A Recipe for Adventure: A pinch of Mystery and Excitement
I heard that Eir Stegalkin has infiltrated Ascalon in the Charr lands. I also hear that she is stirring up quite a ruckus down there. Just thought you should know.
I shook my head and quickly grabbed my weapons. "Heading out?" Caith asked. "Yep." Freddie got up, excited for adventure. However, I picked him up and sat him on my bed. "Not this time buddy. When it's safer." "Where are you going?" "Ascalon. Eir is stirring up the ghosts and I'm going to stop her before the Charr have a full-scale ghost assault on their hands, er... paws. " "Do you want me to come?" "Nah. I've been waiting to kick some Ascalonian butt any way," I said cracking my knuckles. "Alright, be careful."
By the time I reached the entrance, I had received a hated glare from every Charr I ran into. There was a tunnel made of brick going down into the earth. I went down and torches lit when I got near them. I saw Rytlock. He turned and looked at me, obviously not happy. "You're the reinforcements? You'll have to do. That Norn fool, Eir, has the ghosts stirring. Let me brief you. This place has a history. I don't want your ignorance getting us killed. This was originally Charr land. The humans pushed us out and built Ascalon on top of it. Over two hundred years ago, we took our lands back. The human king, Adelbern, watched his soldiers panic as we breached the city gates. Facing certain defeat, the doomed king refused to surrender. Adelbern smashed his ancient blade, Magdaer, and cursed Ascalon. The blast incinerated the attacking legions and turned the defending humans into vengeful spirits. The ghosts see the living as invaders. They show no mercy and no weariness—only blind hatred. Adelbern's hatred. And now Eir's gone right into the dead king's lair. What a mess. We're going after her. She's causing trouble, and I don't want anyone dying because of her foolishness."
"Well, that makes two of us." He only glared at me. I put my hands up and he started walking. I kept my eyes open and my steps light as we made our way down. Rytlock kept looking back at me. "Why are you doing that?" "To make sure you're still there. You walk so lightly I can barely hear it. "Would it be better if I did this?" I said as I started stomping, the noise echoing down the hall. I could have swore I saw a smile tug at his muzzle, but he turned away too quickly. I resumed light steps, but not as light as before. I saw it before he did. "Look out!" I rammed into him as a giant boulder landed in the spot he stood not a second before. "Sheesh! And you think I need to be careful!" I stood up. "Why did you do that?" "Do what?" "Save me? We're supposed to hate each other." "Says who?" He was silent. "Our history? What's in the past is in the past. It's behind us to make space for what's to come." I got up and started walking. When i didn't hear him, I turned around. He was still on the floor, a thoughtful look on his face. "You coming?" He looked up and got to his feet.
We started seeing dead ghosts as we walked on. We pulled out our weapons and prepared for the worst. Instead of seeing the worst, we saw Eir. "Rytlock, Trisscar, what are you doing here?" "We came to stop you from inciting a full-scale ghost rampage. What are you doing here?" "I'm looking for King Adelbern's legendary weapon, the sword called Magdaer." "Magdaer? Magdaer was destroyed when the Sorcerer-King set off the Foefire." "I think it survived. I believe the sword will be found at the top of these stairs." "You are following a foolish human legend." "You of all people should know the power of legends. You bear Magdaer's twin, Sohothin. It was Rurik's sword." "What if I do? Adelbern's sword is no more, just like his nation." "Then let us go to the top of the stairs and see for ourselves." There was a dangerous glint in her eyes that caused excitement to roll through me.
We went to the top of the stairs and saw the broken sword. "Rytlock! The broken sword. It's the twin to your own!" "Worry more about the sword's master. Look there!" A ghost king rose from the ground. I assumed he was Adelbern. "I sense Sohothin's presence," he said. "Rurik, my son! You've returned!" "Your son is dead. So is your kingdom. Leave us!" I could hear boredom in Rytlock's voice from dealing with the ghosts all the time. "Foul creature! Your entire race will pay! Even now, my champions prepare to invade the surface. You will fall before the might of Master Ranger Nente, deadly Kasha Blackblood, and the lovers, Ralena and Vassar. We'll destroy you as you destroyed us!" "You frighten no one with your meaningless threats. We've killed you before; we'll do it again!" "Hahahahahahahahaha!" "Now you've angered them." "They were already angry. Now we must find his champions and silence them."
Le time skip~
I breathed deeply after we were done. Adelbern said one final thing; "You've defeated me, but what've you gained? Much deadlier things stir beneath us. They'll consume you all!" "Bring it on!" I shouted as he disappeared. "Magdaer is shattered," Eir observed, "but I know a blacksmith who can mend these pieces." "Did you really think that if you got me a sword you'd earn forgiveness?" Rytlock's tone was, 'are you kidding me?' "For you? The sword would be for Logan." Ouch. "What? Why would you risk our lives, MY life, for that coward?" "Hey, she didn't ask for your help. You came down here on your own." "I thought it would heal old wounds. It would remind you—" She was cut off by him. "Remind me of what, betrayal? Pah! You've become a sentimental old woman. We're finished here!" He left. After he had gone, I turned to Eir. "Why does Rytlock hate Logan?" She sighed heavily. "Mistakes from a lifetime ago, best forgotten. Rytlock's right. I've gotten too sentimental. Too weak."
