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Legend of the Dragoon 2

This is a discussion on Legend of the Dragoon 2 within the General Chat forums, part of the Knight Online ( category; as many of you have stated that LOD 1 was like one of the best rpg ever and that you ...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006


    as many of you have stated that LOD 1 was like one of the best rpg ever and that you would love to see a 2nd one
    well i urge all to sign this petition . in doing so we have a chance of seeing it.

    EVEN IF YOU HAVE NEVER PLAYED IT PLEASE SIGN !! <-- link to sign u can do it public or private. either ways please do
    there&#39;s alread 11k+ signer .. and we are hoping each vote count. thanks :P

    and if anyone wishes to read a fan thingamajiga .. then here you go .. i thought it was alright . could b better. but overall
    GOOD! =]

    if you got time.... dont kill urself like i did .. hehe


    Legend of the Dragoon 2


    Many years ago, a magical race known as the Winglies dominated over the world, enslaving all under the rule of Melbu Frahma. But his reign came to an end, when seven human harnessed the power of dragons and became dragon knights- the Dragoons- that opposed the Winglies’ dominance.

    An epic war was waged, the Dragoons against the Winglies, master against slave. The humans were victorious as the floating Wingly capitol of Kadessa fell to the earth, but without casualties. Of the seven dragoons, only one survived- and she alone took up the task to protect the world from a threat even Melbu Frahma feared.

    Through the folds of history, the Winglies disappeared and left the humans a reminder of their past- The Moon That Never Set. The surviving dragoon, immortalized, became known as the Black Monster as she viciously hunted down those called the Moon Child- leaving no survivors in her wake- for she, and few others know the secret of the Moon Child.

    Then, after 10,000 years, the Dragoons reappeared. Shortly afterward, dragons appeared threatening humanity including the most powerful of them all: the Divine Dragon.

    After the defeat of the Divine Dragon, the unthinkable happened; the Moon that Never Set descended upon the world, destroying the cradle of life, The Tree of Soa. Destined to save the world, the seven Dragoons invaded the Moon and stopped Soa’s Will from becoming reality and destroying the ‘god’ that was the Virage Embryo.

    With the world safe again, the Dragoons disappeared and life returned to normal.

    Until 60 years later…

    Rushing through the jungle, a lone explorer ran for the edge. He could have died, but he hoped to find treasure. And did, two gemstones- one ruby, the other onyx; he hoped that these two gems would earn him enough money to support his family- for his wife was expecting their first child. He could have died in the strange jungle, but maybe fate was looking upon him, giving him a fighting chance.

    Stumbling out into the light, he heard whatever creature was chasing him stop at the verge. Growling, two red eyes glared at him. Thanking whatever god was looking out for him, he made his long journey home.

    “What Byron say about the gems?” asked Claudia, the wife of the treasure hunter.

    “They’re not true gems,” repeated Vernon, “not gems, but something different. But he did pay 100 gold pieces for each, out of generosity. And he’ll give us 5% of what they make at auction, out of generosity.”

    With her hand on her womb, Claudia looked contemptuously at her husband. “Ever since I held those gems, I felt like things would take a turn for the better, but 200 pieces are better than nothing I suppose.”

    Seeing her husband so distraught, she thought to lighten up his mood. “Don’t worry, Vernon, our son will be strong. And I think I have a name for him: Cadmus. Well?”

    Looking upon his wife, glowing with maternal warm, Vernon smiled. “A strong name for a strong child. Yes, I like it. Thank you.” Though, in the back of his mind, he hoped the gems would fetch a fortune at auction. Though, he had found another: a smoky quartz-type gem, he had forgotten about, because he knew it wouldn’t be worth much.

    But they didn’t. In fact, they wouldn’t be bought for another dozen years, by two wealthy dignitaries.

    Chapter 1: Entwining Fates

    Present Day.

    “What’s he doing now?” asked a weary prince, hearing hammers in the square. Finding his father, the king of Serdio- Tarridon, overseeing the construction of several gallows, Harris only asked to voice his disapproval. “What are you doing now, father?”

    “It’s time criminals are shown that we will punish them- live executions, for now just hangings,” replied King Tarridon.

    “My great-grandfather abolished executions for several reasons; you’re bringing them back for your own stupid amusement. You know I-…”

    “Yes, Harris, I know you can overrule my decision because of your direct blood relation to King Albert, but he was too soft-hearted. With your mother away, I have the power.”

    “But not the authority, I have that,” replied Prince Harris, “you may commence with the executions, but they’d better be guilty of more than just a couple of petty thefts.”

    As Harris turned to leave, his father sneered. “Don’t forget, my son, you’d best be off to the library. Your lessons start within the hour.”

    Harris grimaced as his father grinned; Harris would have the power to become king by the time he turns 24- in a couple of years, taking the throne from his father. But the complete boredom of the etiquette of hierarchical ways of royalty, was enough of a small victory for King Tarridon, he already knew that Harris despised the lessons.

    “Too lax, like I said- time for a change.”

    Harris shook his head, his father was once a military general in the Kingdom of Fletz; and there’s no changing his mind. Might as well get the lessons over with, Harris thought to himself.

    The king laughed to himself as Harris left to study, and looked over the dossier of the first criminal to be executed named Cortez, arrested several months ago after the murder of a dignitary and already wanted in several cities for more crimes he’s committed.

    That night, Harris looked out his window overlooking the Serdian capitol city of Bale. In a few short years, Harris would have the power to claim the throne, though his sister, Geneva, was married to the crown prince of Tiberoa- and in the Tiberoan capitol city of Fletz, she has the power to rule Bale as she does in Fletz.

    It was an awkward system set up by King Albert and his queen, Emille, the princess of Fletz. Each generation switches governing privileges, since Albert and Emille ruled over Bale, their daughter ruled in Fletz when she wed the prince of Fletz, and likewise their child- Harris’ mother, governed Bale. This time around, Fletz was the center of the united kingdoms. Harris didn’t understand how such a system could work, but it has; and being born into the royal family, he had to abide by it. Strangely, throughout this cockamamie system, no inbreeding has yet to happen.

    The cry of a hawk broke his train of thought, and as he saw it circling above the town, Harris smiled. ‘At least someone is living free. Still, why kind of king should I be? Albert reigned kindly and justly; my father is running this country as an army, how should I rule?’

    Because of this question, Harris couldn’t sleep, so he decided to seek inspiration from his great grandfather- King Albert. He remembered the stories before the legendary MoonFall, when Albert and several others possessed the power of dragons and went on a quest to save the world from an ancient Wingly emperor from an age long forgotten- Melbu Frahma and the Dragon Campaign. He has heard various historical interpretations of the MoonFall epic, but none came close as to Albert’s Chronicles of the true story.

    Donning a robe, Harris made his way to the treasury where one treasure of that epic remained- the jade stone of King Albert. The chronicles said that the stone held the power and essence of a dragon, but no one ever saw it.

    “Maybe I’ll learn from the past,” he soliloquized as he neared the vault. But something was askew as he noticed the door was ajar and there were no guards; as well there was a strange breeze and the windows of the vault are sealed.

    Rushing to the vault, grabbing a pair of small hatchets- from the empty guard’s post- and burst through the doors.

    In the center of the room, at the shrine that house the treasure of Bale, Harris saw the culprit. The Jadestone in his palm and a steel-grey gem in the other being held above the latter, with an eerie green mist trailing from the Jadestone into the steel-grey.

    As the intruder looked up at the sudden commotion, Harris called for the alarm. Their eyes met, and a glimmer on the surface of the Jadestone caught both their attentions. “Damn, not now,” said the intruder.

    The intruder looked at Harris and saw him wielding two axes, and without hesitation, dashed for the window- with the Jadestone still in hand. Starting after the culprit, knowing that there was no escape from the tower- and with the guards coming to the prince’s aide, he was trapped. But then, the culprit raised his hand with the grey stone and a strong gust ripped the sealed window from the wall itself and flung it across the room- embedding it on the other side of the room.

    As the culprit leapt for the window, Harris threw one of his axes with practiced precision. The handle pinned the intruder’s arm against the sill as the blade bit into the shoulder- loosing the Jadestone. As the Jadestone rolled back to the center of the room, the intruder cursed in a southern dialect as the guards came into the chamber. Cutting his loses, he tore his arm from the wall- and with another mysterious gust, leapt from the window. As Harris and the guards reached the window, the intruder was already a fleeting speck in the night sky.

    “See how far you can track him,” commanded the Prince, as more guards and the King entered the room.

    “What happened, Harris?”

    “Someone broke into the vault.”

    “What was stolen?”

    “Nothing that I know of, but I saw him with the sacred Jadestone,” said Harris picked up the Jadestone from where it rested, and a familiar glimmer flickered across the faceted surface.

    "The trinket has no value, who‘d want to steal something worthless?"

    Harris thought about the strange mist trailing from the Jadestone, and found it difficult for his father to understand. "I must have stopped him before he take anything of significant value," was the answer Harris gave to appease his father, who merely nodded and said "You should get back to bed, let the guards do their jobs.”

    Harris knew better than arguing and trying to explain what he thought had happened. He always believed that the Jadestone held the power, the very essence of an ancient dragon- or at least that&#39;s what Albert&#39;s Chronicles about the MoonFall epic kept saying. Though now, nobody knows the true story- especially his father. Harris had always held the Jadestone hoping to witness the dragon, though it never appeared, he always felt a presence from within the stone itself. But now, awkwardly, the presence had faded, dwindled to nigh nothingness.

    Placing the Jadestone back upon it&#39;s pedestal, Harris let out a sigh and conceded his father&#39;s point and made his way to his chambers. He doubted he could get any sleep, he had a lot on his mind.

    "Harris," called a voice, faintly. He barely remembered getting into bed, now this. Opening his eyes and saw a strange visage- at the foot of his bed was a woman as transparent as mist. "Am I dreaming?" he asked aloud.

    "No, you&#39;re not, Harris. The time has come, young prince. Go to the ruins south of your kingdom, all will be explained there. My power is growing weak; bring the spiritstone."

    Harris doesn&#39;t remember falling back asleep, but he awoke at the light of mid-morning. The ghost seemed real enough and he did need to get out of the confining castle, so maybe the venture wouldn&#39;t be a total waste. As he packed for the trip, he noticed a small gathering around the gallows his father had recently built. "He&#39;s starting the executions already? Oh, well. It&#39;s none of my concern." Surveying the gallows, Harris sees those condemned, on a bench shackled and under heavy guard. One of the prisoners looked in Harris&#39;s direction and saw him, and winked with his good eye- his left eye under a patch. Though this prisoner&#39;s name escaped him, he was captured a recently after the murder of the dignitary, and earned the death penalty for several other offense ranging from robbery and assault to the recent murder.

    Taking a side exit from the palace, thus avoiding the gathering around the impending execution site. Harris wove his way through the town towards the entrance, waving at commoners who recognized the young prince, then came a voice he half-expected and half-dreaded. "Hey, Harry!"

    Turning around, Harris came face-to-face with an old friend. "Natalie, how many times have I told you to stop calling me that?" he asked, redundantly.

    "Only as long as we&#39;ve known each other. So, where you heading off to?"

    "The old ruins."


    "I just need to get out of the castle."

    ""I heard someone broke into the vault, what was stolen?"

    "He tried to steal this," replied Harris brandishing the Jadestone.

    "Isn&#39;t that King Albert&#39;s memento?"

    "Yeah, I managed to stop him before he could get away with it. I&#39;m going down to the ruins to get some answers."

    Natalie gave Harris a quizzical glance and asked, "Answers?"

