Everrealm: First Chapter

ONE

Here I am…back home. I wake up dazed and fuzzed vision. I must defend my realm. This is my realm. Bodies are around my feet. Many are of my brethren, my kin, my elders. There’s Dragons here too. There’s so much screaming and war cries. Sword against shield and flesh meeting swords. Dragon stench rules my land; smells of burnt flesh, blood, death, and fire. I cannot see ahead but I know I’m surrounded in danger.

I know I’m small…but I am going to do something! Clinching my fists as hard as I can — hard enough for my nails to penetrate my palms, nothing happens. They still won’t come out!? Argh! Well there has to be a weapon around here somewhere! Fumbling to the ground on my knees trying to scavenge the best available weapon possible. A sharp sear runs over my back. Dammit they’re close by! A battle is coming my way I could sense it. Panic killed whatever little composure possible. I can hear fire sped past me — I was just low enough to not get hit. You’d need eyes of an Eagle to make out this thick smokescreen. All I can feel are bodies!

Finally! A weapon! It feels very heavy like some sort of broadsword. I need two hands just to lift it. Panning my surroundings still warrants no success. I pan behind me and see flames. A portal of fire and madness. If I want to make a difference that’s where I need to be. The closer I run to the fire, louder bellows ignites my adrenaline. I fight through this portal.

I’m expecting a fray but instead I’m presented with an image. By the gods! My people before me are being slaughtered and burned. Children and women. Elder and young.

My body wants to move…but my legs telling opposite. Suddenly a tall man emerges from a bonfire! Red-scaled and scarred all over. His opened wings makes him more menacing with a toothy grin to match. What the hell is wrong with this thing!? I cannot lift the sword! Why!? It seems heavier than ever now! And he’s coming near me! I let the sword go and it forms into solid stone on the ground. The Dragon’s eyes are glowing orange — and his hands are burning with flames. Clinching my fists again, and again, and again — nothing! I’m starting to tremble.

The Dragon raises both hands above his head with a giant pile embers above his head.

“Die! Scorpion!” He roars while hurling the flames at me!

I see a light…then it’s dark again…

“Ahh…quite a dream you had there,” said the old Fox. “Epic indeed it was.”

“Is that all you have to say?” Gamba questioned. “It isn’t the first time I’ve had this kind of dream.”

The Fox sat at his dining table, struck a match, and lit his pipe rewardingly. As if the plumes of smoke from the lit incense scattered around the table wasn’t enough increase the air pollution. He gave Gamba a wry shrug. “I am a man of wisdom not fortunetelling. Is that what you want?”

“These dreams are telling me something. They are nightmares. Though, I deal with killing and death and blood in real life that is not something I want to keep visioning every time I sleep. It can’t be a sign of my future…”

“You are relying on these dreams as a catalyst for your past. The past is gone, my friend. Yours? Way gone.”

Gamba grew frustrated. He fell back into a wall and stared into the low ceiling decorated with complex textiles and hanging talismans. “I need…answers. Why am I the only one? I’ve even been far as south to Zairo and still see not one thing resembling me. In two dreams, I’ve been called a Scorpion. So I guess that is what I am…but why?”

After a deep inhale and smooth exhale, the Fox’s voice got raspier. “I don’t know much about Scorpions. But I do think you are what we call, earth walkers.”

“What? First time I’ve heard that term.”

“Your kind has walked this world for centuries until your time was up. I’ve been all around Everrealm — from the Lonely Isles to Margos east, and I’ve never seen an earth walker. But the history is there, though. Maybe these dreams have something to do with it? I think the dreams relate to your past but they do not harbor all of the answers you are lusting for. I say…if you dwell in this past too much, a chance you will not have a pleasant future.”

“Hmph! That’s funny,” Gamba chuckled.

“Hmm…a comedian I can be.” He struck another match to relight his pipe.

“A woman told me a few yesterdays ago: to know your future one must know the past. My past is nothing…so what future is waiting for me?”

“What does a woman know these days?” The Fox mocked. “The world is better when they don’t know too much, believe me.”

“Are you really who you say you are?” Gamba skeptically asked.

“Ehh! You should have come after morning. By then I’ve had a couple tokes of the old root.”

“I am not paying for this…”

“Ehh it’s on the house,” the Fox said exhaling another cloud of smoke. “Listen to I. You cannot remember your past that deep, right? Maybe it is a sign. It could be a sign from the Mother herself for you not to dive into waters you know nothing of. Persist in progression. Move forward. Those nightmares involve dragons. And I haven’t seen a dragon in many years, but, one thing I know; the East World is a completely different realm. Those dragons aren’t understanding people. Focus on persisting forth and not back. Before you know it; you’ll be so ahead of your past that it will garner no place in your future.”

The words seemed true to Gamba but still dissatisfying. “What about the dreams? What if they do not go away?”

“They will!” The Fox assured. “And if they do not, then that means…I am completely wrong!”

Gamba let out a sharp sigh, “I walked in here and became confused.”

“Hey,” the Fox said, “I am a wise old man, not a fortune teller. I do enjoy your company though. Those dreams you tell, they are quite interesting. Perfect setting before I get lost.”

When Gamba could no longer take what the Fox had to give he bid him farewell. His next stop was to Arkinshire. His current goal was to travel to New Aetheros. That was the City of All: knowledge, progression, riches, exoticism. In his entire life he’s only been there twice. Somebody there could use a skilled mercenary trained by the Anonymous League. Or maybe he’ll get more answers than ever before? The only way he could find out was to travel west.