The Book of Elements

by Kortofertos

/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $5 USD  or more

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes with 6 page illustrated artwork for every composition.
    CD includes: mp3, wav, story in pdf and artwork in jpg.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Book of Elements via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days

      $5 USD or more 

     

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

about

Here ye, Here ye! A world of symphony and fantasy awaits you! The world, where the music and a tale combines together.
The first album is prefatorial. It’ll tell you everything a little: about the elemental spirits, nature, magic and the shadow path, and will not leave without attention elves and dwarves.
The idea of the album lies in the desire to create something more interesting, than the song. A composition backed by a tale. You will not hear any other voices than your own, reading the story, of course under the sounds of symphonic metal that is.
full text: note-pad.net/ru/read/a3ec6e9b79206893f10a23e90e8486f6

credits

released October 15, 2015

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

Kortofertos Kiev, Ukraine

contact / help

Contact Kortofertos

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Intro - The Wind Spirit Confrontation
101 Intro - Air Spirit Confrontation
One more century has passed, one more lifetime of the druid. For a long time Nature was
preparing him for his future trials and somewhere in the deeps of his heart he knew that, but
couldn’t fully realize.
Only then, when he passed second human generation, being in a good health and staying still
young, he understood: death and age ignores him impertinently. He also accepted that for that kind
of a gift one would pay dearly. But to whom? He served the Earth, Nature and Life, and guessed
that he would be summoned when the time was right.
That it happened. Early spring morning when the earth was rocked, the storm descended and
the strand band was covered with fierce foam, birds circled in the dead dance. He knew…
Druid made for an audience with life. Some time was necessary to find a perfect power spot,
where nature is so close with ether and when he did that, he went out from earthly existence for a
few days.
He was told about four elemental spirits that roam the land, wild and rampant. They are the
first goal in the following fate of life and not only of this human. He also learned that some kind of
conspiracy or conflict is in action between gods and living races, that it is not too late to act, and
first thing needed is the power of the four spirits.
He must learn them, understand their nature and essence, draw closer to them or tame immediately.
First element - spirit of the air, wind, speed, aggression and wisdom.
He sat on the edge of the cliff among the rare rocks accepting dawn in his arms. Life has rewarded
him with a nice boon for his services - now all living is under unquestionable control of the druid
as long as his heart is pure and thoughts are good.
Now earth spoke, trees, animals, birds, rivers and lakes became more alive, more understandable,
but at the same time long-winded. He had understood and could do that earlier but not like now -
not every day you can freely listen to mumbling of the ground beneath and to what sparrows didn’t
share this time.
Seven days and nights he wandered throughout woods and hills, swamps, low mountains, and
at the end he finally tracked him down. By that time he considerably emaciated, but kept very well -
the trace of capricious wind, which flew more by his own rather by the nature cause.|
It was a mountain glade wrapped with thick bushes and single fir trees. Morning fog interfered
concentration on the subtle emanations of the wind, but druid made it through with confidence
dissipating fog and breaking through bushes. And soon enough he found a fresh trail.
He has merged with the environment trying to become a part of it for three long hours. The earth
took him as a stray boulder, well boulder, let it be.
The element appeared. Druid didn’t want to act immediately, trying to take a closer look, find out
weak points. The spirit could not figure out what attracted him here so far. This place looked like
an ordinary edge of the forest, small pond nearby and branchy trees.
By the time when the element was wandering in his thoughts, druid made his first blow, trying to
capture the spirit. The wind roared, whistled in all directions showing its true face. It was like a huge
translucent horse mane covered in curls, and by the hoofs it repelled from the air like from the stone.
The spirit started to flee in all directions at once, splitting and linking, again and again, making
impossible to be caught.
And so it went on for another half an hour until both tired. Clouds gathered, heralding the storm,
and in a few moments a lightning struck down, biting and trying to grasp the impudent, who dared
to challenge his superiority. Now the element was equal with the druid, having overcome such an
unexpected attack.
It was difficult to fight against wind and lightning, but being in lowlands prevented lethal lightning strikes.
A bit later the element was tired of this show, and it acted like a woman - vanished and left the battlefield.
But the druid knew it was not the end but the beginning, a challenge. He will meet it again and by that
time he will be prepared. Now he knew everything he needed for taming: inhabits, wishes and type of
behavior. Only one thing remained - to find a suitable time and place.
A stately oak forest was seen ahead…
Track Name: Wood Runner - Dryad's Nightmare
102 Wood Runner - Dryad's Nightmare
The heart of the forest was shrouded in darkness. Scattered, every living thing has spread,
fear approached. Animals couldn’t find a safe place and midges subsided, hid. Dryads were
the first to scene this terrible feeling - the heartbeat of the wood, it stunned their thoughts,
prevented staying sane, most of the younger dryads fell unconscious.
The trees were moaning, screaming, pulling out their roots, destroying themselves for not
to hear it... him...
The ritual has been complete. Some strangers have sneaked into the wood, straight to its heart,
and summoned the otherworldly, one from the highest cast. Faceless. He could ruin a lake or
a forest like this all by himself, especially when no one expects such a thing, and won’t even
know. By the time rumors appear, it will be too late.
They called it the “Forest of doom”, leaving this place.
One from the high dryads still tried to resist the madness, suffering in agony, and could act
soberly. She scented the nightmare nearby, soon very soon it will be next to her, and she ran
as far as eyes could see, ignoring the pain, being horrified, how the wood was suffering. She
couldn’t stop her tears and knew that she was the prey and one of the ones who still possibly
could save the forest, if she could manage to survive. But how to survive and help the others,
others… who are probably dead now…
And these thoughts only made the pain bigger.
She should survive at any cost - for the woods, for her sisters, for mother earth. She must,
repeating that time after time, until she realized that “something” approached her, but the edge
of the wood was still far away. She turned around and got the site of the devouring darkness
through the trees, that swallowed and crushed them by its way.
She ran stronger, faster as it was possible, leaving bloody trail behind. Next time, when she couldn’t
stand to look again - she saw more - a lot of thorns, hands or paws, she couldn’t make it out
from here, several extended heads with bottomless mouths.
Time was running out, it was up to fight him here or to get a backstab a bit later. She harshly
turned around and hurled a spray of magical thorns upon him. Unfortunately, that just slowed
him, not even knobbed to something.
His riposte strike was a released swarm of thin-boned hands willing to split dryad apart, but they
hit only leaves and branches. She ran farther.
But the hunt has stopped - the dryad managed to make a perfect trap for her enemy - a cage of
trees, completely binding him by impenetrable thickets.
And of course, she ran, ran faster, draining her last energy, which was running out very fast.
The Faceless fussed, tearing and crushing the magical cage. It wasn’t a big deal for him though
but it took those tiny precious pieces of time, time of his reap.
When he finally managed to break free, he realized that the dryad’s trail had gone out cold, but
perfectly identified where the biggest fear of the forest was. There he went.
The keeper of the forest ran onto a hilly meadow under the remains of the night and due to
overstrain fell asleep right there, where she stood. The ground slightly absorbed her, giving the
opportunity to mask her a little bit, but it wouldn’t save from him…