    "It&#39;s a long story."

    "Okay, whatever. Wait a couple minutes, while I pack some things for our trip." As she left, Harris couldn&#39;t help but to laugh at his friend&#39;s predictability. When she returned, he had two horses waiting, and then they were on their way. The trip to the ruins would take a few hours and they would be home before dusk, but they weren&#39;t in any hurry, so they took their time admiring the scenery. When they arrived at the ruins, a place they frequented as children- though less as they were growing up- they were awestruck: it was more in ruins then they remembered.

    "Wow, this place has seen better days," joked Natalie.

    "Obviously," muttered Harris.

    "So, why are we here?"

    As Harris unconsciously withdrew the Jadestone from his pocket, a figure formed in the mist.

    "Welcome, young prince," spoke the apparition

    “AH! A Ghost! This place is haunted!” screamed Natalie, hiding behind Harris who rolled his eyes.

    “Calm yourself, young one. I am powerless to anything.”

    “Who are you?”

    “My name is Shirley. I’ve been dead for more than ten-thousand years, but now I have again been brought back to this world.”

    “Wait, Shirley, as in one of the original Dragoons of the Dragon Campaign?”

    “Indeed, but that’s all in the past. It is you, young prince, who is important.”

    “Me? How? Why?” stammered Harris.

    Shirley approached Harris who backed up beside himself, then Shirley spoke, “The Dragoons are needed once again, a threat has emerged. However, your spirit stone is different- it‘s weak, the essence has been drained. May I?” she asked, holding out her hands.

    “So that’s what he did. Wait, drained?” Harris stammered, giving Shirley the Jadestone.

    After a once-over, Shirley spoke. “Yes, the essence of the Dragon’s spirit that the stone holds. My friend, Syuveil, witnessed it’s power, as did your great-grandfather, Albert. The stone you hold is missing the dragon, or most of it. As a dragoon, you have the ability to summon and command dragons, though you can’t. Tell me what you saw.”

    Harris told her of the thief’s steel-grey gemstone and the green mist of the Jadestone getting absorbed into the other, and everything up to the escape.

    “Ah, it was fortunate that you appeared when you did,” said Shirley, after a brief silence, “the dragon recognizes you as the next worthy holder, thus retaining it’s mind and will. You have to get the rest of the dragon essence back, who knows what he plans on using it for, though he will eventually go after the other spiritstones.”

    “This is starting to sound like a bad fantasy novel,” joked Natalie.

    “Fine, the cliché summary-”

    “Too late,” interrupted Natalie.

    “I get it. The world is in danger and only the Dragoons can save it from the guy. Just one problem, Albert’s chronicles only tell the location of two other spiritstones, the Violetstone in Rogue and the White Silverstone in Deningrad- I have no idea where the others are,” said Harris, taking back the Jadestone.

    “Fear not, Harris, the Dragoons have a habit of meeting by fate; though one might not be able to,” said Shirley, as mist appeared between her hands, “he is to be executed soon and he holds the Onyxstone.”

    A face appeared amongst translucent mist, and Harris recognized the image- the prisoner first to be hanged. After moment’s hesitation to reconfirm his suspicions, Harris pulled Natalie after him, calling a thanks to Shirley as they jumped on to their horses.

    “What’s the hurry?” asked Natalie.

    “We have to get back to Bale now, the executions begin at dusk. Call for aide.”

    Whistling shrilly, Harris scribbled a quick note on a scrap of paper as Natalie held out a gloved hand to perch a circling falcon. She tied the note to the falcon’s leg and whispered, “Fly home,” to the bird and tossed it into the wind and soon it was a speck in the sky, as Harris and Natalie raced back to Bale.

    Meanwhile, the prisoner waited stoically in the pen next to the newly constructed gallows. His name is Cortez, and he’d been arrested for, most recently the murder of a dignitary, but several other outstanding warrants earned him the death penalty. At first, he was glad to be arrested in this kingdom, for he knew that public executions had been abolished. To his dismay, upon his arrest, the current king revoked the abolishment- and that he would be first to be executed. Though, earlier today he saw the crown prince and an odd sensation emanated from behind his eye patch.

    The sun was beginning set, he would be executed soon; he also heard the cries of a hawk and wished he could be free. He didn’t fear death, after getting exiled he was faced with death, but he didn’t want to die now.

    As the hangman brought out the ropes, the king emerged on the veranda over looking the courtyard. “Is all ready?” he asked the hangman, who was finishing securing the ropes.

    “Yes, mi’lord.”

    “Good, let the executions begin. Let this be a lesson to you scum, your crimes will not go unpunished any longer; and I’ll start with those who have little respect for the law.” King Tarridon raised a hand and turned the fist, thumbs-down: a signal to the guards.

    Three armed guards approached the holding cell, one opened the gate and Cortez stood and met the other guards half-way; with a guard on each arm, he trudged up the stairs to the waiting hangman. With one final glance, Cortez looked towards the sky and wished he had a god to pray to.

    Harris pushed his horse as fast as it would go, leaving Natalie behind hoping that his message got to her father in time, for if the prisoner knew anything, he’s best not be too late to question him before his execution.

    Rushing past the guards at the town‘s entrance, leaving Natalie to give an explanation, Harris galloped into the square screaming “Stop the execution!”

    All heads turned towards the oncoming Harris, the hangman turned again to the king who once more gave the thumbs-down. With a shrug of the hangman’s shoulders, he pulled the lever that released the trapdoor in which Cortez fell and the noose tightened. The crowded gasped, not once, but twice: as Cortez dropped, he nearly touched the ground-missing by inches; at the same instance, Harris withdrew a small-ax from his belt and threw it with practiced accuracy- severing the rope that was strangling Cortez.

    “By my authority, halt this execution,” Harris practically screamed, jumping off his horse amidst the crowd. Harris, as a direct blood descendant of Albert, could overrule his father on matters that didn’t involve governing a kingdom. This was one of them, and King Tarridon knew that- as resignation to this, he stepped into the shadows. “Guards, take this one to the interrogation room. I’ll be there shortly to question him.”

    As the guards took away Cortez, Harris looked at his father lurking in the shadows, then turned to the rest of the inmates, then to another guard. “Get another noose, and continue with the executions.” He saw his father grin and step forth from the shadows as the other death-row inmates groaned. “You heard the prince. We have some scum that need to taught a lesson.”

    Cortez sat at the table, two guards on the inside watching him and he knew a third to be on the other side of the door. But his most pressing concern was whether or not he could ask for something to eat. He had refused a last meal, but now that his execution was delayed- he was hungry. Cortez’s second pressing concern was about the Prince, why he had spared him so close to his death, and how long he would be able keep away from the gallows.

    That would have to wait until the Prince came to interrogate him, and until he got a bite to eat. Standing up, he approached one of the guards, both of whom reached for their weapons. “Easy, fellas, I just to ask for something to eat. Some bread and cheese, perhaps?”

    The guards looked at one another as a knock came and the head of a young female poked in. “His highness says to fulfill any reasonable request the prisoner has, I heard him as for some food and the other guard is fetching some. Wait outside, I can watch him.”

    “Yes, mi’lady,” replied the guard closest to the door and he stepped outside as Natalie took his place. When his little meal arrived, Cortex ate eyeing the young lady. “You a friend of the prince?” he asked her, through mouthfuls of bread and cheese.

    Her only response was a stiff nod.

    “Got a name?”

    “Yes, but you won’t need to know it,” retorted Natalie.

    Harris entered a few minutes later. “Stand guard outside, Natalie and I can handle this thug,” he spoke to the remaining guard.

    The guard hesitantly bowed and stepped outside. Cortez eyed Harris and Natalie, and either out of honoring royalty or mocking it, stood and bowed. “How may I be of service, boy?”

    Natalie stormed in from the corner and pounded the table, “You will address his as ‘Your Highness,’ you scum.”

    “Quiet, Natalie, he’s testing us,” said Harris.

    “The boy’s right, girlie.”

    “If you call me ‘girlie’ again, I will kill you,” scowled Natalie.

    “That would be counter-productive now, wouldn’t it? Why would the boy save me from execution, only to have you kill me? He obviously has some questions he wants me to answer, isn’t that right, boy?”

    “Natalie, just ignore him. And you, since you know why you are here, let’s get down to business. Answer some questions, and I’ll have your execution delayed.”

    “Why not just give me life in prison, boy? Then I can answer all your questions in due time.” Cortez leaned back in his chair and grinned.

    “I might be able to do that, if you answer my question. You were arrested for the murder of a dignitary who owned a rare onyx gemstone.”

    “The high-and-might stuffy pants? What of him?”

    “The knights who arrested you couldn’t find the gem on the corpse, in his possessions, or on you. So you must of hid it somewhere in the forest; you were dumb enough to follow the main trail out of the forest, where the knights were waiting for you. Where did you hide it?”

    “Hide what? The gemstone, I don’t recall what it was, or even where I hid it,” Cortez smiled and stared Harris in the eyes.

    “Answer me, or I’ll send you back out to the gallows.”

    “Are those my only options? Wow, a well-thought out ultimatum. Yup, kill me unless I answer your questions,” mused Cortez, turning his back to Natalie but still keeping an eye to Harris.

    “Fine, I’ll cut to the chase,” said Harris, reaching into his pocket, “Do you remember anything like this on the dignitary?” Harris placed the Jadestone on the table. “Don’t try to steal it,” mocked Harris as Cortez reached for the stone.

    “Ah, yes. Now I remember, I asked Mr. Stuffy-pants for anything of value that he wished to part with, voluntarily. I saw he had the gemstone like this one except it was black,” answered Cortez, rolling the stone back to Harris, “and I ‘asked’ for it. He refused, and I asked again more assertively. He refused again, by drawing his sword- I would have asked again, but my sword was already through his gut. Seeing how he was dead and he wouldn’t need anything of value, I took it because it caught my eye.

    “Then that’s when the knights showed up and chased me into the forest. Something told me to hide the stone, so I did in a place no one would ever think of looking. And I can show you, for a small fee- say my removal from death-row.”

    Harris sighed, “It will take a day’s ride to the forest. Once there, you will show me where you hid the stone. Don’t try escape at anytime on our little journey,” he said as he stood to leave.

    “Woah, hold it, boy. I said I hid it while I was in the forest, not I hid it in the forest.”

    “What are you saying?”

    Cortez motioned Harris forward. “I’ll tell only you, boy.”

    “Natalie doesn’t leave this room.”

    “The girlie doesn’t have to, just come closer so I can tell you,” replied Cortez as he spied Natalie scowling at him and smiled. He still motioned for Harris closer, who reluctantly did.

    “Don’t worry, I won’t bite.”

    Harris leaned closer to Cortez, until they were nose to nose. “Where did you hide the stone?”

    Cortez rested his head in his left hand and smiled, “Why is this trinket so important to you, that you seek it so adamantly?”

    “None of your business, where did you hide the stone?”

    “Right here.” As he spoke, he lifted his eye patch. Natalie turned to avoid seeing Cortez’s open eye-socket. Harris saw something else- a glimmer.

    Natalie saw Cortez reaching into his own socket, she turned to avoid gagging further- Harris was beyond gagging. “I told you I hid it in the forest,” he said placing the stone on the table,” You can have it, as long as you promise to remove me from the death penalty.”

    Uneasily, Harris reached for the onyxstone, and what he wished wouldn’t happened did. A light washed over the onyxstone, levitating it as it floated into Cortez’s hands.

    “Whoa! It never did that before. What’s it mean?” he asked as the light faded.

