The Book of Silver.
Written by Justin T. Hunt.
In the beginning…somewhat.
Far off in a distant plane of existence, where galaxies and planets were yet to be discovered and the only inhabited planet of any significance, as far as the inhabitants were currently aware anyway, was a large planet known only as Clorthal. Clorthal was home to over ninety thousand million inhabitants, of which 38 million were humans and yet they called themselves the superior race. This is funny really, since if it came down to humans fighting insects, and insects were human size, insects would most likely win the battle.
That aside, humans lived relatively content on Clorthal, spreading from island to island, continent to continent. Magic and parliament and living and jobs were soon established. Mages, witches, lords, queens, peasants and thieves occupied every thiefdom and kingdom alike, all around Clorthal. And one of these kingdoms is the magnificent, prominent, and eventful place known as Solifale, ruled by the malevolent wizard Marbulah and the equally pleasant mage Wondarllous. And although both hated each other to the core, they both agreed on one thing for their kingdom: the happiness of their people. Keep them happy, healthy, safe and smart, and the people would treat the rulers just as nicely.
Between the two, they created a mystical, powerful book of spells and incantations simply known as “The Book of Silver”. This book was created as a way to protect the kingdom from any malevolent forces [or rather, more malevolent that Marbulah] that wish to do it harm. They had created it to hold powerful spells that could do almost anything. The only thing they hadn’t counted on was the book being stolen by a creature more powerful than even their combined powers could have foreseen.
A large griffon, that was under the control of a mysterious and corrupted individual who shall be nameless for now, was able to blast through the magical barrier surrounding the Solifale kingdom and push past the armies that struggled to keep it at bay, and even when it broke through the castle towers and struggled to get the book of silver from the two magicians, it was successful after a few moments of battling with them in taking the book from the pedestal and fleeing out of the tower and away from the magicians.
On its’ travel back to its master, the griffon was unfortunate to head through a thunderstorm it couldn’t avoid, and while flying through the storm, it was struck quite suddenly by lightning. Letting out an angry and loud squawk, the griffon unfortunately dropped the book at the same time. It tried to fly down and get it back, but the rain was too hard and the clouds too heavy. It struggled on using some of the magic it held to push through the clouds, but even then the griffon was too slow. It didn’t even get a chance to see where the book had landed because, just at the moment it thought it had gotten out of the storm, something unseen and very strong lashed out and thwacked the griffon with so much power, the griffon lost all magic and sense of memory. It shook its head and began to head back to its home, unsure why it had even left to begin with.
And the book waited to be found once more.
Chapter 1: Daniela and Danny.
A fortnight had gone by since the theft of the book, and the two lords of Solifale had sent out troops day and night patrolling the countryside surrounding their kingdom, ever vigilant for any traces of the book, its magic, or anyone that could be using it. Good or bad.
What no-one was aware of, of course, was what had happened to the book after it had left the kingdom. And so, the patrols had to really spread out far and wide across the lands in search of the book. With the book gone, the protection over the kingdom became extremely low and the two lords had to work doubly harder to keep their people safe and happy. Riots were beginning to break out, sides were beginning to be chosen as to who was the better lord, and thieves and assassins were watching the kingdom with greedy, ready eyes, waiting to strike whom they pleased.
But unaware of all of this, and a good, long 38 thousand miles away, over mountains, pass valleys and along magnificent fields of barley, lay a small village known as Rilosh in which the only magical thing to have any influence on the village was the very lame and old shaman; Buckawkawk. The town had no awareness of Solifale apart from travelling salespeople who came to Rilosh only once a month. So they had no idea of the crises that was going on.
Among the inhabitants of the village were two very adventurous siblings; Danny and Daniela Dragolar, who were currently practicing sword fighting together with wooden swords, leather armor and cute wooden bowls for helmets. The two weren’t fighters, it was clear, but they were very adventurous and curious about things and so tried to learn new things whenever possible.
Danny had just avoided a thrust from his sister and went to strike at her thighs playfully when a voice called to them. “Danny! Daniela! It is time for luncheon!” their mother called. Daniela turned to her brother. “Well shall we call it a draw, Danny?” She asked mischievously. “Oooh alright sis. Though I am sure I had the upper ground there at one point.” He chuckled and they ran together back from the field to their home. Once they had entered the hovel, they placed their armor and swords in their rooms and then washed their hands in a basin as their mother served out lunch on an old, slightly cracking table. The food they were presented with was steak and a few vegetables, and Daniela frowned slightly because she suddenly realized what the steak meant. “Mother… you killed Malory?” she felt like she was going to cry. Their mother sighed and patted Daniela’s shoulders in comfort. “I am afraid I had no choice, Daniela. We have no more money to buy steak from the shops in the village, and there were no more cows to choose from in our barn. You know we have to struggle on since your father… well.” She stopped herself and wiped a tear away. Standing up straight and turning around again, she took something from the counter and presented it to Daniela. It was a small wooden carving representation of Malory, a carving that their mother had been working on passionately during the previous night. “Daniela, I want you to have this. I made her for you to remember Malory by and me as well when I am gone, for I will not always be around as well as Malory, but the spirit of us will live on inside of you two, just like the spirit of your father is. Keep it close, my love. And eat up, both of you. We need to collect the tomatoes and lettuce before the end of the day.” Daniela looked at Danny with a sad face, and saw Danny hit the table with his knife twice, frustrated a bit that he had received nothing from their mother. ‘Brother, our mother cares for both of us immensely. Please do not envy me for the gift. Consider it a gift to us both.’ She was able to send a thought over to Danny, who looked at her and nodded, slightly, understanding.
