• Fred

TUOA - Chapter I: He Died With A Smile


As the man lay dying on the cold stone floor of the dungeon, the only thing he could possibly see was the ceiling 30 feet up. To him however, what he saw was infinitely more beautiful and satisfying. As his vision began to fade and his eyes close for the last time, he saw the stars shining in the sky far above. This was the way he had always wanted to die. When he took his last breath, his comrades did not notice that their friend had passed on, for they could not believe such a thing were possible. The first to realise the tragedy was the Quickling trying desperately to drag him away from the battle taking place mere feet away. As it dawned on the creature that his closest friend was gone, tears streamed down his face and onto the dying mans cheek, as his lips bent slightly into a peaceful smile that was to be his last.

2 WEEKS EARLIER

It was a bitterly cold morning in Rivendale, a small and remote village on the continent of Zelalith, one of the many lands of Aquanalia. In the village tavern, an imposing figure sat at the bar with a tankard of apple juice, his beverage of choice. As he enjoyed his drink, the door swung open and in walked an Elf, a Halfling and a Centaur. The strange appearance of the three intrigued the man, who walked over to the three and introduced himself.

"Greetings fellow warriors, I am Worf, son of Korf. You look like you could use an extra hand in your adventures."

The three looked at each other confusedly, then looked back at Worf.

"Are you some kind of lunatic?" said the Elf with a genuinely concerned expression on his face. It was clear that for some reason, the three adventurers did not feel as if they required the help of a man drinking apple juice in a tavern alone at ten in the morning. This understandably didn't go down too well with him, as he threw his tankard across the room in a fit of unbridled rage.

"YOU'LL DIE WITHOUT ME YOU FOOLS!" said the now-rather irritated brute to the three people whose only crime was stepping foot into the tavern, only to be harassed by a very hairy, very angry man-child. After making a hasty exit, they found that much to their annoyance, Worf was following them, seemingly convinced that it was his destiny to travel with the three.

Giving up on getting rid of him for the time being, they decided to introduce themselves.

The Elf was a cleric by the name of Ara Xilosient who ditched the simple farm life for one of religious devotion and righteous, albeit subtle, snobbery. As well as the golden cross he wore around his next, he was armed with a musket, firearms being something of a rare sight in Aquanalia, especially in the hands of clerics such as Ara.

The Halfling, Nygel Nigelson, was the bastard child of a pimp, who was raised by prostitutes and grew up surrounded by vice and decadence, which led him to become one the finest bards in the all the land. On his person, all he carried was his trusty giant spoon, which served him well in battle, and his saxophone, from which he produced sounds that could charm the socks off of even the highest class of wench.

Finally there was the Centaur, who went by the name Cloudbirth and was arguably the strong, silent type, a description justified by his profound physical strength and powerful crossbow that he carried with him at all times. To his great frustration however, Cloudbirth often had difficulty in getting through spaces otherwise easily accessible to his companions, leading many to believe that he was spatially challenged, or in other words simply a little too fat.

The only thing that could be said for sure was that the four travelers would soon begin an adventure that would see them face some of the worst evils that Aquanalia had to offer, the kind that would overwhelm even the best of men with the bravest of hearts.

Our heroes cannot be described as such, but perhaps that is how they shall prevail.

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