Here is a (long) short-story I wrote for English class two years ago.
It was great inspiration for me for the LCC. Feel free to use some of the names and plot ideas in your LCC builds.
Let me know what you think.
A young man carrying a wooden box overlaid with gleaming bronze, and engraved with intricately carved silver symbols, dashed down a dusty dirt path. Swiftly he turned left around a corner, and skidded to an abrupt halt outside a large stone house, which was surrounded by a low stonewall. Slightly in front of the wall stood a tall post made of oak, with a wooden board of that same wood, fastened to it by two iron chains. The hot summer sun beat down on his back, causing his olive skin to sting beneath the crimson-red tunic.
As he slowly plodded up the hot cobblestone path leading to the arched doorway of the house, a slight breeze began to blow.
He slowly opened the wooden door and stepped inside the sunlit filled shop. Inside, five young men clad in tan tunics and dirt stained cowhide aprons were busy at long tables, fitting numerous glittering jewels into golden bracelets, goblets and necklaces. There were also engravers dressed in fine ocean-blue robes, who were carefully engraving gold, bronze and silver letters and symbols into large copper vases, armbands and even elegant golden crowns. One tall, blonde-haired man was instructing a younger boy how to beat the orange-glowing metal into thin sheets, and then how to use the tongs to shape and form the precious metal once it had begun to cool. A short and large man with a long black beard put down his tongs and a small gold bracelet he was crafting, and came over to greet the traveler.
“Greetings Jesuan, I see that you have brought the bronze box, your father had sent for, safely from my friend Jacann the weaponsmith,” he exclaimed.
“Yes Hyaneen, where is my father this morning?” Jesuan replied.
“Your father, Yehwehenann, is in the storage room, and told me to tell you that he wanted you to speak with him when you returned!”
“Thank you Hyaneen, I will go and speak with him now,” Jesuan replied as he walked toward an archway, which led to a small room in the back of the shop.
“Father!” Jesuan called out as he entered the small room.
“I’m right here,” a sturdy-built man with a short gray beard answered as he wiped off his dirt-stained hands on a small piece of goatskin cloth.
“Did you bring the box like I asked for?”
“Yes father, but what is in it, and what is it for?” Jesuan asked.
“Open it, and you will see,” Yehwehenann replied. Jesuan carefully unlatched the little gold lock, which kept the box closed and slowly lifted the bronze lid to reveal a elegant golden hilt inlaid with glittering diamonds and turquoise stones and engraved in silver with the Crornnerisian words:
‘Crios Countas Highan Rexas kel Cronneras’
“It is quite glorious Father, quite glorious indeed” Jesuan remarked with astonishment.
“It is for the King my son,” Yehwehenann answered joyfully. “You are to deliver it to the King tomorrow on the eve before the royal banquet for the King’s fifty-sixth birthday,” Yehwehenann added.
As Yehwehenann finished speaking, a short man clothed in a short green tunic with dark stone-gray pants covered in dirt entered the small room carrying a long paper scroll that was rolled up and fastened with a purple chord.
“One of the King’s royal servants brought this by the shop early this morning, and said that the King wanted your best goldsmith to fashion him a case made of pure gold and edged with silver, for the Scrolls of Entity” the apprentice remarked.
“I will do it,“ replied Jesuan excitedly, “But I will need a half pound of silver and two pounds of the finest, and most pure gold in all of Cronneras!” “You go get the silver and I will go to the furnaces and retrieve the most pure gold for the King’s gift,” Jesuan commanded the apprentice.
Jesuan left the small room and headed to the “Room of a Hundred Furnaces” where men and boys were busy stoking the fires of the great furnaces and hammering the molten glowing-hot metal into thin sheets and other unique shapes. As Jesuan stooped down to pick up a piece of the shining precious gold, he paused when he heard the sudden whisper of voices near the archway that led out of the shop’s courtyard and on to the bustling streets of Cronneras.
Jesuan walked closer to try and hear what they were saying. As he peered over the hot gray stone wall, which separated the goldsmith shop from the rest of Cronneras he could see a castle guard wearing a ink-black tunic, that was covered by a coat of linked chainmail. Next to him was an old black-cloaked man with a bronze staff in his hand. As Jesuan ducked behind the wall, as the guard began to speak.
“Tonight when the King is in the royal throne room celebrating the feast with all the nobles and princes of the realm, I shall enter and give the King the golden case, which my servant requested Jesuan the Master Goldsmith to make. “And you will be disguised as a noble lord and when I give Him the case” “Then I will draw my sword and act like I’m going to attack the King!” “And when I do, you shall cast the great and terrible dark spell, turning all the guards and nobles into evil demon-warriors, who will protect and serve us as the new lords and high kings of Cronneras! ” And we shall steal and corrupt the Scrolls of Entity so that the location of the precious Armor of Light will not be found,” the guard evilly exclaimed!
And we shall rule the Kingdom of Cronneras in complete darkness!” “And all light and good will be vanquished FOREVER,” The dark-cloaked figure responded!
Suddenly as Jesuan leaned against the wall he dropped the bar of gold he was holding. The two shadowy figures looked over at Jesuan, and then dashed into a thick clump of bushes, which lined the street and were out of sight almost instantly!
Jesuan picked the bar of gold up off the ground, and then headed back inside the shop to begin work on the casing for the Scrolls. As he walked he pondered the words of the two dark figures, and thought about whether or not he should tell his father about their conversation. But then he decided to just to keep it a secret and see if their plan followed through the next night.
