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 Petros Ferrarius: A Life Broken

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PostSubject: Petros Ferrarius: A Life Broken   Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:26 pm

Prologue
Dragesvard...it has all come down to this. A creature resembling a man knelt in the dark shadow of an ice bluff. He extended his hand and fire monsters; elementals, magmen, golems, even slimes burst into existence. The man stood up and stepped forward, into the sunlight. Xan smiled insanely at his army. "Go. Unleash the flames." he said. The army moved towards Dragesvard at a quick pace. They will not slow. They will not grow tired. They will only kill.

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In the city of Dragesvard a much more peaceful scene awaited. A woman, Natalya Ferrarius, sat in her bed with her husband, Fractae near her. Natalya held her newly-birthed son. "What should we name him?" she said.

Fractae gently lifted the child from his wife's hands and arranged his white mage robes into a comfortable spot for the child to lay. He stroked the baby boy's cheek with one hand. "He's cold...and look at his eyes..." The baby boy looked up at his father with clear, grey eyes. Natalya leaned over in her bed to look at the child. She touched the baby's face.

"He is cold," she said. "Cold as a stone."

"He's alive and healthy though." said Fractae. He touched his son's hand and the baby gripped his finger. Fractae smiled. "He's strong too."

Natalya smiled contently and looked at her baby's face. "But what will we name him?"

Fractae looked down at his child. "Let's name him...Petros, for he is as cold and strong as a rock."

"Do we really want to name our only child after a rock?" asked Natalya.

Fractae smiled once again, "Fire burns out, ice melts, air becomes stagnant, but stone is always constant. It remains always, in one form or another." He looked up at his wife. "And our child will hopefully be the same." He leaned forward and gently kissed his wife. Their son gurgled and briefly squirmed on his fathers lap. Fractae and Natalya looked into each other's eyes. They were happy. They were whole. They were content.

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High in one of Dragesvard's guard towers, a city guard watched vigilantly from his perch. He had a full-wooden crossbow leaning against the window in front of him and he held a telescope in his hands. The guard paced back and forth across the tower, occasionally peering through his telescope to check the surrounding land. All looks well from here. he thought. He tossed up the telescope once and caught it, grinning at the easiness of his job. After all, who could attack a city that floats on an iceberg?

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Xan's fire monsters moved swiftly across the tundra, never slowing down. Xan himself rode in the back of a massive Fire Salamander. The reptillian creature was the size of a teenage dragon, and had a tough frill of searing-hot spines on the back of it's neck, used to provide protection. The salamanders were being used as beasts-of-burden, most dragged carts, each of which held three boats. The other beasts pulled compact siege weapons called trebuchets. The trebuchets hurl stones wrapped in a cloth that had been dipped in oil. They could be set on fire at a moment's notice.

The army approached the water and Xan silently commanded his army with a thought. The fire monsters moved with perfect efficiency, lifting boats from the carts and pushing them into the water. The monsters quickly loaded the trebuchets onto the boats, followed by the monsters themselves. Xan leapt from the Fire Salamander and commanded the beasts onto the more empty boats, and then he stepped into one of the larger ones. "Push off now. I have no interest in survivors, kill them all." Xan ordered.

The boats began to move as the monsters blew flames into strange contraptions at the back of each boat. As fire entered the opening at the back, the heat turned a turbine which in turn drove a propeller. Xan watched as each boat gained speed. It's a good thing they work, for the price I paid... he suddenly burst into insane laughter at that thought. Well, I didn't pay for anything...but those gnomes sure did! The boats were now halfway to Dragesvard.

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The city guard paced in his tower, now getting bored with repeatedly seeing the same scenery. It was now noon, and the guard had been on duty for four hours. Only two more hours until my shift ends... he thought. The guard looked through his telescope once again. He slowly swept it across the landscape and then froze at what he saw. Dozens of boats moved towards Dragesvard, fire monsters filled every single one. The guard began shaking in terror and he dropped his telescope. "Sound the alarm!" he screamed. "Sound the alarm!!"

The other guards heard the yell and threw themselves into defensive action. The guards shut the gates of Dragesvard, foot soldiers lined up behind them, swords and spears at the ready. Archers gathered at the tops of the walls and loaded their crossbows. Riders rode through the city and shouted for all civilians to stay in their homes, no matter what. "Fire monsters are coming! Stay in your homes until the all-clear is given!" they shouted.

After thirty minutes, the guards were in place. They steeled themselves for the fight they were about to experience. Most of the guards had never been in battle before now, and fear wreaked havoc among the men. They all knew that a battle was coming, and blood will be drawn.

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Fractae and Natalya sat together in their home. Fractae wore his white mage robes and Natalya was clad in a clean white dress. They had wrapped their child in a white cloth and his mother held him now. Fractae peacefully read an old tome that contained hundreds of ice magic spells. "This is great," Natalya said as she looked at her husband. "We have a good house, plenty of food, and now we have a son. I hope things stay like this-" She was cut off by a pounding on the door.

"Fractae! Fractae!" shouted a voice from outside the door.

Fractae stood and walked to the door. "Who is this?!"

The voice shouted again, "It's Galanoth, I'm here to deliver a message!"

Fractae opened the door and looked at the teenage boy in front of him. The young man was dressed in light armor and a longsword hung at his side. "We're under attack, aren't we?"

"Yes," Galanoth said. "It's Xan the pyromancer with a large army of fire monsters. I was told to get you to help, since you are the city's strongest ice mage."

"I will come," Fractae said. "But give me a moment to gather my things and say goodbye. He turned around and walked back to his wife and son. "I am needed to defend the town, we are under attack."

"Attack?!" Natalya said. "Who is doing this?"

Fractae walked over to a case and drew out a short staff decorated with a snowflake at the top. "It's Xan, the new pyromancer we've been hearing about. He has an army of fire monsters with him to attack the town."

Natalya stood and faced her husband. She looked into his blue eyes. "Be careful," she said. "I know you will be of great help to Dragesvard."

"Thank you." said Fractae. He turned around and started walking to the door.

"And Fractae," Natalya began. Her husband stopped walking and looked at her. "I love you."

"I love you too." said Fractae. He held her gaze for a moment longer, then walked out the door. He took one last look inside before closing the door behind him. It slammed shut with a sense of finality, and Natalya got the feeling that she would not see her husband again.

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Fractae left with Galanoth and instantly noticed the change in the city. The streets that were once full of people now were empty and lifeless. The once-bustling market area was now silent and deserted. The city looked like a ghost town.

"Are the guards at the gates?" asked Fractae.

"Yes, just as we should have been 10 minutes ago." Galanoth said. Suddenly the ground shook and shouts could be heard in the distance. "The army is here! Move quickly!"

Fractae took off at a sprint, his 30-year-old body propelling him forward toward the nearest wall. He saw about a hundred guards at the gate, spears pointed forward as the tough iron-and-wood door was blasted by fire. Fractae turned back to Galanoth briefly and shouted, "I'm going to the southern gate!" He turned back and continued to run.

Xan's army pounded against the doors, burning away the wood. Xan himself approached the gate nearest to him, the South Gate. He extended his hand and a ball of flame erupted from his palm. The flames crashed against the gate and tore it from it's hinges. The doors fell and crushed a dozen guards, and then the fire monsters came. They rushed in, filling every available space in the doorway. They leapt forward with a ferocity like that of a wildfire on dry grass, devouring all in their way. Many guards turned and ran; those who stayed were only able to last a few moments before being burned to death.

