Thursday, October 07, 2004

Because I can . . .

I found a disk that I didn't know still existed and on said disk is a story I wrote that I am farily sure know one has ever read. Now I know that putting it here does not greatly increase the chances of it being read, but if you are interested in a somewhat mediocre fantasy story here it is. I wrote this when I was a freshman at college in about 2 hours.

The Legend of Naomi
There is a world where unicorns run wild, where dwarves mine, and goblins wreak havoc. There is a world where magicians weave spells, where dragons fly, and fairies dance. This world may exist in another dimension, galaxy, a distant past, or in the dreams and imagination of man. It doesn’t matter where this place is, just that it is. This place is a world of great wonder, a place where heroes are made. It is the land of Giam, where the legend of Naomi is still told by good wives at crib side and sung by bards in the taverns at night.
Nestled in the foothills of the Scatyln mountains, far to the north of the city of Ravenport, East of the Great Road, and betwixt the mountains of Yomana and Besuit was the village of Strands. The village was a peaceful place where hardship, famine, and plague were not known. Through fate or providence the village of Strands was blessed. Many old men from the southern peninsula of seamen would desert their native ocean villages and go on a quest for the rustic village of Strands that the merchants of Ravenport idealized. Then darkness fell upon the humble hamlet. The evil came in the form of a corrupt warlord who had been given the name Zhren the Necromancer. Where Zhren hailed from is unknown. Some learned scholars believe that he was from the dark and frozen islands to the far north. Others whispered in the shadows that he came out of the damnable city of Hyviel in the depths of the southern jungle. Much of Zhren will forever be unknown, covered in a terrifying mystery, but what was known is that he was very ancient and very, very evil. A shadow fell over Strands and the surrounding countryside as Zhren and his army of undead warriors swept across the land.
The good folk of Strands tried as best they could to resist the warlord, but they were farmers and not warriors. All that came from the valiant and courageous resistance was a massacre. The once wonderful life in Strands was now nothing but woe. No one could leave the area ruled by Zhren, for his horrid ghouls patrolled the countryside, especially at night. Many travelers, who did not find a place to rest before sunset, were never seen again.
To amuse himself, Zhren would fight anyone who thought they could overthrow him in combat. Many valiant knights and warriors came from all over Zhren’s conquered domain to take up his challenge, and they all died a vicious death at Zhren’s unnatural hands. In a perverted and hellish act, Zhren would not even allow those who had the audacity to face him a final resting. He would use his unspeakable art and make them a member of his zombie legions. Along the hilly path to Zhren’s dark abode, were a flock of sheep tended by a shepherdess, whose parents had christened Naomi. A girl working on the land was a rarity at that time, but not unheard of.
Naomi would watch the brave warriors’ journey to take up the challenge and to become a hero. With a sad heart, Naomi never saw one of those would-be heroes return.
While things seemed bleak for the village Strands and surrounding country, there was a small glimmer of hope. Shortly before Zhren the necromancer came, an Abbot Hurth from the Monastery of the One, made a prophecy on his death bed. The prophecy reads as follows: “In a day of darkness, when evil rules the land, a prophet of our great God, the one and only, will come. The prophet will pick a champion, a champion that will vanquish the evil and then lead the land into a time of prosperity and goodness. Amen.” After uttering the last of those words the Abbot died after 310 years in the land of the living.
On the last day of summer, in the fifth year of Zhren’s reign, the prophet came from the west. The land all around Stands was ablaze with an unquenchable hope. It was the happiest time since Zhren the Necromancer arrived. Zhren could not allow his subjugated masses to have hope. Zhren issued a challenge to the prophet, for the warlord knew hope was a very dangerous thing. The prophet had two choices: fight or be executed. Now, it was the custom of that day when such a challenge was issued, the challenged could pick a warrior to represent them. All the pious people of the land knew this would happen, for the prophesy foretold it. All of the people gathered in the village of Strands that night to hear who the chosen champion would be. There was much speculation as to whom the prophet would pick.
All was silent when he started to speak, “It has been revealed to me in a vision who the champion must be. The warrior shall be Naomi the shepherdess.”
The village was full of disbelief. How could a lowly shepherd be their savior, much less a shepherdess?
The oldest elder in the village stood up and said “Surely, you must be mistaken. It should be Hanz. He is the strongest of our young men.”
The prophet stood unmoving: “No, it shall be Naomi.”
All of the people left with a feeling of dread, they thought they would never see freedom. Everyone had left the town square, everyone that is except Naomi. Naomi sat on the ground, full of uncertainty. The prophet walked up behind Naomi and put his comforting hand on her shoulder. She looked at him and said, “Are you sure I’m the right person?”
The prophet smiled. “Yes, I know you are the right person. Believe in yourself, and have faith in your God.”
Naomi took the words to heart, even though she was still uncertain. Early the next morning, armed only with her staff, Naomi made the journey through the gloomy fog that she had seen many make before her. Naomi walked in silence, trying to keep thoughts of death out of her head. Naomi came to the great gate of Zhren’s citadel. The gate slowly opened and Naomi walked through the portal into the bone-littered commons. The necromancer was waiting.
Zhren’s massive, muscular body towered over Naomi’s lithe frame. Zhren pulled out his broad sword and cleaved at Naomi. Naomi barely lifted her staff in time to parry. She was amazed her simple wooden staff didn’t break under the massive blow. The warlord swung blow after blow, and the shepherdess parried each one with the flawlessness of a master. She held her ground against Zhren’s offensive onslaught, trying to make her own attacks. Zhren was getting annoyed at the child’s persistence not to die, so he lifted his sword high above his head as it charged with an unholy black lighting. Zhren slashed, throwing a deadly bolt at Naomi. Naomi tried to dodge to the best of her ability, but she was smitten. Her body felt cold as ice, yet as if it were on fire at the same time. Naomi lay on the ground, feeling defeated, the hope and courage drained from her.
In what appeared to be her end, Naomi heard a voice. It will never be known if the voice was her own inner will to survive or help from above. In an authoritative tone the voice said “Get up Namoi. Get up!”
Naomi obeyed. She felt as if she was in a surreal dream as she took her staff, pointed it at Zhren, and a fiery-bright ray of light shot out. The ray of light pierced Zhren. It didn’t just pierce him physically, it pierced into his dark soul and tore it apart. Zhren the Necromancer fell that day at the hands of a young shepherdess.
The prophet disappeared that night and was never seen again in all of Giam. The elders made Naomi queen of Strands and the surrounding country. She led the land into a new age of goodness and prosperity. To this day in the now great city of Strands stands a statue of Naomi. The statue serves as a reminder to all who see it how powerful faith and courage can be.


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