The Nine Paladins : Drums of War | By: Richard James Carraway | | Category: Full Story - Fantasy Bookmark and Share

The Nine Paladins : Drums of War

By : Richard Carraway

The Order of the Ten Paladins has always been here. The first Paladins were a father, his wife, his two sons, and 5 uncles and an aunt. When the time for the order to go it is said that they vanish and are to never to be seen again. The Order of the ten when it was new had made a world called Zaldren and it the people on the world were made in the leader of the Tens image, the women were made in the image of his wife. The world was destroyed when the darkness that creeps throughout the universe found it. The Order of the Ten banished magic when that world was young. Magic was said to have come from darkness and it was not to be practiced or even spoken of. The son of the first Ten paladins leader studied dark magic, he was banished to the dark-black, the place where you are held until the end of time, where no one gets out, when he refused to stop his studies. The Paladins of today are the fourth line of Paladins, they are the last of their kind. It is said that this line of Paladins will never die because there will be no heirs to take over the throne and to watch over what ever world the Order had created. This line will forever rule the universe.

Chapter I : A New World

As he stood there in his room he thought; he thought about his brothers, he thought about his ideas of life, he thought about a new world. Deep in thought, looking out his window he saw nothing but darkness, he saw no stars or planets, he saw no suns or even an end... he saw oblivion.
"Brother, the meeting is starting, it is time for you to speak of your... ideas." Ladrix said looking at his brother from behind.
"Yes, yes, I am coming... I just need a few more minutes, I must go over my speach, make sure it's perfect." Tryton replied not turning to face his younger brother.
Bowing, Ladrix left his brother, he had more important things to attend to. He walked down the short hallway from his brothers room, Its walls were tiles of a red mineral called Koral, it was the hardest mineral known. The floors of the hallway were a white type of Koral. He made his way to the end of the hall and opened the shining wooden door. Walking into the main chamber he stood in the doorway making sure everyone was present for the meeting. He saw his eight other brothers sitting at their spots at the long granite table; the table was smooth as silk and hard as steel, it had four gleaming wooden chairs on each long side, and one throne on the end. The room he was in was rather big compared to the other rooms in the castle. The top of the room was a dome, it was decorated with lights and clouds, it had all the former paladins painted on it, and they were on the family tree. The walls of the circular room were gold with diamond studs that lined the top, middle, and bottom parts of the wall, the chamber was the middle of the castle. It had four doors on each side; one leading into Trytons room, one into the main room, one leading into the dining room, and one leading into the hallway where the nine other brothers sleeping chambers were located.
"AH Ladrix, you've arrived" said Kiron the youngest of the ten siblings.
"Where is Tryton, he must hurry, the meeting is starting soon, the meeting he called upon... he CANNOT miss it!"
"Calm down Kiron, remember your place!" snapped Ladrix.
Kiron stiffend.
"He will be here shortly, he said he needed a few more minutes to go over what he is going to say." Ladrix said, eyeing his young brother.

"BE SEATED!" Tryton boomed as he entered the room.
The nine other Paladins took their seats while Tryton made his way to his own. There was a silence, finally Varson older than Kiron but younger that Ladrix, cut through that silence with a hiss.
"WHAT are we here for Tryton, WHAT is this idea of yours?"
Sitting up in his throne, Tryton spoke.
"We are here for one reason, we are the last of us, lets make a world to show for it."
His deep voice carrying easily accross the big room.
"I have an idea of a world with life, they will be made from the very earth they stand upon, they will be called Guardians of Stone, they will live on the world of Velnore. They will be a rough, rocky race of men, women and child. They will pray to us, we will answer their prayers to make their lives easier. But only if their problem isn't something they can't fix themselves."
The nine other Paladins were leaning towards Tryton, eyes open wide.
"We can make sure they know we exist, but only one will know what we look like, he will be the ruler of this race, he will be a king among his people. This race will have free roam of this world, we cannot interfere with their wars or politics; that will be up to them. We will add animals and water for them to eat and drink."
Ladrix had a look of shock on his face. Shaking it off, he slammed his fist down on the table, making a loud crashing sound.
"This is absurd Tryton! WHY would we make a race and have them pray to us as.. as.. GODS, if we can't have any part in their wars?"
Ladrix always had a temper; Tryton was glaring at his brother, suprised at what he had just said.
"We can't get involved with their wars because it could draw US apart, if one of us were to want somthing for them, and go to them, and fight for them, and another for the other side we could end up fighting one another! For this reason we can't fight their wars for them."
Ladrix did not agree with his brother but he knew nothing he could say would change his brothers mind. Tryton was the leader, he had the final say no matter what. The other Paladins just stared at either Ladrix or Tryton soaking in what had just happend. There were rarely fights among the Paladins; there was nothing to fight about.
"If I may, brother." Lord'heiron said, the third eldest of the brothers.
"I can make a sword for the leader of these people, a powerful sword.. powerful enough to kill that which is immortal, this sword will be forged with the souls of past Paladins, until the begining of time, it will be called 'The Sword of Souls'."
Tryton ponderd the idea, and called his brother to a far part of the room; speaking in a soft whispering voice he said, "Do this brother, but keep it secret, do not tell any of our brothers, they know it will be forged but not when it will begin or when it will be done."
"Why is this my lord?" Lord'heiron said, a look of confusion on his face.
Speaking in the same whispering voice as before, Tryton spoke again. "Because I don't want it falling into the wrong hands. Ask no questions and give no answers brother."
Nodding, Lord'heiron and Tryton made their way back to their seats. Still standing, Tryton said, "If there are no more questions, this meeting is dismissed; we will go over more information and ideas of this world and its geography in the next week. The week after that we'll go over the inhabitants, and then the week after that we'll sort out the ideas that we'll throw out and what we'll keep, and finally after that week, we'll start the forging of this new world. Get some rest my brothers, tomorrow we begin!

Chapter II : Forging of a world

            After the ideas were sorted out and after the brothers had agreed on everything they could think of and what Tryton said was okay or dismissed they had started the world of StoneGuard. The ten brothers channeled their power to form rock and with that rock they made it a sphere , and with that sphere of earth they rose mountains and after those mountains they put a place for the seas and for marshes and woodlands. After they formed the moutains and marshes, they channeled even more power for water; they put water where ever there was a small imdention in the ground, including the Great Sea. The ten brothers look at what they had made, they looked at one another and nodded in agreement. After the forming of the world was completed, the making of the Guardians of Stone was up to Tryton.
         Tryton gathered up a hand full of the still warm soil and start to mold and shape, using the water from the Great Sea to help him, he shaped the lump of warm soil into a bulky-looking being, and then he continued this process for two hundred more years, making enough men and women to reproduce to keep the Paladins' world alive. Once he had made the beings of earth, he sent down a beam of holy light, filling and ingulfing the four thousand beings of the world he had made, giving them life. The world he had made shook, the beings he had created began to move and creak, not use to their new limbs and movements. After the glow of light had faded almost away he had seen one of the beings approach him. As he stared down at this new Guardian, the Guardian bowed.
"I wish to rule my people in the name of the Holy Light, I am aware of who you are Tryton. I will lead my people north to the mountains of Grityen. Once there I will tell all my of people to pray to you and the other Paladins to make us a great city in the mountains... the knowledge that you have given me is still fuzzy, but the long trip will give us time to settle in."
Tryton looked at this being, shocked at how the new Guardian had been acting. He was pleased; he thought about it a moment and kneeled down.
Looking down at the Guardian he said, "You can rule your people and I will give you the ability to never age, but you can die. You will rule your people and lead them to Grityen; once there I will make you a city."
He paused, clearly thinking of somthing. "Ra'Den, that will be your name. I will also give you the powers of a Paladin, but not so much as to be a god. I will give you the power to heal your allies and to ingulf all you wish to in a holy aura to impower their weapon strikes or to bless them in our name. Go now, make your way to Grityen, once there, pray."
Tryton stood and turned to walk away. He stopped and turned his head towards Ra'Den. "I will tell my brother Lord'heiron to send you and your people some weapons and armor; I'll also tell Dallen to send down natural plant life and the animals he has thought of."
Turning his head back around, Tryton began to walk off, an aura of holy light surrounding him, making the new Guardian turn away sheilding his eyes. With a pulse of light the Paladin was gone.

