Volume One: The Inception
Bearer of The First Flame
Volume One: The Inception
Prone, I gulp in clear air for my starving lungs. Once I sate my appetite I try to stand up but my body refuses to respond.
The creeping cold pierces my pale naked body, without any warmth I begin to have thoughts of dying of hypothermia, internally I beg for help. Time passes and the dark clings to me, my steel grey eyes shift rapidly. Nothing - the silence deafens. In the large, dark cavern unable to move I wait as a small trickle of piss runs down my leg.No one will come. I am alone. Where am I? I try to move every ounce of my willpower focuses on standing up. I stay still my body immobile. I will not give up. Never surrender! My Father says. Break it down all trees are roots which began as seeds. My Mother says. Sighing I try to block the intruding thoughts. Time for baby steps. Let’s move a finger. Failure. I persist.
Movement! My finger twitches and a joyous feeling erupts from within and spreads throughout my entirety. Next, I move my head - looking up a new worry confronts me. A dreadful sense of claustrophobia strikes as I feel the weight of the world press down on me as I look at the dark, rocky roof glistening with moisture. Checking left and right all-encompassing stone traps me, caging my body.
Exhaling, I let the air filter out of me. Then once I am almost without breath I inhale, regulating my breathing I continue focusing on the feeling of air coming in then out. Relaxing I can now sense the sharp, cold rock beneath me. My body is once again under my control. Now to stand up.
I place hands firmly on the ground and push. My arms wobble and the whole of my body shakes. After much effort I raise my upper body off the ground. Following on I put my right foot on the ground elevate myself into a crouching position. Now comes the hardest part, my whole body trembles under the strain breathless gasping in air I am now upright, standing tall.
Suddenly, to my left, a torch ignites. The torch attaches through a iron holder to the rocky wall - burning a deep orange-red - the torch better illuminates the large, dark cavern. I realise that the long tunnel is far wider than I had originally thought with the torch being roughly ten metres away. Walking over, I trip up but catch myself before falling, still unsteady I slowly tread over to the torch. Firmly grasping the smooth steel handle in my left hand, I remove the torch from its placement.
Turning around the torch’s glow displays the cavern which is about twenty metres wide and the tunnel stretches beyond my sight in both directions. I run my right hand through my short black hair, a small and brief source of comfort. I notice a peculiar red glow in the centre of the tunnel I trudge over to the source. It is a tiny circle not more than 10 centimetres in circumference with an incomprehensible design within. The lines of the circle faintly shine a crimson red. The tiny circle is in the centre of where I had been prone.
Boyishly grinning, I crouch down touch the circle my fingers feel odd but nothing happens. I sigh. Placing the torch down I dig underneath the magic circle wandering if I can pick it out like a plant. I face further disappointment and wonder as I see that the magic sigil just reappears no matter how far I dig. Picking up the torch I stand up the dirt sticking to my hands and the piss dries on my leg.
Signing again I feel my eyes wettening however I notice that I no longer feel unsteady. Ready to set out I peer into the darkness pondering the absence of normal: where was brick, electricity and all that I knew to be true. Letting out a despairing sigh I consider that I may be far from home then I growl and squint my eyes. Turning my head to the right then to the left, contemplating which direction to go then I shrug my shoulders turning to the left and striding onwards.
The journey starts off well, my eyes trace the stone, deriving pleasure from the natural beauty of the underground. I walk on, the torch lighting my path. The pathway though is boundless; hours pass but still I plod on. My left wrist creaks, stiff from carrying the torch. I flex my left wrist in an attempt to regain feeling, it does little good. I switch the torch to my right hand so my left hand can rest. The monotony of stones seeps in. Fortunately, I have an idea. A method to alleviate my boredom.
“I eye spy, with my little eye, something beginning with r… Rocks!” I end by shouting frustrated at the seemingly endless walk.