Her fantasies, thoughts and fears burst out in wild vortex, which roamed between past, present
and future.
The amulet, once entwined by her mother, began to sting her noticeably and awoke her from
oblivious sleep. She understood that she hadn’t escaped far, but there were no forces left to even
stand up.
And there was no need in it, perhaps now. Not far away a fearsome fight held between the Faceless
and... The druid?! Human druid! She is saved! Or not? There was a rumor among the leaves that
someday a man with a power of the earth would come here and perish all the illnesses away.
However, there were only a few who believed in such a prophecy amongst the enchanted forest.
They’ve exchanged lunges of magical swords and sharpened ectoplasm bones. The acrid smell
of corrosion wandered the air and interfered to breath. The drops of unknown substance falling
from the spirit made the stone corrode.
The druid won a tiny second and made a benefit of it creating a cross-like spike out of the ground
which pierced him and separated into four ridiculous parts. They moved chaotically and were
unconsciously destroying everything. There was no problem to deal with that afterwards.
Upon the complete banishment, the air pressed and collided in a fearsome ring, that stunned and
blinded all around, and disappeared instantly.
Afterwards druid slowly turned his sight to a dryad. She feared what yet to come next …
Track Name: Monolith - Earth Spirit's Lair
103 Monolith - Earth Spirit’s Lair
For a long period druid has already felt some monotonous shocks from the ground, wandering
the wastelands. It was a sun-scorched part of the continent, where on the one hand the flow of
foam covered the ferocious waves of the sea and on the other human territories began. The
enchanted forest was left behind in the south.
Wasteland belonged to no one, and who would need it? No fertile land or minerals - only sands.
Moreover for centuries it harbored serpent people and other nasty green-skins in its bosom.
It was not of ordinary, as everywhere, orange and sand colors, but dark and grey shades. Some
say that a young forest grew here previously, carefully planted by dryads from the south, but by
strange reasons the soil became dry and uninhabitable extensive land.
Some time wandering here by unknown paths the druid came upon an attractive trail. It turned
up out from beneath, as sensed before, but more obvious now. Flat hills were replaced firstly by
deep gorges and later by small mountains.
He understood - this was the hunting grounds of the earth spirit. And by that mean his path
would lie underneath. He desperately wanted to avoid this circumstance, but his duty pushed
him forward into the holy holies.
Having reached another crevice, he stopped to examine it - full of tunnels and small passages.
The numerous portholes on the sheer indicated that here one moved not only horizontally.
Entering the cave druid for next several minutes, tried hardly to adjust his vision to darkness,
that wandered here forever, not like up above - the sun just reminded about itself throughout
the narrow slits.
He rambled for about an hour without any luck, being alert and suspecting something wrong
behind every corner, all in vain. But as he tried to relax a bit - a huge beast appeared from the
ground beneath, baring a few rows of fangs, and certainly sharp.
The wild shouts rang out some tiers below.
It was a basilisk. Scaled and very long. He blew pompously throughout his nostrils curls and by
the great surprise - burrowed back into the ground. Not even an eye to blink, though how he
could in such a spectacle.
Druid knew that this was some kind of an invitation to the banquet being the main course. And
also knew where to go to capture him.
Shouts done obviously not by the basilisk came closer with every step, permeated throughout
the cave and tensed the situation. Now he was not only tracing the basilisk, but he was hunted too.
As turned out later these caves swarm with various primitive races, but more beasts. Goblins,
ogres and snakemen. Especially the last will be glad to defend their master.
The main thing is not to lose vigilance and keep the shadows, especially to mask traces in what
nature helps him tirelessly.
But of course when you bash head-on with a dark-green snout, no stealth will help - you have
to accept a battle, nothing else. And the victory is not on the green-skin’s side.
A battle party of goblins has slipped right in front of him, having no interest to the druid that
looked like a protruding root and lichen. At least this time there was no fight.
The subsequent rally among a succession of moves led him to the obvious place for an ambush,
and he just stuck to the nearest wall, as the previous location burst out with a basilisk. Druid did
not wait - attacked him first - carefully, so not to destroy the spirit, but demonstrating his power.
A strange spirit that is - fled again. What is going on here?
The search proceeded. Again and again. The endless tunnels fighting along the hordes of
aggressive and anxious. Battle after battle now grew more into a non-stop show, rather than
a basilisk chase. Continuous retreat forward up to the unknown.
A warm flow of wind pierced the body, and with it the sound of the water, then most likely the
underground lake laid somewhere near, and thus, a less room to surround the druid.
With “to surround”, he was right... but the lake was at least in a mile below.
He was deadlocked by a small piece of ground where a long natural bridge had its start. It merged
together two cave ends. There were some other bridges upwards and downwards but smaller
than this one. Seldom heighted stalactites lazily dropped water below and merged into one another.
The basilisk already awaited the druid on the other side of the bridge, relentlessly clacking his beak,
inviting to his stomach. And the green-skins will soon be upon him and will try to edge out, even
ogres came here. That it happened.
Nothing else left but give a fight on the bridge. Battle on two fronts. The war drums thundered
and crappy goblin weapons squealed - the battle began. One after another snakemen and goblins
fell of the bridge, only they could reach the druid. The basilisk only tried to catch him with his tail,
nothing more.
Having won more than half a way, the druid ruined the nearest beginning of the bridge, displacing
him farther against the primitives. The bridge wasn’t damaged too much, but the flow of the horde
decreased tenfold, now they had to jump across and that was not always successful. This maneuver
helped not only the druid but the basilisk. He used the moment to strike the human by his slippery
tail - to let him dodge, but only once.
A fall down…
Track Name: Under Ice - of Undead Swarm and Water Spirit
104 Under Ice - of Undead Swarm and Water Spirit
The fall was long…
By that time he managed to reconsider his life, twice, and the third time he was really bored.
There wasn’t really an option to slow his falling, especially when you didn’t see anything it
wasn’t possible.
The water drop echoes foretold the end of the fall.
Unspeakable pain gave understanding about the beginning of water surface. At first it seemed
that his feet were cracked, but not just a very strong pain that turned off the control of the feet
for some time.
Druid tried not to spin for not to lose orientation. Indeed in the depths of this it would be very
inappropriate.
The water pressed as if had tried to expel the intruder. He rowed with all might he had, focusing
on the gaps of light in water. They made their way somewhere to the left, and therefore the top
was there. Druid made several massive rows towards the light beam and realized that he was trapped.
The flow led him constantly somewhere and brought directly under the thick layers of ice - massive,
stretching in all directions, as long as eye can see. And its surface was playing with sunny rays all over
the place.
His clothing greatly bounded the movements, but to throw them away meant to lose the remains of
precious breath supply, that was running out real fast.
That was the time when Life had taken pity on the unfortunate man, and the saving sinus, where the
ice laid in some sort of domed-like layer, was found with some air in it. Here he could rest at least
some grain of time to catch his breath and gather thoughts.
Time was running out. Druid sensed some movement below, but not quite sure how deep. His attempts
to break the ice had no luck, too thick it was and there was no place to hand on.
That movement started being rapid and massive. Not a single feast, so another. Luck was on the druid’s
side nowadays, one can’t tell otherwise…
His heart began to pound wild - he had nowhere to go and not a full fight couldn’t be held here.
It was an unusual fishy. At least not a mindless monster. Indeed it had intellect. But wait, no! It was the
water spirit! What an unlucky luck that was! And there was no option to learn it or tame.
