Book three: The rise of Prentika?
The King’s body was found and buried the following morning. He lay at last in the tombs of his ancestors. His funeral was attended by many, yet it was short as the horde waited outside the giant gates. Across Prentika, flags lowered to half-mast in his honor. Men, Elves, and Dwarves all paid their respects to the heroic king who had no doubt saved them from a massive attack. The king was dead. An era had died with him.
The Black Wizard whistled as he teleported himself from the funeral of the king and into the dimly lit Adventurer’s Club. It was dimly lit and smelled bad. Well, I anticipated that they wouldn’t be ones for cleaning, the Black Wizard thought. He waved his jeweled staff and the room was brightly lit and the smell was gone. Continuing his whistling, the wizard looked around the club. The club contained few people, most of whom were at the bar until the next presentation. Using his magic, the wizard summoned a drink and dropped a few gold coins in the barkeeper’s moneybox. Sipping it, he studied the people at the bar. None of them seemed to match the description of a Thunder. He sighed. He’d failed to find one the relatives of the king. At least I can finish my drink. He thought as he sat down on a stool. After his fifth drink, an idea came into his head. He could ask one of the people around him if they knew any Thunders! Of course, being drunk didn’t exactly help his motor skills. After he had stuttered for about five minutes, he remembered he was a wizard and could make himself normal upon command. About ten minutes later, he had correctly remembered how to do it. At last, he spoke in a clear voice to the people sitting next to him at the bar.
“Do you know anyone called Thunder?”
Everyone stared at him for a few minutes before one man spoke up.
“You must be b***** joking! Everyone knows Thunder!”
“Where can I find him?”
“Which one? There’s ‘undreds of them!”
“The most adventurous. Oh, and while you’re at it, find me the best to rule the kingdom.”
“Well, I suggest for most adventurous, you go to Young Carmine. For your king, I’m not sure. Don’t know any kingly Thunders.”
“Right. Thanks for your help. Here, have a couple gold coins. Buy yourself something.”
A short while later, the Black Wizard exited the club, his dark robes flowing. He waved his staff and was soon in a small building deep within the icy mountains. Before him stood a young man with black hair, a mustache, and an odd hat, perfectly fitting the description of the Thunders he had been given. So this was Carmine. In a deep and mysterious voice, the wizard told the young hero of his task. Carmine nodded and grabbed his tools and map. He stepped out of his cabin and into his future.
Gleon Iron-clad Thunder was deep within the dwarves’ mines, checking for survivors of the accident. He had been with the dwarves for four years now, learning from them what he needed to be a good king. If all had gone according to plan, he would be with the elves this afternoon. But his father was killed and the mines had collapsed. Until this morning, he had been trapped in a tunnel with eight dwarves. When he had been freed, the dwarves had told him about his father. By birth, he was not of the royal bloodline, having been adopted by the king and appointed secretly as his heir when he was about five years old. He had been kept a secret, so as to avoid an attempted assassination by the Emperor. If anyone had known about him, he would soon be placed upon the throne. He had already marked his map with his immediate plans and prepared his acceptance speech. Prentika’s youngest king was ready for his destiny.
The Black Wizard appeared in the Mines of Ankoria in a puff of smoke. It had taken him a long time to find mention of the king’s heir in the royal records. Time they did not have. He quickly probed the nearest dwarf’s mind for the location of the secret prince. Once he had it, he waved his staff again and was soon standing behind Gleon. The Prince smiled. “I have been waiting for you.”
An hour later, Gleon Thunder sat upon the red royal throne of Prentika. The Arch-bishop of Crown castle stood next to him, slowly lowering the crown onto his head. When it was firmly in place, the new king stood upon the great tower of crown castle and flashed his golden sword. He began to speak.
“People of Prentika, we stand upon the threshold of a new era! No more shall we be a small quiet people. Gone are the days of my father and grandfather! The new era has come! We return to the golden days of old! We are the shapers of tomorrow! The reign of the Western and Eastern powers is falling! Who is better than us to take their place? I need nothing but your support, my subjects, to make us the greatest of all world powers!”
