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This is but one story of the heroes and leaders of the world of Nithar, and their epic struggle against an age-old enemy.
This is the prologue for a mini-novel I'm writing as a school project. It's a work in progress, so I'll be posting new chapters as I finish them.
If you like it, please leave a comment! I'd love to hear what you think of it.
*bzzzz… bzzzzzz… bzzzzz… bzz-SLAP!*
“Damned mosquitoes.” mumbled Urgus, leaning on the tree in the center of the camp.
Located in the only clearing in a jungle so thick that not even light can penetrate it’s canopy, the 3rd Imperial Archeological Expedition’s camp is the only hint of living civilization for miles in any direction. The Expedition was commissioned by the Emperor to explore the continent of Idrillar, specifically the ruins of the ancient city of Idrillath, from which the continent gets it’s name. Serving as the Expedition’s base of operations, the camp is arrayed in standard Imperial fashion, with the essential facilities set up in a circular shape in the center. In the southeast section is the Armory tent, which houses the armor and weapons, as well as the workplaces for the camp’s blacksmith and tinker. The southwest section houses the Command tent, as well as a small Arcaneum, which serves as the communications hub and a storeroom for any magical equipment. The northwest section is where you can find the Artifact tent, which serves as the research lab and storage room for any artifacts that are recovered. Finally, the northeast section houses the Healer’s tent and the Mess Hall, which doubles as a chapel. The Housing section, where all of the individual expedition members’ tents are, forms a ring around the center. The edge of the camp is surrounded by an eight foot tall palisade wall, with at least six soldiers on duty at any time to protect against jungle predators.
“Gotta love the jungle.”
Turning around, Urgus sees the Expedition leader and chief battlepriest, Bellethac, walking toward him, his giant grin showing his amusement at his own disapproval of the local fauna.
“Glad to see you’re enjoying my vacation. Have your boys found anything in the market district?”
“Other than an eerie resemblance to the market in the Imperial City, not much. Just a bunch of old pots and containers. And a lot of coins. So what are you doing here? I figured you would be up in the temple district. We’ve been getting some interesting stuff from up there.”
“Yeah, but the old temples are loaded with spiders, and my gun jammed again, so I’m having the tinker look at it.”
“Yeah. Why are you looking at me like that?”
“You don’t want to go without your gun because there are spiders up there?”
“They’re big spiders. With big fangs.”
“But they’re still just spiders. I’d understand if it were a klaalu nest, but it’s just spide-“
“Hey, Grith! My savior! How’s my baby?” Urgus interjects when he sees the tinker come out with his pistol.
“Um, your, uh, pistol is fine, sir. The focusing crystal was cracked, but I repaired it. Oh, and the, um, the conduction coil was almost burnt out, so I, um, replaced it.”
“Ahaha, great! Time to obliterate some spiders!”
Grith just stands there as Urgus strikes a heroic pose, not sure what to do.
“You’re dismissed Technician.” Bellethac says, seeing how uncomfortable the tinker is.
“Yes sir. I’ll get back to work now sir.” he says as he slips back into his tent.
“You look like a moron when you do tha- what are you looking at?” Bellethac turns around to see one of the younger researchers running up to them.
“We found it! We found it! You’ve gotta come right now! We found it!”
“You’re in the presence of the crown prince boy! You’ll show the proper respect.” reprimands Bellethac, throwing the young man an angry glare.
“Oh, I’m sorry sir! I didn’t realize it was you.” he apologizes as he straightens up and salutes.
“It’s ok, son. He’s just trying to scare you. What did you find? Start from the beginning.” Urgus says as he leans against the tree again.
“I’m part of Prince Mygus’s group working in the temple district. We found the throne room, sir! Prince Mygus found the throne room of King Idril!”
Both Urgus and Bellethac start at the mention of the throne room.
“Show us. Now!” Urgus orders as he puts on his wide-brimmed hat, and checks the charge on his pistols.
The Great Temple of Idrillath is a massive, ancient ziggurat made out of a unique bluish marble. At the top is a large dome supported by eight pillars. The floor at the top of the temple slopes down like a bowl, with an altar in the center. Directly above the altar, in the center of the dome, is a circular hole to let in sunlight. The temple was once used as a place to worship Zal the Betrayer, and was the sight of an event known as the Great Massacre, where millions of Adas’s worshipers were sacrificed to Zal by the Black Lords, chief of whom was King Idril. This happened nearly 1500 years ago however, and the city of Idrillath has been abandoned for most of that time.
*Huh-hugh, huh-hugh, huh-hugh* Urgus pants, “I swear Bell, these Idrillathi had to have been sadists to build a temple with this many stairs.”
“You’re just out of shape. That’s what you get for sitting on your ass all day in the palace.”
“Sitting on my ass! That’s a load of crap. I do plenty of stuff. I came out here, didn’t I?”
“Only because your father made you come.”
“It’ll build character, son. You need to learn how to be responsible.” Urgus mimicks, using a naggy voice.
“Are you mocking his Imperial Majesty?” Bellethac says sarcastically.
“Yeah, and his Imperial Majesty can kiss my ass now that I’m not sitting on it.”
“You’re lucky you’re the Crown Prince, anyone else would be washing dishes for the rest of the mission if they-woah.”
“Thank Adas, we’re at the top. So where’s Mygus hiding-gah! The floor’s glowing! Is it supposed to do that?”
