Legends of the Atlands- 2012

The only contemporary fantasy I've ever written or read. Set in the Atlands, a huge group of islands hovering above the world, two boys get caught up in an adventure that starts off small, and finishes spanning two worlds!

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3. Chapter 2

Mythrali wasn’t too far from the “hold-up”. It was a quaint little town, famous for its mythril mine. The town blacksmith forged weapons for the governess and the SpellCaster was revered. SpellCaster was the collective term for anyone able to teach Magicks. This particular SpellCaster was the only person in the town.

“Excuse me sir” Jirove asked, “but where is everyone?”

The SpellCaster turned, his metallic purple robes and wide-brimmed hat swaying as he whipped himself round. “They are ghosts. The Creishun of the governor cursed us. We need a hero.”

He was very blunt and mysterious, and sounded like he was reciting an ancient ritual.

 “Come again?” Jiro asked.

“It is simple. I was out in the wood collecting essence of orchid for a potion, and when I came back I found the town empty. I proceeded to my cabin to decide what to do about this. I brewed an Organismic Revelation by first  letting a mistletoe berry simmer, and then collecting the sweet smell in a jar and lighting it in the jar, with a pleasant bluish hue and a consant burn. I dropped the essence of orchid into it, and blew the flame out. This left a matt pink substance at the bottom, which I poured into a vial, and, after waiting for it, incanted the following spell:

 

Invocavi honorabilior alchemic tribuere deorum oratio maturitatem quam veneno testor meum baculo matuerd centum et centum dies noctesque

 

This allowed the potion to turn its mature green colour in around five seconds. I proceeded, and learned that a rogue servant of the local guild had attacked the town while I was out. Thankfully, they were only turned into ghosts, which can be undone with the correct spell. I have some potion, if you wish to see the town ‘s residents.”

Vellian and Jirove took a sip of the potion. As it began to work, they began to feel and odd sensation in their chest, as though some magical creature had spawned inside them, and their vision became a blue hue.

“Whoa! This is new!” Vellian remarked, swaying slightly. Jirove had already recovered and was examining the new bluish world.

“You seeing what I’m seeing?”Vellian enquired.

“If what you’re seeing is a blue world with turquoise ghosts walking around all over the place,” Jirove responded.

“Random,” Vellian finished.

The two were greeted by the SpellCaster a minute later. “Jirove, come with me.” He turned around as Vellian made to follow, and signalled with a blue hand towards a nearby building. “Go there, and rest. You may need it.” He motioned to a small deserted inn on the far side. “They are serving as usual, so rest, and leave the fee on the table.”

~

Vellian opened his eyes. His vision had returned to normal, and the chair where an bearded ghost had slept before he went to bed in the inn was empty. He decided to leave some coins on the table beside his bed, and as he departed, saw them lift up into the air, and disappear. Vellian walked outside and saw Jirove just coming out from behind a group of trees, looking a bit different. His green doublet was now a metallic emerald and the edges were lined with electric blue. He wore an orange pointed hat that had a brim about 10 centimetres across, and a pouch slung around his waist. Just to top that off, he donned a backpack that glowed in the same way that the crystal back in the cave did, just with colour that seemed to swirl within the bag, like some rainbow tornado. As Jirove got nearer, the glow faded, and the backpack was simply a swirl of colours.

“Jiro, what happened to you??You look...Erm... eccentric!”

“Isn’t it great?!? I’m a SpellCaster!” And, watch this!!” He reached out a hand and uttered the following incantation with surprising speed and vigour;

Imis vestris presertim Hiatus te voco iussa exsequar scindet te terra ante pedes aemulorum nocturna sive diurna, ut possint et immo certus consistere

 

At that precise moment, a thunderbolt came crashing down between them, leaving a burnt patch where it struck. The clearing they were in was quickly emptied of on looking birds, who moved to the nearest house, fifty yards or so away.

 

“You like??” Jirove asked.

“Yes!!” Vellian responded, overwhelmed by the new –found power of his friend.

 

“And this one!”

 

Aqua nobilissima di Conjuro te iussa exsequar ut Antiquo signatum sub magicks lapis saceret mandamus tibi: Da potestatem mittere fluctus effusum

 

Water immediately burst from his hands and began writhing in the air, almost like a snake. A mad, demented snake. A mad, demented snake being electrocuted and swung around in the air.

I” won’t lie-they’re quite complex, but once you’ve said it once; you only have to say something smaller to do it again! It’s brilliant!”

“That SpellCaster taught you all of that??” Vellian enquired.

“Of course!! I’ve had the 4 days you were asleep to do it!!”

“Wait...whoa...”

“And the SpellCaster gave me this, too. I think you should have it. It’s called Nightslayer, it’s supposed to be the bane of the undead.”

 

Vellian, overcome by the speed all of this was thrust on his shoulders, thought it through. He had been asleep in the Mythrali inn for about 4 days. In that time, Jiro had learnt to become a SpellCaster and had learnt 2 pretty impressive spells. He had been gifted with some zombie pulveriser thingy and decided to give it to him.

Only one question remained:-

 

                What now???

 

~

 

Vellian trudged through the swirling sandstorm toward the faint outline in the distance, Jirove well in front and keeping his usual bubbling energy going.  They were in the nearby Reine desert. After that chat, Vellian was surprised at his vigour. The chat in question had involved a hooded figure who, by some means, was able to subtly force Vellian and Jiro to head for the desert, where he explained one of the 4 guilds were.

 

The guild system was created a long, long time ago by a fateful event. Four children, two brothers and two sisters, always fought, until the time came for the four children to leave home. They travelled through the countryside, over moor and mountain, until they came to a wide, deep river. As they pondered how to get across, Death himself appeared to the four children. He gave them all directions, but each to different places. The first, and most powerful, of the four questioned this, and so death explained.