            "I have returned brothers.", The nine other Paladins sitting at the table looked up from what they were doing.
"Lord'heiron, Dallen I wish to speak with you!" The two brothers got up and jogged over to their brother, both looking puzzled.
"Lord'heiron I need you to make these new people weapons and armor; make the one called "Ra'Den" a set of armor and a sword worthy of a Paladin. And Dallen I need you to make the natural plant life and other inhabatints of this world, make a few enemies or somthing to give them a challenge, I want to see how they fight... but not until they get their weapons. They will reach Grityen in a weeks time. Make sure they have their weapons."
Nodding, the two brothers ran off to complete their tasks.
"Welcome back brother" Ladrix all but spat the words.
"How are your precious stone creations doing? Are they at war with one another yet?"
Tryton too tired to handle his brothers attitude, held up a hand, clearly dismissing him as he walked to his chambers to get some well diserved sleep.  
          Tryton awoke to a voice that sounded a lot like the cracky deep voice of Ra'Den.
"My Lord, we have reached Grityen, I am praying to you so you can make the great city, your brothers have made our armor and weapons, natural life and animals."
Tryton, rubbing his eyes, still stiff with a weeks long sleep, he rose up. With a blinding light he was in front of the mountain that was almost as tall as he was. Shrinking down to a size that suited him, he glided to Ra'Den or at least thats what Ra'Den thought he did.
"This city will be in your image Ra'Den, what do you wish it to look like?"
Ra'Den thought a moment and with a big grin he spoke. "I would like the front to have huge doors that will close with ease, it will have the symbol of Guardians of Stone on it, a half on each door. The doorway will lead into a hallway; this hallway will be thirty feet long and open up into a gigantic room with houses and stores and forges all carved from into the bigger room. On the sides of the walls and on the ceilings will be magma to produce light, this magma will be cool to the touch but give off heat. In the middle of the room will be a bridge, this bridge will go over a small river of magma that is also cold to the touch but gives off heat. These streams of magma will run through all the extra rooms of this great city, illuminating the entire city with an orange glow."
Tryton listened to Ra'Dens idea for his city, he nodded and turned to the blank mountain. Blinding light began to surround the Paladin, then a beam of pure white light shot towards the mountain ingulfing the entire mountain. The ground began to shake, Ra'den fell to the ground, he turned away from the light for fear of becoming blind, he saw that his kin were frozen in time, almost as if they were frozen from fear. The ground was shaking so feircly that even Tryton struggled to keep his feet on the ground. Ra'Den saw sweat on Trytons brow, the great Paladin was gritting his teeth together. He could not see what was going on where the mountain was, the light was to bright for him to look. All of a sudden the shaking stopped, Tryton fell to his knees.. the light faded away from the mountain and the Paladin let out a deep breath.
"It is done." Said the Paladin.
"I would not go in there for five days and five nights, the ground inside and outside of the mountain is hot, if you were to step foot inside that mountain, even your rock like bodys would melt and give way to the extreme heat."
Still breathing hard, Tryton stood. Wiping the sweat off his face with his searing hot gautlet he turned towards Ra'Den. Ra'Den had a wide grin on his face, he looked like a young boy, he looked like Tryton when he was young and would open presents from his father on his birthday. Tryton laughed.
"Pleased I see?"
The guardian couldn't speak, he just nodded.
"What is it you wish to call your city young Guardian?"
Tryton asked Ra'Den. Ra'Den broke his gaze from the still red hot city doors.
"I.. I don't know my lord."
His voice shaking from shear exitment.
"I, I think I'll name it StoneGuard, we will protect this land, this city will be a refuge for any who do not have a home or are looking for a new one."
Tryton nodded in agreement.
"You'll be a fine leader Ra'Den, I must depart this world now. Lead well!"
With a pulse of pure white light the Paladin was gone.

Chapter III : Fall of a God

As he rolled and twisted he awoke from the frighting nightmare, blood thirsty and ready to kill. His wife Shar'len, beside him rolled over and asked him what had happend, Leh'Kor looked at his wife and jumped on her, wrapping his hands around her throat he pushed, choking the life out of her. He liked killing and he wanted more, he walked to his sons room, still sleeping he picked him up and started to choke him too, his son screamed and a guard rushed in.
"SIR! Drop the boy and step away from him, if you continue I'll have no choice but to kill you!" Leh'kor laughed and choked the boy harder, then all went dark. The gaurd had stabbed the guardian in the back with his sword. Picking up the boy and holding him the boy said in hushed tones.
"He.. is.. corrupt." then the young boy succumbed to death. The guard laid down the boy and call for a few more guards to search the house, he went to the castle of StoneGuard.
"My lord." whispered the Guard captain"We have a problem." Ra'Den rose from his deep slumber and slipped on a robe, he walked with the gaurd to the house as the gaurd told him what had happend to the women and the young boy. Ra'Den was furious.
"WHAT do you mean he said 'He is corrupt', what does that even mean?"
"I don't know" said the Guard Captain, "but we'll find out."
          "Tryton, we wish to have allies, the corruption of the wildlife is increasing,  it has been ten thousand years since you made this world and everyday more and more Guardians go mad and run away. We don't know where this corruption  is coming from, we need your help."
Ra'Den prayed as he knelt beside his bed one night. The Paladin awoke from his sleep as he heard this prayer. He did not know where this corruption came from, it had been happening since the Guardians had gotten settled in to their new city, the first corrupted Guardians were peasants, they lived day by day as normal people, then they began to go mad. They started speaking of a dark aura they had felt, they spoke of a being larger than life coming to them in their sleep and speaking to them in whispering echoing voices.
"I can give you power beyond comprihention, all I ask of you is your loyalty all i need you to do is obey and you'll have power! You must come to the ruins of shala'ka in Setreen, there you will be givin'  the power you seek!"
That is what the General had told Ra'Den, he had not been foolish enough to do as the dark being had said. Tryton had spoken with Ra'Den after he had told him of his Generals encounter. A few of the corrupted Guardians had come back attacking the city guards. They were easly taken down, they guards that fought them said that the Guardians were pale, and not as heavy built as they once were, they were not made from rock, they were made from a squishy substance that had the color of sand. They were smaller and leaner. The weapons the Guardians had, had just cut right through the soft flesh, they began calling these beings Undead because they were pale and cold. They carried weapons made from animals bones and were easly destroyed.
       Tryton knew that he could not fight their wars for them. He only wished he knew what was causing this corruption. The forging of the Sword of Souls was completed but Tryton trusted no one on Velnore with the sword due to the corruption. Tryton kept the sword in a Vault on the far side of the castle.
       Later that day Tryton called a meeting with the nine other Paladins. As the Paladins sat there in the meeting room around the big table Ladrix walked in.
"Nice of you to arrive Ladrix."
Lord'heiron barked at his brother. Ladrix was clean exept one spot on his face where a black mark was.
"Where have you been Ladrix? What is that mark on your face?"
Tryton asked in a deeper voice that usual. Rolling his eyes Ladrix stepped past his brothers as they sit staring at him.
"LADRIX!" yelled Tryton, his deep voice deafening the other Paladins as he slammed his fist on the table.
"I asked you a question and my question you will answer, remeber your place at this table brother!" Tryton was standing up from his seat now, a white aura glowing around him. Ladrix stopped and began to laugh... but in a voice no one in the meeting room knew.
"I knew father would pick you to become the leader of the Ten dear brother!"
Ladrix turned around and a dark black sickly aura crept across him as he did.
"I only wish you would have listend to me and not made those beings you love so much, they are corrupted and you love them still!"
The nine other Paladins were shocked at what they saw and heard.
"What are you talking about brother? What has gotten into you?" Ladrix said stepping closer to his brother.
"I want nothing but the best for my brothers too, I just don't want the world we worked so hard to create to fall due to a being I cannot see corrupting them."
Tryton was calm now, the white aura had faded away. Eyeing his brother, Tryton placed a hand on Ladrix's shoulder but pulled back  as fast as he could, it burned to touch him. Ladrix began to laugh again.
"Don't touch me old man, I have become powerful. As you watch that world and answer their prayers I have been on Velnore making my own powers dark, making them powerful."
The other nine brothers were standing now, swords out ready to attack Ladrix if he so much as made a move.
"And for that I am sorry Ladrix."
The pure white aura began to surround Tryton.
Trytons voice echoed through the entire castle.
Tryton had grown to twice his original height and was looking down upon the cowering dark form of his brother. A white light shot from the hands of Tryton to Ladrix, burning him, Ladrix cried out in pain.
And with a pulse of white light, the still burning dark figure Ladrix was sent to a remote island on Velnore.
"What now?" said Turelson the second youngest of the 9 brothers.
Tryton whipped around to yell at his brother but quickly calmed himself.
"I don't know my brother, today is a tragic day for us.. today is the only the second time any of the Paladins have been banished. I know that Ladrix will wage war with the Gaurdians.. Lord'heiron will make a race of people, ccome to me with your idea, you are dismissed brothers."

