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Paladin Saga

Discussion in 'Creativity Surge' started by Shura, Jun 8, 2002.

  1. Shura Gems: 25/31
    Latest gem: Moonbar


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    Ok, guys, Shura the swordsman will be taking a loooong break. Meanwhile, here's his stand-in.

    A hero shines through the darkness, his radiant form quelling the chaos. The weak seek sanctuary behind his shield and evil cowers before his blade.


    Mikealus Blek-Lance could barely lift his sword, so exhausted he was. His opponent, an unkempt raider clad in patchwork armor sensed his advantage and surged forward, whipping his mace furiously from side to side. The knight back-pedaled in an attempt to put some distance between him and the swinging mace. He was clipped on the shoulder despite his efforts and his sword-arm went numb. His battered and ill-fitting armor offered him little protection from the blow and he dropped his chipped sword that bore the Blek-Lance family crest into the muddy ground. Mikealus caught the backhand blow with a desperate parry using his left forearm and heard the audible ‘pop’ as his elbow dislodged itself from its socket. The raider snarled in triumph, revealing a mouth that was missing many teeth and kicked Mikealus hard in the midriff, doubling him over.

    “ Sir Knight!” The middle-aged widow he was protecting cried out in terror. Around her, three children clung to her skirts in absolute terror at the carnage that was going on around them. The raider raised his mace to deliver a crushing blow to the back of Mikealus’s head and the knight promptly punched him in the knee cap with his gauntleted right fist. He smiled grimly as he felt the bone shatter beneath his blow. The raider screamed in pain and fell to the ground, only to be met by an uppercut from the knight’s fist. He crumpled to the ground.

    “ Worry not, milady. Try…try to stay out of sight.” His concerned tone belied the agony he was in. Seeing this, the widow did her best to comply, dragging off her children to an empty house nearby. When they were out of sight, Mikealus gritted his teeth and wrenched his elbow back into place, stifling a gasp of pain. Around him, warriors ran amok, slaughtering any unfortunate villagers in their way and plundering their homes. He had to stop this madness. With a quick scoop, he retrieved his chipped sword and dashed off, flinging himself at a rider that had an old man pinned to the ground with his halberd and a struggling young woman in his arms.

    Mikealus hauled him from his saddle, dropping the three of them into an indiscernible tangle. The knight slugged the rider thrice, knocking him out cold and got to his feet, helping the terrified victim up as well. She looked upon him with a wild fear in her eyes. She had obviously lost a father.

    “ Hide somewhere, milady.” The knight told her weakly. He shared her remorse but this was hardly the time to be grieving. A low chuckle froze his words, though.

    “ Well, what’ve we ere’?” A fat, balding raider twirled his flail as he advanced upon Mikealus and the young woman. “ A bleedin’ hero wannabe!” His companions; two equally ill-groomed warriors sneered at the knight derisively. Mikealus raised his sword into a defensive posture.

    “ Get behind me.” He told the young woman. His opponents laughed hilariously at that. The knight glowered at them. “ Give up thy evil ways, brothers! I shall warn you only once!”

    “ Y’all ere that?” The fat raider asked his companions. They doubled over, overcome with their mirth. “ He’s only gonna warn us once!” A hard look came into his piggy eyes. “ Let’s kill’im and we can have some fun with the girl!” As one, the filthy trio stalked forward, murder in their eyes.

    The Blek-Lance sword trembled in the knight’s grasp. The rusty hilt was slick with blood and sweat and the chipped blade pulled awkwardly at his arm, unbalancing him. Mikealus was bleeding from a dozen wounds and had not slept in days. He would be not match for the raiders and he knew it.

    The first blow from the fat warrior’s flail almost tore his sword from his grasp. Mikealus caught the sword by its cross guard just as it was tangled amidst the chains and yanked with all his weight on it. The fat man was pulled off balance and Mikealus surged forward, burying the blade in his ample belly. He gave an anguished scream and collapsed upon the knight, pinning him to the ground. Mikealus struggled futilely as the remaining two raiders advanced upon him with furious expressions upon their ugly faces.

    “ Ye killed our big brother!” One of them bellowed. “ And now I’m gonna kill ye too!” He raised his spike club and Mikealus closed his eyes, expecting to feel the crushing impact of the cruel weapon. A crisp female voice caught his ear, however.

    “ I think not.” Confused grunts came from the two raiders and Mikealus opened his eyes. A dagger streaked through the air to punch into a chest and a stroke of lighting sent the other flying into a stack of hay. A booted foot rolled the body of the fat raider off of Mikealus and his savior looked upon the knight.

    “ Well? Can you stand?” A woman with fiery red hair stood before him, her strong arm outstretched. Mikealus nodded dumbly and accepted her help. He bowed deeply as soon as he got to his feet.