What was interesting is that he didn’t leave movement plume behind him, like just float in water. That
was the reason to recognize his being a spirit.
It was a gigantic ice whale, somewhat translucent, bodiless, but at the same time so alive, material. It
was a bad time to face him here and now.
His body was filled with sharp needles of ice from head to fins, it is clear that a lot of garbage was hooked
by them and didn’t fall off by now.
The encounter began. Druid made several unsuccessful attacks, but magic didn’t want to work well
underwater and throwing ice bolts at icy spirit is at least ridiculous, not forgetting to breathe though.
There as well helped the fact that the element didn’t want to attack - he was just defending himself.
Then it dawned upon the man, he stopped attacking but just learnt him, watched, tried to communicate.
But it was time to recall the druid’s mighty luck. The heavens, that is, ice, breached and something dived in.
Than another and another, and it continued, until he understood that were - zombies, a whole lot of
zombies! Most of them of course drowned, but there were those who still wished to taste human flesh
(oh why are they so dumb?) and it seemed not only his. They turned towards to the whale, charging him
as they could. The spirit was defending himself as he had done before, without distinguishing whether
alive or dead. It looked like some help was needed down there, one was just simply not enough to
withstand that horde.
One thing was good - there was no smell from zombies underwater, some benefits to make life better
here. And it was easier to breath - holes, what did the undead helped to float up to the surface more often
to fresh air as it had been before. Also the druid saw that the undead was still swarming the land and the
element couldn’t possibly take a stand alone (but why didn’t he flee?). It is good that zombies are bad
swimmers otherwise it would become a massacre.
They fought about a quarter an hour, but these were exhausting minutes. The flow of junkers decreased
firmly, and decreased till fully stopped.
Druid decided to use this chance and to make a link between him, he closed his eyes and pushed his arms
in a wide row, and…
Track Name: Construct - Dwarf's Marvelous Invention
105 Construct - Dwarf's Marvelous Invention
Someone’s powerful grip pulled the druid out of the sea. He didn’t even understood what had happened, greedily
gulping air.
The ice was littered with dead, and as it turned out not only undead. A huge mechanoid stood before him - a well
made metal golem. Some dwarfs bustled out behind him. Bearded folk still roamed the land, finishing off yet
living zombies and rescuing their brethren survivors.
The dwarfs decided to take the druid into their settlement, and there he would be dealt with properly. Dwarfs and
humans were always better friendly rather than with elves.
They told the druid about the strange undead activity nearby. Four days they hang out not far from their lands -
by the wasteland or by the coast, and here today at the sea. Than the king decided to get rid of the wandering
plague and sent an executing party to cut down those zombies, before it made some evil here.
Those mechanoids impressed the druid - tall, twice as high as human, heavily defended and having perfect
appearance. It went and made some steam.
Mission was complete and there was no reason for staying here longer, they moved towards the town. It was
located to the north-west of here at the foothills before the wastelands. There was a bit milder climate, and the
spring come was in the air.
The way is not close and took about several hours; the good side of it was the absence of any encounters, surely
some of the dwarves had to have a luck talisman, no other way…
Clouds sadly tightened, blocking the sun completely by what it started to be a little stuffy, and those steam
walkers only made things worse.
The settlement recalled stone dugouts similar to turtle shell. Buildings soaked into the ground seemed to be
unapproachable for any enemy.
By the time arrived, druid changed his clothing and dried out. It was hard to find suitable sized clothes, but
something was found anyhow. After that he moved to the council of the elders.
The throne hall was a massive domed stone structure, growing from the ground, set on a small hill not far away
from the central square. Mighty walls and interesting carvings attracted the human, he had never seen a dwarven
town before. What surprised the most that was the complete absence of floor covering. Couldn’t they, having
such buildings, afford themselves at least a wooden floor?
The king and four of his elders, one of which was a female, welcomed the druid to the wide oval table. The throne
was completely chock-a-block to it, maybe for less disturbance by the meal and ale, no other way.
Druid told them about the last events: of spirit encounters, about the almost lost forest and about the bottoms of
the wasteland. But when he announced his age everyone laughed a good minute, but seeing human telling truth,
silenced in amazement. Such an ally would be a good investment, especially after so many impenetrable and
complicated trials.
When the second dinner was served everybody heard a strange noise. Most of dwarves were in the hall or not far
away and couldn’t notice a huge army of green-skins that marched towards the town.
The murmur stopped - an old familiar had appeared right from the ground - the basilisk. Maybe if there was a stone
floor it could have stuck there, but never mind. He crushed a huge column with its lousy tail. The ceiling stood but
to stay here longer was a bad idea. Everyone spread out closer to the walls and exits, though there were enough of
them - the main one, behind the kitchen and two by the sides. The spirit looked around, found his target and
attacked the druid with his fanged jaw just to fright him and to make a tail strike.
The human didn’t really expect that kind of arrogance (forgetting how it was the first time), fell and grouped to
bounce away. At the same time the beast tasted a bunch of sharp throwing axes, and understanding that a panic
attack succeeded - dug out of here.
Everyone ran out, most of dwarves headed to armory, others to strengthen the settlement. Preparations for the
upcoming battle began.
The enemy advanced from the south-west and there was no need to protect their rear, especially having a massive
wind-blocking wall from the sea side.
Barricades grew up like mushrooms and the town seemed to be almost prepared. Arbalesters occupied the
windows but those who sought battle were already at the first rows. Their heavy armor was outstanding, they
looked up very beautiful in it and at the same time little funny by that large tower shields that they were carrying
which were higher than they.
Army of the green-skins already stood still at the gates and waited for further commands. Silence before the storm.
Goblins, snakemen, several ogres and other beasts, obviously came from the caves, versus brave dwarves and
theirs constructs. Druid - against the earth spirit. By the way he wasn’t showing his snout at the field now.
The beast showed up unexpectedly thus announcing the beginning of the battle. Monsters charged in battle with
their hoarse-squeaking cries. Druid came to challenge the most dexterous and threw a “root growth” spell,
immobilizing them. Now the way to the basilisk was free.
Dwarves had their own unique tactics - a change of strike position and retreat, which made them almost invincible.
Not quite prepared for that kind of offence primitives could not even stand against such a squall, not saying about
attacking - flew in different directions with every hit.
The battle was not easy and magic stopped to terrify the green ones. Several times druid managed to avoid the
cutting beast jaws, but the last bite was missed. His hip was hurt, and the pain forced him to fell on the knees.
When the spirit decided to get rid of the druid completely, he understood that he was fully surrounded by dwarves.
The rest of his army already fled. There was nothing left to do but flee either, and wait…
Track Name: Fear Illisionists - Monastery of Silence
106 Fear Illusionists - Monastery of Silence
Wandering the mountain peaks sooner or later druid must have been reached his next important goal - monastery
of silence. They say their monks are capable of much without applying efforts and also could know some answers to
questions that have tormented him for a long time, and the last thing is to heal spiritual wounds. The hip physically
healed already and gave the opportunity to move, but it was a magical wound and so a magic was needed to
recover it.
The second day on iron rations and extremely icy water from mountain rivers didn’t grow his enthusiasm. The day
before a fog showed up. More important here was not to fall from the slopes, but to find a monastery here with
such a weather.
By the daylight and by the night - always the same - it was heavily clouded. Sometimes one can’t notice the sunset
