Sunday, January 27, 2008

Chapter 1: The fires of the past (Mark I)

   Caden loved to listen to the stories told by Sir Eric. It is possible that he was the only one in town who did. Having only lived for 15 harvests, Caden was not allowed to enter the tavern. Instead he would sit on the roof by the chimney, and listen to the stories drift up with the heat and smoke. Caden knew of Sir Eric's warning against the Dragon Knights. But he truly didn't care.

To him, the Dragon Knights were adventure. Travel to the foreign lands. Protect border towns from the pirates of the Starcia Desert, defend the elves in the east from the troll armies. Most importantly, Caden wanted to fulfill the sacred duty of the Five Sages.
Five millenia ago, the Five sacrificed their own lives to seal the Dragon Queen. Their sacrifice was the birth of their great kingdom, and the Dragon Knights served in their honor to ensure the dragons would never return.
That night, as Caden watched Sir Eric stumble home, he saw the forest near Sir Eric's home glowing with orange-red of a great fire. He climbed down from the roof and followed Sir Eric.

Sir Eric, not nearly drunk as he would like to be, traveled home, so that he might continue his drinking alone. He saw the fire in the forest. On the other side of the river, it wouldn't spread to his land. Yet the red glow of the moon was an omen he couldn't ignore.
He altered his course to take him to his dock and small boat. Caden watched him paddle across the river to investigate the blaze.


In the Pyoksan Mountains, the people are wealthy. With the richest mines of gold and iron in the Kingdom, they would never leave their homes. The Dragon Knights would often patrol the passes and valley's of the mountains, to protect the locals from the Starcia Pirates.
Sir Eric would march for days in those mountains, with no warning of when an attack might come. The pirates would fly in on their mechanical dragons, and drop firebombs from the sky. The fire was horrible, hot enough to melt your armor into your skin. Sir Eric is cursed to hear the screams, smell the burning flesh, forever at his side. In the flames of the forest, he saw his friends being consumed.
Yet it is not the flames the pirates would drop that woke him up in the night. It was the prisoners the Dragon Knights would capture. They would be the ones who would haunt his dreams till the day that he died. They were the ones that Sir Eric would try to drown in an endless tide of ale and shine.


Caden watched the river for Sir Eric's return. When he came back from the other side, he had someone else in his boat. His body and clothes were burned, and Sir Eric carried him with care. Caden moved in closer, trying to see who the stranger was.
Sir Eric carried him to his homestead, and went inside. Caden returned to town and entered into the Baker's shop. He did his chores, cleaned the kitchen, and went to sleep next to the cooling ovens.