done, I was too sore to eat the dinner my mother had prepared for me, and I ended up going right to bed.

On those nights I often heard my mother and father yelling at each other. Despite her love for and her loyalty to her husband, she laid into him something fierce if she felt he was being unfair to me. There were times that I didn't know who's anger was the more dangerous, but it was my mother who usually won, and my father would apologize to me the next morning. On those days, he did most of the work himself, though I still insisted on helping him as much as I could. I think he appreciated it, though he never said anything. A few times, I caught him smiling at me, as I worked. Not once did I let on that I saw him, but it made me feel good inside to know that my father really did appreciate all I did for him on the farm. I think my father knew that farming wasn't something I enjoyed, which probably made him appreciate all I did even more.

"Hey Taey!" Weiss called out from several yards ahead of him. "Are you coming, or are you just going to stand there daydreaming all night?"

Inwardly cursing myself for allowing my mind to wander, I apologized to Weiss and took a hold of the wagon's handles, pulling it along the road until I had caught up to him.

"Are you okay Taey? You seem to be doing a lot of daydreaming lately."

"Yeah, I'm okay Weiss," I said. "I just had a lot on my mind I guess."

"Uh huh. You know what I think it is. I think you're daydreaming about Etrea."

"What?" I said, my head suddenly jerking up to look at my best friend.

"You heard me. You've been thinking about Etrea haven't you?"

Of course I knew who he was talking about. Etrea was the daughter of Dael, the Inn Keeper back in Icelea. She was, by all accounts, the most beautiful woman in all of Icelea. Her father knew this all too well and ruthlessly challenged any suitor who attempted to woo his daughter. None of them even made it through the door, Dael finding faults with all of them. Some of them, I had to admit, were sleazy looking, and obviously were only interested in a more carnal relationship, preferably one in which they could have their way with her. But some, I thought, were rather well suited. They were polite and respectful, whether they were trying to win her affections or not. Some of them I judged to be fairly good looking, and obviously men whom she would find very attractive. Still, her father found some flaw in them, and refused to allow them anywhere near his daughter.

He was certain that she was very lonely despite serving customers at the Inn day in and day out. I felt for her, knowing that what she really wanted was someone special in her life. He could also tell that her patience with her father was wearing thin, it being only a matter of time before she left her father.

"No I was not thinking about Etrea," I said, rolling my eyes at Weiss.

"Why not? If I was you, I would be."

"Are you kidding? You think I want to have Dael watching my every move? Gross!" I said, scrunching up my face in disgust.

"Yeah, I see what you mean. But you have to admit she's definitely worth looking at," Weiss said smiling.

"Okay, yeah, I agree with you. She's pretty. But I still wouldn't want to date her," I admitted.

"Well, just so you know. I'm not interested in her either. Actually I've had my eye on someone else lately," Weiss said.

"Oh really? And you didn't tell me?" I asked, surprised. This was the first time Weiss admitted that he was interested in dating someone. I found it a little odd that he hadn't had someone before now, as I thought he was a very good looking guy and I even caught several woman at Icelea stealing a peek at him.

"Well, it's not something I really talk about, not even with you, Taey."

"What do you mean?" I asked, now curious as to what it was that Weiss was keeping from me.

"Not right now, Taey. I'm not ready yet. Trust me, I'll let you know soon."

"Alright Weiss. You can tell me when you're ready," I said.

"Thanks Taey. You're the best friend I've ever had."

By this time the two of us had reached the edge of the forest. The sun had long since fallen, and the stars and moon were now lighting the road behind us. Standing before the opening in the forest, I felt a chill run down my spine. Darkness spread out before us, cloaking the forest in a black mask which my eyes were unable to penetrate.

"Weiss, I think we should have left a little sooner than we did," I said, feeling uneasy.

"You're not afraid of a little darkness are you Taey?" Weiss asked, smiling wickedly at me.

"Normally no, but something doesn't feel right. I've traveled these woods most of my life, even at night, and I've never felt what I feel now," I told him. Suddenly I saw some movement in the forest, a shadow deep in the woods that was seemingly heading straight for us. The air around me became suddenly frigid, my breath easily visible in the moonlight. A sense of dread filled my very being, and I began to shake in fear, and unable to move.