and goes to sleep before the night. One thing was good - the basilisk wouldn’t be searching him here, and there
was no way to break through the mountain rock.
Next day brought good news - the monastery was found, so there weren’t rumors after all. Some wooden towers
sighted a few ridges ahead. Not only them but also banners with bright colors showed up with blue or dark azure
tones. It was difficult to determine from such a distance.
It took the whole day to move closer to the entrance of the monastery and yet only by the evening or the early night?
An old monk met him, clothed in golden robe, instantly identified his wounds but didn’t say a word, showed his
chambers and gave time till morning. Leaving all of the talking for tomorrow.
It was difficult to discern the building, the main feel about it - huge and white stoned with dark brown towers and
deep-blue banners in golden edging. A snake was inscribed there, bended in an equilateral triangle, and there was a
ruby in its jaws.
In the morning druid woke up slowly and carefully each day the same from the time of his injury, but today he didn’t
feel any pain. After examining the bite, he found no sign of it physically and under a magic sight. It was strange but
nice. The night was peaceful and no one came to visit.
Also there was a plenty of time to consider the interior. It was basically made out of wood, the mountains full of good
lumber and stone. Stained glass was all over the place, shimmering with its blurry colors, but clear enough.
After light breakfast he was invited to a great hall. It was a place for meditation and had a cloister by the perimeter of
the hall at the second floor and a massive stained glass dome on pendentives. At the bottom there was a square
lowering in few steps and there laid mats for meditation, which looked like being here for a long time.
On the opposite side of the hall three old men were sitting at the low table, bent in legs, all in identical robes. That one,
who was in the middle, seemed to be the abbot, the other two looked younger, but definitely age was not on their side.
All of them had a wide variety of vegetation on their faces, except the bald abbot who had only long beard.
The talk was about history, gods and new races. Several interesting facts did really clear the situation for him, but not
completely. As it turned out, all of the intelligent races at some point had forsaken the gods which led to a series of
problems. Then there appeared various types of monsters and beasts, those, who are mentioned to scare little children
as they don’t want to go to bed. But now the tales went real. A peculiar type of revenge though.
Ael and his brother Leevokai - gods of creation. They do not have control over the living, but can create. The first poses
the power of the material plane, other creates living. Their statues were all over the place - two titans with unspeakable
beauty, holding each other by the shoulder at the arm’s length.
When the druid foretold them about the Mother Earth’s plans, they suddenly froze, pretending being statues. Right after
that he felt a movement behind the columns, turned around - and there was nothing. The old ones stood silent as they
were a moment ago. No more daylight entered the hall.
A slippery shadow went right behind him, and no matter how much you will turn around, it was only him alone here.
Than the shadows began to split and seize the place with its darkness. The morning turned into night in a blink of an eye.
Once again waving back the shadows, he managed to hit something, but when he realized what he had hit, he tempered
his swings and stunned. It was the abbot, cut in half. The next thing he saw was two other monks attacking him,
crushing the wooden floor directly under him. Druid made a lunge ahead and made it to the center of the hall. Than a
massive onslaught of dark matter came upon him - some had only faces, others only paws, some just crept.
A magic burst has put an end to this madness. The hall was absolutely empty, not single clue of what happened a minute
ago and no sign of monks either. Streams of dust flew through the golden sunlight. It was too quiet and calm, it choked,
destroyed, washing away time and space. It seemed like everything was changing, moving.
The man left the hall and entered a long corridor, that hadn’t been here before. It had too many doors, locked doors.
Somewhere from above a warm light made its way down here, still all in dust. Wherever you look - everything stretched,
dragged upwards, changed color and texture, and if you stare for too long at something, you start feeling as if you were
watched, and its gaze gaining on you closer and closer.
Need to move and fast! The end of the corridor is far ahead and it won’t reach. Having tried a lot of doors he stood still in
surprise - the corridor banished! Now he was at the perfect garden, where all manner of palm trees were studded with
impassible fern. A panther passed nearby, slightly bowing its head in greetings, and the crows had their tee party at its peak.
The snakes were swinging on vines, and a stripped whale flew in a few yards overhead, as it was a cloud. The pain in the
hip awakened again, but it couldn’t be…
Every animal offered something of their own - tea, to hunt or to swing on lianas. Maybe to fly a bit? They did it very
persistently and impertinently, pressing him completely. Druid rushed away as far as he could, but constantly found himself
surrounded by them. It lasted until he slipped and fell.
After rising, he found himself now back at the great hall of meditation, but it looked different now - other interior,
columns, wall colors…
Again the light began to turn out, and the human realized what yet to come next, preparing to battle. The whispers of
summoning were heard from everywhere. The floor cracked, the walls trembled - a bright flash appeared with a thundering
sound. Right from beneath a high vortex materialized, breaking the dome and losing its sight in the skies. The hall filled up
with some acid smoke that hurt the eyes. That vortex unleashed a mass of beings - alive and dead, known and fairy, material
and ethereal. They attacked from all directions, seizing more ground, what made the defenses harder.
Wound, one after another, made the druid understand that he would soon be exhausted, but still carried on as far as he
could, throwing magic rests, but all his attempts were useless. By the cause of this he desperately cornered himself and
slowly was falling into oblivion.
Monsters and souls merged into more grotesque shapes: the wall began to bite and the wooden floor changed to a
quicksand. Nerves almost completely failed him and he was ready to surrender to the mercy of … whom? Souls? Monsters?
And how did they get here anyway? It’s only a monastery… of illusion!
With new influx of forces druid came up with an unbeatable courage. Nothing can bite him except his own fear. And that
fear that possessed his mind was leaving very fast, once and for all. And the next moment everything was gone - the walls,
the floor and no more vortex. The sunlight bathed the hall with its warm.
He had awakened at his chambers, early in the morning as nothing had happened. An old man hang beside him, taking care
of him, and the abbot sat quietly, slightly nodding in approval. The magical bite mark has gone for true.
Track Name: Volcano Harvest - Flaming Fire Spirit
107 Volcano Harvest - Flaming Fire Spirit
Endless lands of scorched soil, colorless grey and black. A lot of small exhausting volcano eruptions all over the place.
It looked like the earth was filled with them and suffered any time when it burst its flames.
It was uncomfortable to come across such a place, nothing leaving left here. But magic signs were here before obviously,
and not once. This area had some magnetic and frightening power at the same time. Druid questioned himself of what
was so special here anyway? A huge lake lied here before this destruction, and so it was difficult to believe in this. Now
lava rivers flowed here and poisonous gazers streamed all over the place. It made a lot of mind discussions about the
reasons for such a catastrophe.
Wandering on the earth that was still passable, he found a magic activity nearby and went immediately there to
investigate, what it was and why it was here, on the border of the pure and dead land. He came up to a small flaming
magma river, which was spreading from a distant radius, somewhere at the centre of the former lake. It definitely had
an unnatural origin.
The first attempt of crossing this barrier led to the earth tremors, everything was good except six magma elementals
that rose just in front of him. They were one and a half human height and stood groaning their stone pieces in lava liquid.
An exact feeling came up to the druid, understanding that they were guarding something, but being brainless made them
stand like stupid. That’s why druid attacked first.
