Heritage

This is the tale of Jeraz, the young half-elf who lived in discrimination from the humans of Fogstead, until the fateful day, where a myterious man enters his home, and tells him of his ancestry, his blessed bloodline. As of that day, all the evils have seemed to come his way, and he wouldn't be surprised if the world ended tomorrow.

This is part 2/3 of a "trilogy", named The Khronum Legacy.

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3. Chapter 3: Ancestry

As he walked in, his eyebrow raised, as he saw his mother, standing before a finely clothed man. His clothes were blue and white, crafted of fine silk. He had his back turned to Jeraz, with Ethella before him. Jeraz closed the door behind him, and asked “Mother… Who is this man?” Ethella looked over the shoulder of the man, her face seeming quite worried. “Oh, Jeraz! Uhm… Don’t be scared, he is a friend.” The finely clothed man looked over his shoulder, turned around, and smiled at Jeraz. “Ah, there you are! Just in the nick of time.” He spoke with a deep, nearly intimidating voice. Jeraz placed his right hand on the hilt of his knife, as he dropped the white hide on the floor. “I don’t know who you are, but I don’t like the look of you. You look like nobility, come to toss us out of our home. But you’re too late; we’ve already secured our exit.” Jeraz said, and smirked mockingly. “Nobility! Ha! Sorry to disappoint you, but I am no rich man. Well, maybe I am. But that’s not the case at hand.” He said, as Ethella stepped up beside him, and looked at Jeraz, with a mother’s care in her eyes. “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Porthus, and I was a friend of your father’s. Before he died, I helped him with his powers, and guided him to his destiny. And now, it is your turn, Jeraz.” Porthus said, and smiled reassuringly. “Powers? Destiny? What are you talking about? And you knew my father? What is this?!” Jeraz exclaimed, severely confused. Porthus tilted his head, and looked at Ethella “You haven’t told him?” Ethella looked rather guilty, and she sighed “I… No. No, I haven’t told him. I wanted to wait ‘till he was older, but then you came along, much earlier than I had expected.” She said, and folded her hands, ashamed. The man turned to Jeraz. “Oh boy… Well that sure makes things a lot more difficult. No matter, we must proceed. This may come as a shock, so prepare yourself. You, my friend, are descendant of a bloodline of heroes, of great men and women, who have quelled threats time and time again. Your father was one such hero, who defeated the high necromancer, Lord Skarss, many years ago. His name was Jave, and he was a good man. A bit long-fingered, but that matters not, as long as he got the job done. I guided him to his destiny, helped him grasp the fabrics of his family blessing.” Porthus said, before taking a deep breath, and continuing. “And this blessing have you inherited. Have you never felt the complexity of this world to be so… Close? As if you could simply reach out, and grasp the very structure of this world, and bend it to your will?” “Actually, no. No, I haven’t felt like practicing magic, if that is what you mean. It is bad enough that the people of this village scream “Witch” every time they see my mother.” Jeraz said, and folded his arms. “Oh this is more than mere magic, my friend. Although your elven blood may help you in grasping the rules and meanings of your blessing, it will not be a simple twist of your hand. Alright, I believe you have never known your last name, right? At least, not your -true- name. You, as a descendant of heroes, are truly named Jeraz Khronum. The name is legendary, and countless glorious deeds were performed in that name. And it will not stop now. Now, I believe your mother has something to say.” Porthus said, and turned to Ethella. She raised an eyebrow. “Hmm? Oh right! Uhm… So, Jeraz… Your father was indeed a good man, but he was a bumbling fool. He could barely even speak properly, but I knew he was important. In my home forest, Everspring, the Khronum were not unknown, though they went by another name. In elven tongue, these people are named the Ori’foor, which is roughly translated to “Great savior”. We knew about their powers, and their destiny, and their importance. I was shocked and appalled, to see that a man such as your father, was blessed like that. And most important, I knew the bloodline had to continue. So that’s where I came in. I took upon myself the act of fiddling slightly with his mind, so that he felt adoration and love for me. I… Had to sleep with that man, and from thereon, the deed was done.” she said, and looked away, feeling quite embarrassed. “By the gods… I am the son of a whore and a heroic fool… No matter, I guess it can’t be undone.” Jeraz said, his mind overwhelmed by all this information coming to him at once. Porthus stepped up, and placed a hand on Jeraz’s shoulder “And to make it even worse, I have a little gift for you. Several, actually.” He said, and pushed Jeraz slightly aside. Caught off-guard, Jeraz staggered to the side, as he glared at Porthus. He raised an eyebrow, as he saw Porthus laying the tips of his fingers on the door, and closing his eyes. He began mumbling low, strange words, as the outline of his fingers began emitting a light, purple glow. Suddenly, he let his hand descend, almost clawing at the door with his fingers. The door seemed completely unaffected, but as Porthus opened it, it was very clear that it was indeed affected.

