|“||Just call me Arthfael.||”|
Arthfael Levean Olivriar (Pronounced ARTH-file Le-vean Oliv-ray-ah) is a prolific, legendary individual born out of peasantry in Ardougne. Arthfael, straight out of his youth, had been driven by ambition to chase his destiny, something that had not came to him until he sacrificed all of the wealth and glory for love. The man had been through several changes, improving with each setback, as he fought upon multiple battlefields. He had climbed throuugh the ranks, founding the Kingdom of Camelot before abdicating in interest of other careers. Commanding the Misthalite military brought him to knighthood, followed by his Duchy in Camelot; the last hold he would have before leaving public eye and supposedly dying.
He is played by Dnl.
Persona of Arthfael
Arthfael is a man built of a slender, wily figure. He was moderately muscular, much like the average human. A man of about six feet, his skin's tone slightly tanned by the Sun's constant array upon him. He had hazel grey eyes, and short, military-cut hair. He had a prominent chin, and a heart-shaped face and jaw. His jaw is lined with a short, light jet black beard of whiskers.
Armored, Arthfael wore body armor - a thick vest layer of black dragonhide, and cloth, covering his body and
protecting himself from enemy magic and common attacks; the vest and garment itself was ornate, and elegant giving off a leader's feel to it - much more fitting to his position. A dragonhide-layered cloth hood was pulled over his head, yet did not veil his electric blue gaze, and dark hair poking out from the shadows. The robes continued down to his legs, where he wore fur-lined boots, with a dragonhide layer. His legs were also armoured in chaps of the smokey black dragonhide. He wore a simple set of gauntlets, connected to decorative bracers which had been lined with metal and had a magical presence about them. The gauntlets of both arms led to the palms of his hands where a glowing, enchanted gem sat in the middle; the gloves seemed to be made of cloth, and dragonhide. At his hip was a dark, slender misericorde, and sheathed at his back was longsword, decorated in symbolism and inscriptions of Varrock and Misthalin, which told a knightly presence almost immediately. It was a fine steel, sheathed within a fine, leather scabbard.
Regular Garment (Formal)
Arthfael wore a dull red vest, buttoned over the front over a long-sleeved white shirt. He wore his flowing cloak of white wolf fur, a relic of his time in Paixholm. He wore rather simple leggings underneath, seperated by a simple leather belt, with black boots that are buckled on. At his hip, is a curved and serrated steel dagger, with a dark, longer and slender blade sheathed at his right boot. The make seemed to be a simple misericorde.
Regular Garment (Casual)
Arthfael wore a white jacket over a simple, plain white, long-sleeve shirt. The jacket was loosely buttoned, and allowed to give off a casual flare, despite its noble, intricate design, At his arms, bracers were attached with fingerless gloves at his hands. The braces themselves, one of his two sets of Magibraces. At his back, was his decorated, knightly longsword. The blade was simply steel, but forged with near-perfect design, and given a bit of Varrockian composure to it. He wore a pair of dark trousers, and dark leather boots. At his right boot, was a misericorde, like above, slender and lengthy.
Arthfael is a sarcastic, relaxed person - holding a rather casual attitude - insisting the people he meets call him only by his first name - and not his earned titles and accolades. Although, Arthfael takes situations calmed and almost passive-aggressively, although at times can become angered. Arthfael is mostly a kind, friendly man despite his rare anger.
He holds a good amount of overconfidence, and arrogance, making him out to be an utter jerk at times, and despite being a nobleman, he held a lowborn's morals and attitude. Arthfael is also known for not being vengeful, and usually acts when he's obligated to - this also affects how he handles situations. Arthfael, growing up, had a much more different personality. Mostly composed of fear, and he often closed himself off. Slowly, Arthfael had built a new persona and gained an odd bout of courage.
Arthfael also has almost little sense of honor in combat, and often, does not play by the rules. Arthfael also has a unique way of learning from his mistakes, so that, if he does fail. He will learn how he failed, and how he is able to counter another failure by the same method, although, this in no way, makes him always capable of countering said method.
