The First Age
Not far away from the Human Barracks, a place above the ascended hills lived the humans. Not all the humans, just a majority of them. They forged a group, a group willing to live under a code. Under the rules of Man. The women had no say in this area, their words would be spelt in blood on the dark wooden walls. Man ruled the land, and made sure that women would stay in their place. Most of the men worked building structures further down the hill. With the King of the area becoming a little too confident over-time, he had chosen to dwell further down the hills than ever before.
Afraid of the dangers below, the murky waters and the blood baths under the surface. He was afraid back then. And now, he is willing to take the role of a true King. Making a living by sending the men down there, making the women watch the hazards occur over-night. Felix, a man who worked hard to earn his payments in gold. He spoke for the rest of the men, speaking up louder than them. Making the King listen to his workers, and obeying the rules he had made-up alone.
The King called: “Kuno.” His dark leather cape mixed with fine silk to make him look a little wealthier than his people. His crown was forged from old roots, which barely meant anything to the other workers. The King liked the crown due to the fact it was a root that could’ve been a tree. His devious smile shown once in a life-time to his people, Felix caught glimpse of his devious smile. He clearly hated the trees, and the possibly the Ancient Tree Gods.
“Felix, what is it you want… this time?” He asked.
“I-I’m here once again, to speak to you.” Felix smiled awkwardly.
“No bet, I should’ve known you’d want more…” He replied.
“My people, they need water. They need food. You promised us full payments by mid-season!”
“Ha… very well, take the barrels out back… they’ll serve you and your men well.”
“T-thank-you. I honour you with deep respects…” Felix bowed.
Felix left the so-called office of Kuno. With pride on his side, feeling happier than ever-before. He had gotten another demand accepted from the King. With every conversation they had together, Felix knew that soon… he’d have pushed his luck. He still awaits the day for that to happen, the day when the King snaps. All his men speak about it, constantly reminding him that the clock is ticking: “The grandfather clock ticks by, and it will ring your ears like a howling Dire Wolf”.
Felix collected the barrels that were full of supplies. Enough supplies to keep the men going for a few more seasons. His smile grew even more as he handed over half of the supply to his kind people. The workers they were known as to Kuno. They were known as friends to Felix. He put full trust in them, and believed in them entirely. They would always thank him, respect him as if he was the King. The women however, they’d be trapped rather behind bars or, dumped into the darkness of Dire Woods.
Kuno knew that the punishments he had been giving out lately were becoming a little too tedious. A little too repetitive for his liking… dumping the bodies that were found not too far away from their little kingdom. The bodies would be dumped in lakes or in the burrows by Dwarves. The women’s punishments would end up as a feast for the creatures outside their region. As much as they’d beg for their lives to be in man’s hands. Kuno would laugh with his devious smile showing once more.
The difference was… Felix had other things on his mind. He may’ve had his duties to attend to but there was something far more worthy of his time than work. And that was some of the prisoners held behind bars by Kuno’s orders. He’d feed them each season, this resulted in many deaths. Less mouths to feed, making him wealthier in supplies than he had been before. This built up Kuno’s confident on a major scale, making him become less aware of the dangers below his kingdom.
Felix snuck through the old barrels of fish and waited for the guard to pass by. The stench of rotting fish made Felix snuffle a little. Old cobwebs dangling from the rims of the barrels lid rubbed off Felix’s cheeks as he crept past the guard. Felix knew what to expect in sights of the women trapped. No horrors for him, he knew that they’d be looking unhealthy and sick-looking.
“…Felix, I-is that you?” An unhealthy woman cried.
“Shush, and yes. I’ve came to feed you…” Felix whispered.
“Aw, thank-you, thank-you! Felix… I haven’t eaten for half a season…” she cried.
“Kuno paid us today. So… I’m here now, here to give crave your hunger…” he smiled at her.
“—if he finds out… he’ll murder you. He-he’ll have your head on a stick —“
“I don’t care! He’ll have to catch me first…” Felix rubbed the woman’s cheek.