Whatever it was was almost upon us. Gathering up all the courage I could muster, I forced myself to move, pushing Weiss over to the side of the road and into some bushes. We lay on the ground, and I hoped that the bushes would be enough to hide us from whatever it was that was heading our way.

"Ooof!" Weiss protested, "Hey what..." he started, but I placed my hand over Weiss's mouth, cutting him off in mid-sentence.

"Be quiet," I whispered harshly to him. I lay there beside Weiss, the two of us looking out from behind the bushes.

"I don't see anything," Weiss said, beginning to get up.

"Stay down!" I whispered, pulling Weiss back to the ground.

Suddenly, a black shape launched out of the forest, and began to ascend into the sky, then turned to circle the wagon we abandoned in the road. It's shape was almost indescribable. To me, it looked half like a dragon from the stories the elders in Fallhaven told, but at the same time, it also reminded me of a great bird, like those that lived along the rocky cliffs which loomed over the western shores of Aendil. The only thing about it that I knew for certain was that it was black; pitch black. Not even the light from the moon made it easier to see. It was as if it absorbed all light into itself, feeding on it. The only way I was able to tell it was there was as it passed by something, obscuring my view.

I could not fathom why this creature filled me with so much dread, and yet it did. Looking up, I could see it circling the sky above us, as if searching for something, or someone. There was no way for me to know what it was that it was looking for, but I knew that I didn't want to find out either.

Seemingly in frustration, the creature let out a high pitched scream, a scream like no other I had heard before. The sound assaulted my ears, and I tried desperately to block out the sound with my hands, holding them against my ears. But to no avail. The sound permeated my entire being, and it was all I could do to not cry out. I could feel blood beginning to flow out of my ears, the pain almost unbearable as I lay on the ground, writhing behind the bushes, trying to escape from the scream.

Then suddenly it was gone. An eerie silence filled the night air, the black creature rising steadily into the air, turning away and flying off to the North. I didn't care where it was going, so long as it was away from us. Looking over at Weiss, I could see a look of sheer terror on his face, and I could only imagine that the same look was mirrored on mine as well.

Blood was leaking from both his ears. Grabbing a cloth from my traveling pack which was laying beside me, I began to wipe away the blood, which appeared to have stopped flowing.

"What was that thing?" Weiss asked, finally able to find his voice, even though it sounded hoarse.

"I don't know," I replied, wiping away the rest of the blood from his ears.

"I have never heard such a thing, or seen anything like that," he said.

"No one has, I'm betting," I said, sitting back down on my rear.

"You're hurt," he said, noticing the blood I felt coming out of my ears.

"I'm okay," I told him.

"Here, let me," he said, grabbing the cloth I had discarded and began to wipe away the blood that had begun to run down the side of my neck. "There's not much, and it seems to have stopped."

"Thanks Weiss," I said, after he had finished wiping away the last of the blood.

"We need to get to your home and tell your father," Weiss said.

"And tell him what?" I asked him incredulously. "He'd think we were mad. It's bad enough that we're late as it is, but to come home telling him about some black creature flying at us from the woods would sound more like a wild tale to excuse why we're so late. No, I'm not going to tell him about this."

"I guess you're right, but we need to tell him something," Weiss said.

"I know. That's the problem. I don't know what."

"We'd better get moving at any rate," Weiss said.

"Yes, and this time, let's pull the wagon together, it'll take us less time to get home."

"Right," Weiss said, grabbing a hold of the wagon as did I. Together we started to make our way into the forest. We moved cautiously at first, but soon began to quicken our pace as we became more confident that whatever it was wasn't going to return. The feeling of dread I had before was gone, the forest feeling to me a it always did the many times I passed through it. It was much quieter this time however, which almost made it seem dead. Only the odd sound from insects helped reassure me that things were alright.

Leaving the forest was the biggest relief I felt that night. I could tell that Weiss wasn't too comfortable in the forest either, but now that we were out, he looked far more relaxed than he was earlier.