A cheer came up from the crowd as the king sat down upon his throne again. The golden days had returned. But inside the halls of the castle, his fingers tightly gripping his throne, one man was not happy. His last ounce of sanity had left him. The Emperor rose, his face a mask to the rage that filled him inside. He pulled a dark rod from the inside of his robes and traced a circle on the floor. It was soon filled with red light and mist as a dark figure in dragon-like gold armor formed in front of his eyes. The dark Emperor smiled and said in a quiet, creepy voice only two words. “My lord…”
King Gleon Thunder stood in front of a giant map of the western and eastern empires. He placed small figures on it, demonstrating his plan to the assembled senate. The Black Wizard gasped under his breath. The King was planning a Prentikan conquest of the earth…
It was night at the dark tower upon Mount Drake. Skeletons poured out of the earth, surrounded by Goblins and nomadic tribes of Orks and men. The Red Robed Necromancer watched them as they trained in darkness, lit only by red fire from the tower’s torches. Suddenly, a blur of red, gold, and black flashed between them and leaped into the air, riding upon a small dragon. The mysterious figure landed on the necromancer’s tower and spoke in a deep voice.
“I have come, Ruler of Mount Drake. I promise you my aid in the attack on crown castle.”
“Why this sudden change in attitude?”
The gold-armored warrior’s voice dropped to a chilling, horrifying whisper.
“The King has a son.”
The borders of the Dragon Empire have been called the most powerful in the world. Whoever said that had never seen a combined army of Prentikans and forest-men before. King Gleon and the leader of the forest-men each had addressed their men earlier on what to do during the assault on the wall. Archers stood skillfully in the trees, ready to loose their bows as soon as King Gleon gave his signal. Hundreds, if not thousands of Prentikan troops waited just inside the forest, ready to make a full-scale assault on the gates. Dwarves had, reluctantly, made tunnels under the walls and filled them with explosive chemicals. The dwarves’ chief had argued with Gleon for hours over the placement of the packages of explosives. At the end of the argument, the king and dwarf compromised and placed the weapons halfway between the desired sites of the king and the desired sites of the dwarf. However, the dwarf still doubted that the battle would be entirely safe for the king’s soldiers, but his thoughts were silenced as King Gleon blew his horn and the royal banners raised.
The horn awoke the sleeping guards who lay atop the walls of the battlements. They immediately stood up, weapons at the ready, expecting only a small barbarian group. Suddenly, millions of arrows blasted at them, leaving not one soldier on the wall alive. Prentikans charged at the gates, holding battering rams and riding horses. Catapults hurled stones onto the enemy waiting behind the walls. At last, the army burst though the gates, assembled against the empire. Then, the explosives went off.
A short while later, the Prentikan army stood on one side of a giant crater and the Dragon Empire stood on the other. Many soldiers from both armies had been lost. The Dragon army’s leader walked forward and spat at the Prentikans. In the strange language of his country he swore and then said a few words.
“The Emperor will hear of this, barbarians!”
With that he turned and walked off, this rest of his army following him. Immediately, the forest-men threw rope bridges across the abyss, taking bold steps forward into a new land. As soon as they reached the other side, the Prentikans moved toward the bridges, yet as they did, the Forest-men cut them. The army turned, depressed and walked back toward Prentika. They had failed to capture the enemy lands. All they had succeeded in doing was angering the largest empire in the world.
The Necromancer stood in the center of an ancient circle of stones. He spoke a strange spell and the sky turned black. Lightning struck the ground, and from it emerged monsters and beings of black magic. The Necromancer’s red eye glowed as he rose in the air, high above his new and all-powerful army.
King Gleon walked, defeated, through the front gates of Crown Castle. His golden horn hung from his side, tarnished from the weeks of walking through mud and battlefields. How could the battle have gone so wrong? He had planned every detail in advance, calculated the exact positions of the bombs, and made peace with the forest-men. Yet the plan had failed, the bombs had blown up part of his army and the forest-men had betrayed him. When he had left this city, he had been a hero. Now, as he returned, he was a fool. Upstairs, the Emperor watched from his window and smiled.
Inside The Crown Inn, the Black Wizard sat, drinking his twenty-first drink. Across the table from him sat the druid of the forestlands, bragging about the work of his people at the battle. The Black Wizard felt anger rising up as the druid talked on and on about the Prentikans incompetence. He dropped his cup and the floor and began screaming at the overconfident barbarian.
‘You b***** barbarian son of an uncultured pig! I lost friends in that battle!”
With that he waved his staff at the barbarian, blasting him with pure magical energy. The druid screamed and collapsed to the ground, twitching. No one in the whole Inn was able to move out of their extreme shock, just allowing the Black Wizard to walk out of the door with no resistance at all. As soon as he had left, he walked straight toward an old cottage outside of the town. Majisto would know what to do.
The wizard Majisto stood in silence. Dark times are coming. We must be ready for them.
I am the Ruler of The Western Lands. All shall bow before me!