Come forth weary traveler. You have much to hear.
I, an old man, stand before you in the slums of the city beyond the Golden Walls that surround this Kingdom and between the Jade Castle that towers at its center as if to shine a beacon of promise for those who seek the spoils of Heaven on Earth.
Before you can come to live among this sanctuary. This "holy" land. You must first understand how the godly like structures you are drawn to came to settle atop the same soils as the forgotten mortals that now rest beneath your feet.
Legends speak of a righteous King who united the two broken lands into one. Through wars raged and death like waves across the ancient Earth. One can only wonder if "righteous" is the correct term.
For this question, I offer you a far different tale of our beloved King and the holiness he has come to represent. For I feel that no street can glow gold without the polish of red and every genius must begin as a fool.
So take a seat and let us begin as the fools we are and the Geniuses we become in the end.
In a time not too long ago. Before this young Kingdom was as one.
This land was divided and ruled between two Kings. Each Heralded their own champions. Their glory spread far and wide so that every corner of every small village and hut knew their names and of their adventures of heroism.
Our tale begins at the arrival of the champions from the Kingdom of Yorn. Their recent quest, though long, had finally concluded. The castle denizens eagerly made a path for their parade and they praised the gods for their return. Though it had appeared that not all Champions were present and accounted for.
Surely this could only mean that, once again, the battle was not without casualties and although the people mourned. Those fallen hero's names were etched into stone and within a brief passing of time never spoken of again. Save for their families remembrance during the festival seasons.
We move forward now. To a new journey posted among the tavern walls.
A call now has been made for new Hero's to step forward.Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to overcome it.
The post was edited 1 time, last by MORPHRELINK ().
On ancient plains, lying in the iron embrace of the icy mountains and the glassy sea like the skin of a long dead beast rippling with the weight of time, lay a settlement not quite a city, but too large to be a town. It was the sort of place that reeked with history, but the kind that had fallen to the flanks of history in recent times. This would not be true for long.
Retice suddenly awoke. Judging by the light, his father was already in the central city, tending his shop. The light also said that he was late.
Jumping from the bed in the cramped but almost unbelievably organized room, he quickly dressed in a uniform consisting of smart, white knee high boots tucked at the top, a light, scratchy coat with the emblem of the city emblazoned on his breast pocket, and short white gloves, combed his hair. Then, he ran.
The way to Gormand's house wasn't far. After a few minutes of dodging vendors, both physically and conversationally, he arrived at the door of the large, regal house, knocked, and waited.
As the caretaker answered the door, Upright and standing tall, with little to no reaction. Even less a chance was given for the caretaker to utter a proper greeting of the guest as Gormand appeared between their chests and quickly dismissed him. The portly young male with a braided ponytail spoke with a full cheek. Maneuvering his tongue around the bread roll to exclaim that no time was to waste as they raced off into the town streets with the utmost haste.
Dodged and ignored were the greeting crowd of familiar faces of whom the two would normally engage a momentary exchange. Gormand pulled a roll from his satchel and stuffed it into his mouth with a single bite and swallow. He then tossed a second roll to Retice whose bite did follow. Through shops, over barrels, under carriages, and knocking over old ladies with no time for anything but a simple meaningless apology echoed through the alley ways as they disappeared.
Much to Gormand's distant, aristocratic, parents displeasure. The two life long friends had grown up hearing the fanciful tales of adventure, love, fame, and fortune. These tales told beautifully by Gormand's Chef, Mentor, and Father Figure during his developing years.
Retty and Gorm Gorm, the nicknames the Chef gave the two unlikely pair, appeared to be fish out of water in their own homes. The Chef would joke that It would all make too much sense that the two were switched at birth.
They arrived at the Tavern. Crowds of men of all sizes reading the flyers. The advert called for a tournament to be held for the open positions. An open tournament that was already underway.
Any challengers who dare tag team against one of the Champions and, should they claim victory in a match, Would receive the honor of accompanying them on their next journey. A journey that would be a phase two of their application process to test their grit against the elements of nature.
Survive both and you shall be honored as a Champion hence forth.Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to overcome it.
The post was edited 3 times, last by MORPHRELINK ().
Ret looked at Gormand, an uncharacteristic look of childlike wonder dawning on his face.
"Gormand... we have to, right? I mean... we've dreamed of this since we were children..."
Retice had spent his childhood completely absorbed by the myths and tales of the past, loving them more than anything. He spent his days exploring the plains and forests, pretending to be the heroes of legend. His best, and for the most part only, friends were these heroes and kings of old.