It had to be said that, while neither children possessed immense powers or magic, for some unknown reason Daniela was able to transfer her thoughts directly into others’ minds, sometimes even convincing the person she was focusing on to do something for her. She had promised herself never to use it for bad unless the situation truly called for it. Danny didn’t mind her using it with him, as long as she didn’t use it to make him do things. But he knew she wouldn’t do that.
The two of them ate their meal in silence as their mother scrubbed at some pots and then, when she had finished, came over to have her meal as well. The family ate in peaceful silence for ten minutes before they finished and went out to gather the vegetables.
They spent the rest of the afternoon harvesting the vegetables they owned as a thunderstorm loomed nearby. They now had three baskets full for each one of them to bring back to the house. It started to rain just as they were getting back inside, and they sat their baskets down on the kitchen bench next to the wash basin.
They began to wash the tomatoes with their mother when there was a loud scream of panic nearby.
“What was that?” Daniela queried as the family looked up. They were shocked to see that up in the sky loomed a tremendous, horrifying figure of blackened clouds. The figure looked down at the village of Rilosh and sneered with disgusting delight. “Worphsa knarli kiftra narsh Solifale! Hiforsh narsh begorq var tantri! Rilosh, morgi jarn borl!!” The voice demanded in a language that only one among the village recognized. That one being Buckawkawk.
He stepped forward and pointed a shaman stick up at the figure in defiance. “You will leave this place, evil one! We have not taken the book of silver! We have no knowledge of its whereabouts. Therefore we are useless in your search.”
Danny ran over to the window when he heard Buckawkawk say this and watched in shock and terror as the figure chuckled at what the shaman had said. “Borna craki ropta unth drawlmi!”
Although no-one else knew what the figure had said in response, the shaman gave everyone the answer they were looking for. “Everyone, run! Get out of the town! GET OUT OF HERE!”
There was a roar and the town was then surrounded by a swirling, vicious tornado. It began to spin and suck, consuming anything in sight.
Danny and Daniela were grasped by their mother as she ran out of the home; thankfully they were up a small hill away from the main village. The three of them ran towards the forest, heading east as quickly as they could. They stopped at some trees just out of sight of the village and panted, trying to get their breath back.
Danny bent down and picked up a sturdy, sharp stick and began to sharpen it with a small knife from his pocket. “W-what are you d-doing Danny?” Daniela asked. “I’m making a weapon to protect us all just in case. Someone has to protect us somehow if that thing comes looking for us next. And we don’t know what’s beyond the town. Anything could be out there!” He explained. “Danny is right. We cannot go back to the village now, Daniela. That thing, whatever it is, is looking for something and I do not think it will pause when it comes to thinking about coming after us at the same time.”
Daniela nodded and held onto her mother tightly. “C-can we ple-please keep going? I…I don’t want to hear the screams.” She asked, looking at Danny to confirm that she could hear the screams in her mind and needed to get far away.
Danny placed his new ‘sword’ in his belt and took the hands of his mother and sister and started to lead them further into the forest.
Although they had no idea where they were going, they knew they couldn’t stay in the village anymore.
The village of Rilosh was now completely destroyed and, apart from nine survivors who, like Danny’s family, had fled the village quickly, everyone had perished from the onslaught of the vicious figure.
It came down and landed with a thud on the ground as it morphed easily into a somewhat human figure. To describe it now would be impossible, as there was nothing distinguishable to describe. But had this creature the want to become any form, it would with a simple flick of its head.
It patted a large dog-like creature it had created from the debris of the wreck and spoke to it in his foreign, powerful language. “Find any survivors and tear them apart.’
Darkness fell over the forest as three figures stumbled awkwardly on, trying to find some shelter and safety for the night. Danny, Daniela and their mother were exhausted, scared and hungry, but wouldn’t stop until they found some sort of shelter for the night. Luckily, they came across a river where they were able to get some water, and smart Danny always had a water pouch with him at all times.
He gave his sister and mother a fair share of the water and had some for himself. They stored some more water in the water pouch and continued onwards until they reached a cave in the side of a mountain. It wasn’t a very big cave, but it was deep enough for the three of them to settle inside for the night. Danny started up a fire with the little amount of sticks and wood he could find that were dry, while their mother tried to set up somewhat comfortable beds from bushes and leaves, and Daniela tried to cook some fish they had managed to get from the river.
Soon it was very late at night and the three were very cold, huddling together to keep warm next to the dying fire.
The fire started to get hotter as time went on and a bit bigger too. Danny would go out every 15 minutes and collect more wood, even if it meant having to be out longer than he wanted to be because of the rain.
It was a short time after his 19th trip out to get wood when he came into a rocky section of the forest and noticed, among the sticks and leaf garbage under a large boulder, a faint glowing light.
