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Helcon overheard his queen's plight. She's constantly harrased by courtiers. He sets out to find a sage for they always have a solution. The solution is a sword. The greatest in the world. And the quest becomes clear. He will commision this sword!
Sir Helcon was a court mage in the service of Queen Mirialla of Murmur. He fell in love with her and prayed that one day she would notice him. One day he heard her despair of ever finding peace. “If only I weren"t surrounded by sycophants and courtiers constantly bothering me! Will no one free me from this burden!”
“Ah-ha!” he cried. “At last I"ve found my quest! I will free my queen of this burden no matter the cost!” So Helcon, set out on his quest. “Now if only I knew what to do!” he cried in anguish in front of a vender"s stall that fateful day. “You want answers? Ask a sage! Now get away from my shop, you nut!” the vendor shouted.
Helcon cried out with joy as the answer came to him, “A sage! Of course! They know all the answers!” He slumped dejectedly, “But I don"t know of any sages! I have failed already!” He sobbed with despair.
“God damn it! Leave already! You want a sage?! FINE! There"s one way on the other side of the ocean!” the vendor shouted in disgust. “Now leave!”
“AT LAST! A COURSE! I MUST CROSS THE GREAT OCEAN!” he cried out.
“YES! GO FAR AWAY FROM HERE, YOU NUT JOB!” the vender shoved his back and his journey had begun.
With all haste, he set out and packed for his voyage across the Great Ocean. That night, he hired the first ship leaving and landed in the city of Free Port two days latter. In Free Port, he asked a dock worker were he might find a sage.
“Piss off, mate! I"m working here. Try asking at the bar down the road there. They"d love to tell you what to do. Ha! Ha!”
Helcon thanked the man and set out for the bar. He settled for an iron railing. “Was this it?” he wondered.
“And what might 'it' be you"re looking for?” a beggar asked him angrily. “This is my, territory!”
“Are you a sage?” Helcon asked hopefully.
The beggar grinned, “Oh, aye! I have all the answers! That's why I wear these rages!”
“Interesting. So it's a uniform?”
"Right! Right! A uniform!"
“Now why don"t you buy me a few beers and, I'll tell you what you want to hear.” He threw an arm around his shoulder and led him to the nearest bar.
After three beers and no answers, Helcon finally asked, “You mentioned you could give me answers.”
“Right! Answers! Sure! I have answers! How about another beer?”
Helcon grudgingly obliged, “Here's your beer. Now how can the queen rid herself of sycophants and courtiers? She tires of being surrounded by them.”
The beggar fell off his stool laughing, “HA! THAT"S SIMPLE! GIVE HER A SWORD! HA! HA! HA! ONE FIT FOR A QUEEN! HA! HA! THAT"LL FIX HER PROBLEM!”
“I"ll say,” the bar tender muttered. “Get this fool out of... HEY WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU"RE GOING?!” he yelled after Helcon.
“To find a sword worthy of my queen!”
“PAY FIRST!” he ordered and waved his bouncers over.
Helcon asked the beggar as the bouncers took his coin, “Where would I find a sword fit for a queen?”
“Ask a sword smith,” he waved him away.
Helcon searched throughout Free Port but couldn"t find a sword smith. Finally he asked a passing guard, “Where did you get your sword?”
The guard snorted, “From the armory in the capital, fool! Off with you!”
He set out the next day for the capital and ran into a merchant, “Which way to the capital? I"m looking for a sword smith.”
“Swords? Why I have the finest swords in all of the coast!”
“Are any fit for a queen?”
“Certainly! Why, my daughter owns a replica of my best sword!”
Helcon rode on. If a merchant"s daughter owns one, then they weren"t fit for the queen.
Once he arrived at the capital, he set out at once for the armory. A guard barred his way, “State your business at the royal armory, foreigner. Your kind doesn"t belong here.”
“I"m looking for a sword worthy of a queen.”
“Not here you"re not! This armory is for Delovian soldiers only. Now off with you!”
Helcon hung his head in defeat. Now he would never rid the queen of her burden.
“Hey! You! Outlander!” a boy shouted after him as he rode. He stopped for the boy without thinking. “I heard you're looking for a sword.”
“It has to be worth of my queen.”
“Well why don't you have one commissioned? I can do it.”
Helcon blinked, “You can make a sword?”
“Yep! Just graduated from my master's!” The boy was sixteen, thin as a post, and had uncallused fingers. He was clearly not a smith.
“Great!” Helcon beamed in delight.
“So you want a sword right?”
“Yeah. One fit for a queen!”