Felix pushed through some small boxes of raw chicken, and small amounts of fruit. Wooden cups with a small vase of water inside. Enough to feed you for a day… Kuno was never great with filling his supplies to an all-time maximum. He’d never have whole stock, he’d just feed on most of it. Filling himself up, making him fit and healthy… he’d force us to eat dirt if it wasn’t for me stepping in.
The woman’s chest was unhuman looking, unnatural to the human eye. Her ribs were almost breaking through her thick skin. And her face looked unhealthy-looking. She coughed several times between each word she spoke. Felix only wished he could save her from the clutches of Man. It was weird for him, being the only Man that cared about the women being treated differently…
“T-thank-you, Felix. Bless you for being so kind…” the woman smiled.
“Save your strength… even a smile could make you weaker…” Felix reassured her.
“It’s a sick world out there… -- and you’re the one I will go to, if I ever break free, my love!”
“Do as you wish, I can only save your hunger… I can’t save you…“ Felix sighed.
Felix left the prisoners to sleep alone once again. Night was coming, and Kuno had already made another demand for his workers. Another job that needed to be done by sun-rise… tomorrow. He made his demand quite clear, to anyone who’d fail him, he’d deal with them personally…
“Lock the gates! And hold the prisoners for another night…!” He shouted.
“O-okay… will do my lord.” The guard replied.
“Another job, Felix? Tell him I c-can’t do this anymore!” Felix’s friend whispered.
“Snap out of it, Lance. We can’t all have fancy names like you…” Felix replied.
“I-I c-can’t d-do it… he’ll just ruin my sleep… I’ll have nightmares a-about him!”
“Get to work! – Men! We only have until sun-rise… so work faster!” Felix shouted.
With Felix doing Kuno’s job for him whilst he slept on his comfy king-sized bed. Felix felt bad for the workers he had shouted at. Pushing pressure on them was never something he’d thought of to do. He always thought that the workers were just like him, only difference being Felix was more confident. He was practically the ruler of the workers, the others couldn’t speak up to him. Always afraid of his presence and scared to look him in the eyes. Felix hated himself for ruling over the workers. He never wanted to feel more powerful than the others. He just wanted to be heard…
Night had hit the hills, and all the other regions. Most of the workers were wiping off sweat from their disgruntled faces. Some of them spat on the dirt patches of the hill in order to get the anger out of their system. By night, most of the workers had built a little further down the hill. Kuno’s order had become almost-completed. It just needed to go a little further down, and then they’d be able to sleep. Kuno’s loud snoring distracted Felix and the workers from doing their jobs. Although, the guards made sure that the workers would stay awake. Poking them with sharp ends of their spear.
“Ouch! Sorry…” A worker cried.
“Get to work, Kuno, the lord of our kingdom. He wants you to finish this by sun-rise!”
“Alright, alright… sorry!” The worker replied.
The guards stood around each of the workers, due to their population growing a little each season, and then decreasing by end of season. They were two guards down than last season. There were too many humans than guards. Which would make the humans stronger in confidence, so you’d think. However, Felix was the only confident worker, someone who could take out on guard. A bunch of them would be a problem, but one guard wouldn’t do much anyway…
“Sir… we’ve kind have hit something, on our side of the hill…” a worker looked afraid.
“Right! The rest of you keep working! I’ll go check this little problem out. Probably just a harmless animal. I doubt it’s anything major… so stay put!” The guard laughed.
The frightened worker dragged the guard around the hill, to the side where the worker and his team of friends were building structures. Walking together further down the hill, the worker stopped with a frozen facial expression. He looked shocked, startled even. The guard thought nothing of it and stepped in front of the worried workers, making himself look more confident than the others.
“T-this? Ha! Is this what you’re afraid of…?” The guard mocked the object sticking out of the ground.
“Y-Yes…” the workers said with shock on their faces.
“This is nothing more than a rock! – A rock! You never fail to amaze me…” the guard laughed.
