This was my final assignment for my Creative Writing class. After reading this again, I could have done so much better. Then again, this was my first attempt at Sword-and Soul. MAn, I really have a bad habit of not editing my first drafts! Here it is, and this was written BEFORE Stormwizard.
Written by Brandon K. Markham
Draak sharpened his spear after he killed the two guards in fron of the fortress. The defensive bulk of rock rose from the surrounding hay field underneath a black sky that was dominated by the moon. Draak had no time to think of the two guards, he only came with one purpose in mind. And with that’ he walked in the rock fortress, into the hollow as qutiley and swiftly as possible.
Torches lit the darkned ways of the articifla corrdors. The walls were rocky, not marble walled like some of the cities. Magic hummed in the fortress, Draak inspecting intricately drawn runes on the walls and celings, and even stalagmites. The spearman saw his own bark colorecd skin glisten in the brilliance of fire, and saw other guards in the corridors. The guards wore silver tunics that reached their ankles, and wore sandals like Draaka’s and either swords or spears carried on their backs or waists.
So, it IS true…Draak confirmed. He look at the young face of one such child not ten paces ahead when Draak stole to the shadows. The boy had a hard look on his face, one of a patriotic soldier ready to die for his lord. Anger and hatred swelled with sadness, as the rumors of abductions were indeed true. If so true, then Draak needed to hurry-
The boy screamed. It was a more like a warcry than an innocent scream, his face hardening, ready for battle. It was only then that Draak relized his leg shone in the light out of the shadows. That cry summoned other children, notably a small girl no more than eight with her heair bradiied and seathed a long sinous blade, and another boy who looked to be a newcomer into the world, carrying a small smspear. What madness is this be! So Draak reveraled himself in thew shadows, and ran to the corrsor on the western wing, left of the hollowed entrance. The runes were getting more intricate with every foot forward, and less familiar. Draak never touched on the study of Magic anyways, since it was forbidden by the kings. Kony however, would be one such person to do just that to get his way, and all in the name of his GHod as well. Draak ran and aran, with the children screaming for battle, screaming for victoyr, when more children increased their ranks. Draak was a fast runner, something he learned in the seventeen years he prepared for this day, as well as training withg the assegai he crafted from elepahnt’s tusks. However, such skills would not ;last forever.
I will not kill a child! The thought of such and act taunted him,. He poushed it away, but it still lingered, as if that was the only option he had ahd. The children were still puashing with energy, and Draak, with his age of thruty eight, was brginning to tire. He was a master spearman who knows the arts in and out, but he…would…not…use..then…to..kill..a..chikle! I will not! The odds were against hium.
A he spear went into the toddler’s torso. The next hit sliced the girl, the boy fell with ease, and the teenager died behind him. The next child died, and the nect one fell, sand the next alonmg with it. The children were beginning to make a road to the start of the corridor. And all this snes eless killing…all this violwnce that Draak wrought upon the childred…the spearman begged for forgiveness. He feared that God would not look upon him with eyes of forgiveness, but those of hatred and anger. Draaak heated himself. After killing the children, Draak hurt himself and his stomach, when he turned those thought away, and travled the corridors. He would need no distractions when it came to saving his daugyhter.
When Kony had heard the news, he killed the child in blinded rage, then, after seeing what he did, asked for fogiveness. Children served the messiah of God, to destroy the goivernemtn that shackled mankind to a world of worldly desires and unending pain. For this end, Kpny began the Army of God, to rise fear from the politicians and tell them that God’s wrath was coming. But that was not the case. Kony dismissed the black shrouded figure.
Did I end up in sime kind oif labyrinth? Draak was starting to get annoyed and it rose with every minute. The corridors seemed to be going arounf circles, and was perplexing and hard to navigate. He marked one of the walls with a mark from his assegai, and he came back to that same spot three times. As frustating as it was howvewr, he could not give up hope. It had been seventeen years since that grim day. When Kony destroyed his village and took his daughter. Seventeen years since he last saw Mawu. Now he was a master spearman, and now is the time to save her. Now…he only had to find his way to Kony, that deranged maniac!