Arthfael could also be described as fatherly, and wise, having adapted to the life of fatherhood. He tends to treat children like a father would a child, and likely holds a great value to children - such as protecting them.
The Earliest Chapters
A young boy’s cries broke the peaceful silence of the afternoon; curious gazes flickered towards the small home, to which the wailing originated. Hearing the cries, a middle-aged man, a man armored valiantly in steel chainmail, hurried only quicker towards his home, bursting through the door, the man smiled widely at the nearby nurse, whom raised her attention to gaze at the man who entered.
“Sir! Your wife, she has birthed a new, baby boy. “She smiled sweetly at the man, whom at her gesture followed her into the bedroom. Upon entry, the man’s wife lay upon the bed, a small child held gently in her arms; she smiled at her husband as he enters. With a joyful expression, the man moved to seat himself at her bedside, and smile at the small, lively baby whom made gently breaths at the rise and fall of his tiny chest; this child was obviously built of a smaller stature than most others. Then, a man approached the husband, offering him a hand. The brunette male doctor, in a medical gown smiled down at the husband as they shook; his voice was accented to that of Kandarian quality as he spoke.
“Hello. Doctor Michael Dossyn; your baby is healthy, Mister Olivriar. “The husband, now known as Mister Olivriar, smiled giving the Doctor an acknowledging gaze.
“Thank you Doctor – but please – call me Aravis. “ Aravis gave a wide grin to the doctor, whom would only nod in response, before hurrying he and his medical staff out of the door and, after pattering the floor of the next room into the outside, shutting the door graciously behind them. Suddenly, a voice erupted from the blankets and covering, a raspy, exhausted one – the voice of Aravis’s wife.
“ My dear, what do we name our little boy? “ She cooed to the child in an inaudible speech; Aravis looked to his wife with a smile, before he began to speak.
“ Arthfael, “ He smiled at Lyrianne, his wife as he continued. “ Arthfael Olivriar. "
Several years later, and a six year old boy by the name of Arthfael had grown from his meager baby steps, from his first words to a lively, young boy with not a care in the world. And, notably Aravis, Arthfael’s father, was the young boy’s role-model, having served for Ardougne’s city guard – a hero – for several years, well-deserving of his rank as a lieutenant. In fact, Arthfael aspired to one day fight alongside him, fighting with law and justice! Arthfael, as a young boy, enjoyed the city and what he loved the most: The Marketplace; some days, Arthfael’s mother, Lyrianne, would take the young boy to the Market to sift through the stalls and purchase much needed items; his favorite stall was the one that held the decadent, lustrous pies, cakes and bread over it – some still seeped the steam from the freshly-baked product. His mouth watered to taste them – and one time he could not hold his desire, and whilst no one was looking? The small be took a small sample of the cake and stuffed it into his mouth, running away before he’s caught. Arthfael, even at such a small age was notably smaller than the other children, making him a constant target of bullies, whom were all muscularly larger than the frail boy. Finally, the tiny boy of ten years of age was fed up, and picked up and threw a large rock at the head of a lean boy whom also picked on him; a broken nose received, a larger boy came running and slammed his fist into Arthfael’s face, sending him to the floor – the boy had to be at least twelve. Arthfael lifted himself up, though despite the bleeding lip, Arthfael scurried off home with a twisted grin upon his lips, disregarding the sharp pain that shot through him as he did – at home, he is tended to by his mother.
“ Do not worry, Arthfael – you’ll be a big, strong man one day – bigger than those boys – and they will be the ones running off! “ She would say, as she tended to the stinging wound, reassuring her unconvinced boy.
“… Do you really think so, Ma’? “He then smiled, and looked up at her motherly, sky blue gaze.
