- 1 Post By Kalondor
- 1 Post By Kalondor
- 1 Post By Kalondor
- 1 Post By Kalondor
- 1 Post By Kalondor
- 1 Post By Kalondor
The following story is a work of fiction. Any sembalence to individual's both real and imaginary is mostly coincidence. As the story is long, adn will hopefully be drawn out, i will post them a page per. Please let me know if you want to read more, or if i should keep my day job, or both. Thank you for your time.
Kalondorai Page 1
Kalon’dor could smell the death that permeated the air as he approached the cabin. Usually for a death mage this was nothing new, but he could sense the taint of Regulos emanating from this death magic, and immediately he drew his sword. He also knew the couple that lived in the cabin, and he knew that they would never be playing with such things. The husband was a paladin warrior, and the wife was a sentinel cleric. The two had met as they had been entering the realm of the Fae to chase after Lord Twyl. They had been inseparable ever since, they had enjoyed the story of their meeting and not hesitated in telling the tale over again. Although they were ascended they had eventually laid down their arms and had chosen to start a family. Kalon’dor had met them a few years ago when he had stumbled across cabin while chasing after an invasion from a nearby death rift. As he had approached the cabin he had seen the 2 of them fighting the captain of the invasion, their fluidity of combat a thing of beauty.
Kalon’dor had joined the battle, firing death magic and leaching corruption into his enemies. After the battle he had watched in amazement as they had invited him in to rest, for he was a Defiant Bahmi death mage, and they were Guardian Elves of the light. And yet they held no animosity towards him, only seeing a friend who was fighting the planes, and the dread dragon Regulos. Despite the differences in their ideology Kalon’dor soon became great friends with the couple. He had been there for the birth of their daughter, and he had watched with the same joy as she had started to grow, and walk and talk. He had shared their joy over her first words, and had felt true fear the day she had wandered off before dawn. He had called forth all his minions to find her, ready to tear the forest apart trying to find her. Fortunately she had wandered right back out of the forest, a Fae following her, apparently watching over her. That was the day they had discovered her affinity for the Fae, and Fae magic.
But now Kalon’dor new and even greater fear as he approached the broken door. Kael, his skeletal knight companion readied his blades for the fight. For he too could sense the wrongness of this death magic. As he entered the small cabin his sense were overwhelmed by the scene in front of him. As he began to cast his first spell, he took in the scene. Both his dear friends lay in puddles of blood and death, 3 cultists surrounded the little girl as her Fae friend tried to hold them off but it was a losing match, until a cry of sheer grief and anger tore thru the cabin. Kalon’dor didn’t even realize that it had emanated from his own throat as his spells tore apart the cultist, rotting the flesh from their bones as Kael’s blades shattered what little remained as more came pouring in from outside the cabin, they too fell to the spells that flew from Kalon’dor fingertips. The endless court wanted death so bad, well he would bring it to them, destroying them so completely that only dust remained of the lucky, and thus he put himself between Kalondorai and these abominations of people. As the last one fell, writhing in pain and terror, Kalon’dor turned to the little girl, her eyes glazed with the horror of what she had witnessed.
Kalon’dor knelt beside the bodies of his friends, cursing his inability to heal, wishing for the first time since he had chosen this path that he had chosen another, perhaps then he would have been able to save his friends. The bahmi felt the tears begin to flow down his cheeks as he touched the face of the elven women. Her name had been Quelar, a grand and beautiful name to her people. His had been Jortham, a name of strength to the elves. As he touched her face, her eyes flew open and she looked into the eyes of one she knew to be a friend.
“Kalondorai?” she asked in a hoarse whisper, she could feel this last vestige of strength beginning to wane, but she had to make sure her baby was safe. At first Kalon’dor was amazed that she was still alive, but then he placed his large hand on the one that gripped his wrist.
“She is safe, her fae friends helped keep her safe,” he replied. “Now lay still we will get you better.” he said as he drew a jug of Blood Rum from his pack. As he went to give it to her to drink she spoke once more.
