An Ancient Tale: Chapter 1

~Chapter 1~
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Wake up.

Wake up.

Wake up, you have a duty to complete…

A bolt of lightning struck nearby, a large boom of thunder following.

The castaway stirred. He sat up, spitting out sand. Why did everything hurt so much? “I’m awake, I’m awake!” His mind spinned while he tried to get a hold of his surroundings. “What happened?”

“Ah, you’ve finally awoken.”

“I…” The castaway blinked. He was sitting on a small strip of sand on a small island with palm trees on it. Someone was pacing around him, their clothes ragged and torn. The weather was dreary, the wind picking up leaves and the rain dripping from the trees above. The castaway himself was also in ripped clothes, and he was bleeding a bit in some spots. Wooden shards were littered around the beach, with some larger logs laying around seemingly from trees struck by lightning. He faintly remembered that he used to have a sword.

“You may not know me.” The man pacing around him stopped and picked at the splinters in the ground.

“My name is Morden. I’ve been shipwrecked on this island, and apparently you have too.” The castaway squinted at Morden. His face wasn’t familiar at all, and the castaway couldn’t remember anything before waking up on this isle.

Morden tipped his head slightly. “I may not be a wizard, but I can sense magic energy radiating off you. It must be strong if I can feel it.” The rain poured down, drenching them both. Somewhere nearby, lightning struck.

He gave a short laugh.

“Ohh, you do not know how long I have been waiting for someone who can get me off this island. What’s your name?”

The castaway started. “My name. What is my name?”

“Yes, that’s what I’m asking you.” Morden raised an eyebrow. “Or do you not have one?”

“Well I-” The castaway paused. “I can’t remember anything.”

Morden shook his head. “A concussion, eh? Better get to a town quickly then. How about this? I didn’t see where you came from, or where your boat is, so we’ll call you Ash. As in, you rose from the ashes, ha-ha.”

The castaway nodded. “That could work for the time being.”

“Ash it is then,” Morden said. He pointed to the west. “Over there is a town called Redwake. It’s rather close, but we do need a boat.”

Ash started to get a hold of what Morden was saying. “So, you need me to use my magic and build a boat?”

“Yes, and possibly repair mine.” He pointed to a rowboat split in half by a large tree.

I wonder what magic I have, Ash thought.

“We would need to cut down some of these trees.” Morden glanced around, then at the clouds. It was still dark, the water falling to no end. “Let’s see if you can work in this rain.”

From memories unbeknownst to him, Ash leveled a hand to the nearest tree. He concentrated energy from his mind, a glowing circle slowly starting to appear before him. The other man waited patiently, hands clasped behind his back.

Intricate white lines formed within the circle, completing the dual ring that was apparent in all magic casting. However, there was nothing in the middle. The castaway, naive as he was, continued to point at the tree. Morden however, knew magic, and casting circles aways, always had the symbol and color of the respective magic inside of them.

After a minute of pointing and focusing, Ash squinted at the circle and put down his hand. “Is it supposed to work like this?” He glanced at Morden.

Morden was staring at the circle, jaw dropped. He quickly closed his mouth and righted his posture.

“Well, that sure is interesting. For the two decades I have existed in this world I’ve never seen anything like that.” He peered at the ring, which was now spinning slowly, hanging in the air. “Could it be that your mind never attuned to a magic?”

“Interesting indeed,” Ash said. “But if I can’t use magic, does that mean we can’t get off this island?”

“Hmmm.” Morden started pacing again. Ash attempted to create another magic circle, which ended up like the last one. They still seemed to give off light and a little bit of heat, even without having a specific magic to go with. It was still magic energy, of course. Ash tried layering a few on top of each other, and the first one he made absorbed the rest, growing slightly brighter. Not too long after, it diminished in light and shrunk away.

Morden looked to be deep in thought, flipping a dagger aimlessly and walking in circles. He was mumbling about magic and trees, nothing that made any sense to Ash.

Ash wandered to a nearby palm tree and pressed his hand against it, summoning another blank magic circle. However, instead of the magic circle appearing inside of the tree, the entire thing flashed white and started glowing faintly. Ash jumped back, startled. The palm was steaming under the rain too, though that only lasted a few seconds.