Draak stumbled upon a room. It had many cages, some hanging from the rock iciles on top, and some just on the bottome. The child guard dlept in a chair at the far end of the room. Draak made his way to the prison cells, and could tell that the women were beaten and ravished. Young women who lost their beauty and diginity, their prime shattered…could have been bo other than Kony! Face so tight that the wrinkled did not hide…not her. Short and a bit plump…not her. After looking at nearly twenty cells both on ground and up, Mawu was noit ina sinlge cell! Then a woman called for him
“Who…who are you?” She was old, but no wrinkle scarred her face. She was garbed in a green dress with tiger prints and embroidered in gold with a matching felt. Somehow…Draak felt a connection with this person…but it was not Mawu, he was certain.
To answer her question, Draak said, “I have come here for my daughter, whom Kony stole from me seventeen years past. Do you know who she is?” At first, silence fell in the room, but the woman spke.
“Mawu…Mawu…” she spoke, her eyes rolling, searching for any conection to that name. “Could she be the mother of these chilfren?”
“I believe she is. Yes…I remember her now. Seventeen years past, she was kept in a cell like this all the time. When she was of age…she birthed the majority of his children…he always took in beatigful women.” Draak fell to his knees. The slain children’s faces rose in his mind, thought ravaginf his mind. He could have screamed, but did not want to wake up that guard. He did not want to kill anymore of the children, now that he found out that theyr were…they were..his-
A warcry pierced his ears. Draak stood to find a child rushing towards him, spear first. Draak uncounsciuly raised his and the child ran into it. Streams of blood kissed Draak’s face, who just realized what had happened. The child fell, with not even a signle scream. He dide a soldier’s death as Draak withdrew his spear. His eyes widened in disblief, and they reflected with the woman’s smiliar brown eyes.
“That was your…” the tired voice of the elderly woman suggested, but trailed off. “From here, there are stairs…go up the steps. You will find your daughter…and Kony.”
Draak almost did not hear her. I did it again….God, forgive me…please God…forgive ME! As he curtsied and left the door, tears swelled up in his eyes.
“He wasn,t always a bad son you know” Draak snapped his back towards the woman. His jaw dropped, but he snapped it back up, shutting it. He turned to the wodden and splintered door, and opened it, returning to the corridors.
Following her directions, the spearman came to a corridor with screaming children. Not aain…please God…noit AGAIN! The children came with their swords and soears. Draak did not even raise his. He would not kill children…he would not kill his own blood.
A whistle echoed. The children stood, backed into the walls in ranks, as if to surround the spearman. I was their, that a black shrouded figure whose face was covered I darkness walked up the steps and into the torchlights, carrying a spear. Draak paused and looked. This was no child. The figure attacked, charging the spearman with a the spaer. Draak parried and tried to stab the figure, but it jumped back, and threw the spear. Draak split it upon impact, splinters pirecing his armorless skin. The figure produced another spear. Draak held up his in defense to the plunged that could have killed him. The figure then, suddenly, swung the spear, blade maning the cut into Draak’s neck. Draak caught it, but wiced at the pain. He pushed it away. The figure battle hard in an organized way, and with every move a touch of death followed. Draak could not die just yet, so when the figure jumped into the air and plunged, Draak rolled, and stabbed the figure in the back.
The figure’s hood dropped, and the light reflected on the beautiful ebony face that was Mawu. Draak let go of his spear, and she fell. The children all ran to her body, whose cheeks were still rosy, and eyes were widened. No…had she known?
Draak cried. His tears fell on the cold ground and heard the childrens cries as well. He did not even bother asking God for fogiveness. He could not push these thoughts away, as the faces of his slain children filled his mind. Slian…by this hands. Vengence…that was all he could think about. Draak had some fault in this…but if Kony did not even come ti his village, then none of this wouldn’t have happened. This Gave him the drive to stop Kony from ever doing this to anyone else again. This gave him reason…this gave him courage. Draak moved across the children, who did not even break to kill him. Threy wew stilol distruahgt. Drak enetered the wooden door, and faced Knoy.