Fractae paused as he saw the ferocity of the monsters. He looked to his right and saw a Fire Golem charge toward him like a madman. "Congelo ubi es!" Fractae shouted as he extended his hand. Ice exploded across the Fire Golem's body and froze it in place. "Frangere!" he said again. The frozen golem suddenly broke apart and cracked on the floor. Fractae turned and saw three fire elementals attack a guard. The guard, who was braver than the others, stabbed one elemental through the head, then ducked as one threw a ball of fire at him. The guard threw his spear into another elemental, then drew his sword and slashed the third down with a horizontal cut across the chest. The guard was then blown off his feet by a Magman who had snuck up behind him, the monster began to strangle the guard, whose throat began to burn. Fractae focused on the Magman, "Mutare labores tuos!" The monster suddenly let go and grabbed it's own throat before collapsing to the ground and suffocating. It dissolved into magma and then cooled into stone.

"Fight back, you spineless fools!" shouted Fractae as another guard ran past him, fleeing the battle. "We can still win this!" He held up his staff and fired a blast of ice from the top. The ice ball struck a Fire Elemental and it dissapated into smoke.

"I see that not all of this town's defenders are cowards." Xan said from behind Fractae. The ice mage turned around.

"Xan! Why are you doing this?" Fractae asked.

"I have a plan...don't you worry. You see these flames that torment me? I will put them out once I conquer this city! I will finally be free of my torture! I only need the Ice Orb that is hidden here." Xan said.

"Ice Orb? I don't know what that is, but you certainly won't take this city while I still live." Fractae said defiantly.

"Oh...I don't plan on letting you live...none of you will survive this!" said Xan. He blasted a wave of fire at Fractae, who dove to the side and avoided the attack. Fractae jumped to his feet and held his staff forward. "Ego tibi flammas extinguere!" he shouted. Xan felt his powers start to weaken as his fire left him. What?! How is this happening?!

"I am the town's leading ice mage," Fractae said. "I know many incantations from a language few people know and fewer can use. You can't even dream of what I can do."

"NO! You will not rob me of my power!!" shouted Xan. He shook with rage and fire burst all around him. Fractae was thrown backwards by the blast and hit his head on a wall. "Now die, you insignificant worm!" Xan conjured a ball of fire over his head and threw it at Fractae. The ice mage saw it fly towards him and deflected the flames with a magic shield.

"Xan!" said Fractae. "Just give up and leave, while you still are able to stand!" Fractae pointed his staff at Xan and his eyes began to glow an icy blue. "Ex auctoritate possideat, te perdam virtutem glaciem!" Ice and snow whirled up from the ground, multiplying and growing to ten times it's size and energy. The spinning whirlwind of ice gathered around Xan and slowly shrunk around the pyromancer. A half-sphere of frozen destruction formed around Xan, and a massive ice spear formed vertically above his head. "At vero!" Fractae yelled. The icy spear flew downward directly on top of Xan, who was already buried in four feet of snow and ice. As the spear connected, snow was thrown out all around it's target, forming a crater with Xan in the center. "You should have stopped while you were ahead, pyromancer." Fractae said. "You knew you were outmatched. He turned his back on the crater and started walking away.

As Fractae moved away from the crater, he was struck in the back by a ball of fire. He collapsed forward and rolled onto his back to face his attacker. "You think you beat me?!" Xan yelled. "You can not imagine the power I have!"

"But for what will you use this power?" Fractae asked. "You have so much potential for good, why not fulfill it?"

Xan's eyes burned with malice. "Because those who are 'good' are equally as weak. Evil contains the power required to make a real difference. It seems you have fallen to me, and I do not plan on showing mercy." He held out his hand and a fireball grew between his fingers. "Any last words before you die?

"NOOO!" a voice screamed. Xan and Fractae both turned and saw Natalya approach, holding her child. "Don't kill him!"

"Natalya! You should be safe at home, not here!" Fractae said.

"I was worried," said Natalya. "You had not come home yet after many hours, so I went to search for you."

"Silence! said Xan. "Now what's this, a wife and child? It's a pity you won't see each other again." Xan turned his hand on Natalya and shot a potent dart of fire at her. The flaming dart pierced her chest and came out her back, leaving her to die painfully.

"NATALYA!!" screamed Fractae. He started to stand when Xan struck him in the face with his fist.

"You cannot save your wife, just as you cannot save yourself." Xan said. Fractae's face contorted with rage and he leapt toward Xan. The pyromancer ducked to the side and threw a fireball into Fractae's chest. The flames exploded directly into Fractae's body, and he lived no more. Xan smiled and looked around the city. Most of his army had dissapated because his power had been redirected into his fight with Fractae. It looks like it's time to leave, I will take the city another day. he thought. He flew off on a wave of fire, dissapearing into the horizon.

A half-hour hour earlier, a battalion of Ice Elves had arrived to help with the battle. Galanoth had called upon them for help, but they did not arrive in time. The elves walked through the city, checking for survivors. One elf, named Pietas, heard a noise near the side of the street. He moved toward the noise, chakram at the ready, when he recognized the sound; the crying of a baby. Pietas saw the child laying on the bleeding body of a woman. He quickly moved to her side and felt for a pulse. It was weak, and most definately fading, but it was there for the moment. "Woman, can you hear me? What happened to you?" he asked in the clear voice of an elf.

Natalya had been lying there, feeling her life slowly ebbing away for almost twenty minutes. Every second that passed grew more painful than the last, and she longed for death. The child lying on her chest was the only reason she wished to stay alive. She had seen her husband die moments after she herself was shot, but her baby needed a mother. Then she heard a voice, coming through to her as if she was in a dream. It was asking her if she could hear. "P-please...help m-my child." she managed to say.

Pietas grew more concerned for her when he saw how weak she was. He knew she would not last much longer. That baby won't survive without someone to take care of it... he thought. He looked into the baby's face and felt a rush of compassion for the little child. "I will take care of him. I will raise him as my own."

Natalya heard the voice tell her that it would keep her son safe. She did not know who the voice belonged to; her vision had faded to a blur long ago. But there was such compassion in that voice...yes, she would trust it. "His name is...Petros F-Ferrarius...s-s-ssson of Fractae and Natalya...Don't...Don't let him...don't l-let him forget where he is from. K-keep nothing...nothing from the boy."

Pietas watched as the woman's eyes rolled in her head. "I will do as you say," he said. "The boy will be raised knowing what happened here, he will be brought up in a safe and loving home." A tremendous weight seemed to leave the woman's soul, and she smiled in relief. Her eyes moved aimlessly, unable to focus on anything. They tried to focus on the baby lying on her, but were unable to. The woman seemed determined to see her son's face one last time. They finally focused on the baby's face. The child looked back at his mother one last time, before Pietas picked him up. "I will take care of him." he said. "Don't you worry." He turned and walked toward the western gate with the other Ice Elves. Natalya watched with blurred vision as the Ice Elf left with her only son. Goodbye...my son. She watched the Ice Elf until he went out of sight, then her soul left her and she saw no more.


Last edited by Extreme Wizard on Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:52 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Petros Ferrarius: A Life Broken   Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:26 am

Fifteen years later.

Chapter 1: Preparation.
A tall, slender Ice Elf stood in the parlor of his home. "Now, to properly cast Ice Magic, one must-Petros, are you listening?" he said to his adopted son, who sat in a tall wooden desk. The boy, called Petros, had grown tall and lean under the care of the Ice Elves. His adopted father, Pietas, kept him in shape for his Askorun, which was coming the next day.