It was easy to deal with first two, they didn’t even understand what happened, but the rest four simultaneously charged
right at the druid, foolishly bashed one into another. Even zombies were smarter than these. But not for long… they merged
all in one big and massive golem, the height of a two-floor building. And it even grew more by the power of the ground.
Grew more and more and his swings were not so clumsy after all.
Druid’s feeling told him to flee and he gladly did so. But there was no place to hide - only ash wastelands and low rocks. One
thing for sure - he had time to consider the situation.
The human started to get out of reach but there was nothing to be glad for. He perfectly knew that his presence was noticed
and it was only a matter of time when he would be caught. Golems were just scary puppets. For a serious enemy they weren’t
a problem, at least he thought so, especially when he managed to escape them easily, towards the better worse…
A minute distraction and he felt being followed. Right on his tail a pack of… not birds but… gargoyles appeared to chase him.
They cracked from the nearest crags and began to catch up with the green dot on their land. Things started to be worse.
Dealing with several clumsy golems is one thing, but the ire of dozen gargoyles…
Only one thing left - to run. A half of a mile is up to get to him, at least it was something.
Meandering throughout the rocky cliffs, he ran into a somewhat warm and living, falling onto the ground. The fall was soft,
but the other ten angered orcs didn’t get the fun. They were all serious in that water magic armor cuirasses, and everyone
stared right at the druid, like there was nothing else to see.
This lucky maneuver helped out someone else, or is it better to say something? The fire spirit! It was surrounded and trapped,
but now the magical water moat was breached and the way to freedom was open.
Golem, gargoyles and fire spirit - the day seemed to be very lucky…
There was no time or possibility to examine him, he just burst out and fled, only smoky tail showing back behind. But the orcs
were seen quite perfectly - directly to theirs grin. Most of them ran after him, knowing what to become of them if they failed
to capture the spirit.
But the last two stood to teach druid a lesson and support their mate. Three orcs against the druid - a better layout rather than
ten. At first they tried to throw away the human, which they did quite good. Than the one, who was a bit bigger, attacked the
human, meaning to cut him in half with his rusty scimitar. It squashed the stone with a horrible sound, but the inertia did its
job and had hit the helmet of the orc. After that the other two bashed from the flanks and met with a friendly ding of their
weapons. By that time the druid managed to drabble himself in that water mud that held the spirit.
This mud gave a brilliant idea to what to do next - he made a quicksand soil and captured their feet very fast so that they were
immobilized and after that he went to catch the spirit. The burned after-trail gave a fine guarantee to find him quickly, but the
eyes were already hurt by the stink of this place, the smoke made things only worse.
“And here are the gargoyles”, - saw the druid, running now with more might than before, more driving himself to already
known trap. “Definitely the golem or even an army of goblins would make things worse”, - thought he, - “and there he
goes… - “Slowly trembling the ground the golem marched.
The sheer cliff became a new trap for the spirit, and again it was surrounded by seven orcs, but with open flanks. This situation
wasn’t too good for the spirit, he couldn’t burn them down because of that water magic armor they wore.
The gargoyles closed the flanks, and the golem covered the rear. There was no place to run... Now is best to say - out of the
frying-pan into the fire, and furthermore to taste a sweet portion of being a metal ingot on the madman’s anvil.
By the everyone surprise - the left flank suddenly broke, even not yet formed - the earth decided to set free some steam, to
relax a bit, and of course to unleash a portion of magma up into the air, growing in a small volcano. It didn’t have effect on
the spirit thou, but made nothing out of the gargoyles. The survived orcs fled in panic.
Than the spirit understood that he could slip away from here and stuck by the sight of the druid, which had already been
attacked by the gigantic golem hand from behind. Of course he missed and squashed the nearest part of the rock, blocking
the way for him by that action, but not for too long. That time was enough to meet the eye of the fire spirit. He hesitated,
not quite understanding what is happening now, why this human, only a human, is so calm in such a situation.
But the druid acted - he called upon the lake of yore and directed the stream flow right here. The ground shacked, unleashing
a mighty pillar of water, high in the sky, right there at the other flank of gargoyles. They were all washed away, but it didn’t
harm them as it was expected, just gave a matter of time. The spirit hissed by such an amount of water, horrified by the
consequences, but he would not have been a powerful element if couldn’t handle a single human.
Then he showed up his real form, intending to scare him off. It was a giant fire beetle; its flames were just veil, a shield.
Burning ornaments in fiery-orange, transparent-yellow wings that blaze in the air made it significantly beautiful. But,
unfortunately, it was injured on one wing, that’s why it couldn’t fly away…
The suddenly golem smash caught them by surprise, that was the time they realized the necessity of dealing the monsters
first and then with one another. By the combined forces, the druid and the spirit tore apart the rests of enemies, one by one.
When the golem died, he did break the ground beneath him and fell there. The gargoyles melted and were crushed like
an easy prey.
Everything was fine except a massive horde of a completely random enemies that had already surrounded them in a ring.
From beasts to monsters, living and undead. There has been only one way out here - underground. The spirit had gone
there first.
The heavens cracked with an unknown thunderous voice, giving orders to its minions. And something told the druid that
it would be painful, if they really managed to catch him.
The onslaught began. But still the army was far away from here. Someone ran, someone flew, even crawled, breaking
forward from the first lines to please their masters. And he was not so pleased at the moment, especially after the loss of
the spirit.
The druid have lost the elemental trace and decided to move forward, towards the more inhabited lands, remembering
that a dark elven outpost was some time ago at that point somewhere to the north.
He walked into a very extensive cave, and it looked like pretty usable. The rings of anvil hammers and the heat from the
furnace - made it clear about the purpose of its use here underground. Armor and weapons were made here for the army.
No one chased the human here - the tunnel collided as soon as he got down here.
He made it out somewhat in between the outpost and the elven forest, though the last one was really in a bad shape - the
burning land swallowed him slowly and it was only a matter of time when it could consume it completely. But for now the
danger had passed and somehow the conspiracy came up clearer.
Track Name: Symphony of Hope - Troll’s Tragedy
108 Symphony of Hope - Troll’s Tragedy
“Oh how do I like elven forests”, - said druid quietly, beholding before its beginning. These neverending evergreen
pieces of nature: a variety of plants and impassible thickets, hunting trails and unknown animals gives a rush of
emotions and inspiration, here you can relax every minute.
After dinner the sun began to roast, and the human was very glad to get under the leafy shade that came upon
him here. This shade was here all the time, giving no pass to the daylight reaching the ground. At the same time
it became a bit cooler.
A watercourse flowed somewhere nearby, and as later found out, it was hardly reachable. Riversides were up to
high and it took a whole arm to reach and fill the bottle. After that druid decided to rest a bit before the meeting
that might come at any moment now. Elves don't make themselves wait.
The scouting elf party (these were also a bit green, maybe haven’t seen the sun for too long?) met him almost at
the beginning of their land, but they knew his right to be here. Also they knew that he was forbidden to pry where
he did not belong. So without any following questions they led him to the settlement.
The town of Eleroot was a capital of the local elves. It was not very popular between visitors and trade caravans.
There was nothing special here - only herbs as well as rare wood species, perfect for bows thou, spiders silk and
other useful junk. In other words - peaceful and quiet place for a steady life. But the north neighbors had
