Legacy

Jave's life was normal, well, somewhat normal, being a thief in the common slums of the city. He was satisfied with his life as a thief, as there was plenty of loot to gather, and the authorities didn't give a rat's arse about thievery in the slums. But one day, as he is standing at death's door, Jave gets thrown into unwilling heroism, as he is placed with an epic destiny in his arms.

This is the first part of a three-part story, called "The Khronum Legacy" following the descendants of a blessed bloodline. The next two parts are named "Heritage" and "Destiny".

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7. Chapter 7: Ancestral Prowess

As he stepped onto the tongue, and held the torch forward, the light illuminated a damp, dark hallway. The smell of rot tingled in his nostrils, and made him feel rather nauseous. He shook his head, and walked down a staircase, further down into the crypt. He unsheathed Purniik, and to Jave’s relief, the sword was calm, not shining any warning light. He held the torch, and sword forward, listened closely. The eerie silence was only broken by Jave’s feet, which splashed in puddles of water. The walls were mossy and cold, filled with holes for coffins, and corpses. As he ventured deeper into the depths, he noticed that signs and symbols were written almost on every inch of the walls. It was in his native language, but he was unfortunately not keen enough, to read it. The signs curled and bent in their characteristic way, looking like magical runes and symbols. He let a hand run over them, feeling how they were carved into the wall, feeling them, as if he made them himself. It was a strange feeling, as if a lot of memories surged through his head. Everything seemed lighter for a second, as if he flashed back in time, to the time of the creation of this crypt. Jave could’ve sworn he had seen some figures walking around, for a short time there, as if seeing the people working on this crypt. Must’ve been the influence of his ancestors tickling his mind. Or something else. Yes, something else completely. Suddenly, a slow moan and staggering footsteps were heard, splashing through the puddles of water. Jave’s eyes widened, and his heart thumped, like a hammer against an anvil.

“Oh shit! Seem like ‘em dead ones ain’t as dead as I had hoped…” Jave said, apparently to himself. Purniik suddenly flashed, the bright, pale light revealing a figure nearby. His mind collapsed for a moment, before he instinctively ran downwards, deeper into the crypt. The footsteps of the undead seemed to hasten; it had clearly heard Jave running away, and was now pursuing him. Jave’s mind was in chaos, but to his relief, he saw an opportunity to make a quick strike against the undead. He had entered a small room, where there were vertical holes in the walls, which the corpses stood upright inside. They were wrapped in cloth, and only their heads were exposed. Jave heard the approaching steps of the undead, and looked at the standing corpse “Sorry ol’ lad, but I need yer spot.” He said, and pushed the corpse aside, letting it dump down onto the ground. Jave tossed the torch down the hallway, hoping to confuse the approaching undead. But he had forgotten that the torch was not the only thing which was giving out light. As the steps of the undead came closer, Purniik lit up like a beacon and the undead quickly revealed itself and glared at Jave with its dead, rotten eyes. Its skin was wrinkled and dead, and little flesh was left on its body. It had a small sword in one hand, and let out a snarl, as it saw Jave. Jave squirmed, but chopped out after it, in pure reflex. As the shining blade struck its shoulder, a strange pale color spread all over its body, starting from where the blade struck. The undead began shaking, and as the white color reached its head, it combusted in a radiant show of pale, white fire. It collapsed onto the ground, its dead eyes gone, and its body inert, a pile of skin and bones. Jave seemed rather surprised with his accomplishments, and looked at the corpse of the undead. He let out a small chuckle, and kicked teasingly at it. “Not so tough now, eh?” He grinned, with a hint of mockery in his eyes. He looked around, saw that his torch was still alight, and walked over to pick it up. What he hadn’t noticed was that he was suddenly lost. He had run away in fear, and lost his way. He frowned, and looked around. He was at a cross-ways. One of them was the one he came from. He pulled out a coin, and flipped it, while whistling a tune to himself. It landed in his palm, he pointed towards one of the ways, and began trotting down it. It seemed to lead further down, and into another dark hallway.

