King of Swords [Training]
|Posted on March 30th 2016 03:10 AM|
Castus sat cross-legged on the stone floor. His weapon, Dragnipur was laid out in front of him. The inky black blade seemed to absorb the light around it rather than reflecting it, despite the room being fully lit. Running his hand over the metal, Castus shivered. Not just a sword. It seemed to teem with energy, as if the blade had a life of its own but there was also something off-putting about it. Something that made him equal parts curious and cautious. After all, he'd spend long enough searching for it. Dragnipur, he mouthed the name silently. If nothing else, it was a beautiful name; something that spoke to him.
The weapon was almost two metres long from pommel to point; a massive sword by any standards and impossible to wield but with two hands. And even then, it was still heavy, almost to the point of being unwieldy. It clearly wasn't made for a mundane human being nor was it made with duelling in mind. If anything, it was made to cut through any armour or shield through sheer force of weight and kill in a single, fell blow.
Castus picked up the weapon in both hands as he rose to his feet, holding the grip loosely, resting the flat of the blade against his shoulder. He raised it in a high guard and then made a single mock blow, restraining the weapon before it actually came down on the bed in the room he was renting. Holding the sword in mid-swing for a moment, he dismissed it, the weight almost directly disappearing as the sword faded instantly.
Picking up a few essentials, he left his room and headed out for a more spacious, quiet place to practice with this latest acquisition. The fields just beyond the town's edge seemed like a good idea. He wouldn't be disturbed and he'd have plenty of room to wield this massive weapon. He'd miss the dummies from a real practice field but it would do.
It took Castus about fifteen to get beyond the northern edge of town. He'd made his through the market square and across many of the bridge that cut through Magnolia. It was surprisingly warm for that time of year but it made the short walk all the more enjoyable. He'd found a suitable place that was open and away from the roads.
He stepped out into the field and summoned the weapon. He felt a brief surge of energy as he clasped his hands around the grip of the weapon that had appeared in that instance. It was a strange sensation: one moment his hands were empty, the next, he was holding a massive sword. He adjusted his grip to compensate for the weight before lowering it to the ground.
The ink black tip touched the earth as Castus assumed an open guard, the blade before him much in a traditional ‘plough stance’. He attacked, flicking the sword upwards in a surprisingly swift motion as he lunged forwards. Following, he brought the blade up, readying it for another, downward and horizontal strike Dragnipur seemed to cleave through the air with surprising ease and the lack of strain on Castus’ arms was surprising. The weapon almost seemed to wield itself.
He felt it again, a shiver, a cold sensation running down his spine. Although he was reluctant to call the blade evil, such a word seemed meaningless when discussing an inanimate object, he could not help but describe it as malicious, like it was searching, hungering for blood, a kill. It wouldn’t surprise him. The stories might have been vague but they all agreed on that.
Dragnipur or Dragnipurake, in some texts. It was a strange name but perhaps it was fitting for a legendary weapon to have one. He’d first encountered it one of the many dusty old tomes he’d carry around with him as he was always searching for new legends and undiscovered treasures. By now, he’d acquired quite the collection and he wasn’t about to stop. Dragnipur was to be a worthy addition. According to the stories he’d found, the weapon had originally been wielded by an ancient warlord; a man of unimaginable strength and cunning. He hadn’t been human, not as per the normal definition, but something more. He’d been something far greater, better. And so his weapon reflected that. Eventually, as with all things, the warlord had died after years, possibly centuries of conquest .
During that time, Dragnipur had turned the tide of battle on more than one occasion and somewhere along the line, a legend had started. Whilst the weapon –and its wielder—were surely extremely deadly, the real danger was in the dark and horrible curse that had been placed upon the blade. It was said that every living being felled by the sword would have its soul trapped in an eternal prison where they were forced to labour endlessly for as long as the weapon lasted. Although it seemed like a story made up to strike fear into any opponent, when he had finally discovered Dragnipur, locked far away and protected by numerous magical seals, Castus wasn’t so sure of that any more. And when he’d picked up the weapon, feel its ancient strength, he’d known the stories were real.