When he got closer to the light, he was surprised to find that it was coming from a book that had a dragon molded onto the scaly cover, and the glow was caused by a magical, blue aura surrounding the book. “What is this book doing here? It looks like it has never been touched, but how can that be if it’s been out in this rain? It does not even look wrecked!” He picked up the book and studied it carefully. “Oh! It’s not even wet! How fortunate! Perhaps I can use this to keep the fire going. Since its left here to rot away I may as well use it to keep us warm. Pity though, it looks quite amazing.” He stored the book in his backpack and started to head back with his load of sticks. As he went back, however, he was unaware of fierce eyes watching him from behind some trees.
These creatures were known as fire-nymphs, and they were not as small and cute as legends and myths would have humans believe. These were big, saliva-dripping, tough creatures made of fire and rock. About the size of a medium sized boulder and very nasty. They were not in alliance with anyone, and they didn’t want to be. These creatures only thought of one thing, to torment and burn anything they see. And right now they had their eyes set on Danny, but they could sense that he was with others, and so they decided to follow Danny and to wherever those intruders to their forest were.
“Danny, good! You got more sticks! Fantastic. You are a good son.” Danny’s mother hugged Danny close as thanks. Danny smiled and piled these sticks next to the fire and put only a few on. “I also found this odd glowing book. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I thought we could burn it to keep us warm longer.” He showed them the book and Daniela lifted her head off of a bush she had to struggle to sleep with. “That looks like a fascinating book, Danny. I wouldn’t burn it. Maybe we can find out what’s in it? It might be something good.” Daniela took the book from Danny’s hands and opened the book up. The moment that she did, something peculiar happened. A bright spark of red came out of the book and connected with Daniela’s head for a few seconds, paralyzing her in shock. Her mother and brother looked stunned and when Danny tried to take the book back, he was unable to because a dark red force-field pushed his hand away. It only lasted a moment, but when it finished both Danny and their mother noticed that Daniela’s eyes were now golden instead of blue and she even had a small star embedded on her head which was hidden when her long, blonde hair settled back down.
“Aaahh… what in heavral’s name was that?!” She exclaimed, rubbing her head and trying to relax. “Are you ok sweetheart?” Her mother asked, stroking Daniela’s head gently. “I-I-I think so. Danny… where did you find this book?”
Before he could answer, however, there was a loud explosion that blasted just above their heads and covered them in dust and a few small rocks. Danny coughed and looked out to see what caused the explosion, and saw the fire-nymphs preparing to attack again, about 20 feet away. He took out his ‘sword’ and pushed his mother and sister to the back of the cave. “Don’t you DARE come near my family! You monstrosities! Go back from whence you came!” They saw his stick and laughed. “Foolish human boy! What do you expect to do with that stick against FIRE?!” One of them thrust a fireball at Danny, but he hid behind a rock with his mother and sister quickly. “What are these things?! What do they want with us?” Danny’s mother queried, holding Daniela and Danny tightly.
Danny looked up and saw something that surprised him. From the first blast the fire-nymphs had sent there was now more to the cave. The wall at the back had been broken open slightly and Danny could see there were more paths in there. He didn’t know how long it would last, but it had to be better than being flamed. All he had to do now was somehow get the creatures to break the wall again without hurting his family.
Jumping back out to get the creatures focused on him, Danny grabbed a rock and threw it at one of them. “Your mother married an ice giant!” He called, unsure if what he said was actually a taunt or not. It got their attention either way and their eyes flared in anger. “Fire!” one shouted fiercely. They blasted all their focused power at Danny, but he had been clever and had jumped back behind the small boulder with his mother and sister quickly and before the fire-nymphs could work out what Danny was up to, he had grabbed his family’s hands and made a dash for the new path further down into the cave, led only by the faint light the glowing book was giving. The cave tunnel that had opened up was a bit tight and small at first, but it was their only option as they ran further down into the unknown.
The fire-nymphs followed close behind once the dust was settled, and soon the two parties were delving deeper into the tunnel, unsure where the path would lead.
Danny lead the way down the tunnel, using what light he could see coming from the glowing book, until eventually the tunnel started getting wider and easier to progress through. He didn’t dare stop, however, for he knew the fire-nymphs weren’t going to give up easily. He looked at Daniela and his mother imploringly.
“We need better light! I can barely see! Daniela, something tells me that book you have now is actually a magic book. Perhaps there is a spell for casting light in there.” He suggested. Daniela opened the book again and was surprised to find that, although before she couldn’t read the language in the book, she could perfectly read and understand it now. It was like the words were being translated for her as she read. “I think I have something here, Danny. ‘When darkness falls across your face, this is no time to hide in disgrace. With a star that shines outright, you will now see everything in brighter light!’”
The moment she finished reading the spell, a ball of light flew out of the book and spiraled to the top of the now expansive cavern. When it hit the top, it suddenly exploded into bright purple light that lit up the entire cavern and even followed Daniela as they moved along.
“Great work, Daniela! That makes things better. Now come on, we have to try and lose those creatures!” Danny pulled his family past some bones, which he dare not think about.
Eventually they trio came to a bridge across a chasm that seemed to not have a bottom to the chasm. The bridge was old and broken at sections, but it was clear that it was the only way to cross over.
