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Violence

The Lord's Call (intro pt.2)

by humblebard1


I'M SO SORRY IT'S REALLY LONG AGAIN 

but this ties on from pt.1 of the intro and sets up the story for how quite a few characters, and I have cut out some bits there and then to make it a shorter read; if anything feels like it's missing, let me know, it might just be that i took something out. Either that or I just need to edit it ~

Please enjoy :D

I

Remnants

Was something wrong?

It couldn’t have been. The town was one, safely guarded, and secondly, why would anyone try to attack such a small village? There was hardly anything to take, no one that had any reason to be killed; unless…

“Where in the lords were you? Get back inside, now.” He heard the reassuring call of his mother as she came from the back of the house, a dark cloak pulled over her milky golden dress to protect her from the cold. Her usual serene expression was fraught with worry, forehead dewed with sweat, and her skin a blotchy red, presumably from running a distance. He followed Mary back through the door a few feet away, picking up on her frantic pace of footing as she led him up the stairs into the boys’ bedroom. Upon assessing the house, he couldn’t help but notice the bolted front door, the lack of his brothers, and William taking his weapons from the rack, sheathing them to the armour at his hips and chest.

“Mother, what’s happening out there? Why must I hide?”

She smiled as she kneeled to the same height as him, reaching out to tuck his hair behind his ear. “Bad people have come to take our village, Tyr. Very bad people, and we must make sure that we protect everyone, including you. If you just… stay here, I’ll secure the door from the outside, make sure they can’t get to you.” The young boy’s face was terrified, his hands quivering and eyes welling up. She tried her best to comfort him the best she could, but she knew she couldn’t promise a single thing. “Everything is going to be okay, alright?” Was she lying? Not even she could tell. “And until I come back, I want you to look after something for me.” She twisted the necklace off from around her neck, the one of the shield William gave her all those years ago, and placed into Tyr’s open palm. “I love you. Don’t let anybody hurt you while I’m gone, alright?”

He looked up at her eyes with a meek smile. “Yes, mother. Always.”

“That’s it. I’ll come back once I have Argyll and Alrec. Stay here.”

The door was fastened from the outside and inside by wood planks and brooms, and he had a small dagger at his side, sheathed in leather for emergencies. He was just about to cover the windows from sight when a glaring light caught his eye. Fire. Houses were alight, some blazes had caught on to the trees around them, and a horde of assorted ravagers and bandits marched throughout the village, raiding everything bare.

Any weapon that could be put to good use, fire wood, cattle, food stores- they took it all. When he concentrated harder on the assailants, he made out many different species among them; there were cambions, orcs, humans, the night people, even some elves were joining in the pillages. It puzzled him, why they would choose to slaughter and steal from their innocent kin, for if they wanted revenge, why take it like this? The leaders couldn’t be here for William Aeron, could they? No, this must have just been a random coincidence that the knight’s family lived here, they were simply raiding the village because it was easy to do so. 

With a startle, he pulled down the white cloth blinds over the window, no longer wanting to think about the atrocities before his eyes. It was at this point that the weeping sensation overwhelmed him, making him crash to the floor. Tyr reminded himself of his mother’s gift in his hands as he sat hopelessly against the bedframe, tears down his cheeks, just wanting to wake up from a horrible nightmare.

He waited for what felt like hours, clutching on to that little emblem, praying and praying to the gods above no soul would hurt any of his family. The boy could not help but think what might’ve happened to ­­­­­­­­any of them; maybe Argyll had a run in with an orc chieftain, or his mother was ambushed in the forest while searching for Alrec; he tried his best to bat the thoughts away. He needed to just wait it out, until the forces were gone, then he could search for them. It was selfish, he knew full well, but there was nothing else he could do. Just a boy amidst the chaos.