The next morning Jesuan opened his eyes and saw that Hyaneen and two other men had already begun working on the golden bracelet he was crafting the day before.
“What time of day is it”? “And why am I still in the shop”. Jesuan groggily asked Hyaneen.
“Last night, while you were working on the case, you fell asleep” “And it is almost sunrise right now Jesuan,” Hyaneen answered him.
Jesuan slowly shook off the sheep wool blanket that was covering him, and stepped on to the cold stone floor of the shop. He carefully put a long emerald tunic on and slipped his almond-colored leather sandals on his feet and headed to his workbench, where the unfinished gold case lay on the wooden table, along with his iron tongs. The warm rays of the morning sun began to peek through the shop’s windows as the, door slowly creaked open. Yehwehenann entered the door, and turned to speak to Jesuan.
“Jesuan, I have received a message from one of the King’s servants. “He wants you to bring the case, to the castle before sundown tonight.” “Just in time for the royal banquet.” Yehwehenann paused for a moment before continuing “The King has also invited you to the banquet at the castle at sundown”
“Yes father,” Jesuan warmly replied. Yehwehenann nodded and headed toward doorway in order to help a customer who had just entered the shop.
Jesuan labored all day long forming and molding the gold that would be used create the case for the precious relic. At last he put down his hammer and brushed his chestnut-colored hair out of his eyes.
“Jethro, bring me some wine, for my dry throat please,” Jesuan kindly asked one of the young boys.
“Yes sir” the boy humbly replied.
In a matter of moments Jethro brought Jesuan a small clay cup of sweet wine and gently placed it on his table.
“Thank you,” Jesuan kindly responded.
Jesuan slowly took a few sips of the cool red liquid and then began to work on the case again. After three more hours, Jesuan joyously cried out:
“I have finally finished the case for the King!”
Jesuan carefully took a box, overlaid with gold and embedded with diamonds and rubies from a small wooden shelf. He gently wrapped the case of gold in a blue silk cloth and placed it in the box. Jesuan then set the box on the table and called to a servant to bring him his finest tunic and robe. Jesuan donned on the new tunic and a silver trimmed, red silk robe. He then tucked both the gold and bronze boxes in his robe and headed out of the shop toward the castle of Cronneras.
The sun was beginning to set in the glorious land of Cronneras, as Jesuan headed up the road leading to the castle gate. On seeing his approach, a guard holding a glittering spear cried out:
“Who goes there?”
“It is I, Jesuan friend, and Master Goldsmith of the King,” Jesuan answered the guard.
“Ah yes, Jesuan you may enter,” the guard responded.
As the castle’s portcullis began to rise, Jesuan stepped through the gate and into the castle.
Inside, a servant greeted him and brought him to the King’s royal throne room, where countless lords and nobles from all across the land of Cronneras sat at gold plated ivory tables, drinking wine from gold and silver chalices and feasting on delicacies such as roasted peacock and oat cakes filled with cream and berries.
The servant led Jesuan to the far end of the room, where some of the highest nobles of the land were seated at a long gold table. Jesuan took his seat at the table next to a noble he new as Zirius. Some of the men at the table began to talk, as servants brought stuffed fowl served with barley bread and honey cakes topped with roasted almonds. Some of the men laughed as jugglers and court jesters performed acrobatic tricks and juggled brightly colored balls.
At last the great banquet was over, and the King’s royal advisor called out in a loud voice in the throne room:
“Lords and ladies, noble people of Cronneras, we gather here on this day to celebrate the birthday of our great and glorious High King of Cronneras!”
As the royal advisor continued speaking, Jesuan glanced over and noticed a guard speaking to a cloaked noble by an arched doorway. Then he saw the guard pull a gleaming gold box from his cloak and hand it to the noble. Jesuan reached into his cloak, and noticed that the bronze box still lay tucked among the many folds of his robe. But when he reached for his gold box he realized that it was missing.
“No, they have the case, they’re going to carry out there plot on the King,” Jesuan whispered quietly to himself. “I must warn the King!”
But before Jesuan could do anything else, the royal advisor spoke out once again:
“Now let the royal gifts be brought to our Most High King of Cronneras! First let the golden case for our most precious Scrolls of Entity be brought to the King,” the advisor added.
Jesuan silently watched, as the guard and the cloaked noble stepped out of the dark shadows and slowly approached the throne, holding the golden box in their hands.
In the light Jesuan could see that the guard was now wearing a breastplate of gold and a silver helmet trimmed with gold. They bowed low to the ground in front of the throne and the noble carefully opened the gold box and took out the golden case.
The case glittered in the torch-lit room and numerous nobles awed at the beautifully crafted case.
The guard then handed the King his gift and slowly turned away. The guard motioned something to the other guards in the room, and suddenly all the guards drew their swords and rushed toward the throne.
There was instant chaos as the King’s personal bodyguard moved into formation to protect their King from the attackers. Many lords and nobles throughout the room drew their sword as a massive battle broke out.
Jesuan dodged both sword and spear as he tried to reach the King to help him.
Just as Jesuan reached the King’s side, the cloaked noble chanted some words, and a blast of dark magic shot from his hands and engulfed the throne in utter darkness.
Jesuan was suddenly knocked to the floor by the blast and could not see anything because of the darkness. Even through the shouts and screams in the room he could make out the King’s voice as it trialed off in the distance:
“Jesuan, the darkness has overtaken us!” “Find the Armor of Light once possessed by the legendary Hero of Cronneras and break the spell of darkness that covers our land!”