“I know so, Arthfael. “ She smiled, brushing a stray golden lock from her fair skinned face. And, from then, Arthfael was brave – reassured by his mother. Though, at the age of twelve, dinner is abruptly halted as Aravis bursted through the front door; a fire was at the fireplace where, around the crude table, crude chairs sat – one was empty, the other two occupied by Arthfael and his mother, Lyrianne. One door on each side of the room and another, opposite the burning fireplace was the front door withj two, small framed windows on either side of it. The doors led to bedrooms – one medium, the other tiny – made for Arthfael. His father breathed raggedly, and Lyrianne looked up at Aravis with a concerned, frightened look in her eyes. “Dear? “ Words came from her mouth, as he began to speak.
“We need to pack up and get out of here; there’s a log cabin in the woods we’ll stay at. “ Despite their efforts to question him, he disregarded them and walked off. Thus, we looked at each other briefly before standing up to follow after his orders – they were off before the hour’s end…
… His eyes fluttered open, his vision flooding with the world – the warm summer air filled his veins in his wool clothing; he found himself upon the cot, rolling slightly off of it – it had been yesterday that Arthfael had abruptly left the city, with quiet steps he followed the aroma of eggs – freshly from the range. Into the main room, a scent of pine logs, which were burning in the fireplace’s hearth, the orangeish red flames licking delicately upon the black-burned log. Outside of the door, he heard a hatchet’s head burrow into more firewood, and his mother hard at work in the kitchen; at this moment, Arthfael would realize that this was a new chapter in his life – a new beginning…
Growing Up Is Hard
By the time the boy had become a young man, Arthfael had gotten accustomed to residing within the deep woodland, though the time would come where Arthfael would have to contribute to the family – to grow up. His father, Aravis, demanded the boy learn archery, so that he may help his father in hunting the next night’s dinner – that is unless he uses traps. For years, Arthfael had eaten venison – its taste a constant reminder of his living situation if not made by the monotonous chirping of birds outside of his window. The taste of venison was bland, tasteless by now. Arthfael could not escape growing up, not matter the effort he put into it; his mother came out of the kitchen with a smile towards him, before the door opened, and Aravis entered moving to sit at the table as Lyrianne set down a tea cup for both parents, Arthfael sat at the crude table alongside them, looking around at them before Aravis spoke in his hoarse voice.
“ Son – you’re gon’ come out with yer’ ol’ man and learn howta’ usea’ bow, al’right? “ Arthfael nodded, giving a wide grin – finally he would learn to use a bow! Aravis nodded, returning a smirk as he glanced towards the sweetly-smiling Lyrianne. A few sips later, and Aravis was finished with his refreshing cup of tea and he summoned the impatient, finger-drumming Arthfael towards the door with himself. Outside, Arthfael was given a bow and quickly instructed; over the yard, a makeshift shooting range was crafted from old bottles of alcohol his father had long since drunk, and he held in his hand, the stock of a crudely-crafted bow – he made do, though.
“Son, “He spoke, moving to indicate to his quiver with a finger. “Get an arrow, put it on the bow. “ And Arthfael followed his order, settling the feathered arrow onto the bowstring with his father’s direction, moving to raise the stock high, and pull the string back to my cheek; Arthfael could see from parts of his vision, his father grinning at him.
“Good job, son. When you’re ready to fire, inhale and release – hit that bottla’ whiskey, will ya’? “With the head of the feathered craft pointed at the base of the bottle labeled boldly ‘whiskey’, Arthfael inhaled and released. The arrow wobbled out of the stock and straightened as it dipped to strike the right flank of the bottle, chipping the glass and shoving the bottle to the floor. Aravis frowned, shaking his head as he stepped forwards and took the bow from Arthfael.
“If that was damned game, it woulda’ scared the whole damn forest off. “ Suddenly, he was glaring angrily down at his son, a rather disappointed expression shown in his fiery amber eyes. He sighed, frustrated, at his cowering son. Aravis shook his head, moving to hand the bow back.
“Aim at the next bottle. “ Arthfael nodded, moving to take an arrow – now he was determined to impress his upset father, that look of determination the first ever to show as he brought the arrow into the stock, and pulled the string back to his cheek; after a brief inhale, he took no hesitation and flicked his fingers away as the arrowhead went dead onto the bottle labeled ‘vodka’, shattering it into pieces as it was tore into the air, and thrown into the dirt. Aravis’ face lit up, and he grinned, moving to slap a hand onto Arthfael’s back and shouts his congratulations.
