I started writing this a few years ago... I called it the Legend of the Brothers... I have some small idea of where to take it, but the story doesn't really intrigue me anymore, it would end up being very similar to other fantasy, like Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind's stuff.
Mikale raced up the stairs of the Tower using Thought to give flight to his steps. Feet pounding, heart pounding, mind pounding; he racked his brain for answers, where did the clouds come from? The Spirit has no wielders of Thought, so what was that thing that had entered the High Chamber? The sounds of war echoed along the stairwell. There were only largs, wolf like people created by the Spirit, down there, or did the Spirit have some new dreads? Not a pleasant thought. He focused on reaching his brother’s chambers. Not long after, he burst through the tall red doors only to find his brother asleep. He rushed to the side of the bed, shook him awake and whispered, ‘What was that? You must’ve felt it, even in your sleep. It nearly gave me a headache.’ His brother sat up, and only then did Mikale see the misty look in his eyes, as though he had just died. ‘Guldrak! What happened? You look like a dead man!’
Guldrak replied in a deep, raspy voice, ‘Ahh, you must be Mikale, hmm?’
‘You’re not my brother!’ Mikale gasped, stepping away. ‘Where’s my brother? What have you done with Guldrak?’ The thing laughed, that gurgling voice said ‘Your brother is no longer, and this war is OVER!!’ Mikale then realized what had happened, and quickly summoned Thought. ‘No!!’ he yelled as he lashed out at the Spirit who had infested his brother. ‘Dayne’ he Thought, ‘please hurry, you’re our last hope.’
* * *
Dayne paused as he scrambled along the bank of the Tainted river. ‘There’s another boatful of largs heading to the Tower, keep down.’ he whispered as Zak crept up beside him. ‘Aye, I’ll go tell the others.’ Zak replied before slipping off in the opposite direction. Dayne shook his head as he kept moving, careful not to be seen by anything on the river. There must be a legion of dreads at the Tower, with another boatful passing by every few hours, how many did the Spirit have at its disposal? It didn’t concern him though, as long as Mikale and Guldrak could hold off the onslaught with the Whregs, a stunted race of things kind of like humans who were excellent warriors, and the Makarios he left behind. ‘Dayne’, Dayne stopped dead, ‘please hurry, you’re our last hope’. That was Mikale, but why? He should have been able to hold off any number of dreads until tomorrow, so why? Dayne reached out to the place between worlds. He searched, using Thought, to find the essence that is Mikale. He found it, a bright light in the figure of a man. The light flickered. Dayne reached out to Mikale, ‘Mikale what’s happening?’ Dayne felt a small prick in his mind as Mikale reached out to him, ‘Dayne, you must hurry! Go now! There is very little time!’ and the light winked out, Mikale was gone. Dayne reached out to where Mikale just was, nothing. Franticly he started searching the place between worlds, and remembered what Mikale said, ‘There is very little time.’ Dayne returned to his body, there was a lot of urgency in Mikale’s Thought. Dayne wove his way through the undergrowth back to Zak and the others. He reached them a little ways away from the riverbank. ‘Mikale is in trouble, something happened, we must hurry’. Zak nodded and signalled the score of Makarios they had brought to follow quickly. Dayne led them through the maze of trees and brush that suddenly opened up onto the black shoreline, it smelled like something just died but black sand was all that reached his eyes for leagues in any direction. ‘So that’s the Heart of the Dead eh?’ Zak said as he stepped onto the black sand. ‘Yup, and it’s our duty to destroy it,’ Replied Dayne as he summoned Thought. ‘You all ready?’ The other Masters of Thought nodded as they arrayed themselves on the beach. ‘Ok then here goes.’ Dayne said as he turned to the black mass near the horizon. He struck out with Thought and felt the 21 people beside him do the same and the Heart of the Dead burst open with a brilliant white light. Slowly the light expanded, covering the roiling black island, and contracted, creating a dome over the highest point in the center of the island. The rest of the island broke apart, spreading into the sea. ‘The binding of the light.’ Zak breathed as he sank to his knees. ‘That’s it for us.’ Dayne said heavily, ‘The Spirit will have a message sent to the nearest army of dreads, and we’re done for.’ Just as he finished saying this, he heard the sound of largs charging not far off.
Michael woke up in a cold sweat. He remembered his dream vividly; he had had it before, numerous times. He also had a headache, but that always happened after that dream occurred. He yawned and got up, and after dressing he stepped outside into the bright sun cresting the horizon on his right. His dad was already up, tending the horses. The town of Burnesh stretched out before him, it was not a small town, nor was it very large. There were carts on the dirt road already, most likely heading to the market. He buckled on his boots and walked over to his father behind the house. ‘Hey Dad, I’m going to take Silver for a ride over to Kane’s place, ok?