“Try doing that with my dagger,” Morden said, suddenly appearing next to him. Ash jumped, startled. He tentatively took the dagger and focused energy into his hand again. This time, instead of the magic exiting into the air to form a magic circle, it flowed into the dagger and infused it with power. Ash handed it back to Morden, who swung it at a tree. The blade sliced right through the wood like butter, enhanced with magic energy. It got stuck in the middle, the energy running out, but Morden swung again and chopped through the rest of the trunk. The tree, with some help from Ash, fell down. “Well, now what do we do?” He asked.

“I’ll need you to infuse my dagger a few times. I also have another which you can use, and we can cut down a few more trees and start whittling them down to planks.” Morden took out another knife that was strapped to his belt and gave it to Ash.

Later, Ash found that he wasn’t the biggest fan of woodworking, with a few splinters in his hands, but he didn’t want to die on this random island either. They worked late into the night, the storm still dumping a sky full of water on them.

When the moon was high in the night sky - though they couldn’t see it - Ash and Morden set down a newly made rowboat. It had a few rough edges, but was mostly done. Morden’s old boat was also repaired, with an extra layer of hull in case of leaks.

“Well then, let’s get something to eat, shall we?” Morden hustled off to the ocean shore, leaving Ash to forage for fruits again.

Ash roamed around the island, mostly looking for food but also exploring it a bit. The island, though small, had a cove on the shore they settled on with raised land on either side. Much of the bushes and trees bore little fruit, most likely because Morden ate them when he was stranded here. (How long has he been on this island?) Ash eventually found a few coconuts and patches of blackberries of some sort laying around, bringing them back to the beach. Morden already had a fire started with a few fish on stakes and was still splashing around in the water for more. Ash dumped his provisions into a pile next to the flames and sat down, hoping to dry off a bit.

At last, Morden returned with a few more small fish along with a crab. He threw some sticks into the fire and plopped down on the other side, testing if any of the fish were done.

“I guess we will set out tomorrow?” Ash glanced out at the sea. Morden took a bite of the roasted seafood, nodding.

“You should train yourself in weaponry or something, I can tell you still have potential, maybe even to become a high lord.”

Ash thought about that. He didn’t want to do anything great, mainly just trying to get his memories back. That could just be because of the dampening effect of the rain though. “And what about you?” He asked.

“Ah, I have some plans. I was chasing after a group of pirates when a tornado formed in front of my ship and threw me onto a small island. I built a rowboat, but the sea turned rough and threw me here.” Morden sighed.

“Quite an unfortunate series of events.” Ash started eating his own fish.

Morden laughed. “Yeah it really was. I would go and maybe bounty hunt for some galleons.”

“Galleons?”

“The currency of the War Seas. Is your dementia really that bad?”

“Galleons?” Ash repeated. “Galleons? Galleons?”

Morden threw a berry at him. “Jokester type. You can work at a circus for galleons!”

“Galleons?” Ash stuffed his mouth with fish to muffle his laughter, but that just left him coughing and sputtering bits into the fire.

Morden smiled wistfully. “You know, I used to have a friend like that. We accomplished many great things together.”

“What happened to them?”

“I don’t know.” Morden chewed on some coconut flesh. “Once you finish eating, find a dry spot to sleep or something. Set off whenever you want.” He grabbed a few berries and strolled off to a small hill.

Ash sat by the fire, listening to the rain pour down and the crackling of the fire. The waves pounded the shore like the ocean was angry at something, but couldn’t do anything about it. Eventually the wind died down and the water calmed, but the sky was still dark and thunderous.

“Sleep. In this storm?” He whispered. “You’d be better off resting on an iceberg with a tsunami speeding towards you.”

Ash slowly stood up and trudged through the sand to a large tree that they hadn’t cut down yet. The leaves provided a good dry cover, but he was still drenched. He lay down and closed his eyes, listening to the music of the ocean and waited for the darkness to set in.

7 Likes

theres some formatting issues because copy and pasting from google docs does that

real AO story leak confirmed

I like it, the concept is new