Thursday, November 24, 2011

Here's an Excerpt From Bastion - Prequel to War

So Rigil gently opened his locker and looked inside. He grinned to himself warmly as he pulled out a shined metal blade. It was a gorgeous make, handcrafted in an era that he knew was far beyond his time. The hilt was jet black and smooth, crafted from a special metal called reave that harnessed mannah freely in battle. Carved with special insignias he didn’t recognize, it was also wrapped in a sturdy gray cloth that kept the weapon from flying out of your hand in the midst of a fight. The blade itself however was more unique with a slight green hue in the coloration. Rigil decided it must have been made from a different metal alloy not found in today’s times, so he guessed it was quite valuable. Despite being a strange looking sword, it never failed him in his training or in any of his duels so far and it was definitely the subject of envy from the other students in his squadron. More than that though, it felt like home. Whenever he had a particularly bad night, he always took his sword out and polished it or something. Made him relax and took the stress away.
“Aye, are you still eye-groping that thing every morning?” Tavis said, trying to be funny in an attempt to lighten the mood.
Rigil smiled a little, “It’s strange. Every time I see this sword I grin. Kind of feels like the rush you get when you come home after a long journey.”
Tavin looked over at him, face dripping with water. “I swear, not all’s right in the head with you.”
“Can’t you take me seriously just once in your life, Tavis?” Rigil sighed, “You’re never serious. Ever.”
“I can be serious when the situation calls for it.” He wiped his face off with an old rag next to the sink. “Like these nightmares you’ve been having. Bad dreams are often-“
Rigil turned around and pointed at Tavis, “No, don’t say it.”
“I’m just saying-“
“Tavis!” Rigil yelled.
“Bad dreams are often the symptom of having succumbed to a curse or hex.” Tavis raised his hands defensively, “That’s all I’m saying.”
“For the love of Skiesfeld I’m not under a curse!” he stood up and grabbed his blade by its hilt, “You ace one Hexial Remedy class and you think you know black magic like the back of your hand.”
Tavis’ face suddenly became quite nervous, “Rigil we’re not even supposed to talk about that…”
“Why not?” Rigil questioned, “We learned enough about it in Diverse Magic sessions.”
“Only enough to know that it should be feared.” Tavis replied.
“That is nowhere near enough information to begin with in my opinion.” Rigil reached down for his under-armor cloth shirt and sat his blade on his bed. “I will not fear something I know so little about. Besides it’s a dead practice. No one has been able to use black magic for hundreds of years.”
Tavis’ head cocked back a little, “That’s plenty fine with me.” He scoffed to himself, “You sound like you’re curious about it.”
“I am curious about it.” Rigil put on his shirt and smoothened out the folds in it. “Not curious on how to use it. Just curious on what it does.” He picked up his blade. Suddenly he whipped it around in his right hand. He brought it around to his left and as his hands passed he grabbed the sword into his left and he arced it in front of him impressively, striking a menacing pose after his swing.
“And how to fight it.” He smiled.
Tavis grinned, “Impressive, I’ll give you that much. But hopefully we will never see black magic used by anyone.” He shrugged, “It can stay dead for all I care.”
And then there was a loud thump. The left half of the wooden bar that suspended his cloth curtains fell to the bed with a muffled noise and broke apart into several pieces. Rigil looked behind himself with an embarrassed shrug.
“My fault…” he admitted.
Tavis laughed, “Well if the source of all dark magic is a curtain rod, then we all have nothing to worry about for Rigil the conqueror is here!”
Rigil leaned against his blade, “You think so?”
The adjacent portion of the curtain rod fell to the ground, also breaking into pieces. The young man grimaced at the less than pleasant sound.
Tavis nodded, “Positive. Now let’s get dressed already.”
Rigil nodded. He knew that today was no ordinary day at the guard’s barracks. Today was the day that he and Tavis found out if they had enough skill, courage and luck to become members of the Endican city guard force, a dream that had fueled Rigil’s passion for quite a long time. All he had to do was pass this final test and then years of training would finally be put to good use. He’d be defending the people of his beloved town and city like he was supposed to. This was, after all, his destiny.

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