A loud thud shook the house as a hefty orc was thrown against the doorframe, seemingly after it broke in, and the clangs of sword against axe were audible from the room upstairs. William fought hard against his much taller opponent, he sliced at her armour, threw her about like a play toy, but the warrior managed to pin him down on the floor, sword thrown reckless to his side, arms and legs restrained by her weight. she began to shout something in a language similar to Dwarvish, and many of her kin barged into the house, clambering up the stairs like wild beasts.

Tyr could hear the rattle and break of the lock to the room next to him, the larder, accompanied with a hoarse laugh as the food was all taken. Heavy footsteps approached the door that led to him. The door strained as one of the raiders attempted to rattle the restraints from the door, then a full reverberation of the room as he kicked it almost off its hinges.

“TYR! Arm yourself, now!” His father struggled as he wrestled off the orc and finished her off with a dagger pulled from in his boot, clamouring for his sword in the process. A tall figure stood above Tyr, seemingly a dark elf, a hood over his angular, wide face, though not quite hiding the smile on his face as he twirled the two shortswords in his hands. He stood in shock, scarcely looking as he felt around for anything that could be used as a weapon; a broken broomstick end lay on the floor from the break in. The drow slashed out with his swords in succession of each other, first one dodged, the second slicing his cheek; a kick to his chest left him winded quickly, and he spat a small amount of blood to the floor. 

The boy pressed a hand to his aching ribs, whimpering quietly when he made back up to his feet, regaining a grip on the broom handle. The man was open, cocky against such a small opponent, so he hit him across the chest, leaving a small gash across leather armour and enough time for William to take him out. While the elf was stunned, he was impaled by the soldier’s longsword, and its white, holy glow. As the bandit dropped to the floor, he embraced his son, who wrapped both of his arms around his fully armoured father, and not ceasing to let go.

“You’re safe. You’re safe, Dad…” he paused before the next sentence, quietening his tone “you’re actually alive.”

“Of course. I’m here to keep you safe from harm, that’s my job, isn’t it?” He whispered with a smile. The knight kindly touched his face, running his fingers softly down the cut on his cheek.

“Have you seen the others? Where are Alrec and Argyll? Are they okay too?” William took a deep breath, pausing to look his son in the eyes.

“No.” His tone was mournful, as if the boys were already lost, “but your mother searches for them. Tirelessly. She will not stop or submit until she knows all of us are safe. Don’t worry about a thing, my boy. If you just stay near me, stay behind me, I can fend them off.”

“Thank you, dad.” He smiled, and for a moment, everything felt fine, fine, and calm and normal.

But the last of the ravagers had come for the house. They had exhausted all the other opportunities for looting, and so the last house of the village was next.

“Keep behind me, Tyr. Whatever you do.” There must have been about ten fully armed orcs and humans running in through the door at once, each with a violent, crazed spark of life in their eyes. Some had crossbows, some had axes, some clubs- the one thing they had in common was their readiness to kill to get what they wanted. He rushed down the stairs, leaving his son on the higher level of the house.

II

Last Stand of the Brave

William carved through most of the fighters like a knife through warm butter, but he still took many hits, and by the time half were left, many blows and arrows had been carried out on him, and the knight was reaching his limit. Two of the remaining bandits had him pinned by either side, and were held back by sword one side and dagger the other. His muscles strained, ached to keep them from killing him outright; but all attention was drawn towards the strobing white light exploding from the town centre. With it, orcs went flying, disintegrating as they fell, and a woman stood at its source, arms outstretched as the energy flowed out of her palms.

“Mary… she’s fine. Thank the gods.”

The man threw off his foes with a grunt, proceeding to attack the two as they fell by his blades. One of the others was fell by a kick in the teeth, and done in by a fire spell that reduced the elf to ash on the floor. And there, right in front of him, the last one stood. All the others were fought off or had already fled with their stolen gains, but this orc still stood, crossbow in hand loaded and ready; William sprung out to attack with his sword, lashing him across the chest. He took a heavy step back, planting his sword deep in the ground, breath still sharp and fast.

