Monday, 5 March 2012
Hundreds of years ago, tales were told of the woman that lived at the top of the highest mountain. Many said that she was an ugly beast that fled to the mountains to live in obscurity. Others say that she was a widow, who after her love died, left with her broken heart to the top of the mountain to die, but the most told tale of the woman who lived on the mountain, was that she was a witch. Strong and powerful, she was said to possess magic that could bring armies to their knees, while some whispered she had the sight to see the days to come.
Day became night as an eclipse turned the world dark, engulfing villages and its people in darkness. When the lights on the world were turned back on, villages that were once home to farms and families had been turned to rubble and ash, as horrible and inhumane creatures appeared from the darkness leaving carnage in their wake, only to vanish before dawn touched the sky. Night after night, the massacres continued, as the creatures from the darkness destroyed village after village. Torturing, raping, killing, leaving nothing but the dead bodies of their toys behind.
Avan, was barely fifteen when they came to his village in the dead of night. He and his family were asleep in their beds when their home was set on fire, with all of them still inside. When morning came, Avan, was the only survivor of the bloodbath that fell over his village. He walked the dirt roads where he once played as a child with his friends, now littered with dead bodies and broken pieces of people he once knew. All his loved ones, everyone who he'd ever cared about were now dead, as the monsters of the night took them from him.
As he fell to his knees in tears of loss, surrounded by the death and destruction left, the hooded figure of a woman came walking out of the ruins towards him. He had lived in his village all his life and never had he seen the face of the young woman, as she revealed herself. Hair as black as night, that glimmered from purple to blue when touched by the sun, like the wings of a raven, skin pale and flawless and eyes of an impossible green that reminded him of the leaves in the spring.
“Were you sent from heaven to save me from this, angel?” he asked the beautiful stranger as she came to stand in front of him.
“No boy, I'm no angel. But I have the power to help you defeat the monsters that did this to you and your people.” She said to him in a soft voice that held an undertone of pure steel and determination.
“If you have the power to stop them, then why didn't you?” Avan, asked with anger.
“By the laws that bind my power, I cannot intervene. This is not my fight, but it is yours. Ask for my help and I will show you how to stop them, kill them and send these demons back to the pits of hell from which they came.”
“Demons.” He said the word, finally able to put a name to the savage beasts, that ravaged his village like hungry animals.
“But you need to be sure that this is what you want, for once this path is chosen there is no going back.” She told him, a fierce warning in her words.
“I will do whatever it takes to rid the land of these demons. To spare at least one person my sorrow.” He said to her, strong resolve in his voice.
Kneeling beside, Avan, she reached under her cloak and pulled out a sword. Broad and the length of his arm, it was solid steel with symbols, that spoke of ancient language, craved deep into the metal from hilt to tip.
“What is it?” he asked as she held it out towards him.
“The weapon that can kill them, but they are strong and many.”
Leaning forward she closed the distance between them and kissed him. As her lips touched his he felt a sudden jolt race through his entire body.
“I don't understand” he said as she broke the kiss, the remnants of it still lingering through him.
“The essence, the magic that flows through my veins, now flows through yours. It will help protect you and give you the strength you need for the battle you will soon face.” “But with magic, everything comes at a price, for every blessing there is a curse.” Looking at him, he saw regret flash across her face as she said, “I am sorry that such a heavy burden is placed upon shoulders so young, but it must be done."
“I accept my fate and the path that I have chosen, witch.” Avan, said to her, as he realized the truth of the woman before him. That the beautiful stranger was the witch that lived in the mountains.
With a small smile, she confirmed his contentions. “Follow the trail of blood and destruction they leave behind, it will lead you to them. Be careful, do not let fear stop you from doing what must be done.”
As she handed him the sword she bid him farewell. “Go, Avan, warrior born from my blood. Hunt the evil lurking in the darkness.”