Written By Warren C. Bennett
The fight ahead would be hard.
I stood in front of the King, my sword sheathed and armor reflecting the bright light of the room. The throne room was decorated in vibrant and bright colors, but that couldn’t cut through the somber tone.
The king looked tired and old. He sat on the throne a defeated man. I stood in front of him, waiting for him to do something, to say something. The guards by the door seemed ill at ease, shifting from foot to food as the King stole glances at the empty throne beside him. The passing of the queen obviously still echoed in his mind. He closed his eyes and slowly breathed in and out. Opening them, his dark eyes pierced my soul. The air in the room had changed, clearing the darkness that seemed to choke the life out of the Sovereign.
“You are the descendant of Erdrick.”
I nodded, though it seemed more a statement than a question.
“Listen to what I have to say. History records that your ancestor fought off the armies of night to keep this realm free.”
The story was known to me. Passed down from generation to generation. I could see it in my mind’s eye as the king spun his tale. There were only four others n the room but he spoke as if speaking to hundreds.
“In ages past Erdrick fought these demons with a sphere made of the purest light. His sword and magic purged the land of the oncoming horde. The Light was with him as his armies clashed time and time again with these armies.”
The light in the room darkened for a moment as the voice of the King become nothing more than a whisper.
“The Dragon Lord was defeated. But in his final stroke, he stole the magic of Erdrick and hid it in the deepest dark. Although the armies of the night receded, a true scion of God’s light was vanquished.”
I nodded, looking around the room. Even those that had heard this speech many times before seemed to be entranced. This king, this Sovereign, had the power to sway even the weakest heart. The king leaned forward and grabbed me by the clasp to my cloak.
“Only you can help. You, the descendant of Erdrick, must find his light again. You must find his sphere. The Dragon Lord is back. The armies of the night roam the wild. You must defeat him. Without you we are doomed. With you, this kingdom is nothing! Without you we will never again know peace.”
His voice boomed to fill the room; the light seemed to explode as he made this proclamation. He slumped back in to his seat as the room seemed to again take on a somber tone. He closed his eyes and waved me off. “What’s in the chest is yours. Talk to my guards and my aide, they know more than I. May this knowledge and gear be a seed to your victory.” With that the King seemed to fall back in to brooding, his once majestic visage brought low by grief.
I turned to leave as his aid motioned me over. He waved at the three chests. I bent down to open them, finding some gear and a small amount of money. Looking up, the aide seemed to guess my thoughts.
“That isn’t much is it? You aren’t the first to claim to be in the Line of Erdrick. It has been many years since he walked the earth. He could have hundreds of descendents by now.”
He harrumphed as if this was an explanation.
I took the money and the presented gear. For the first time since entering the throne room I made to speak.
“Does this have to do with his missing daughter?” I said waving at the almost quivering body of the king on the throne.
“His daughter? Yes. And the death of his wife. And the defeat of his armies by someone claiming to be the Dragon Lord. And many other things…” The aide trailed off. His eyes focusing on nothing.
I swallowed as pain slashed through my heart. Gripping my sword I rose from examining the chests.
“I will save the Princess.” I said as my voice cracked, not hiding the emotion that lay beneath the surface.
“Please do. None have found her but if anyone could…” The aide didn’t finish. There wasn’t much more to say.
As I turned to go, the aide handed me a key. “It’s symbolic. Unlocking the door represents your first steps on this quest for the King.” I nodded. Turning I strode towards the door. The lock made a satisfying click as the key opened the door in to the hallway.
My meeting with the King over, I walked out of the throne room. My past lay heavy in my mind as I headed toward the stairs to descend to the castle proper.
My Journey, such as it was, had begun.