everything to boast about - minerals, gems, metals, weapons and armor, even a magical wine.
City gates met them at the evening. In such a dark place, the night lanterns were already glowing, making a fairy
atmosphere. They were hard not to notice, completely falling to the eyes, impressing with their difference - from
deep blue to emerald and ripe warm tones.
The town traditionally was settled upon the trees, growing to its heights. And in between there were many
connecting bridges of different kind.
Every dwelling, regardless of its type, was like a part of the tree, germinating and combining with it over the
years. Structures were not of large sizes, local elves do not require a lot of space for living, only the most necessary.
At the ground level there were some human-type buildings, for convenience of new comers and trade caravans,
and also some warehouses-dugouts.
Druid was met neutrally, it looked clearly that there was no big deal to him but he was concerned about the fact
that everyone here were some inflated. The elders were busy at the moment, and he had to wait. Different voices
were heard from the hall in front of him, some were elvish and some others, not human, but very familiar,
but whose?..
The doors swung open - three trolls went out from there, that is… not just three - one of them was a female
half-troll. An unusual appearance that is, but for the druid she seemed to be interesting, and, maybe, attractive
as well. She had more humankind nature rather than trollish blood, of course she was not an elf, but could
compete with some of them easily.
The hall was full of heat. A hard conversation that is was. Elven leaders already knew about the growing threat to
the forest and also knew what had happened to the lake and what was going on there. They didn’t know what to
do either, but claimed to have everything under control (yeah right…). They didn’t pay any attention to his
mission and the spirit hunt. Later they said about the trouble at the trollish village south of here, and it would soon
be swallowed, the trolls who came here for a help, but were denied.
Making it down to the ground, druid noticed that very three trolls, ready to move on, but he called them for a
wait, alerting a bit. Despair was seen in their eyes, it lurked throughout there, but suddenly a human offered his help.
The trolls weren’t familiar with human language, only elvish a little, so they led talking to her.
It was odd to admit that these small little tusks looked cute, and her light green skin with violet tint only gave her
uniqueness, like a wild flower.
At first they didn’t want any type of help, but elder trolls persuaded her, assuming that this human, having been
in the heart of the fiery pit and managed to survive there, could be useful. The last but not least, he was a nature’s
servant, which meant them a lot.
They ventured south, far away from here. The road was far from over so they decided to make a camp for the night.
Reaching a somewhat catchy location, where almost under a wall of night you must follow quite nimble trolls,
which marched without getting tired, they came to a small moonshine glade, pretty cozy, defended by rocks and
shrubs. A moonstone column stood at the center of the glade, absorbing all the light and pouring it all around.
- This is the light well, during the day it powers by the sun, and at night - by moon. It means a lot for our people and
bears the memory of many generations, - Eitigar told him.
Druid walked towards the stone and as soon as he touched it - fell down unconscious. He felt deep trance and saw
everything that could imagine - the past, future, fall of the ancient empires and the birth of new, forsaken gods and
vanity of mankind, and all possible consequences.
This state lasted several minutes, and when he woke up, Eitigar already looked after him, taking of warm rag from
his forehead and offering to take some nasty drink. It was terrible, but it helped.
- You had a vision, human, - she said with calm accent. - Rest now, the morning is yet to come.
And he dropped into sleep.
In the morning he woke up with others. Light meal and off to the road again. It was weird to spectate how these trolls
ate rotten raw meat, and it was completely common for them.
During the trip they encountered silk-weaver spiders, but they were too busy to pay attention down at four visitors,
making ready their webs for other preys. These spiders appeared to be delicacy for trolls, somewhat a forbidden fruit,
but they were under elven’s protection until now. Recent events made them change their minds to follow the ancient
agreement. They decided to capture one for dinner.
And they did so, the human tried to stop them but couldn’t, it won’t establish good relations between races in future.
The second spider instantly vanished, after seeing his friend dead.
A bigger troll bore the spider carcass, giving his spear to the other younger one. There was no other troubles till the
evening, when they were close to the village. The heat grew with every step, understanding that the forest were set
ablaze.
After a hundred feet away before the village, trolls ran, understanding that they could accidently be late to help here
instead of venturing to elves.
They ran to the edge of the ravine and froze in horror…
The twisted land swallowed everything on its way, making dust from the one mighty forest before. And the village was
next. Bustle in the village only escalated the situation, trolls were hardly seen from here, but there was some time left,
or they wanted to believe in it that way. Only the river hindered their way farther.
Everything they have seen in the village is its complete absence. Ruins… and bodies. Not everyone managed to flee,
someone must have been survived. But why are bodies here? How did it happen?
The trolls fell on their knees in despair and helplessness, killing themselves in grief. But sounds of battle distracted the
druid. They went out east of here from hidden lowland. The noise from the doomed river muffled the cries, that’s why
he had heard them not from the beginning. The trolls were too desperate to hear anything.
He noticed a soaring gargoyle up there and rushed as fast as he could, the rest were stumbled in fact of such an action,
but sensed trouble and went after him.
A dozen of trolls, old and young, fought with gargoyles for their lives: throwing stones, swung staffs and retreated.
Everything looked terrible, but these four would definitely clean up the mess.
Druid had far more magic control on his ground, rather than on that ash. He raised powerful thorns, which captured all
of the flyers and squashed them to death.
The survivors were frightened of such nature’s materialization, but seeing a human and three tribesmen, came calm and
rejoiced that the danger passed, for some time at least.
Grief and sadness reigned in the hearts of the trolls. For a one day they had lost everything and even more. No home and
no future, only few relatives left, but enough for procreation.
A long journey was yet to come, new home, rebirth. But not for all of them, life already decreed their fates long before
their birth, and someone had to leave the tribe…
There was a heated argue among pure blood and half-blood. Eitigar furiously wanted to have revenge and perform justice,
but no one ever listened to her, did not share her view. And they were right. Why? How to have a revenge, when you
have no one to make it, no one who will be glad to see you after? First of all, a tribe must survive and renew itself, maybe
merge other tribes, but no vengeance right now.
She was accepted for her half-blood nature, and she had no influence in the tribe. Her last idea was to ask elves for help
led to a catastrophe.
The argue was resolved by a druid’s suggestion. He offered a company, help and a chance for vengeance, but later,
promising to let her know on the way. She knew that the choice isn’t wide, so she decided to pick the better one from
two worse.
Together they ventured forth, now to the capital of human kind - the city of Ice Sun.
Track Name: Shadow - The Heart of The Drow
109 Shadow - The Heart of The Drow
They were sent to the very heart of heavily defended fortress at the border with unsociable land. It was a
wide area in the south-west. No one dared to wander there, only beast and monsters lived in that place.
But when they disappeared the dark elven community became suspicious. Beasts started to vanish in a
matter of weeks, and the first scouting party didn’t return. It was unbelievable! Then a full squad left their
land to resolve this incredible incident. And after a while they were deadly trapped. Only few survived.
Those who did come back reported about a huge army of previously unknown creatures that settled
the old ruins of human kingdom, destroyed long ago.
The best from the Shadow guild. They like no one other suited to this task. When sad news about the