    Harris only shook his head, and muttered as if automatically, “You have been chosen to wield the power of a Dragon; as a Dragoon, you are destined to save the world along with the other dragoons.”

    “What other dragoons?” asked Cortez with a perked eyebrows, then his face lit up. “Hold it- save the world? I think you got the wrong prisoner. You want me to partner up with a bunch of other people to save the world? You gotta be kidding me!”

    Harris stood up and headed for the door with Natalie holding it open. “No, I’m not. You were chosen by the dragon within the stone to save to world. As was I,” he said before he left and the guards came in to take Cortez back to his cell.

    “I assume you didn’t want that to happen?” Natalie asked, rhetorically.

    “What makes you think that? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to prepare for… our… departure,” Harris scowled.

    For an unknown reason, Cortez was dragged from his slightly comfortable sleeping bench in his cell, shackled, and escorted to the same room where he met the prince. Forced down into his seat, he saw the prince sitting opposite- though something was amiss, there was a guard in each corner of the room, and the one that brought him was standing with the door open. The girlie was standing behind the kid, looking as splendid as she did yesterday.

    “What you want today, kid?” he asked, leaning back in his chair. “What’s with the hardware this time?” motioning to the guards behind him.

    “Put your hands on the table, and your head between them,” was Harris’ only response.


    “Do it.”

    Rolling his eyes, Cortez did as he told. Immediately, the two guards behind Harris stepped forward, pulled Cortez’s arms forward and held them down, the two other guards stepped forward from behind and held down his shoulders. “What the hell?” screamed Cortez, struggling under the pressure of the guards holding him down. Under his arm, he saw the guard at the door motion someone forward. The smell of hot metal followed and Cortez only saw a man carrying a hot brand walk in and step towards him. As he felt the heat of the brand hover over his exposed neck and upper back, Cortez saw that the prince’s left wrist was bandages, though it wasn’t yesterday. His train of thought was interrupted as the brand was pressed against his skin. Cortez screamed in pain with such ferocity, that only someone in his position would understand why.

    At least Cortez appreciated the cold cloth placed on the burn to soothe it. Cautiously, he sat up as the guards released him and left the room. “Now will you answer my question?”

    “A sigil has been burned onto your neck, disguised as a tattoo. I have one just like it,” answered Harris unwrapping his wrist and showing the minimized tattoo on his own wrist. “By my command, that tattoo with dissolve into your skin, releasing a poison that will kill you- slowly, or instantaneously- how I see fit. This will prevent you from killing me, injuring me, and/or abandoning me in times of danger. For you see, I don’t trust you but unfortunately destiny has teamed us up to save the world; so we have to go out into the world to find the other Dragoons. You have an hour to prepare.”

    “Prepare, for what?”

    “You can’t help me save the world from inside your prison cell, so that tattoo is your ticket out of prison. I know where the some of the other stones are, and I hope we’ll meet some other dragoons along the way. We dragoons are destined to meet, to save the world.”

    “Whoa, hold up kiddo. Other dragoons? How many more are there?” asked Cortez.

    “At least five others. They will each get their destiny handed to them in the form of the stone you and I hold. Now get ready.”

    “Hold up again, kid. I’ll need more than an hour to prepare. Unless you want to go out into the world to save it with a guy who smells like me. Trust me, I reek- so I’d like to bathe, if that’s not a problem.” Cortez couldn’t help but to laugh as Natalie wrinkled her nose and said, “I thought that was the dungeon. Yes, let him.”

    “She’s coming to? Is she a dragoon as well?”

    “Yes, she’s coming to. No, she’s not a dragoon yet,” Harris said, as he and Natalie left and the guards escorted Cortez to a bathhouse.

    As they wove their way out of the castle dungeon, Natalie spoke a concern. “You do remember I have a wedding to plan, right? I’ve postponed it once, and I can’t do it again. Tell you what, I’ll come with you as far as I can.”

    “Thanks. I don’t know when or where we’ll meet another Dragoon, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to trust Cortez.”

    “It’s strange, though he is an odd character, I actually don’t feel threatened by him- at all. He might be a nice guy who took the wrong path in life.’

    “Still, I’d rather have you at my side than a thug, Natalie.”

    Natalie chuckled, “You’ll just have to deal with him.”

    A few hours later, after they finished packing for their little adventure, they met up with Cortez and his guards at the interrogation room. “It’s an odd feeling. Having several armed, armor clad men watch you as you bathe.” As Natalie shuddered at the thought of seeing Cortez naked, he couldn’t help but to smile.

    “Guard, remove the shackles, I doubt he’ll give me trouble,” said Harris and the guards complied. “Good, let’s go. First stop is a little town called Seles.”

    “Um, kid, are you failing to notice something?”

    “We got all the supplies we’ll need, so tell me- what are we missing?” asked Natalie.

    “Weapons, I don’t have any. You don’t trust me yet, I know that, but you’ll have to trust me with a sword. I’m better with a sword than with my bare hands. May I ask for a weapon?”

    Harris nodded at one of the guards who handed Cortez his short sword.

    “Um, I don’t fight with silverware. Can I have something longer?”

    Harris rolled his eyes, and sent in a guard to retrieve a long sword for Cortez. After several minutes, the guard returned with a sword to Cortez’s enjoyment. Taking the sword by the hilt and swinging it around.

    “Thanks, can I ask for some armor? Nothing too extravagant, some leather armor would work.”

    “I anticipated that, Your Highness,” said the guard that fetched Cortez a sword. He reached behind the door and pulled out a leathern chest plate. “It’s been sitting in storage for a few years. Nobody’s big enough to wear it. He may fit it.”

    Cortez was satisfied, Harris trusted him with a weapon and some armor. Putting on his newly acquired, he smiled broadly and said, “Alright, happy campers, let’s go!”

    Hoping on their horses- Cortez fussed about the one chosen for him, and chose a different one whom he said had spunk- they headed east from Bale to Seles.

    “Hay, kiddo, I have a couple of questions,” asked Cortez, after passing through the gate.

    “Stop calling me kid, and maybe I’ll answer them,” answered Harris, without a glance back.

    The remark Cortez ignores, and asks anyway. “What does the guy who broke into the vault have anything to do with saving the world?”

    “I told you each spiritstone contains the power of Dragon; well, the guy who broke into the vaults tampered with my Jadestone. The Dragon within my stone is gone, only it’s mind and will remain. Since no one knows where you hid your Onyxstone, I can assume it still holds a complete Dragon. There are seven known spiritstones, including yours and mine. If he gathers the power of all eight dragons, then who knows what he can do. And to answer your other questions, I know you’re going to ask…

    “We are going to Seles to see if we can acquire the eighth spiritstone that contains the essence of the King of Dragons- the Divine Dragon, which attacked a kingdom to the far north. If we can secure that one, then we might stand a chance if he gets the other essences, including yours.”

    “And if we don’t secure the Divine stone, then what?”

    “Pray we find the other Dragoons and the Divine stone doesn’t awaken. Else we’ll be in serious danger, as would be the world.”

    An uneasy silence befell Cortez and the little trio continued on it’s way.

    “One more question-do you expect me to do all the fighting? I’m the only one with a weapon.”

    Harris and Natalie turned around and gave Cortez a nasty look. Natalie patted at the coil of braided rope on her hip and brandished a couple of daggers.

    “She’s deadly accurate with those things,” replied Harris, as he brushed aside his cloak and reveal a pair of small-axes on his hips.

    “He’s very efficiently proficient with his silverware. He knows how to use a sword and lance, but Harry has always preferred those two,” finished Natalie.

    Cortez smiled as he saw Harris blush, “Harry, eh?”

    “Natalie, you best not get him started calling me that,” Harris said as Natalie chuckled.

    “Don’t worry, kid. One more thing- what’s with the glove?”

    “I’m also a falconer. Espin comes with me whenever I leave the city. To answer your question, Espin is my falcon that I’ve trained and raised since it hatched,” replied Natalie, putting on the glove and giving a shrill whistle. A replying shriek came and a falcon swooped down and landing on the glove and ate some scraps of meat Natalie offered it.

    “Any more questions, Cortez?” asked Harris.

    “Nope, not at the moment. Just getting my facts straight. Let’s go, kids.”

    The ride for Seles was uneventful, Cortez rode point contemplated his freedom, while Harris and Natalie talked as friends talked. They reached Seles as dusk fell, so they decided to continue in the morning to search for the Divine Stone.

    As Natalie and Harris turned in, Cortez decided to save them the trouble, and headed for the local pub.

    “What can I do you for, stranger?” asked the bartender as he heard the door open. He gasped when he looked up and saw Cortez heading his way.

    Cortez smiled inwardly, “Not you too.”

    The bartender glanced at Cortez, “You mean, you’re not-?”

    “Cortez? Nope, and you’re the third person to assume that I am. Obviously, the news of his arrest hasn’t made it past Bale. It’s probably why he hired me as a bodyguard and escort. Resemblance is uncanny, isn’t it?”

    “Ah, the couple you rode in with. I see now, mind if I ask?”

    Cortez cocked an eyebrow at the bartender as he drank, “Oh, her father is a merchant far north, he wasn’t able to make their wedding. So, this little trip is to get his approval of their wedding with her father’s blessing. So why not hire a guy who resembles the viscous Cortez to ward off highwaymen?”

    “I understand, sorry about the misunderstanding.”

    “No problem,” replied Cortez finishing his drink and asking for another. “Now, if I may ask- on our way in, I noticed several of your tombstones were down. What happened?”

    “A group of vandals ran through a week ago, they caused some trouble- knocking over some tombstones, breaking some windows, that type of stuff. If you’re traveling north, you might want to steer clear of them.”

    “Thanks,” said Cortez as his paid for his drinks and left.

    The next morning, Harris awoke to Cortez packing.

    “We’re a week late, someone got to the stone before us,” said Cortez.


    “Last night I got some answers. Vandals ran through the town a week ago and tore up the town. I’m thinking it was just a cover so they could get hold of the Divine stone. I looked and found a hole in one of the tombstones that could fit- and probably did- a spiritstone. Belonged to a guy named Dart.”

    “I see. Yes, Dart was Albert’s companion that possessed the Divine stone at the end of the MoonFall epic. Since we’re late, we might as well continue to the next town- Valresh, where the dignitary who owns the Rubystone lives. Don’t kill him.”

    After a quick breakfast, the trio left for the village of Valresh.

    “I have a question,” said Cortez.

    “You and your questions, what is it?”

    “If the dignitary we’re going to meet still has the stone, how will we be able to convince him to give it to us?”

    This question left Harris stunningly quiet, as Natalie looked at him with a raised eyebrow.

    “You have no idea, do you Harris?” she asked.

    “Oh, alright. I’m making this up as I go! Are you gonna criticize everything I do?”

    “Nope, just making sure you have a game plan. Evidently, they do.”

    “You’re wasting daylight, boys, let’s get to the next village to assess the damage,” said Natalie as she urged her horse to a gallop. With a quick glance to one another. Harris and Cortez took after Natalie.

    “Has your opinion changed since the last time?”

    Harris looked at Natalie, then at Cortez who was, he hoped, out of earshot, “Not entirely.”

    “He did get us answers so we didn’t waste anytime trying to find them ourselves. You have to give him credit there.”

    “Albert’s chronicles of the MoonFall epic said that Dart trusted Lavitz blindly, as they did Rose. Though neither were criminals with a rap sheet a mile long. I’ll take me a while to fully trust Cortez with my life.”

    “You forget, I also read the Chronicles. Wasn’t Rose also the Black Monster that Dart was hunting? Didn’t he continue to trust her even after he learned the truth? Rose had a secret, and still Dart trusted her. You know Cortez’s past, so why can’t you trust him?”