“Another dark, dangerous hallway? I ain’t gonna be cheated this time.” Jave said, and sheathed Purniik. He extended a hand, and breathed in deeply. As his lips formed around the word “Ziir” his breath roared out like a beast, and fire erupted out from his hand, and shot down the hallway. The fire illuminated everything before him, and to his relief, it seemed safe. Also, Purniik wasn’t shining, so he could be quite calm. For now. As he held up his torch, and walked down the hallway, he noticed a few things, which seemed to stand out. There were holes in the walls; each one with a peculiar handle inside, and at the end of the hallway, there was a door, which seemed to be made of granite. The holes were big; they could easily hold one or two full-grown men. As he approached the door, he noticed that one of the holes was blocked by a huge boulder. He raised an eyebrow, and looked around. He noticed some small tubes on the other side of the hallway. He put a hand to his chin, and let out a little smirk. He had seen these before. Obviously, they were designed to shoot something out of, or let something sharp fly out from, to pierce the unfortunate fool, that pulled the wrong handle. Jave had to test this, bent down on his knees, and pulled one of the handles. A sound of turning mechanism was heard, and a spear flew out from one of the holes, a few inches over Jave’s head. It seemed to turn once or twice, before going back into the hole. “Pfft, not even my ancestors were smart enough to trick me. Good luck killing me, old folks.” Jave said, with a smirk on his face. He stood up, and walked over to the door once more. Examining it, he found there to be written something on it, in his native language, strangely enough.

You, who dare enter here, and this message will read Be aware, that only those who are blessed, are allowed to proceed. Those who possess the power to remove any obstacle, only using their voice May enter our sacred room, provided they make the correct choice.

Jave pondered, and thought over the current situation. He was placed, with a door, some treacherous handles… And a boulder. Jave smirked, and let out a chuckle. “Oh c’mon old folks, this was easy… You may just as well have given me the answer straight away.” As he said this, he turned to the boulder, and breathed in deeply. He held out his free hand, and said, with an echoing voice, “Hraan”. The boulder gained a blue outline, and it began rumbling, as Jave forcefully moved it away. He stepped back a few steps, and moved the boulder away, towards the entrance of the hallway. With a loud slam, the boulder dropped down onto the ground, and Jave breathed heavily. He turned to where the boulder had been, and noticed another handle. Jave chuckled, and quickly pulled the handle. More mechanical sounds were heard, and Jave was afraid he had made a mistake, and would get pierced in the back by a spear. Fortunately, the granite door opened, with a loud rumble. As it opened, and Jave entered, he found himself in a huge hall, reaching far to the ceiling. There were coffins everywhere, and there were huge pillars, supporting the ceiling. In the middle of the huge hall lay another coffin. It was placed on a raised platform, with light shining down upon it from a hole in the ceiling. The light illuminated the entire room, and Jave saw no use for his torch any more, so he carelessly tossed it away, down into a puddle of water. He looked around warily, and drew Purniik. The blade was calm, and did not light up, much to Jave’s relief. He approached the coffin, and put a hand to his chin, and examined his surroundings. This coffin was not placed by coincidence near the hole in the ceiling. There must be something special about this coffin. Jave nodded to himself, and spread out his arms, and took in a deep breath. His hands began glowing, as he spoke once more “Hraan!” and the lid of the coffin began to slide off. It fell with a loud crash, cauing a crack in the platform. Jave made a quick apology, as he peered down into the coffin. Another corpse, just as rotten and skinny as the one he had been attacked by, was holding tightly to a small book. The book seemed strangely enough in perfect shape, and Jave let out a whistle, before reaching down to grab after it. As he grabbed ahold of it, and felt its rough edges, a strange voice spoke in his head.