The boy gave him a dubious look and shrugged, “You dress however you like fella. The shop's this way.” Helcon rode after the boy until they arrived at a small wooden shack.
“I know it's not much to look at but, I just moved out and had to go somewhere. So what kind of sword did you have in mind?”
Helcon blinked, “You want me to choose?”
The boy raised an eyebrow, “Unless you know of anyone else who wants a sword.”
“Well I suppose she'd need to be able to hold it,” Helcon shrugged.
“Huh? Ah! You have a girl in mind! Trying to impress the ladies I see!” the boy winked at him. “So are you just handing it to her or giving it as a gift?”
“Gift?” Helcon couldn"t remember the sage telling him how the queen should use the sword.
“Okay. So it needs to be light weight. How tall is she?”
“It's for the grip. You want her to wield it comfortably right? The better the fit, the better she'll wield it.”
“That makes sense. Um... she was about up to... here.” He held his right hand a foot above his head.
“Ah! A tall one! So that"s what you like!”
Helcon grinned despite of himself. “It must be just right. Fit for a queen.”
“I remember. Now for the type. Nothing as heavy or cumbersome as a claymore or bastard sword. Hmm. Better take broad swords off the list, too. Rapier or saber I think.”
“Hmm... I think she would prefer the rapier.”
“Good choice! Now for the design. Silver and gold.” The boy"s eyes flashed with glee, “It sounds expensive already!”
Helcon gulped, “Expensive?”
The boy glared at him, “You did say it was to be fit for a queen. That costs. You DO have gold I hope?”
Helcon reached for his belt and sighed, “That is ALL I have.” He handed the boy an entire purse of gold.
“Excellent! Huh. Murmurian. Now that's rare! Ha! Ha! I should get twice the value for this! Okay, so you want a beautiful gold laced silver rapier for a six foot woman. Easy enough. Now what about enchantments?”
“Sure! What"s the point of a blade if it isn't useful? The enchantments make the sword. So what will it be? Fire? Ice? Maybe a blood drinker?”
“I want the best sword in the world. Nothing else will do for her!”
“MAN! YOU ARE IN LOVE! That"s a tall order.” He sighed, “Well I can do some of them. I'll need reagents and, you"ll still need to see professional enchanters afterward. I'll make you a list.”
Ten minutes later he finished writing, “There! If you procure even half that list, I can make you a very powerful sword.
Helcon spent the next ten years traveling the world looking for rare and powerful beasts. Most of the components were easily found at any apothecary shop.
Finally he returned to the spot the boy's shack had been. “His gone!” Helcon cried in anguish.
“Who were you looking for, mister?” an old man shouted down from a window across the street.
“There was a sword smith here, ten years ago!” he called back.
“Sword smith? Oh! The mage! Ha! Ha! So you're the fool who left him a bag of gold! He has his own tower now! See that hill just outside of town? That's his. Ha! Ha! Ha!”
Helcon raced frantically to the tower, “Have I been swindled?” He knocked on the front door of the tower.
A servant answered the door, “Yes?”
“I commissioned a sword ten years ago and...” The door slammed in his face. Helcon blasted the door off its hinges. “I was told he was the owner of this tower.”
“Murmurian!” The servant cried out in alarm.
Helcon repaired the door, “Please, take me to your master.” He smiled dangerously, “I did say please.”
“R-right this way, sir!” the man trembled. He led the Murmurian to the master.
“What is it, Thomas?”
“This man says he commissioned a sword?”
“What are you on about?” the mage said in disgust.
Helcon cleared his throat, eyes glowing.
The mage blinked when he saw him, “YOU!”
“Me,” he grimaced bitterly.
“I never thought I'd see you again!” the mage beamed in delight and shook his hand with both of his.
“I was turned back at the door.”
“THOMAS! THIS is the man who made me this fortune!”
Thomas cringed, “Sorry, Master. I did not know.”
“My sword?” Helcon pressed.
“Right! Now that's a tale! Ha! Ha! Follow me, please.” He waved Helcon to follow and talked as he walked, “I owe all this to you.” He waved around him. “When you left, I started looking for enchanters and ran into Fredrick the Fickle, the best, and worst, enchanter around. He's a bit unstable. I think he's a wild mage truthfully but, it does make for potent magic. Sometimes. Like I said, he's unstable.
“I'm getting to it. So I cashed in your Murmurian gold for three times its face value! Three times! Can you believe it?! I used some of it to pay Freddy for lessons, some more for material, and the rest went into this tower! I'm a high mage and, it's all thanks to you!”