‘Ok.’ he replied. He saddled the horse and in minutes he was heading over to his friend Kane’s house. His house was not too far off, it only took a couple minutes riding. Down the lane that Michael lived on, further into the city he went. Kane lived just off the main road, and he arrived there a little later. As he rode up to the house, he saw Kane saddling his own horse by his barn. Michael shouted and Kane looked up,
‘Hey Michael, I was just about to go riding, you want to come along?’
‘Sure.’ Michael replied.
‘Ok, but I’ll be a couple minutes.’
A while later they were out in the country north of the town. They raced to see who could reach the forest first. Kane’s stallion Thunder was a faster horse, but he didn’t always win. They were neck and neck when they had to slow to enter the forest, and so declared it a tie. As they walked the horses along the loam-covered path, Michael started talking about his dream. ‘I had that dream again, the one of the War of Legends-’
‘Ya,’ Kane interrupted bleakly, ‘Me too, I can still feel the headache fading away, they’re getting worse every time.’
‘I figured you had it too, we always have them the same nights, but do you have any idea why? I mean, I’m more than a bit sure that nobody else has them, I don’t know why I know that, I just do.’
‘I’ve thought that too,’ replied Kane, ‘but I haven’t yet thought of why we have them.’
‘It’s a strange deal, but I think I know why you both are having these re-occurring dreams.’
Kane and Michael both turned around so fast that they nearly fell off their horses. Behind them was a man from their village, some people thought he was crazy, but others knew him to be very knowledgeable about many odd things. Michael and Kane dismounted. ‘What do you mean?’ asked Kane curiously.
‘Well, for starters I’ve been able to accurately interpret dreams for as long as I can remember,’ he said, ‘and I think you should know something about yours. I’ll start form the beginning, you said something about the War of Legends, did you not?’
‘How long have you been eavesdropping?’ asked Michael.
‘Long enough,’ said the old man. ‘And if you want me to share my knowledge with you, you should keep your mouth shut unless I ask you a question.’
‘Very well,’ replied Michael, ‘I did say that the dream was from the War of Legends.’
‘As I thought, now I probably know more about that war than anybody else in the town, maybe more than anyone alive, but I wouldn’t bet on it. If you wouldn’t care to share both of your dreams with me, as well as you can remember, I may be able to shed some light on what you don’t know.’
So, in turn, Michael and Kane shared their dreams with the old man who listened intently. After they had both finished, he stood there deep in thought and finally looked up at Michael and said ‘Right, that which you described to me was the turning point in the war, the Spirit was losing by that point, but after he had control of the Tower of Guldrak, he gained the upper hand. With the body of Guldrak, all he had to do was lash out with Thought to destroy the rest of the opposing forces and have the largs invade the Tower. He didn’t destroy all of his enemy though, a large number of Whregs escaped, and some of the swordsmen did too, there were also some prisoners taken, most of those were Makarios, and the Spirit forced them to teach him to use Thought.’
‘And my dream?’ Kane piped up.
‘And your dream,’ mumbled the old man, ‘ahh yes, after the binding of the light was placed on the Spirit’s home, his essence was bound there, but part of his mind remained in Guldrak and controlled him. The ones who placed the binding of the light, Dayne, Zak and the other Makarios there, were destroyed by the army of largs they heard charging, just before you woke up.’
‘What exactly were…or are, largs?’ asked Kane.
‘Well, there’s a long story to go along with those.’ said the old man, ‘Mainly they have the appearance of wolves, but they can walk, at least most can once they mature. They are constantly under the control of their master, the Spirit, as are all dreads, minions created by the Spirit for its own purposes. Largs used to be humans, in a sense. They have the spirits of humans at least, when a human dies, one devoted to evil, the Spirit will make reborn their soul and place it in the body of a wolf. After time, the mind adapts to the body and the body changes also to fit the mind. At the point where they can stand, deftly wield a weapon in their wolfish hands and are fully capable with their bodies and minds, they are mature, the Spirit will use only those for building his armies.’
‘Are there still largs, roaming this world?’ asked Michael.
‘Yes and no.’ replied the old man, ‘not in this part of the world but there supposedly are largs in the Heart of the Dead and across impassable barriers, but nobody really knows for sure.’
‘Well.’ said Kane, ‘those stories are enough for a day, I came here to ride!’
‘Me too!’ said Michael.
‘Very well,’ said the old man, ‘I’ll be around town if you ever want to talk to me some more, about anything.’
As Michael and Kane got back on their horses and rode away, they did not hear the old man say ‘I think you’re in for more than you could ever dream.’ and he smiled as he walked back down the path.