The path which was straight changes to one that twists and turns into countless rights and lefts. The never-ending path wears on my body and soul.
“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall...” my pitiful singing voice echoes along the tunnel keeping me company during this isolation. Tormenting and laughing at me.
The road once again straightens out and as I continue to walk, the trail only becomes steeper. My long, lanky legs consume the road but my thighs burn as I scale up the path, my blood blisters burst leaking my red fluids on the sharp stone ground, the cool air does nothing to stop my sweat pouring from my brow and five - foot eight tall, wiry body.
I don’t feel hunger and thirst; the need to fill the void and quench the longing, fail haunt me. This fact is scarier than gnawing hunger and having my throat being as dry as the tundra. What is happening? Why is all of this such a mess? Where am I? I fail to notice entering a room, when I realise, I stop then collapse. My cold skin kissing the hard, jaggy stone floor. The torch disappears teleporting out of the room.
At the end of the room is a massive door. The thick stone door has a large carving of a brilliant fire. While grey stone the carving emits a dull red light which weakly illuminates the room. Hanging on a weapon rack, at the right wall, is a steel longsword and a scabbard. To the left wall is a big wooden chest. This is evidence of culture and war. This could mean that there is sentient life. I wonder: will I be able to communicate with them, will they be foes, will they fill my loss with their love. Later. Now I will look at the gifts here.
First, I crawl to the left wall and use the chest as support to stand up. My fingers grip the wooden my muscles bulge and face grows red from the exertion but I open the chest. Inside there are wonders and curiosities. One set of clothes: a loose fitting wool shirt, woollen trousers, leather boots, pants and a belt. All which looked like they were from the Middle Ages. The clothes are easy to put and itchy but it is much better than being naked. The clothes are warm like a cup of tea, death by hypothermia is no longer a worry.
There is also a pilgrim’s bag. A simple bag that is made of leather, it also has a string to hang it round a shoulder. Opening the pilgrim’s bag reveals a small knife and a few needles and plenty of thread.
Slinging the pilgrim’s bag on my shoulder. It dangles down to my knees, it is very uncomfortable to carry. I spend time adjust the bag so it fits me better, the needle and thread prove invaluable so does the knife. Now the bag fits me. A very useful, practical container.
I hesitate, hoping to delay the next choice I must make.
I take a deep breath and go to the weapon rack on the right wall. I place my hand on the hand and a half hilt of the longsword. The leather wrapping around the handle feels nice as I draw the steel longsword from the sheath and weapon rack.
The longsword’s hilt including the handle and pommel is about ten inches allows me to place two hands with a long steel blade of about forty inches. With a short fuller which reduces weight and has a flat hexagonal shape cross section. The longsword has the dual purpose of both cutting and thrusting. The steel seems to be of high quality.
A few practice swings later I have the disturbing thought - This is a weapon an object made to kill. Its heavy but comfortable weight, prolong use would tire me out but I could fight with this. Expect I have no idea how to use a sword. I know to stab and slash but I am a martial artist not a swordsman.
I take the scabbard from the the weapon rack and attach it to my new belt. I may need it. Who knows what is outside and I may just use this as nothing more than to intimidate. The evidence suggests I seem to be in some form of middle ages time period. Carrying a sword will give me some status and power, I will need that if I am to survive.
I cast my eyes over the sword. All the best swords have names. Begleiter. Who doesn’t like some German. I sheathe Begleiter and move to the door. Be brave, who knows what is on the other side.
“The Inception it is has happened, Bearer of the First Flame, what is your name?” an eerie voice shatters the silence.
“I am David.” I say nothing more.
“Leave earth, ignite Fire.” the eerie speaks once more then there is silence once more.The door is gone.
It hurts I can’t see. Light, not fire but daylight. A beaming smile and a joyous laugh accompanies the light of the sun, the blue sky and the fluffy white clouds. I walk out to the sight of an endless grasslands.
“What happens now?” I say frowning.