GuildMag issue #8




Fall of Gods (Chapter 2 & 3)

Chapter 2

"The Doric family had three estates prior to the Exodus, each in what now makes the three Tyrian human kingdoms. The one in what is now Kryta became the castle of the Krytan royal family while the one in Ascalon eventually became the largest structure, outside the Great Wall, of Ascalon City. The one in Orr, which was the home of Konig Doric, was located along a cliff. Some would say it resided within Arah, and others would say it resided on its outskirts. This is because Herzog Doric, the one who commissioned the estate, desired separation from the "common person" and had a large, thick wall surrounding the estate.

>The estate itself is comprised of six outlying towers and one larger central tower, each tower connected to the adjacent ones via a hallway and series of rooms. Each tower, save the central one, was dedicated to the Six Gods; the central one being dedicated to the Doric family. On the outskirts of the estate was a personal arena and a training ground. Due to being located along a cliff, one of the towers was placed slightly off, preventing a perfect hexagonal shape, and in turn unlike the other outlying towers had two connecting wings instead of three."

– Journal of Xaphan Sariel

Grenth rubbed his eyes and yawned as he leaned up against a stone ledge. I've chosen the right place to take that nap, he thought to himself before thinking over what he had just overheard. Konig will run away tonight, eh? Good for him. It's about time he leaves those two.


Grenth stretched out and slowly stood up. Konig and Desmina had already rejoined their families. That woman was very talented in acting. Grenth decided he should head to his study since he heard it was flooded by Konig. It would be best to check on the damage before anything else.


It's time to go get Desmina, Konig thought to himself as he grabbed his dark red cloak. After grabbing a small bag of gold, he went out of his room as quietly as he could as to not wake up his sister whose bedroom was nearby. As he suspected earlier, Desmina and her father Joren were put into the south wing's guest rooms. It would take a bit to get through to Desmina's room.


Due to being on the third floor of the estate, Konig couldn't jump out of the window and move around outside like he did from Grenth's study or the library. However, thanks to his materialistic mother who collected anything of some worth, there were plenty of things to hide behind, or in, should someone come his way.


It was a long, boring, and way too silent trip through the Doric Tower of the estate, so inaptly named by Herzog and his overbearing self-conceit, and towards the second floor of the Balthazar Tower. As expected, Konig was easily able to bypass the one guard post that was in his path to Desmina's guest room, as the guards were distracted with something, though Konig couldn't tell what. When he got there, he saw Desmina awake and dressed in uncommon clothing.


"That's an interesting look for you, Desmina. I'm surprised that you were able to get that kind of clothing into here." Konig said as he observed Desmina's clothing. She wore a long, heavy jacket with thick pants and a scarf that she wrapped around her face when Konig appeared in the doorway.


"Aren't you a little early, Konig?"


"I figured that if we get more night time, we'd be able to get further with fewer chances to be seen."


"Good idea. Let's get going." Desmina walked past Konig into the corridor then stopped and turned to him. "Well? Weren't you going to show me the 'safest route' or something?" Desmina smirked at Konig as she waited for him to go on. With a small, barely noticeable huff he moved on back to the Doric Tower. As before, there were few guards on the way. But once they went down to the first floor they were quickly in the guards' and servants' dining room – and it was full of the guards who just got off duty.


Because Konig forgot to look into the guards' schedules for the earlier departure, he was caught off guard. He acted quickly to get to the first piece of cover for the two. Konig knew there would be guards here, but he didn't expect there to be well over twenty guards. And on top of that, they were all wide awake. Luckily, they were so busy getting drunk off of wine and eating their meal that Konig and Desmina were able to easily slip by. Though they thought they were caught once, and it took a while to wait for an opening, the two were able to get through the crowded room after hiding behind various large beams and vases.


"I thought you said you'd get us out of here easily, Konig!" Desmina whispered with a ferociously angry tone. "Do you know what would have happened if I was caught in this?!?"


"Seeing how you were with me, if we were caught, they'd probably think you were a prostitute that I got." Konig said with a smirk. He could only imagine what was going through Desmina's head at the insult he tossed at her and was expecting her to lose her cool within seconds.


"Me? A prostitute? That's a laugh, 'husband.' Besides, you haven't even gotten me in bed yet. Not like you're going to." she said, returning the insult in the form of a taunt while keeping her cool – or, perhaps, not even getting the insult.