“Well done, son! “ He smiled proudly onto the boy, and then moved to beckon him with a giant hand as he moved towards the door – breakfast was ready.
After breakfast, the duo set out into the forest – Arthfael on his first trip – was excited to check the hunting traps with his father; rabbit hang limp in most of the ones set. On the second trap, a sound caught their senses – a stag. Arthfael’s father beckoned him towards it with a whisper.
“All yours, kid. “ Third time around, he pulled his bow into ready, before long he was inhaling pulling the bowstring back before the arrow whizzed through the air, and into the throat of the stag, sending it to the floor in a tumble. In time, the duo are dragging a large stag home – Aravis clearly proud of his boy…
… Fifteen, and the boy was ready to walk out of the house, but, his father – whom had for aslong kept the reason of the departure a secret from his son – prevented it as long as he possibly could, though-.. The gallop of hooves upon dirt one morning woke the forest – woke the family, and Aravis went to a window, and peered outside – he recognized the mounted men, but it wasn’t hard to tell from the gold-star adorned banners hanging from their saddles. They got off; two men, and pulled the swords from their scabbards as they stepped forwards. Aravis gave a glance to Lyrianne and she nodded, moving to a drawer and taking a nice dagger and moving into the main parlour, passing through quietly towards Arthfael’s room. Arthfael was sitting onto his cot when Lyrianne came in and crouched at the drawer.
“People are after us, Arthfael, stay quiet. “ Arthfael, though he didn’t fully understand the situation, nodded. He moved to grasp the grip of a small hunting knife by his cot and pull it out, Lyrianne putting his finger to her lips. Meanwhile, Aravis held a broadsword in his grasp as he moved into the lounge and opened the door.
“Aravis – for far too long you have ran from our blade – this once, we offer you, that horrid wench and your creation mercy in the name of the Lord Saradomin – you must be willing to set your head at the will of my hand and blade, and face the consequence for showing faith of the heathen False God. “ A man’s voice called, and my father shouted loudly in response, hissing at him.
“We shall not bow to those that are fraudulent – I will die before my family, Raivius. “ Raivius growled, moving to order his companion forth and hissed at Aravis.
“Fine then, fool. Thine honor is in vain, cretin. “ The younger man started forwards, and Aravis backed up, meeting his blade; meanwhile, Raivius entered and seeked Lyrianne and Arthfael; after a break peek into the parents’ bedroom, he made into Arthfael’s bedroom, where Lyrianne met him with vicious assaults – a flurry. Her dagger flurrying across his face and cheek, causing a long cut along it. Angered, the armed man thrusted his pommel forth and slammed it into her skull, sending her into a daze on the floor. Just as he moved to finish Lyrianne, Arthfael moved forwards, moving to burrow the hunting knife into the man’s gut, he grunted and screeched as it burrowed deep and he moved to thrust a fist at Arthfael’s face. Crack! The blood flew, and Arthfael is thrusted back into the wall, as he held his nose. Lyrianne glanced to Arthfael, her terror lost and a look that reassured Arthfael as Raivius drove the blade into her chest screeching profanities.
“To death, vile witch! “ Not a whimper, she was satisfied in her last breath before the life faded from her eyes; Arthfael cried out in anger and broke forth, adrenaline pumping through his system as fire erupted in his veins – without hesitation that look of fiery determination crossed his expression, lighting his gaze as his dagger and fists thrust forwards, lost deep into his anger. Then, he calmed down, finding himself pinning the man to the door, bloodv seeping not only from the holes at his chest but from his mouth – Raivius was dying. Arthfael wasted no time, as his father cried out in pain and the younger man looked to his father, it was too late, Arthfael rose the dagger and thrusted it down hard into his cranium.