“One final thing Jesuan, in the mist of this darkness, only a true hero can vanquish it, and restore light to the kingdom!”
Within minutes the torchlight had returned, and Jesuan could see that everyone had vanished, except for four guards standing outside the doorway to the throne room.
Jesuan reached into his cloak and slowly pulled out the bronze box. He carefully unlatched the gold lock once again and took the gold hilt from the box. As he took it out he whispered:
“If I am going to find the Armor of Light, I must first find a weaponsmith who can properly craft a sharp blade for the golden jeweled hilt.” “However for now I will take one of the noble’s swords in order to protect myself from the evil” Then, Jesuan bent down and picked up a sword from one of the lords that had fallen in the battle, and strapped it on his back.
“Jesuan exited the castle, and looked up in the dark sky and called out:
“I must obey the King’s final command!” “And find the Hero of Cronneras, and the Armor of Light” “ And must defeat the shadowy darkness, and restore the light back to the beautiful land of Cronneras!”
As Jesuan began to walk down, the main street leading out of the town of Cronneras, a young boy about the age of nine, dressed in tattered clothes, approached him.
“Sir, can I have a drink of water? For I am a poor orphan, and my drunk, uncle sold me to an evil slave trader named Korshinn, who beats me and only gives me dirty water and a half crust of moldy bread to eat. The young boy cried to him sorrowfully.
Without speaking, Jesuan gently removed a flask from a goatskin bag, which hung on his belt, and gave it to the boy.
“Drink now, young one. For your throat must be dry from the hot summer sun” Jesuan kindly commanded.
But just as the boy began to raise the flask to his mouth, it was suddenly knocked to the ground by a gruff hand.
“ There you are, you son of thirty devils! You thought you could try to escape while on your errands for the master, did you? Well you will get a harsh lashing for that, and you might just get your hands cut off for it too! Come with me, Themuell,” a cruel voice screamed.
“And you!” the voice shouted at Jesuan, “Don’t you KNOW, goldsmith! That you are not to give water to hopeless and dirty scum, like him!” The man struck Jesuan on the face, as he grabbed the crying young boy by the neck, dragging him down a side street.
“I will come back for you one day, little one.” Jesuan called to the crying boy, as he wiped the blood from his mouth.
“He will be long dead, before you will ever have a chance to rescue him.” The evil man shouted back to Jesuan, as he entered a tall, stone house, dragging the whimpering boy behind him.
Once outside the city, Jesuan stopped and thought to himself:
“Where am I supposed to find such a great weaponsmith? Maybe I should go talk to wise, old fisherman Pete, and ask him if he knows anyone who could craft me a blade for this hilt!”
Jesuan turned slowly off the main road he was traversing, and began to stroll down a narrow dirt path, that seemed to lead into a small grove of weeping willows, which ran along a riverbank.
As Jesuan entered the grove he found an old man, sitting on a fallen log, carving a long stick with a knife. The man slowly turned around as Jesuan approached the log where he was sitting.
“ Ho Jesuan! How be-eth you, on diss here cloudy day?”
“Fine sir!” Jesuan responded politely.
“Gudd! Would you be a-carin’ for some goat’s milk?”
“No thank you!”
“So-o, why did you a-come to be-a seein’ me?
“I came to see if you knew of any weaponsmith who could repair this!” Jesuan answered, as he drew out the hilt, and handed it to the old man.
“That-ta is a mighty fine beauty you-a got yourself their Jesuan! How’da you come across diss son?”
“My father gave it to me to give to the King, before the spell was cast!”
“That-ta is certain-a-ly a great gift for da King! I know aff only one who could craft a blade worthy of diss here hilt!”
“Ma great friend Leminiire, aff da Crystal Mountains, that-tis who it-a be!”
Thank you for your help sir! I must go and find this Leminiire now.” Jesuan replied as he started to turn away.
“ Don’t-ta you be-a goin’ jist yet! Come-a inside, I have-a gift for-a ya!”
Jesuan and fisherman Pete entered a small stone house that lay by the riverbank.
Inside Jesuan could see a beaver-skin rug on the floor and a small cot with a green wool blanket covering it. Fisherman Pete slowly hobbled over to a low maple table and pulled a small leather bag out of a drawer.
“Here Jesuan, I would-da like if you-a had-a diss! It-a washed up on da riva-bank two-a days ago. It-a is a amulet of sum kind!”
“Thank you sir, for the gift.” Jesuan exclaimed as he headed out the door.
“I be-a seein’ ya late-ta, Jesuan!”
“Yeah, bye Pete!” Jesuan called out.
Jesuan exited the grove by the riverbank, and began to follow the main path again. After walking for almost two hours, he came to a meadow that was dotted with oak trees. Suddenly he saw two men talking in a thick clump of bushes, he quickly crouched out of sight behind a tree and listened to their conversation.
“Blast! He got away again, John! We have been trying to find that vile creature for days, and when we finally locate him, he flees from our presence! What shall we tell his Lord-ship we he hears that the beast is still loose in his fields!”
“I don’t know Calvin, but we must find him before sundown, or else we might get a lashing for it!” John responded worriedly.
As Jesuan began to peer around the side of the tree trunk a loose branch plummeted to the ground and landed right beside him.
“What was that?” Calvin jumped back in fright.
“It sounds like that nasty beast, is behind that tree, there!” John exclaimed.
“Fire your crossbow, and we shall see!” Calvin answered.
Suddenly a silver arrow buzzed through the air and imbedded itself in the bark of the tree, nearly one meter above Jesuan’s head.
Jesuan jumped back in fright, as the arrow struck the tree.
