Encircling the camp with torches- a group begins to burn it down. The leader has his hand shot from the distance with an arrow- to which his torch falls into the dirt.
“Leave.” Aarock stood in front of him with a cold-hearted glare.
“Ah, so one lone- elf plans to stop us!” he waved behind himself. A hundred eyes stared behind him- maliciously- red. The man’s form took an odd shape- empowered by dark magic- it became black- steel-like and enlarged.
A young Aarock maintained his steadfast stance in front of him.
“You’re no match for us. We’ve aligned with the most powerful of the demonos… Thanos”
As the man’s tranformation finished- a beast of a man stood in his place- ten feet tall- muscular and emmitting a black steam.
“chargeeee!!!” the man spoke.
Aarock motioned also as he rushed forward from the shadows a hundred elves came out.
A disgusted look filled the man’s face. He swept clawlike fingers at Aarock as he glared at Aarock with a dark glare. Aarock jumped up against the charging demon-kin.
Thankfully, Elven weapons cut through even the strongest. The demon-kin leader gave him a look of fury. The last look before his head was separated by his body.
The swift blade moved forward towards the humans behind the dead leader- leading the onslaught of the attacking elves into battle.
Steel blades met swiftly against the makeshift weapons of demon-kin. The men were vicious- however- the elves were elites. In the end experience triumphed over the demon-kin warriors.
It ended quickly. Aarock and his team made sure to check the bodies. Demon-kin could survive in their hosts with shallow breath and create havoc with their magic just by existing.
“Found a live one!” one of the Elfa spoke as he flipped it over.
“Watch out!” Aarock yelled to him. The demon-kin smiled as he looked at the Elfa.
“byeeee!” he whispered as he chomped on the Elfa’s leg with pincer-like force. A gray ooze filled the Elfa quickly and the young Elfa stabbed at the body.
Aarock looked around the table. Remembering those under his charge.
“Reports!” the chief elf spoke. They were inside of a conference hall of sorts. The walls were rock.
“Sir,” an elf captain spoke. “Five of my men are lost, the human camp has been pushed back to the Andigo Range.”
They went in order- eldest to youngest. Aarock would be last.
“Sir,” the next spoke. “Seventeen Elfa were slain. We are in need of support in the west.”
The chief looked at the second captain’s downhearted face, “We’ll get it for you. I’m sorry Sanju.”
“Zero Elfa,” the face of a proud elf- Raldo. He was perhaps the most tactical and successful of the group.
“Good!” the captain.
Aarock looked around. It seemed that they no longer reported the human casualties- the one’s they defended.
“Two Elfa…” Aarock spoke. He paused for a moment. Regardless of protocol he’d add in the report. “and zero humans!” he spoke proudly- holding his hand to his eye.
It had always been his custom to add the human count. After all- what was the point of the sacrifice two gave if it wasn’t shown what they fight for.
Even still – he would be frowned upon.
While the other captains looked at him with disdain, the chief took a more mature response.
“Good work Aarock,” the chief spoke.
After having gone around they discussed more technical aspects of their locations.
“Sir!” one spoke up garnering the attention of the group.
“The humans from Kalota wish to fight to defend themselves.”
Defenseless- they hide away when
Aarock looks into through the bushes towards the village. Approaching the village was an army- the humans under the command
“I was a young man at the time. Only two-hundred seventy… promising in the elfen armies- a commander and defender of some, but the powers that be chose against it.”
“Not one human under my watch was ever lost…”
They became demon-kin- vessels for demons to act through. the powers once bestowed upon them, the allowed humanity to use. There were conditions, pacts, possessions.
The Elfa were not punished- it wasn’t their responsibility to supersede humanity’s freewill.
“This is where I was a part of…” Aarock spoke, “I was an unruly youth who slayed many demon-kin… and protecting the humans who chose not to align with demonos. I was stationed at Elon’dara- it was just a village at the time… I did my job well- not one human that I protected was lost under my watch…”
He reflected on the past.
“Where were the other races?” Sari interjected.
“What other races?” Aarock responded.
“Canjun, Orkan, Hawkma, Lizme, Gob-“
“oh- they didn’t exist at the time.”
“But how did that happen then?”
“Ah yes – wizards were responsible for that.”
The Elfa gave them magic- the first generation ‘wizards’
Demonos approached humanity with a gift- the powers once bestowed upon them, the allowed humanity to use. There were conditions, pacts, possessions.
Using greed, fear, chaos- demonos began to control humans. A majority of humanity became -demon-kin- pawns and vessels for demons. A small remnant of untainted humans remained – two tribes begged the Elves for help.
The elves made their own pact with humanity- giving them magic.
Recap of the second generation.
One generation later. The children of wizards have ‘magic’.
Aarock is a hermit of sorts in his own village- however a friend of the mayor. He does his best in disguise to suppress any sort of conflicts that exist. Twenty years later he’s tracked down by Elfa who desire his leadership. For one- Elfa have been slowly vanishing. Also, the Elfa have begun to age. Aarock and Sardis having been the only two not to align with other Elfa remain untarnished by the curse.
“You were right…” a sad chief speaks to Aarock.
Aarock looked at the group as he spoke. “Over the course of the next few hundred years- anyone I’d ever met -died. With the exception of my wife Sardis and ? All the immortals had long since faded away.”
“However,” Aarock paused, “that’s not really important to the story now.”