That was when Danny got a great idea. "Daniela, you seem to be able to cast spells from that book. Why not make a sword for me? A real sword. That why I can actually protect you both." He suggested. Daniela looked through the spell book quickly. "Brother... there is nothing about making swords. But I can summon one I think, only... you will only be able to access it after you have... saved a dear one from close death.... That is very specific. Blast it!"
Danny groaned. "I already saved you both earlier. What more does that book want?" Daniela, while searching the book, did find a spell that could fix the bridge. "Ah! Here we go! This should be able to enable us to cross the bridge."
At that moment, the fire-nymphs appeared again, rounding the corner and snarling at Danny. "Then cast the spell Daniela! We don't have much time!" Danny shouted, stepping forward and protecting his sister and mother once more. "Stay away you foul creatures! Leave my family alone!" He proclaimed. The fire-nymph that was leading the group stepped forward and stared right into Danny. "Human...you entered... our forest... you must...pay!"
Danny swished his 'sword' bravely, knowing full well that these things could probably kill them within seconds. "WE were running from a beast that destroyed OUR home! Can't we work something out?" He replied. The Fire-nymph grunted. "NO!" Then suddenly Danny noticed an almost broken spire hanging on the ceiling of the cave. He only hoped that it would break when he threw his 'sword' against the spire. "Well it’s the best I can try. Here goes" Danny threw his 'sword' against the spire and it almost fell on the Fire-nymph. Although it didn't kill the fire-nymph, it blocked the path for the fire-nymphs to get to them temporarily. "Aaaah almost. Well I hope that will give us some time. But I think he will find a way through sis."
Daniela nodded and was successfully finishing building the bridge. It didn't take too long, but Danny could hear the fire-nymphs trying their hardest to burn their way through the spire. That amount of Fire-nymphs blasting their powerful lava bursts would get through it very soon. "Please hurry up Daniela!"
The last plank of the bridge was completed and Daniela smiled at her family. "Let's go!" She exclaimed.
Danny grabbed both his sister and his mother to run to the other side and saw a pickaxe near him "Well it’s better to slow then. Just need to find the ... the weak point of this side" Danny picked up the pickaxe and broke some rocks to break the bridge to give them more time so that the Fire-Nymphs have a hard time gaining "Sorry mom. Sorry sis. But I want to be sure that I can protect you. But I can't think about losing one of you" Danny said in fear letting some sweat and tears go.
His mother held him close. "You are doing what you can, Danny. You are being so brave, my young warrior. You're making me so proud!" She hugged him gently as they continued further and further into the cave tunnel. Deeper and deeper into the blind depths of what was to come.
Chapter 2: The farmer's slaves.
They went for hours to find a place with life. But with no luck so far "Ugh I feel so tired and hungry. I just wish we had some food and a place to stay. I feel my legs are giving up. I can't go on any longer" Danny said when suddenly he fell on the ground like a plank and not having the strength to keep staying up. Daniela helped her brother up and looked through the book carefully. "There is a spell here... it can help give you water brother." She told him. Their mother hugged them both close. "We're safe now. That's the important thing. We're safe now right?" Danny looked and groaned, wanting food more now. "I hope so. I don't feel so strong. I am feeling hungry and not strong enough to fight and without a weapon. I can't protect you at all." Danny tried to stand up, but with failure. He could only move using his sister's shoulder as support. But suddenly his stomach growled so hard, that the cave rumbled for a short moment. "That was a big one, brother. You must be very hungry indeed." His mother commented. "That... can't have been me. I am hungry but... My stomach couldn't possibly make this cave section rumble that much!" Daniela smelt the air. "D-D-Does anyone else smell... chicken?" "Really? Daniela I'm starving, and now you're mentioning chicken. Can't you use that boo...?” "No Danny I'm not kidding! I really do smell chicken! It's... coming from... beneath us..." Then there was a crack and a roar and the floor beneath them opened up, as the three of them fell through the now open hole and into a huge cooking pot that was only built by goblin hands.
The goblins, the threatening, vicious creatures that gnashed at anything in their paths but had intelligence that almost rivalled humans. These creatures lived in the darkness, consuming and plotting and scheming. And they had heard the family chatting above them for some time now. And they had been given specific instructions by their lord to set a trap for the family. The lord of the Goblins, known only as Lord Glarglork. When the trio fell into the pot, the Lord thundered forward, his huge feet echoing through the almost endless caves.
"Well now, what do we have here? Three humans who are defenseless and scared? Searching for food and comfort. Ooh but this IS delicious! I am lord Glarglork, lord of the goblins of the caves in the under-world. And you, my dear humans, have not just found food. You ARE the food bwahahahahaha!" He chuckled like mad. "Please Lord Glarglork. I know it sounds weird. But we don't want to become the food. We just need a place to live and serve you. But we are just too weak now and my brother is weak now. He needs to have some food. We will help you in any way we can. We mean no harm. Please don't eat us." Daniela said in fear as she tried to protect her brother from being eaten or from hunger. "Ugh. I feel the urge to eat the chickens. They smell so good. I just am so hungry." Danny said. But no movement came from him.