"Sorry father, I'm still thinking about my Askorun. I turn sixteen tomorrow, and I don't know if I'm ready." Petros spoke with the clear tenor voice of the Ice Elves he was raised by. The Askorun is a test every young Ice Elf must undergo before becoming a man. They are assigned a goal and must achieve it by any means necessary. After this, they become an official part of Ice Elf culture and have their first Chakram forged for them. Chakrams are circular blades with a handle in the center, perfect for throwing and quick slashing. They are also a sign of respect among the Ice Elves; the better the Chakram, the better the person.

Pietas cleared his throat and looked his son in the eyes. "I don't think you're ready either." The boy's eyes widened. "I know you're ready."

Petros smiled. "Thanks...but you're my adopted parent. It's kind-of your job to encourage me in every possible way." Petros had a pockmarked face and a mildly grim and pessimistic demeanor. He was tall and extremely intelligent for his age; he often outsmarted adults and had extrordinary problem-solving skills. So, his father decided to teach him what he knew of Ice Magic.

Pietas is a well-known scout for the Ice Elves. He is a "jack-of-all-trades, master of none," as the humans say it. Because of this, his adopted son knew much about all forms of combat, and was very quick on his feet. Pietas used to have a wife, but she had died seventeen years before; two years before the attack on Dragesvard that cost Petros his family and led to Pietas' adoption of him. "Petros, you know I love you and I'm not making this up. I have full confidence that you will pass your Askorun. Now, let's get back to our lesson..."

He went on to speak about more intermediate magic, and reviewed the basic magic Petros had learned years before. Two hours later, he let his son go free. Petros left the two-story cottage he lived in and went to walking around the Ice Elf village. He at first had been constantly stared at because of his fair skin and rounded ears. The Ice Elves knew he was different, but he was eventually accepted. Petros did not understand the stares at first. He wore the Ice Elf clothes, he spoke both the Ice Elf language and the Human language fluently, he could throw a training Chakram well and even cast fairly potent Ice Magic. He soon learned to live with being different, and made a few friends with the Elves.

Petros stopped at an intersection of four paths. He looked ahead at the market district, left to the training grounds, but decided to turn right; into the Lowlands. They weren't called the Lowlands because they were geographically lower, they were called this because of the criminals that thrived there. Petros enjoyed a bit of risk and danger, and he could see things among the criminals that he never would see in the market district.

"Hey! You wanna buy som'thin'? I got some Gorillaphant fur coats straight from Oaklore!" A rather smelly man called out from his stand. He smelled like he gutted the Gorillaphant himself and didn't bathe afterward.

Petros ignored him and walked on until he reached his favorite place in the sea of criminals. He approached an old man who sat next to a tent. "Excuse me," Petros said, "Can I see some of your books?"

The old man smiled. "Certainly," he said, "Come on in. The ones on the table were smuggled here just yesterday."

Petros sat down in the Criminal Library, as he had come to call it, and picked up a book about the history of Dragesvard and it's surrounding areas. He found a passage referencing Xan's Invasion fifteen years ago. Pietas had told him that his real mother and father were both killed during the attack, and Petros was dying to know who did it. Whenever thinking of his late parents, he felt a sense of warmth, and he was ready and willing to kill the person who killed them. After reading for an hour and finding nothing, he stood and left the tent, thanking the old smuggler on his way out.

A group of three brutish-looking Ice Elves saw Petros leave and whispered among themselves, eying his clean clothes and intelligent appearance. One of them, the leader, nodded and walked casually toward the teenager. "Hello young man," the brute started to say, "Have you seen my daughter anywhere around here? I saw her run off down that side-road hours ago, but she hasn't returned. Will you please help me search for her?"

Petros suspected a trap; the elf simply looked too suspicious and brutal to be trusted, but his compassion got the better of him. "Fine." he said, "But not for long, I need to get back to my family before dinner, it's already late afternoon." The brutish elf led Petros to the road, while his two companions followed in secret.

When they were out-of-sight, the brute turned suddenly and drew a long, curved knife from his boot. His partners-in-crime closed in from behind Petros, drawing a short club and knife. "Now..." the leader said, "We're just going to hold you for ransom in this here building, and hopefully your father is willing to pay. We know who you are, you're the only human in the village. Give up peacefully, or we'll just have to break your legs and send you back to your family in pieces." He smiled grimly.

"I'm a little more worried about your bathing habits than your weapons, a good wash never hurt anyone." Petros said calmly. His grey eyes sharpened and he slowly rotated to see all three attackers as often as possible. "I have another idea, you lads can put down your weapons and turn yourselves in, or I can knock you out colder than beer at Frostval."

The brutish elf shook his head in anger. "Kill him." He said simply.

The elf wielding the club swung at Petros' head. The human performed a sweep-kick, knocking the elf down. The leader jabbed with his knife and suddenly found himself paralized as Petros spun to his left and lashed his fist into the side of the elf's neck. He struck the wrist of the final elf and he dropped his knife. Petros followed with a kick to the chest and a heavy punch to the cheekbone. The elf fell down unconcious. The first elf got to his feet and swung his club at Petros from behind. Petros staggered forward as he took the blow, spinning around quickly to face his attacker. He spun into a roundhouse kick, landing his foot in the throat of the elf. The creature gurgled once, then dropped to the floor. Petros rubbed his bruised back. I need to stop coming here. he thought, Criminals may give good reading, but not good company.

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Pietas watched his son leave and walked upstairs to his communication orb. He held his hands above the softball-sized globe and it started to glow white. "Reynir Prof." he said. Immediately an image of a room came into view in the orb. Seconds later, a rather fat Ice Elf trotted up the the orb.

"Pietas? Calling about your...son's Askorun again?" the fat elf said.

"Yes, I'm wondering what challenge the Council plans to give him." Pietas replied.

Reynir stroked his short white beard and smoothed a wrinkle on the expensive silk tunic he wore. "Pietas...you know I can't give out information prior to the event. You have to wait until tomorrow like everyone else."

Pietas sighed. "Fine...just please don't make it too hard on the boy. I know you never liked me bringing a human here, but his parents were dead. And remember, his mother said that he is the son of Fractae and Natalya Ferrarius. You know how important they were."

"I know all about his former family, but I refuse to give a...human all the privelages our natives have." Reynir said.

"Reynir, racism is not the way of the Ice Elves." Pietas replied. "We are often discriminated against, that should encourage us not to reach that low. Elves are always the scapegoats for events that happen, but not all the Humans think of us that way!"

Reynir shook his head. "Now is not the time or the place for this argument. Now leave me alone, your son has a big day tomorrow. He should be well-rested." With that, Reynir's image disappeared on the orb. Pietas sighed and put his face into his hands. He looked over to a table near the orb and picked up a picture of his dead wife.

"Elskandi..." Pietas said. "How I miss you..." He was shook out of his thoughts by the door opening and closing. "Petros? Is that you?"

"Yeah, I'm back from the, uh, library!" the boy shouted back.

Pietas walked down the stairs to meet his son in the parlor. "How did the fight go? Your back isn't bruised too badly, is it?" he said.

Petros' jaw dropped, then he composed himself. "Oh...uh, umm...what fight?"

Pietas held out his communication orb and an image of Petros appeared on it. He smiled slyly. "Busted." he said.

Petros sat down on the couch. "Sorry, dad. I was trying to find out who killed my mom and dad, my real mom and dad I mean. Then these thugs trapped me on a side-road and I had to defend myself."

"It's ok, son." Pietas said. "Just don't do it again. You got lucky this time, the thugs you fought were idiots. The next time you go to the Lowlands you might get yourself killed."

Petros frowned. "Ok, it won't happen again. Clubs really don't feel good when they collide with your spine." He said, with a touch of comedy.

