The Trials of Cascadia: The Dark Ages (Chapters 1-2)

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Come, let me tell you, one of the greatest legends that ever was told.

Once upon a time, there was the Kingdom of Cascadia. They were the legend that was, the legend that lived, and the legend that was to perish. They were the kingdom, worthy of song, and heralded around as shield brothers in arms. Before there was light, there was the dark ages… It was a period of strife, a period of despair, and conspiracies. A period, in where a simple life, in somebody’s hands, could either be snatched, devoured, or saved, by way of one single choice made…Here is the story of such individuals, that bear with them those such choices. But be weary moreover, for the choice of a Cascadian, is like the choice over light and darkness…

Gogius

Chapter 1

The Man Whose Shot,

Meant Everything

They’ve forsaken him…Before they even realized who he was. They

knew him for years, felt in their hearts what he was capable of. And yet they knew his name, without even knowing his name, and when they got their chances to see with their own eyes, what he could do, it was too late because they’ve already left him. You see Gogius was the man whose shot meant everything. Now it was one thing to be a good shot of course, but with Gogius…When he fired his bow, his shot, was the arrow that was the arrow that stood for everything. What the Elderlords of the Outer Score failed to conceive, was that the end of all existence starts, when the hands that should seek to create, create things of little meaning at heart, when the very things that would save the lives of us all are made from out of an imprudent hand, what you have is bleak. Gogius and his arrows, meant life over death.

A man is but made a thousand and one times the same over all of the Earth, but a hero is immortalized, when he becomes legend. You must understand, that the only way for a man to become legend IS for him to be allowed to die human. His deeds will blanket the soil where he lies buried. Verily, verily, he will be remade again as a new man, only where he is needed. But a legend, is never born. He is created. And only a man himself, can create himself into a legend.

“You can’t go on like this.” Gogius said to me; his eyes seemed to peer down deep into my very soul; he looked all around my house with them, hoping from one pile of unevenly laid books to the next. I had written what was good for the soul, all scrawled out across the walls of my home, in charcoal, I had tried to tell him, that what I had seen with my eyes was good…But he only saw madness. Gogius. The man who’s shot with his bow that fired the arrow that was the arrow that meant everything that declared life over death…Perhaps, but not soul over spirit it would seem. “He must realize that what I do with my soul is good, Gogius” I said to him, “You see it, I-

WE, have seen it now, and now know like we should know. If you would but only just sit down, and see like I see…It would make you whole again.” Forsaken was Gogius by those who knew him the most. But they will remember, once they are in need of him again. “Look around you Myn’wel, you’ve got books laid out all around you like some book keeper, or some librarian lady.” “There’s no shame in the brain filled lasses!” “But these books mean nothing at all, they’re filled with gibberish, and nonsense.” “You see these books are GOOD!” I tried to stress to him, “These books, are good, because they know that they are…Don’t you see?! These books know that they’re good, so that WE may know that they’re good.” “Myn’wel… These books, are just books. They’re not human-

“You LIE!!! These books aren’t books, they’re miniature GODS, and you’re a LIAR Gogius! You lie with the things you don’t understand! Now these books, are just like midget versions of gods, because they ask themselves to be as just that.” Gogius turned his gaze sorrowful at me as I tried to explain to him “Now, these books…Are good. They are SO good. But my old lady…Is a HAG!!! She abandoned the knowledge when it needed her the most. You see Gogius, your mind needs you more than you need it, did you know? Tee hee hee, your mind, needs you more than you need it…But it’s not right! Not right to leave it!” “Myn’wel…Your woman didn’t abandon you, she’s more concerned for you than you may realize-

“You SEE?!? There you go again with the LIES!!! Those lies will make your tongue sore, and your tonsils heavy…But these books. Are. Good… You will see, if you wish it.” There was a terrible pause that came from him that stabbed into my heart “This, Durvik language.” he went, “It changes you. I can see what it is doing to you now…You have to see it too.” “Ohhohohoho, I SEE it alright, aheehee…I SEE it. But do YOU see it?” “…Get well soon, Myn’well. Perhaps we both won’t need to look at it for much longer.” “…Oh yesss, you will go now. But then you will come back, and read these books, and remember the friendship that we had. And then…You will bring a box. A brown box. HUGE brown box, and we will stuff away the mid-twenties and three fours of a terribly crooked quarter and one fourth of a hag’s kind of hag’s hag away inside of it. I’ll be waiting for you.” Gogius turned away from me, and began to walk out of the door. Little that I knew, that his visits to come see me would become lesser and least, after this day. Gogius. The man whose shot meant everything, as it would seem…It was only one that was, a single target that he missed.

Eade

Chapter 2

The Falling Knight

Eade went off to join the well renowned Cascadians, along with his childhood friend, January, who had accompanied him. The Cascadians were a group of soldiers, who worked for no king-

Had no leader to answer to, and had dedicated themselves to preventing wealthy people from becoming too powerful. There were many cruel tyrants throughout the Middlelands that the Cascadian Order called home to; people with crowns on their skulls, and greed winking in their eyes, and the Cascadians had hatred for every single one of them, in an almost in human sort of way. Eade turned to look at his childhood friend, as she smiled back at him; January was a wood elf, she had short hair that at times, tried

its best to flow and bend to the elements all around her, and long ears, that would go back like a horse’ if she were to became angry. January was short, around 5 feet or so; she had a somewhat insomnia-like appearance to her, with a slight glow of dark to circle around each of her two eyes. With the red lipstick that she wore, a hint of white shined from out of her mouth, as she smiled Eade’s way. Eade could remember the impeccably bright, and alluring blue eyes that she had, staring back at him, like a reflection through a crystal lake. “Are you sure you think you’re ready to join these guys?” Eade said, “These guys are pretty tough!”