The chickens that he could smell cooking were in another pot and they were already cooking with vegetables, but the goblins were going to dine on humans as well no matter the cost. "You REALLY think we're that foolish? We've dealt with humans before, and we know exactly the sorts of trickery and torture they're capable of, we WILL eat you! You will be our meals tonight! And there's nothing you can do about it!" The mother got angry "Look lord whatever you name is. My kids are not joking. They are weak and so I am. If I need to become your person slave then so be it. But my kids need food and their strength. They never did harm before. They already lost their father and I even killed our own cow to let them even have meat on the table. I feel terrible. I am even willing to offer myself. Just don't kill my kids. They are too precious to me. I don't care about my life. But I care about them. So please. Take me only instead. I don't mind being a slave for the rest of my life. I won't trick you. I promise." The mother said that in order to protect what was left in her life. "No mother. Please we.... ugh. So weak. But we need you. We don't know how to live without you" Danny said trying to protect his mother.
Lord Glarglork eyed their mother carefully. "You are offering yourself? Well I must say that is very... divine of you! Absolutely divine. Put the children in a cage! We're dining on HER instead! Better food from her bones indeed!" They grasped the children and were pulling them out when there was suddenly a deafening crunch noise as some rocks blew up nearby. Every creature looked up to see the fire-nymphs, looking down at the Goblins with sneers. "Those humans are ours!" They snarled. The goblins threw the family to one side and stomped their heavy feet in defiance. "Come on and get them, then you pieces of gnaarralk trash!" Lord Glarglork threatened, cursing in a foreign language that the fire-nymphs knew well.
Daniela grabbed her mother’s hand and started to pull her and Danny away from the cooking pot as they took shelter in a nearby rock home that was deserted. At the right time too, because one of the goblins at that moment the family entered the house picked up the pot and threw it at the fire-nymphs in one thrust, which scatted the fire-nymphs. It made them very angry and the battle started then. It was utter chaos. Two goblins smashed wildly at four fire-nymphs, sending them flying backwards into a rock wall and causing more spires to fall down from the roof onto some in the battle. Eight fire-nymphs combined their fire power to send a large blast at five goblins, which caused them to thud dead against the same place where Danny, Daniela and their mother were hiding. Then all of sudden, Danny stood up. But there was something wrong with him. He grinned and had a lust for a fight. Like he was being possessed by something "Oooh you dealt with the wrong person here Fire-Nymphs. Now I am mad. Nobody acts against me or my mother or my sister. Not even if I am hungry. So have a taste of this!" Danny grabbed one of the 'goblins' weapon with just 1 hand like was a man that had the power of 5 and runs just as fast like it's nothing. He starting hitting every Fire-Nymph he could see like they were just a bunch of rocks. "Now you stupid creatures. Leave these harmless goblins and the lord alone or you will feel my power." Danny said with his red eyes. Daniela saw Danny's eyes and gasped. 'Brother... Danny! You have to stop! Your hunger and your fighting mind, they're getting to you too much!' Daniela told Danny telepathically. Danny actually decapitated a fire-nymph at that moment in a rush of violence and anger and turned to Daniela, realizing she was right the moment he saw her eyes as well as his mothers.
"Ugh. Sorry. I can't seem to control myself with this much anger and hunger in me. Let's get out of here as long as we have the chance." He kept the weapon too in order to keep his family safe while he walked away while he still had the strength to walk and stand up. As a bit of a sneaky, he took the cooked chickens that were in the other pot and stealthily ran back to his family while the two sides were still madly fighting. He took the family through the caves as quick as he could, never once looking back. After a few more hours, they reached the outsides of caves and entered into another forest. They were relieved to be back outside and safe from the hands of the fire-nymphs and the goblins.
They continued onwards until they found a small, abandoned home next to a river. It looked like it had been left alone for a long time, but it was something. They could live here for a while, so they could keep safe and alive. It was something at least.
The battle between fire-nymphs and goblins in the caves was brutal and blood-thirsty, and there was none left alive after the long 8 hour battle. So when the dark figure that was hunting down the book came floating through the cave saw the chaos, it smiled with glee and did something no being had done before without magic. It bent down and consumed the energy of both sides and became stronger from the evil and malice and anger that it felt. It also consumed the intelligence of the goblins. In its' mind, it pictured exactly what had happened through the magic. In the vision, he saw three figures. Humans no doubt. One of them was holding something. The vision wasn't clear about what, but it was definitely book shaped. In his foreign speech, he muttered with satisfaction. "I have found my next target. Now I can come for you next."
At the same time, the two lords of Solifale had found a big clue. One survivor, just one, from Danny's old village had made it to Solifale for protection and told them everything that had happened. The lords knew then that the book would be near the village and started conducting a plan. They came up with it quickly, as they were very smart in their minds.
Both the figure and the lords, although they weren't to know it, had thought of exactly the same plan.
Back at the house, Danny was chewing on some chicken while his mother was collecting water from the lake and Daniela was inspecting the book more. "Oooh that feels much better, Daniela. I was beginning to think I'd starve." "That is good brother. I was kinda hungry also. But I feel a lot better now that you are okay and had some too. So let's see what spells I can learn and is there a spell that give you a good weapon." Daniela looked for the spell while she still wondered about what happened to Danny when he was going berserk all of sudden. "I am sorry what happened in the cave. I don't know what happened there. There was something making me feel angry and making me kill what was against me. I can't put my finger on it" Danny said, while he was still eating with his normal look, as if nothing happened.