"Yeah, about that..." Pietas said. "Your form was way off when you took down the leader, and you should have expected the first thug to get up again. You only swept out his legs; that's a stunning move, not a potent one. Come on, we have some work to do." He smiled and brought his son to the backyard, where a training area was set up. They spent the rest of the evening practicing. Unfortunately, no amount of practice could prepare for what was to come.


Last edited by Extreme Wizard on Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Petros Ferrarius: A Life Broken   Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:51 pm

Chapter 2: The Askorun.
Petros woke early the next morning, eager to prepare for his Askorun. He walked outside to his backyard training area and began to run laps around the mid-sized field (Large real-estate is easy to find since no one in their right mind would buy thousands of acres of snow). After an hour of jogging, he came inside to eat breakfast. "How was the run?" Pietas asked when his son sat at the table.

"I'm feeling great." Petros replied. "But I'm worried about what Reynir might have me do. He has always disliked me."

Pietas patted his son's shoulder reassuringly. "Don't worry, the elf is on the Council. He has to be fair or he wouldn't be making the decisions around here." He smiled. Petros stood and picked up a slice of Glacial Melon, one of the only fruits that can survive the cold temperatures and lack of soil.

"Dad, what did you have to do for your Askorun?" Petros asked.

Pietas touched his hand to his chin thoughtfully. "Hmm..." he began. "Well, I was told to find the highest point in the Northlands. I eventually succeeded, but it took a lot of research and traveling to do so."

Petros finished his slice of fruit and poured a cup of water from the jug. "That's pretty amazing. How did you do it?"

Pietas shook his head and smirked. "That is a story for another day. Let's just say I never want to see a protractor again. Angles and measurments are pretty crazy, and you know how much math wracks my brain."

Petros laughed and finished drinking. "What should I bring for my Askorun? I have to leave in an hour and the rules say I can't come home until I finish my task."

"I know some of the basics," Pietas said. "Come upstairs, I'll help you pack." The pair went up to Petros' room and began to pack the essentials of survival. Petros packed an extra pair of clothes while Pietas gathered flint and steel to build a fire when necessary. They packed blankets and a bedroll, along with a sack of smoked meat and dried fruit.

"Remember to travel light," said Pietas. "Being slowed down by your belongings can kill you, and is guarenteed to drain your energy."

Petros thought for a moment and then said, "What if I'm attacked? I'll need to defend myself somehow."

Pietas smiled grimly. "I was hoping that you wouldn't have to fight, but I suppose you deserve this." He led Petros down the stairs and pulled a cloth-wrapped object from under a loose floorboard. He unwrapped it and revealed a short white staff, decorated with a snowflake at the top.

"Petros," Pietas began. "This staff belonged to your father. As your mother died, she told me her and her husband's name. I went back and found your father's body later, and I took his staff, to give to you when it was the right time. And well, no other time could be better than now." He lifted the staff and placed it reverently in Petros' hands.

As Petros' skin contacted the smooth ceramic-like material of the staff, he felt a rush of refreshing coolness flow into his body. Instantly, he experienced an attunement to Ice like never before. "This...was my father's?" Petros said in awe.

"Yes, he would have wanted you to have it." Pietas replied. "Your Askoran starts in an hour, we need to get to the town square." Petros shouldered his pack and they left the house. Twenty minutes later, they entered a large rectangular area, open on one end to the town, and a gate blocked exit to the frozen Northlands. Reynir Prof stood on a wooden pedestal in the center of a ring of people, eager to hear what the next Askoran will be about. Pietas hugged his son for the last time, as the rules didn't allow any contact with family until the Askoran was completed. Petros entered the ring of citizens, and bowed respectively to Reynir.

"I am ready, sir." Petros said.

Reynir looked down at the boy and then adressed him. "I have decided what your task shall be." He turned to the crown and spoke louder. "This young man must retrieve a communication orb that I have had placed at the bottom of the Sal Moro Lake! The orb will activate if Petros completes his task to alert us of his...possible success."

Petros' eyes widened. "Sir..." he began to say. "I'm a human, not an Ice Elf. It will be impossible for me to swim in the freezing water without dying."

Reynir stepped back in clearly fake shock. "What? The entire point of the Askorun is to accomplish the impossible! What are you, a coward?"

Petros now knew that he had no choice. He would have to take the task or be banned from the Elves forever. Reynir set him up, and now he faced two choices: banishment or death. He solemnly nodded his head. "No...not a coward. I will take the task." Petros heard his adopted father sob; he obviously knew that his son simply had no chance of surviving the below-freezing water, and Reynir would finally get rid of the human, one way or another.

Petros slowly moved toward the gate. The crowd now grumbled at the shocking and seemingly lethal task given to the human boy. Reynir tried to hide his smile; no one dared to challenge his decision. The gate opened and Petros walked out into the snow, no longer under the protection of his village. He turned around and saw the crowd dissapate, all but his father. Pietas watched his son leave and tears flowed freely down his face. Please...avatars...don't let him die on this task. Pietas thought. He didn't do anything to deserve this... Petros turned away and pulled the hood of his elved tunic over his head to shield himself from the biting wind. He started trudging quicker through the snow; the Sal Moro Lake was over fifty miles south.

It is often said that Askorans fall into two categories: nearly impossible single tasks or long and strenuous journeys. Petros' qualified as both. He clawed through the snow and freezing winds for nine days, stopping only to sleep or scrounge for food. Since his father was a scout, Petros knew how to live for a short time off of what little food the Northlands provided. He shoveled through three feet of snow to reach a layer of ice at the bottom, then he chiseled through it using the bottom of his staff. A thin layer of white grass-like foliage lay at the bottom. Petros thought about what his father told him about these plants. The Ice Moss only grows underneath the layer of ice in the Northlands. It is edible, and although it tastes disgusting it is high in Carbohydrates. You'll notice that it's white, not green. This is because Chlorophyll is useless when it's buried under several feet of snow, and no sunlight can reach it. It's able to compensate for that by absorbing heat very effectively; more effectively than any substance in existance, in fact. Because of this, it is also highly flammable..."

Petros pulled up as much of the moss as possible and piled it together in the center of the hole he had dug in the snow. He then chipped the flint-and-steel in his pack together over the moss pile until it lit; an easy feat due the moss' flammability. Petros huddled himself around the fire and tried to dry his soaked clothes. Only two miles left, if my map is right. he thought. But then what? I'll just die in the water, and I can't go back home without finishing my task. He leaned back against the wall of partly-melted snow and sighed. I need a new plan. I suppose I could turn south; it will be warmer there and I've read that there are many cities in that area. Yes...I'll head south in the morning. I just wish I could see my father one more time... A cold tear slid down his face as he passed into a fitful sleep.

Petros woke to the sound of men's voices. "The smoke is coming from over here!"

Another voice called out, "Yes, of course it is. I can see, you insulent beetle!"

The first voice replied, equally as rudely, "Beetle? Nah, I never was related to your family! Hah!"

"Ah, both of ya' need to shut up!" a third voice said. "Let's just get to that smoke and see if we can add to the slave train!" Petros quickly gathered his things and prepared his staff for a fight. He remembered his father teaching him that slave drivers often came far north to find strong slaves; toughened by the harsh northern lifestyle.

