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My Story, Part II

Discussion in 'UO Sonoma' started by Kylathew, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. Kylathew

    Kylathew Guest

    The duration of my travels to Aleveronus' school of war spanned a month and a day. After Alanore had taken me as far as the blackrock coast, below the city of Trinsic, we had boarded a large dragon vessel commanded by a friend of my fathers, Captain Aebrix D'Karre. The ship was to take us to the Isle of Vines, which sat off the coast off Jhelom .The Captain was a bit eccentric, and I often found him pacing the prow with a strange look in his eyes. A nagging feeling of dread tugged at the back of my mind for almost the entire sea-voyage. On the 18th day out at sea, my feelings of dread turned into reality.

    I remember awaking that morning to a loud commotion out on the deck. Sliding my kryss into the hidden sheath in the small of my back, I cautiously crept to the door of my cabin, then silently pushed it open, letting only a small crack appear that I could peer through. Placing my face against the doorjamb, I watched through the crack as the captain stood encircled by the ship's crew, all of them armed with a sword or club or some sort of makeshift weapon. I heard one of the crewmen speak (the leader I supposed), his grim voice heard clearly, even crouching hidden behind the door.

    "Cap'n ! We be tired and hungry, and we's becomin' priddy fed up with ye givin' us orders night 'n day"

    Aebrix replied. "You're all tired and hungry because you spend your nights drinking and laughing and feasting on our stores. Have ye ever given any thought as to something called 'sleep' ? As for m'orders, they are just and fair, and only ensure the safety of our crew and boat. They are not above reason, and I dunnae treat my crew as slaves, so I see no problems other than that of a greedy and rapacious man."

    The sailor looked puzzled for a moment at the last comment and muttered to himself "What's ruhpayshuss ?" But shook his head and looked up.
    "Either ye give control of this here boat to me and me mates, or else ye'll find yeself swimming with the serpents..."

    Aebrix looked down at his feet, infuriated and flustered.
    I watched from behind him as his shoulders tensed and he clenched his fists.
    "Like hell you will take my ship from me.."

    As the last word escaped his mouth, the crewman had drawn his scimitar and had it raised above his head, barreling towards the captain.
    The next few moments seemed to move in slow motion. As the large sailor lumbered towards the captain with the scimitar raised high above his head, I saw my startled captain move backwards and trip on a coil of rope that sat behind him. As he fell backwards onto the length of rope, the bulky sailor was almost upon him, and I saw my captain throw up his arms and hands, protecting his face and neck from the oncoming steel.

    I'm not quite sure what compelled me to do what I did, but the next thing I recalled, I had swung the door of the cabin open wide, and had drawn my kryss from it's sheath. Grasping my kryss by the blade, in one fluid movement, I raised it behind my head and snapped my wrist forward, releasing it towards the oncoming giant. The kryss flew strong and true, imbedding itself in the neck of the disgruntled crewman. The force of my throw was such, that as the kryss buried itself into his neck, he was knocked backwards, dead before he even fell upon the deck.
    Grabbing my captain by the collar, I lifted him up and handed him his broadsword.
    Looking at me with a strange grin, he said "Aye....You must be related to Sebrian, ye have his warrior's blood running through your veins."
    Then he stood tall and looked around at the remaining crewmembers.
    "Who else here would like to challenge my authority ?"
    The crew all looked at him, hate burning in their eyes, and instead of dropping their weapons and returning to their oars, they began to circle us slowly.

    "You had to go and say that, didn't you.."
    I said to him, as we stood there, backs pressed against eachother, our eyes scanning the situation looking for a better vantage point.

    "I wanted to let them know who the captain of this ship is."
    Aebrix said as we stood there.
    "I will die fighting for this ship if need be, this is all my pride and joy that I own in this wretched world."
    "And I'm afraid m'lad, that your actions just might have you fighting to the death as well."

    "I dont even have a weapon !"
    I hissed, as I became startingly aware of what could happen in the next few oments.

    "Here, guard this with your life, and it will guard yours.."
    Aebrix handed me an ornamented dagger, the handle made crafted from a dark rosewood, and the steel shining blue in the sunlight. Grasping the dagger in my hand, a strange tingling sensation filled my hand, then crept it's way up my arm, and seemed to possess my entire body.
    I looked around again at our adversaries. We were of course outnumbered, four sailors to each of us. Yet I felt strangely calm, as if I was the eye in the center of a raging storm.

    I heard a whistling sound, then watched as an arrow buried itself to the feathers in the chest of one of the sailors. Quickly jerking my head around, I saw the captain's first mate standing atop the cabin, already nocking another arrow into his bowstring. Using his surprise entrance to our advantage, our battle began.
    Quickly kicking the feet out from the sailor closest to me, my hand seemed to have a mind of its own, as in one movement, it parried a blow from another one of the crewmen and opened his throat wide with it's blade. A gurgling noise arose from his neck and he fell dead onto the ship's deck, a pool of blood spreading from his nearly decapitated body. The crewman who I had knocked down was just arising from his fall when the pommel of my dagger found his forehead, knocking him senseless to the deck. Looking up, I saw another arrow find it's home in the heart of one of the sailors, falling lifeless to the deck.
    Another sailor had crept to the side of the cabin, and began ascending the ladder to attack the archer on the cabin top. I needed only look at him, and the archer read my eyes, stepping over to the side of the cabin-top, and placing his boot full force into the head of the sailor, sending him careening off the ladder, landing on the stair railing, snapping his spine in two. Three left, I remembered, deducting the two I had dispatched and the three the archer had taken care of.