As January’s ears twitched slightly to Eade’s voice, her mundane utterance blanketed every single living thing that had ears to hear, almost in a hushed, melancholic way “I hope the bastards are!”

Eade could still hear her now, sounding tough, and rugged, walking side-by-side with him, as they marched to go join, the greatest living kingdom that had ever been spawned…But though that was almost 12 years ago. Since then, in the kingdom of Druid, where all the king’s men, and every Cascadian Soldier resided, the friendly and eternal alliance with the king, King Renald Druid, it wasn’t uncommon for Cascadians to train their soldiers to go work for the king, which is exactly where Eade and January ended up. The Cascadians taught him, at the age he went to join, 18, how to fight and defend himself. Although they were basically freelance soldiers, it was not in the Cascadian’s way to fight to kill their enemies, or to destroy people’s homes in the process if they can help it. The Cascadian Code demanded that they capture what enemies that could be caught, or defend themselves from their assault by using takedown moves, submission techniques, or by using their shields to fend off sword blows. Some of the Cascadians which were called Defenders, were even rumored to have gone into battle without a sword, just two shields held by each hand, to defend themselves, and pummel their enemies. Eade, learned from them, how to apply himself by using every single one of their tactics. He had become favored amongst most of the Cascadians, in his hay day all those years ago, and cherished every memory with them, even after he took an invite to join the King’s men, at age 33. Eade had married, bore a daughter, and had been with the Druid guard, as a captain, for a very long time. He could remember being squire to a Druid knight captain named, Woodek, an impeccable swordsman, who had at least 10 years of experience in fighting for the king. Eade remembered Woodek’s orange beard, orange eyebrows, and a head filled to the brim with orange flowing follicles, that would dance along his scalp on a windy cool sunny day. Woodek was a jolly and curious man, who had always seemed to be pondering about something; his beard and goatee would twirl with his hands, even the sun would stare, as its light hit his blue eyes. “Good o’l chap!” These were the words that Eade would always hear him say, every time he was around some one. Woodek would always joke around, and claim to be part leprechaun, and a full breed Irish man, insisting that he was simply wearing a human disguise, so that nobody would trouble him for his “gold”. Every time Woodek saw somebody, he would grin the world’s most stunning grin, almost with a smile that was far too perfect to be his own… But like Eade’s years with the Cascadians, that time was a very long time ago. It was the years, before a terrible illness had taken hold of Woodek, claiming his life. The death was said to have devastated Eade, Woodek was like a

brother to him. It seemed that the very darkness that would seek to consume families, friends, and all the good people of the world, would hide away from Woodek’s very presence. The very things that would protect and guide you from evil, would sicken and die the day Woodek’s life would end… After Woodek’s funeral, Eade was said to have distanced himself from all the people he knew. For a while, even his only family would receive the cold shoulder, from Eade the knight. Despite all that had transpired, he knew deep down moreover, that his family was all that he had. There was nothing more that he loved, than his only daughter and wife. Eade’s daughter had just turned 18 years old, she was supposed to return home one day…But she never returned. It was a couple of long days that had passed by, and still no sign of her grace. “Ramona I looked everywhere for her. I can’t find her, something’s wrong..!” Eade cried out to his wife. “I’m sure she’s alright. Perhaps we should wait a little while longer-

“But it’s been half a week!” Ramona scratched the back of her neck, as Eade drew in close with curiosity, “What’s wrong with your tattoo?” The pause Ramona gave was almost eerie “Perhaps we should just wait until Friday.” “Why should we wait, when clearly something is wrong? You know what, I can’t wait any longer, I’ve already checked the taverns, I sent guards out to search around the whole entire town, even down the road, I’m going to check around GoldYork again, I don’t think I checked that place thoroughly.” “…If you think it will help.” “Huh? Why wouldn’t it help?” “Nevermind.” “…Never mind? You know what, I’m going to check, I want you to stay safe until I come back, okay?” Eade bolted out of the door, like a chicken bolting out of the door with its head cut off. As he did, he was approached by a frantic guard, his face filled with sweat as his eyes froze in their tracks, when he saw Eade’s face “Did you find my daughter?” Eade asked. The guard hesitated, his eyes wide, full of pity and fear. “We…I’m so sorry Eade.” Eade looked in horror, as the guard led him to a growing large crowd, surrounded behind a cathedral. There was a dead body, nailed to the wall, arms side-to-side, like a crucifix. Her face was but a skeletal face, though her hair was still golden, it peeled apart and separated at the ends, as they fluttered through the dried breeze. Eade gave a horrible look, as he read the words that were scrawled next to it:

The Hollow-Cost of Adversity

As the guards worked quickly to take the corpse down, the air was shattered by the horrible scream that Eade let out. His daughter, had been found.

Copyrightcopyright March 29, 2014

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