“I think we’ve finally got him!” John called out in triumph.
The two men began to walk toward the tree.
“Ready another arrow incase he attacks!” Calvin shouted.
As the peered around the tree Calvin saw a startled and confused Jesuan standing with a drawn sword in his hand.
“Should I shoot?” John called out.
“No, hold your fire!” Calvin answered him.
“It is not the beast, but a young man.” Calvin informed him.
“Forgive us, we are the personal hunters for King Keldore, and we’ve been tracking a beast that has been killing some of the villagers, for days, and mistook you for the evil creature.” John explained
“It’s ok, I understand. My name is Jesuan, Master Goldsmith for the High King of Cronneras” Jesuan responded.
“Where am I?” Jesuan inquired.
“You are in the fields of King Keldore.” Calvin answered.
“Come I will take you to his majesty now.”
Calvin then unlocked a low brass gate that led out of the meadow, and onto a long cobblestone road. The three men plodded down the road until they reached a white, marble wall, which soared so high in the blue sky, that it seemed to touch the clouds.
“This, way.” John remarked, as they passed through another brass gate and down a long corridor.
After exiting the corridor, Jesuan could see that they were now in an immense room with tall marble pillars and a marble floor overlaid with gold. At one end of the room, there stood a great white throne, chiseled out of magnificent marble, and at the other end stood a gold fountain, which trickled into a stone pool.
Just as Jesuan was about to ask where they were, a man with dark skin and jade-green eyes, wearing a snow-white tunic, entered the large room through an arched doorway and approached the three men, holding a golden bowl.
“His majesty would like to speak with you. But you must first wash your hands. The man commanded, as he held the bowl out to them.
The three men each took turns washing their hands in the cool crystal-clear liquid.
When they had finished, the man with the bowl led them under an archway to a small wooden door off the main room.
“Wait here, while I go inform his majesty that he has guests. The dark skinned man ordered as he exited the room, closing the door behind him.
In a matter of minutes the man returned and beckoned for the three to enter.
They followed him through the doorway and a guard inside closed the door behind them.
Inside the room Jesuan could see three scarlet-colored velvet couches around a low table.
Several brightly colored tapestries hung on the marble walls.
“Welcome back Sir Calvin and Sir John. Did you have any success catching that nasty creature?
“No your majesty, but we did bring this young man to see you. We found him wandering in your fields while we were hunting. His name is Jesuan, and he is Master Goldsmith to the High King.” John replied, bowing low to the ground.
“What was your business here in my field Jesuan?” Keldore questioned him, taking a sip of wine from his gold cup.
“I was on my way to find the dwarf weaponsmith, Leminiire of the Crystal Mountains, when I happed to stumble upon these men. I have been given the task by the High King to find and wear the legendary Armor of Light in order to break the spell over this land.
At those words, Keldore looked up to Jesuan in awe and ordered:
“Leave us, all of you! I must speak with Jesuan alone!”
At the King’s command, everyone left until only Keldore and Jesuan remained in the room.
“Come. Sit. I must speak with you regarding the Armor.”
Jesuan walked forward and sat on a couch facing him.
“Jesuan, I have the Armor, here in my kingdom! But you cannot obtain it without getting the three keys that must be used to unlock the chest where the Armor is kept.
“Where can I get the keys?” Jesuan questioned
They are hidden throughout the land of Cronneras. Here I will show you.” Keldore answered, as he walked over to a small shelf and removed a rolled scroll, and began to unravel it.
“This is a map of Cronneras, this is where we are and this is where the three keys are rumored to be hidden. The reason the keys were separated is because long ago three knights split them up to protect them from the Dark Wizard. Only one of the knights, Dareth, is said to be still living. It is also said that he keeps his key in a large stone tower on the edge of the Dark Wastelands. In order to obtain the Armor you must first get all three keys. Once you have all of the keys, return to me and I will show you where the Armor chest is located.”
“Thank you for all your help.” Jesuan responded, bowing low.
“You are welcome. In order to get the first key that is in the Jade Forest, you must show the forest elves this….” Keldore said as he removed a gold chain with a maple leaf on it, and handed it to Jesuan. “I am friends with them, and by showing them this necklace they will know I sent you, and will give you passage through the Forest. Go to a small shop across the stone bridge that leads out of the palace. Ask for the shopkeeper Kardel, he is my cousin and he will tell you how to get to the Jade Forest.”
Goodbye, my friend, and may your endeavors be successful.” Keldore called out.
“Thank you, your majesty!” Jesuan called back, as he exited the room and began his quest to find the Keys of Keldore.
Jesuan exited the palace, and crossed a white stone bridge, which stood above a narrow stream. He then passed through a high archway and entered a small shop.
Inside the smell of sweet, red wine mixed with freshly baked bread drifted to his nostrils.
“Is Kardel, the shopkeeper here?”
“He is over there.” A husky woman piped up, pointing to two men sitting at a low table in the corner.
“Thank you.”, Jesuan responded as he walked in the direction the woman had pointed.
As he approached, a tall man with fair skin, wearing an orange tunic, stood and greeted Jesuan.
“Hello. My name is Kardel, how may I help you?” he inquired, wiping his hands on his white apron.
“My name is Jesuan, and I was sent by your cousin, Keldore, to get a map to the Jade Forest. Do you have it?”
“Ah, yes, I do have a map. Follow me where we can speak in private.”, Kardel answered, beckoning him to follow him towards the supply room in the back of the shop.
“Why did we come back here?” Jesuan questioned him.