    “Like I said, it will take me a while. A prince traveling with a convicted criminal, seems awkward. Albert traveled with Dart to continue the journey that Lavitz started.”

    “Harris! I’ve read the Chronicles, I know what happened during the MoonFall. I’m just saying, I don’t feel threatened around Cortez- I didn’t feel scared when we first met him. If I had to, I’d trust him. He doesn’t seem the type to go berserk when you turn your back on him, and he doesn’t seem the type to turn his back on you. I wonder what kind of life he could have lead if he hadn’t of resorted to a life as a highwayman.”

    Harris looked at Natalie who smiled her ‘I know what I’m talking about’ smile, and he shook his head in his ‘She’s got a point’ fashion. “I’ll try to trust him a little more, but I can’t guarantee anything.”

    Natalie leaned over and kissed Harris’s cheek, “I trust him to keep alive until my wedding, more so I trust him to protect me until my wedding.”

    Cortez looked back at the two, and smiled. He didn’t tell them that he had excellent hearing. “You can trust me, Harris, you saved my life so I could redeem myself and have one more adventure. And don’t worry Natalie, you can count on me to protect you.”

    Dusk was setting it as the trio saw the outline of Valresh, but Harris noticed something amiss. There was too much smoke coming from a small village and it was glowing ominously red this early for dusk.

    “The town’s on fire!” screamed Cortez, urging his tired horse to a gallop with Natalie and Harris on his heels. In fact, the town wasn’t on fire- just a big mansion on the edge of the village.

    As they stopped, an armor clad knight emerged from the flaming building- with the Rubystone in his hand. Harris leapt from his horse and charged the knight with Cortez and Natalie in toe.

    The unknown knight blocked Harris attack when Cortez jumped into the fray. The knight defended himself with great skill, while Natalie struck at the adversary’s hand that held the Rubystone. Then from inside the house came a scream.


    “Go!” cried Harris as another one of his attacks was deflected.

    Giving a stiff nod, Natalie ran towards the door, but was cut off by another stranger with silver hair. A few seconds later, the new guy burst through a window on the second story with an elderly gentleman under arm.

    The knight turning at the sound of the crashing glass turned and Cortez saw an opportunity and struck at the hand that held the Rubystone. His blade dug into the joint at the wrist and successfully loosed the stone from the adversary’s hand and sent it hurling

    Natalie and the stranger both emerged with more survivors as Harris and Cortez redoubled their efforts. When Natalie emerged with the last- a child- the newcomer spoke, “Tend to their wounds. I’m going to help subdue the culprit.” Drawing his blade, he joined with Harris and Cortez.

    Cortez noticed the newcomer’s oddly silver hair and finely crafted sword and he literally flew into battle. His blade struck with uncanny speed and pushed back the assailant

    With the continuous onslaught of the three warriors, the assailant had no choice but to flee. With a swipe of his sword, that knocked Cortez and the newcomer back while Harris kept his footing. As the assailant ran, anger seethed from him and he charged.

    Natalie and Cortez watched in amazement as a green light enveloped Harris and when it faded he had donned an impressive suit of armor that no one had ever imagined- mainly because it had wings- and Harris was flying at the unknown knight. The knight struggled to deflect Harris’s attacks, then he was knocked off balance as Harris threw himself into the air.

    The knight was able to barely dodge Harris’s overhead attack, as he slammed his axes into the ground. The knight stood, and grinned at Harris; Harris thought he looked truly demonic as the flames behind them reflected off the assailant‘s armor. “Fate has made itself apparent. We will meet again, it is inevitable. But I’ll toy with fate on your behalf.” Raising his hand to his mouth, he loosed a shrill whistle.

    Before Harris could reach the knight, three large cougars jumped out from the forest and cut off Harris. A fourth one jumped out and the knight jumped on it’s back as Cortez and the newcomer joined Harris.

    “What of the Rubystone?” asked Harris, as Cortez got closer.

    “Natalie has it. What’s your name, stranger? So I might know it before we die.”

    “Badrim,” replied the silver-haired warrior, “it was fortunate that I showed up when I did. So, what’s the plan on fighting the cats?”

    “Divide and conquer,” replied Cortez, “when they’re in a pack, they can be a handful; but separate- we stand a greater chance, probably.”

    Harris shot a questioning glance at Cortez, as if to ask ‘are you sure?’ before the three broke formation and attacked the cougars. The cougars themselves proved stronger than originally thought and proved more intelligent as well, as they seemed to try to corner the heroes. When Cortez and Harris neared they had a small conversation.

    “So, buddy-boy, how’d you get such snazzy armor?” asked Cortez.

    “I don’t know. When I charged that guy, it appeared. I’m not complaining, I feel great power wearing this.” This spoken in a rushed sentence as they were still in the heat of battle; the cats charged separating them, but driving Cortez close enough the Badrim for a quick chat.

    “Nice sword,” commented Cortez upon seeing Badrim fending of a strike, “where’d you get it?”

    “I took it when I left home. Yours… doesn’t seem functional,” commented Badrim.

    “Truth be told, I’m a berserker,” said Cortez, “my body is my weapon. This sword is just a tool.”

    It never occurred to them that maybe the cougars had a plan as Cortez and Badrim were distracted, the cougars bluffed a charge and wheeled about and turned on a unaware Harris.

    “Watch out!” screamed Cortez, and Harris turned his head and saw the two in-coming cats. Leaping into the air, he avoided getting raked by their claws. In the air, well above the cats’ reach, he pondered his next strike, a voice spoke in his head “Use the power of your dragon.” A new sensation coursed through Harris’s body, he pushed it outwards into his armor and the power enveloped him and extended out through his wings. Now it was his turn to bluff, he spiraled high into the air and nose-dove.

    As Harris neared at mach speed, he screamed “Wing Blaster!“ and stopped dead in his flight, but his aura continued and took on a bird-like shape as it slammed into the trio of cougars, who clawed futilely in the ensuing whirlwind. As the winds subsided, the cats were obviously dazed- hissing at Harris as he landed and at the approaching Cortez and Badrim, they turned tail and ran.

    “Wow, where’d that guy get the ability to command cougars?” asked Cortez, “or a more important question- why was he after the Rubystone?”

    They were questions to be answered at a later date, because Harris swooned, his armor evaporated and he fell to his knees, but Cortez and Badrim caught him.

    “Is he alright?” asked Natalie as they dragged Harris back to the village.

    “He’s fine, just exhausted. The fight took a lot out of him, he’ll be fine by morning.” answered Cortez.

    In his dream, Harris encountered a being covered in light. “Now that you know of the power that I wield, young prince, with your help, I’ll regain my full power as you realize your full potential.”

    “You’re the dragon of my Jadestone?”

    The entity didn’t respond as it dissipated into the darkness, and Harris woke up with Natalie at his bedside.

    “Good morning, Harry. The mayor would like to thank you for your bravery, he should be downstairs,” said Natalie, smiling motherly.

    “How long have I been out?”

    “Since you passed out? At least half a day. Are you feeling okay?”

    “Yeah. You‘ve always been like a sister to me, Nat.”

    “That’s because Jeneva is spoiled and the queen of another country. Just to let you know, the mayor owns the Rubystone. Badrim’s with him now, explaining what happened.”

    Natalie lead the way through the cottage, and at the table near the kitchen, sat Badrim and an elderly gentleman.

    “Ah, you’re the young hero who helped defend my village. You have my utmost gratitude,” he said as he bowed and Harris returned the gesture. “Your companion said you were searching for my little trinket and you stopped the villain that set my house afire from taking, such heroism shouldn’t go unrewarded.” Harris smiled, but struggled from smiling too broadly. “Alas, this young man, helped to save me and my family- no disrespect young lady, he said you helped rescue my family as well- call me self-centered if you will, but this hero deserves my treasure. Worry not, you both shall be rewarded.”

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006


    ###### HERE THE NEXT PART ##########

    The mayor stood, as did Badrim bowing slightly. As the mayor opened the small wooden box on the table and red light leaked out. When the box was complete opened, by the mayor who was wondering what the light was, the light lifted itself from the box and placed itself in Badrim’s hands.

    “What the…?” muttered Badrim, as the light faded, reveal the Rubystone in his palm.

    Harris smiled, “I’ll explain later. Excuse me, your honor, where is my companion- Cortez? Big guy, black hair, one eye; he was with me in the morning.”

    The mayor thought for a second, then answered, “He was arrested, or rather he turned himself in. Did you know he was the Ruthless Monster- that Cortez? You were lucky he didn’t kill you.”

    “I hired him to protect me from other highwaymen,” said Harris, “Can you let him out for us?”

    “Can’t do that. As soon as he turned himself in, he was carted off to Hellena Prison. He was too dangerous to keep in our small prison.”

    “Crap! Natalie, Badrim- c’mon, we have to get Cortez before he’s executed at Hellena!” cried Harris and he ran out the door.

    “Why does he want me to come along?” asked Badrim as he ran after Natalie.

    “You look the type who wants an adventure. That gemstone you got is the key to this adventure. As soon as we rescue Cortez, he’ll explain about the light and everything else.”

    Badrim shrugged, as he hopped onto Cortez’s horse, ‘She’s right, I could use an adventure.’ he thought to himself as he chased after Natalie and Harris.

    Natalie called out to Harris as they caught up with him, “Hey, what’s the rush?”

    “Odds are Cortez will be executed as soon as he gets there. Remember, I spared him from being executed. If I’m not with him, then he’s as good as dead. They have a half-day lead on us, we’ll be lucky if we get there before he’s executed.”

    “Yo, Harris!” called Badrim getting on the other side, “Can you explain that light this morning before you bolted?”

    “Here’s the short version- that gemstone you have is the Rubystone, which possess the spirit of the fire dragon. I have the Jadestone, with the spirit of the wind dragon, Cortez has the Onyxstone, with the spirit of the darkness dragon. Those who possess these Spiritstones are called dragoons, or dragon knights, and there are four more out there. And when the spiritstones awake, it’s a sign that the world is being threatened- and the dragoons are chosen to prevent the catastrophe.”

    At first, Badrim’s mouth hung open, then it snapped shut and replaced with a dubious grin. “I could use an adventure. Does what’s her name have one?”

    “My name is Natalie, and no I don’t, nor do I think I’ll ever hold one,” retorted Natalie.

    And off they raced, to save the other member of their ragtag crew. Though little did they know that Cortez was already halfway to the infamous prison.

    Nearly a week later, Cortez was lead, under heavy guard and chain, into the famed prison to his own cell.

    “We’ve had many a famous prisoners, and you’ll be added to it, ‘Ruthless Cortez!’” cackled the warden as Cortez was shoved into his ‘accommodating’ cell.

    All but one of the guards left, the one that remained kept staring at Cortez.

    “Get your fill, boy. I’m a dead man,” snorted Cortez, rubbing his wrists after the shackles were removed.

    “I can get you out of here,” said the guard.

    Cortez eyed the guard, “why would you want to help me?”

    “If you don’t want to get out to save the world, then so be it.”

    Again, Cortez eyed the guard, something wasn’t right. “What’s the catch?”

    “Give me the trinket you stole from the dignitary you murdered, and I’ll let you out.”

    “Yeah, you get the Onyxstone then as you ‘allow’ me to escape you alert the warden to my miraculous escape. That way you get a treasure and a commendation. Nice try, no.”

    “You have my word that I won’t turn you in after you escape. There’s going to be a riot, and you’ll sneak out in the confusion. Just give me the Onyxstone and you’re as good as free, then in due time, I’ll return it to you or the prince.”