    “ My thanks, milady.” His eyes took in her studded leather jerkin, the slim sword buckled to her waist and a row of small pouches upon her belt. “ I am Mikealus Blek-Lance. And you are lady…?” The woman tackled the knight sending them sprawling as a crossbow bolt raked the air where they had been standing a moment ago. She twisted her body atop Mikealus and pointed a finger at the archer. A low chant and a snap of her fingers brought forth a fiery bolt that she flung towards her hapless victim. He had time for one low wail before the bolt tore through his chest, killing him instantly.

    “ Elle Delryin, battle-mage.” She said brusquely to the knight, pulling him to his feet a second time, no easy task, taking his battered armor into consideration. “ I can not allow this atrocity to continue. Should we stop it?”

    “ Yes!” Mikealus said heartily. A big group of raiders now approached them, bellowing coarse battle cries. New strength fueled his sword arm and he raised his weapon to readiness. “ Shall we go, milady?” Elle gave him a confident grin.

    “ Let’s go!” The two of them hurled themselves towards the raiders, cutting them down with flashing steel and sparkling magic.


    My days with Elle would remain one of my most cherished memories. Till now, her exultant laugh and wild toss of her hair haunt my thoughts of battles. She was the most fearsome warrior that I have ever known. What she lacked in sheer power, she made up for with ingenuity and wit. But then again, this story is not about her, is it not? It is the humble account of my life.

    My name is Mikealus Blek-Lance, paladin of the Blek-Lance family. Evil trembles when my name is mentioned but I am now a gray haired old man with children in the prime of their lives. No, my battle with evil may not be over, but I am content with holding the fort for now.
     
  2. C'Jakob Guest

    I like it. Very interesting. I've never read your Shura the swordsman work before; maybe I'll take a look at it.
     
  3. Namuras Gems: 13/31
    Latest gem: Ziose


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    Ahh, great. I'm sure Mikaelus will do nicely in Shura's absence. I'm looking forward to reading this.

    And C'Jakob, I warn you: don't start reading about Shura, or you won't be able to stop until you've gone through both The Legend of Shura and From Darkness to Light and back again! :grin:
     
  4. Shura Gems: 25/31
    Latest gem: Moonbar


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    I…I fear that man…I cannot look upon him, for the sight of him hurts my eyes. I hate him with an intensity that frightens myself…yet he has done me no wrong.

    No! I have always conquered fear with blood and death! Nothing shall stand in my way! Come then, paladin. Oppose me in my quest for vengeance and I shall cut you open, along with your shining mail!

    Shura, murderer of thousands

    “ By the gods, look at her drink!” A heavily bearded man whispered in awe. On the tavern floor, three burly men lay comatose, knocked out cold thanks to their overindulgence of ale. A red haired woman emptied her tankard and slammed it heartily down on the tavern counter. Her fourth drinking companion slithered to the floor, senseless. Roars of laughter burst forth from the rest of the crowd.

    Mikealus laughed heartily at the sight as he picked up the losers of the impromptu drinking competition and propped them comfortably against the wall. His whole body ached from the countless wounds he had received from the battle against the raiders but he felt content that he and Elle had managed to drive them off. The two of them had saved a fair number of folk from the depredations of that unsavory lot, though he regretted the fact that so many of them had to die. The young knight took great joy in the arts martial but he resented violence and loathed killing.

    “ Who’s next?” Elle yelled boisterously. Cheers arose from the crowd as yet another man built like a barrel stepped forward, a genial grin on his face. Before long, he too lay unconscious on the floor and the cheers only increased in intensity. Amidst the revelry, only Mikealus noticed the lithe, cloaked figure that slipped into the tavern. The newcomer moved to a shadowed corner of the establishment and stood there, regarding Elle. The knight frowned. This individual was taking an uncommon interest in his new companion.

    “ Sorry fellows, a lady has got to do what a lady has got to do…” Elle slurred as she staggered out of the door, towards the latrine. Mikealus noticed that the stranger slinked out of the tavern in pursuit of Elle.

    The battle-mage staggered out of the latrine and made her way unsteadily to the tavern. She stumbled and would have fell heavily had not a strong arm wrapped itself around her middle. Elle raised her head to regard the owner of that arm and found herself staring into the large, round eyes of an elf.

    “ Aalariel!” She cried in delight, and hugged the ranger mightily. The hapless elf was half-suffocated in the woman’s embrace and the fumes of alcohol about her.

    “ You are drunk, Elle!” The ranger chided. “ How many times have I told you not to overindulge?” She fended off Elle and pushed her back suddenly. “ No! I have had too many fine cloaks ruined by you!” The battle-mage bent forward and emptied the contents of her stomach on the ground.