“Keep her safe Kal, promise me that you will take her in and raise her.” Quelar implored him with her words and her eyes. “They put a curse on both of us to keep us from coming back, As soon as we breathe our last, Regulos will take our souls. Please, take her away from here, and protect her?” With that her eyes rolled back in her head and she her breath and heart ceased to function.
“I will keep her safe, I promise.” with this last vow to a dead woman, Kalon’dor laid her back and closed her eyes. “May your ancestors watch over your soul.” With that Kalon’dor chanted an ancient oath of the bahmi, infusing it with his own death magic as he gave both their souls protection from Regulos’s corruption. As he turned to the little girl he saw Kael standing at the door, waiting and watching for anything else that might come forth. Stella, Kalondorai’s fae, stood watch with him, an odd sight for those not used to seeing creatures from opposite planes working together. Kalondorai look at him with piercing blue eyes, and looked at the bodies of her parents.
“We should get to the resurrection place and meet them there Uncle Kal,” she said as she moved to the door. “They will want to see the healer after they come back you know.” For a 6 year old, she had a good grasp on how things were supposed to work.
“Yes we need to leave here, but first uncle Kal has to take care of something.” With tears in his eyes he led her away to the edge of the forest, where the scene would not be there for either of them to have to see as he explained to her that her parents were not coming back this time. The shattered look on her face tore his heart out as she sobbed in his arms. But he had one last thing to do; he would not have the Endless Court defile his friends’ home, or their bodies, so he left her in the care of Kael and Stella. As Stella sat beside her friend and stroked her hair and Kael held her close on his bony lap. He gathered wood and brush from the forest and piled it against the house. He had already gotten Kalondorai’s clothes and as many family heirlooms and treasures as he could find. As he set the piles on fire he thought it was a fitting funeral pyre to his dear friends. He never saw the eyes of the young Mathosian boy that watched from the trees, he never heard the vow the boy made to have his revenge on this bahmi for his vile deeds that day. And he didn’t see him race back through the woods to his parents’ house in the village to report what he had seen.
Kalon’dor went back to where he had left Kalondorai and gathered her close again. “Come darling we need to get away from here quickly. I promised that I would keep you safe, and I will honor that with my life. I am going to take you back home with me, to a place called Freemarch. Perhaps there we will not stand out so much.” as he began to carry her back to where he had left his Targaton mount. As he set her upon the great turtle’s back, his heart tore a little more as he saw the tears pouring down her cheeks. He climbed aboard the targaton’s back and as he gathered her close he felt her head go limp in an exhausted sleep. As he turned his mount to the south he heard a commotion in the woods, and decided it was time to hurry. He never saw the band of guardians that came tearing into the clearing where the house had once been. As they watched the house burning they attempted to use their magic to put out the flames, but Kalon’dor had blessed this fire with his own ancestors, and so it did not go out until there was nothing left to burn. As the town folk gathered in the clearing their anger was palpable in the air. As they listened to the young boy recount his tale of the giant bahmi monster setting fire to the cabin after carrying all sorts of valuables out of the house plans were made for retribution. Even that night a group of ascended guardians set out to try and track this monster. But Stella had hidden they’re path well and so no one knew which direction they had taken.
After traveling for the entire night Kalon’dor finally arrived at a defiant porticulum. When he had tried to use a neutral one, he had found that the news of a bahmi killing an elven family had spread and he decided it would be best to pick a porticulum that would not be getting news from guardian sources. He had not realized that he had been seen, but he felt that it was best to simply lay low and let all believe that the entire family had perished. As he approached the defiant outpost he made sure that the sleeping child’s head and particularly her distinct ears were well hidden under a blanket he wrapped around her head. He was not sure how he would hide her race indefinitely but he was sure he would think of something. But for now the chill in the nights here aided him in his deception. Another worry crept into his mind as he realized that a necromancer mage with a fae following would be indeed strange, and he began to ponder how he would explain Stella. As though sensing where his thoughts were heading stele flitted next to him.
“Do not worry, I will find my mistress after you have passed through the porticulum, it is no trouble for me to move between this plane and the plane of life.” Kalon’dor breathed a sigh of relief at the news.