“Because there are some, even in this kingdom, that are loyal to the Dark Shadow.”
Kardel opened a wooden crate and remove a thin, rolled up scroll of papyrus parchment and handed it to Jesuan.
“This is the map. It was created by the elven lords, Sikron and Galrios, in the Age of the Elven Lords long ago.” Kardel explained.
“Thank you, for your help.” Jesuan replied as he began to exit the room and head into the main part of the shop.
As he began to head out of the shop, he saw the dark old man with the bronze staff step out of the shadows of the alleyway beside the shop. The figure turned and stared right at Jesuan and smiled evilly. As he began moving toward the shop’s entrance, Jesuan slowly reached for his sword but it was not there. Jesuan’s heart seemed to stop, as he stood frozen in place with fright. He watched horrified as he entered the shop and started walking straight towards him.
“Greetings, young goldsmith! Let me introduce myself. My name is Sarcranak! I see you have the Medallion of Galrios, the key to the Jade Forest” The dark old man exclaimed, stroking the gold chain around Jesuan’s neck.
“Why have you come here?” Jesuan questioned worriedly.
“ I have come here to obtain the map of the Jade Forest from my friend Kardel. But I see he has already given it to you. So, I will just have to take it from you!”
“You will not get it without killing me!” Jesuan angrily responded.
“Fine! Then I will kill you!” the dark figure answered.
Jesuan leaped back; grabbed a wooden stool and held it high, shielding himself from the dark figure.
The dark figure raised his staff as a bolt of electricity shot from his staff and shattered Jesuan’s wooden stool to a shower of splinters.
Jesuan started to run through the shop as he narrowly escaped numerous electric bolts.
As Jesuan began to turn a corner into another room of the shop, he suddenly hit a dead end. His heart skipped a beat as familiar footsteps were heard coming around the corner.
“Now you are trapped goldsmith! There is no way out this time and you shall die!”
He raised his staff and aimed it at Jesuan. Jesuan swiftly hurled a large wooden crate at the figure as the bolt of electricity shattered it; raining down a shower of wood shards.
Jesuan rapidly rose from his feet and dashed out a side archway of the shop.
He stopped and removed the map from his tunic, and slowly unrolled the delicate parchment. He gazed at the map for a few moments and then carefully tucked it back into the folds of his tunic. Jesuan plodded down a dirt trail out of the city, until he reached the edge of a forest.
At the edge of the forest there stood a large brass gate with two great stone towers standing on either side of the gate.
As he approached the gate, a loud voice cried out to him:
“Who approaches the Jade Forest? Home of the forest elves, and the great kingdom of the elven lord Hykorene!”
“It is I, Jesuan, Master Goldsmith to the great High King of Cronneras. I was told that I would be granted passage through the forest if I showed you this!”, he answered, removing the Medalion of Galrios from around his neck and tossing it to the guard in the tower.
“I see you know King Keldore! You may enter. Come I will take you to our kingdom! The guard responded, holding the gold chain in his hand.
The tall brass gate slowly opened, and Jesuan slowly entered the forest.
As Jesuan stepped through the gate, a battalion of elven soldiers immediately met him.
As he was walking, a tall elven solider with a golden chest plate and violet colored plume on his gold helmet stepped out from the front of the ranks of troops and came to walk next to Jesuan.
Hello, my name is Celphanon, I am the Captain of the Elven Royal Guard.” He exclaimed.
“My name is Jesuan, and I am the master goldsmith to the High King of Cronneras.”
“You must be great if you our so close to our great Master!” he answered.
` “I am the same as you are. We are both servants of his great Majesty.” Jesuan responded humbly.
The squadron of troops traveled through the dense forest, until they came upon a small village of thatched roofed huts. At far end of the village stood a large hut, with a wall incasing it like a nutshell.
“That is the elven palace of our great lord Hykorene! He will be able to help you trough the forest.” Celphanon remarked.
As they neared the large hut, the smell of roasted pine deer drifted to Jesuan’s nostrils.
“Why are they cooking such a delicious delicacy as pine deer tonight?” Jesuan question curiously.
“It is in celebration of the Elven Moon festival. Every one hundred years there is a blue full moon known to the elven people as the ‘ Great Elven Moon’. It is said that eating a pine deer on that night and then offering a sacrifice of pine deer to the forest god, will add many years to your life and that the forest god will protect you from war and pestilence until the next elven moon.” Celphanon answered.
The men continued walking until they came to the entrance of the large hut.
One of the guards barked orders and all of the guards dispersed until only Celphanon and Jesuan remained standing at the entrance.
A deep voice broke the silence.
“You may enter!”
Jesuan and Celphanon stepped through the doorway into a dimly lit room with a tall man with a sand colored beard.
“Who comes before the elven lord of the forest? The great, Hykorene!”
“It is I, my lord!” Celphanon answered bowing with his face to the ground. ”It is I, Celphanon! And the King’s goldsmith, Jesuan!”
“Ah, yes! Light the torches, so that I may see my guests! At his command a servant entered the room from a small door, carrying a small lamp. He carefully the lit six torches that hung on the walls around the room.
“That is better.” Hykorene exclaimed. “Now Jesuan, why have you ventured so far as the Jade Forest?” He interrogated.
“I was sent, your majesty, by King Keldore to find the ancient Keys of Keldore, which will unlock the chest to the Armor of Light to restore this land to its former glory. King Keldore said that one of the keys was located in the Jade Forest. That is why I have come your majesty.”
“Ah yes! He is indeed correct about the key’s location. But there is a problem.”