The guard tapped his spear on the object sticking out of the ground, and smirked at his last joke. He laughed as the worried workers hid behind each-other. Afraid of the object blocking their path, they stayed put. The guard didn’t stay put, he wanted to show them what it was… just a rock, right?
After several more pokes and more laughter from the guard, the object grew in size. The workers moved back a few spaces, away from the guard: Scared of what it was. The guard saw the object grow in size and froze in place. Shocked to see the object growing, he started to believe the so-called: “crazy workers.” The workers scattered around the hill, watching from a distance. The guard screamed, his scream travelled around the hill and back again.
The so-called object emerged, revealing a large eyeball. The eyeball was dark brownish with a tint of yellow in the middle. As it uprooted from the ground, disconnecting the roots of the hill from the surface underneath. The worker fled towards Felix and the other workers. As the guard tried to escape the creatures large hand broke out from underneath the guard’s shaken feet. As the hand went higher, breaking the surface from underneath the guard’s feet. He fell as dust and rubble blocked the sighting of the guard’s death. He fell into the dust and into the large hand of the beast.
“Guard! Guard!” The worried workers screamed, running towards Felix.
“What is it now? Where’s—“
“Dead… I saw I-it happen…!” The worried worker cried in fear.
“Alert Kuno! He must know about this. Evacuate the worksite now!” The guard screamed his orders.
As the ground from underneath Felix and the workers, including the guards trying to run away. Crumbling beneath them, the ground shook and rattled in circular motion. Most of the ground crumbling under the feet of five workers. Their falls ended with bloodcurdling screams. Felix dashed towards the prisoner’s structure. As the guards ran down the hill trying to escape. Some of the workers followed Felix. Others climbed up the small trees, hoping to stay alive.
“Felix! Oh lord… Felix, please tell me you’re finally here to let us out!” The woman screamed.
“N-not quite… we need to stay low. Keep all voices down to a minimum…” Felix whispered.
“Master Felix, we don’t have much time…” one of the workers spilled.
“Shut up! I’m working on it, okay?!” Felix raised his voice.
The worker stepped back in fear of Felix, shaking in fear behind the other workers. Felix knelt down beside the jail bars separating him and the woman from each-other. The woman smiled with the remainder of her strength, begging for Felix to let her go. The workers started to freak out, hiding behind any object they could find. Stupid hiding spaces too, like behind small vases.
The sounds of endless screaming and humans crying loudly, is all that could be heard. Outside sounded like hell, women screaming, and children crying to their mothers. Kuno’s loud voice cracked open the door where Felix and the workers had been hiding from the beast. Kuno kicked the door open, with anger building up inside of him. He let out a loud fierce roar and grabbed one of the worker’s by his throat.
“I warned you this would happen… d-didn’t I?” The strangled worker mumbled.
“Oh, you did dearly… b-but I can’t control my anger this time…!” Kuno roared.
With all his power, he strangled the worker for a few minutes, not long before throwing the innocent worker against some old barrels. The worker’s body slammed into the barrels, making a crack sound of pine wood snapping. His body rolled onto the almost broken floorboards. Kuno smiled, walking up to Felix with blood on his hands.
“Felix, another noble worker… and why’re you here?!” Kuno roared again.
“I-I’m here… b-because that monster out there, it’s going tear us limb by limb!” Felix spoke with confidence.
“Oh, really? I never would’ve guessed… now, be a good Man… and open the cell. Let the worthless rise once more…” Kuno smiled evilly.
Felix was happy to hear the woman’s freedom finally being demanded by the King himself. However, he did not like what Kuno had called her. “Worthless.” She is not worthless to Felix, in his eyes, she is far more than that. Someone superior, someone who is a woman. A female human, a lady who could offer her talents to the world.
Felix opened the cell, letting the woman go. As the building shook violently from the beast’s disturbance outside. By this time, most of the guards had left the King and the workers alone. Saving nothing but themselves, they had fled in all directions. The floorboards underneath the unconscious worker that Kuno had thrown away, his lifeless body fell in the ditch. The crumbing ground caused the poor worker to end with a plummet to the ground. A death not suitable for a worker…
“Gero!” The other workers cried as they witnessed their friend die.