The door which before led out into the misty streets of Fogstead, now opened up into a small circular room, covered in gilded paintings and walls, and a staircase in the side of the room. “Come along now.” Porthus spoke, and waved his hand in a beckoning manner, while walking casually inside. Dumbfounded and curious, Jeraz walked inside, with Ethella at his heels. It seemed like a huge tower, with glittering gold and silver wherever you’d look. “Where… Did you get all this gold?” Jeraz said, his lower jaw nearly dropping in awe. “It is collected through the efforts of a long, long time. You see, as a chrono-mage, time is rather trivial these days. Even age has little effect on me, as I simply manipulate the currents of time, preventing age from getting a good grip on me. But enough about me, it is time for you to see what you -actually- are. Try and keep up.” Porthus said, and quickly ran up the staircase, which was clearly also crafted of glittering gold. Jeraz ripped himself out of his trance, and hurried after Porthus, Ethella following as well. As he darted up the stairs, he peered out of an open window, from which a freezing gust of wind swept. His eyes widened as he looked outside. Instead of an autumn forest, he saw countless mountain peaks, snow as far as the eye could see. Blistering cold air raised the hairs on his neck, and he quickly passed the window by, deciding that he wouldn’t wreck his mind on how this was possible. He continued up the stairs, feeling rather guilty as his muddy shoes spread dirt all over the golden staircase. After quite some steps, he entered the top room, where Porthus stood with a torch in his hand, smiling at Jeraz and Ethella. “Welcome to the room of prophecies!” Porthus said, and performed a gracious bow. “Room of prophecies? What is that supposed to mean?” Jeraz asked, arching an eyebrow. “Oh right, you don’t know. Well then, let me tell you a little story.” Porthus said, and swung his torch around, illuminating a grey, carved wall. It was quite the piece of art, clear carvings of people and creatures in the wall. “This, my friend, is The Khronum Wall. It is here, where I carve the prophecies of each and every descendant of The Khronum. I allow myself to glance into the future, to get a name, an appearance, and a location of the next Khronum. And what I saw, Jeraz, was you!” He said, and moved his torch over a half-finished carving. There were merely a few signs, which were completely incomprehensible. It wasn’t elven, or human. It was something foreign, something alien. “And before you, was your father, Jave. As he pierced the heart of Lord Skarss, another prophecy was fulfilled.” He said, and let his hand glide over some carvings beside the half-done one. It showed a man, who was thrusting a blade through the heart of a kneeling figure in robes. The sword seemed to emit something: magic, or light. “Hmm… I see how the blade he wields seems to emit something. I can’t quite conclude what it is, but I hoped you might be able to answer that” Jeraz said, and gestured towards his father’s carvings. “Hmm? Oh yes! Well… I don’t want to spoil anything… Come along, then you might just find out.” Porthus said, and strolled over to a nearby door. Once more, he laid his fingertips on the door, and closed his eyes. The tips of his fingers began glowing, and he clawed at the door once more. Ethella stepped up beside Jeraz, speechless and in awe. She didn’t feel that she had anything to say, in any case. He swung open the door, and entered into what seemed like a huge throne room. There was a red carpet on the ground, and suits of armor covered nearly every inch of the walls. Jeraz and Ethella walked inside as well, and looked around in awe. The ceiling was made of glass, and beams of light from the sun illuminated the entire room with a strange, blueish light. It must have been some coloring of the ceiling glass that changed the light to that color. Jeraz walked slowly and cautiously through the hall, and looked back, seeing how the rest of the room had seemingly broken off. His heart skipped a beat, as he once more found himself on the top of a mountain, and there was an immense drop, his head feeling dizzy just at the sight of it. He bit his lower lip, and straightened up, refraining from looking