 

He wanted them to all go to the places they were shown, and to start a guild there. Each guild will reflect the characterisations of each child’s personality, and they shall become the ruling powers of the Atland. And so it became that the four guilds were founded, and Vellian and Jiro were heading towards one now.

 

~

 

It didn’t look like much. All it appeared to be was an old shack with a chimney. The creamy building was strewn with dust, and looked as derelict and useless as the locals made it out to be. Vellian was beginning to doubt that the figure was correct, but Jiro hadn’t twigged when Vellian slipped a comment about the doubtfulness their tour guide had that they would find anything there besides cobwebs. So when they realised it was inhabited, the tour guide ran like...well, like he’d realised it was haunted. Frankly this didn’t help Vellian to overcome his fear, and as they edged towards the door, it opened.

 

Light spilled out into the desert, and a figure walked out of this iridescent glow. It had a light blue robe and, large, black pupil-less eyes. His white skin shone, and he stepped towards the duo with the elegance of a gazelle.

 

“The Mechalisourrd welcomes you. Please come in” said a voice like silk, as he softly raised a hand to point to the gateway. They stepped through, and oh, what a sight it was! Ornate arches curved around the edges, and looking down, they saw that there were at least a hundred stories above and below them. It was possible to see these wonders of architecture because of the fact that each level dropped off at the same point, and all opened out into a massive recess. A long, perfect stream of water danced around this open space, handing things out and carrying trays on its long, serpentine back. Millions of people, in the brightest, most dazzling colours anyone has ever seen in their lives traversed these levels, some on their own, most with others. They were walking as if it was nothing like the awe-inspiring spectacle that Vellian and Jiro beheld, and as the two looked away from the scene they realised that their guide was leaving.

 

They walked and walked, and for some reason every time they came back to the point they had started from, they had somehow moved down a level. Soon after, they stopped next to one of many small, spherical pods that were lined up on the walls where there was space. They hovered about a foot away from the ground, and bobbed as its passengers entered it.

 

“It is a lot quicker to use these to go lower, but this is the first level that they are allowed,” their angelic host explained. “By the way, do you like our water nymphs? They’re new to the guild, and act as great postmen.”

Funny postmen, Vellian thought.

“Yeah, I guess they are, aren’t they?” Jiro replied.

“They work fine for us, and they don’t expect pay. We’ll get by,” The host pitched in.

Oh, o... wait? What did you just d...?” Vellian stopped.

“Replied” Jiro answered.

“It is only civilised to respond to someone when they say something” the host finished.

Vellian pushed the nagging worry aside as they turned off down a corridor. The sphere seemed to gain pace, as if it was afraid of the darkness that reigned in here. Soon they were out again, and into a maze of corridors. The sphere turned this way and that, with the same too-good-to-be-true grace the host had. Finally, as they headed for a set of large doors, they slowed and stopped.

 

“Welcome to the throne room,” the host announced.

As they entered the expansive hall that stretched out before them, with glowing arches and fountains of water that danced in the light, thousands of people in the same uniform moved into line and stood to attention. A voice resonated through the hall like the roar of the earth, bellowing orders in some strange language Vellian was not acquainted with. At the far end of the hall, there was a grey stone wall with an old face carved into it. It was an old man, with dreadlocks that radiated from every side. It was a strange mural. Vellian's eyes swept this room, and realised that the same host that had guided them to the throne room was now walking to join his fellows. They were all identical, with the same large black eyes and elongated necks. Their skin was a luminescent white and their robes were a very light shade of lilac. As the two passed them, they bowed, and as they did so, brown cloaks formed around them to turn them into identical copies of the hooded figure that had originally told them about the guild. Each one was identical; they were all one and the same. Scores and scores stretched far back into the hall, each bearing the same cloak and standing stock-still. They were no longer the angelic figures they first appeared to be, and they could have passed for any traveller anywhere in the Atlands. Apparently they had succeeded, as they were able to travel the long distance to Mythrali village to tell Vellian and Jirove. Now they approached the great stone Carving, and as they did so, something extraordinary happened. It was as if someone had breathed life into the carving, and its face began to move outwards, the locks of hair began to protrude from the surface and they all pulled in as this stone face opened its mouth. A booming noise resonated through the hall, and instantly a thousand million figures bowed, row by row, until only a sea of brown hoods remained.

“You have travelled for many miles to reach this place”. It was the first time Vellian had been spoken to by a stone statue and he wasn’t aiming to make it anything common.

“Yes, sir. We have come to ask for assistance.” Jirove was more prepared than Vellian was, and he bowed with Jiro as he spoke. “I am Jiro Koniyotu, of the town of Ur, and I come with my companion Vellian Ernquire to request aid.” Jiro looked up, and he saw the face retreated backwards slightly, before its great mouth creaked and its lips moved once more.

“You require aid in what??” its voice echoed around the hall, yet none of the angelic hosts moved.

“The ‘Creishun of the governor’ has apparently turned all the residents of Mythrali into ghosts. Do you know anything about this?”

The face considered this for a moment, and then explained: “If it is the Governor you seek, you should head for the upper Atlands. All my commandants respond to the head of the guild. In the biggest Atland the governor makes his home. I cannot spare many of my hosts at present, so I think it is in order to give you Krenclire, the host that you came with. Krenclire, could you accompany these two?”

As the face spoke the words, one figure near the middle stood up. Although 6 feet tall, he seemed remarkably short as his brown cloak retreated into the belt and he began to walk. This was remarkable, seeing as he was phasing through the ranks of ever-present crouched look-alikes. He walked through them, and as he came through the front, he made a low bow.

“Vellian, Jirove, we must leave. Thank you, master. Come.”

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