“NO! “ The hatred burned in his eyes, as he gazed as his father’s slayer. Arthfael moved to take Raivius’ sword and match his gaze towards Hayvell – his childhood bully. Hayvell pulled a long, dark and slender dagger from its sheath at his hip, and moved forwards furiously, thrusting the misericorde into Aravis’ eye – suddenly, Aravis was limp and thrown away. Hayvell pulled the misericorde and spat at the stunned Arthfael as he ran away.
Life's New Roads
Nothing to Lose, Right?
Arthfael looked back, a deep pain searing inside of his chest. Darkness fell quickly, and his tears had long since dried, though more tried to well up in his eyes, which he rejected with a firm close of his eyelids. He began to realise this hadn't just been a bad dream that he was due to wake from - this had been reality. Alone, Arthfael sat against a tree's trunk, hugging himself tightly, as a Kandarin cold night's air pricked at his skin. He lcosed his eyes tightly, as again, his tears welled in his eyes. Suddenly, howls of a distant predator broke the silence of the night, and Arthfael's eyes snapped open, as fear began to overcome him. His blue gaze gave a glance around, peering helplessly into the darkness, his paranoia prying at him endlessly. A new howl sliced through the night, tears running down Arthfael's cheeks, as he stood up and turned around quickly, moving to ascend the tree, and into the overgrown branches to hide from the ground's predators. An owl inside the tree snapped its head in Arthfael's direction, its hypnotizing, nocturnal and yellow glare locking straight onto the scrawny boy for a moment or two. Then it screeched loudly. Arthfael jumped out his skin, and his grip on the branches loosened, as the scrawny child fell to the ground with a loud groan. A flap of its wings, and the owl ascended into the night, away from the invaded tree. Much to Arthfael's misfortune, snarls came from anove him, as from just a few feet away, there were three, scrawny wolves. Their yellow eyes narrowed and glowing on the boy, it seemed they were hungry and were willing to eat whatever they could sink their fangs into - even scrawny children. Arthfael rolled over, moving to stand himself up and stagger into the trunk, all three baring their teeth at the boy. Arthfael turned, moving to once more ascend the tree, but one of the vicious wolves had leapt forwards, grabbing a hold of the boy's boot, forcing the boy to struggle to stay in the tree, either side tugging on the boot. His right boot violently swung about, kicking the wolf in the muzzle. The wolf whined, pulling backwith a final tug and taking Arthfael's boot with him. Arthfael smiled victoriously, moving to climb into the branches, and set into branches. Yet, the wolves remained below for several hours, taunting him with barks and howls, circling the tree with hungry maws...
... Day broke, and he groaned loudly as he rolled over. The surface underneath him gone, the scrawny boy's eyelids fluttered wide open, as he grabbed at the branches, but to no avail, as he fell to his back with a loud yelp and another groan. The bright yellow, burning dot in the sky had just barely risen over the seemingly giants of evergreen trees. He watched the dawn for a while, before sitting up and looking around. His eyes caught his boot, which was chewed and gnawed on, but left beside the tree. He moved to step towards it, and slip his foot into the boot. Birds began to chirp, and the faint swishing and crashing of a stream came to his ears. He wandered into the forest, following the faint call of the stream. Upon reaching the stream, he kneeled down onto the pebbles on the bank, and moved to slap and cup water, washing his face. A much more distant sound of rushing water would be heard. River Dougne was close. He stood, and followed the stream for some time. As he got closer, the roaring water got louder, and the bustling of an awakening city began to resound throughout the air. FInally, sight upon the vast city he had once called home; Ardougne.
WIth a wide grin on his face, Arthfael darted towards the city, and broke into the streets. Freshly made bread beckoned the boy to the Market, where the Square bustled with noblemen and lower class alike, chattering as they got past their day. Arthfael's stomach growled and pleaded to him, pushing him steps further to the baker's stall. He gave Arthfael a wide grin.
" Allo, sonny! Lookin' to buy somethin' sweet from my stall, are ye'? " The baker waved his plump hand along the stall, giving Arthfael his friendly grin. Arthfael started to smile to him, yet barely spoke a word.
" Sir, could I have a loaf? " He rose his hand, waving them to me, his fingers dancing in the air. They came out in three. Three bronze coins.