“Father…” Tyr ran over to him, small hands grasped around his father’s. “Father, are you okay?” He smiled at the boy comfortingly, even though pain crossed against his face and tears started to build up in his eyes. He smiled back, though it wasn’t an expression of joy, or laughter. This was of deep sorrow.

“Why should it matter? Do you see any of those foul bandits left? You’re still here, aren’t you? That was my job, to protect you. I have a duty in my life, to protect my family.”

“What of the others?” He told himself he wasn’t going to cry; he was going to be strong; but yet sobs were buried deep in his chest. His father smiled, a deep, sad smile.

“I must look for them. You are a strong boy; you can protect yourself here.”

“Do you have to leave?” William comforted him, wiping the tears from his face gently. He handed his son the bloodstained sword in his hand, pressing it to the boy’s chest with a smile.

“I’m sorry. I may lose my life searching; but none of that matters. I will live on. I will live on because of you, Tyr. Just always keep our family honour, my boy. Take this sword, it will keep you safe until I return, when I can protect you again,” He took a small step towards the path outside, turning his head to keep his eyes on his son. “But I must go. Your brothers are still undiscovered, mother in great danger.”

He could hardly say it back, choking painfully on his words. “I love you, dad . I’ll see you again… if not just one more time.”

“Goodbye, my son.”

A few seconds later, Tyr felt the pang of guilt and deepest grief as he noticed he was left completely alone. It took a few moments for the realisation to hit him, but when it did, utter devastation washed over his bones. His brothers were missing; most likely dead, and his parents- he knew not what their fate was, but only that they had fought for him to be where he was now- and now he had to fight for himself, otherwise their sacrifice would be for absolutely nothing. As long as you wield that sword, I will be with you. You will remember me, the words seemed to be spoken in Father’s voice, playing painfully on repeat until he couldn’t take it. he was alone, so alone he couldn’t take it, the pain overwhelmed him to the point his limbs went totally numb, and he bowed his head in sheer defeat. There was only one thing left that could grant him any sweet release of hope.

The weapon stood by his side, the hilt cold to the touch and heavy to hold. He struggled as he lifted the sword high to the air, standing up as he did so, watching as the blade pulsed heavier with holy energy at his touch. He couldn’t help but notice how the light got stronger and stronger the longer he held it for, eventually blinding his eyes temporarily, before flashing into total darkness. It strained his vision, limiting what he saw just to small flickers.

Voices overlapped themselves in a cacophonous pattern inside his head, some familiar and some foreign in every aspect, muttering words that had never come to pass or perhaps hadn’t found their place in history quite yet. The light faded in a matter of seconds, the dissonance inside of him quietening until only one remained, quiet but sure.

“Rise.”

He looked around for the source of the whisper, gazing at all the dark corners of the room, but nothing revealed itself to him, everything still empty.

“Rise,” it repeated once more, with more energy in its voice, seemingly emanating from the sword within his small grasp, “rise, child. Become more. Vow yourself.”

Eyes wide, he lay the blade back down to the floor, stepping away from it slowly.

“Obey… the lord’s words. Become more, to save your soul. Draw the sword, to save your soul.” Growing to a hiss, the deep voice beckoned him closer once more, and he knelt to stroke the blade’s length, its stained glory.

“The gods. This is the gods will, it seems.” Tyr wrapped both hands around its hilt, staring at his own face through the blurry reflection facing him. This was the face of a scared boy, blood splattered across his face because of his own weakness, eyes petrified as thoughts of the future crossed his mind.

“Take the sword. Utter the words, and bind yourself to the oath.”

There was nothing more to do. The divine could protect him when others couldn’t, give him strength when he required it, and could be relied on. Desperation racked his mind, filling his cold palms with sweat and head with fog; would there be any more chances? He had to act or suffer the consequences of the sloth.