"We can't stay here, you two. We have to get going again soon before night-time hopefully. You have to ask yourself... why this place was abandoned. I don’t want to find out." Their mother said, upon returning to the children. "Okay mom" They both said and began to walk with their mother. They walked for hours almost hitting the next day when they found another farm that was not even near a city or village. This one was inhabited though which was a relief. "This is odd. Why is there a farm so far away from a village?" Daniela said while looking at it, noticing some people doing things inside the place with lanterns on. "Well maybe it's the best to ask if we can stay the night. We used to live like them. So I think they have a place where we can sleep." They went to the farmers and hoped they had a place for the night.
When they arrived at the door, their mother knocked on the door politely. After a moments silence, an elderly man opened the door and looked at the trio. "May I help you?" He asked with a tired grunt. "Yes please. My kids and I are tired and we have been traveling the entire day. We are very tired and searching for a place to sleep. Can we stay the night here and maybe help until the midday. We used to be farm people ourselves" their mother explained when Danny and Daniela suddenly yawned and almost fell to the floor. "I am really tired mom. How much longer before we can sleep?" Daniela asks.
The farmer seemed to grin a bit but it vanished after a moment. "You can stay for the night. It's ok. And we would happily have you help. Perhaps you can tend to our crops with me tomorrow. Fiona, we have visitors that need a place to stay." A woman who looked very kind and gentle and clever came forward, wearing a blue cap on her red flowing hair and a night gown as well. "They can stay in the living room next to the warm fire. Oh deary me, look at those exhausted youngsters. Come in! Come in!" She beckoned the trio in and they all walked towards the living room where there was a wonderful warm fire. The man introduced himself and his wife. "I am Farmer Geoff, and here is my wife Fiona. Why were you travelling out so late at night, friends?" "Well we are on a journey to find a new home. Our old home got caught by a tornado and then we almost got killed by some goblins and fire-nymphs. They are after us for some reason" Danny said. "Don't mind my brother. My name is Daniela. That idiot is my brother Danny and this is my mother Gwen. We are happy to help and have a place to sleep" Daniela said and bowed before them. "We are sorry to bother you two for the night. But we had really a hard time and are really tired......" Their mother said and yawned.
Fiona set up three beds next to the fire-place and even poured some milk in glasses for the trio. "You can sleep here. We will clear some furniture away so you can sleep comfortably. In the morning, we will start to work but for now you just sleep and be content, and please have something to drink." She told them. "Thank you so much Fiona. We will be not much of bother. We are kinda used to live small" Gwen said to Fiona when suddenly Danny poked Daniela "Why did you call me an idiot?" Danny asked Daniela "Oooh you know. Just joking. I know you like to joke with me also sometimes. So let's get ready for bed and sleep" Daniela said when she went to the kitchen to wash her hands "Hmm? Well that is of course my sis again. Joking with me" Danny went after Daniela while their mother was laughing a bit.
Daniela and Gwen had a drink of the milk that was given to them, but Danny had already fallen to sleep before he had the chance. He was completely wiped out after everything that had happened and it was nice to relax.
During what was left of the night, Daniela and Gwen had very strange dreams. They dreamt of luscious green fields and they were eating the grass. It tasted nice. And they were enjoying life together. But it was such a bizarre dream. What neither of them knew was the two farmers were actually witches in disguise. They had given the family milk that was slowly, right at that moment, turning them into fat, happy, soft furred cows. The very reason that the 'farmers' had moved all the furniture out of the way was so that the transformation could take place unnoticed during the night. What they hadn't completely counted on was that Danny didn't have the milk. The witches were now asleep as well, satisfied about their new pets, not realizing that one of the trio hadn't transformed. When morning came finally, Danny was the first to wake up and what he saw gave him a big shock. He was staring right into the faces of two cows, both with hair that looked oddly like his sister's and his mother's.
"What the heck? Sis? Mom? Is that you? What happened to you?" Danny queried and picked up the book. "You have been up reading this stupid book, haven’t you dear sis? Well maybe I can fix it for you. Let's see if I can read this" Danny picked up the book and tried to read it. But he couldn't understand even a single letter that was written in it "What are these symbols. It’s too hard for me to read. Ugh. How can I even cast a spell if I can't read this book..." Danny suddenly stopped and heard the witches come. He hides the book and ran outside to work like he didn't know why his sister or mother was turned into cows. He just pretended they were normal cows.
The witches, quick to grasp any new situations, saw that there were only two cows and that the boy, Danny, was outside, working hard in the fields already. "Well now, how fascinating. We only gained two cows instead of three, it seems dear sister." One witch murmured, as she cast a spell to awaken the two sleeping former humans. "Sister Fiona, you are quite correct. But this boy, he is already working for us and seems quite useful! Perhaps he can be handy in his human form after all?" The two witches cast a spell that enabled them to walk the cows out of the house without making any mess or crashing through any walls and soon approached Danny who was digging a hole he thought was for placing in vegetables. "Okay. They seem to have noticed me. But not that I was surprised that my sister and mother changed. Now I need to find a way to punish the witches and free my family. I can't leave them like this." Danny whispered, trying to pretend nothing still happened while he was making a nice vegetable garden.