There were still so many questions in my mind however. What was that thing? What was it looking for? Where did it go? Over and over I asked them in my head, failing to find an answer to any of them. The more I asked, and tried to answer them, the more questions I began to come up with. The rest of the way home was spent in silence. Weiss and I making our way swiftly down the road, leading to my father's farm in Fallhaven.

I could see that there were lights on in my home, telling me that my mother and father were still up, probably worried about me. It was my father I was concerned about. After seeing me return safe and sound, I was betting that he would then become angry, demanding to know what caused us to be so late, and make them worry so much. I was soon to find out how right I was.

Together, Weiss and I put the wagon in the barn behind the house where it belonged. We did so quietly, not wanting to have my mother and father running out of the house to meet us. The night air had cooled considerably, and I couldn't wait to get inside where I knew it would be warm.

The nights in Aendil were always cool, especially during the winter months where we saw on average about four feet of snow on the ground, blown about by the wind and half covering the house and barn during some of the worst storms. We were used to it, spending the majority of our time in the spacious living room, talking and enjoying a warm drink. Although it was summer, the air seemed cooler to me than it usually did. The wind had picked up, and in the sky I saw dark billowing clouds rolling in from the North. A storm was coming I knew, as did Weiss who was looking up into the sky also.

"Let's get inside Weiss," I told him, having to raise my voice to be heard over the wind which was gaining strength. He nodded his head at me, then entered with me when I opened the back door. I closed the door behind us and turned around to see both my parents standing there, concern etched onto their faces.

"Where have you been?" my mother said, rushing for me, and grabbing me into one of her hugs. "We've been so worried about you."

"We're fine mom," I told her, hugging her back before pushing away from her.

"I'm glad you're home son," my father said, standing behind my mother and looking into my face. "Would you mind telling me just where you've been these last few hours? You should have been home long before dark," my father said angrily.

"I know Dad, and I'm sorry. We stopped off at the Inn before coming home. I did manage to sell all our crops though," I told him, untying the money pouch from my belt and throwing it to him. He caught it deftly in his hand and tested the weight of the coins in the bag.

"And how much of this did you spend?" my father demanded to know.

"None Dad. We didn't order anything at the Inn, but..."

"But?" my father asked, noticing my hesitation.

"Well, we kinda played a joke on someone," I said. Weiss was behind me snickering to himself, though I could hear it, and I'm pretty sure my mother caught it as well. My father on the other hand was staring intently at me, as if dreading what I was going to tell him.

"Just what did you do this time, Taey?"

"Well, when no one was looking, we snuck into the Inn and cut most of one leg of a chair off at one of the tables, then we went outside where we could see inside."

"And just who was it that sat in that chair Taey?" my father asked me.

"Well, it was Neka," I told him. I was scared stiff after telling him that, but Weiss was behind me laughing his head off, and in the corner of my eye, I could see my mother's hand raise to her mouth as she tried to hide a smile. My father just started at me, his expression almost blank, but slowly I saw it change.

I thought for sure I was going to get in a whole lot of trouble for this. "I swear Dad, I didn't think the Governor would be the one to come in and sit down on that chair!" I pleaded with him.

My father's reaction was not one I had expected though. Instead of roaring out in anger, he burst out in laughter, almost falling over and having to sit down at the kitchen table behind him. My mother couldn't help herself, and suddenly began to laugh as well, leaning up against the counter top to steady herself. Weiss was still laughing, but had ended up on the floor and was gripping his stomach. I could see tears begin to fall from his eyes he was laughing so hard.

I was filled with relief when I realized that instead of getting angry, my father was laughing harder than I've ever seen before. All the tension left me then, and began to join them, laughing as hard as everyone else.

"By the Gods Son! I would have loved to have been there! To see Neka fall flat on her ass like that! Oh that had to be priceless!" my father said, trying to catch his breath.

"Dad, it was nothing compared to seeing Dael practically bowing before her, trying to apologize for what happened," I said, wiping away some of the tears that had started leaking from my eyes.

"Tell me no one saw you," my father said.

"No, but he almost gave us away if I hadn't stopped him," Weiss said.

"Then thank you for that Weiss. But damn, I still would have wanted to have been there," my father said.

"Maybe next time you can," Weiss suggested.