“I do. I pledge myself to the Lord of Light, Alexander. For vengeance.”

And so his fate was set. ­­­­­­

He was set on a path both full of joy and full of grief, both of peril and of safety, one of ­­­­great union and treading a lone road. it was going to be a hell of a journey, and on that dark night of fire and bloodshed, he didn’t know if he’d be able to make it. There was one thing he knew he could do in the present, however; move on. Away from the death, the burnt buildings, and charred memories, into a new world, a better life. He took up a sheath from the rack by the door, slotting the sword into place upon his back­­, small cloak draped over his shoulders. 

III

The Old Soldier

From there, he ran. As fast as his feet could take him, just to get away from the graveyard that remained of his old home, of his old life. To leave behind the lost souls that couldn’t be saved, leaving no responsibility on such a young boy. Tyr caught the heat of the still burning flames as he darted into the now darkened forest, ducking under a low branch that nearly caught his head. He didn’t know the path too well, but had walked it enough times with his brothers to wind his way through the trees agilely, moving as a snake did through the bushes. Light flickered at the corners of his vision, from the lanterns of the raiders searching, and he ran behind a thick tree, holding his mouth to supress his heavy breath. They yelled like wild animals, bellowing and cursing to their heart’s content as they ravaged through the wildlife around them.

“We saw you, boy. Where are the others? Where is William Aeron? Tell us and we might take pity on yer. Might even takes you with us if you keep quiet.” The gruff voice grew closer, and he peered over his cover, seeing several, very large men and women all wielding sticks of fire that lit the forest in an infernal glow.

“Come out, little one. Come out and we’ll help you somewhere safe, alright?” A woman called out next, her voice soothing through the chaos. Her slender fingers braced against the bark next to him, and he took foot, giving no second thought as he bolted away, not daring to look back at the murderers behind him.

“Surround him!” The man caught him by the back of his shirt, cackling wickedly through rot ted breath and teeth. He squirmed at his tight grip, hitting out with weak, small fists, though it came to no avail, and he struck out with a dagger against his bare arm before throwing the boy hard to the floor. His companions laughed in turn, sneering down at him as he writhed in pain from the new cut in his flesh. Holding in a whimper, Tyr got to his feet, darting through the maze of grasping hands nimbly and further into the darkening forest. They followed quickly on from him, but struggled to decipher his winding path, losing him in a matter of seconds when the trees swallowed him completely. He ran until his legs burnt with the fire of the hells, and his head became a tornado of anguish, of torment. Blood trickled down his arm and face steadily, now drying in the dull light of the moon, his eyes tired and afraid, scarred already by what he’d seen. He stumbled across the road which would lead his heavy legs towards the haven he strived for.

A dirty little child. No more than ten, most likely much less, his clothes torn and cuts across his arms and neck, mud smeared in his blonde hair, face pulled in fear. And carrying a sword he was all too used to.

William’s boy.

One of them, at least. He hadn’t kept in touch well with Givan, mostly because the soldier wanted to cut contact off with friends from the war, lest be reminded of what happened during it. The last he heard was of the birth of twins almost a decade ago, and that was the final letter he received.

“Hello. Did he tell you to come here?” he crouched down to look the boy in the eye, a kind glint in his dark, tired eyes. The boy stuttered, cowering in sight of the man’s broad figure and the numerous scars across his face, each glinting in the early morning sun. “Did your father tell you to find me?”

He did not speak back to him, but simply nodded, passive as a hunted animal. Givan grinned kindly, holding his small hand gently in his calloused, olive-toned fingers.

“You’ll be okay here, I promise.. You look tired and hungry, can I help you?” He beckoned the boy in, causing him to slightly shy away, turning his back to Givan in fear, “Hey, don’t worry. You’re safe here. We can be friends, can’t we?” He cocked his head sweetly, looking into the man’s eyes with a sudden curiosity, like a baby deer. Nodding again, a small smile spread across his face, slightly warming to the stranger he had to trust.