more at the collapsed part of the hall. As he gazed forward, he saw Porthus, who stood at what seemed like an altar, where a throne should’ve been. He stood beside it, as he gestured Jeraz to come closer. With quickened steps, he did. “This, Jeraz, is what you will inherit from your father. It was found with his body, in the valley up north. And now, it goes from his hands, to yours.” Porthus said, and grabbed hold of the hilt of a beautiful, seemingly silver blade. One hand on the hilt, and another on the flat side of the blade, Porthus handed the magnificent blade to Jeraz, who hesitated, but clearly had no other choice but to accept it. Grasping around the hilt, he studied the magnificent artwork on the blade. Signs of peculiar tongues were carved into it, much to Jeraz’s fascination. “This blade is the one your father, Jave, used to thrust through the blackened heart of Lord Skarss. It is named “Purniik”, which translates to “Sleeper”. It is specifically designed to rid this world of the living dead, as it ignites their bound soul, and releases it into the afterlife. But this blade is but one of three things you have inherited.” Porthus said, and turned back to the altar. On it lay a book, seemingly old, but still in good shape. It had more of the peculiar signs on it, and Jeraz’s eyes glowed with curiosity, as he sheathed Purniik into his belt. Porthus grabbed hold of the book, and turned once more to Jeraz. “This book will be responsible for your next two gifts. It is a dictionary of your family language, which has been spoken each and every time your ancestors saved this world from an evil fate. The book will be one gift, but the second will be what it represents.” Porthus said, and smiled at Jeraz. Jeraz tilted his head, obviously confused. “Flip open the book, and look up the word “water”. It is written in your native language as well, so it should be a trivial matter to find it.” Porthus said, and folded his arms. Jeraz nodded slowly, and flipped open the first few pages of the book. There was an alphabet on the first page, and a description of what minor, major, and superior words were. According to the book, the superior words could ruin a city within minutes, but were only wielded by the very strongest. Whatever that meant, Jeraz was still unsure of. Although rather confused, he found the word for “Water”. He looked at Porthus, who was smiling, in a strangely knowing fashion, as if he was aware of something. He raised an eyebrow, and spoke inquiringly “Jool?”.  The words spilled from his mouth, in a strangely oiled fashion, and his left hand began dripping water from the fingertips. Jeraz startled and shook the water off his hand, yet there just seemed to come more and more, as if erupting from his palm. He seemed surprised and frightened, and he resorted just to clenching his fist, hoping to block the spring of water in his palm. Porthus began chuckling heartily, and Ethella, who was unable to see what happened, simply tilted her head in a confused fashion. “What you just did, was to utilize your family’s blessing, the khron. “Khron” is translated to “tongue” and is the very reason why your ancestors could perform these heroic deeds. The words bend and twist the structure of this world, utilizing everything it can offer, and sometimes, even what it can’t. Easier words often make use of what is already present in this world, such as fire, water, steam, or that kind. The more difficult words use more insubstantial and significant things, such as life and death, or the likes. This of course means that only those with the required expertise may use these without the risk of harming or killing themselves. And for now, I advise you to stick with the minor words. We can’t have you go killing yourself before you’ve completed your task, now, can we?” Porthus said, and nodded slowly at Jeraz. “I see… Well, if it is my destiny, I guess I have little choice but to follow it. If the gods chose this fate for me, then so be it. But this task you speak of, what exactly am I supposed to do?” Jeraz asked, still rather confused, yet he seemed to be getting a grasp of the situation. Porthus suddenly looked rather ashamed, and he swung up his arms in a shrug. “I don’t know.”

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