“What! What is wrong your majesty?” Jesuan nervously questioned.
“Two years ago we went to war against the black elves. In the battle they stole the key, the only relic we had belonging to our old king Galrios. It has been in their possession ever since.” Hykorene explained.
“Why didn’t you try to retrieve it, my lord?”
“We have tried countless times to retrieve it, Jesuan, but the queen of the dark elves, Queen Sertina has put a spell on all of the men who have gone to retrieve it. You see, she is a demonic daughter of darkness who disguises herself as a princess of light. She is thought to be the most beautiful woman in all of Cronneras. But alas she is cursed!”
“Cursed! How can the most beautiful woman in all of the land be cursed?” Jesuan inquired.
“Because she is so beautiful, that as soon as a man lays eyes on her he immediately falls in love. Once he falls in love with her he is subjected by the curse to obey her every word. She then invites her new lover to her home for dinner. She gives them wine mixed with the Lybiscous flower, which puts them into a deep sleep. While they are sleeping she eats them!”
“How do we stop this horrible monster?” Jesuan shouted in fear.
Only by drinking the juice of Keesip Root will her true form be exposed. Once she is revealed she must be pierced through the heart with this dagger. Jesuan, she guards the first Key of Keldore. You must defeat her to get the Key. Be warned! You must not drink the wine she gives you, or else you shall receive the same fate as the others. Hykorene commanded.
“I will carry out this task my lord!” Jesuan replied.
“Very good. But first, you need armor.” Hykorene exclaimed.
Hykorene clapped his hands and in seconds a servant entered the room.
“Clothe him in our best chainmail and give him a new tunic. And give him a shield and sword, and a helmet to protect his head.” Hykorene instructed the servant.
“Come with me.” the servant beckoned Jesuan, as they exited the room.
As they stepped inside the room Jesuan was immediately greeted by an armor bearer who carefully fitted him into a new royal blue tunic with gold chainmail.
“Wear this helmet it will protect you from the dark forest magic of the dark elves.” the armor bearer explained, strapping a blue plumed, gold helmet on Jesuan.
“Here is a mighty sword and a sturdy shield that will protect you on your travels.”
“Thank you.” Jesuan responded as they entered the room again where Hykorene was waiting for them.
“Farewell Jesuan. Take my valiant steed as a gift for your long journey. May the forest god watch over and protect you on your quest.” Hykorene called out as Jesuan’s horse galloped off through the dense forest to find the evil Queen Sertina.
After traveling through the forest for what seemed like hours, Jesuan finally can to a small walled village at the heart of the forest.
As he trotted up to the gate a short stout man carrying a long lance came out to meet him.
“What brings you here to the realm of the dark elves?” The man sternly questioned.
“I have come to seek an audience with Queen Sertina.” Jesuan answered, dismounting from his horse.
“Ah, yes. Come I will show you where she resides,” The man cackled back.
The man led Jesuan through the town toward a large stone building at the far end of the road.
As Jesuan walked he saw men and women peering out of the shadows staring at him. Many of them were clothed in rags; fear seemed to be plastered on their faces.
“Why is their so much poverty here?” Jesuan asked the guard.
“Oh, you mean them.” The guard answered kicking at a ragged man that was lying in the street. “They refuse to work for her majesty, so she refuses to feed them!”
“The reason they refuse to work for her is because she a wretched servant of the Devil and the Dark Shadow!” Jesuan sternly interrupted him.
“Silence! How DARE you speak of my queen that way goldsmith.” The guard angrily commanded.
In a matter of minutes they came to the large doorway to the fortress of Queen Sertina.
“Come this way I will bring you to her majesty.” The guard beckoned to Jesuan as he dismounted from his horse, and followed the guard through the doorway.
As the guard unlatched the great stone doors to the queen’s throne room, Sertina’s voice broke the silence:
“Falgorn, who is this and why have you brought him before me!”
“Your holiness he is the Master Goldsmith of the High King.” He humbly answered.
“Why have you come fool?” Sertina questioned Jesuan.
“I have been sent by King Keldore to recover the three Keys of Keldore.”
“King Keldore! HE sent you! Sertina spat in disgust.
“Yes.” Jesuan answered.
“Anything or anyone that is from King Keldore is of the Devil!”
Suddenly a servant came sprinting into the throne room and skidded to an abrupt halt in front of the throne.
“Your majesty. A young slave boy was caught stealing apples from your royal orchard.”
“Bring him to me!” the Queen commanded
The servant hurried out of the room to carry out the queen’s command.
Moments later a young boy was dragged into the throne room in chains and thrown to the ground in front of the queen.
“I have heard that you tried to steal apples from my royal orchard. Is that so?”
The boy remained silent with his head bowed to the floor.
“Why do you sit there? ANSWER ME!” the queen shouted in rage.
The boy still remained silent, not wanting to look at the queen.
“Guards! Send for the executioner! Have this boy stripped of his garments and flogged in my presence until he gives me an answer.”
“But your majesty, he is a young boy. He will die from the whip.” The guard answered.
“I don’t care! Do what I command, or you too will be flogged!” The queen irritably answered.
A few moments later Jesuan watched in horror as the young boy was stripped of his tunic and chained to the whipping post.
“You may begin on my signal!” The queen commanded the executioner.
The executioner nodded and slowly raised the long whip.
“Now!” The queen cried out, as the whip swung forward slicing into the boy’s flesh.
Two, three, four swings of the whip! Five, six…!
“STOP!” Jesuan screamed.
“How dare you halt the execution ceremony!” Sertina bellowed.