    Something clicked, this guard was too eager to get the stone, so Cortez pressed the question, “Why do you want my Onyxstone so desperately?”

    “All I need is the power that your stone contains. Which is why I’m willing to set you free and return the stone to you afterwards.”

    It was then that Cortez realized who he was bargaining with. “You’re the guy who broke into the Treasure Vaults at Bale Castle and sucked the dragon from the Jadestone, and you want to do the same with my Onyxstone! Why are you doing this- what do you need the power of dragons for?”

    “You wouldn’t understand.”

    “You’d be surprised what I can quickly grasp.”

    “I need the power of the dragons to prevent a war.”

    “Not with the methods you’re using to acquire them. You’re more likely to start the war.”

    “It doesn’t matter. Give me your Onyxstone and I’ll let you go free, all you need to do is escape during the riot.”

    “Yeah, I’ll go free until I’m arrested again and eventually executed. Besides, what makes you think I still have it?”

    “The prince would only release you for two reasons- that you’re getting for him, or that you have had it with you since the murder. I was part of the search party, and we searched everywhere- and I have my methods- but we couldn’t find it. Some said you swallowed it, I say you hid it in- your left eye socket!”

    Cortez laughed, “Heh, heh, heh… Yup, that’s where I’ve kept it all along. No one‘s bothered to look.” Cortez flopped down on his cell cot, popped the Onyxstone out of his eye socket, and smiled as the guy flinched, “Tell you what, I give you the stone, you drain it and give it back, after you open the cell that is. I‘ll escape during this riot, and you can get out before I get my hands on you. We‘ll both get what we each want.”

    The guard shook his head, “I can’t drain the spirit in your proximity, that’s why I said I’ll give it back to you at a later time. I’m running thin on patience and time. You know my deal. And it’s for the best, Cortez. You can prevent the deaths of many- just give me your spiritstone!”

    Cortez didn’t move from his lounging position, as if to mock the guard. “Tell me one thing- what’s your name? When Harris gets me out of here, and we’re going to chase you around the world, I’d like to refer to you by your name rather than ‘the guy draining the spiritstones.’”

    The guard took a step back, not expecting such a question. “Shurid,” he answered modestly.

    “Well, Shurid, you’ll probably hear from your lackey that we have the Rubystone,” Cortez smiled, hoping to strike a nerve but instead saw Shurid wide-eyed.

    “Damn it, he’s made his move. We haven’t much time, give me your stone!”

    “You know him, don’t you?”

    “Yes, he’s…”

    “You! What the hell are you do talking with him? Who the hell are you anyway?” asked a guard carrying Cortez’s food.

    “I was hired a few days ago,” Shurid lied.

    “A rookie, eh? Good, there’s a mess in the South blocks that needs be cleaned up,” laughed the guard as he threw the food into the cell. Cortez doubted any of it was edible before it ended up on the floor.

    “What kind of mess?” inquired Cortez.

    “Gortak got his hands on a petty little thief who wouldn’t apologize- and taught him proper respect for authority,” the warden broke into another laughing fit, but stopped as he saw Shurid still there. “Get to work, rookie, blood doesn’t leave a pleasant odor after three hours and the flies will bother everyone, especially Gortak.”

    As the warden left, laughing down the hall, Shurid said to Cortez before he left, “I’m not sure how you’ll fare in a riot caged up. “

    “If Gortak is behind this riot, he’s probably conned several of the guards as well as the entire prison into joining his cause, and letting him use Hellena as his own private castle. Knowing my previous encounter with Gortak, I’ll need my spiritstone. I’ve seen what power a drained spiritstone has, I’m curious to see how much power a fully charged spiritstone has.”

    “So be it,” shrugged Shurid, as he left- to clean up the mess or just to leave, Cortez didn’t care as he reminisced about his past.

    Nearly 20 years ago…

    “For a grunt, I didn’t expect you to be of much use, but you’ve proved your worth. I don’t even know your name, grunt,” said the thug leader, Gortak.

    The man to which Gortak spoke, stood a foot and a half shorter than Gortak, who being a Giganto stood nearly 9 ft tall, hesitated- for his true name was barely pronounceable. “Cortez,” he finally said.

    “Ha!” laughed Gortak, slapping Cortez on the back, “You’ll go far in my ranks, Cortez. But now- bring the spoils!”

    At the call, several of the thugs dragged out the women chained together from their latest conquest. Earlier in the day, Gortak along with Cortez and his thugs raided a caravan of travelers, they looted everything that was of value and then kidnapped the women to hold for ransom. Cortez himself was besieged by half a dozen armed men- Cortez fought them off, without a weapon, and returned with barely any injuries though laying waste to the besiegers. That act, witnessed by most of the army, astounded everyone.

    Gortak picked two women from the group and hoisted them to his shoulder kicking and screaming, “Go take your pick, Cortez, the good ones are going fast,” laughed Gortak.

    That didn’t make much sense to Cortez, but as he saw his companions fighting over several of the women, he got the hint of what they had planned.

    “We can’t do this!” called Cortez, to the retreating Gortak.

    “We can and we are,” responded Gortak, looking over his shoulder at Cortez.

    “This is wrong,” said Cortez approaching the giant figure of Gortak.

    “We’ve done a lot of wrong things, so adding another to the list won’t hurt,” replied Gortak, turning to face the newcomer, dropping both his women in the process. And hurriedly, they crawled away.

    “We can’t do this. These women don’t deserve to be viol-..”

    Cortez was cut off as Gortak’s fist sent him skittering across the room. “I don’t like where this conversation is going,” growled Gortak, turning red with anger. A sudden hush fell over the room as Cortez crashed into a weapons rack.

    From the floor, Gortak’s stature seemed to grow three-fold as he stomped towards Cortez.

    “I have no need for your guilty conscience in my organization. This is my company, so shut up and do what I say, or get the hell out!” screamed Gortak, nearly foaming from rage.

    Standing up, Cortez picked up sword by his side- Gortak’s blade- and leveled it at Gortak, “I can’t allow you or anybody else to violate these women. And if it means taking over your band of thugs, than so be it.”

    “You want to take over? Well, boy, you can try,” growled Gortak as he charged. Whether or not if he knew Cortez knew how to wield a sword, it didn’t matter- this little whelp dared to stand up to him and challenged him, he was going to pay… dearly.

    As for Cortez, whom didn’t know how to wield a sword, he knew this would be a fight for his life and it would be a fight he- nor anybody else who witnessed it- would ever forget.

    And his left eye would become a constant reminder.

    Harris, Natalie, and Badrim raced at a feverish pace only to be slowed by a storm halfway to Hellena prison and then they had to replace Badrim’s horse after it slipped in the mud and became injured.

    Harris hoped that Cortez hasn’t been executed yet, because he needed Cortez’s strength as a dragoon. Natalie hoped that Cortez was safe, because she liked him- he was funny, and Harris’s stern mood often staled the mood. Badrim hoped that they would traveling with Harris and Natalie won’t be boring.

    Meanwhile, back in Hellena Prison, Cortez waited patiently for this riot that Shurid warned him about to happen, or for Harris to bail him out- which ever happened first. And since it had been three days since Shurid tried to take the Onyxstone, no such riot occurred Cortez safely assumed that Harris would bail him out.

    Then came sound of fighting above him- the riot had started. The sound of many armored came from the stairway- reinforcements to quell the riot, but screams and the clashing of weapons against metal armor and the pleadings of turn-coats.

    Cortez stood as a familiar shadow filled the hallway, a shadow that Cortez hoped to never meet up with again.

    “Well, well, well. Cortez, the One-Eyed Horror. It’s so good to see you again, after all these years,” sneered Gortak, “at first, I didn’t believe the warden when he said that you had been arrested and brought here, I thought it to be a copycat. But low and behold, it’s you- the scum who had me arrested and broke up my gang. You’ll pay for throwing me in prison, with your life! Take him topside!”

    Several treacherous guards shackled and dragged out of his cell, the floors were littered with those who defied Gortak’s reign and some who still defied. From the looks of things, the entire prison population and a quarter of the guards pooled in with Gortak, the remaining guards who were overpowered were killed unless they joined with Gortak. Cortez knew their plan- a coup as soon as the opportunity presented itself, but as long as Gortak was around to intimidate anyone who would stand up to the giant.

    As Gortak lead Cortez to the upper levels of the prison, to the execution amphitheatre, he wondered if Harris was going to try to rescue him at all. That, and he wondered why he felt more hatred toward Gortak then previously- something about Gortak upset Cortez, or rather his spiritstone was upset he realized as they emerged on the roof.

    Gortak turned to Cortez and began laughing. Now this was something that Cortez couldn’t stand, and this added to the malice of the spiritstone.

    When Harris, Natalie, and Badrim finally reached Hellena, hell had broken loose. The drawbridge used to keep the prisoners in had been destroyed- the mechanism were destroyed from within. Harris and Natalie suspected treachery, and Badrim confirmed it as he looked at the carnage that had been wrought inside. Guards and prisoners, friend and foe lay injured and dying.

    Harris approached one of the injured guards, ever ready for an ambush, and asked “Where’s Cortez?”

    The guard jolted as Harris spoke to him, still he managed to say, “They took him to the roof,” before coughing up blood.

    “Come on, Cortez might need us,” commanded Harris.

    “What about him?” asked Natalie.

    “Cortez’s safety is of greater importance. Besides, I don’t think we can help him much with our supplies.”

    The trio headed for the stairs, not looking back; as they did, the guard they asked stood, shucked off his armor and looked back at the retreating heroes, and smiled- it was Shurid.

    “I should thank you, Cortez. After you had me arrested, I wanted to tear you limb from limb. But since I was locked up here, I was hoping you’d get arrested and brought here. After several years, you never visited and I became restless. I started planning this…”

    On top of the prison, Cortez was held by several guards as Gortak yammered on about his plans for Hellena and his eventual conquest of Kazas, Fletz, and Bale.

    Cortez rolled his eyes for the… well, he lost count. “If you’re planning on killing me by boring me to death, you’re doing an excellent job. How? I’m not sure- maybe I’ll choke on my own spit, or maybe my head will cave-in, or wouldn’t it be cool if my heart burst forth from my chest and leapt into a bonfire. Anybody wanna place bets?” interrupted Cortez seeking silence from Gortak.

    The silence Cortez sought was followed by a growl and drawn sword leveled at him. “I took your eye, oh so long ago. Your head will accompany it soon enough!”

    Cortez smirked and called forth the power his Onyxstone held. Last time he fought Cortez, he barely escaped with his life, though but a sheer strike of luck, Cortez felled Gortak and still found the strength to fight any thugs who stood in his way and rescue the women. He felt the power he needed to best Gortak surge through his body.

    He screamed as a dark light burst forth, throwing the guards that held him across the roof. As the light fade, Cortez hovered a few inches above the roof top in full dragoon regalia and in his hand he held a wicked blade. “Wow,” he finally said after giving his suit of armor a quick once over.

    Cortez turned to Gortak expecting an awestruck , slack-jawed expression but he himself donned the awestruck expression as Gortak grinned menacingly. “You just my job a lot easier,” mocked Gortak as he screamed.

    A black light- though not as luminescent as Cortez’s- enveloped Gortak and when it faded Gortak himself was in dragoon armor. Cortez smirked- mockingly at Gortak’s armor looked as if it hadn’t been polished in a long time, and menacingly because he now knew why he felt such a strong hatred towards Gortak.

    “Aren’t you wondering where I got my Onyxstone?” asked Gortak, tapping at his embedded in his chest plate.