“Thank you Stella that will be most helpful. I imagine that you will be indispensable in the days to come. Thank you also for saving Kallie’s life in the cottage.” Kalon’dor replied looking at the fae with admiration in his eyes. Sadness entered the fairy’s eyes.
“We were created by Taviril to watch over life on Telara, preserving it, many of my kind have been corrupted by Greenscale, but there are still some of us that still serve Taviril, and we will do our best. I failed my duties by letting her parents die, but I will not fail her. I swear to you that I will not fail my mistress again,” a holy fire seemed to come into her eyes as she made this statement and Kalon’dor knew that she meant every word of it. For a while they rode in silence except for the rattling of armor, and the gallop of the Targaton. Eventually they saw the defiant wardstone as the crested the next hill into the Moonshade Highlands. With this Stella disappeared with a small poof of life energy. Kalon’dor was confident that they would see her in Freemarch.
“I need to get transportation for two, to Knights stand in Freemarch good sir,” he said as he approached the porticulum master in Timberveil.
“An odd destination for a bahmi to be taking his daughter, would you not rather take her to Meridian. It is much safer there you know.” asked the master as he tuned the porticulum to take them to Freemarch.
“No good sir, for we go to visit with friends at the Kelari Refuge, and Knight’s Stand is much closer.” Kalon’dor replied holding Kalondorai just a little closer lest the PM realize that she was not a Defiant. It was not unusual in this day and age to see the different races of the separate factions to adopt orphans of other races.
“Then safe travels to you and your child. What is her name?” replied the PM
“Kalondorai good sir, a Kelari orphan, we are going so that she may learn more of her heritage. One’s ancestors teach us a lot about ourselves.” Kalon’dor came up with the story right there, thus explaining their destination, and Kalondorai’s elven features. As Kalon’dor handed the PM the gold for the travel, he began to think about what the future might bring. He knew that there would be controversy, deceit, and definitely trouble coming in most forms. He hoped that the Guardians would not be able to gain access that deep in Freemarch. He knew that he used to see them gain wardstones deep in that territory, but those were usually handled quickly by young ascended. His biggest worry was what he would do as Kalondorai grew up. How would he handle raising her as a guardian when he didn’t know what all of their beliefs were. These thoughts plagued his mind as he stepped into the porticulum and arrived safely in Knight’s Stand. The smoke from Smith’s haven was not as thick as it usually was, so perhaps that situation was coming under better control.
As he began to ride towards a small farm he knew had been abandoned years ago near the road to the drought lands. He figured that is was out of the way enough that no one would bother them there. As he began to ride around the small path around Smith’s Haven, he felt the rain began to fall. Here in Freemarch this was not an unusual occurrence, but he could feel the planar corruption that had tainted this rain. Instantly he knew that the forces of Akylios were about to mount another attempt on taking Freemarch. Even as a part of him yearned to head into the midst of the invasion, and give aid in holding it off, he was held in check by the knowledge that he didn’t have just himself to worry about, but also a little girl whose only protection was him. And so he continued to ride for that farm that would soon be home. Tomorrow he would need to head into Meridian and take care of the legalities of staking his claim. But for tonight, even as the sun was coming up over Lake Solace, the 2 of them needed to rest.
As they reached the farm Kalondorai lifted her head to take in what would be her new home. A brief smile touched her lips as she saw the small stand of trees nearby. Stella floated out of them and came to join them. Her eyes darted back and forth as she took in the landscape.
“The planes of water and death hold sway here. I can smell the corruptions of both staining this land.” Stella stated as she surveyed the small farm. “I will remove the corruption here and this farm will prosper for you.”
“Thank you Stella, your gift is greatly appreciated.” said Kalon’dor as they headed for the small cottage that stood on the property. “But let us get some rest for now. I think we could use some food and sleep.” he said as he opened the door to the cottage. The interior was covered in dust and a musty odor assaulted their noses as they entered. The inside of the cottage was chilly as no one had lived here for almost a decade he had learned when he had first arrived in this time. Now though he needed to get a fire started for Kallie and he needed to dig some food out of his pack. Firewood was the first order of business and he set Kallie on one of the cots in the main room. Stepping back outside, he and Kael began searching for limbs and fallen wood to use for fire. Kalon’dor was happy that he had chosen foraging as one of his professions, and he knew that his mastery at artificing would help to bring in extra income if needed.