" Three bronze, young man. " Arthfael reached into his pouch, pulling out his last three coins. He had taken them from his home before fleeing the woodland cabin. He set them out onto the stall, and took a warm loaf. He nodded, giving me a grin.
" Good boy. Now run along. " He shooed me, but held his wide grin. Arthfael grinned as well. Then the scrawny boy turned, only to be met by three other young men. Each brandished a golden star of Saradomin on their chest, two with daggers, but one with a sword.
Hayvell. Arthfael remembered this young man as the murderer of his father. Arthfael snarled at him, clutching the bread tightly. Hayvell had stopped. The boy was built large, obviously pampered by wealth, by the look of his clothing.
" You little brat. " Arthfael's Zamorakian symbol swung from underneath his leather coat. Women, young children began to gasp, backing away from Arthfael as if he were a freak. Hayvell snickered at Arthfael, approaching and moving to shove Arthfael. The scrawny boy was thrown to the floor, and he held his bread close to his chest, snarling at Hayvell. A deep fear grew in his heart, and the two others hesitantly stepped forward. Hayvell barked to them
" Kick the little rat! The heathen does not deserve that bread! " Hayvell snatched the bread from Arthfael's hungry grasp, as his friends kicked Arthfael in the gut. Arthfael held his torso in pain, groaning as he's beaten by the two. And then a hooded figure broke from the crowd. Dressed in dark gray and seemingly peasant clothing, the man stepped forwards and hit one of Arthfael's attackers in the skull. Another man, with similiar apparel came with his long knife present, stabbing it into the other's abdomen. Both fell, and Hayvell stepped back, glancing between both of Arthfael's saviors. The first man whom had entered, moved to walk towards him with a taunting chuckle.
"Funny, I grew up in a city, being told Saradominists showed mercy. " His comrade snickered, twirling the bloodied dagger in his hand. The stabbed man lay next to Arthfael, groaning and holding the wound. By this time, a crod of low and high born individuals had come closer to watch the event. The first hooded figure waved a hand to Arthfael, grinning at Hayvell.
" Now, aren't you going to give the poor kid his bread back? Or-.. Do you want to end up like your friends there? " He waved to the two downed Saradominists. Hayvell hesitantly stepped forward, moving to lean down and throw the bread at Arthfael's abdomen, whom caught it hungrily.
" You rat. You made a fool of me today, and I will not hesitate to find and slaughter you like the mere vermin you are. " Hayvell hissed this at Arthfael, before turning and moving into the crowds. Guards began to crowd to the scene, but by this time, both hooded figures had dispersed into the large, dispersing herd of citizens. One guard came up to Arthfael, tilting his head. Arthfael moved to stand, turning away from the market, and sprinting off, bread in tight grasp.
A few moments, and Arthfael was out of sight, yet the sound of a dispersing herd still came to his ears. He moved to sit, huddled against the wall, chewing on his bread hungrily. The two figures had strode up to Arthfael, one moving to kneel down, the other stood watch. The one kneeled infront of the shaking, scrawny boy moved to draw back his hood. His unwashed, dirty blonde hair locked to his head, and his gray eyes looked upon Arthfael.
" Allo, kid. You look a bit scared, 'eh? Well, half the city knows you follow Zamorak. Ain't gonna be very safe for ya' when they find ya'. " Arthfael didn't speak, he simply gazed up at the man, whom seemed to be in his early twenties. He offered his hand to Arthfael.
" I am Tyler Lavalle. " Tyler offered a wicked grin, his face contorting and large dimples formed at the end of his lips. He whipped his hair back with a hand; it was slicked back, and spiked. Arthfael crept a hand up to take it, and Tyler gave a firm shake, before moving to pull Arthfael up. His comrade slipped the blackjack from behind his back and the world went black as a sharp pain initiated at the side of his head. Both men pulled their hoods up, and began carrying the boy elsewhere. He came to again, a few minutes later, the world around the edges of his vision still a haze as he blinked. Droplets of water dropped from about, making loud sounds as they dribbled onto puddles of the dirty brown substance, and as his vision came to clear a shady figure walked forward, going to slam his right fist into his face, Arthfael, finding himself bound to a chair, yelped as the fist connected and he's sent back to the floor. He walked around the chair with leisure, from within the dimmed shadows of his hood, a wild grin formed as he moved to thrust his boot into Arthfael's side. Arthfael cried out in pain, and the hooded man leaned downwards, hands set onto his knees, howling at the boy.