Chapter IV: Esmazun

Ladrix was sitting in his dark black throne that glowed a sickly color, it was lined with skulls and had torches at the sides. He had made his castle on that remote island off the coast of Aegisin, he had name the island  Esmazun meaning 'Death and Decay' in the language of the gods. The castle was big and the sky around it was dark, the island it was on was now corrupted with undeath, the ground was cold and the air around the island smelled putrid, smelled of decay. The castle was decorated with skulls and bones of anyone unlucky enough to sail to close to the island. Ladrix stood up, slamming his bone staff down making a loud crack.
"Y-yes my lord." A small undead creature scurried up the short set of stairs and knelt before his master.
"Where is my Army?" Ladrix hissed at the cowering creature.
"T-they are on their way to the elvish city of Elendor, they are going as fast as they can my lord. They have a long way to travel, it is half way across the continent.
Ladrix threw back his hood, his features had changed since he had become a necromancer and no longer had to worry about his brothers seeing him, he had grown a white goatee and had long, thin white hair. His voice had changed too, his voice now echoed and carried the feeling of death where it went. He was slender now, not powerfully built like he once was, he was still strong and had retained alot of his power from his banishment but he sertently did not look like it.
"Where are the scouts? are they were I told them to go? StoneGaurd still stands and will continue to stand until we have those pesky elves out of the way."
Ladrix looked angry by the ugly creatures expresion.
"They have not reported back." the creature hissed at his master. Ladrix twiched his hand and the creature hunched over, crying out in pain.
"Don't get smart with me! I gave you the power of never aging, you have no fear of the mortal races because of ME!" Ladrix was right, he had been corrupting the mortal races of Velnore for thousands of years. He had givin them the power of undeath. Ladrix had learnd much from his banished time, he had been able to pratice little while still at the chamber of the Nine, now he had all the time in the world. Ladrix had been able to corrupt more and more races and animals now, he would go in through their dreams as a dark cloaked figure, he would speak to them, telling them to go to the ruins of Shala'ka in Setreen. Once their he would show himself to them and make their deepest darkest fears come true, he literally scared them to death, then using his nercomantic magic power he would raise the mortal being into undeath. The Guardian Ra'Den had gotten him banished, he would make the guardians race suffer more than anyone, and that he was sure of.

Chapter V:  Rise of the Elves

         The elves were created by Lord'heiron, he approached Tryton with his idea of a new race to help the war that would with no doubt come, Tryton had told him he could do so. Lord'heiron created the elves in their mothers image, she was a breath taking women so thats what he made all of the elves look like, it had taken the the elves a couple hundred years to adapt to their environment, once they had adapted it was like they had always been there, they soon became civilized and started working togeather, Lord'heiron had crowned one of the oldest elves king. The elves had made themselves a city in the woods, and city that all but glowed with light, that citys name was Elendor, city of Light, The ruler of the Elves was known as Taladren. The Elves spoke a different language as the Guardians, they spoke Elvish. The Elves were not as tall or as powerfully built as the Guardians but each had their own strengths and weaknessis. The Elven Archers were unmatched by there skills as the Guardians, warriors were unmatched. The Elves were proud of themselves, they had agreed to ally themself with the Guardians, the war had yet to start, the elves had had very few of its kind go mad from ladrix's corrupted words. Both races knew of Ladrix now, Taladen and the Elvish nation knew of the Order of the Nine and worshiped them as their gods too.
       As he sat in the blue granite dining hall eating his lunch the captain of the guard burst in through the tall doors. Trying to salute, stop, bow and catch his breath all the same time.
"My lord!" he cried.
"The enemy is here, there are hundreds of them, their leader at the front gates, he wishes to speak with only you!"
Dropping the bread and goblet of wine the elven leader was eating and drinking he ran out to the balcony that towered over the rest of the city and gasped. What he saw had to be at least 3 hundred of the undead creatures and what looked like a Undead leader in full black plate armor that glowed with a dark aura. It was not Ladrix, Taladen knew this, he would not be foolish enough to come to the city with so few, this was a mission for him to see how the new race would hold up. Taladen turned to his Captain.
"Sound the alarms get everyone inside their homes, call the entire elvish army that is in the city to the front and back gates, send a letter to Ra'Den telling him the enemy is here."
The Captain saluted and ran off to tell someone to write a letter. Taladen sighed and turned to put his armor on as fast as possible. A few minutes later he was standing on top of the front gate, looking over the wooded area of the forest, a stream ran across the road that lead to the front gates and a small bridge ran across the stream, the smell of death and decay filled the air. The undead army in front of him, archers at his sides and his own army behind him. Looking down he saw their leader, he was taller than he was but wore not armor but robes and carried a great sword. He sat on a dark horse with fiery red eyes and it made a sound that echoed throughout the city. The elven leader called to this robed undead.
"What is it you wish to see me for?"
The robed figure looked up at laughed, it hurt the elven leaders ears.
"I come to ask for your surrender or I will have no choice but tear your city apart bit by bit!"
The black horse reared up and the robed figure patted it on its neck.
"Then you'll have to tear this city bit by bit Undead! I will not give up my city, I have sent word to the Guardians, they should be here in due time to help us crush you!"
Knowing the Elvish leader was lying the robed Figure laughed.
"Very well."
He turned and rode toward the back of the massive army, the Undead army marcher forward crashing into the heavy built city gates. The sky grew dark, the Elven leader looked up to see arrows coming towards him.
"DOWN!" he yelled to his men.
Then men dropped to the ground shielding themselves with there shields and what ever they had, a few of them fell to arrows going deep into their soft skin.
"FIRE!" yelled Taladen, his archers already had their bows at the ready. The air was filled with the sounds of arrows falling and the crashing of the city gates.
"Open the first gates and Charge them!" bellowed Taladren.
"Do not give them the satisfaction of killing you!"
The first set of two, opened, creaking open the elvished warriors caught the Undead army by surprise, the first couple lines of undead warriors fell from either arrow fire or their heads being cut off by elvish swords. The elven leader made his way down to where the battle was, the undead were outnumbered but fought with a dark aura about them. Taladren unsheathed his long sword and dagger and began swigging, cutting off undead limbs and heads. He saw the Robed figure with two others clearly casting their dark magic's. He heard a warrior behind him and swug around sword and dagger at the ready, but relaxed as he saw it was his Captain.
"My lord we're winning but we're taking heavy casualties!" his elvish features covered by blood.
"Good, tell the men to line up shield and spear at the ready!" the elvish leader turning around just in time to parry an undeads sword attack and cut off its head, the undead fell to the ground, twitching. The Captain had already turned and ran of to repeat his leaders orders to the other warriors. Taladren turned and ran towards his men, finding himself a spot in the front lines and was handed a shield and spear as he sheathed his sword and dagger. He turned and looked to both sides of him to make sure everyone was in line where they were suppose to be.
"ADVANCE!" the elvish leaders voice carrying even over the sound of battle. The elvish army advance forward cutting down any who got close enough to there spears, archers on the wall were firing as fast as there hands would allow them, they made sure not to hit their own allies. A  undead, lunged at Taladren swords in both hands yelling something in a language he did not know. It almost cut his head off but he ducked then swung his shield up catching the Undead in the throat breaking its neck, the undead toppled to the ground not making a sound, blood and gore pouring from wound the shield had left on its neck. The army advanced forward and kept on until there were no more Undead around, two of the three necromancers had ran off, one of them had fell in battle. When the last of the undead were cut down, the battle was over, Taladren looked around and saw hundreds upon hundreds of bodies undead and elvish alike lying dead on the elvish soul, now tainted by undeath. He sat on a rock and put his head in his hands, and sighed, not shedding a tear. The captain had survived the battle and was walking over to his leader. Saluting, the captain spoke.
"My lord we have lost 247 warriors and 12 archers, today is a sad day for the people of Elendor."
"Aye it is." said the elvish leader his voice heavy with dread and sorrow.
"How many citizens have fell to the undead army's?" asked Taladren.
"None that we have counted" replied the Captain eyeing his leader.
"Are you alright my lord?", Taladren looked up, discust on his perfect elven features.
"Alright?" the usually calm leader snapped.
"Why in the world would I be alright? Our city has been attacked by the damned, dead beings with no remorce or sorrow! We may have won this time but that is not to say they won't come back with an even bigger army!"
The captain shrunk at his leaders anger.
"I'm sorry my lord" the captain said bowing turning to walk away.
"No I am sorry, I should not have snapped and you, you were trying to help, go and help clean up. burn the undead, burry the elvish. After that is done go home and be with your family."
"Yes my lord" said the captain, bowed and walked away repeating his kings orders. Taladren stood up and brushed himself off, he went to help his men clean up the undead and burry his kin.
Six hours later the elven leader was drying off his long golden hair with a towel. Sitting down at his desk he wrote a letter to Ra'Den.
"Ra'Den, leader of the Guardians of Stone, we fear the enemy have begun their war. I am sending this letter to you so you can prepare, I will keep all of my elvish warriors that are there in your city to help you with the evasion if it is to come. I advise you to keep your city gates closed at night and I also advise you to keep your food and water supplies at its highest. We have won this battle with many casualties on both sides, we have just finished cleaning up, your dearest friend and fellow leader, Taladren."
He sealed up the letter with the seal of Elendor and gave it to a messenger to take it to the great mountain city of StoneGuard.