Petros waited a moment longer as the men argued about which slaves are best, those from the north or those from the desert, then jumped out of the snow hole when he thought the time was right. He saw three men with six others tied together and gagged behind them. The three slave drivers looked like they were from the forest, as they wore the green-and brown cloth common to that area. They all wielded long, narrow clubs with rounded metal spheres along the top fourth. The men opened their eyes in surprise at the attack, and Petros used this to his advantage. He swung the snowflake staff by it's end and it collided with the nearest bandit's abdomen, sending him tumbling backwards. He kicked out at the second bandit's head and his foot narrowly fell short of it's target. By now, the remaining two bandits had revovered from their shock and prepared to attack. The one Petros had kicked at swung his club and hit Petros in the thigh and the second bandit stepped forward to strike his head. Petros barely parried the blow and shakily stood on his injured leg. He held the staff toward the bandit who struck his leg and concentrated on his mana field. He let mana flow into his body, structuring it into a shard of ice. The mana was directed into the staff, where it's icy properties magnified themselves tenfold. Petros released the Ice Shard spell from the snowflake tip of the staff and a razor-sharp shard of ice flew into the bandit's chest and exploded. The bandit's body dissolved into snow and piled on the ground.

The remaining bandit stepped back, clearly startled. He finally comprehended what had happened and lunged forward with his club. Petros blocked the blow and swung back at the bandit's head. The bandit ducked and shoved his shoulder into Petros' chest, winding him and knocking him to the ground. Petros tried to dodge the next blow, but it struck his head and he fell into unconsciousness.

Petros woke in extreme pain; an expected feeling after being dragged for miles through snow, and eventually rock. He was tied and gagged at the rear of the slave train, the bruise on his head clearly visible and more than clearly felt. He staggered to his feet as the other slaves continued to drag him. The two living bandits marched at the front of the slave train, leading them all like dogs. They were clearly angry and eager to finish traveling as soon as possible. Petros hobbled for eight hours until the group's feet began to meet sand. What is this stuff? Petros thought. They walked for two more hours as night approached. When the group stopped outside of the Sandsea Oasis, night had fallen in full force. Petros peered through the darkness until he noticed a cloaked man walking toward them, clearly moving in secret.

"What's going on?" Petros whispered. The other slaves turned and widened their eyes. One of the bandits turned, and punched Petros in the face.

"Shut up!" he whispered angrily. "Next time you speak, you die!"

The cloaked man finally arrived and whispered with the two bandits quickly. He handed them a small bag of gold and took the leash that held the slaves. The slave train was led to a tunnel behind a rock at the base of the city's wall, where they descened quickly and entered prison-like cells. The contained heat quickly had Petros sweating profusely, he was too used to the cold to stand the Sandsea for long. Each slave lay in the same cell, and six other cells also contained groups of slaves. All were clearly underfed and exhausted; Petros' group looked to be in the best shape.

The cloaked man turned to the new group of slaves. "All right, maggots. You're here because you were stupid enough to get caught by my many employees. And, since one of them has died," he stared directly at Petros. "We will work you guys twice as hard." The man pulled back his hood and revealed a scarred face filled with dirty and decaying teeth. A disgusting grin was splayed across it and his hair dripped grease and sweat.

Petros grimaced at the hideous man. "Sir, your hair is raining." he said. The man turned dark red and slammed his palm against the prison bars.

"You will respect me!!!" he shouted. "I could kill you at anytime!" The man drew a short, curved sword and slammed it against the bars for further dramatic effect. He turned and walked away, still red as a fire orb. "I'll make your short life hell!" he shouted as he left.

Petros and the other slaves sat in the hot cells for the rest of the night, sleeping fitfully, if at all. They awoke the next morning with the cloaked man pounding on the cell doors. "Wake up, worms!" he spat. Small pots of a slightly fibrous liquid were placed in front of all the cells except Petros'. The cloaked man sneered as he passed the cell, honoring his promise to make Petros' life a living hell. The other slaves in the cell turned to start at Petros, anger was clearly visible on their faces.

As the cloaked man left once again, one thought plagued Petros' mind. Which will be more dangerous, the slave drivers, or the slaves?
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PostSubject: Re: Petros Ferrarius: A Life Broken   Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:37 pm

Chapter 3: Mercy.
Petros spent the next week in the hot, hostile cells. His group was fed only once, and only then because one of them had died of hunger the day before. Petros had repeatedly been beat by his cellmates over their lack of food, and bruised were easily seen on his exhausted body. He lost about fifteen pounds and his already thin figure was slimmed down dangerously. At last, the cloaked man unlocked their cages and told them they were being moved. A buyer had been found in a land called Osprey Cove, and the full group of slaves was headed there now.

They were forced to wait until nightfall, and then were led quickly out of the city by six thugs and the cloaked man himself. They marched for hours under the sunless sky, but the slaves were more happy to be out of the hot cells than worried about their new buyers. As the sun slowly rose, something very unexpected happened.

"Whaddya' think you're doing, insect?!" a thug shouted at Petros as he collapsed from exhaustion and lack of food.

Petros rolled over. "I...I can't go any further."

The thug drew a knife and bent over to cut Petros' throat. Suddenly, the thug pitched forward. The other thugs and cloaked man turned to see what happened and noticed an arrow sticking out of his neck.

"Hey! Where are you, arche-" a second thug pitched over with an arrow in his spine. The group of thugs drew their katars and daggers, and the cloaked man pulled his curved sword from it's sheath. An arrow flew between two thugs and exploded, killing them instantly. A green-tipped arrow struck a thug in the thigh, and his staggered for a moment before vomiting violently in the sand and collapsing. The cloaked man watched as his last remaining thug was lit on fire by a precisely-shot arrow and killed.

"Show yourself!" the cloaked man shouted, waving his sword in the air. A Sand Elf stood from behind a sand dune and walked toward the group. As he came into view, Zhoom drew his own curved sword.

"What's this?" he said. "Illegal slave trading? We can't have that, now can we?" He leapt forward with the agility of a jungle cat and disarmed the cloaked man with a single blow to the hand. As the cloaked man staggered backwards, Zhoom slashed his throat and killed him. He turned to the group of slaves. "You're all free now. I can lead you back to the Oasis; you should have no trouble finding jobs or transport from there."

Many of the slaves now collapsed in the sand and it was clear to see that they wouldn't make the journey back now that the sun had risen. Zhoom pulled an arrow from his quiver and fired it nearly vertical into the air. The arrow exploded into flashing red and yellow powder and fell slowly back to the ground. "I've signalled for help." Zhoom said. "We'll get you out safely, don't worry."

An hour later, eight men from the Sandsea arrived on horseback with bottles of water and packages of food. The slaves graciously accepted help and were nursed back to health. But some, Petros included, were too weak to move and had to be rushed immediately back to the city.

Petros lay in a brick house with three other slaves, two men and a woman close to his own age. Doctors watched the four carefully and tried their best to cool them down and replenish their strength. Slowly but surely, recovery was seen. As they gained strength, the four were able to talk to each other. Petros learned the two men were thirty-year-old twin brothers from a trading village called Verteroche. They clearly had excercised a lot in tha past, and their muscles bulged even after spending so long in the prison cells. Their names were Etre and Avoir, and they spoke with light accents from their homeland. Petros heard many stories from them about their travels around the world when they had their old jobs as traders. He also learned that they were captured from their trading ship by pirates and sold into slavery eight months before.

Petros spoke at length with the girl, whose name is Manaehe. She was slim and rather tall, and had long, dark hair. He learned that she was seventeen, only a year older than him. She was born and had grown up in the Sandsea until her father was killed in a street brawl with some thugs when she was seven. Her mother was able to support her until she was fifteen, when her mother finally snapped and killed herself from grief of losing her husband so long ago. Manaehe took care of herself for a year until she was kidnapped by the slave drivers and thrown into a cell for another year. Petros felt deeply when he heard she too had lost both of her parents, and the pair shared everything about their pasts with each other.

Two weeks after being rescued, Petros and his new friends were allowed to leave. Petros immediately walked back to the slave driver's hiding spot and slipped inside the old prison.