There was, however, one exception. The one thing that interested him more than these stories was Gormand. Much of the time, he was a confederate in adventure, and the two were inseparable.
Gormand aggressively took another roll out and bit into. The determined look in his eyes revealed the snacking was as second nature to him as breathing. Gormands focus pierced through the mob of tough men. Many larger, older, and even more experienced than the young duo but none with the burning spirit for adventure they carried. That passion was to be their first tactic and only trump card.
"We made a pact, We made a promise to a dear friend and mentor, and we knocked down an old lady... There's no turning back now.."
Gormand's eyes lit like fire as he took a deep breath for a single booming shout with a fist full of bread thrust into the air.
"WE CHALLENGE THE CHAMPIONS!
The crowd fell silent then parted away like a certain biblical sea. A large shadow overcast Gormand and Retice, Both standing firm and confident despite the now prominent figure standing before them.Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to overcome it.
The post was edited 1 time, last by MORPHRELINK ().
The figure turned, revealing a face cold and stern beyond its years (which seemed to number in the mid thirties), framed in what would have been a cascade of flowing, black hair had it not been stifled at the neck by a blade clearly lacking in reverence towards symmetry. Her brow was chiseled as if by the architects and engineers of old into an expression of permanent dissatisfaction. She stood nearly six feet tall, and a cloak of summer rain gray rippled from her neck to her feet, where the tips of a pair of leather boots that had seen more than most men in country were barely visable.
"So" She intoned, with less aloofness to her tongue than there was bitterness, as if the sight of the two boys (for that, then, was what they were) was a generous bite apple picked a week too soon.
"It seems a challenger- excuse me, challengers- have made themselves known."
A cry of protest rose petchulantly from the crowd but was swiftly stifled by a raised hand.
"If none of you have the authority to put yourself above the crowd, you surely lack it to stand in my position. Now" She turned to the boys. "Put an old woman out of her misery, will you?"
Gormand licked the bread crumbs off his finger then ran his now wet finger across his brow. The fact that the Champion was a woman made no difference to him. He knew her capabilities well and had heard all about her journeys. Moddy was her name and she was the Leader of the Champions older sister.
Now that the cloak had been removed, Retice began to analyze her attire and equipment. Her spike knuckled gloves suggested she was a brawler. Thin clothing meant she was agile. Her heavy boots kept her feet grounded. Her stance was wide open. She was just as likely to grapple and body slam her opponent as she was to deliver a wild haymaker favored by her slightly tucked away right shoulder and forward standing left foot. All that mattered was the distance between himself and her right hook.
Gormand locked eye contact with her. Through the corner of his eyes he noted an empty table. The wood appeared to be sturdy enough to use as a temporary cover. A few good strikes should tire her arms out in attempts to punch through it.
All three knew a single strike from Moddy's fists would be enough to end either of her opponents. Stories of her unmatched punching speed and power were not to be underestimated. The pile of men on the other side of the tavern were a testament to that.
With a furious swipe, The fists collided, as Retice continued to counter, swing, dodge, and repeat. His advantage would be his lighter boots and swift kicks from his feet. The scuffle and grunts and blows to furniture within the Tavern (called Rose) soon moved through the doors and onto the streets and with a dirty strike from a wooden chair the unblinking eyes of the crowd continued to stare. The Champion now out could as the victors stood ahead shocked they had won and pleased Moddy was not dead.Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to overcome it.
The post was edited 2 times, last by MORPHRELINK ().
It was so fast. Too fast. Ret was already forgetting the bite of fists, but for the moment, bruises and cuts stinging with the dust and sweat and burning sun wouldn't let him forget the aftereffects. He looked to Gormand, who stood breathing deeply, drinking the heavy, dust laced air. His skin was cut, and a small amount of blood trickled from his knuckles. He was beautiful, Retice thought. He pushed this to the back of his mind, however, as more important issues were at hand. The body stirred, at first feebly, but with growing conviction as the seconds passed, until the weary champion was able to lift herself to a sitting position. She was even more bruised than the two boys combined, but was grinning like a blind man made to see.
"That was good. Beautiful." She burst into uncontrollable laughter, almost menacing in its sincerity.
"You're champions now, I suppose. And I-" covering a grin, she composed herself.
"I'm nothing!" At which point she fell into another shuddering fit of giggling, which continued long after the soldiers appeared to take her away. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, however. One soldier from the group, on his way to Moddy, told the boys to wait. After he left, Ret turned to Gormand.
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