Chapter VI : Word of a God

        Ra'Den was looking out over his great city through a balcony carved into the very mountain it was in. The Guardian had been alive since the begining of life, he was the oldest being alive other than the Nine and Ladrix. He had kept his promise to Tryton and had lead his people to a high standing with the other races of Velnore, . As Ra'Den was thinking he heard the doors of his chambers open and a elven messenger walked in, bowing.
"Ra'Den king of the Gaurdians ruler of the great city of StoneGuard, my Leader, Taladren has sent word of a great battle." Holding out a letter with the seal of Elendor. The elvish messenger gladly took a water skin from Ra'Den as he took the letter. He sat down at his desk and broke the seal and read the letter. When he was done he wrote a responce and sealed it with the seal of Stoneguard. He gave the messenger and a wineskin and bread and sent him on his way. The Guardian paced his room for a few minutes deep in thought. He stopped at his chamber door and struck the door so hard it came off its hindges and flew a few feet down the hall. The startled guards straightend back up after the small scare. Ra'Den Look at one of the guards and said.
"Go find General Na'zed, give him this letter. tell him to ready the troops, send hunters out to gather supplies, send scouts out to search the land for the Undead, get ready for war. The guard nodded, saluted and ran off to do as his leader had told him. Ra'Den walked back into his room and sat down on his bed. Deep in thought the leader started to pray.
"Tryton, this world needs your help, I can't keep everyone safe like I said I could, I've failed you. If you want to take away my immortality and give it to someone who is worthy please do so. If you don't, guide me, guide me so that I will know what to do. In my many many years of ruling over this great city and its thousands of different people that have come and gone, we've never been at war. The elves are a younger race, they have had a full battle taking many lifes not so long ago, I have only had small skrimishes. So I ask you to lead me on the right path."  After his prayers Ra'Den put his greatsword beside his bed and went to sleep.
"Ra'Den I have heard your prayer, alas there is nothing we can do. The Order of the Nine have sworn to each other that we would not get involved with your wars. I can how ever give you this. You are feeling the weight of your crown for the first time in five thousand years, you're still young in our eyes, there is no one better to rule your people than you, no one is perfect. When you awake eat breaskfast, your war starts in three days time, that is all the information I can give, good luck and farewell."
        Ra'Den awoke after the dream had ended, the sun was rising, he walked out onto his balcony in a robe with a goblet in hand. He yawned and looked down on his great city. What he saw shocked him. There were guards running around the streets checking in houses and stores, there were hunters coming over the bridge toward the castle so the butchers could prepare the meat, he saw hunters with barrels of water and carts full of ore. He saw one of his Generals and yelled for him. A moment later Grelon walked through his chamber door, Ra'Den handed him a water skin and told him to sit. which he did. Sitting down accross from the general, Ra'Den spoke first.
"All goes well with supplies I see?" the sudden words seemed to have startled the young General.
"Yes my lord, we have enough food, water, skins, ore, and wood to last the army for weeks." The general looked puzzled. "-and the people?" the general didn't know what to say, he didnt know what his leader had ment. "Sir?" he asked in a shocked low voice.
"What about supplies for the people within the city gates? what are they suppose to eat and drink?" the general didn't know what to say, he looked around and leaned toward Ra'Den
"Are we to go out and get more for the citizens my king?" the general knew the answer, he didn't know why he asked.
"What do you think General? with out the citizens what are we protecting? you were a citizen as a boy were you not?"
The genereal was nervouse, "Aye I was sire" , and would you have liked to have starved while your leader and protecters ate like kings?" Ra'Den knew he was being smart, he knew he sounded like he was being mean but he wasn't really. "No sire." the General said.
"What are the guards doing checking houses and stores?"
"They are making sure no one went mad and killed everyone in the night, they couldn't get out of the city, the gates are closed at night." the general looked shocked at his leaders sudden question."Very well, go get supplies and hand them out to the citizens, you are dismissed General Grelon." The Guardian stood up bowed and left the room. Ra'Den hated getting smart with his men but sometimes they needed the little scare. A few moments later another elvish messenger ran through the door, it was a different one than the day before, it was a women this time, buitefull and moved with ease.
"Yes?" asked Ra'Den quite startled that there were two elven messengers in two days. The elven messenger bowed speaking as a she rose back up, "Elendor has defeated the attack from Ladrix's army, there were many casualtys, Elendor has lost alot but my leader wants his elven troops that are in the city to stay and help defeaned." Ra'Den was happy that Elendor did not fall. He liked the city, it was always quite and soothing. He grabbed a water skin from the near by table handing it to the elven las, she took a big gulp and spoke again, " He wished you the best of luck." she saluted and began to turn around to leave but Ra'Den cut her off, "Wait.", the elven messenger turned around, confusion covering her perfect features. "I will send his troops back, they number in the hundreds here, that is more than enough than I need, I have all of my troops here. I have an ambassador and his two guards in Elendor, I will send his troops back to aid him in his clean up. you may go now" she bowed, turned and ran off. Ra'Den walked back out to the balcony, looking at the busy streets of StoneGaurd the feeling of dread came over him."what if my people die, what if they send a force to big to handle", 'what if 'was the biggest question he'd had in awhile.