defeat of a whole best trained dark elven squad came to the ruling house, it made a scandal. Later they
realized - a good scouting and cunning would do the trick, before sending an army. There was no
necessity to waste so many men if things could be better defeating the enemy right from inside.
At daylight they slept, at night moved forward. It was difficult to find them - masters of disguise and
shadow handlers, could vanish at plain sight and the next you see is your last. At night drow can see
much better than other races, that’s why there were no equals for them under the moon or in dark areas.
The Shadow guild made the house of Veltirizy pay quite a sum for their services; never obeying anyone,
except their shadow brethren, they easily could usurp the throne, but politics and court intrigues were
the least they wanted, only the shine of gold and precious jewelry was their friend, especially when the
treasury was full. Only they could dictate conditions to the ruling house and make a profit of it.
At the four day morning they arrived to the cliff. It was a chain of hills that smoothly outgrew in a
mountain range, cutting the ocean in the west. The castle was located in a recess of the mountains,
and there was no option to approach it unseen directly, almost impossible. But there was an old sewer
tunnels that had its beginning in the ocean, underwater.
An hour passed and the necessary place was found. They penetrated the darkly cave, getting wet to skin.
The mage that was with them quickly eliminated this trouble, as he did to the griddle at the entrance.
Now nothing stood in their way to be unnoticed.
The way led them upwards, and the tunnel reminded them of a snake passage, sometimes they needed
to climb vertically. It was pleased to know that this way was completely dry and no one have used it for a
century. There was no need in a light source for a drow here, but nonetheless the mage released a small
blue glowing sphere.
The tunnel roughly changed its course and became more horizontal. Also other smaller branches of the
former sewage system sided with it, but only rats could get through. After another half an hour they
reached a vaulted room, where the most of other tunnels made its way down here from the castle,
troughs were still dry.
The next several minutes party tried to figure out which way to choose. A lot of passages, and maybe
more if to choose the main one. They didn’t want to split the party so decided to move along the most
worse, unfeeling and hard to reach. And they found it was right nearby to the right. It was really difficult
to climb up there, especially when it was sloped, but the chosen path met their expectations. The way
ended up in an abandoned prison kitchen, which was impregnated with barely perceptible fetid stench,
which reigned here for centuries. Of course it’s not the spot they wished to get, but it was good enough.
Searching for the right way could take days, which they didn’t have.
Now is the time for the most interesting part - an indescribable feeling being a part of a shadow and
cutting down unsuspecting victims. In the past, a lot of thieves, orcs and barbarians settled here, so this
three knew this castle like their own. That’s why there was no trouble getting to the first tier - the circle of
artisans. Here masters forged fine steel and iron, tanned leather and crafted furniture. Also it was a perfect
place for trade. Half of their way was already behind.
This tier is jammed of strange and unknown creatures. They had mighty constitution, six arms, four legs
hinged at the right angle and heartwarming long forelocks hanging from the center of their bald. Therefore
the drow picked up roofs and vaulted ledges instead of wandering the streets. Nevertheless they were already
half way through towards the next tier.
At night those creatures did almost nothing, assassins could only imagine what was going on here during
the day. Staying undetected would be very hard.
Three ways led to the second tier - two by the sides that supported the cliffs and one central spiral stairway.
They were close to the central one and it was the safest. It was also possible to climb up here by the outskirts
of the stairway using numerous ledges, surrounding towers and even hanging chains.
Not an easy way up and there they went, second tier. A long time ago there lied houses of minor nobility and
living quarters. Now, however, it doesn’t matter, as the six-handed made barracks and training grounds out
of it. They had to find a way to the covered part of the castle, staying under the moon was not reasonable.
A clumsy fellow overturned a pile of empty barrels, making a lot of unwanted attention not far away, but the
good news was, that the dark elves already slipped into the nearest corridor. However a somewhat different
gink made his way through here, perhaps to punish a noise maker. Those who were outside of here had a
reddish skin, this one had blue, and was a bit bigger. An elite?..
Of course he noticed them - three thin bodies, which occupied a half of the pathway. He wasn’t a smarty
one and decided to attack first.
Dance with shadows. Their beloved game. They cut, stabbed him by their magic swords, deflecting all of
his swings. Every his attempt to catch them turned out for another kick and a new wound, being twice as
high and obviously stronger, he just couldn’t resist the onslaught.
The big one started to panic, and finally tried to call for help, but the suddenly pierced throat made no sound.
Fast, silent, deadly, with no trace.
His body was dragged and locked up in a small storeroom, after what they climbed up the roofs and proceed
creeping along the edges.
Now with some relief and understanding the opponent they moved along further. A series of passages, halls,
again passages and finally the galleries. Passing along several chambers, which were carved directly in the cliff,
assassins masterfully made their way to the next tier. Hiding here became more risky, sometimes they were
forced to throw away a decoy to distract. Soon they had to get to the only one way up - half-moon stairway.
It was called so due to mountain heritage, being a part of it and stretched all along its castle side, thereby
separating commoners from the nobility. The higher you are - the more valuable the life of the citizen, this
custom was adopted by six-handers too.
Now the castle looked like standard tight human city. Less area for a bigger number of nobility - not everyone
could fit in here, so they climbed on each other’s head, building more and more upwards, as gracefully as
they could. Nowadays it’s all ruins turning into dust year after a year. Fortunately it gave a lot of probabilities
to stick to the shadow.
Alchemical stores, magic schools, elite leisure houses and fighting clubs were the most influential here, every
in his part of the sector. Hopefully there have been far fewer guards here, that was good enough, but mostly
the blues inhabited this area.
They speeded up, understanding that the dawn would soon be upon them. And a return to the sewers would
be great also by that time. Shadow after shadow, a street after a street led them to the last tier, where there
was only one entrance. And it was at everyone’s sight. They say, this stairway can be seen right from the city
gates - wide - and it leads into overhanging rock.
One had nothing to do but climb the rock and move, creeping along the stairs is most unlikely. They definitely
didn’t want an army of monsters here.
It was pleasant to spectate fires down below, the fog by the city walls and how it spread far away and an elite
solider that observed these three climbing the rock from this height.
He had thrown something and missed. That thing made a lot of noise that dinged and tinkled all the way down
announcing every step.
The drow jumped off the cliff and attacked the big one, killing it two times faster than before. Now they
understood, that someone would break the alarm, every minute was significant.
The surprise effect melted with every blink. Here and there six-handers spotted the drow, crying about the
infiltration. Things were very bad. The halls of the leaders were not far from here now, but still unreachable.
The only way was to climb up the walls and break in through windows. A few jumps and they penetrated the
three-way arch that served as an oriel in someone’s chambers.
The next was easy - a sleeping blue guy wouldn’t weak up any more and they moved further. Corridors changed
by hallways, and those turned out often with a dead-end. It was hard to find a proper way here, rather than three
tiers below. Yet they managed to reach the main hall with two guards that didn’t have time to notice them before.
The first one fell fast, second took some time to deal with.
The most perfect door carving evidenced the king chambers…
Track Name: Ice Sun - The Capital of no Future
110 Ice Sun - The Capital of no Future
The way to the capital took several days. Peaceful and quiet.