"Oh no. No next time. I don't want you two getting into any trouble. We depend on the market for our livelihood, and getting the Governor of Icelea upset with us won't make that easy. But thanks anyways boys. I haven't laughed that hard in ages!" my father said, finally able to bring his laughter under control.

"All right you boys, sit your butts down at the table and I'll get you some stew," my mother said.

At the mention of food, Weiss and I were at the table in record time.

"I think they were hungry Lienka," my father laughed.

"I wouldn't have guessed Durrae," my mother said, seeing us watching her.

"You might as well add one more serving," my father said.

"What do you mean?" my mother asked.

"I'm in the mood for some more."

"You just ate!" my mother exclaimed.

"It's not my fault all that laughter made me hungry," my father said.

"Makes me wish I had a daughter. I'm feeling a little outnumbered here," my mother complained.

"What are you talking about? You know perfectly well that you get plenty of time teasing me and Taey when Eiv comes over to visit," my father pointed out.

"Yes, I know. But I still would have liked a daughter to raise."

"It's not too late to try again dear," my father said suggestively to my mother.

"Hey, excuse me, kids in the room," Weiss said, effecting the perfect disgusted look on his face.

"Yeah, ew!" I exclaimed. This of course prompted my mother and father to begin laughing again.

"Later dear," my father said, giving my mother a kiss on her cheek.

"I look forward to it," my mother said.

"Oh God, I'm going to be sick!" I said sarcastically, clutching at my stomach,

"You behave Taey, or you'll go to bed without any food," my mother scolded me, waving the spoon she had in her hand in my direction. The threat of going to bed without food was enough to make even the most ardent practical joker stop what they were doing. When my mother made her famous stew, you could almost smell it throughout the entire town, though I knew that to be impossible.

My mother grabbed a bowl from the shelf beside the fire pit then scooped out some of the stew from the pot it was in with her spoon, filling the bowl. She sat the bowl in front of Weiss and then got another bowl, scooping out some more stew from the pot and filled up the second bowl. This one was placed in front of me. Both Weiss and I waited until my father had his bowl of stew in front of him before picking up our spoons and beginning to eat.

I noticed that my mother wasn't grabbing a bowl for herself. "Mom, aren't you having any?" I asked her.

"No Taey. I've had some already. I'm full."

"Oh, Okay," I said, and continued to eat my stew.

We were almost finished eating when all of a sudden there was a loud banging on the front door. At first I thought it might have been something crashing into the door from the storm outside knocking it over, but it sounded too regular.

"Who in the name of the Gods can that be?" my father demanded to know, getting up from the table and walking over to the front door. When he reached it, we all felt the cold wind rush into the house, almost blowing out the numerous candles.

The door was flung open before he could turn the nob, and we all gasped out in shock, for standing in the doorway, cloaked all in black, the hood drawn up and over the head, stood the tallest person any of us had ever seen. Whoever it was appeared to scan the room, and then took a giant step into the house. My father, still in shock, could do nothing but watch as this figure entered his home without permission.

The figure almost seemed to glide over to the table where we were sitting. Making no sound whatsoever, the figure looked us over one by one.

"Who are you? What is the meaning of this intrusion?" my father demanded, finally able to find his voice and standing behind the figure.

The cloaked figure at first made no move, but then I could see it reach up to its hood and slowly pull it back, revealing the face of a man. But not just any man, for the person standing before us was in fact an elf. To me the elf looked like a warrior, but his clothing suggested otherwise. I had never seen and elf before, and yet here was one now, standing in my father's home, and starting at me, as if I was the only thing of importance in the room.

In a booming voice the figure said, "I am Dínendal Cúthalion, and I have come for Taey Elanessë."

Editor's Notes:
Oh my goodness. I see we have another situation where one of our fresh new authors has been corrupted by the evil influence of our beloved Str8mayb. What ever shall we do? Seriously, This is a great beginning to what I am sure will be a wonderful story.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher

This story is the first chapter of a new series, and my first attempt at writing a fantasy tale. If you would like to see more, please email me at: jasonfinigan@yahoo.com You can also visit my site at: www.jasonfinigan.net