" You worthless runt! " He grinned down at the boy, whom glared at him, clenching his teeth from pain. The man rose, and moved to thrust a boot down to his chest, which gave a forced exhale from Arthfael, as he groaned. The man continued to taunt and mock him. " Ye' ain't gon' be worth nothin' on the street, kid. Ya' ain't gon' be able stand a chance in this world if 'yer ain't gon' stand up to me! " Another stomp on Arthfael's ribs, causing Arthfael to groan and wince. Arthfael coughed and groaned as his voice croaked out.
" I ain't worthless! What do you want?! " Arthfael was only answered with another stomp, and another. He growled at me, smirking madly.
" Ey! Ya' don't speak 'less I tell ya' to, ya' understood? " Arthfael groaned, growling at the shady man whom chuckled deeply at the scrawny teen, and spoke in his gruff, broken accent.
" Oooh. You're an animal. " He moved to raise his boot again, but Arthfael rose his own feet, and kicked his torturer back and into the cave wall with a grunt. He snapped his gaze to Arthfael and growled in fury, and stepped forwards, grabbing Arthfael by his legs and moving to yank back, forcing Arthfael across the rocky surface of the caverns, the wooden, worn chair screeching as it went across the surface. Dragged into a candlelit opening, several other shady figures sat at a large, crude dining table. Eyes all went on Arthfael, as the one he recognized as Tyler walked up, raising an eyebrow at Arthfael's torturer. He spoke simply.
" Kid was brave enough to fight back. He's earned a lashing. " Tyler's gaze shifted to Arthfael and he grinned widely with a nod, beckoning the torturer and Arthfael towards the table. With little hesitation, the torturer gleamed madly at Arthfael, before taking his by the ankles and dragging him quickly over for his punishment...
Arthfael breathed coarsely in and out, tears swelling in his eyes, as his back felt aching with stinging, burning pain from the punishment given to him. Two figures stood above him, one of Tyler Lavalle and the other, his assailant from before. Despite both hoods being drawn, his assailant wore a mask, both wearing wide grins at the scrawny, weak boy. He heard the droplets of water, his vision hazing in a dampness, yet, he fought the tears. Tyler kneeled down and moved to give Arthfael a slap to get his gaze set onto him. He peered into Arthfael's eyes and spat at him a simple comment.
" We're the only chance you got, kid. Join us, we will demand respect and loyalty. If not, we will leave you out for a suffering much worse than what we've given you, runt. Today, you spit insults, but tomorrow you will thank us for this chance at redemption on life - and all it takes is your respect. " - He lowered a hand down to Arthfael, whom only gave him hurt, furious glare for a moment. Tyler continued. " What do you say, kid? " Arthfael hesitated, and weakly rose his hand to take his. The other man came forward to help Tyler lift the weak boy. Tyler pulled Arthfael by the arm towards the dining hall once more, much to Arthfael's dismay.
" Greet your new friends, eat a little - get comfortable. It'll be a looong ride to the top. " That's when Tyler moved to give Arthfael's back a hard slap, ushering him forward with a loud, echoing yelp. The others erupted in howling laughter, and Arthfael gave them a pained look, as he stumbled and staggered forward.
