Chapter 1 – A Mission of Great Importance
Adrias and his men were called upon to go to the palace throne room for an important meeting with the King. They passed through to the large room, the King sat on his throne with a grim look on his face.
‘Good, you’re all here,’ the King said. ‘Adrias, you know of the Palastier Mountains don’t you?’ Adrias nodded.
‘We’ve travelled there before for a search of any remaining drakes,’ Adrias explained. Their search hadn’t found any sign of them. There were just the three left that guarded the palace during the night.
‘Apparently the village of Denrel is being stolen from every night. Every morning more and more livestock go missing,’ the King explained to them. ‘I want you five to go and investigate the matter,’
‘Then we shall go right away, your majesty,’ they bowed, then left the room. They walked down the long castle hallways, down the cold stone stairs, and to the large cobbled courtyard. The guards bowed their heads as Adrias and his men passed through the doors. They went outside and mounted their horses, packs of food and water already strapped to their saddles. They trotted out of the courtyard and onto the open streets of the city. People parted to the sides of the streets to lets them pass through and bowed.
‘I guess it has been a while since you’ve left the castle, Sire,’ Ferkind told Adrias.
‘I’m just happy to be on another mission,’ Adrias said. ‘The palace does get boring after a while,’
‘I’d bet,’ Crione stared at the crowds bowing down. ‘The attention we get is a bit much for what we do isn’t?’
‘They’re bowing down to the prince,’ Ferkind explained. ‘And I think it’s the amount of attention we deserve. We have successfully stopped two wars from starting, helped out several villages and towns, and defending King Edrin and Prince Adrias from an assassin,’
‘Also, Adrias takes over as King one year from now,’ Nezplak told them. ‘And everyone is excited about Adrias being the King. Edrin was one of our best Kings, and I believe that Adrias will either be just as good or better,’
‘Let’s talk about the mission at hand, the King has given me a scroll containing everything known about this thief,’ Heradolic pulled out the scroll from his pocket. ‘The thief has never been seen fully, but is said to be larger than a human, have dark skin and a terrifying howl,’
‘Could be a deferin wolf, they’re common in the mountains,’ Adrias suggested,
‘It says that it takes a human-like shape as well,’ Heradolic quickly said.
‘I can’t think of anything that it could be. Can you Crione?’ Ferkind asked.
‘Nothing that I can think of, perhaps it’s a demon that survived from the Great Magic War,’ Crione said.
‘Weren’t they all destroyed during that war?’ Adrias questioned.
‘Supposedly, but I think that it is possible that one or two cowardly escaped the conflict as demons do,’ Crione explained.
‘Well whatever it is be it demon, or beast, we can overcome it,’ Heradolic waved to the people.
‘Demons are very dangerous, even on their own. Just one brought down several platoons of highly skilled soldiers back then,’ Crione stared up into the sky. ‘I was only ten during the war, my father was one of the soldiers who fought against a demon. He never came back.’
‘Well I doubt the demons would be powerful in these days, they lose power over time and eventually die out after fifteen to twenty-five years,’ Adrias explained. They kept riding to the city walls, then they rode hastily once they passed through the gate out into the plains. The group headed north towards the mountains that rest on the horizon. The mountains stretched out for four-hundred miles and held a great battle twenty years ago during the war.
The summits of the mountains were covered in snow and were extremely cold. People rarely travelled over the mountains and instead went around. Though, the mountains were one of the north most parts of the country of Cirilon and there was only a frozen wasteland beyond them as well as a large town.
The town they were headed for was at the base of the southern part of the mountains. A town most notable for its large supply of wool and leather that is sent out to every other town, city and village in Cirilon. But since the thief has been stealing livestock their supply has become less than usual.
The townspeople made lots of money but their leader made sure that sixty percent of their money went to the King’s treasury. The people there live good lives and because of the money they make, sixty percent isn’t that much to them. Sometimes, each year, excluding the pay to the King, they make over six hundred silver coins!
It was a two day ride for the five of them to reach the village. The grasslands around the area are said to be full of vibrant green pastures. It has a river that flows through the centre of the town and down south-east, towards the capital. Cirilon consisted of three major cities, Venra’Adine, Vendari, and Venra’Bine, where Adrias and his father lived.
They rode on all throughout the day and wearing out their horses by sunset. The horses they rode came from the town of Denrel, when it was also popular for their fast and majestic horses. But a disease went through the town that only affected the horses, so the uncontaminated ones were sent to the King for safekeeping until fifteen years were to pass. It has been thirteen so far.
‘We should arrive by tomorrow night if we leave as the sun rises,’ Heradolic stated.
‘Good, then if we’re there early enough then we could probably catch the thief as they’re stealing,’ Nezplak suggested.
‘When we arrive there we have to tell the town’s mage that we’ve arrived first,’ Adrias explained, putting the scroll beside him. ‘It says we should ask and see if he has any other information that could be useful,’ every town and village were to be assigned a mage or wizard. They were placed there to cure the sick and heal the wounded. They had many mages and wizards travelling around their country to help keep the peace. Most wizards took an oath to do whatever was in their power to help out the people around.
Adrias had always dreamed of using magic. But there was a very complex process apparently to becoming a wizard. There were many rules and laws to abide by with the use of magic, since once upon a time it was used for very dangerous things. One of the most well-known laws in Cirilon was that the use of magic for the wrong reasons were rewarded with a death penalty, and that both humans and trolls abide by the same laws.
‘I’ll go get some sticks for a fire, Crione can hunt us something to eat,’ Ferkind said. Crione nodded, and they both got up and headed deeper into the forest around them.