    “Nope,” retorted Cortez, as he charged. This sudden attack left Gortak awestruck.

    Harris and Natalie hurried up to the roof as fast as they could, with Badrim in close pursuit. They didn’t bother to intervene in any skirmishing, and anybody who was stupid enough to get in their way, whether they be friend or foe, soon fell to Natalie’s lash-knife or the hilt of Harris’s axes or the broadside of Badrim’s shield. They would take a tally after everything is sorted out. But for now, Cortez was more important.

    As they neared the top, the sounds of swords clashing and punches thrown with gauntlet-clad hand echoed through the staircase. Emerging from the dark confines of the prisons, they all saw what Harris had expected… and something, or rather someone else- another Black dragoon!

    Cortez saw them and called “He’s mine!” fending off another blow from the giant. Instead, they busied themselves with the four remaining guards. The warden hid, either from the two battling titans or from the wrath of the four who waded through the turmoil of the riot, he didn’t know; being an opportunist, he thought it would be better to side with the victor when all was said and done.

    “I knew it!” cackled Gortak, as Cortez weakly warded off a strike, “you don’t know how to wield a sword! How did you ever manage to beat me that day?” Gortak charged with a thrust that Cortez, with a smirk, easily avoided, spinning and back-handed him upside the head.

    “Don’t you recognize this sword, gorgeous?” taunted Cortez as Gortak recovered, “this is your sword that I used to beat your ass with. And I‘ll use it again!” Cortez charged again, this time a lazy downward cut.

    “Of course I did, but do you recognize this sword?” retorted Gortak dodging Cortez’s strike, only to fall right into Cortez’s true attack- a somersaulting heel kick; after all, they were fighting in mid-air and Cortez had used his obscure fighting style and dexterity to his advantage.

    “Of course I do! That’s the sword you used to cheap shot me and took out my eye!” screamed Cortez after the falling for the giant, who managed to turn around only to catch Cortez’s shoulder ram into his chest- and elbow to the face.

    With the guards dispatched, the trio could only stare in amazement in the aerial battle that was taking place, and they all agree- Cortez had the advantage over the giant. More importantly, Badrim noticed, was Cortez was playing with the giant. ‘Stop dawdling, and finish it!’ thought Badrim.

    Cortez smiled, this was too much fun, he thought to himself. Gortak saw this smile and interpreted it differently, he knew Cortez was drawing out this fight. Gortak swung a sloppy side-slash that Cortez spun out of the way and retaliated with a roundhouse that sent his rivals blade flying over the side of the prison and it’s wielder down to the rooftop with a hard thud.

    ‘Finish this cretin, he who dares to attempt to imitate my power. Call upon it and show him the truth,’ said a voice inside his head, more importantly from the Onyxstone in his eye.

    Growling, he pushed this new power into his sword- this power he felt envelope his sword. Gortak, recovering from his sudden re-acquaintance with the ground, looked up at the dark spot in the sky. This feeling of dread froze Gortak’s spine- Cortez was going to kill him, and he was powerless to stop him.

    Cortez’s blade pulsed with ominous power, and it thirsted for something. “ASTRAL DRAIN!!” cried Cortez as he nose-dived at Gortak’s prostrate gawking form. Spinning quickly, Cortez threw the sword with such force that it pierced Gortak’s armor and pinned him to the rooftop.

    Cortez hovered, with hand outreached- for he felt the need to draw something from either the sword or Gortak’s gasping body. From the hilt, a strange power gathered, before exploding in a shower of light, which was soon followed by another burst of light- this time black, for Gortak’s armor had vanished within the light.

    Cortez landed, coughing and scratching at his tongue. “Ew. I’m gonna be tasting that for weeks. Yuk,” he said as his armor disappeared in a flash of light akin to Gortak’s and as Harris, Natalie, and Badrim approached.

    “What did you do?” asked Natalie, as they approached the desiccated form of the once formidable Gortak. “but first, what was he? He too big to be human. Nor does he look like a Wingly,” she added as Badrim stood by her.

    “He’s Gigantos,” answered Badrim, “strange, my people thought the Gigantos extinct.”

    “Yes, and Albert’s Chronicles said that Kongol, a Gigantos from west of Tiberoa, was the lone survivor after his people were wiped out. He must have been another survivor.”

    “What ever he was, he’s dead now,” quipped Cortez. “To answer your question, miss, I don’t know. Though, I am feeling better, despite this awful taste in my mouth.”

    As Cortez wrenched the sword from the corpse, a seemingly familiar object rolled forth from Gortak’s hand.

    “What have we here?” said Cortez bending to pick it up. As soon as he touched it, it crumbled. When everyone looked at him quizzically, he just shrugged. “Gortak asked if I wanted to know where he get his spiritstone- and I didn’t care, because I knew he wouldn’t tell me.”

    “Where would he get another Onyxstone?” asked Natalie.

    “There’s only one of each. Some how, he copied it,” answered Harris.

    “I don’t think he knew how to copy something like the Onyxstone, but let’s contemplate that elsewhere. We’re still in the middle of a riot, so let’s get out of here,” stated Badrim, heading towards the stairs without waiting for a response.

    “Why’d he come along?” asked Cortez, pointing at Badrim.

    “He’s the holder of the Rubystone,” answered Natalie, smiling and walking after Harris and Badrim.

    Shrugging, Cortez followed after his new and old comrades. The warden, now thoroughly convinced that Gortak had lost, took after the retreating heroes calling for their attention. Harris stopped and turned glaring at the warden accusingly- this glare stopped the Warden dead in his tracks.

    “What is it?” Harris asked.

    “Um, he- Cortez- is still a prisoner here. Only a royal decree will allow him to be freed,” stammered the warden as Harris eyed the insignia on his shoulder.

    “A royal decree, eh? It would be a complete waste to go back to the palace to get it from my father- he wanted to execute Cortez, so that would be a bad idea,” said Harris as the warden paled, “I could go to Fletz and get my sister to sign the pardon, but since Hellena Prison is in Serdian boundaries, she’d have little influence. So, this will have to suffice.”

    As Harris pulled something from his pocket, the warden ducked fearing some kind of weapon, instead as he looked up he saw the royal insignia of the Bale Royal Family. “Prince Ha-Har-Harris?” stammered the warden, “my apologies.”

    “Save them. What just happened here, this uprising, you allowed to happen. You and everybody that agreed to go along with his plan will be punished, for this is treachery. But I have more important matters to attend to, until then- consider yourself prisoners within Hellena itself. Clean up this place.”

    Harris turned to leave, speaking over his shoulder he left one final threat, “You saw what Cortez can do. I can as well, don’t make me have Cortez hunt you down- if I have to come after you, you’d prefer Cortez.”

    As the marched through the prison, anybody who was still stupid enough to try to get in their way cowered but not from Cortez, but from Harris’s dignified aura repulsed everybody. “Natalie, send word to Kazas, let them know about the uprising, as soon as we get out of her,” said Harris.

    “Of course, it’s not like Espin can fly through walls,” said Natalie, almost mockingly, and got rewarded by a nasty glare from Harris.

    “So, you’re the prince of Bale?” asked Badrim to no one in particular once they left the prison and Natalie , “I was wondering why you were traveling with Cortez. At first I thought he was just hired to protect you, but the incident with what’s his name- Gortak, I now see things differently.” He pulled out his Rubystone, and looked through it in the sunlight, “So, with this, I can get armor like you two got?”

    “Supposedly we can also summon the dragons that ‘reside’ within our stones,” replied Harris, “mine however, the dragon’s essence was drained out of it.”

    “And the guy came to try to do the same to mine. He said his name was Shurid,” said Cortez.

    “What? You talked to him? When?” asked Harris.

    Cortez staggered, “How ‘bout I tell you while we rest? That fight with Gortak drained me, even after consuming his life force- which wasn’t very appetizing. I’ll need some hard liquor to wash that taste out. So, where do we go?”

    “Lohan is several miles northwest, let’s spend the night there; we as well got little sleep trying to get here before you were executed. After a restful night’s sleep, we can continue to Tiberoa.”

    “Why Tiberoa?” asked Cortez, as Natalie brightened.

    “We’re going to visit Geneva? I haven’t seen her in ages!”

    “Well, we’ll need a pass to board a ship from Donau to Deningrad. Since we’re already near Fletz, it’ll be easier to get one from her. And likewise, I haven’t seen her since the wedding and I need to tell her about my little trip.”

    “Deningrad?” asked Natalie, her face darkening, “across the ocean?”

    “I know, Natalie. It’s where we will part ways, but lets not talk about it now.”

    “Why not just go to Kazas? It’s closer,” suggested Badrim.

    “By going to Kazas, we might endanger Cortez again. Once word of the riot gets out, because undoubtedly some inmates made an escape and need to be recaptured, the knights of Black Castle will make a sweep of the city and most likely will take Cortez prisoner even with my status. Thus delaying us further. In Lohan, it will be easier,” answered Harris.

    In Lohan, after a quick dinner over which Cortez explained his encounter with Shurid, that he ended with “Whomever tried to get the Rubystone he knew, and he probably also knows the guy’s plans.”

    “So, we find Shurid and get the information we need, and not to mention your dragon spirit, Harris,” concluded Badrim. “Shurid’s just draining the spiritstones. The other guy wanted the Rubystone, as Harris said ‘Dragoon are awakened and gathered to prevent catastrophe’ maybe that guy is planning something with the spiritstone. Maybe he’s the one behind Gortak’s fake Onyxstone!”

    “Well, then. That’s a plan. Let’s turn in for the night,” finished up Harris, “we have a long trip ahead of us. Cortez, wonder how long your luck would hold up.”

    Heading up to their rooms, Cortez stopped Badrim to ask a quick question, “Are you a Wingly?”

    Badrim stopped and glared at Cortez, “Yes, what of it?”

    “Nothing, just wanted to confirm my suspicion,” answered Cortez before closing the door on the surprised Badrim.

    Tossing in his bed, seeking some sleep, Cortez couldn’t. Then he heard Harris’ voice; creeping out onto the balcony only to hide in the darkness as he saw Natalie on her balcony, and Harris handing something (a letter?) to a guard, the only word Cortez fully heard was ‘Bethany’, the guard then saluted and left as Harris looked up at Natalie who waved back.

    “What was that about?” asked Cortez, that caused Natalie to jump.

    “Cortez! You scared me! What do you want?”

    “Who’s Bethany?”

    Natalie’s eyes narrowed to slits, “Nah-uh, It’s a promise between me and Harris. I can’t tell you.”

    “How about I hazard a guess, and you just nod in affirmation, then you won’t be telling me anything,” said Cortez smiling as innocently as he could.

    “Nice try, cowboy, no dice. Get some sleep, unless Gortak’s taste is keeping you awake.”

    “Nope, the splendid chardonnay washed that clear away. The good stuff has that ability, not the cheap stuff they serve in the gutter pubs.”

    “Get some sleep, Cortez,” said Natalie, retreating back into her room. Shrugging, Cortez turned around, yawned and stretched, ‘I haven’t slept in an actual bed in forever. I’m going to enjoy this.’ he thought, flopping on his bed and was soon asleep.

    By morning, news of the uprising at Hellena had reached the populace, the knights were rounding up the criminals that escaped in the aftermath of Gortak’s defeat. Cortez smiled at the rumor of the Angel of Death ending the uprising before it could spread to Lohan. He only basked in the glory for a few minutes before they headed out for Fletz.

    The journey between Lohan and Fletz took half the day and was uneventful. The border patrolman warned them about the various gangs of thieves that roamed the barren territories, as they passed.