“You can’t execute a young boy just for stealing apples! Jesuan exclaimed in frustration.
“This is my kingdom I can do with its subjects what I wish! The Queen protested.
“It is not yours! You are under the subjection of the High King of Cronneras! You are only permitted to do what is written in the laws of the Scrolls of Entity!” Jesuan answered, anger rising in him with every word.
“ENOUGH! I do not serve the High King of Cronneras! I serve no king or lord but my father, the Dark Shadow himself! The Queen roared in fury.
“Continue the execution!” The Queen commanded the executioner.
Seven, eight, nine! Ten, eleven, twelve…!
“WAIT! Jesuan burst out.
“What is it NOW, goldsmith?” Sertina answered impatiently.
“I know the boy! Jesuan responded.
“What! Why Jesuan, would you want to be acquainted with a THIEF?” The Queen answered.
“His name is Themuell. He is a slave boy to Korshinn.” Jesuan replied.
The boy looked up in bewilderment, as Jesuan continued speaking.
“Here take this as a gift. It is a spice that is to be mixed with wine.” Jesuan exclaimed removing the vial of poison from his belt and handing it to the Queen. “But let the boy go back to his master.”
“FINE!” The Queen answered as she sniffed the fragrant liquid in the vial.
Jesuan walked over to the whimpering boy lying on the cold stone floor.
“Here now. It will be all right.” Jesuan comforted him. Jesuan slowly remove the scarlet robe, which he wore and placed it on the boy.
“I would like you to have this.” Jesuan commanded removing the gold chain from his neck. “Go sell it in the city and give the money to your master so he won’t be angry with you.”
“But sir…!” The boy started to explain, that he was not Themuell but his twin brother Tathann, when Jesuan softly hushed him.
“Don’t you worry about that. You go on back to your master. And remember I will rescue you from your master one day, young one.” Jesuan reassured him.
“Thank you sir for your kindness.” Tathann replied as he headed out of the throne room.
That evening Jesuan sat at large wooden table with the Queen and all of her royal attendants.
“Let us give a toast to Jesuan, for giving me this lovely wine spice.” She smiled as she lifted the goblet to her lips, and began drank the cool red liquid, which flowed from her silver cup.
Suddenly she convulsed in her chair, as she closed her eyes and leaned back against the velvet cushions.
Her eyes flashed opened as she turned to look at Jesuan. Her eyes burned like flames of fire as she spoke:
“How DARE you reveal my true form while I am dining with my royal attendants! For that, you will DIE!”
Jesuan reached for the dagger in his belt as she leapt towards him.
Suddenly he stumbled back and fell against a chair, as Sertina began to creep closer toward him.
“I have you now! There is no escaping my grasp! And now you will DIE!” The demonic queen hissed laying her claws on his chest. Just as she was about to kill him with her claws, Jesuan thrust the dagger into her chest.
As the blade cut through her flesh she gave a final shriek of pain:
“NO! I have lost to a mere human and therefore must give up my treasure!
As her lifeless body crumbled to the ground, a small golden chest appeared in front of Jesuan. He carefully opened it and found an emerald-colored key with a carved leaf on the end.
“I’ve done it I have found the first of the three Keys of Keldore! But I must now go and find the dwarf Leminiire so that he can repair the hilt, if I am going to have any chance against the powers of the Dark Shadow.
Jesuan then departed from the Jade Forest to find the Crystal Mountains and repair the sword.
Jesuan traveled the harsh terrain of Cronneras, until he finally reached the gleaming Crystal Mountains.
“There they are, I must get up to the top and meet with Leminiire about repairing the hilt. But how will I get to the top?”
Suddenly, he had an idea. He reached into his pouch and removed a small knife. He then picked up a long stick from the sandy ground and began sharpening the end of the limb with his knife.
“Ah there we go a nice javelin that I can use to get to the top of the mountain more swiftly.” Jesuan thought, holding up the sharpened stick in satisfaction.
He then carefully untied a long coil of rope that had fasted his shield and other belonging to the horse’s saddle. He carefully re-tied the rope to the blunt end of the javelin and hurled it in the air. The javelin fell straight back to the canyon floor.
He tried again but the javelin was unable to burrow itself in the rocky cliff wall and came plummeting back to the ground.
Jesuan tried a third time, hurling it into the air with all his might. This time to he was relieved when the point of the javelin embedded itself deep in the rocky wall at the peak of the mountain.
Jesuan fastened the other end of the rope around his waist, and began to scale the cliff wall.
After nearly three hours of climbing he finally reached the peak of the mountain.
As he climbed over the final boulder he could see a small cave thirty feet in front of him.
“There it is. That must be where Leminiire lives!” He shouted with joy, as he began walking toward the entrance to the cave.
As he peered inside the cave, he saw a furnace and an anvil which rested against the west wall of the cave.
As he entered the cave he saw a short man with a long black beard wearing a silver helmet.
“May I help you?” The dwarf asked, removing his helmet to reveal his short black hair.
“I am looking for a dwarf named Leminiire, who can craft a blade for this hilt. My name is Jesuan by the way.” Jesuan answered, unwrapping the golden hilt and holding out.
“I am Leminiire and I believe that I can craft you a blade for the hilt.” He answered taking the hilt from Jesuan.
Leminiire walked over to the furnace and removed a bar of white metal.
“This is called Calsothite. It is used for making utensils for sacrifices and other ceremonial items. It is said to have magical properties. So, Jesuan, how did you come across such a magnificent hilt?”