“Yes, it’s supposed to do that Urgus. It’s called a sun rune, it’ll light up when sunlight hits it at the right angle.” Prince Mygus answers without looking up from his notebook.
“Cool. I wish my floor did that.”
“It’s the hole in the dome. The sunlight comes in just right during the hour between noon and one o-clock and the whole thing lights up.”
“I knew that. So what’s it say?”
“Just a bunch of Kallec’Zal ritual stuff.”
“I was told you found the throne room.”
“We did. One of my guys noticed scuff marks next to the altar. Turns out the whole thing slides to the east.”
“And there’s a passage to the throne room under it?”
“Huh. Kinda cliché.”
“So the rune doesn’t have anything to do with the throne room?”
“Nope, not really.”
“So, are we gonna check it out?” asks Bellethac.
“Yeah, let’s go check it out.”
“Just let me get my notebook.”
“And your gun. In case there’s spiders.”
“You’re such a wuss.”
“Just get down here you two.” yells Bellethac, already half-way down the steps.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m right behind you.” Urgus answers, arming both of his pistols while Mygus just shakes his head slowly.
“Watch your feet, some of the steps are broken.”
“I can’t watch the back of your head, it’s so dark in here.”
With a snap of his fingers, Mygus creates an orb of pure light, hovering above his head and illuminating the hallway.
“I actually paid attention in Illusion class.” he gloats, looking at Urgus with a smug grin.
“Bleh.” Urgus grunts as he makes a scrunchy face back at Mygus.
‘Great. One of these morons is going to be Emperor someday.’ Bellethac thinks as they proceed down a long spiral staircase.
Reaching the bottom of the staircase, they step through a doorway into a large room, but most of it is obscured by shadows.
“Can you make that light of yours any bigger.” Urgus says, with a mischievous look on his face.
“Just chill, I’ve got this all under control.” With a wave of his hand, Mygus sent the orb flying into the center of the room, where it suddenly exploded into what could be described as a small star. The newfound light revealed a giant room, fifty feet tall, fifty feet across, and twice that long. The opposite end of the room was dominated by an enormous and ornate throne, nearly untouched by the ravages of time.
*Commander! Commander Bellethac!*
“That’s my com stone.” Bellethac says. “What’s up?”
*”There’s a group of people approaching the temple. They’re not close enough to identify yet, but they’re definitely not from the Expedition.”*
“Ok, I’ll be right up. Stay here you two. And don’t touch anything.”
“Yessir mister commander sir!” Urgus teases as he salutes.
“Why do you always act like a kid?” Mygus asks as inspects the throne.
“Cuz it’s more fun than being a grown-up, stupid-head.”
Mygus just gives him that I-don’t-have-a-response-to-that-and-I-don’t-like-it look.
“Well, come on. What are you waiting for?”
“Come on, man. There’s a big shiny throne there and you just stand there looking constipated. What’s wrong with you?”
“This is an artifact of unrivaled quality. It’s been here for almost 1500 years and looks almost new. I’m not sitting on it.”
“Oh come on, it survived 1500 years, it can survive you.”
“No, I’m not going to sit on it. Stop being so immature.”
“Do I have to sing?”
“Oh, that was low.”
Urgus clears his throat. “Do you want to pick the song, or should I?”
“Fine, I’ll sit on the throne.” Mygus ever so carefully lowers himself down and sits on the throne. “There. You happy?”
*Clang-clang! Clang-clang!* Seemingly out of nowhere, metal restraints lock Mygus’s arms and legs onto the throne.
“What the- Urgus! Behind you!”
Urgus whips around to see three men in black robes wielding jagged iron daggers closing in on him. He quickly draws both of his pistols. The man in the center raises his dagger and charges with an inhuman scream. *Pwoy-KCHANG!* He fires the pistol in his right hand and nicks the edge of the man’s hood, which doesn’t even slow him down. The two other men start to charge as well. *Pwoy-KSPLORT!* He fires his second pistol and hits the first man square in the chest, dropping him to the floor. With both of his weapons now unloaded, he drops them on the floor. By now the other two men are only a few seconds from him, so he dives into a roll, ending it at the fallen body of the first attacker. He picks up the dagger laying on the floor and looks up. The second attacker, now on his right, adapted faster than the other, and was already running toward him, holding his right arm low with his dagger pointed up. Seeing an opportunity, Urgus runs forward and swings his right arm wide in a feint, using his left arm to grab his attacker’s right arm and slam it up into his chest, making him stab himself. Urgus looks up to see the last ambusher approaching him, a dagger in each hand. He switches his dagger hand, then charges him, and in one motion swipes with his left hand, now holding the dagger, to knock his enemies dagger out of his right hand, and uses his now empty right hand to grab his enemies left arm, which he was trying to bring down on Urgus’s right shoulder. Before he can respond, Urgus swings his left arm back to stab his enemies left arm, forcing him to drop the dagger he was holding. He then pulls the dagger out of the man’s arm and slashes his throat at the same time. With all three of his attackers dead, he turns to help Mygus, only to see two more assailants carrying him through a doorway next to the throne.
“Mygus!” he yells as he sprints toward the doorway.
*Gsshh-BOOM* The door slams closed just as Urgus reaches it.
“MYGUS!” he screams as slams his fist against the door.