    Once at the capital, the guard at the palace gates let Harris, Natalie, and Badrim through- no questions asked- but when Cortez tried to pass, the guard stepped in front with hand extended outward. “You can’t pass, outlaw.”

    “I’m with him, he’s the-”

    “Yes, I know Prince Harris. His sister, Her Majesty Geneva, sent word for him a few days ago, so we were expecting him, though not so soon.”

    Cortez looked over the guard’s shoulder and said, “can you help me here?”

    “He’s with me, let him pass.” Harris said to the guard.

    “Give me your sword, then you may pass,” said the guard, turning his hand palm up.

    Cortez’s draw dropped, “You let them pass with their weapons. Why not me?”

    “Prince Harris and Lady Natalie, I don’t need to worry about. The Wingly, I’ve seen him before- he had to get a permit to cross the border. Rarely do adventuring Winglies cause us trouble. Besides, you’re the only one with a 30 thousand gold bounty on his head. Your sword, please.”

    “You could try to charge him. This guy ain’t so big,” joked Badrim only to get weird looks from everybody, and a annoyed glance from the guard.

    Grumbling, Cortez handed over his sword, “do I need an escort as well?”

    “Unless you want one,” joked the guard, stepping aside.

    In the shadows of the tower, a pair of bloodshot eyes accompanied by a sinister sneer skulked off, snickering and muttering “easy money” as it disappeared in the shadows between the buildings.

    King Ronal and Queen Geneva greeted them as the heroes either bowed or went to one knee.

    “I know you have business with Geneva, so I’ll take my leave,” said the king, kissing his bride as he left.

    As soon as he was gone, Natalie rushed forward to hug Geneva. “I haven’t seen you in years! You look wonderful.”

    “It’s good to see you too, Natalie,” said Geneva as Harris approached and hugged his sister who kissed him on both cheeks, “You have wonderful timing, tell mother… and father… that they’ll be grandparents by next spring.”

    Natalie’s eyes went as wide as her smile, “You’re going to be a mother?! That’s wonderful!” squealed Natalie dancing around in circles with Geneva in her embrace.

    “Of course, Natalie, you’ll be the godmother,” replied Geneva, smiling warmly. This would have caused Natalie into another dizzy fit, if Cortez hadn’t held Natalie down.

    “Sadly, Geneva, I won’t be returning to Bale anytime soon. We need a boat pass to Deningrad, can you give us one, please?”

    “We? Deningrad?” asked Geneva, her warm smile replaced by a look of confusion, “Natalie dear, I thought you had a wedding to prepare for, or did you postpone again?”

    “I didn’t, so Donau is as far as I go. I’ll tell your father the good news, seeing as your mother is on another diplomatic mission,” said Natalie, “though I still wish I could accompany them,” pointing her thumb Cortez and Badrim behind her.

    Queen Geneva approached Cortez, as did the guards that snuck in to keep an eye on Cortez, but Geneva waved them away. “So you’re the ruthless outlaw, Cortez, why do you accompany my brother?”

    “He spared me from my execution to hire me as body guard. After all, the prince would look and feel awkward being accompanied by a platoon of armed knights.”

    “What is his payment to you?”

    “Being on death row, I haven’t the need for any riches. He promised me a few months of freedom before I go back to meet my maker.”

    “Do I have your word that you won’t betray my brother?”

    “Of course, I’m not going to squander my last little adventure.”

    Geneva smiled as Cortez bowed, she turned and questioned Badrim, “Why do you travel with my brother and Natalie?”

    “He’s hired me as a guide. I grew up on he continent across the sea, so I know all the sites; whereas they don’t have a clue,” Badrim answered modestly, even though it was lie.

    Geneva nodded and returned to the throne and gave a Harris a ‘there’s more you’re not telling me’ glance before asking, “Does your sudden trip have anything to do with the theft in the vault? Yes, I know about that.”

    Harris sighed and smiled, “You know about the MoonFall Epic in King Albert’s Chronicles?”

    “The book you read several times a year? What of it?”

    “The world needs the dragoons again. Cortez, Badrim, and we are the new coming of the dragon knights,” said Harris, then transforming into his dragon armor with Cortez following soon after.

    “I haven’t gotten the hang of mine yet,” quipped Badrim, revealing his Rubystone.

    “Do you have one Natalie?” asked Geneva; Natalie responded with a shake of her head and Geneva looked disappointed, “Very well, I’ll permit a boat pass.”

    King Ronal entered as the light from Harris and Cortez’s armor dissipation, “Dinner is ready, so if you’d like to join us, Prince Harris, Lady Natalie and friends.”

    That night, after a grand feast, in which Cortez and King Ronal likewise, reveled in the embarrassment of Harris’ childhood as Natalie and Queen Geneva reminisced, Cortez stood upon a terrace overlooking the south seas, wondering what laid past them.

    “What are you thinking about, Cortez?” asked Harris.

    “About my home. It’s a long way from here and I haven’t given it a much thought since I was banished.”

    “You were banished from you home, how?”

    Cortez slumped over, putting his chin in his hands, resting on the railing. “Where I’m from, we don’t have many laws- just three, and they’re called ’Violations.’ I broke the first two- Violation of Property and Violation of Body; basically, vandalism and assault.

    “My people aren’t materialistic- what’s broken can either be replaced or fixed, what’s stolen can be returned. Likewise, if someone’s beaten up or murdered, there’s not a lot that can be done about it- only reparations can be made. What happened in the past can’t be changed.”

    “What’s the third Violation?” asked Harris, sounding almost bored.

    “Violation of Self, the most reprehensible of all crimes. It’s rape, molestation, and the like. These crimes linger with the victims- they live with the humiliation of being violated in such a despicable manner. We try as hard as we can to weed out those who’d commit such crimes, but my people aren’t perfect and some slip by. All these crimes are punishable by death.”

    “You said you committed vandalism and assault, how come you weren’t killed by your own people?”

    “My crimes weren’t of such magnitude that my death would suffice, but mostly because I never committed a Violation of Self. Besides, my foster father was the village elder, so he convinced the council to banish me. In all honesty, I was glad to be banished- I got to see the world out the jungle that we lived in. But I didn‘t know what to do in the outside world, I eventually fell in with Gortak‘s crew. My first was a caravan raid, we took everything that was of any value- Gortak ordered the kidnapping of the women.” Harris’s interest pique slightly. “At his base, we distributed the women- so that his thugs could do as they will with them. That I could stand, so I fought Gortak and won narrowly.

    “At the closest village, I lead the women. Several of them took to arms to fend off the stalwart thugs that weren’t giving up their prizes; half of them died. I convinced them and the posse that I was a mercenary and I had infiltrated Gortak’s gang to bring him in and collect his bounty. Rescuing the women were my first priority after the success of the infiltration, with their safety ensured, I lead the posse to Gortak’s hide-out and they took him into custody. I split the bounty with them, and gave the caravaneer’s another portion of the bounty in reparations.”

    Yawning, Harris asked one more question trying to stay awake, “Why are you telling me this?”

    “My people have a saying ‘Knows one’s past and know enough to prevent them from reliving it.’ That’s as close as I can to properly translate it. I’m telling you my past, so if I do something that we’ll both regret- you’ll have to stop me.”

    “Yeah, I’ll try. Good night, Cortez.”

    “Wait, boy, it’s your turn,” said Cortez, smiling.

    “Huh?” asked Harris, barely awake.

    “It’s your turn to tell me about your past, only fair.”

    Harris slumped against the door frame, “There’s nothing to discuss. The second child of a royal family, tailored in nobility. My sister and I got whatever we asked for but our freedom was stifled. My father knew I would claim the throne from him, so he made arrangements with my mother- once I turned 16 he would have complete authority, and when I turn 24 I would have the authority- and I plan to do so.”

    “How’d you meet Natalie?”

    “She’s the daughter of a hawk brooder who once wooed my mother, but she had to wed my father because of the obscure arrangements what were made when my great grandfather wed the princess Lisa of Fletz. Even after the wedding, they remained close. Natalie’s house and the hawk hatcheries are the only places I can travel without constant guard. She’s like a sister to me, because Geneva was always preoccupied with obtaining the Tiberoan throne.

    “When she announced her wedding to a merchant a couple of years ago, I realized that we never thought each other as anything more than close friends. We’ve done a lot together, this is something I wish she could come along with us.”

    “So, do you have anybody special in mind, now that Natalie’s to be spoken for?” hinted Cortez.

    Harris flashed him a lazy grin, “It’s late, Cortez, we’d best get some sleep.”

    Cortez chuckled, “He’s obviously a lady’s man, this Bethany is a lucky lady.”

    “And I ask you the same thing,” asked Natalie, to a surprised Badrim. Being on a lower balcony, he overheard the conversation between Harris and Cortez.

    “What I’m thinking, eh? Same thing, about home. I wonder what they’re doing without me; or if they even care.”

    “Why? Don’t you have anybody that cares for you?”

    “I left on bad relations with everyone. I’d prefer not to speak of it.”

    “Okay, so I won’t pry. Are you going to help Harris track down Shurid?”

    “I don’t think I have a choice, the dragoons are destined to save the world from some threat, and I’m one of them. Besides, I could use the company- I’ve been by myself ever since I left home.”

    Natalie sighed and hunched over, resting on the railing looking out over the seas and the portion of city; then Badrim realized the purpose of her question.

    “You want to come with us- or with him, rather, don’t you?”

    “Desperately. Life in Bale is peaceful, but continually mundane. I help my father tend to our hawks when I’m not with Harris, but now with my other commitments- to my fiancé, I can’t continue to divide my priorities. Besides, call it my intuition, I don’t think I’ll get a spiritstone, and without on, I’ll just hold you back. Then Harris will be constantly distracted to protect me if we run into Shurid or the other guy. So when you head for Deningrad, I’m going back to Bale; patiently awaiting Harris’ return and the telling of his adventure. Maybe our children will become friends.”

    “Harris is lucky to have a friend like you, I wish it did.”

    “You’re fall out distanced you between you and your friends, didn’t it?” asked Natalie, and Badrim nodded.

    “Out of curiosity, does Harris have any girls he fancies?” asked Badrim, after an awkward silence.

    Natalie broke into a short burst of laughter, “What’s with you and Cortez wanting to know about Harris’ private life? I told Cortez, it’s a promise between friends- so I can’t tell you. Anyway, good night, Badrim.” She left to retire and after a few more minutes alone to contemplate something before retiring himself.

    In the morning, the company was greeted with a big breakfast.

    “Good morning, friends,” said King Ronal, shoveling fried eggs into his mouth and motioning forth a servant and pointed towards the seated adventurers. “For you, passes to Furni, the port city on Mille Sesseau. A merchant vessel, the Emerald Tide, is due to dock later today. It’ll take you pretty much the entire day to reach Donau, so you’d best leave soon. For you, Natalie, a pass to cross the pass between Donau and Bale- I’ve already runners to Donau, there will be an escort waiting.”

    The company ate their breakfast, Cortez told King Ronal and Queen Geneva what happened at Hellena Prison, while Harris filled them in on what he did as Cortez faced Gortak, though they left out the part of Cortez going dragoon and sucking the life force from Gortak.

    “I see, you’ve got quite a reputation. Good thing I thought to cancel the bounty on your head and declared you captured, so at least on your way you won’t get pursued by bounty hunters. Or at least as long as you’re in the company of my brother,” said Geneva, handing Cortez a piece of parchment that stated exactly what she had said.

    “Thanks. Though, I doubt my reputation has reached the other continent. But it’s good to know that I have some people looking after me,” said Cortez, with pure admiration.

