The depths of darkness

Ever since he began, Zane faced many challenges throughout his life. A life of pain, tragedy and blood but even through these trials he kept his head high and never backed down. Years of intense studying and training developed Zane into a proud, strong man of great power. But rumours whispered through the air tell of an ancient terror, raging deep below the mountains. Can Zane defeat this great mystery or will he perish trying?

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3. Ancient History

 

Hurriedly I rushed past the huge stone gateway before the castle. A huge stone fortress lay in front of me; huge towers reached to sky and regal guards patrolled the grounds. I pushed open the heavy oak doors and strode through the rich and decorated halls. Expensive paintings and ceremonial swords lined the walls and I passed great studies containing a wealth of knowledge and power. Tall suits of armour tinted different colours glowered at me as I passed through. Finally I reached a small door embroidered with huge black swirls and various dark patterns. I pushed gently and the door gave a familiar creak as it swung open. Ahead of me sat a young man in his mid-twenties, He sat with his back to me, staring out of the window and scribbling furiously in his book.

‘’Who is it?’’ The man questioned me; all I did was grin wildly as my old mentor turned to face me. ‘Zane!’ He shouted as he rushed to shake my hand.

‘Reldo! How goes things in the old library then?’ I exclaimed joyfully.

‘It’s so good to see you again. Ah not much, recording history, making records and copying books, the usual,’ he grinned ‘and how goes the adventuring, explore anything new lately or just come to say hello to your old master?’ The way the light reflected off of his thick glasses gave him an air of authority and knowledge. I knew him like a father, for years I studied under his watchful gaze, and although he was still young, he could be fierce and harsh or kind and helpful.  

‘Well both actually, I wanted to give you this’ I handed him the old tome ‘It’s an old story about the second age and something called the God Wars, I wanted to see if you knew anything about it. Also I heard a rumour that perhaps somewhere it might still be happening!’ I announced excitedly.

 ‘Hmm’ Reldo pondered staring wistfully at the book, ‘Yes I do recall seeing something like this, it’s extremely old and very valuable, I don’t think I have one of these in my possession. But yes the God Wars was real and happened many years ago, not many people know about it to tell the truth.’ Reldo flicked through the pages scanning the decorative writing and battered paper. He paused at the final page and made an inquisitive noise. ‘There seems to be a sketch in the back, it’s rather rough but it seems like a kind of map, perhaps mountains? And it’s pointing north. Ahh! I see!’ reldo exclaimed. ‘There’s some faded writing in the corner and if I’m right, which I usually am, it says Trollheim. That’s it Zane take your adventuring gear and explore the north of Trollheim, you might find something interesting, a link to the God Wars perhaps?’

‘Wow, this is incredible. I wonder if it’s been explored before. This is a once in a life time opportunity! I need to go!’ I joyfully pronounced. My mind raced, from monsters to dungeons and hidden treasure.

‘Don’t get ahead of yourself Zane, Trollheim isn’t the safest place to wander into, so always go prepared or you could find yourself quickly squashed by some trolls boulder’ Reldo told me cautiously.

‘Hey come on Reldo, I can take care of myself now, I’ve fought hundreds of trolls, and all of them have been clumsy and overall rather stupid. But thanks for the information; I know I can rely on you.’

‘You are not thinking about going already are you? Stay a while; let’s catch up on recent news’ Reldo said comfortingly. I nodded enthusiastically and sat down opposite him. Within seconds we were vividly explaining out past adventures and catching up on gossip and tales.

 

After a long catch up with Reldo I exited the castle sad to be leaving, but I had work to do. I wandered through the bustling city of Varrock. The fountains shot up into the air and each droplet caught the suns light and shined an iridescent crystal clear tone like little diamonds shooting through the air. I bought a newspaper from the stand and read up on the daily news as I walked through the streets. Adverts for quests and errands were always worth looking at. I arrived at a large building with tall pillars in front. I walked in and stood at the desk.

‘Can I access my bank account please?’ I said kindly to the receptionist.

‘Of course Sir, may I ask for your details?’ I gave my details as she confirmed and lead me to my storage unit.

‘Thanks very much’ I said as she left me to choose what I needed for the upcoming trial. I picked up some standard adventurers tools; a rope, a tool belt and various pieces of protective gear. Pondering what to best to wear, my eyes crossed different pieces of armour, a deep crimson metal plate body hung from the wall, Along with various swords, axes and daggers of different styles and metals. I took a short red dagger from the wall and slid it into a small sheath around my waist. A folded pile of dark black robes lay across a chair and a tall staff with a purple insignia stood against the wall. I made my mind up as I glanced at a set of scaled clothes. The shoulder pads had long sharp red spikes upon them and in the centre a small red gem gleamed in the light. Days of work went into creating this fantastic piece of armour, collecting scales, sewing and attaching them to strong fabric. As I put it on I felt a sense of royalty rush over me, not too heavy but strong and stable, perfect for deflecting magic and protecting against the dangerous slashes of claws and weaponry. I slid on the appropriate chaps, boots and gloves. Helmets weren’t really my style, too claustrophobic in there, I needed to breath. I opened a drawer and collected some vials full of many different colours of liquid. They helped replenishing energy, improving accuracy and increasing power. Finally I picked up a large bow decorated black with short white spikes and ends that were shaped like demon claws. This bow had gotten me through a lot of tough times and I had grown rather fond of it over the years, I handled the bow like a pro and grabbed some sharp looking arrows to fill my quiver. Alas I was ready to explore the unknown. I grabbed a couple tablets from the desk and closed my storage. I walked out into the street, took a deep breath and dashed the stone tablet to the ground.

Suddenly a mysterious bluish, purple light enveloped me as I felt my body rising and disappearing into thin air. At first I felt nothing and then the familiar sense of being alive returned as the sky reappeared back into view. I stood atop a high peak of a mountain looking out over grand canyons and dangerous mountain paths. The wind ruffled my hair and sent an icy chill down my spine.

‘Right, it’s time to explore’

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