"What are you doing? I never wanted to see this place again." Manaehe said with the smooth accent of the Sandsea.

Petros felt along the walls outside the cells. "They had to have hidden our belongings somewhere...Aha! Found it!" Petros knocked on a section of brick and a hollow sound echoed out. He took a step back and landed a firm kick on the section of wall. It shuddered and some brick came loose. He kicked again and the brick fell apart, revealing a small space about two cubic feet behind the wall, filled with the possessions of old slaves. Manaehe and the older twins raised their eyebrows, clearly impressed, then they set to picking through the pile of gear. Petros quickly found his staff, but his backpack had been sold or lost, and couldn't be found. Manaehe pulled a dusty, sand-colored cloak from the pile, explaining that her mother had made it to keep the sun at bay when outside.

The rest of the pile contained mostly jewelery or dirty clothes, and nothing else of interest was found. "Don't you have anything?" Petros asked the twins.

Avoir answered. "No, when they attacked our ship the pirates only left us with the clothes on our backs." Etre nodded.

"That's terrible..." Petros replied, the compassion clearly seen in his eyes.

Etre shook his head. "Nah, don't feel bad. We never felt much for nostalgia anyway." Petros nodded his head in acknowledgement and looked down the sandy street they stood outside of. The building they had just left had a decorative winged scarab above the door, and an inn could be seen two houses down the road.

"I...I don't know what to do." he said.

Manaehe looked at him quizzically. "Why not? You...you could go home, right?"

"No," Petros looked up at her. "I'm banished from my village with the Ice Elves now, I told you about how I was captured on the way to finishing my Askorun, and since I didn't finish it I can't go back."

Avoir looked confused. "Did you say Ice Elves? You're look pretty human to me."

His brother chimed in. "And what's an Askorun?

Manaehe turned on them. "His parents died soon after he was born and he has been raised by a very nice Ice Elf ever since. And and Askorun is a task every Ice Elf must complete before becoming a man. But, he was given an impossible task since he's a human and the rules say that if you don't finish the task, you get banished until you do." The brothers nodded understandly.

"That's a sad story, and I think you may be just what I'm looking for." A voice said from an alley. The group spun around to see who spoke. A tall and athletic-looking man stepped into view. "My name is Ruptor, and I am a SpellBreaker."
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PostSubject: Re: Petros Ferrarius: A Life Broken   Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:36 pm

Chapter 4: Forged.
Petros lifted his staff warily at the man. "What do you mean, 'I may be the one you're looking for?'"

Ruptor wore a knee-length black coat, black trousers and a buttoned white shirt. He lifted a small wand-like device from his pocket and it immediately began to glow brightly. "This is a Mana Flow Detection Shaft. It doesn't detect mana, like many magic users can do with a simple spell, instead, it detects the potential mana flow that a person can have. I have a bit of a dilemna back where I come from, and it has led me to you."

Petros looked at the man doubtfully. "Really...What's so special about me? I'm just some kid from the North with a dead family and no home. What am I worth?" Manaehe glanced at him, then quickly looked away before anyone noticed. Ruptor put his arm around Petros' shoulder and attempted to lead him away from his friends to talk in private, but Petros shrugged off his arm and stepped back to his group.

"I see," Ruptor said. "You have a strong bond with your friends, and I'm not sure if that will be a strength or weakness in the future..."

Petros glared at him. "Will you please give me a straight answer?"

"And what's a SpellBreaker?" Avoir asked.

Rupter held a hand up to ward off further questions. "Of course, of course. I feel the best way to clear your confusion is to answer your friend's question first. But before I do that, you must promise to keep this secret. I can only tell you because we are in a rather...bad situation where I come from. So, do I have your cooperation?" The group remained silent.

Ruptor's smile faded. "I will tell you nothing until you agree." he said.

Petros looked at Manaehe and the brothers questioningly. Etre sighed and nodded, followed by his brother and Manaehe. "Fine." Petros said.

Ruptor nodded and began to speak. "Thank you. Unfortunately, I can not answer your questions here where I might be overheard. I have a home not far from this place, we can talk there." He turned and started walking down the alley he had hidden in. Petros and his friends reluctantly followed, still not trusting the stranger.

Ruptor stopped at a dead end, where the alley was closed off by a wall. He touched the wall with his hand and felt around until his finger sunk into a tiny hole in the brown stone. Manaehe stepped back and gasped at the results.

The wall seemed to silently shatter into hundreds of pieces, each edge glowing bright blue and seeming to pulsate in the air. The shards moved into a circle and stopped, with a swirling blue void in the center. "Follow me. It's a portal, no worries." Ruptor said. He stepped in and disappeared. Petros clutched his staff tighter and followed, with Manaehe and Etre close behind. Avoir paused for a moment and examined the portal. Hmm... he thought. Dad would love to see thi- His thoughts were interrupted when Etre poked his head back through the portal and whispered. "You comin'?"

"Sure thing, bro." Avoir answered. He slowly walked into the portal and it faded and closed behind him as Ruptor held out his hand.

The other side of the portal was incredible, but at the same time it was ordinary. It was a basic-looking square room, with the closed portal on one wall, a heavy iron door opposite to it, and small rooms on the other two walls. One was clearly a bedroom and the other looked like some type of washroom. The center of the main chamber was made entirely of chiseled stone, and it was obvious the house was in a cave, or was a cave itself. A grey and black round rug lay on the ground, with a round ceramic table in the center, surrounded by five wooden chairs.

Petros looked around and quickly took in his surroundings. "Where are we?" he asked.

Ruptor smiled, clearly proud of the awe the group felt. "Welcome to Sunbreeze Grove." he said.

Petros quickly turned to him and said, "My father's maps show Sunbreeze Grove to be miles away from the Sandsea, how did we get-" he cut himself off when he realized the obvious answer: Magic.

"This is cool and all, but we're here for information, not sightseeing." Manaehe said.

"And you will have your information." Ruptor replied. "Now, first I will answer your friend's question. A SpellBreaker is a form of mage unlike any the world has ever seen. While most mages tap into Lore's mana field and their own mana pools to cast spells, SpellBreakers can take that to an entirely new level. As the name would suggest, we are able to break spells and re-structure them into new forms. Or an alternative is to revert the spell back to raw mana, which can then be absorbed to replenish our own mana pools. SpellBreakers also can manipulate mana for use beyond the structure of mere spells, making our own powerful and dextrous versions that have much greater effect. Unfortunately, this is an unstable process and many new SpellBreakers who lack the ability to handle so much mana at once can cause themselves to explode, or spontaineously combust if they take in too much mana when breaking a spell.

"Be sure not to confuse us with ArchMagi. They handle raw mana and attack with that instead of first creating a spell from it. SpellBreakers still must fight with spells, but we can design our own at any time, and for almost any purpose. Because SpellBreakers have so much potential for evil; breaking apart mana could be used for great destruction if used incorrectly, very few people can become SpellBreakers and candidates for the art are carefully examined before being approached. Petros, your potential mana field is large. It is not the biggest I have seen, but you certainly have the ability to become a SpellBreaker. I was sent to approach you with the Mana Flow Detection Shaft and see if you should be trained, and I believe you would do fine. So what do you say?"

Petros sat down by the table and rubbed his chin thoughtfully. A thin beard had begun to grow after nearly a month of neglect. "That...That's a lot to take in."

Manaehe sat down next to him. "It's also pretty amazing." She smiled at him. "I think you should give it a try."

Petros leaned back and shook his head in disbelief. "I'd probably spontaineously combust." he said.