“So you’ve come... Good… Let me test your worth, young one”, it spoke, the voice echoing in his head. Jave twitched, and took the book out of the corpse’s hands, surprised and caught off-guard. Suddenly, the corpse let out a strange hacking noise, something between a cough and a choking sound. Jave figured it was laughter, but he did not care much, as a new threat showed its nasty face, and he had other things on his mind. The corpse’s eyes flared up, a strange blue energy emitting from it, and it gripped the edges of the coffin, and forced itself onto its feet. Jave backed away, and drew and held Purniik out in front of him. Purniik was shining brightly, the pale light illuminating the rotten face of the walking corpse. “Thryn hujor liku narr!” The undead screamed out, and Jave raised an eyebrow. “So you speak th’ old language, eh? Hmm, you must be one of my old folks. Pleased to m-“ Jave was interrupted, as the undead drew an old, rusty sword, and charged towards him. Jave backed away, and stuffed the small book into his chest-pocket. “So you’re up for a scratch? Bring it on, lad!” Jave shouted, and readied himself in fighting position, Purniik held out in front of him. As the undead charged towards him, it let out a shambling scream, and its body seemed to glow with a grey light. “Prinn!” It screamed, and with a radiant flash, it was merely a few inches from Jave. Jave was caught off-guard, and completely shocked, and before he could even act, the undead placed a thunderous kick in his chest. Jave was flung back, and tumbled a few times, and landed on his stomach. He grunted in pain, and staggered to his feet, and looked at the undead. It bent over backwards, and let out a horrifying laughter, and screamed out with a hazy voice “You are pathetic, young one! Face me in proper battle, and I will pass judgment on you!” “Keep your judgment for yourself; I’m just here for the book!” Jave answered, whilst collecting his thoughts. “And you will have the book, if you can defeat me! Now, fight or die!” The undead screamed, and charged towards Jave once again. “Arh, sod it!” Jave exclaimed, and pulled up his flintlock, and pointed it towards the undead. He breathed in deeply, and as his target was approaching, his lips shaped around the word “Vuun!”, and he pulled the trigger. As the flintlock fired, the bullet twirled through the air, with a strip of blue force trailing along it. As it struck the undead in the chest, it ripped its entire ribcage off, and sent it flying behind the unfortunate undead. Its limbs lay scattered, and the head rolled around on the ground where it formerly stood. Jave blew the smoke away from the barrel of his flintlock, spun it around a few times in his hand, and sheathed it once again. He walked over to the head, and smirked. “Sorry ol’ chap, but you need to go back to rest.” Jave said and lifted Purniik. The head began chuckling, and made a strange, delighted smile at Jave. He raised an eyebrow, but let Purniik descend down into the head, cracking its skull. The blue light emitting from its eyes turned white, and increased significantly. It burst into radiant white flames, as Purniik’s light scorched the inside of the head. The head let out a scream, and suddenly exploded in a brilliant show of pale light. Some old, rotten blood spattered up on Jave’s face. He twitched slightly, before sheathing Purniik, with a satisfied smile. “That’s one less to worry ‘bout.” Jave said to himself, and wiped the blood off with his sleeve. Now to perform his exit. Just as Jave strolled towards the exit, a powerful gust of wind swept from what seemed like the walls themselves. The sound of hundreds of thundering voices filled Jave’s mind, and he held his hands over his ears, trying to block out the screaming. “You are ready, young one! Go now, fulfill your destiny… Make us proud.” The voices echoed inside his head, as if hundreds of booming voices spoke simultaneously. The ruins behind him shuddered at these voices, and the pillars began shaking. Dust fell from the walls, and the pillars began crumbling. “But you won’t get anywhere… If you do not get out alive. Run! Now!” The voices spoke once more, and Jave shook his head, and gathered his thoughts. He did not have time to get his torch, and the darkness before him was thick, and concealing. He held out a clenched fist, and closes his eyes briefly, before opening them, and shouting “Zirr!”. His fist burst into flames, and served as a light-source, for the time being. He dashed forward, as the pillars behind him toppled over, and the ceiling crashed down upon the halls. Lighting his way forward, his hand held out in front of him, he darted through the ruins. He even stumbled across a few undead, that snarled at him, only to get crushed underneath a falling wall. As he neared the exit, he noticed that the upper jaw of the granite dragonhead was collapsing before he could get out. As he did not need a light-source any more, he let his hand open, and the flames seemed to disappear into his palm. He slung out his other hand, spoke with an echoing voice “Hraan”, and the upper jaw suddenly halted in its collapse. Blue flames emitted from his hands, and the jaw lit up with a blue outline. Jave dashed through the exit, jumped out onto the grass, and clenched his hands, extinguishing the blue flames. The upper jaw of the dragon crashed down, and shattered into dozens of bits and pieces. Jave panted heavily, and fell flat on his stomach, with sweat tingling from his forehead. He rolled over onto his back, and felt around his chest pocket, checking that the book was still in it. He let out a pleased chuckle, and said “Mr. Skarss… Here I come, ye old geezer.”

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