“I know! It's amazing! The sword. Right! Um let"s see... So I made your molds and secured all of the metal and waited eagerly for your return. You were my first customer after all!”
“Well, I did just graduate from my master's tower that day.”
“Huh, I thought you were a sword smith.”
The mage stared at him a minute before speaking, “Do I look like a smith? Never mind. This way. So I had all the components to make a sword but no customer to tell me which enchantments to put on it. They take best during the forging you see.”
“Exactly! So I put the sword aside and started practicing with Freddy. Ten years later, he works for me and, I"m the best enchanter in the country!”
“So you never actual made it?”
“Oh, but I did! I've got a special room just for it! Ah! Here we are!” He bowed with a flourish and threw open the door.
“Lord Helcon, I present to you, ten years work.”
Helcon staggered enraptured into the room. His eyes were locked onto a gleaming silver rapier scribed with gold throughout the blade in astonishingly intricate details. The hand guard was gold with diamonds and rubies seamlessly woven into the metal. A faint glow radiated from the weapon.
“I'm glad you approve. It costs sixty-three times what you paid me.” Helcon paled and turned an anguished face to the mage. “NO! NO! It's quite alright! In fact, here is the money you paid me with interest! I owe you my life!”
“So it's enchanted?”
“Ah! Now that is the true beauty of this weapon! With you gone, I made this sword my pet project, giving it every enchantment I learned. Oh, don't get me wrong. I mastered each one before I dared touch this beauty with a single weave. She is the prefect weapon, both offensively and defensively!
“Boosters, shields, fire, you name it! It's even a blood drinker! One nick of your opponent and you heal!! It's great! Here! Try it out on this!” He summoned a cat. Helcon reverantly grasped the hilt and lifted it from it's wall brackets.
“It's so light!” He swung the blade in an arc. “It feels so natural!” He lightly glazed the cat by it's tail. A single drop of blood welled from the cut. “Nothing happened.”
“Wait a moment,” the enchanter smiled. The blade glowed a dark red, nearly black and pulsed. The cat howled in agony and disintegrated. The particles flew through the air and into the blade.
“W-what was that? I feel... better.”
“That, my friend, was my secret technique. I call it the soul drinker. A considerable improvement over the old blood drinker. And cleaner too.”
The enchanter grinned, “It's the finest sword in the world.”
Helcon grinned, “Then it should be fit for a queen. Do you still need these reagents?”
“Reagents? My God, man! DO YOU MEAN YOU'VE BEEN HUNTING DOWN REAGENTS FOR TEN YEARS?!”
“Why, for God's sake?! I told you I only needed half the list. Any decent apothecary would carry most of it!”
“She deserves the best.”
“Are you telling me you got all of the list?!”
“Yeah but, I had to get some of them several times. They didn't keep well.”
“Are you telling me you got the dragon claws and fangs?!”
“And heart. Mustn't forget the heart.”
“YOU KILLED A DRAGON?!” For answer, Helcon dumped his sack on the floor. Jars of herbs and organs and piles of fangs and claws littered the ground.
“YOU EVEN GOT THE PHOENIX CLAW! QUICKLY! We must use them on her! With these, she might make a civilian the rival of a sorcerer!” They set to work, and by morning, Helcon strolled out of the tower with the deadliest sword in the world.
He set out for home and had the Murmurian enchanters test the blade. They scoffed at half the enchantments and replaced them with stronger versions. At last the sword was finished.
He strode up to the palace gates and requested an audience with the queen. Three days later, she agreed to see him. He bowed to her and presented her with the sword. She gave him a questioning look as he told her his tale. Her eyes glowed with rage but, he was too boastful to notice. “Kneel, Sir Helcon, and I shall grant your wish. Within the hour, my 'burden' will be gone.”
She sliced off his head and blasted the hall channeling through the blade. The room was silent as the blade glowed black. The bodies disintegrated and were sucked into the blade. “Handy,” she grinned approvingly at the sword. “I thank you, Helcon. Now I have peace.” Queen Mirialla smiled at the empty throne room. "Ah! Silence at last!"
Suddenly she heard a noise! Then another. "What? What's going on?"
"At last I get to serve my queen!" Helcon cheered inside her head. Other voices soon followed.
"NOOO!" she cried in anguish as she slit her wrist with the sword.
She to turned to dust and was sucked into the sword.
Three days later, the prince returned home to an empty palce with a floating sword roaming the halls. "Ghost! This fiend must have killed mother! Lock it away!" ordered the new king.
"I'll get you for this, Helcon!" the sword cried as the new court mages sealed the tunnel behind them. They shivered.