"Whatever. Now that we're out of there, we should only have to avoid one more guard post in the building and another at the gate." It wasn't long for them to reach the last place in the building that the guards were in. With the west wing being full of the food and other commodities, it had never needed many guards, so they met fewer than there should have been in the north and south wings.


It took another several minutes to finally get outside the building. At this time of night, not only are most guards either tired or drunk, but they didn't expect any thieves – though the latter is mainly due to the near non-existent crime rate in Arah, the City of the Gods which neighbors the estate. But nonetheless, Konig and Desmina kept a sharp eye out.


As they slipped outside, the two observed the mostly emptied yard. They headed west towards a gate to the estate's outer wall that led to Arah. Approaching the gate, they ducked over a bush just before the last guard post they would have to get by. "Three of them tonight it seems… Lucky us." Konig said.


"Lucky? There are three people blocking the easiest path out of here!" Desmina said, doing her best to keep her voice to a whisper.

"There are usually five people at the side gates, and seven at the main gate. So yes, three is lucky."


"You know, youngin's, there is a better way." An old, almost sandy, voice suddenly sounded behind the two, startling them. The old vizier Grenth began to chuckle at the look of Konig's and Desmina's faces. "You two should really find a new place to talk about secretive things; you spoke right next to me while I napped!"


"Grenth… why are you here?!" Konig said, attempting to keep his voice low so the guards didn't hear them – which Grenth didn't seem to care about.


"I came to help you out. I think it's about time you leave this place, though I do think you and Desmina would make quite a lovely couple." Grenth chuckled again, once more not caring about his voice's volume, making Konig grimace. "Hmmm? Heh, I think you should take a closer look at those guards, Konig. Maybe that'll help remove that scowl from your face." Grenth noticed Konig's dislike for Grenth's loudness.


It was rather obvious to tell once Konig took a good look at them. Though the three guards were moving as if nothing was wrong, he saw their slow movements, and what made their state obviously unusual was that a little bird flew onto one of the guards' head and began pecking at the guard's hair. The guards were in some kind of trance, most likely Grenth's doing.


Grenth, the aging vizier of King Doric with no history going back further than 63 years ago, had just appeared, as if out of nowhere, behind Konig and Desmina. It's unknown why he decided to enact his duties the king from the Orrian estate of the Dorics, many suspected that he had an interest in Konig, whom he spent a lot of time with, and others thought he couldn't stand Ascalon, King Doric's favorite land. Desmina realized that the former was right. There was no other reason why Grenth would appear out of nowhere, aid Konig and her in leaving, and put the hardest obstacle in a trance. She couldn't get the thoughts out of her mind as the three left the estate grounds and entered Arah.


"Why are you looking at me like that, Desmina?" Grenth asked her with his sandy old voice, peering into her eyes as he spoke.

That stare, those eyes… it was like Grenth was looking into her very soul for some reason. Just what on earth is he? Or what, for that matter. Desmina thought to herself. Though he looked human, he moved way too easily for someone who should be over ninety years old.


"Why are you helping us, Grenth? Isn't it your duty, as vizier of King Doric, to act in the best interest of the royal family? Since King Doric has no children, wouldn't that mean that you should act to keep Konig here to sire an heir should the king have no children before death?" Desmina quizzed Grenth. Just what are you up to, vizier? She never trusted any kind of 'advisor' – they always seemed to advise in their own interest. She needed to know why Grenth was helping them.


The two have been following Konig into the streets of Arah. He apparently knew some of the city, but soon Desmina would have to lead. "You're right, I should be stopping you. But Hara would be a better queen than Konig would be a king. How I see it, I am working in the family's best interest!" Grenth said into the silence after what seemed to have been him contemplating the answer. He could have thought of the best answer and lied. "Besides, I like Konig – and of what little I know of you, I like you too. I want you to do live how you should, rather than be bound by the chains of others. I just hope Hara won't mind."


"Just Hara? What about Herzog? He may have your head if he finds out, you know." Desmina was not satisfied, and probably never would be. But Konig stopped and looked at Desmina – it was time for her to lead. "We're going to have to stop at a friend of mine's place before we leave Arah. I trust you won't join us for long, Grenth?"


"I'm just escorting you out of the city. As for Herzog, Dhuum can take his soul and Diana's for that matter." Grenth sped up to catch up with Desmina, instead of trailing behind like he was. "We'd best stop by a friend of mine instead, youngin."


"Why bother? We're here." Desmina pointed to a tavern they were next to as she stopped walking. "You've been rather quiet, Konig."