Chapter VII: The Seige of StoneGuard

It was early morning, the sounds of blacksmiths hitting the red hot metal was echoing off the walls of StoneGuard. Ra'Den woke up in a better mood this morning, no news of the undead or people becoming corrupt have been heard of for weeks. Ra'Den was drinking warm tea with his breakfast when the door to his chambers swung open hitting the walls with a lound thud, General Grelon ran in the room, blood and gore covering his face and armor, he had a large cut across his his exposed arm, he was breathing heavely. Ra'Den jumped up and ran to his generals side and led him to a near by chair.
"What has happend Grelon?" he demanded trying to keep the worry from showing in his voice.
"They-They are here my lord, the undead have arrived, most of the army have made it inside the city gates with only a few cuts and bruses." Ra'Den was wiping off and stiching up the cut on Grelons arm with some molten magma he had gotten from the streams running across the walls.
"The gates, are they shut?" asked Ra'Den in a soft voice, one that Grelon had never heard.
"Yes my lord, no Undead have gotten in the city gates, they have brought seige engines, they have atleast a thousand undead soilders." The look of horror crossed the old kings face, he told the general to get to a nurse. He got his armor on and strapped his sword to his back, he ran out the door of his room. He ran into the archers room that were just above the city gates, the Archers were firing arrow after arrow through the holes that lined the top of the gates. Some of the Soilders that had made it there before Ra'Den were getting molten lava into barrels and pooring it out of the holes, searing the Undeads skin. Any undead unlucky enough to get caught under the hot molten lava screamed in pain and withered up as they died. The smell of burnt skin and hair, death and decay filled the air. The Undead were bashing into the city gates with their make-shift seige engines, they were made from bone and wood, they used rocks and the burnt bodys of there allies or dead Gaurdians to fling at the front gates or at the holes just above them. The Undead had archers of their own firing arrows at the holes above the gates, many Archers fell due to enemy arrows. Many undead fell due to the Archers arrows as well. Ra'Den was barking orders to geting more lava when an arrow hit his armor, it bounced of harmlesly, he turned towards the windows, angry now.
"Fal'bel! Get all the men that you can spare and bring to them to get gates!" Fal'bel was his second in command now that Grelon was hurt and being fixed up. He was going to lead a head on assult to the enemys front lines.
"Yurlon! Tell your Archers to set fire to their arrows, bring down those damned seige engines, we're going to give them hell!" He turned and ran towards the stairs leading to the lower level. This area was huge, it was almost as big as the first part of the city, before the bridge. It was made entirly out of stone, even the gates were hard stone. Though they were easily opened and closed. He waited there while the rest of his troops lined up side by side, sheild and spear at the ready. He went to his spot in the middle of the front line and was handed his shield with a glowing sword insignia on it. The doors were flung open, the archers had burned the siege engines to a crisp.
"MOVE FORWARD!" bellowed the Gaurdian King, the army marched foward cutting down anyone foolish enough to come within range, with their shields, Archer support and shear numbers they destroyed the first few lines. The Undead were giving an order in a language that Ra'Den didn't know, they fell back. His men started to cheer but he held up his hand to silence them.
"Stay in formation!" he yelled as the first few gaurdians stopped cheering, they were falling back, and reforming, falling back far enough so the archers attacks could not hit them with their ranged attacks.
"GENERAL!" yelled Ra'Den, his General ran up to him, the army parting to let him through, "Go tell Yurlon to bring some Archers down here for ranged support!" the general nodded and ran away to tell the Ranger General. Soon after the Yurlon and 15 of his best archers ran up behinde the 600 men lined up. the men had relaxed and were now building fires and wooden walls around the gates to slow down the small bands of undead that would run up to the army and attack. The undead army had ran up over a small rise in the land and the scouts would come back tell Ra'Den and his two generals that the Undead were just sitting around fires eating raw animals, in the middle of the camp was a torn, raggity tent assumed to be their leaders tent, a leader they had yet to see. Ra'Den, Ranger General Yurlon, and Assult General Grelon were around a table, they had a map of the surrounding land. Sometimes a scout or two would report in and sometimes a few undead would attack but since early that day the undead had not advanced on them full force, Ra'Den nor his generals knew why. They would not advance on the Undead army now, severly outnumbered, but they did not know what or who was in the tent.
"What we to do sire?" Yurlon asked, fold a small corner of the map up. looking up from his trance like state he looked his Ranger General a female, pretty in her own way. She wasn't drop dead gorgeous but for a Guardian she was rather pretty . Ra'Den shook his head, "Uh..." to be completely honest he didn't know, "We wait, we don't know who is in that tent." "Nor do we know if they are getting reinforcements." said Grelon, "We need to attack in case their are more coming." He knew that Ra'Den wouldn't attack unless he had to, he knew he had no chance to convince him otherwise. "We will attack early in the morning, they won't send for reinforcements, they don't fight together they are un-organized." this was true, from what Ra'Den and the two generals had seen they were not trained well, they feared Ladrix so they would not give up or tell him that they had failed. "There are few of them left, "Two hundred by my count." said Zin as he flung open the tent flaps, he was the Scout General. "My Scouts counted two hundred, they have went as far as Zeg'Jin to see if reinforcements are on the way, they won't be back for a few days. If you plan on attacking early tomorrow like you said, would be a good plan." Zin knew his battle plans, he was almost as good as Ra'Den himself, he was a fast learner."With the wooden walls and this many warriors and Archers we'll be fine, our city is behinde us we send people in to get supplies when needed." said Ra'Den, he knew he was right, his warriors outnumberd the undead, the warriors outside the city was not even half his army, some were inside the city walls and some were probably arriving at Elendor by now. They had assisted the elven warriors in their treck back to Eran'Or where the great elven city of Elendor was. The march from Grityen to Eran'Or was not a long trip but bands of Undead were spotted in the forests of Wenter. Ra'Den turned to his three Generals and dismissed them, he walked over to his bed in the tent and laid down. he had traded his armor for a robe and leather shoes.
            "My lord?" said Zin, "are you ready to march upong the enemy, my scouts say no one has come or gone from the camp." Ra'Den arose from his bed, "Yes, I am ready, let my put my armor on and get my sword, I'll be out in a moment. After he had put on his armor and strapped his sword to his back Ra'Den flung open the flaps to the tent, as he walked out a breeze swept accross the land, the sun was just coming up and he could hear birds. He could also smell the death and decay of the Undead creatures beyond his sight. He walked over to the one of the fires where a few warriors were eating and took a peace of bread one of them offerd him. He ate while he walked to the opening in the wooden wall. He chuckled at the though of a gate so weak. Looking out the opening he saw a Undead staring at him, turning around and running down the back on the other side the undead was gone. Ra'Den turned towards his warriors and yelled
"WARRIORS! Today is the final day of this battle, we will leave no undead alive!" all of his warriors, scouts, archers and luitenants were looking at him now."Today we make history, today we make the gods proud!" that statment got a cheer so loud it shook the ground. "Gather your gear, finish eating, in a mere 10 minutes we begin the march upon their camp!" another cheer shook the ground, all the warriors were gathering their gear and running up to line in formation. Ra'Den felt a grin come across his face as he saw well organized his warriors were, not like the Undead.
            Marching toward the small hill he saw a undead run up the hill, Zin shot the undead down, looking at the warrior next to him Ra'Den yelled "Quicken pace!", the warriors broke into a jog. When they got over the small hill he saw the Undead were already lined up. They had not seen the Undead fall to their enemies arrow.
"CHARGE!" Ra'Den yelled so loud it deafend his own ears. The 600 warriors, Archers, and scouts charged the lined up, relaxed Undead, they slammed into the first row with such force it drove them back Three rows. Ra'den knew they were un-aware of what had just happend.
"BREAK APART" he yelled charging a shocked undead, with a feirce warcry, cutting it in half with one chopping motion of his Great Sword. Zin and her Archers were clearing the back of the Undeads lines making the Undead afraid to move backwards. Ra'Den swung his great sword at an undead warrior, the undead creature attempted to block the strike but the leaders great sword shatter the bone sword and cut its head off. Ra'Den stopped and looked around.
"STOP!" he yelled looking at the tent in the middle. "Surround the tent, bring me their leader!" A few moments later a two strong warriors came up to Ra'Den holding a undead creature, the creature wore black robes not armor.
"What is your name Undead?" asked Ra'den straightening up to his full heighth.
"My name is not yours to know" the creature hissed. "My king will distroy you pathetic race and any other who stand against us!" striking the creature hard enough to send it flying backwards and the two guards stumbling, Ra'Den tried once more
"What is your name? I will not ask again!" the creature began to laugh, spitting blood and teeth from its shattered face, "And you won't have to!" the creature hissed. The undead began to twitch around in odd motions, it began to grown and then with a dark cloud of smoke the robes on the ground went flat. Under the robe was not a body but ashes. "DAMN HIM!" yelled Ra'Den picking up the a rock and chucking it so far it went out of seeing distance. Ra'Den dropped to his knees, dreadthe site of being so close, close to finding out what he needed to know. He felt a hand on his soilder. He turned his head to see Yurlon standing behind him , she was smiling at.
"There is no reason to weap my king, we have won a great battle to day. We have lost so few, we must clean up this mess, burn the bodys and burry our own." she smiled and walked off giving orders to burn bodys and burry there own. Ra'Den rose and ran to Zin, "I must go to my castle, I will right a note to the elves tell them what we have seen this day." nodding Zin walked over to a undeads body and lit it on fire. Ra'Den walked towards the city gates.
         He sat down with parchment and began writing his letter to Taladren.
"I to have been attacked by the Undead armys, they attacked with 400 warriors, we outnumbered them and took them down with ease. I assume a scout or two was sent back to their leader. I wish to speak with you in person, I will have a meeting for all the leaders of Velnore, they are few and far apart but we need all the soilders we can spare for this upcoming battle, I do not doubt that the enemy will send a bulk of his forces to concour our citys, it two weeks time we will meet in the meeting room of my castle. Your dearest friend and allie, King of StoneGuard and ruler of the Guardians, Ra'Den."
He sealed the letter his personal seal and gave it to a messenger, as the messenger left Ra'Den walked onto his balcony and prayed.

