Vesemir frowned, the chest was little more than another decoy set to disrupt his plans. He rose to his feet, suppressing the urge to burn every inch of the room he stood in. He thought this time would be different, he thought this time he would recover something worthwhile – something he could use to show he wasn’t the half-witted imbecile the rest of the wizarding community saw him as.
His eyes scanned the dimly lit room, he knew he was treading on dangerous ground following this myth. What was he thinking, he had learnt of this ancient artifact from a tattered note he found lying in a nook of a great oak and look where it had led him; the cellar of an abandoned house in the realms of Thyria. He thought about giving up and returning to the human kingdom and just admit defeat, his brethren would laugh it up for a few days but a price worth paying.
He turned around, casting a portal spell as he did when suddenly, a glimmer caught his eye. He stopped, and eagerly strode towards the glimmer; his heart raced, could this be the artifact he had been looking for? Could he be the first being let alone human to discover Al’Araths lost possession? Could he succeed where Dwarves, Elves, Humans and others alike had failed? He felt numb, his hands guided themselves, the attraction was like a magic he had never felt before. He was within centimetres of the most powerful artifact known to all of Myrdoth.
He froze, pushed with all his might, just as the supernatural power had pulled him towards the artifact, it now stopped him in his tracks. Cold sweat started to break out on the back of his neck, soaking his silken red robes. He heard a feint wind edging ever so closer to him and an icy cold breath creeping up his spine. He gasped, yet no sound came from his mouth; he felt a sharp stinging in his lower left shoulder then felt no more.
The cold embrace of death welcomed him as he fell to the floor.
Xenor opened his eyes slowly, the piercing bright light of Myrdoth’s morning sun flooding his eyes was a painful feeling. He had long grown accustomed to it though; since his father had gone travelling without him he had settled down in a town called Andrake on the border of Synthia, the very outskirts of the human kingdom. He enjoyed it here, it was quiet; the upper class humans would not venture near the borders in fear of coming into contact with a non-human, but Xenor didn’t mind them. He had himself, crossed paths with Elves and Dwarves and once or twice a Dryad. In certain ways he enjoyed being away from the humans, he was half Elven himself and was sorely rejected by most of his wizarding community. But he was accepted in places, due to high natural ability to command all types of magic; this was possibly due to his Elven blood. It was a well known fact that the Elves wielded magical powers that humans could not even possibly imagine.
He sat up on his bed, his 6 foot frame crowding his small cottage bedroom. He waved his hand and the candles lighting the hallway flickered into life; he specialised in pyromancy and was adept in the ways of the flame. He threw on his aqua silk robe and descended into his kitchen, using a animating spell he brought his hand made butler to life. His butler was a broom attached to two chair legs by some awkwardly placed nails, the butlers arms consisted of two elongated spatulas connected by spider resin. DIY was never Xenor’s strong point. The butler sprang into action and within a matter of minutes Xenor was at his dining table with fried bread, scrambled screechers eggs and some burnt rashers of bacon.
‘Still a few tweaks to fix with the butler’, he thought to himself.
He finished quickly, today he had to deal with some Jenate outlaws. Jenate was the word used to describe the lizard humanoid creatures that bore residence in the swamp outside of Andrake’s walls. Recently two had been terrorizing locals, often leaving with half the valuable items in their houses. Xenor had become somewhat of a guardsman in Andrake, he was the only being capable of producing some kind of offensive force and therefore the only one that could enforce justice in the town. Even though Andrake was inhibited with half-breeds like himself, united as an outcast society, they still found ways to terrorize each other. Though he could understand it, half-breeds lived in a hierarchical system; Elf-human breeds like himself were at the top, being somewhat accepted in some of the pure human communities whereas the more deformed half-breeds such as the Dryads and Jenate crosses were at the bottom, being completely outcast by the human race. So he understood why half of the Andrake community thought of him as a traitor or were jealous of him.