When the witches approached Danny, they made no attempt to hide their appearances. "Well, well, young man. It seems you have found out what we really are and yet, you're quite happy with working our garden for us. Such a nice young man." The one Danny recognized as being Geoff cackled. "Your mother and sister have become cows for us. Far more useful to us now than they would be as humans! Wouldn't you agree? Heeheheheheeee!" The witches laughed and pushed Danny into the muddy ground. "Don't think of escape either. We've got a magical barrier around the farm that only allows things in. The only way out is if you happen to kill us, and I doubt that will happen anytime soon since we have taken that disgusting goblin weapon of yours and have enchanted it so you can't touch it! As for your mother and sister, I think they'll start to forget who they are soon enough. We'll have them making milk for us and grazing fields without any memory of their previous lives very soon!" They both laughed again and dragged the two former humans to a milking shed nearby. While Danny was in the mud, he was slowly getting his red eyes back. But he tried to fight it. "Oooh I don't mind working for the rest of my life here and for my mother and sister. They earned it. Letting me do the horrible jobs in house. I won't even mind. They were enjoying the pain I had. But please don't do that again. Please see me as a friend. I have a terrible sickness inside me" Danny lie about his sister and mother in order to make them believe him, also trying to make them trust him while still fighting the strange thing that happened to him yesterday.
The witches looked back at Danny and smiled. "So, they earned this did they? Heehee you ARE a clever one aren’t you? Very well than, Danny, You can be our human slave as we sort out your mother and sister. But if you think of anything to come after us, we'll turn you into something worse than a cow!" Fiona said. "I won't betray you. I will obey you well. Just do whatever you want with my sister or mother. But don't kill them. I want to see them being taken care of as cows. I really want to see that." Danny grins in hope he gets a chance to take revenge on them. The witches nodded and walked away shortly, taking the cows to the barn and soon the day started up with jobs as Danny worked hard digging holes and planting vegetables and ploughing the fields. Every now and then he would see his mother or sister calling out to him, but they couldn't speak human anymore. He knew that they could see he was planning something, and that he had clearly lied about everything before-hand with talking to the witches. But the witches hadn't worked that out. Danny had to figure out something to trick the witches further. But what could he do?
‘Ugh it's been days and nothing seems to be different. What did mother tell me about witches? Spells and potions... Wait what was that part I always thought was stupid? They melt by water! That must be the answer. It’s the only hope I have. I need to get two buckets to splash on them when they come down, that will give me time to find a way to turn mother and Daniela back. I don't want to lose them. I will always protect you. I hope you heard me sis’ Danny thought in his mind four days later one afternoon, directing the last part to his sister in the hopes she could still understand him. "Hmm. It’s getting night. Let's finish this work and then head back inside" Danny said out loud, trying to trick the witches. *And when they are sleeping, I will put the plan in action. I will make sure that those buckets will do the job* he found the buckets and picked them up and walked to the well to fill them with water before heading back inside.
Daniela and Gwen watched eagerly, unaware that at that moment something else was heading right for the farm.
When Danny secretly set up the buckets above the doors in the witches’ bedroom, he made sure that they were in sections of the rooms where the witches couldn't see them or avoid them. ‘Perfect. The old bucket falling from the doorway trick gets Daniela every time. But these witches will not know what I am planning. So let's search in their books for a potion to turn my family to normal again.’ Danny thought while he walked back down to find some books. Eventually he found a spell book that looked different to the one that Daniela owned, and started flicking through it. He eventually found the right spell. "Let what spell was cast be reversed, let everything turn back to normal and evil be removed from the spell. Let those that were affected now be back and happy!" He cast the spell quickly. He heard a buzzing noise and looked outside to see a large blue light from the barn and he heard his mother and sister cry in happiness. "Yes it worked. Now I need to find a way to remove that barrier and make sure they won't follow us." Danny said in joy and almost crying in happiness that his sister and mother were human again. Before he could do this, however, there was a sudden thunderclap above the home and a thundering, familiar voice started echoing through the farm valley, this time though it was in proper English. "Where are you, young girl? Where have you got my book? I want it baaack hehehe." The figure was in its' storm form once more and was looking around the farm for Daniela, remembering her from the vision it had. Daniela realized that it was after her and hid in the barn with her mother.
"Hey you. I don't know who you are. But she is not here anymore. She went to the forest. She was trying to find a new and safe home. I know that because it was 2 days ago. So please leave my new farm unharmed. I really don't mean any harm. She had that weird book with her. So please go that way" Danny pointed to a random place where he hoped that this being would believe his lie ‘Huh? What are you doing brother?’ Daniela was thinking from her safe place through her mind. ‘I'm trying to get him away from here.’ Danny replied.
Unfortunately, due to the noise that the figure was making, it soon woke the witches up rudely and they didn't like that at all. They looked out their windows and saw the figure and called out at in anger. "Oh so it's YOU Ganastorm! You're the one that's caused all of this! Pah! No doubt searching the world for true power once more! Well you'll have to come through us first; you foul excuse of a warlock!" Fiona the witch threatened. Danny gasped. “Warlock? WARLOCK?!” He thought with fear.