Ruptor cleared his throat. "The only people who blow themselves up either take on too much mana too fast, or aren't mentally strong enough to handle this magic." he said. "You should do fine, if you choose to join."

"I...I think I'll do it." Petros said, gaining confidence. "So where do we start?"

"We?" Ruptor said. "Only you may take this training, your friends must stay behind."

Petros' eyes widened. "If that's the case, there is no way I could train with you. My friends are all I have now. I can't return home, I have no possessions except this staff, and I don't know my way around this land yet."

"I'm sorry we couldn't make an agreement-" Ruptor was cut off by a banging against the iron door.

"Open up, desecrator!" A voice shouted from the other side.

"Desecrator?" Manaehe said. "What do they mean?"

Ruptor drew a magical orb from his pocket and said nervously, "Some people believe SpellBreakers break the rules of magic and, well, desecrate it. While we do have a level of forced manipulation, it isn't nearly as bad as people think."

"Then why are you being attacked?" Avoir asked. As he said this, a deafening explosion shook the door and one of it's hinged shattered. The banging continued.

Ruptor's orb suddenly burst into flame and he prepared to fight. "Other groups of mages want SpellBreakers to be killed and forgotten forever, to 'cleanse the world of their taint' or some nonsense like that. Unfortunately, the four of you are in danger; those attackers will think you're an enemy too just for being in contact with me."

"What?!" Petros shouted. He clutched his staff tighter. "Now we're all in danger from a group of trained mages bent on our complete destruction?! You could have said something earlier!"

"No time! Get ready for a fight!" Ruptor said through clenched teeth.

Another explosion wracked the door and it broke down. A group of six red-robed mages could now be seen, and all held long staves with flaming orbs at the end. "Pyromancers..." Ruptor muttered. His orb's fire turned to ice and he held it toward the group of mages. The orb glowed brighter and dozens of small shards of ice materialized around it. The razor-tipped needles whizzed like arrows at the pyromancers, who created flaming shields to deflect the shards. Petros cast a freeze spell and sent a gust of wet, numbingly-cold wind at the mages. One took a direct hit and the wind solidified around him. A female pyromancer hurled a flaming dart at Avoir, and he was hit in the stomach.

"No!" Etre shouted as he ran to his brother's side. When he realized he was dead, Etre clenched his fists in rage. He lifted a chair with one arm and charged wildly at the mages. He rolled to one side as a fireball flew over his head. A pyromancer fell as he bashed it's skull in like a Berserker, throwing every ounce of rage into his blows. A bearded pyromancer came up alongside Etre and lanced him in the chest with the flaming orb on his staff, igniting his clothes and sending him to a slow, painful death.

Petros watched in disbelief as the two brothers fell, and felt cold fear in the pit of his stomach. Ruptor stood tall at the front, deflecting magic from the pyromancers and sending back devastating spells of his own, spells that seemed to defy the laws of magic and change mid-flight with extreme potency. Petros shrunk back from the battle a few steps when he saw the reality and brutality of the pyromancers. He snapped back to the fight when he saw a pyromancer lift Manaehe from her feet and hurl her down the mountainside outside the cave.

"Manaehe! No!" Petros screamed. He ran at the pyromancer in a berserk rage and impaled him with the magically-charged top of his staff. Now in the thick of the enemy mages, Petros' battle-instincts went into full gear. He distracted a pyromancer with an iceball and Ruptor went for the kill, casting a lightning bolt that exploded into water on impact. The three remaining pyromancers stood in a triangle, trying to guard themselves from the skilled mage on one side and the enraged teenager on the other. Petros focused mana into his staff and it's snowflake tip grew into a sword-blade made of pure ice. He screamed and slashed at the nearest enemy, and they engaged in hand-to-hand combat.

Ruptor put both hands on his orb and it glowed even brighter as a charge was built up. His feet floated a foot off the ground, held aloft by the raw power built up in the orb. "Mors omnibus!" he said. The spell burst forth from the orb and released a highly concentrated beam of light. As the beam reached the two pyromancers, it changed form and electrocuted them from all sides. As the spell ended, their singed corpses tipped forward and lay still.

Petros parried a blow from his opponent's flaming staff and brought his blade around the slash from overhead. The pyromancer saw the move coming and expelled a concentrated jet of fire into the edge. Petros watched in horror as his father's staff snapped in two, his only possession and only connection to his father. The pyromancer smiled, thinking himself victorious. Ruptor stepped up behind him and slipped a dagger into his ribs, killing him instantly.

Ruptor sighed and looked at Petros with compassion. "I...I'm sorry." he said. He turned and started to walk away.

"Ruptor?" Petros asked flatly. The SpellBreaker turned around. "I would like to start training now."

Ruptor smiled slightly. "Then let's begin."


Petros swung the hammer down again, beating the molten metal into shape. Every SpellBreaker needs an object to focus major spells through. Ruptor had said. The hammer came down again, and again, and again. Sparks flew everywhere. Ruptor entered the small forge in the mountainside and his eyes widened as Petros lifted the weapon.

A seven-foot long halberd emerged from the anvil. The shaft was colored with black and silver metal, and a short spike was built into the lower end. The top displayed a large dark axe blade, faintly glowing blue with the mana it was designed to focus. A longer spike stood at the top of the axe, and a wicked hook swept off the back of the blade. Petros lowered the weapon with thongs into the cooling pool and the nearly indestructable magic metal hissed as it cooled. He lifted the weapon to his face and looked at the lethal edge. Never again will I be afraid. he thought. Never. Again.
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PostSubject: Re: Petros Ferrarius: A Life Broken   Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:27 am

Ten years later.

Chapter 5: Target.
Petros stood at the edge of a cliff, looking at the spectacular view of Surewood Forest below. He was now twenty-six years old and had undergone ten years of training from Ruptor. He wore the traditional clothing of SpellBreakers, black pants, a white shirt, boots, and a knee-length trenchcoat. Petros' seven-foot halberd rested upright in his right hand, the magical metal faintly glowing blue at the top and shimmering as his mana drifted through it. His arm and shoulder muscles were defined and strong after years of training by the Guardians on how to fight with a halberd. Now, where are you... Petros thought. He had been sent by his mentor to find a Gorillaphant and devise a spell to remove it's tusks while simultaneusly re-growing them. His training for the past ten years had consisted of many magics, from beginning to advanced, finally leading up to the basic re-forming of spells only SpellBreakers can accomplish.

Having seen no evidence of Gorillaphants in the forest below, Petros turned away from the cliff and started to walk back to Oaklore to take a break from his two-day search. He paused as he felt a rush of air behind him, followed by a woman carrying a black box and a small Moglin rushing past. "Excuse me!" the woman said as she hurried by. Petros turned around slowly and froze.

An enormous red dragon stood at the edge of the cliff, it's jaws slowly opening and closing. Smoke trickled from it's nostrils and strings of saliva dripped from the beast's massive maw. Petros' eyes widened and he raised his halberd defensively. The ground rumbled as the dragon spoke to itself. "I REALLY SHOULD JUST EAT THIS ADVENTURER NOW. IT WOULD SAVE ME A LOT OF TROUBLE LATER." The dragon growled and backed away. GRRRR...BUT SHE DID MAKE ME PROMISE. Petros turned and ran as the the Dragon walked away.

That was strange... Petros thought. Just then, he heard a scream. The moglin that had stepped past him earlier came flying through the air and landed at Petros' feet. "Stay here," Petros said. "I'll see what's going on."