"I'm not fond of being told what to do, Desmina. But since it is necessary, I'm just keeping it to myself. Besides, you two are busy it seems. So why don't you continue your talk inside, I'll stand watch."


"Why are you so nonchalant about Grenth helping us?" Desmina asked. With only receiving a shrug from Konig, she sighed and said "fine then, why don't you come meet my friend, vizier." Desmina walked into the tavern, noticing it nicely cleaned and empty, and was shortly followed by the old man.


"Looks like your friend is sleeping, youngin." Grenth chuckled, just standing there.


Desmina sighed and looked around; having found stairs, she walked up them and knocked on the first door that she passed. "Hey! Wake up, you slob! It's Desmina! I said wake up, Banton!"


"I'm awake!" A voice cried out from behind the door. "And you're early!" The door opened up, and a shirtless hairy man with a large round gut appeared.


"Ugh. Couldn't you have had the courtesy to get a shirt?" Desmina quickly closed her eyes and looked away. "Did you at least get things ready? Where's the caravan at?"


"Yes, yes. The caravan's been paid for and will leave in an hour. It is five streets north from here, just as you asked. Now, my debt is paid, so can I please go back to sleep?" Banton asked, rubbing his eyes.


"Looky what we have here, bro." A broad man in a dark gray cloak who just came around the corner of the tavern said as he looked at Konig.


"And dere's two more. I heard 'em myself. An old man and a woman." Another man appeared behind the broad man. This one wore a brown robe and looked identical to the first.


"Heh, easy pickins. I told you those 'gods' are nothing to worry about! This place is full of unsuspecting people."


"I say we kill dis one, den off dat old man and do what we want with dat woman. I bet she's pretty good lookin' from how she sounded." The one in brown said as he pulled out a dagger as the one in the dark gray cloak pulled out a hand ax.


"You two are laughable and weak." Konig said with a slight laugh in his voice. "Not only do you not know who you're dealing with, but you think you can take me on." Konig reached for where he usually kept his short sword, but nothing was there. He cursed to himself at forgetting his favorite weapon.


"You foget sometin dere, boy?" The man in brown asked, smiling as he moved his hand up the ax's handle.


"Not at all, you dull rock." Konig taunted the man in brown, who was puzzled at the insult. Though it wasn't intended, Konig gave himself enough time to remember the time in the study and how it felt to cast the spell. All he needed was to recall a spell from the scroll, and he knew just which one to use.


"Acies a calxen"
"Lasses zu air vereisen"
"In laqueus my fein"
"Und tribuos sie erfrierun."


The two stopped coming towards Konig as he began chanting, looking at each other then back at Konig. "What the heck was he sayin,' bro?"


"How de hell should I know?"


"You don't think he… Why is it so cold?" The air around the three began to get cooler and cooler. Then, out of nowhere, around Konig's feet, the ground began to freeze and it spread, quickly, towards the two brothers shaping into small spires and spikes around the two. The spires wrapped around them as it continued to spread, and their feet became entrapped in ice that spread from under their feet.


"He works magic!"


"You think! Gah! Get us out of here! Let us go!" The one in the dark grey became hysterical as the one in brown hacked at the ice with his dagger.


"Konig! What's going on out here?" Desmina shouted as she rushed out of the tavern, shortly followed by Grenth.


"It would seem that our friend here has learned some spells since he flooded my study this morning." Grenth chuckled as he finished. "That's pretty well done, Konig."


"Do you have what you needed, Desmina?" Konig asked, ignoring the two who were screaming and cutting at the ice behind him.


"Uh… yeah, there's a caravan five streets north from here that will take us to Port Amnoon." Desmina said staring at the ice and the two trapped in it.


"I think you two youngin's will be fine from here. I'll take these two to the authorities," Grenth said as he stood at the tavern's doorway in a ponderous position.


"Let's just go." Konig and Desmina said together; Desmina chuckled as she looked at Konig who rushed north to the caravan. I need to get out of here...


Chapter 3

"He will move out of boredom and out of desire. The prince shall listen to the Maiden, and together they shall leave the life of chains and shackles. Though they leave together, and they flee together, their time as one shall not last. With the Maiden, the prince shall flee from his life, but without the Maiden, the prince shall flee for his life.


Though they go different paths, their fate is intertwined, and their presence shall never truly part each other. While one shall face death, the other shall meet it. Together, they shall beckon forth death and change its rules.


But before then, in the prince's most desperate time, he shall do the unthinkable."

