Friday, May 3, 2019

Serialization: "The Arcane Warrior’s Apprentice" by Roberta Downing: Chapter Three

The Arcane Warrior’s Apprentice
Novel by Roberta Downing
Cover artwork designed by Jerry Langdon 


Chapter Three

Bell arrived at the great gathering place where everyone was now starting to gather and place the food on the tables. She saw the stranger that rode into town that had been talking to her father. He was standing by himself. She boldly walked over to him. She wanted to know who he was, why he was here and what language he spoke. She hoped he also spoke the common tongue.
“Hello Mister. Can you understand and speak the common tongue” the young lass asked him. He nodded yes.
“My name is Bell Singer. I have not ever seen you or anyone dressed as you here before. Have you come from a faraway land?”
“I am RavenDance. I am friend to your father and have come from very far away for your birthday milady Bell” he said.
“What was that language you and my da were speaking in his office? I have never heard it and it tickled my ears!”
“It is called Arcane little miss. It is an ancient language and it predates even that of the dragons” he told her.
“The oldest language in Arret is dragon Mister RavenDance. I don’t know why you would have to test a Singer on that! The Singers and Bowmasters are very famous dragon hunters!”
“Forgive me Bell. It was not meant as a test however it is fact. Arcane predates dragon tongue. Do you really believe that dragons were the first creatures to walk this planet?” He sat down and then motioned for her to do the same.
“Let me tell you of the history. Before the time of the dragon came a race that not many remember or want to remember; the demons. The demons roamed Arret for many thousands of years waging war against each clan until at last one breed of demon had become supreme. And at that time the god Arcanos Demonos watched over them, blessed them or hindered them as he saw fit.
Then the gods you know now came and created the races of dragon, elf, gnome, human and dwarf. The demons who had ruled this planet were not happy that they would have to share it and then began waging war upon the new races. The new gods were not pleased that the demons that were older and stronger were killing off their new creations and so they held a meeting with Arcanos to find a resolution. After a time, Arcanos agreed to create a new home for those he held dominion over and the demons were sent to dwell in that place. For a time, all was well with Arret and the new races.
Then the new people and creatures were given access to magic and knowledge and with that found old fossils from long ago and through divining these old bones gained awareness of the demons. They learned of where the demons had gone, that they still live and then the humans and demi humans who had access to magic figured how to summon the demons in order to learn more about them.
The King of the demon realm at that time became angry that some of his populous was being summoned by those they were forced to abandon their former home for another. Demons were no longer permitted in their prior home.
The summoning continued for a time but something happened that neither the new deities nor Arcanos could have foreseen; a rift between the two places had formed. The demons found it and began sneaking out to see glimpses of their past or to retrieve some item they had left behind.
Some of the demons would attack the new denizens or worse, send out parties to kill them off to reclaim their ancestral home. Meanwhile the summoning turned from gaining simple knowledge of what came before to enslaving the demon to do the bidding of the one who used magic to summon it.
Arcanos then requested a meeting with the other gods and stated that the summoning must stop but the goddess of magic, Magicka refused to take or block the requests of her followers and Coeus the god of knowledge agreed with Magicka. There was much debate and when Arcanos was denied his request he demanded that they must then allow a new race to come about that would be strong enough to hold back those that came before and that those new people would be under his dominion and no other. He told them if they did not grant this request then he would widen the rift and allow the demons to once again walk upon Arret and let them wage their wars and kill off their new people. Finally the Arcanos and the tribunal of deities agreed and thus the race of the Arcane was born.” RavenDance concluded.
Bell had been listening with open ears and widened eyes. She knew in her soul what he spoke was the truth and wondered why she had never heard this story before.
“These demons…do they still harm people” she asked.
“Yes, yes they do. But the Arcane track them down and try to prevent attacks before they happen” he replied.
In that moment, that seemed as if time itself had slowed to all but a stop, she could feel and hear her heart beating. She felt a change happening from deep within. Time resumed normally and she excused herself as the festivities were about to begin.

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