Chapter VIII : The Blight Beast

          "WHAT!" yelled Ladrix as the cowering undead scout told him of their failur.
"I send four hundred undead and a necromancer to clear that city and only 1 returns!" Ladrix had gotten out of his seat and threw his staff across the smooth black granite floor. He turned towards the Undead creature.
"Get all the necromancers and bring them to me!"
Bowing the undead creature turned and scurried off to do his master bidding. An hour later the little undead creature was running accross the granite floor with 6 necromancers behind him. When the undead creature got to his master he stopped and bowed, then scurried up the steps to stand beside his masters throne. The 6 necromancers lined up, one beside the other creating a half circle around the stairs that led up to the dark throne with their master sitting in it. Standing up Ladrix threw back his hood and and began  clapping, you are 6 of the only necromancers in the world, I need everyone of you in my dungeon tomorrow, you will create a hulking, putrid monster from differnt parts off other creatures, be it animal, elf, or Guardian. Ladrix heard the necromancer whisper among themselves and then the one in the middle stepped forward, taking off his hood and bowing.
"We will do this my lord, I am Grimtore, I lead this council of necromancers, and I follow only you." Ladrix laughed, it echoed through out the dark halls of the castle. The stepping back into his posision Grimtore and the other necromancers bowed and made their way to the dungeons of Esmazun.
           "Where is that little ugly undead and our parts?" yelled Grimtore at his fellow necromancers, the creature had been gone with a small search party for hours. Grimtore was pacing up and down the dungeon floor making the other necromancers unconfortable. The dungeon wasn't a normal dungeon it had many tables and barrels filled with a green liquid. The doors leading into the dungeons swug open and in poored seven of the stronger Undead, with bags filled with severd parts of the many animals and races of Velnore.
"Sit them over there" Grimtore said point at a large table with small knifes and saws on it. The seven brutes all poured their findings on the table, Grimtore gasped at what he saw. Serveral different kinds of animals legs, he saw arms from Undead, Gaurdians and elves, there were heads from everything one could possibly think of. "Get to work!" yelled Grimtore, the necromancers snapped into action sorting through the parts, taking out parts, throwing some away and keeping some. A necromancer called Kelt ran up to Grimtore and held up a sword, "What is this, where did you get this sword?" Grimtore was in no mood for games. Then his eyes widend, "Take this sword to Ladrix NOW!", the Kelt didn't ask why, he ran as fast as his dead legs would take him to the throne room, stopping front of the throne. Kelt kneeled and held up the sword. Ladrix's eyes widend as his gaze fell upon the sword a single red gem was connectiong the hilt and the blade together. "Get back to work necromanser!" Ladrix demanded, not taking his eyes off the sword. Still holding the sword he ran over to a desk with a large book placed on it,  with the words "Drak na fell Keen Or 'Death to the Living', wrote in its cover. Ladrix opend the book and began searching the pages until he found the one he was looking for. On the page he had found was a picture of the sword and a discription under it. The discription read,
"Fala jin'zo, Hellfire Blade, This sword was forged by an elf named Gelenda, a blacksmith from Elendor. I have the sword now, I travel the world killing off bands of undead or anyone I don't like, I stopped at a small tavern on my to StoneGuard today, between Stoneguard and the borders of Tul'jin, There was a hooded man in the tavern, he saw my blade and walked over to tell me how nice it was, he asked if we could go outside and talk more, I knew he was going to try and rob me but i did not care I had the blade. When we got outside he turned around and I cut his head off, he fell to the ground, I ran back into the Tavern and proseaded to kill everyone I could find. The blade was like and extintion of my own arm, it sung when I used it to kill! But alas now my days are coming to an end, I will lay here and die, and who ever finds this letter will find this blade, kill well brother."
The passage stopped there, Ladrix knew about the sword, it was made thousands of years ago, he thought it only a myth. He knew that this blade was a runeblade, he could see them etched on the blade. He touch one of the runes and it glowed a sickly red. "This blade is mine" Ladrix grinned, knowing runeblades were almost none existint, there was only three he knew of, the Sword of Souls, which Tryton had, Goddren, which the leader of the Guardians of Stone had and this one, which he now wielded. He let out a bellowing laugh that shook the castle.
               Sewing the last finger on, the Grimtore and his necromancers stepped back to admire their work. This hulking undead shell they had created was tall, taller than the tallest Guardian, and bigger. It had four arms, two on each side. Each arm would carry a great sword, its hands being far to big for a longsword. Its face was stiched up blood and gore spewing out from the uneven stiches, its teach were filed to to sharp points. Its legs were from the biggest Guardian they could kill. Its arms were made from three or four elven arms sewn together. Channeling all of their dark magic into the beast, they began to chant their words. The hulking beast began to twich and moves, it's hands clintched into fists and then relaxed. It growled, as it did blood was spit out. It rose and looked at its creators. With a deep rumbling voice it said
"TOH DA KEL DREN ZEL DA!" it walked over to a corner of the room and sat down, waiting for its orders to attack.
         Ladrix walked down the stairs that lead into the dungeon, he opened the set of doors and gasped at what he saw sitting in the corner. The Necromancers were still gloating and talking about their newly created undead hulk.  It groand "Master" in its deep cracking voice as he saw Ladrix walk into the room. Ladrix couldnt help but smile at the beast calling him master. The Necromancers turned to see Ladrix smiling, the grinned a feirce toothy grin at there king, he began to clack
"AH! My new undead beast, this will be very helpful in the upcoming battle. I have recieved word that the elven king and his troops are on his way to StoneGuard, in a months time we will send most of my troops to StoneGuard and tear it to the ground. I need you to create as many as you can exactly like this one." Ladrix looked at the beast and back at the necromancers look at him, they were clearly happy, as was he."You have done well necromancers, spare no time, we must get these Undead Hulks built."
The necromancer bowed and turned towards the table of fresh body parts on the table and began to work. Ladrix Fala jin'zo at his side he went back to his throneroom.