Later that same day when Michael got home, he dismounted and walked Silver to the barn behind the house. When he entered the house his dad was fixing supper for the both of them. ‘Hey Dad,’ Michael said, still breathless from his ride, ‘Kane and I saw the old seer in the forest north of town, I never knew the old man ever left his house.’
‘In the forest you say? Hmm he can barely walk, I wonder what he was doing way out there?’
‘I don’t know but he startled us pretty good, that man knows a whole lot about the history of our world, more than we’ve ever learned at school at least.’
‘Yes he does, when I was still young he would journey across the lands, some said he went all the way to Ayesmith.’
‘The city of the Makarios? Wow I bet that would’ve been quite the experience.’
‘Hey Michael why don’t you go pick up some things at the market before it closes, I’m running short of butter and rhaem powder.’
‘Sure’ he replied, and headed back out the back door when his dad tossed him a silver coin.
When he stepped out from behind his house he felt a slight easterly wind blowing. He turned left and headed toward the market. The day had been quite dry, and dust and sand from the hard packed dirt road started its flight as the wind picked up. Not far down the road Michael had to hold his arm up against the wind to see where he was going. He could feel the sand flying past in the powerful wind and then he felt… nothing. He thought it quite odd that the wind would just stop completely. He lowered his arm and gaped in wonder…the town, all the houses, buildings, even fences, any and every sign of civilization was gone, even the road, all he could see was vast desert in every direction with the sun blinding his eyes from a completely clear sky. Only moments before the sky had been littered with dark clouds that spoke of rain and likely more. Confusion set in, Michael scanned the horizon looking for anything at all when he saw his shadow, at least lacking any other thing in sight it had to have been his, but it definitely didn’t look human. It was long, and the sun was still quite high in the sky, and it had tentacles of darkness coming out of it. The tentacles moved as Michael stood stock still, occasionally lashing out seemingly at nothing. Then the shadow seemed to morph into something else, a discernable thing, splitting apart, making different shapes. These things filled Michael’s mind, nothing else seemed to exist, the desert was gone, the hot sun on the back of his neck, gone. Black shapes flitted across his mind as he lost consciousness. The shapes became images, reminiscent of his dream, the look in Guldrak’s eyes, the shapes seemed to represent the feelings he felt, fear, confusion, the shapes changed, he saw a village, not Burnesh to be sure, the buildings were all made of hardened clay bricks and the people walked around swathed in cloaks hiding from the constant sweltering heat it would seem. One person stuck out, Michael watched him in his mind, something looked familiar about him, he turned and his face was visible for a second, it was Michael! As the recognition dawned on him the shapes changed again, all but the one representing him, he was standing before a throne of sorts, his view changed without seeming to move and he saw the person atop the throne, it was Guldrak, his dead eyes staring, boring holes into Michael’s soul, affixed in terror, Michael stood, not moving and was struck down by something he couldn’t see. He fell, through the ground, and, falling, he could see beneath him cities sprawling among nations, the world as Michael knew it, but covered with a blanket of darkness; dread, fear was everywhere. He suddenly felt heat, as he was falling still he looked to his side and there was fire, all around him, raining death on the cities below. Michael slowed as he fell, the fire racing past him. The nations of the world were blackened, decimated by the fire, only rubble remained. Michael suddenly plunged the rest of the way downward, ever increasing in speed. Heading towards the blackened ground, nearer, nearer, and he finally hit.
Michael awoke to blackness. He couldn’t move, he was wrapped in heavy blankets in his bed. Hearing the noise from him shifting his dad entered the room, ‘Michael what happened? Are you all right?’
‘Ugh I don’t know what happened, the wind picked up out of nowhere, almost blinding me then everything disappeared.’ He had a queasy dread feeling creep up his back as he remembered the look in Guldrak’s eyes, he shivered at the thought but the feeling didn’t go away. He suddenly felt really thirsty, he couldn’t work any saliva up in his mouth, ‘How long ago did this happen?’
His dad replied, ‘You’ve been laying here for two days and a bit, this is the third morning.’
He felt fine; surprised, hungry, and thirsty, but fine. ‘I need something to eat,’ Michael groaned. He unwrapped himself from his blankets and got up, he fell back down almost right away, dizziness warping his vision.
His limbs hung, feeling very tired, his dad said ‘I’ll get you some food, just lie down a bit more.’ As Michael lay there he could smell the food his dad was making, he had to somehow find out what his vision was about, as incoherent as it was he felt that there was some meaning behind it. His first thought was to get to Kane and do something…what, he did not know. His dad interrupted his thoughts by pushing a bowl of porridge in front of him, he could smell cinnamon in it, just the way he liked it.