– Excerpt from the Tome of Time

"That wasn't as hard as I thought it would be… it's only been five days and we're already at Amnoon. So, Konig, where will you go from here?" Desmina asked as she looked around. Just as the rumors said, Port Amnoon was a desolate and barely visited town. It lied on the outermost stretch of what was called Orrian soil, and was the last town before the mountains to the north. Some might mistake it for a ghost town, and it would have been if it weren't for the Margonites who used it.


"Don't know, for now just travel."


"It actually was fun while it lasted; I'm going to head north. The lands of Ascalon, which your uncle established, are still rather new and unchecked, so I could probably find a new life there without anyone being suspicious," Desmina said as Konig surveyed the area.


"Do what you want. It doesn't matter to me." Grabbing the hood of his cloak, Konig began walking off to a boat that was being loaded by people who, based on their clothing, were Margonites.


"Be safe, Konig." Desmina sighed as she turned the other direction.


After talking with the captain about its destination and bargaining for passage, Konig got on the ship. Despite the ship being wrecked, in a battle with pirates on their last journey according to the captain, and having paid, Konig had to help out with the cargo of the crew. "Everyman works here, no slackers, not even passengers" is what the captain said.


Margonites, the people of the sea… They are an interesting group, to say the least. I could find myself liking their company. But they're weak and they follow a weak god. Worshiping the god of water may be fitting, but they miss out on true power. Only Dhuum and Balthazar can give the power people desire, yet people such as these who need power to live their daily lives don't even see this! I'll never understand those people…People that care about wealth and not strength… It's strength that moves this world; money cannot save your life from the unforgiving hands of Dhuum. It's a shame that to get off this rock I need the help of people who can't fathom to even think like me.


Konig kept quiet as the Margonites on the ship moved about, and he helped move the cargo into place. According to one of the Margonites, who was the first mate, the cargo was loaded on the wrong side of the ship, so they had to move the crates then secure them on the other side.


He began to breathe heavily as he worked – despite being trained by Afzal in the ways of the Orrian soldier, his training never entailed physical strengthening. "A true fighter should be as swift as the wind and as agile as a leaf. You humans are born to be swifter than centaurs, yet few of you adhere to that calling. I train every man to be swift, and I wish I could be too, but the centaur's body that I have doesn't allow that. I'll never understand the humans who wish to become moving forts; that is not how a true fighter should be." Afzal would preach on about that every training session.


"Orrian! We have to set sail up above, so you'll have to move the rest of the cargo yourself. Don't damage any of them and don't throw up either! All of you damn Orrians can never last a trip without messing up the place." The first mate hollered down to Konig, signaling for two Margonites who were helping Konig move the cargo headed up to the deck to help out with setting off the coast.

Konig mumbled between breaths and quickly grabbed another large crate to shove over. Two more after this… Damn these are heavy.

Konig took a break before moving the last crate, but as soon as the ship began to sway, he got up and started to shove the large, but surprisingly light, crate. Noticing a hole in the crate's side, Konig decided to look in after he moved it and saw a giant crystal being cushioned in the crate. It looked like a balthazate crystal, crystals that were powerful, dangerous, rare, and destructive. In other words: perfect for Konig.


Having intended to steal some cargo anyways once the ship docked, Konig decided he'd steal the balthazate crystal. But for now, he'd have to play the nice passenger, so he finished moving the cargo and secured the multiple crates.


On his way up to the dock, the first mate blocked him at the steps. "Hello Orrian! You finished moving all those crates by yourself? Hah! Who knew you had it in those scrawny arms to do that work by yourself! We finished casting off, so I was gonna lend you a hand. Aw well." The Margonite walked around Konig to inspect the cargo. "Oh, and Orrian, best to keep out of anyone's way. The last passenger we had bugged some crew and got tossed overboard in the Clashing Seas. Just some advice. By the way, name's Rodrick. The captain doesn't like to be bothered often so if you have a complaint, come to me instead."


"Hey! Orrian! Last time I checked, I was on night watch, not you." Rodrick tossed his arm around Konig's shoulders. "You should get some sleep, or are you up here because you're seasick? Hah!"


"I enjoy the moonlight. Not to mention, I'm used to lacking sleep. But I don't see how that's any of your business." Konig responded, shaking the first mate's arm off. The Margonite then began to lean on the edge of the ship as Konig was.


"We'll be docking tomorrow. And I just wanted to say that you're possibly the least irritating Orrian I've ever had to deal with on this ship. All you Orrians are so stuck up just because some of the gods live in your capital. You're the first one who didn't complain about working on this ship under our captain's order!"