    "One left"
    Said my captain with a grin, as one headless body laid crumpled on the wooden deck, another body hung lifeless over the ship's rail.

    The last sailor stood there, shaking like a leaf. Aebrix feigned a charge towards him, and the sailor stumbled backwards, his heel catching on a knot in the boards, sending him reeling off the side of the deck into the waters below.
    Laughing to ourselves, we watched in irony as a sea serpent instantaneously appeared below the fallen sailor, devouring him in one bite within it's massive maw.

    The captain slapped me on the back, laughing and beckoning for the archer to come down and join us. He introduced himself as Erynn Wyrmgale, first mate to the captain and a guardian of the Rosalyn. (The Rosalyn was the name of the ship, unbeknownst to me until now). I commended Erynn on his skill with the bow, and for providing the perfect intervention for the captain and I to take control. The captain let out a hearty laugh as he embraced me in one arm.
    "A school of war you're going to ?"
    "I dont believe that I've seen such an 'inexperienced' young student do what you've done today."

    Looking around at the bodies of the fallen sailors, my knees became weak and my stomach queased, as I just now realized what had occurred. My eyes fell upon the two sailors whom I had felled. The blood still flowing out in an ever-widening circle from the body of the one whos' throat I had slashed, and the crumpled body of the other sailor whom I had knocked unconscious.
    The captain came up behind me and placed a hand on my shoulder.
    "Everyone must take a life lad. Whether it be by dagger, by sword, by mind or by pen. The defense of one's self should never be regretted, for no life is more worth defending than your family's, your friend's, and your own."

    Turning around, I looked at him with tears in my eyes, and walked past him into my cabin, shutting the door and throwing myself onto my bed, crying until I fell asleep. Awaking the next day, I found within myself a part which I had not known existed. My prior day's emotions seem to have disappeared, as a feeling deep within my heart justified the lives I had taken.

    The next two days at sea seemed to move at a snail's pace. I found that whenever I looked up, I would see Aebrix and Erynn looking at me, with a warm smile on their faces. Nodding my head to them, I smiled, and resumed unfurling the sail.

    Stepping off the boat onto the warm earth of the Isle of Vines, I was elated that I was almost to the school, yet melancholy at the same time for having to be separated from my two new friends. Aebrix gave me one last warm embrace, then said to me "Vance, you have a skill and a talent that surpasses even the most skilled warriors I have ever seen. Your movements are smooth and unrelentless, and I would be a fool if I were not to tell you that this school will be useless for you m'lad."
    Then he said to me "I offer you a shared position of first mate on Rosalyn. Erynn and I both agree that you would do a great service by becoming a guardian of Rosalyn and it's cargo."

    Sighing, I looked Aebrix straight in the eyes and let him know how I felt.
    "M'lord, you and Erynn know as well as I that I am not meant to live a sailor's life. If I possess such skill as you say, then I must hone and sharpen it, rather than spending my days at sea defending a cargo of gold and arms. This school is something I have longed for all my life, and there is no doubt in my mind that it is where I must go. You may be correct in your assumption that it will be useless to me, however I must find that out for myself, rather than never set foot through the school gates and regret it my entire life."

    Aebrix nodded and smiled.
    "You have a strong will and a pure heart m'lad. I pray evil never finds it's way into your soul."

    Smiling, I shook Erynn and Aebrix's hands, then turned around, pack on my shoulder, and walked into the forest of vines surrounding the school, not once looking back at the two men standing on the ship's deck waving farewell.

    Walking for nearly two hours, I stopped at the gate of the school.
    "Aleveronus' School of Combat and Weaponry" were gilded in gold upon a large steel sign crowning the iron gates. Setting my pack down, I reached up and grabbed the thick rope that hung from the announcement bell next to the gates. Reaching into my pocket, I read the scroll once more.
    "Ring once for deliveries, twice for new students, thrice for visitors"
    Grasping the rope tight in my hands, I pulled down on it twice, hearing the echoing of the bell resonating throughout the inner courtyard.
    An old, yet strangely agile man scuffled up to the gates.
    "New student ?" he asked.

    "Aye, I am Vance Kylathew m'lord"

    "Ahhh, we've been expecting you, no troubles getting here I hope, yes ?"

    "None m'lord" I said with a smile as I remembered the battle on the ship deck.

    "Ahh wonderful then, please come in"
    The old man unlocked the iron gates and they swung inwards, revealing a gigantic complex set upon an ocean of marble tiles. Marble columns, some half destroyed, sat among the courtyard, with emerald vines embracing them to the top. In the distance, I saw two young men my age sparring with wooden swords and shields in an arena of sand. Their master watching and instructing from the side. In another area of the courtyard, a line of archers was firing arrows into bales of hay, their instructor walking behind each of the archers, making them hold the arrow fully drawn, and examining their posture and stance.
    Gazing around at the rest of the complex in sheer amazement, I noticed a rather tall and muscular man striding towards me and the old man.
    Stopping right before me, he extended his hand.
    "Welcome to my school, my name is Aleveronus."

    **To be continued**
     
  2. This is excellent work, Vance...thank you again. :)

    My apologies for not being able to read it till just now--I am stuck working 48 hours a day till Christmas. When I get back, I'll try to assemble thses installments for you, if that's alright.

    Keep up the great writing!

    ~Dor

    [​IMG]

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