Eitigar didn’t mind to visit the main city one of her parents first, considering that humans could be not so bad after
all, as did the elders tell. Good mood grew up more and more with every step she took, moving away from home.
Druid’s tales about his adventures, mission, a change of environment and dusty road took care about her distracting
from recent loss.
Fields of wheat and sunflowers, ripening pumpkins and fruit trees just pressed with their beauty and colorfulness,
taking all bad thoughts away. Even the sun beams breached through the languorous clouds, making bright spots
everywhere.
It was a carnival day, but it wasn’t known by the travelers. The streets were filled with motley crowd, where many
illusionists showed up. Happy people hanged around here and there, having fun and getting drunk to satiety,
celebrating with might and main.
They rented the worst hole ever in the world in the nearest tavern, good rooms had all already been taken two
days ago, from the first day of celebration. And it all would be lasting till the end of the week.
The carnival was to honor the first harvest, given by gods, but as they were forgotten, why do cancel the feast,
right? They’ve just changed its name, some other moments and, of course, stretched it to a week from two days.
Fruit-men (but just mutants, eh…), pumpkin-heads, and even beer-men wandered there. Slow clowns walked on
stilts and were dressed in blue and yellow, that embodied the symbol of the city - ice sun. Of course, there were
masters of disguise, who changed town squares into a show - right here and now a scene of confrontation between
the crows and the scarecrow, and oddly enough, rodents took its place. The illusionist made a perfect performance
demonstrating how he defended his crops, making them fly and flee.
Druid and Eitigar decided to eat first, before they take their lead to the king. Yes, they kept their way directly to him.
He must know what was going on with his land and what was yet to come in the nearest future.
The meals were served by a simply youngster in a crow mask, thus demonstrating that he didn’t oppose to taste a
copper for his service. The menu and the prices were enormous. The innkeepers couldn’t miss the chance to profit
themselves in such a blessed week.
The tavern was empty, as it was an early hour, but in the evening there would be no free space to fit in.
A street brawl began somewhere outside - yesterdays’ drunk slowly crept from their holes and wanted to have fun
and to be scolded. That one had already got his punch, but his groomsmen had not yet decided to stand up for his
companion, especially when the guards showed up.
Some fireworks exploded from the side thereby diverting attention from the crowd incident. People continued
celebrating.
Next street seemed to be endless, narrow with growing on each other houses, almost closing the sky. Everything
was set up here to demonstrate “the night on the field” scene. A giant rat, eaters and vymers roamed here. The last
ones are often used to fright naughty children, who don’t want to go to bed in time.
They reached the long, beautiful, white and elegant bridge leading to an island, where the second part of the town
rested. It had only three of them, and only small boats could pass the mighty supports, to get to the skeleton of a
town. The rest of the sailboats moored on the outer side of the bridge, where were the docks at the same time a
level lower.
There was a myriad of hungry seagulls which were not even afraid of people, deftly stealing fresh fish from baskets.
All kind of stuff was brought here for the goods fair. Flowers, fabrics, food, trinkets and even the north elf’s got up
here with their baubles.
Having passed the bridge, they tried to squeeze up closer to the king quarters, where, of course, the most exiting
parts of the show had its place. And the most of the crowd. It was really fascinating here - the whole five performances
were in action - four minor for the public and the big one for the nobility.
Acting replaced by music and dancing, in addition to the feast, which was served here far better than anywhere else. It is
obvious that not everyone was allowed to come here.
The king’s palace stood on the high and long hill, which had cut this part of the town into two parts right to the channel.
Many tunnels were made in it to let people pass it on their level and only two stairways on each side of the hill. But it had
a lot of interesting mansions by the hill.
Their first attempt to enter the upper hill they were politely (surprisingly) stopped and asked to get lost. But when the
druid wished to speak his way, one of the guards in his shining armor stepped forward, drawing his sword.
With a calm tone druid shortly told about the purpose of his visit and about what he saw, demonstrating that he’s not a
stranger, and that truly he was a servant of the nature, forcing the nearest tree to seize his sword and drop it right next
to him.
When the tree returned to its former stance, the druid took the sword and gave it back with the previously calm face.
Puzzled guards froze in mute position, not quite understanding what to do next. This incident wasn’t let unnoticed either -
a battle mage, hired by king, sensed an unknown magic on the loose and ran to deal with it. But for the first time having
seen the druid, they understood, that there was no danger and only asked to explain why he was here.
White was all over the place. Every building that had some manner of importance had been built in white stone. Its
architecture had always been in one style, not to mention the mainland part of the city.
The palace was the most beautiful structure in\ the city. It grew upwards, having buttress, supporting its sides. And flying
buttresses added openwork. The central upper part had a masterpiece stained-glass rose in a form of an ice sun.
A mage tower positioned to the right of the palace - the tallest structure in here. Its bottom reminded an outstretched
goblet, but its central part flew in the air, slowly turning around and was divided into three identical cylinders. A steep spire
completed the composition of the marvelous tower.
The king was already notified about sudden guests, who were only up to wait for.
The inside was as outstanding as the outside. High columns supported the ribbed vaults and bared the banners of the city.
A smooth path connected the throne and entrance by a straight line, as it was outside. Continuous steps were placed on
the each side of the pats, leading down to a bunch of rooms, and from the gallery up above several stairways lightly
adjoined to its base.
He was tall and with high cheekbones, at first it seemed, that he was arrogant, but his eyes showed his good nature. The
king came down from the second floor and as he sat on the throne, he looked closer to visitors. Saluting them, he gave
the word to the druid. And he told everything, not paying attention to the details, everything from the beginning at the
dwarven battle, ending with an army at the bottom of the dead lake, how the elven forest suffered and the defeat of the
troll tribe.
He made an accent on the monk assumptions about the gods revenge, those who dared to forsake them (completely
everyone thou). Everything said by the druid was listened carefully, except the last one note about the gods, as he said
a word about them - everyone laughed neglecting, not to him but to the gods. But some thoughts about a wandering
preacher passed by like a shade on the people’s faces close to the king. But druid answered to this misunderstanding that
he supported only the will of life and nature, and it was not on the gods’ side.
Than the king asked why he had come here with such news, and what was in it for him. In the heart the druid knew
that to ask a war party would be very bold, and for that he would be thrown away at best, he asked just to fortify the
borders of his land and help the elves if it was necessary.
The king said that he was prudent in his tales and he would take a while to make a decision. Now it was celebration time,
nothing would happen until it ended. It was already late to hesitate, some actions needed to be right now, but druid
didn’t say that, just bowed and left the palace.
Their adventure here made no fruit. No help for elves and trolls, at least in the nearest future. It was worth a try.
But the next druid’s thought didn’t please Eitigar, he wanted to inform the northern elves about the troubles that were
yet to come to their south neighbors. She had to accept that, understanding that they’re not enemies but the possible
allies.
They found elven merchants at the docks unloading goods from their fine ship. The long-eared liked bright tones, and
for example this trough had purple sails.
But they did really worry about the situation in the forests of Emolia much more than the king and said that they would
send a note to their leaders at once.
The carnival was at its full swing, they should rest a bit before they take their leave.