"I'm not like the rest of the Orrians. So don't clump me with them. Please leave me be."


"Jeez! I was giving you a complement! Do what you want, I'll leave you be Orrian." Rodrick pushed himself off of the edge of the ship and began walking away to continue his watch over the water.


Yes, please do so I can steal that crystal without being noticed.


"Oh, before I forget again. Konig, was it? I noticed that one of the crates had a hole in it. Did you have anything to do with that?"

"No, I just moved them as told."


"Hmmm, okay. The captain's still gonna be annoyed. Best watch your back to make sure he doesn't go blaming you and have you tossed overboard. But you could probably use the swim. Hah!" The first mate continued walking, whistling a tune that was common among the Margonites – 'Abaddon's Grace' Konig thought it was called.


Will these Margonites ever not be annoying? Konig decided it was best time to get to sleep. After heading to the spot given to him to rest in, Konig quickly fell asleep having an unusually peaceful time asleep.


The next morning Konig wasn't woken up by someone telling him to do a job, but instead by the sound of the Margonites shouting orders at each other. Konig quickly got up and headed to the deck.


"Orrian! Go make sure the cargo is secure. It's a bit rickety this morning. There might be a storm coming in. Get to it!" Rodrick shouted at Konig. Konig quickly headed to the cargo. Now was the chance to take the crystal. It was small enough to hide under his cloak, so he grabbed that before heading to the cargo – no one would realize he took a detour anyways.


After re-securing the crates, Konig carefully grabbed the balthazate crystal and strapped it to himself, covering it with his cloak. He heard the sound of the plank used to bridge the ship with the dock land on the ship's end. Being eager to get off and others eager for him to do so as well, Konig headed to the deck and was let off immediately.


That was easier than I thought it would be. Konig thought to himself as he looked around the docks. The place was a loud, crowded slum of a town – which meant it would be easy to remain hidden; though it also meant Konig will have troubles keeping an eye out for the crew he just left.


His stomach grumbled as he walked on, determined to get out of the area as soon as he can without being seen. Though red stuck out among the crowd, his cloak that he brought with had become dirty over the past thirteen days since he left Arah and, as such, it was easy for him to blend into the crowd. His stomach became irritable; searching through the crowds, Konig spotted just what he needed: an out of the way tavern.


"Ah, greetings there! How may I help you, sir?" The barkeeper asked, with a shine off of his balding head, as Konig walked into the tavern.


"Whatever's the most filling meal you have." Konig said to the barkeeper as he looked around, making sure there wasn't anyone from the ship around, and then sat down into a corner of the tavern. It wasn't a long wait until an aging barmaid, perhaps the barkeeper's wife, brought the meal.


"What is this stuff?" Konig asked as he poked the slightly green slimy blob that took up most of the plate.


"It's shell-less scarab meat. It turns from a whitish pink to a light green as it heats up, hence the color. Despite its look, it is quite tasty – and filling." The barmaid smiled at Konig as she explained the dish to him. "I suggest not eating the leaves underneath – they're for seasoning only. I'll be back with some water, you'll want that."


"That's… foreboding. Ah well, food is food…" Konig said to himself, gulping as he looked at the scarab meat in front of him. Hesitant, he took his knife and started cutting off a bit of the slimy meat.


"Ah, it's always fun to watch first-timers squirm when they try to eat it." The barmaid said as she returned with the water. "Ever had any seafood, boy?"


"Yes, I have. Crab's always been my favorite dish."


"Then why are you having so much trouble eating that, boy? They taste almost the same." The barmaid said as she walked away, chuckling at Konig.


"I find that hard to believe." Konig muttered to himself as he took a bite of the scarab in front of him. The barmaid was wrong, the scarab didn't taste like the crab he usually eats, but it still tasted well. Konig ate as quickly as he could, having stalled enough with worrying about the taste of the meal. The Margonite crew has probably discovered the missing crystal by now.


Konig finished his meal quickly, paid the barkeeper, and headed to the door. A tall, broad man stood blocking the doorway. "Please move." Konig said, keeping his hood from showing most of his face.


"Hey there, Orrian." The voice of the first mate came from the man, startling Konig. "You wouldn't happen to have taken something of ours, have ya?" Rodrick put his hand on Konig's shoulder with a very tight grip. Panicked, Konig punched Rodrick with a right uppercut that sent the Margonite flying back at least three feet. Immediately after, Konig ran.

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