    As they finished their breakfast, they discussed their plan- the final leg of their travels with Natalie through the Barrens, which once flourished with plant life with the collaboration between the Royal family of Fletz and a botanist. After a harsh drought, the plants died and the landscape was changed when a huge rainstorm flooded the Barrens; a few of the plant had grown back but it was still pretty much barren.

    “I spent some time in the Barrens, hiding from various lawmen and/or bounty hunters. If I can remember enough, I might be able to get us through,” said Cortez.

    “You’d better, I don’t want to waste time getting lost in the Barrens. Let’s go,” said Harris.

    “I don’t want to jinx this leg of our journey,” said Natalie as they left the city gates, “but what I wouldn’t give for one more adventure. I mean the ghost in the old ruins, the strange knight at Valresh, the Hellena Riots. That was more adventure I’ve had all my life… and I don’t want it to be over so soon.”

    “I can’t guarantee anything, Nat,” apologized Harris, giving Natalie a sympathy hug as they embarked.

    While in the shadows, a voice snickered, “Oh, she’ll have one last adventure alright. It will certainly be someone’s last adventure,” as it slunk off farther in the shadows.

    Cortez’s excuse was… actually, he didn’t have any excuses that Harris believed as Cortez lead them wondering through the Barrens. That’s why Harris had Badrim lead the way as Cortez led them into a dead end for the third time.

    Only when they got to the crossroads, that Badrim lead them infallibly, did their suspicions of ‘someone’s watching us’ came true. As they passed under a land bridge, two small lithe figure leapt down upon Natalie, wrapping her in a net, and dragging her off her horse. As Harris, Cortez, and Badrim leapt off their horses to assist Natalie, the two bandits pulled out a pair of wicked blades and pressed them to her neck.

    “One step closer and the cutie looses all the blood in her pretty face. Now do as we demand, and the pretty will be freed,” sneered one of the bandits.

    “What do you want?” asked Harris.

    “Him, Cortez. You will turn him in and collect his bounty, return here giving the money to one of my associates,” as he said that, the cliffs around them filled with humanoid figures- the hills were alive, with bandits and lowly thugs. “don’t try anything stupid, we’ll be watching your every move. Now go! You have ‘til sundown, or she gets it!”

    “How do-” Harris tried to speak, but Cortez stepped forward, smiling a smile that sent a chill down Natalie’s spine- or maybe it was the blade pressed into her neck. Drawing his blade that caused the bandit to press his deeper, Cortez stuck his in the ground and Natalie saw his subtle signal as the bandit released his blade.

    “I’ll counter-offer,” said Cortez, and everybody noticed it was a tone deeper that his usual voice, “you let her go- right now, and I’ll make your deaths- all your deaths!- as painless as I will allow. Or else…”

    “Or else what? We‘ve got you outnumbered, how do you expect to kill us all?” asked the other bandit, drawing his blade and waved it threateningly around.

    Cortez’s smile darkened as he narrowed his eyes at the bandit, “you obviously don’t know who I am.”

    Natalie let out a shrill whistle and Espin replied. As the bandits looked around for the hawk, they were blinded as the dark illumination of his Dragoon armor enveloped the canyon.

    “Unfortunately, we don’t have time to negotiate. So, let’s end this,” Cortez growled as he twisted his blade perpendicular to himself, and charged at the bandits holding Natalie hostage. As they pointed their pitiful daggers at him, Espin came from the sky and snatched the knives from their hands. Now they were without protection against Cortez, who at the last second, launched himself into the air and threw the blade at the ground. Where it landed, long the line he scored, the ground bulged then collapsed. It was into this pit that Cortez dove into- and if the others hadn’t of already witnessed the power of the dragoons earlier, this might have been strange; to the thieves, it certainly was because instead of hitting the ground, Cortez dove into a pit of inky blackness. When Cortez vanished beneath the depth, tendrils of the darkness sprung forth and shot out towards each and every bandit, thug, and ne’er-do-well in the area.

    Two tentacles shot out towards the two bandits holding Natalie hostage, cutting off their screams as it wrapped around their throats. Emerging slowly from the depths of inky muck, , with a menacing smile, Cortez launched himself into the air- again, catching his sword as it flung back to him- screaming “Demon’s Gate!!” and plunging his sword into the ground just shy of the edge of the pool. The pool began to swirl and the tentacles receded, dragging the ensnared bandits into the depths. They would have been kicking and screaming, but all the bandits were completely encased in the darkness that they didn’t have much of a choice as each and every bandit disappeared under the inky pool. When none remained, the pool bubbled and evaporated to nothingness.

    As Cortez’s armor vanished, the other three stood agape and Natalie was as pale as humanly possible.

    “You okay?” asked Cortez, in his normal tone, as he cut away the net that Natalie was trapped in. She stammered a ‘yeah’ as the others came to their senses.

    “What the hell was that? Where’d you send the bandits?” asked Harris, in a panicked rage.

    Cortez looked at Harris and simply replied with “Don’t know, don’t care.”

    “You just sent a couple hundred rogues to oblivion, and you aren’t remorseful?”

    Cortez approached Harris in a manner that even startled Harris himself. “I told you last night; if you know my past, then it’s up to you to stop me from repeating it,” Cortez practically hissed, “As for the bandits, I don’t think anybody will miss them- heck, I think people should be grateful. We didn’t have time to waste and they wanted us to waste it. C’mon, we’re burning day light; we’ve got to catch our boat. I’ve remember the right way now.” Cortez tromped off without waiting for a word of protest.

    “I know I said when we first met him, that he didn’t threaten me at all. But a few minutes ago, he had me absolutely terrified- you should have seen his smile and his eyes. Strangely though, I knew he wouldn’t hurt me.”

    “Whoops, not that way,” said Cortez, retracing his steps.

    “I agree, when he spoke to me, he seemed very different. Now, though…”

    “Oops, had the map upside down. Heh, heh,” said Cortez as he double backed.

    “You don’t have the map!” screamed Harris, rolling his eyes.

    “He’s back to normal,” sighed Natalie.

    “Hey, moron!” called Badrim, to Cortez, “I know the way.”

    Getting back on their horses and headed out of the Barrens. Natalie and Harris were confused about Cortez’s change in personality, and wondered if it would return.

    Donau was a magnificent site in the setting sun, and the ocean view from the docks was breath-taking. They didn’t get sights like these in Bale. At the docks, they met up with Captain Luther of the merchant vessel, Emerald Tide talking to a guardsmen, who was waiting for Natalie.

    “Ah, good to see you. I was wondering when you’d arrive. We’ll leave tomorrow morning, so rest up tonight. You never know how the sea will treat you,” said the captain.

    “I agree. A gang of bandits have been spotted in the area, it would be better to traverse back to Bale in the morning, Lady Natalie.”

    “Good, this will give me and Harris an opportunity to say good-bye. Cortez, Badrim, we’d like tonight by ourselves, if you don’t mind,” said Natalie.

    Badrim saw the dubious grin on Cortez’s face and elbowed him in the ribs, “Sure, no problem. I could take this time to teach Cortez how to properly wield a sword.”

    Later that night, Harris and Natalie sat across from one another- both seemed depressed, but Natalie seemed distraught.

    “You know what, Harris,” asked Natalie, “I’ve felt more comfortable at those balls you’ve dragged me to.”

    “Yeah, this does feel awkward. Especially since we’ll both be embarking on adventures of our lives.”

    “You make it sound so clichéd, but you’re right. I wish I could come with you, but I can’t postpone my wedding again. These are two events that will change our lives, I can’t imagine how a being a dragoon would change my life.”

    “True, I’m still trying to adjust to this new power. Let alone traveling the world, meeting new people, and saving the world. Don’t worry, I’ll make this world safe for you… and your family. Have I ever told you you’d make a great mother? Me being a father, I don’t know how I’d turn out.”

    “Don’t worry, with me by your side, I’ll keep you in check and give you some advice.”

    “No matter where I am, or what I’m doing, I’ll promise to drop everything to attend your wedding. It’s the least I could do.”

    “Thanks. It’s going to be lonesome in Bale without your company. And without you to keep your father in check, the country can’t stand a Tarridon Regime. So save the world as fast as you can.”

    “And you tell me not to dwell on my father’s doings,” laughed Harris.

    Natalie joined his laughter and their conversation drifted towards their childhood memories, like the time Natalie got her head stuck in a crack of a crumbling wall and Harris had to call for his personal guard to help get her out. Good times, they both thought as they shared a bottle of wine.

    When the bottle was empty, the said their good nights and Natalie kissed Harris upon his cheek as they left for their rooms. But for the both of them, it would be a sleepless night. Each of them thought of the other, they’ve been together for so long that the idea of them parting unnerved them greatly.

    The morning came too soon for Harris and Natalie. With Natalie weeping upon his shoulder, Harris couldn’t come to peel her off- and he hadn’t been able to for the past half hour,

    Cortez, having woken up early to set off, fell asleep on the boat was jostled awake by the rocking of the boat, “-are they done yet?” he muttered in his slumbering stupor. Badrim, himself was trying to stay wake, answered “Nope,” between his light snores.

    “Please, your highness,” pleaded the captain, who had been pacing the boardwalk watching the tide, “I’d like to catch the morning tide out of here, else we’d have to wait until tonight.

    “Yeah, buddy-boy, we have to save the world,” muttered Cortez.

    “He’s right, Natalie, I have to go,” said Harris, as he pushed his dear friend away, “besides, I promised that I’d be there for your wedding.”

    “Are you sure it isn’t your wedding, as well?” asked Cortez, jokingly. Immediately afterwards he felt a burning sensation in the middle of his chest, and he saw Harris and Natalie glaring at him; he then flashed them a ‘you know I’m only joking’ grin and they rolled their eyes at him.

    With one more quick hug, Harris bade good-bye and boarded the boat. Captain Luther called to set sail and they were off to Mille Sesseau. Natalie stood on the dock, watching as the Emerald Tide faded away into the horizon. She knew Harris wanted her to postpone her wedding again, just to accompany him. But they both knew that she’d only hold them back, she wasn’t destined to be a Dragoon.

    Harris looked back at the dock, thinking about Natalie. He knew she chose to depart because she didn’t want to be a bother. Saving the world would put their lives in constant danger, and Harris wouldn’t be able to protect her every waking moment. This would be a test of their endurance, they can’t depend on one another to have each other’s back.

    Cortez approached the down-beat Harris, while exploring the ship. “Seriously, why aren’t you to wed Natalie? Aside from the fact that you’re royalty, you two are practically made for each other.”

    Harris turned his head slowly toward Cortez, who instinctively flashed a ’don’t kill me’ grin, but then seeing Harris’s watery eyes deterred Cortez from further questioning,

    “Just shut up, Cortez.”

    End of Chapter 1: Entwining Fates

  3. #3
    Banned Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Kanata eh?


    As much as I loved LoD1, I aint reading all that :x

    I signed that petition a long time ago, I dunno why Sony wont make another. It would be nice to see the first war from 10000 years before the first game. Play as Rose and Dart&#39;s dad

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006


    definitely agreed with you on that part...
    well i&#39;l summed up for u then

    erhh... this is like years later .. dart died.. everyone died... the main character is Albert great-grandson.
    la la la .. it&#39;s good.. but it TOO FAST.. like in a game. u cant jsut go direct . some drag is good.
    ie : side quest.. personal storylines.. etc .. ^^

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006


    great game tat was, but part 2, is tat legit or did u just make it up? whos the maker of lofd againa ill spam emials till it comes out. "moon strike"

  6. #6
    Banned Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Kanata eh?


    Sony made Legend of Dragoon


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