I put a hand on her shoulder, which was actually quite difficult considering how tall she is. "Not weak, hopeful. Hope is the last thing we have and is our greatest weapon. Without hope, we have no drive. Why else do we continue to fight when we know all's lost? Because it's that last glimmer of what could be and not what is." "Thank you, but I'm fighting a battle lost long ago." She walked away. I sighed, and turned. I walked over to the broken sword and picked up the pieces. I would repair this thing myself if I had to. I had hung around blacksmiths a lot during my child hood. And, although I never did something like this, I had seen enough to know what to do. I took it back to the Grove and went straight to a blacksmithing station. I started working, trying to get the pieces in order. Caith had come by with Freddie and the Stag, but had said nothing.
I lit a furnace and waited for it to heat up. "Eir, Rytlock and I defeated Adelbern and retrieved Magdaer. Eir wanted to put it back together to give it to Logan and try help bond him and Rytlock back together. When she told Rytlock, he got mad and left. She left giving up. I took the sword and here I am," I explained not looking at her the whole time. "Ah," was all she said. The sword was missing too many chunks to properly rebuild so I had to melt the blade and mix it with another metal that would work. While I melted and molded the blade, I worked on the handle. I scrubbed for hours, trying to make it shine again. Finally, I saw a tiny sparkle. I finished polishing just as the blade was done being molded. I looked over to see Caith, Freddie, and the stag asleep. I looked up and could see the stars. That didn't stop me.
It was a few hours away from dawn when the blade was cool enough to put the hilt on and sharpen it into a proper sword. I set it on an anvil and closed the door so I wouldn't wake anyone. I picked up a hammer and started banging away at it. After a few more hours, it was finally finished. I opened the doors to see the rising sun. I held up the blade and inspected it. I could see myself in the blade and I read the words I carved into it. "Hope Empowers All" Okay, it wasn't the best line written on a sword, but I thought it was sufficient. "It's beautiful." I turned around and saw Caith. I held the sword out to her and she took it. "I was never one for up front attacks, but I'd give all that up to swing a weapon like this." She handed it back to me and I gave a couple test swings. There was hardly and weight at all and I could feel it slice through the air cleaner than a knife through water. "I know what you have to do next, so you might want to hurry." I nodded to Caith, woke up Freddie and the stag, and was on my way.
I approached the gates to Eir's house in Hoelbrak, the Norn capital. Before I left, I wrapped the sword in red cloth to match the pommel stone in the black handle. It was tied with gold string as well. I entered her house and saw Garm out front running around. He stopped, saw me, and ran to me. He slowed before he got to me and started wagging his tail. He noticed Freddie and the two ran off to play. I smiled and shook my head at them. "Come on," I said to the stag. I walked into the entrance to find Eir sitting in front of her fire. "Who is it?" She sounded exasperated. "It's me." She turned around and got up. "What brings you here?" I help out the sword. She took it and unwrapped it at her table. One look was all it took. "What is this?" "It's Magdaer." "How?" "I didn't have enough to fix it so I combined it with another metal and out came this." "Hope Empowers All. I am amazed. Why did you bring it here?" "You wanted to give it to Logan before Rytlock criticized you. I just wanted to be sure you still wanted to give it to him." She wrapped it back up. "Would you like to come with me?" I nodded and we all left.
In Divinity's Reach, there was quite a hubbub. The great Eir Stegalkin, the Hero of Shaemoor, a wolf, a fern hound pup, and a white stag walking through the streets with a long object wrapped in red and gold. We went to the courtroom where I saw Jennah, Andrew, Petra, and Anise. Petra ran up and we hugged. I hugged Andrew and Jennah after that. Anise just smiled warmly at me. We talked for a while before sending for Logan. When he arrived, he did not seem happy to see Eir. All that changed when he opened it. All eyes were on the sword as he held and tested it. I brought out a scabbard that I made earlier and Logan sheathed it. He finally said something. "I... I don't know what to say. What is the sword called?" Eir answered him, "Magdaer." His expression turned to disbelief. "There's no way it could be." "But it is. And your little Hero of Shaemoor is the one who restored it." She pushed me forward. "I-it was nothing."
We all chatted for hours until I was too tired to carry on. I fell asleep when no one was looking. Andrew saw me and carried me back to the tavern. I stayed there for a week catching up with the two. But I was getting restless. I wanted more adventure, and I wanted it soon.