“Kuno… you have to let go of your kingdom…” Felix sighed.
“Let it go? No way! I will not do such thing! I’ve built this kingdom, fed you all… made you the clothing you wear today! – Ditching me and my land? You’ll regret that… you all will!”
Felix pushed past Kuno, ignoring his taunting words. In Felix’s hand was the woman he cared about. Her name was still not known to him, b-but he loved her. He clearly had feelings for the woman. He was fighting for what he believed in. Freedom for the women of the hills. Kuno pushed past the workers, trying to stop Felix and the woman from going anywhere.
“Stop! I will not have you dethrone me…!” Kuno spoke in a sharp tone.
“And why would I want your throne? It’s bad enough I’m seen as a King to these workers…”
“Now, now, Felix. I just can’t have you doing that either…” Kuno whispered.
Kuno held out his blade of wood, fine wood. He held it out in front of Felix, blocking any pathway to escaping. The workers gasped in fear, and stepped behind Kuno, trusting him as their ruler. Felix bit his bottom lip and spoke in a well-toned manner.
“As you wish, let her go… and take me as the prisoner…” Felix whispered.
“Wait, your words interest me… but—“ Kuno was interrupted.
The ground shook violently once again, and out came the second hand of the beast. Crumbling the ground around the doorway, Kuno fell onto his side. Holding onto his sword as a balancing platform to save him from the abyss below. Lucky for him, his sword was wedged between the two separate platforms. If only it was to snap, he would fall to his doom. Felix pushed his woman out of the way of the crumbling floors. As she fell on her side near the workers. Felix looked down at the pathetic Kuno.
“Oh my, how the great have fallen…” Felix mocked Kuno’s situation. “You make the commands, right? So… w-why don’t you say something before you regret it…?”
“By order of my throne. I will never devote myself to a fraud like you…” Kuno spat into the abyss.
The creature from underneath destroyed the structure Felix was in. Breaking away the support holders of the roof, making it crumble above them. Rubble smashed against the ground, large pieces of timber snapped against the floorboards. The creature swayed its hand, trying to grab Kuno. Felix covered himself with his left arm, holding it above his face. Avoiding the sharp little bits of timber from making splinters. The woman got back up on her feet and shoved Felix out of the way.
“W-what?” Felix whispered.
The woman hopped over the platform with the remainder of her strength. And landed flat down on the floor, as the floor became more and more unstable. The workers had given up hope, holding onto each-other like they were family all along. Felix wobbled, almost losing his balance. Lucky for him, he managed to regain his balance. Three of the workers jumped the large gap, and two managed to survive. The ones holding onto each other were crushed by the roof and the floorboards breaking away underneath them. They all plummeted into the darkness below.
“I never got your name. But you got mine!” Felix screamed.
“Fabia… m-my name is Fabia. I’m from the descended hills. Below your homeland!” She screamed.
Kuno made a final attempt to stay King of the land, even though the land had pretty much been buried by a creature of darkness. He put all of his strength, straining his muscles in order to lift himself up. As he freaked out, panicked – his arms desperately trying to reach for something to hold onto. Something more stable, something to support his weight. His sword snapped in half, with half of his body weight being pulled down by gravity. His final grip, it was enough to hold him for a few more minutes. Sadly for him… he had no chance of surviving…
Felix used Kuno’s arm as a platform and managed to reach the woman’s platform. Kuno screamed in agony, the pressure of Felix’s weight on his arm… yeah, you can only imagine the pain that he’d felt. Felix grabbed Fabio and pushed her down the hill with himself sure to follow. The creature devoured the structures, all the hard work down the drain. Felix and Fabio stumbled down the hill, sliding down near the river below. Passing Fabio’s homeland on the way down…
- Chapter 2 Coming Soon! –
- Please Comment Below On What You Thought Of The First Chapter… -
- Written By: Luke J.R -