He stepped out of his small cottage into the sunlight, his golden hair swung as he walked towards the entrance to the swamp. As he crossed the border of the town into the swamp all sunlight was drained from the surroundings by the thick canopy overhead, the pungent smell was more than enough to knock a man unconscious. He cast a repellent spell on himself, keeping small insects and the smell away from him, he could ill afford distractions like these; especially when tracking Jenate thieves. He ploughed deeper into the forest, the mud becoming so thick he had to levitate across it, he was nearing the edge of the inner swamp when something caught his eye; a small note caught on a branch of one the trees. He crossed over to it; it was tattered and slightly blood stained but still legible:
“Accounts of the Great War:
Al’Arath once possessed a mighty scepter, a scepter with which he released unspeakable chaos upon the world of Myrdoth. Though the scepter, forged for Al’Arath, had a weakness. When wielded by someone pure of heart and soul; it would bring everlasting peace between races. When the great war was over, Al’Arath died and buried his scepter somewhere in Myrdoth. His secret was only revealed to a single pure human blood line, though it is thought that blood line died out due to torture from inquiring adventurers.”
The note stopped there. ‘Strange’, thought Xenor, but nonetheless he carried on, but not before pocketing the strange note. He stopped at the edge of the inner swamp and turned around, Jenate may be swamp creatures but would never venture into the mists of the inner swamp. He started back towards Andrake, hoping to catch the thieves on his was back. Just as soon as he had started back the body of a Jenate dressed in black caught his eye; it was lying face down behind the tree where he had found the note. He moved over to it; it was dead. He checked the body for wounds but none were present, the Jenate wore ragged clothes and was undoubtedly one of the thieves terrorising Andrake. Yet it was strange how a young Jenate, immune to all disease and poison suddenly died with no signs of stabbing wounds or bite marks. He would investigate this later, he had been out almost 8 hours and the swamp was dangerous at night. He cast a portal back to Andrake and stepped through.
It was dark in Andrake, it must have gone 6, yet something was different. The streets were dark and quiet, not a single being was present outside, he hurried towards his home. He was nearing the door, the end of a another hard day; when suddenly he froze. A power far greater than his own had him held in place, staring blankly at his old mottled door. A light wind crept past him, which again was unusual as wind was only ever found in the Dwarven highlands. A cold feeling started to creep up his spine, Xenor began to panic; he tried to cry out but he could not produce a sound. He felt an icy tip of a blade press into his lower left shoulder and no more. Just as he himself became stuck so had the mysterious assassin, the icy blade did not plunge deeper into his body instead it was left struggling to penetrate his skin. He felt the pressure mounting upon the blade tip, the pain searing into his neck, surely the assasin must have embedded the blade in his back yet he still felt the stabbing pain on his shoulder. The pressure began to subside and the blade drawn away, the chill and wind dissapeared and Xenor was released from the icy grasp that left him frozen. Just as the strange ordeal had come, it left without a trace. Xenor wanted to provide a rational explanation as to what had just happened, yet he couldn’t. Ideas and thoughts raced through his head yet he was unable to find one that was logical. It couldn’t have been a hallucination, the pain and chills he felt were very real; yet as he looked around, the town was undisturbed, just as it had been before. He raced inside and locked the door, started a fire and proceeded to examine the spot where the blade had been pressed; surely the assasin would have at least drawn blood yet Xenor found himself looking at an unscathed shoulder, no signs of anyone, or anything having attacked him.
“Must be the bog fumes”, he muttered to himself.
Fumes in the swamp were notorious for causing visions and hallucinations among those unable to process the gases. Yet despite this, Xenor found it hard to believe himself, he had been in the swamp countless times and nothing like this had happened before. Could this strange assasin be the cauth of death of the young Jenate thief in the swamp? He wondered what was connecting the two of them, as he did so his hand was drawn towards the pocket of his aqua robe. The pocket that contained the tattered note.
When Xenor discovers a strange note in the swamp he decided to pocket it and follow it up, little did he know the supernatural power guarding the secret it held yet Xenor had secrets himself….