The mage known as Kornelius Ashona, or Kony for short, was shroudee in deep purple with runes lacing his eyes, neck, hands, and face. The cvoiel was purple as well, but it did not hide his dark face and emerald eyes that held no guilt. Drakk rose his spear. The room was more like an altar, deep steps from froue directions laeding to the center, and KKony was standing on top.
“Are you another one of the kings dogs?” Kony had asked, Draak gave no answer. “No…you afe not…I know you. Well, at least heard of you.” Draak gave no impression. His thoughts were to only kill the man who destroyed the lives of these vhildren…knowing that he himself has destroyed others as well. “You are MAwu,s father…she always said that you would come to save her. Howq much do you love her? Do you eeven know? TO come seventeen uyears later, come into my and…” Knoy’s eyes widened, then a mocking smile came on his face, unnerving Draak who lowered his spear by a few inches “Your grandchildreds blood and Mawu’s as well screams from your stained blade...” Knoy let out a laugh “How did it feel? To slay your own kin…how did you feel to kill my children. Do on tfear, I seek not vengeance…that is is less children needed for what I am poaniing.” Draak let his face lead him into perplexity. Kony’s tone implied that the children were used more than just fighting.
“You know, like all the rest of the people, that my army fights the kings who control us all. Out kings are corrupted with power, and we are suffering everyday…do they help us. No. They do not care for human life. RThat is why murder and rape are commonplace, why thievery has not been solved, and why the problem of evil is still a problem” Draak nevber knew this side of Kony. But still…!
“The children are needed for so muchg more. They will not fight” Draak dropped his spear. Thoese children with weapon…if they were not going to fight, then what were they doing?
“I need sacrifices to summon a beats so powerful, that the government will be destroyed.” Picking back up his spear, He pointed it to the mage once more. Draka now understood the runes in the foirtress.
“You…monster! You destroyued whole civilazations to take these children, ruined the lived of people, and changed their mentalility. The givernemnt is not the problem, the people running it is! You talke odf God as your father, and tat you are our Messiah. A real Messiah is no monster like you!”
“Killing one’s own grandchildren and daughter are noit acts to make a monster more than a fiary tale than? Draak?” Draak did not move, hiding his frustaion behond a face that scvreamed for Kony’s death.
“Very well then…” Kony lauched himself into the air and stayed. Levitating, he darkned the room as the sun rose and let its rays flood into the room. “You may die like the dog you are then. I will rule, and we will all be happy!”
Draak dodgyed the fifth ball of fire, but it was too close. This was like fighting a bird, Kony did not stay still! Sure, Draak had gotten him a few times, but they were all grazes at Kony’s feet. In a last ditch effort, Draak threw his spear at Kony at a close range, since attacking from the ground was useless. Kony couahgt the projectile however, anmd threw it.
Pain flared in Draak’s torso when the spear protruded from his chest. His heart slowed, Draak feeling his life give way so fast. Kony laughed.
“The kings will all die, and the kingdom of God shall rise from the world’s ashes…yes. This entire world is filled eiith sein, and so….with this beast, I shall burn this dammed world into nothing, and rasie it again from the ashes! It is the wioll of God!” Kony did not laugh, but instead turned away. The runes suddenly bvrightehedn in the dark room, and hummed. Lights of blue, red, and gold laced each other and travled to the centewr of the altar where Kony was. The room lightened more with every second. Screams could be heard from the opposite side of the door.
Draak unseathed his spear from his cheatst, and immeduiately felw into a world of pain. But this did not stop him. With every piuece of strnght he had, Draak stepeped small steps toward Kony, and within seconds, stabbed him. The Runes died and Kony with it, as his head looked down, DRaak thinking it was in horror. Then Kony fell. Draak followed.
In the surrounding darkness, the children entered the room. Among them, was a woman in black. Draak wanted to open his eyes, but found no strength to do so. He found however…words.
“My grandchildren…this world must change for the better of the people…please…” Mawu, bent over, obviously in pain, and kissed on his cold cheek. Draak died, with a smile on his face, knowing that was forgiven for his transgressions. Draak thought that hopefully, this world will change.