He had heard of warlocks before, though never seen any. It was rumored they could be powerful beings with nothing but hatred and a thirst for power in their souls. Nothing could stand in the way of the warlock. And no-one could talk them down. Warlocks, Danny gulped in fright, were a thing to be feared throughout the world. And here Danny was now, trying to reason with him! That was so idiotic he felt like hitting himself. But he didn't have the time to do so. For at that moment, the witches cast spells at Ganastorm from their bedroom and Danny was in no state of mind to stand right in-between two powerful magical forces. He ran quickly to where he had hidden the spell book of Daniela's, and snuck out the back door to meet up with his mother and sister before they were all destroyed in the magical battle. "Come mother and sister. We need to get away fast." He grabbed his sister and mother and ran away from the farm. He went away as fast as he could with his mother and sister to somewhere random, realizing that the shield was still around the farm just as he reached the edge of the forest.
“Danny, we can’t go anywhere! The shield is still up! What are we going to do?!” Daniela asked him, as the battle between the witches and the Warlock continued.
And what a battle it was. The Warlock Ganastorm summoned a storm that, in our plane of reality would be considered an electrical storm, with bolts of electricity sparking through the room where the witches were. [This plane of reality weren’t aware of electricity yet.] The witches quickly cast a rebound spell that twisted Ganastorm’s spell around them harmlessly and reflected it back at him. Then they quickly cast an ice blast spell at Ganastorm, which he only just had enough time to destroy and move to the side. He then spotted one of the buckets of water Danny had laid on top of the doors. He levitated it quickly and threw it at the witches. One of them saw the bucket of water right on time and turned it into a bucket of lit dynamite which she then threw promptly at Ganastorm. It was at this point in time that Danny had arrived at the edge of the forest with his sister and mother, trying to find a way through. It was Gwen, their mother, who finally got the idea for Daniela to see if there was a spell in her book that could destroy the shield and let them pass. As Daniela flicked through her book of spells, the battle raged on, getting bigger and more dangerous. Neither side seemed to notice the family anymore; they were too busy fighting one another. Eventually, after ten minutes of searching from Daniela and Danny making sure they were well hidden from the magical forces, she came across the spell that would help them.
“Broken is this shield of light, destroyed is this protective right. Let thy passage be open forever more and the shield become an open door.”
Once Daniela had cast the spell, the shield that had surrounded the farm and the clearing came away like it was melting and within seconds the family were free to run off further into the distance. They didn’t know where they were running too, but that wasn’t what mattered. They just knew they had to get away from Ganastorm and the witches as quickly and as far as possible.
Fortune came upon the family about 3 hours later, when they stumbled upon a road made of gravel and stone. They didn’t know which direction to go, east or west, so Gwen decided that the best solution was to use a spell in Daniela’s book. “There is a spell in here that can help but it is only to find the nearest town or civilization, and I think that we need to keep moving on from there quickly. That Ganastorm warlock seems completely set on getting this book. Who knows who else is trying to get it?” Danny nodded. “Daniela’s right, mother. We don’t know who really owns this book and the fact that warlocks are after it as well as who knows what else, we won’t be safe anywhere unless we keep going on.”
Gwen nodded solemnly. “You are right. But we can find out who this book might belong to if we ask at the closest town. We just need to make sure we can trust who we ask.”
So they agreed that upon entering the town they wouldn’t waste any time in gathering food and water and also finding out who truly owned the book. Daniela quickly cast a spell that told them which direction the closest town was and they soon headed off east along the road. Unaware that they were now going the wrong direction to take the book to its’ rightful place.
While this had been happening, Ganastorm and his battle against the witches had been raging on for more time than he had first thought possible. Had there been any witnesses to the event it may have been recorded as possibly the 3rd greatest magical battle between witches and warlocks. But as there were now no witnesses, and the battle was now over with Ganastorm being triumphant and the farm and house now totally demolished and the witches nothing more than mere dust particles floating around him, he was pleased that the battle had gone in his favor. “How surprising. Those witches put up more fight than I expected. Almost worthy opponents if they hadn’t of died of course.’ He became his somewhat normal form and sniffed the air. ‘Damn the hell gates! The human girl has gone! She must have gone during the battle. Well no matter, I shall set my pet out to find her while I think of… a new way to retrieve the book.’
Ganastorm than waved his left hand around twice clockwise and then anti-clockwise four times which created a strange group of rock sculptures in a row of twenty. These sculptures cracked apart to reveal nasty, bloodthirsty gargoyles that slobbered blood from their jagged, sharp-toothed mouths. The horns on their heads allowed them to cast magic of their own but that was only when Ganastorm told them to do so. The leader of the pack was especially nasty as it had tusks in its mouth and two tails that both had spiked balls on them, ready to destroy anything it wanted. Ganastorm approached this one and laid his hand on its’ head, implanting his memory of Daniela into the mind of the lead gargoyle. ‘Find her but don’t kill her, she will have read some of the spells by now, made a connection to them. If she has family though, destroy them. Leave no stone unturned.’ He commanded, once again in his natural speech. The gargoyles nodded and sped off into the forest, snarling and snapping at anything that moved, homing in one the vision their master had given them.
And far across the land, ten miles out of Solifale, the two lords continued to search.