His dad watched in silence as Michael wolfed it down, when he was finished his dad said, ‘Do you wan-’
Michael interrupted, ‘Sorry Dad but I’ve got to go see Kane, I think he may have something to do with this.’
‘This probably sounds messed up but I think the dead War of Legends is about to spring back to life, I had a vision of my brother on a throne, his body was dead but his mind was alive, though possessed by the Spirit,’
‘Michael, you don’t have a brother.’
Michael remembered then that he didn’t, but he felt such a connection to the character in his dreams that he could swear they were the same person. Abashed, he scrambled for a response, ‘I don’t understand this much either but I feel I need to do something, soon.’
He already felt rejuvenated, the warmth in his stomach spreading throughout his body, his mind was clearer too. He donned his boots and stepped outside his room and turned to go out the back door.
‘Michael…’ It was his dad, ‘be careful ok?’
Michael paused, ‘Ya Dad,’ and he left, walking around the house once he was outside. He turned left, heading toward the centre of the town, wary of strong winds. His long legs carried him quickly and not long after he was surrounded by crowds of townsfolk, some he recognized, most he did not. He squinted ahead and could see the road branching off that Kane lived on. Not watching where he was going he bumped into somebody. Michael staggered but the older man hadn’t budged, ‘Sorry,’ Michael said.
‘No need,’ came the reply. The man lifted his hood and Michael saw that it was the seer. ‘I was just out to find you, good thing you bumped into me eh?’ he said.
‘Yeah, I guess,’ replied Michael, ‘listen, I was heading over to Kane’s house to tell him about a vision I just had, would you also want to hear it? Maybe you could interpret it for me?’
‘Just had my boy? Your father said you have been unconscious for days.’
‘You know my father…?’
‘Quite well, yes, his father was a good friend of mine when your dad was just a little kid, missed him dearly when I ventured the world, but for now tell me of this vision.’
As Michael walked alongside the seer towards Kane’s house he related his vision as clearly as he could, stumbling as he searched for words to describe the emotions. ‘I remember hitting the ground, they say in dreams you waken before you die, but I died. I woke right after the fact, though, to find myself in bed…’ his train of thought derailed as he saw Kane’s house a ways away. It stood starkly out from its neighbours; there were no lights in the windows, one of which was broken. Michael bounded away from the seer and hammered on the door breathlessly.
When the seer reached him he had concluded that nobody was home who could open the door. ‘Step aside, if you will.’
Michael complied and gawked as the seer produced a key and entered the house. ‘How could you have a key for this house?’ The seer winked and a flabbergasted Michael soon forgot what he just said.
Disarray met his eyes everywhere he looked but it was the faint scent of blood that rooted his feet. The seer broke the silence by stepping forward, Michael followed him. They heard a muffled sound like wind scraping along the interior walls of the house. Michael glanced to his left thinking that’s where it came from. ‘I think I heard…’ Michael turned towards the shredded couch on the far wall of the living room. He navigated past some debris littering the floor and reached the piece of furniture. He slid it aside to reveal a hole in the floor he had known existed for a long time. He lowered his face to it and heard the hoarse wind. He retreated almost instantaneously, the scent of blood strongly wafting from the hole. He lifted his head above the relocated couch and started at the seer’s face very near his own. ‘The basement’ he whispered.
The seer nodded silently as Michael pointed in the direction of the staircase. The wind seemed to pick up as they descended, reminding him of the wind that knocked him out days before, the stench of blood was also increasing. ‘Be careful, there is blood on the stairs.’ the seer cautioned. What? thought Michael, I can’t see anything down here, I guess being a ‘seer’ enhances physical perception too.
‘Why don’t you wait upstairs, I’ve seen enough in my life that whatever is down here shouldn’t be anything I can’t handle.’
Michael nodded in the darkness and started back up the stairs, he didn’t know what to think right now, chaos reigned in his best friend’s house and this ‘seer’ was turning out to be a lot more than Michael thought he was, and he couldn’t discern if that was a good thing. He took a few deep breaths and looked up from the spot he found on the floor when he heard the stairs creak. The seer ascended the set with a downcast look in his eyes, ‘Michael… Kane’s family, they are all dead, some stabbed, the rest strangled. Kane himself is unconscious, with bruises on his head and a gash on his right arm beneath his shoulder. I won’t be able to move him, I’ll need your help to get him upstairs.’
Michael followed him back down the stairs. Questions flooded his mind, but he was physically shocked into complete silence. They found Kane near one of the brick outer walls, and with the faint light streaming through a far window Michael could see blood pooling at his friend’s side. It took a few minutes but they were able to haul the body upstairs without doing any more external damage.