“Yes. Safe.” Givan’s low voice rumbled, a security behind each word enough to convince the most stubborn of souls; which luckily, the small child was not, taking quickly to the promise of a haven. A weight seemed lifted off his small shoulders when he walked into the warm room, gazing into the fire with hope renewed, immediately going to sit by the hearth to watch intently. He put his grubby hands in front of the roaring flames, trying to return heat to his pale skin desperately. “Can I get you anything? Food or drink?”

He smiled shyly in response, and Givan fetched a generous serving of a roast joint and salted bread. The boy grinned, sitting himself down at the aged oak table swiftly.

“My name is Givan. A good friend of your father from the wars; I know him better than any man on this earth, and would do anything for his wishes. May I know yours?” The boy stopped wolfing down the meat, if only for a split second to glance slowly over to the man, looking caringly into him.

“Tyr.”

“A nice name, indeed,” he let him have a break to choke down more of his food, as his small attention span deteriorated, “I suppose you’re one of the twins, then?”

He only received a shallow nod, the boy too busy ripping a large chunk from the beef in his mouth.

“How’s your brother? The other twin.” Givan questioned, his voice curious. He finally slowed down, halting his eating to look up to the soldier, a sad look on his gentle face. “You don’t know where he went, do you? Boy, what happened back there? Why did you run?”

“The fire. The raiders came.”

“Oh, sh- that’s why you found me. William, you bloody fool. Got yourself into another mess, and dragged them all into it too.” Sighing, Givan ruffled his hair, to amuse the boy a slight, and he perked up when he felt his presence behind, like a veil that hid him from the world.

“We’ll find them. Don’t worry about that.”

Givan wiped a worn hand over his mouth, and got up from the table, setting down his dirtied plate on the countertop, “Get that food down you, I’ll show you around. We’ll find you space somewhere.”

He nodded, finishing the last piece of beef on his plate. Tyr ran up to the old soldier, wrapping his arms tight around his waist in an embrace; it shocked him, but he did the same, crouching down to make it easier for his small arms to hug him. “Thank you, Givan.”


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51 Reviews

Points: 2328
Reviews: 51

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Thu Feb 22, 2024 3:23 pm
keeperofgaming wrote a review...



The story shows how Tyr becomes strong through a deal with a deity. This expands the story and gives it flesh, making it quite enjoyable.

I also like the fact that the bandits and raiders seem friendly to Tyr at one point showing that they are still people, but they are marred with evil. This echoes to a more humanizing way of showing villains that I love to include in my own writing.

I also like the introduction to the Lord of Light in giving Tyr the gift of strength. It shows him to be a neutral entity with a possibly good alignment, allowing for the story to go into a multitude of ways.

In addition, the sudden shift from the light hearted nature of the first part, to the dark and tragic nature of this part emphasizes the reality. It enables the reader to sympathize with the character, and it elaborates the chaotic nature of reality.

All in all, it's a wonderful work, and I would love to read the next parts.




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Mon Feb 19, 2024 3:31 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...



Hello there, human! I'm reviewing using the YWS S'more Method today!

Shalt we commence with the spooky S’more?

Top Graham Cracker - Tyr loses his family in war and takes on the burden of being a Paladin. All in one night, it’s just him against the monsters.

Slightly Burnt Marshmallow -“Rotted” has a space in between both T’s, but that’s just one little thing.

Chocolate Bar - I think that my favorite part of this would have to be when Tyr takes his oath. He’s frightened, he’s desperate, and he wants safety. He’ll be protected, but at what cost?

Closing Graham Cracker -A more somber look into the war, an emphasis on how Tyr is alone and must fight for himself, and a mission for him to complete. I’ll be sure to stick around for his journey.

I wish you a wonderful day/night! :>





"We're just all nosy little busybodies."
— SirenCymbaline the Kiwi