Chapter IX : Journy of a King

"Are we ready to move?" asked the the elvish Ranger General Kwalnek, "Yes, I beleive so" replied Taladen leaping on his horses back. Taladen was a king but was trained as a swordsman by his father in his youth, he would often play a game he called "War" with the towns peoples children, him being an only child. "Lets make haste we'll stop only at night and mid-day for rest. The elvish leader was in full elvish plate armor, the sun gleaming off it like a mirror. The gates to the great city opend as Taladen, Kwalnek, and the troops rode out into the Red Forest. They rode over the bridge know as "The White Bridge", No one knows why it was named that, it was put their by the travelers that walked the lands before the elves were created.
"How far is it to StoneGuard Ranger General?" asked Taladen, it had been years sence he'd been there. He liked StoneGuard, he knew Tryton made it, the Gaurdians had made quite a few changes over the years. When the elves were building his city they wanted it to be a city that even the most horrible being could feel at home in, and that is what they did. "Nine days on horse back my king." replied Kwalnek, "Maybe longer, most of our troops aren't on a horse." Somthing crossed Taladen's mind, "What if they go around StoneGuard and head straight for Elendor? Elendor will have no defences.", he'd never really thought about it before. He thought about it a moment. "We'll leave scouts along the road, we will leave 150 of my men at the inn that is in Wenter, The Black Horse." Taladen had been to the inn, it was an odd place, Wenter forest was dark and had alot of the undead and corrupted wild life unlike his own forest. "Are you sure you want to do that sir?" asked Kwalnek, " That is not many troops General, the scouts can run back to StoneGuard or Elendor if they need help, we're not taking all of the troops from Elendor and leaving it defencless." replied Taladen giving his General and childhood friend a smile.
            Taladen and his troops were crossing in Wenter now, "I hate this place." said one of the Archers, there were whispers of agreement throughout all the men, Taladen couldn't help but nod. "Yes, I do to, We could always turn around and go through the wet, humid desert of Gen.", Taladen said looking at the Archer that had made the statement. There were a few laughs. The Archer looked down as fast as he could.
"HELP ME!". yelled an unknown voice. Taladen and his men all unsheathed their swords and readied their bows at the sudden voice. they were almost to the inn when they heard it. "HELP ME!" the voice repeated. Taladen held up his hand, signling his men to stop. "Who goes there?" Taladen only raised his voice slightly. A stick broke on the left side of the men, everyone turned. A creature, fell out of the thickit. and looked up at Taladen. "help. me." the creature begged. It looked to be an undead. "What do you wanted Undead?" Taladen spat. "SPEAK!", the undead stood up dusting himself off. "I, I don't feel right he said, the last thing I remember was in StoneGuard asleep in my bed. Then I was in the woods surrounded by unde-" the words went away and Taladen handed him a mirror. "I'm sorry to tell you, you're an undead." horror crossed his face. "What is your name undead?" Taladen asked him in a soft voice. "Go'len" it replied. It was confused, no one knew how the corruption had left the creature. "What, what am I?" asked Go'Len. No one really knew what he was, Taladen eyeing him up and down said "I will call you human, it means 'Of Flesh' in Elvish.", I believe you're the first of your kind, "Give him a horse and some bread." jumping on a horse the eating the bread the newly named human looked confused, "I, I can't think you enough, I must chose a new name for myself." Go'Len thought a moment, Taladen had slowed his pace and dropped back to be beside him. Putting a hand on his shoulder, "You'll think of one before we reach StoneGuard, but when we get to the next river, you're taking a bath, you smell of death." smiling Taladen rode back up to his post leaving the Human to eat his bread.
       Two days after meeting the human the small army arrived at the inn. The inn looked abandoned and looked like it had been for some time.
"What has happend here?" Roland asked looking at Taladen. Roland was the name the human had picked. "It looks to have been attacked". The front door of the inn swung open four tall slender creatures ran out, they wore leather armor and had spears. A fifth creature walked out of the inn, the four others parting to let it pass.
"I am Ra'gall, who are you and what do what of us?" the creature was looking at Roland. Taladren stepped up a few steps, the creatures gaze fell upon him. "We are the Elves of Elendor, we want nothing to do with you.", the creatures eyes narrowed. "What is that Undead doing with you?" his eyes moving to Roland again. The creatures behinde Ra'gall pointing their spears at him.
"His corruption has subsided, he is with us." Taladren didn't know what this creature was, they had tusks coming up from their bottom jaw. Taking another step forward taladren unsheathed his long sword, his men doing the same.
" What are you, I have never seen you kind in these woods before." not moving another step the tall creature grinned exposing his sharp teeth. "We are Forest Trolls, we are part of the Aladri Tribe and I am its leader.", Taladen eyed the Troll leader, he wondered what the Troll ment by tribe, that implied there were more of them."Are there more of you in these woods?" he asked his sword not moving. "In these woods, no. There is a tribe it the south in the Gaa'yal desert, that is the only other tribe we know of." the trolled whispered somthing in a language Taladren didn't know, the other Trolls put their weapons down. "Sha a'da nell el nore" Taladren said to his men, there was a sound of swords and bows being sheathed. "We are going to the mountain city of StoneGuar, there is a war coming our way." Taladren said as he put his own sword away, "We could always use new allies." the Troll stepped down the steps that led up to the inn door, coming within arms reach of Taladren he stuck out his hand. "My tribe not lookin' for war, but we will be allies, we will be attacked and that I know of." grabbing the trolls had they shook.
         Arriving at StoneGuard eight days after meeting the trolls, they were stopped by the guards.
"Who are you and what is your buisiness here?" asked the guard as he and the other guards blocked the path of the small army.
"I am King Taladren, and my friend is Warchief  Ra'Gall of the Forst Trolls." the guard looked nervouse, "I am sorry sir, you and the warchief may enter, I'll get someone to take your army to the barracks." as another guard came up to lead the army off, the guard that had stopped them lead Roland, Taladren, and Ra'Gall to the castle.
"Welcome Taladren, king of Elendor." Ra'den said as he opened the doors to the castle.
"It is nice to be in StoneGuard again old friend." Taladren replied clapping his friend on the shoulder.
"Come in, come in, I have a feast prepaired for the arrival of..." he trailed off as his eyes fell upon Roland and Ra'Gall.
"A Troll and an Undead, you've made some interesting friends in our years apart." Ra'Den said eyeing the Troll and the Human.
"I am Warchief Ra'Gall, of the Forest trolls." Ra'Gall said as he stuck his hand out. "And I am Roland, human, no longer undead." Roland said as he stuck his hand out.
"Last time I saw trolls they attacked us, why should I not kill you now?" Ra'Den said his hand falling to the dagger that was strapped to his belt. Backing up a few steps Ra'Gall held up his hands, "No, no we have not met you before, you have met our brothers, the Sand Trolls of Yaa'gal." the guardian king relaxed, "Very well, come in and we'll eat, the leader of the  Elves of Origori is waiting.
             A few hours later the Troll Warchief, both elven leaders, Roland, and Ra'Den said their good nights and went to their beds.
"Tryton, leader of the Order of the Nine,  the undead are breaking from their corruption, I fear there are more of the humans roaming around the world not knowing what has happend. If you could send them a message some how telling them to come here, we'll get them a small settalment made in Saren, they would be great allies to have in the upcoming war."
Ra'Den prayed to Tryton every night, he did not miss one night to pray, even while in battle.

Chapter 11 : Of Flesh

Not knowing how they knew where to go, 150 new humans came to the ruins of a ancient elvish town, they knew who their leader was but knew not where he was, Roland, they had all chosen new names for themselves. They were re-building the elvish settlement and building walls around it that were made from cut down trees.
"Men on horseback are coming from the northern road!" yelled a human, guards ran up to the gate, broken swords and spears unsheathed ready to attack.
"What is your buisness here?" called one of the guards as the riders stopped in front of them.
"Lay down your weapon son, we are on your side. I have a message from the king of StoneGuard, Ra'Den.", the horse rider rode up towards the guard that spoke to him and handed him the letter. The guard opened the letter and read it, looking up at the Guardian, he sheathed his weapon,
"Your king wishes to have us as allies?" , the human thought about it for a second, "We will join you, I only ask that you bring these people food, water, and clothing." The Guardian nodded his head, and handed the human a map, "Be at the 'X' in 4 days time, we will introduce you to the leaders of the world, we also have a human there named Roland." there were gasps and people looking at the guardian, "Do you know who Roland is?" asked the gaurdian looking over the sea of people looking at him. "Yes, when the corruption was removed we all were told to come here and had a vision of our king, a man named Roland." the guardian smiled and turned his horse around, "You'll meet him in four days, we will send supplies here, bring your best soliders with you." the guardian and his men rode off.
         Four days later the men that were picked to come to the mountain city of StoneGuard arrived at the front gates, the guards saluted the men and let them pass through. Walking out of the castle, Roland looked at his kin, "Welcome to the great city of StoneGuard, I am Roland." as soon as he said that all of the men kneeled, one of the men walked to Roland and saluted, "I am Karvis, the men have appointed me General, I hope you will keep me as so." the puzzled Roland turned to Ra'Den who was coming out with a goblet in hand, "They have said you're their king, I have had a crown made for you." Roland watched Ra'Den go back into the castle, he turned around, "You want me as your king?" his voice shaking. All the soliders either nodded or saluted. A moment later Ra'Den returned with a crown, it was made from gold, it had a single blue gem in the middle. Roland took the crown and place it on his head, Ra'Den, the soilders and Taladren who had just walked up,  all kneeled, honoring the new king. Ra'Den stood up, "Come we must go to the meeting room", a Guardian walked up to Karvis and told him and the men to go to the barracks, they would be fitted with armor and new weapons. Ra'Den, Roland, and Taladren walked into the castle. When they got to the meeting room they saw that the Troll warchief was sitting in his chair sipping on some wine, "Dis drink is good, I have drank four already, your servant will not give me anymore!" Ra'Den laughed, as he took his seat, "Thank you all for coming, four races brought together by war." the leaders looked at one another, "It is sad that war is what has brought us together" Taladren said, taking a sip of wine. "If I may, I have not led my people very long, I have yet to have to give any orders, but I think that we should send some troops to my small city, they're re-building it and it needs protection" Ra'Den looked looked at him, "No, no one will send warriors to your citys aid, I will send 50 of my best to gather your people and take them to Elendor." Roland looked at Raden, he nodded. "What about outside the city?" asked Ra'gall, Ra'Den thought a moment, then an idea came to him. "When the Undead attacked us we built wooden walls around the gates, this time we'll build the walls two times as thick and bigger, we'll have to build platforms across the top of the walls for the archers to stand on." one of the builders looked at Ra'Den, Ra'Den caught his gaze and nodded, the builder ran off to tell people to gather supplies and start building. "Is this all we have to discuss?" all of the leaders and generals looked at one another and nodded, "Then I'll send my Guardians to get the humans, the construction of the wall has begun." just then a scout walked in, and whispered something to Taladren, "The undead are three days away." there were gasps, "Ready your men take them and set up camp outside the city gates, we'll all stay out there until the enemy arrives, you are all dismissed." all of the leaders got out of there chairs, Ra'Den pulled Roland to the side of the room, "We'll save your people, don't worry." he smiled and walked away.