    At length, Elle was able to speak again. Before she could ramble on, however, the ranger slipped her bow from her shoulder and readied an arrow, aiming her shot towards a spot shadowed by a copse of trees.

    “ You have been watching us for some time, human.” Aalariel’s voice was cold. Mikealus stepped forward sheepishly, his armor creaking and rattling with every step. He should have known better than to make an attempt at stealth.

    “ I meant no harm, milady. I just wanted to make sure that you bore Elle no ill will.” The knight explained. “ And now I am reassured.”

    “ It’s alright, Aalariel. Mikealus is a decent sort.” Elle glanced at the knight in his battered armor. “ A little too decent, I think. He won’t even drink!”

    “ Which is a lot more than I can say for you, girl.” Aalariel replaced her bow and arrow, Elle’s complaint flying right over her head. “ I hope she has not been too much of a burden, Mikealus.”

    “ Don’t call me girl, Aalariel! I’m over twenty now!” The battle-mage protested. In her intoxicated state, she stamped her booted feet childishly. Aalariel sighed and rolled her eyes in their sockets. Mikealus smiled and shook his head.

    “ You act like someone half your age. I should have brought one of your old rag dolls with me.” The ranger pulled at Elle’s arm, leading her off towards the village. “ Hacos is waiting for us at the village inn. He should be glad to see you…” She swept her gaze over the battle-mage’s bedraggled form. “ I think.”

    “ Hacos?” Elle clutched the sides of her face in terror. “ I can’t let him see me like this!”

    “ I shall go and settle the bill with the tavern owner, lady Elle.” Mikealus offered, more than a little uncomfortable at listening in on a conversation that did not involve him. He bowed deeply. “ It has been an honor fighting by your side. I hope we meet again.”

    A small bag of coins flew through the air and bounced off his battered breastplate. The knight fumbled with the bag for a few moments before securing a grip on it.

    “ That’s for my drinks, Mike.” Elle said. “ You only had a cup of tea in the three hours that we have been there.” The knight obviously did not like the shortening of his name but he shrugged and went back into the tavern.

    When he emerged with his haversack slung over his back, he found the ranger and the battle-mage standing outside, waiting for him. He regarded them with a puzzled look.

    “ Farewell. Good fortune find you on your travels, ladies.” Mikealus bowed again but Elle punched him painfully on the back of his head. The knight winced painfully and rubbed his head, squinting in confusion.

    “ Stop speaking such nonsense.” Elle chided him. She jerked her thumb towards the village. “ Let’s go!” Aalariel raised an eyebrow at the battle-mage’s statement but she did not challenge the issue. When the knight’s only response was a blank look of confusion, the battle-mage took him by the hand and pulled him along. The trio made a strange spectacle, with the staggering Elle dragging along a clanking and rattling Mikealus and Aalariel gliding lithely beside them, her footsteps so light she seemed to be floating.

    Hacos drew his fine blade. It was a heavy slashing weapon with a wicked edge. Spinning it in his hand, he moved the sword through two whirling spirals about his body. The air thrummed as the heavy sword parted the air with dazzling speed. Slapping a gauntleted hand on his table, he sent the clay mug on it flying into the air.

    Drawing his hand back abruptly, Hacos caught the mug on the flat of his blade in mid swing. A smile creased his handsome face as he slid the mug back onto the table. He had performed this feat while seated on a crude stool and the innkeeper, a skinny old man with a straggly black moustache gaped at him in awe from behind his counter.

    The inn door crashed open and Elle burst in. She threw herself at Hacos, knocking the two of them to the tavern floor. The young warrior only caught a glimpse of Aalariel and a walking hunk of scrap metal following her in before his childhood friend’s face blocked everything else out. Elle kissed him passionately.

    “ You are drunk.” Hacos managed to gasp when she finally stopped for air. Elle smiled brightly at him.

    “ Quick, let’s go to our room.” She said before Aalariel rapped her knuckles over the battle-mage’s head.

    “ You are sharing a room with me, girl.” The ranger chided.” I trust that it is not an issue with you, Hacos?” Her baleful look made the pair cower before her. “ Elle?”

    A pair of heads was shaken and hasty ‘ yes ma’am’ s ensued from Hacos and Elle. Mikealus shifted uncomfortably, causing his armor to creak once more, drawing the stares of the trio.

    “ That is Mike, Hacos. He’s not bad with the sword and I figured that we could use his help. “ Elle explained. The warrior got to his feet, helping the battle-mage up as well and extended his hand in greeting.

    “ I am Hacos Cypher. Well met, Mike…?” Hacos began hesitatingly.

    “ Mikealus Blek-Lance. Well met, my lord.” The knight shook his hand, sighing in exasperation. “ It is an honor to meet you.” Hacos cast a critical eye over Mikealus’s armor.