Returning to the cabin with packs loaded with wood, Kalon’dor found Stella busy using life magic to clean the cabin, banishing the dust with wind and light. Already the place was looking like a home. Kallie looked up as he entered and smiled as she went back to drawing random figures in some of the dust that Stella hadn’t gotten yet. Even with the smile though, Kalon’dor could see the shadows in her eyes and the pain of losing her parent that seemed to radiate around her like an aura. For the millionth time he wished there was something he could do to erase what had happened to her, to have been there sooner so as to add his power to the battle. This was impossible, he knew but it did not stop him from wishing.
He stacked the firewood next to the hearth, and began to stack some in the fireplace. As for starting the fire, there are some things that all magi can do, and making some small fire was one of them. He might not be able to hurl fireballs like a pyro, but he could start a small fire to keep himself and Kallie warm. He knew that Kael didn’t care whether he was warm or cold, and Stella kept herself warm from the plane of life. But both were drawn to the fire nonetheless, perhaps taking some comfort from the past day in the light of that simple flickering elemental force.
As Kalon’dor prepared his meager foodstuffs, he was distressed to find that he had no water in his pack, only some blood rum to drink, while this would do for him, and in fact be most welcome, rum would not due for a child. Once more Kalon’dor headed out, pleased
that the farm he had chosen lay near a creek, thus providing an ample source of water. Filling the bucket, once again he closed his eyes and relived the scene at the cabin, as pain and guilt assailed him. Again he had lost people close enough to be considered family, first when he had watched Regulos’s’ forces kill his wife and son, before finally killing him. When the Defiant brought him back he had sworn he would never lose anyone again, and had been careful to make friends only with ascended, as up till now the body could be killed, but the soul remained anchored to Telara. The full impact of the fact that Regulos’s had discovered a way to sever this anchor, and permanently kill the ascended shook him to the core.
As he walked back to the cottage, he thought of Kallie, and once again vowed to protect her, this time however, he made the vow using the oaths of his ancestor’s, they would have to kill him before they would ever lay a hand on her, but then he would be coming back, for a death mage is one that stands between both worlds, perhaps it would be more difficult to trap his soul, permanently anyway. As he finished preparing a meal for Kallie and himself, he thought of what the future might bring, and realized that he would probably need to tone back his use of death magic. As he looked at Kael, he realized as well that an undead soldier might look out of place on a farm, and it would be cruel to keep him from his eternal rest. He would dismiss him later that evening, after explaining that he would be allowed to rest at last. As if sensing his thoughts Kael walked up beside him and Kalon’dor could sense that he wanted to ask something.
“Master, I would like to ask you a question.” Inquired Kael as he began to help in preparing the simple fare.
“Of course, what is the question?”
“I know that a soldier such as me, being not much more then bones does not seem to be a great aid on a farm, but I can learn, and I would like to know if there is any way to stay here, to help you in protecting Kalondorai? You see, her parents were the only ones who didn’t look at me with disgust, and I have come to care for her as well. Please master.” The pleading in his voice something new that Kalon’dor had never heard before. He had never expected this development, as it was a deeply held belief that undead minions were simply bones and magic, with no feeling or personality, but then he had seen stranger things in this world.
“I would be honored to have you by my side as we tackle this rare and treacherous quest of parenthood.” And it was nothing less than the truth as he prepared the plates and carried them over to Kallie in front of the fire. Later that evening as he lay upon the floor beside the cot, putting himself between the cot and the door, just in case, Kalon’dor wondered just what the future would hold. Then he felt Kallie as she snuggled up beside him.
“Can i sleep with you tonight Uncle Kal?” her plaintive voice asked, “The monsters can’t get me if you are with me.”
“Of course dear.” And the fear in her voice tore at his heart as he wrapped her in his arms and held her until she fell asleep. His thought before he too fell into a heavy slumber is that he would protect her, for eternity if that is what was asked of him, for there is no greater desire for any parent then to see the child they love grow up happy and safe.
End of Chapter 1, please let me know your comments and critiques