Chapter 12 : The Last Stand

       The entire human, Troll, Guardian, and Elvish armys were waiting outside StoneGuards city gates, they had tents and fires built inside the make-shift wooden wall. "What now Warchief?" one of the Trolls asked Ra'gall, "We wait spearman, once the scouts tell us they see the undead army we'll line in formation like we practiced. The Archers will stand on top of the walls and on the hills around us." the Troll spearman bowed and walked away to grab some food before the armys bed time. The citizens of StoneGuard were evacuated to Elendor for the remainder of the war. "SIR WAKE UP!" Ra'Den jumped up and grabbed the Guardian that had burst in," What, is it?" he said worry coming across his face. He could here the sound of battle outside his tent, he narrowed his eyes, he knew what had happend. The Undead army had somehow gotten past the scouts and attacked while everyone was asleep. "Go fight, I have to..." the words left his mouth as he saw a small amount of blood run out of the guardians back, the guardian fell into Ra'Dens arms, he had been shot in the back with bone arrow. "Sir... fight well... tell... telll my family I-I-I love them." as he said that he relaxed. Ra'Den laid the Guardian down and got his sword, they slept in their armor. Ra'Den charged out of the tent. Taladren ran up to him, "Ra'Den! We have lost alot of warriors with their surprise attacks", he turned around and parried an undeads sword, Ra'Den stabbed the undead, and Taladren cut its head off. "Where are the other leaders?" Ra'Den asked as he split an undeads body in half with a single chopping motion. Taladren point over to the Troll and Human leader fight with a few undead warriors. "Tell all of the men to get in formation, we will take down this undead army!" Ra'Den yelled at Taladren, Taladren nodded and ran off to repeat the orders. The mortal races of Velnore ran towards the middle of the battle, they all had spears and shields, they had swords at their sides. "Advance!" bellowed all four leaders. The Army advanced toward the battle, the undead army were in some kind of formation, they would attack the army but would avoid it. "Hault!" Ra'Den yelled. The army stopped. Ra'Den looked at the four other leaders. "Why did we stop Ra'Den? We're winning!" Taladren snapped. "Hold still Taladren, they are moving apart." Ra'Den pointed at the undead army, they were moving apart, making a huge gap in there forces. "Whats going on?" one of the humans asked, Ra'Den didn't get a chance to ask him, A gigantic bolder was hurled by an unknown force at there army and crushed him and ten other warriors under its weight. Ra'Den turned towards the undead army, his eyes widend at what he saw. "What the hell are those things?" he yelled as he stood up straight. He pointed at five giant, undead hulk's, their faces crudely sewn together, they had the legs of Guardians, it had four arms each carrying a sword that a Guardian would have to weild with two hands. It charged them. "Break apart!" Ra'den yelled as he lept out of the way. The undead hulks had charged the leaders, each leader had jumped out of the way. It started swinging its weapons as blood and gore squirted from the bad stitches and its mouth. "Archers, Fire Arrows!" was all the Gaurdian leader had to yell. The archers that were lining the banks and the top of the walls used torches around them to light their arrows on fire. The first hulk was pelted with a volley of firey arrows and even some spears. The undead hulk didn't fall, it swung its axe around clearing a row of six archers off the wall. Ra'Den charged the undead hulk and swung his sword, cutting one its arms off. The beast yelled in pain as it swung one of its arms around catching the leader in the midsection. Its strike did not cut through the armor, it sent the leader soring through the air, landing hard on the ground with a thud. Ra'Den was dizzy as he got up. He saw Taladren and a few troll spearmen cutting and swiping the undead hulk with the missing arm, he saw archers on the wall attacking a undead hulk with fire arrows, the archers on the hills were busy killing the smaller undead. Ga'Hall and Roland were fighting back to back, cutting anything down that got close enough. Ra'Den got up slowly, bringing his sword up just in time to parry undeads sword, and block another undeads sword with his gautlet. Swinging his sword around he cut off both undeads heads. Then he saw Taladren fall, he had been shot in the leg with a bone arrow. The spearman ducked as the undead hulk swung a sword at him, he stabbed at the hulks leg. The undead yelled in pain and fell backwards. A spearman grabbed Teledren and pulled him back around the wall.  Getting to his feet, Ra'den was glowing a white aura, it was spreading to the other warriors. The armys strikes seem to burn the undead army. Ra'Den charged the hulk, he swung his great sword with all of his might, he cut the undead in half. He ran towards Taladren, "Get him inside the city gates, GO!" he bellowed. He was bright now, the spearman and Teledren had to shield their eyes. Turning around he ran towards Ga'hall and Roland, they shielded their eyes, "Get the Archers in a formation, we're ending this!" they two ran off towards the archers and told them to gather up. Ra'Den was cutting down any undead that ignored the burning and charged him. Ra'Den walked towards another undead hulk, there was only was left, the others had been dispatched by either arrows or spears. "Come here hulk! Today will be your last day walking on Guardian soil!" and with those words he held up his right hand, a pure white beam shot out catching the hulk on the head. Yelling out in pain the undead hulk fell, Ra'Den jumped on it. He held his sword in the air, white light came from the heavens, impowering the the rune blade. He glowed so bright the last of the undead around him began to shrivle and shreak from the pain,"YOUR RACE ENDS HERE!" he bellowed. Ra'Den brought his sword down straight through the undead hulk, it screamed in pain as white light brust from the Guardian and his sword, it hit all of the undead, insinerating them on touch. Ra'Den fell to the ground.
        Ra'Den rose up, his body sweating from the long sleep. "Ah you're awake my king!" a gaurdian priest said as he saw Ra'Den sit up. "Where am I?" Ra'Den asked wiping sweat from his head with a towel the priest had given him. "You're in StoneGuard, you fell into a deep sleep after the defeat of the undead legion." Ra'Den stood up but fell back down, "Rest, you're bones and muscles arent use to standing again." Ra'Den laid back down, "How long has it been?" the priest handed him some water and some dried meat. "Hmm, I say it's been about 4 months." Ra'Dens eyes widened. "Whos been leading while I've been gone?" the preist laughed, "General Zin, General Grelon fell in battle." the priest, looked at Ra'Den, and turned around. "Come out when you feel you're ready." and he left the room. Ra'Den laid there a few more moments and tried to stand up again, he fell on the wall, using it as a guide he walked out the doorway into the hallway leading to other rooms in the castle. "Ah, Ra'Den, the priest said you were awake!" Zin said as he handed Ra'Den his crown and great sword. Ra'Den walked back into his bedroom, Zin followed,  "Are the citizens back in StoneGuard?" the leader asked, as he looked out the window of the castle. "Yes they have been back for awhile. Taladren is back in Elendor, the Trolls made a small city and live there now, Roland and the humans have built their city and named it Lorddren, they all wanted me to give you this when you awoke." Zin handed Ra'Den a letter. It had a seal he did not know on it, Ra'Den broke the seal and pulled out the message.
"The races of Velnore want to think you for pulling us together and help defeat the legion of undead. We have made an alliance, The Alliance of StoneGuard. We will rule our citys, and when war comes again, we'll be there for who ever needs help! We have all cleaned up outside your city and taken down that dreadfull wooden wall. Live well, until we meet again, Ra'gall, Roland, and Taladren."
Ra'Den closed the letter and handed it back Zin, "Frame this, hang it in the Throne room." Zin nodded and turned around to go do as he had been told. "Zin." Ra'Den said as he turned towards him, Zin stopped and looked at his leader, "Yes my king?" he asked looking confused, "This isn't the last we will see the undead." turning around, Ra'Den began to pray. "No, it isn't" Zin thought, he then turned and walked off to get the letter framed.

Back Cover
Two thousand years after the creation of the world of Velnore, the corruption began, three thousand years after the corruption, the Paladin Ladrix, younger brother of Tryton, was banished to a remote island on Velnore for using dark magic. Four thousand years after his banishment, he waged war against the mortal races. Ten years after he waged war, he sent the bulk of his troops to take over all of the mortal races.


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