1 - A G M Y S T H E R
“There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.” - George Carlin.
I’ve never been so lost in my life.
Everything around me is different, I don’t know where I am.
The only thing I want right now is to be back in my bed and wish that this morning never happened.
An ear-piercing sound forces me to open my eyes.
I’m in my room.
I see smoke coming beneath the crack of the door and alarm bells go off in my mind. We are under attack.
I jump up in a defensive stance and use my years of combat training to look around and assess the situation. I need to move fast, take the provision bag prepared for these things and get to the main house with the rest of the village.
When we go into war-mode the procedure is to gather everyone under the same roof of the fortified quarters where our King and Queen reside.
The fire starts lapping at the wood of my treehouse and the smoke is getting thicker. Ignition arrows. Damn.
I strap my combat belt around my waist and pull my emergency bag around my shoulder. I walk up to the window in the back and shoot a cable arrow with my bow to the tree behind.
I live on the border of our village so the attack has just begun and I hear the first horns going off in the distance. Time to move.
In one swift move I tie the leather strap around the cable and descend at a vertiginous speed cruising through the air. I land with a thud on the foliage of the forest with my boots and look around for our other warriors.
I see Emaer in the distance and he makes the signal to keep moving. I run and take my bow out with an arrow ready to shoot if necessary.
We have been trained for this since we were little so this is nothing new to us. Our species moves as one with nature and we are very good at hiding ourselves between the trees in the forest. This makes us very fast and not easy to catch.
As I listen to the sounds and look around I see that my tree was one of the first to be hit. That gives us enough time to move to the main house and prepare for battle. More warriors gather around us in the forest, moving all in the same direction.
To protect and serve our King and Queen.
We got to the biggest tree in the forest and our people were entering through the big wooden gates to safety. The warriors with bow and arrows took the high terraces as instructed and the sword fighters stayed at ground level.
I went inside with the rest to join the personal guard. I was one of the best warriors, being proficient with bow and arrow, sword and fighting. Normally I should live closer to the King and Queen’s quarters but as many didn’t accept that a young woman held such a high position near the court I kept to myself, hence why I lived on the border on my own.
I passed the groups of people gathering resources and bringing children to the chambers in the deepest parts of the big tree, to the safest rooms. Making my way through to the King and Queen’s chambers I was greeted with a nod from the other guards.
We took our places and the second horn blared, letting us know that the gates were closed and everybody was inside.
The battle began and chaos unleashed.
The sounds of whistling arrows piercing the air and swords slashing engulfed us, followed by screams and warcries.
The third horn blared, indicating that they got into the premises. I got nervous, we weren’t anticipating that they would outnumber us so quickly. We had some very good warriors and training. This was all going too fast.
I had to make fast decisions, calculating I had a few minutes left until they came into our sight. The guards next to me were shuffling on their feet, noticing the same thing I was. We were not getting out of here alive.
I pulled the side door open and walked into the royal chamber.
“What is happening Pernwél?” The King asked me as soon as I slipped into the room.
“It doesn’t look good, my Lord” I stated.
He simply nodded and looked to his wife, the Queen.
She moved to the adjacent room where her potions and magic books were. The Queen was the only one with the power of druidic magic. It wasn’t to be used lightly, everything came at a price and when she used it for emergencies it drained her.
We heard the guards battling just outside the doors indicating there was almost no time left.
“We must make haste, my Lord” I said to the King while moving closer to where the Queen was to protect her. I saw her pouring bottles of liquid and putting herbs into the cauldron on the table.
The doors were slashed down with axes. I saw the King stepping forward with his sword, but no use, they were too many and a spear was shoved into his chest.
I took a protective stance with my sword in front of the Queen as they barreled inside. I fought them with all my might. I was trained to protect and serve them, I already lost the King and I was trying to save the Queen or die trying. The cauldron was pushed off the table amidst the battle and the liquid spilled around me, pooling at my feet.
A bright light blinded me and an explosion followed.
Everything around me faded in the brightness and I felt a strange tugging sensation like being pulled by my navel. I was still holding my sword with my two hands and waving it around trying to hit the enemy, but there was nothing around me.
Suddenly I feel myself falling and thudded on the hard ground on my bottom. The brightness dissipated and I tried to look around me as my vision cleared.
I was no longer in the royal chambers.
I fell through a portal.
Where the hell am I?
I tried to take in my surroundings. I was in a forest, but I didn’t recognise it as my own. The trees are different and the wind rushed at another beat through the leaves.
Then it dawned to me.
Agmysther was no more.