Petros ran about a hundred yards and then saw the same woman he had seen earlier being attacked by a Gorillaphant. "Stop!" he shouted. Petros held his halberd in front of him and focused his mana on the beast's tusks as it turned and started charging forward. Petros mentally forced his mind to permeate the mana flowing through the Gorillaphant and then shifted it out through the monster's tusks, combining a regeneration spell into the mix. The beast's tusks suddenly fell off and new ones instantly re-grew in their place. The Gorillaphant stopped in confusion, and Petros seized the opprotunity to blast the monster back with a powerful gust of wind. He ran forward to the woman on the ground and helped her up as the moglin dragged the black box back to its owner.

"Thank you very much." The woman said. "You saved my life, but now I'm afraid I will have to ask another favor of you."

Petros shrugged. "No, thank you for attracting that Gorillaphant. I've been trying to find one for days." He walked over and picked up the pair of unscathed tusks. "Now what do you need?"

The woman picked up the black box and said, "Can you tell Rolith, the Knight Captain in Oaklore, that the box and I are safe and we're taking a shortcut?"

"Um, sure. No problem." Petros answered.

"Thanks again! Goodbye!" The woman said.

The Moglin smiled cheerfully. "Twillies thanks yous too!" The pair left through the forest.

Hmm. That didn't go as I thought it would, but I guess my task is complete. Petros thought. He put the tusks into his coat's deep pockets and set off for Oaklore at a quick jog. He arrived ten minutes later and passed through the gates to see Rolith. When he delivered the message, Rolith rushed him away quickly and immediately sent knights into the forest to search for the woman. Not my problem. Petros thought. He concentrated on his mentor's home in the cave at Sunbreeze Grove and sent a portion of his mana there. He then cast an attraction spell from his own remaining mana to the same place and instantly appeared there. Petros smiled as he used his key to unlock the metal door to the cave. Ah, can't beat Ruptor's hyper-efficient teleportation method. It's so simple too...

As Petros stepped inside, his mentor Ruptor stood and walked toward him. "Petros!" he said. "You've been gone for two days, I was starting to get worried that you might've gotten lost."

Petros took the pair of Gorillaphant tusks and tossed them in his hands. "Not lost." he said. "Delayed." He handed the tusks to Ruptor. Ruptor's appearance hadn't changed a bit in the ten years since he had taken Petros as an apprentice, he looked the same at 46 as he did when he was ten years younger.

Ruptor carefully examined the flawless ivory. "Excellent work," he said upon finishing his examination. "How did you create the spell?"

Petros sat down. "Well, I pulled some of the Gorillaphant's mana out through it's tusks and transformed it into a regeneration spell as I did so. The new tusks regenerating helped push the old tusks out cleaner and also caused no pain to the monster. Unfortunately, I had to blow the creature away immediately afterward to save some woman I saw wandering the forest with a Moglin." He went on to explain all that had happened.

"That's interesting." Ruptor said. "Now, are you up for a lesson today? Or would you prefer to rest?"

Petros looked at him skeptically. "You're not really going to give me some time to rest, are you?"

"No, no I'm not." Ruptor said with a sly grin. "Today we're studying defensive spells. I'd get ready if I were you; you know how much I get into training you defensively." He winked.

Petros groaned. "At least give me a day to wash up. I've been spending the last 48 hours trudging through a forest while trying to find and track animals big enough to impale me with a sneeze."

"Fine." Ruptor replied. "You get the rest of the day off, but expect to be woken up early tomorrow for more training."

"Whatever." Petros said. He went into his room, which Ruptor had carved out using earth magic years earlier, and polished the blade of his halberd. When satisfied, he climbed into bed and quickly fell asleep.


Far away, a much less peaceful scene awaited. Eleven powerful mages stood around a table deep in the labyrinth under Riverine Keep. While the maze is nearly impossible to survive and even more difficult to navigate, each mage knew the place by heart. As the meeting began, each mage took his seat, but one chair remained vacant.

One mage stood up. His name was Iudex, and he led the group. Each mage wore the same traditional outfit worn by every mage of their type, the black pants, white shirt, and knee-length trenchcoat.

This was the Council of SpellBreakers.

Iudex cleared his throat. "Friends," he began in his rather harsh Verteroche accent. "You may have noticed that our twelfth member, Ruptor, is not here. This is because he is the very reason this meeting has been called. I have recieved information from one of my spies that Ruptor has taken an apprentice without our approval of the individual."

A female SpellBreaker named Sapientia spoke up. "Didn't we tell him to find good candidates for our Order ten years ago?"

Iudex shook his head. "Yes, but we still must approve the person chosen."

Sapientia frowned and said, "It doesn't really matter though, does it? I trust Ruptor's judgement; he has always been a trustworthy member of the Council and he should have the right to choose for himself."

"Sapientia," Iudex began. "I haven't finished my report yet. My spies also tell me why Ruptor has done this. There is evidence showing that Ruptor plans to use his apprentice as a weapon to destroy us." Instantly, the room went into an uproar. Mages shouted over each other, some calling for immediate action and other demaning to know what this evidence was. Iudex alone remained calm. He slowly snapped his fingers and the torches lining the walls around the room flared into tall white flames. The room quieted.

"Thank you." Iudex said. "Now, you are all familiar with are Magica Destruere spell, are you not?"

A muscular SpellBreaker named Marc answered. "Yes, that is the ancient spell designed to destroy magic permenantly. Unlike other spells that only dissapate or rearrange mana, this one actually eliminates it from existance."

Iudex nodded. "Very good. Now, you all know that I use hawks as spies, and the hawk's keen eyesight makes me absolutely sure of the items Ruptor has been collecting. Over the past few years, Ruptor has been having his apprentice use SpellBreaker magic to obtain the eight reagents to cast the Magica Destruere spell. He already has a flawless Gorillaphant tusk, the blood of a hundred Zards, Chimera poison, the half-split skull of a Hydra, a preened Wyvern feather, thirteen Ignis Gems, and nine Black Pearls. The only item remaining is the Fire-Sack of a dragon. Friends, we can not let him get this last ingredient."

Turbati, a short SpellBreaker from the Moonridge area raised her hand slightly. "If Ruptor can complete the spell, how do you think he will use it? What will he have to gain by destroying all mana, and therefore destroying all life on Lore?"

Iudex sat down. "There is a way for the spell to be directed."

Acer, a half-gnome SpellBreaker gasped. "Not Ruptor. He wouldn't have the heart to do that."

Iudex nodded. "Yes. I believe he does. The one way to direct this spell is to force it through the already-tortured souls of the undead. Their negative life energy is like antimatter when it comes to mana. The spell is also like antimatter to mana, but it actively destroys it. The undead can hold the spell for a short time; time enough for someone knowing Necromancy to force the undead to re-cast the spell themselves, directing it to where the undead under the control of a Necromancer aim it. The horrific side-effect to this is that the undead used to cast the spell will be unable to die from the negative-times-negative effect the spell had on them, but they will also 'live' in pain more terrific than anything we can imagine."

A younger Spellbreaker named Daniel looked apprehensively at Iudex. "Exactly how many undead would be needed to do this spell?"

Iudex closed his eyes. "About three-thousand. Three-thousand people half-living in eternal torture, forced to not only obey their master, but also put up with pain that itself could kill someone." He opened his eyes and rose slowly to his feet. "Now, do you understand what we're up against? And do you understand what we need to do?"

Many of the mages nodded. Iudex lifted his short bronze-colored scythe from his back. "Ruptor no doubt has his apprentice fooled, so regrettably he will need to be dealt with as well."

Sapientia spoke again. "What are we going to do?"

Iudex gripped his scythe tighter. "We are going to kill Ruptor," he said. He took a breath and continued. "...and his apprentice."
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