Even now, he’d sometimes touch the hilt and have a sudden, brief sensation where he could almost hear the cries of those souls captured. Their chorus was a cacophony of voices and it made his stomach turn every time. Although as of late, he’d been getting used to it. The voices didn’t seem as loud anymore and whilst he’d still get a general sense of unease, he was no confident he could use Dragnipur without being hampered by it. It might even be good to blood this ancient blade. He was sure now that the sword was thirsty. There’d be plenty of time to sate it.
With shudder, Castus shook off his reveries, returning his mind to the present. He’d been so deeply lost in thought he’d hardly noticed the sudden change of weather. Dark clouds were now gathering overhead quickly and he could already feel the first drops of rain on his face. With a sigh, he released the weapon and dismissed it. He shuddered again despite not being cold. He balled and relaxed his fists several times as he whispered a brief mantra to himself to focus and regain his senses.
The rain was picking up. He’d be soaked before making it to the inn at this point so he immediately gave up on hurrying back. There was nothing to but enjoy the walk back now. There were worse things after all than spending an afternoon honing both the body and mind. He’d practice more. He’d find a way to wield Dragnipur successfully. He’d live up its shining legacy. Although Castus wasn’t quite sure where this confidence came from, he simply knew. There had been a reason why he’d come across its name in the first place, let alone discover its location. He couldn’t help but notice the hand of destiny in that. It was good to know the fates had at least something for him in store, be they good or bad. He’d have the tool to deal with it.
How did the saying go again? A hero desires a sword, and a sword desires truth. Whilst he wasn’t too sure about him being a hero, Castus was convinced that his purpose and intentions were true, if not just.
|Posted on April 3rd 2016 04:30 AM|
Just like almost every great ruler has many legends surrounding him, they usually also posses a weapon, a mythical sword or bow that grants them strength, magical powers or even things such as immortality. Over time, such stories and legends and irrevocably intertwined with the truth. However, occasionally, these tales might prove to be less fictitious than one would assume. And sometimes, these magical weapons might even be rediscovered.
Castus knew what he was looking for. Something with a name like Caliburn wasn't something easily overlooked. Although the names of its owners had become vague and at best doubtful, the sword's had remained unchanged. This was good, Castus thought, as he poured over yet another battered, leather-bound tome. The wax of the candles had burned down too short stumps and it was getting terribly late, or incredibly early, depending on your sense of time. He turned the page, careful not to damage it any further than it already had been.
The book in front of him was at least a good five hundred years old. Well-preserved on a shelve in the back of some library that through sheer chance hadn't burned down like so many did. Five hundred years was a long time for any book to go without rotting or burning. It was worn but still mostly legible. It told the story of an ancient king, who against all odds, sought to unify and protect his people against threads from the sea and within. Although he was later slain by a treacherous relative, his deeds of heroism and selflessness had been preserved and as far as Castus could tell, the man might have actually been real. Although he wasn't so sure about the man recovering from mortal wounds in an instant, the general idea of the story did seem to match the ancient history of the area. Ask anyone for the blade Caliburn and they'd all point you towards a large lake with a tiny island in the middle upon which stood an old, square tower. Why? Nobody knew. But they'd all tell you the sword was in there. Either in the lake, or somewhere inside that tower.
Why none had ever bothered to actually look for it was beyond Castus. At this point he doubted they hadn't tried. Most likely, many people had attempted to uncover the ancient treasure but if it was truly such a mythic sword, it would probably be well-hidden. That was however where Castus' particular skills as a treasure hunter came into play. He'd solved more than one mystery in his lifetime and he was sure this wasn't going to be the last. That is, if this rumoured weapon was actually real.
The tower was his best bet, he decided, peering out the window. Although he could see nothing but darkness, he knew he was staring directly at it. He'd asked for this room specifically because of its view. The tower would be the key, but how? The strange thing was that nothing had been written about it, despite its apparent age. Something there didn't make sense. Judging from the cut of the stone and the general architecture, it dated back to the same age as the stories of this legendary king. And surely, such an imposing landmark wouldn't be left out. Quite the opposite in fact. So, where did it come from? Who built it? And why? Those were questions no one had been able to answer and neither did they seem to care much about it. The tower had always been there. Why question it?