“Well, when the Dark Shadow placed a curse on the land I was sent by the High King to find the legendary, magical Armor of Light in order to break the spell and free Cronneras. King Keldore then told me, that the only way I could obtain the Armor was to find the three ancient Keys of Keldore. I have found one Key so far and must find two more before the Armor can be obtained.
“Yes I see! Leminiire answered, as he placed the glowing metal back into the furnace and turned to face Jesuan.
“Where did King Keldore say they were hidden?” Leminiire questioned.
“Well I think he marked it on the map that he gave me. Let me take a look.” Jesuan responded removing the Map of Cronneras from a leather pouch and carefully unrolling it.
“Yes, here we are. The map shows that the three Keys are located in the Jade Forest, the Dark Wastelands and the Tombs of Sharrosh. I have already found the Key in the Jade Forest. So the next place I must go is to the Dark Wastelands. Jesuan explained rolling up the map and tucking back in his pouch.
“You mean we! I must go with you! The Dark Wastelands are a mysterious desert filled with deadly enemies and thieves. I have been through them many times. I used to travel there with my father to a large gem mine at the far eastern tip when I was younger. Leminiire answered.
“Ok you may come with me if you would like to.” Jesuan responded.
“Ah here it is!” Leminiire exclaimed with satisfaction removing the orange glowing sword from the furnace and holding it out to Jesuan.
“It is more magnificent than before!” Jesuan exclaimed, admiring the newly crafted sword in his hand.
“There is only one problem about getting to the Dark Wastelands!” Leminiire explained.
“What? What is wrong?” Jesuan question nervously.
“There is a Tarokk Dragon that guards the entrance to the Dark Wastelands. Long ago it attacked and destroyed our kingdom. My family has tried to defeat it countless times. But all who go and try. Never return!” Leminiire answered.
“Then we must defeat the monster Leminiire! It is our only chance of getting to the Dark Wastelands to get the second key.” Jesuan burst out.
“Ok, we shall go then and put an end to him.” Leminiire answered strapping on his silver helmet and picking up a bronze battleaxe.
“Let’s go!” Jesuan called out as they turned and headed out of the cave.
They were traveling along the rock mountain path when Leminiire cried:
“Look! Up there!” He pointed to a large dragon soaring above the mountains peak.
“I’ll attract it towards us, while you go and take shelter in those large rocks.
Jesuan headed to go take shelter behind three large boulders that rested against the cliff wall. As he looked around he noticed something shiny in a crevice between the rocks. Slowly he bent down and removed a sliver bracelet from its resting place. As he studied it he, realized that there were where four holes where gems could be placed but the gems were missing.
Jesuan carefully tucked it in the folds of his tunic as he heard footsteps coming around the corner.
As the sound of footsteps grew louder and closer he could see Leminiire sprinting to the shelter of the boulders with a great blue dragon following close behind.
As Leminiire dove behind the boulders next to Jesuan, the large winged beast stopped and began to scan the mountainside for his prey.
All of a sudden a small stone fell from the peak above and struck Leminiire’s foot.
He gave a loud yelp in pain and soon the dragon was searching for them again.
The dragon began to flap his great sapphire wings as he took to the sky once again.
As the two men looked up they could see the great beast circling them.
Then the creature dove and began to fly right towards them.
“He is going to devour us! And then there will be no hope of getting the other two Keys!” Leminiire screamed in fright.
The dragon came closer and closer. Gaining speed and power with every second.
Jesuan swiftly removed the gold hilted sword from its sheath and held it high.
As the dragon descended even faster Leminiire began to worry!
“Jesuan what are you doing? The dragon is going to kill us! Put your sword away!” Leminiire screamed.
Just as the dragon was about to devour them, Jesuan’s sword began to glow as a beam of light shot out from the blade and engulfed the beast in light.
The dragon began to fly away, but then he turned around and began to fly towards them again.
“Jesuan that didn’t work!” Leminiire anxiously burst out.
But instead of the dragon flying towards them he flew past them and landed next to the boulders where they were hiding.
As Jesuan and Leminiire peered out from behind the rocks they witnessed the strangest sight.
“I am quite sorry that I frightened you lads. I was trying to tell you that I could bring you to the Dark Wastelands, but you probably couldn’t understand me.”
Jesuan and Leminiire stepped out from behind the boulders and began to walk towards the dragon.
“Did you just speak?” Leminiire questioned the dragon curiously.
“Indeed I did.” He answered.
“Incredible!” Jesuan burst out in awe.
“When that beam of light hit me it released my tongue from the grip of the Dark Shadow’s curse.” The dragon explained.
“My name is Cerivus. I would be honored to take you to the Dark Wastelands.” He exclaimed, flapping his large wings and crouching low.
The two humans walked to him and then stopped.
“What are you waiting for? Hop on!” Cerivus softly commanded.
They carefully climbed on his large blue back as he began to flap his wings and lift off the ground.
As they soared through the sky all they could see was mountains for miles.
“Where am I to take you in the Dark Wastelands?” Cerivus asked.
“To the Tower of Dareth, please.” Jesuan answered.
They continued flying for many hours over the fast Crystal Mountains of Cronneras.
As the sun began to set, Cerivus began to speak:
“See that sand beyond the mountains? That is the Dark Wastelands. You should both get some sleep we will be there by sunrise.”
“Ok!” Jesuan responded as the cool wind began to tickle his face.
The last thing he remembered that night was the blur of brown and green from the mountains and trees, as he slowly drifted off to sleep.
Last edited by royalbrickcustoms
on Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.