“It was twenty years later, when I was found by the Elven chief. He came up to me with a proposition.” He looked on it fondly for a moment, “actually, it could have been a grave misunderstanding. After all- I had been banished from Elfa tribes and when they approached me…”
“It turns out that they needed my help to put out the recent fires. I was well known for my ability to defend… I gathered up friends that I’d made through the nations and we scattered amidst the territory. Around this time- God gave the Elfa protectors … had it been simply us Elfa- we may not have been able to squash the rebellions that began. The first Aqayans came from the skies to help each of our posts.”
“Following this… we killed all the dark wizards….”
“All of them?” Sari replied with a sad look.
“What you don’t understand about dark wizards: they increase their own life expectancy by draining the lives of Elfa. Elfa are weak against draining magic- their goal was to make Elven farms… they murdered any oppositions even in their own tribes… It wa their goal to kill their protectors to extend their own lives and gain power… of course there was Coran…” Aarock drifted off in thought, “He was also a dark wizard who only hunted dark wizards- But that’ a different story.”
“Oh I see…”
“What happened next?”
By this time, the group was completely engrossed in Aarock’s story so much that the food, despite being good, rarely had any of their attention and had grown colder.
“God granted us grace…” He smiled at both Elera and Narika, “…the Aqayans….”
“How did they appear?”
“To us- they simply appeared during our stations while we were stationed across the globe. Our resistance were greatly bolstered. They were quite noble creatures. They were give an infinite amount of magic- unrelated to life force. Using this we were able to devise plans to conquer the dark wizards in droves.
They were stoic and kept to themselves initially. They didn’t speak our language for one…. Our only communication was through contact. And afterwards… they grouped up. It seems they were the warriors we could no longer be.
I’m not sure what happened myself but it was said that God created them with understanding and knowledge to start- and gave them the commandment to bring light to the darkness. Unlike Elfa- they aren’t immortal. That’s perhaps their only weakness. Perhaps that was God’s plan in case Aqayan’s also fell, to keep them from growing too mad with powers. Now – the two races have started working together – even though some live separately, when called upon they are quite willing to help us.”
There was a more drastic story somewhere along the way, but even though Narika was definitely interested in hearing it, looking around the table
“Thank you for the explanation…”
Aarock looked at them, “You two aren’t from this place are you…”
It seemed that Aarock didn’t miss any details. Narika looked at him. Aarock seemed to be considering how they would have arrived. But he didn’t continue any further. Aarock returned to the normal discussion at the table however.
“But it is no matter… We will surely help you adjust when you arrive at the castle…”
“As for you…” Aarock gave a different look at Venu, “…”
Narika looked at the exchange between the two. He wasn’t quite sure what it meant.
“There’s a second chance for everyone though…” Aarock spoke. It seemed somewhat off-topic to hear that. “we’ll make a place for you as well…”
Aarock shifted his attention towards the kids.
“So you two want to go to Elon’dara? There’s definitely a place for a protégé chef- I’d love to have you in our kitchens and learn the trade,” Aarock responded.
“Really?!” Sari sounded fascinated.
Sari and Aarock started talking a bit about foods when Mika interjected.
“Hey Aarock,” Mika asked, “
“Mmhm, and what is it you want to be?” Aarock said as if predicting the next request.
“Train me to be a knight at the castle,” Mika spoke.
Venu responded to Mika with a whisper, “that’s kind of rash Mika… Knighthood is a really significant at the castle…”
However, Aarock smiled, “If that’s something you desire, I can probably arrange a meet with the captain of the knights….”
“Cool!” Mika responded.
Aarock began talking to Sari all about the different ingredients and foods they could make while Narika and Elera started talking a bit. Mika attempted striking up a conversation, “isn’t that cool!” with Venu who seemed a little down. However, as their stomachs were full and they were all exhausted from a full day- they started to get tired.
Upon noticing a yawn by Sari
Aarock interjected – “oh I guess it’s getting late…”
“Do you want me to take you to bed Sari?”
“I want Venu to do it,” Sari responded as she walked up to Venu. She held out a hand to him to which Venu took.
From his gloomy look, he lightened up a bit- attempting to keep Sari cheerful. He got out of the chair and knelt down.
“Do you want me to give you a ride on my back?”
He turned around as Sari said an enthusiastic “yeahhh!” and carried her up to the room.
Mika yawned as well and walked alongside the two.
Venu gave a quick glance backwards with a slight frown to Aarock before bringing them up to the rooms.
Aarock watched as the three walked away.
“Hey, you two – would you mind if I spoke to you two about Venu?”
Narika looked up. Aarock had a concerned look and Narika wondered what it could be about.
After having cleaned up everything between the three of them- putting all the dishes and such away- (which was made simple as Aarock simply had to use his magic), Aarock and Narice talked.
“What is he like?” Aarock asked.
Elera respond first, “Are you trying to understand why he doesn’t have magic?” she responded.
“Well, that… sure,” Aarock replied, “even though he does…”
“Yeah…” she replied, “he actually has some sort of enhancement and recognition ability…”
“I see,” Aarock replied, “Did you ever find there was something off about him?”
Narice had to stand up for him, “He’s helped us out too much to think of him badly. He used his recognition and helped all of us from a maze at the dragon- he showed a lot of bravery…”
Aarock replied, “If you can’t sense anything then – then I’m happy. Sorry I didn’t mean to offend… I must be misunderstanding…”
Aarock knew better, but at the very least he was sure about one thing. Consciously, Venu was good… considering the way his friends saw him- he would try his best to help Venu. He wondered how he’d manage to get closer to the boy instead of push him away.
He looked around the lounge, noticing the game pieces of Malank. He’d use that. He tried his best to look at the game- having been so long he’d almost forgotten how it was played- in fact… He used a spell and the pieces returned step by step to their original positions.
He stayed up for the night reviewing the moves attempting to remember the strategy.