    “ Blek-Lance?” The warrior could not keep the doubt from his voice and he hastily shook his head apologetically. Mikealus did not mind, however. He had done little to be worthy of his lofty family name. “ Was that not the name of the Radiant Knight, the one who slew the great wyrm Deathfang and destroyed his undead legions hundreds of years ago?”

    “ I am his direct descendant.” Mikealus said. The statement was delivered without any hint of pride. Hacos whistled under his breath and Aalariel looked upon the young knight with new regard.

    “ My mother fought beside the Radiant Knight. She spoke of him in awed tones, which she did not reserve for our Elven elders, much less other humans. Truly, he must be a great hero indeed.” Aalariel said lowly.

    “ I grew up on tales of the Radiant Knight, and now I am talking to his great, great, great grandson!” Hacos exclaimed. Mikealus flushed under their admiration. At the same time, a bitter feeling gnawed at his heart. How could he ever live up to his family name? That had been the torment of his father and grandfather as well. They sought to prove their heroism. They achieved violent deaths in return. The battered condition of his family armor was the evidence of their failed endeavors.

    “ Truly, I am unworthy of the honor you do me.” Mikealus slightly flustered. Hacos patted him on the shoulder.

    “ The honor is all mine, Mikealus.” He pulled a stool out from under the table. “ Have a seat, sir knight.”

    “ After you, my lord.” Elle lost her patience rapidly with the two stiffly polite men and shoved Mikealus onto a stool. She did the same with Hacos and dropped herself down onto his lap. Aalariel sat down lightly upon a stool as well. The quartet looked at each other. From that point on, evil would have to fear sword, bow and spell.




    “ Really, Mike, do you have to wear that armor?” Elle complained as the young knight rattled and creaked incessantly behind her. Hacos laughed and put an arm about her shoulders.

    “ Leave him be, Elle. It’s his armor.”

    “ Yes, but it’s my ears!”
    “ I am most sorry, my friends. But I have not had an opportunity to oil my armor this morning.” Mikealus said apologetically.

    “ It is of no consequence. Your armor makes better music than anything Elle could produce from a flute.” Aalariel told him, drawing an annoyed ‘hey!’ from the battle-mage. The four were seated in a luxurious room, awaiting the arrival of their host, Lord Raun.

    “ What does he want with us, lady Elle?” Mikealus asked the battle-mage.

    “ He is in need of a group of adventurers (That’s us, by the way) to investigate some strange happenings in the swamp north of the city of Volem.” She answered. The door opened just then, admitting the Lord Raun, a powerfully built middle-aged man with a thick beard.

    “ Well met, my lord.” Hacos stood up and bowed respectfully. Mikealus did the same. Elle remained in her seat and Aalariel regarded the lord with a slight measure of contempt. The ranger had seen the state of poverty the people of Volem were in. When she saw the grand mansion that the lord lived in, she could barely choke back an angry condemnation. Still, the people needed their help and she could not turn down the lord’s request.

    “ Greetings. Do sit down.” Lord Raun’s voice was a low bass. He took a seat in the great cushioned armchair reserved for him and leaned forward to regard the four of them. “ Let us get straight to the point, ladies and gentlemen. An…abomination of some sort has been sighted in the swamps north of here. Normally, I would not bother to hunt down some imaginary beast but the fringes of the swamp lie close to the main road. Many frightened merchants have come to me with complaints of a monstrous being stalking their caravans and stealing their horses. “ He sighed, holding out a glass for a valet to fill with wine.

    “ So you want us to drive this beast away?” Elle asked. Lord Raun took a sip of his wine, running his eyes lecherously over Elle’s form and nodded.

    “ I ask that you kill it. Bring me its head and I shall put it on a stake in the city square.” The lord replied.

    “ We shall do no such thing!” Aalariel snapped. As a ranger, such casual cruelty to an animal was abhorrent to her. “ The creature may merely be hungry. It has
    not killed any of your kind yet, has it?”

    “ It has caused me some loss in revenue.” Lord Raun said. “ And in my land, such a crime is punishable by death!” An angry retort from Aalariel was cut off as Hacos clamped a hand over her mouth. He smiled apologetically at the lord.

    “ We shall do our best, Lord Raun.” The lord gave them a sinister grin, his eyes lingering on Elle.

    “ See that you do.”
     
  5. zaknafein Guest

    :) Yes, its more Shura related stories. Haleghuya (is that how you spell it?)
     
  6. Thorin Gems: 9/31
    Latest gem: Iol


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    Most amazing story can't wait to see them all fight :)
     
  7. C'Jakob Guest

    I'm hooked. Please do continue!
     
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