Gangs and Thugs
A whole year passed quickly; in the time that had passed, Arthfael would learn fast how to act. Within months, a new shell went over Arthfael and the boy remained closed off, and kept within the grip of Lavalle. Lash stood next to Arthfael, whom peered with pained blue eyes at the floor. The scrawny, sixteen year old young man held his dagger at his hip tightly. The man next to him was large, with dark brown robes and a hood and facemask drawn over his head, concealing most of his face, but his hating, hazel eyes looked forward at the bustling market. This was Arthfael's past torturer, Lash. A group came into sight, a few young men led by a carefree young man, each man with a sword or dagger at their hip and a saradominist symbol along their neck. In the past year, the heat of gang troubles had gotten much more stronger in the market; several guards patrolled the market, as the chatting citizens went along their days. Lash glanced to Arthfael, shaking his head.
" Lavalle needs to give us better jobs, like givin' 'em a good beatin'. Not 'watchin' the market'. What kinda' job is that? " Arthfael rose his gaze to Lash, giving him a shrug. His eyes narrowed, and he rose an eyebrow.
" Don'tcha' ever talk, kid? " Arthfael sighed, and nodded his head with a quiet tone, and his gaze lowered to the floor.
" Why talk. Ain't no one want to be friendly. " Lash went out to backhand Arthfael with his studded glove, growling at him.
" Don'tcha ever talk like that, ya' runt. Being 'nice' getsa' man killed. " He pointed his finger at him, shaking his head.
" I ain't ever wanta' hear ya' talk like that, ya' hear? " Arthfael just nodded - this is what he pleaded against, but had quickly conformed to the demand of a certain mindset, a certain loyalty. " Alright, now. Get down there to the market, get your quota an' get back 'ere. " Arthfael nodded, and moved to step quickly towards the marketplace. In the crowds, he sighed and glanced around, bringing his hands up to bring down his hood. He had combed, neat black hair despite the lack of proper washing. His blue-eyed gaze fell upon a familiar stall, and he moved towards it, hand on his dagger. A pain struck his torso, deep inside and he stopped in place, glaring at the stall. He stepped forward, his hand moving to yank the dagger from his belt and at his side, which he gripped tightly. A blur came over into his vision, and too quick for him to judge, as he's thrown back, as well as this blur. Both yelp as they hit the floor, Arthfael's dagger sliding off. Deep in his throat, a growl formed as he swivelled his head to the figure that had ran into him. A girl. His anger subsided, and he brought together the pieces, as he remembered the young woman's name. Etiénne. She held a hand to her side, whimpering and hissing at Arthfael.
" 'Ye dirty com-.. " She covered her mouth. She had remembered her task to be disguised within the common crowd. Calling this scrawny boy a commoner was no way to look 'normal'. She sighed, Arthfael barely flinched, and leaned towards her, asking in a dull, although concerned tone.
" Are you hurt? " She simply gave him a scowl, narrowing her brown-eyed gaze on him. Red began to stain her shirt, and she simply barked in a low tone.
" Of course I'm hurt! You stabbed me, you mindless dog! " She frowned deeply, the pain shooting across her abdomen as her focus came to her wound. Arthfael's dusty brown hood was drawn back to reveal the scrawny boy's defined facial structure, one with protruding cheek and jawbones. His blue eyes gave an icy, blank stare as his hand dove into his pouch, bringing the piece of cloth from his pouch. He would then shift to hold it against her, his other hand moving for her hand, and he moved to set it over the cloth, gently pressing onto her hand.
" Hold it to your wound. Stops the bleeding. " His voice drawled carrying its Ardougnian twang. Although, it was almost lifeless and dull. Her brown eyes met his icy blue gaze, and she opened her mouth to protest, to retort. How could her attacker wish to help her? Instead, a concern flickered over her expression, and she spoke kindly. He seemed to know what he was doing.
" Okay. " Their eyes remained this way for only a few more moments, before the sound of shouts poured into the market. Quickly, the crowd moved away from the two, as the group of rival gangmembers approached, one of their leaders, Micario, had his weapon drawn. A long, jagged dagger. He stopped, glancing between Etiénne and Arthfael with a hard glare. His gaze settled on Arthfael, and his left hand ran through his jet black hair. His skin was a tan from the rays of Sun, and he seemed to carry himself with an uncontained swagger.
" Whatcha' doin', Zamorakian dog? " Etiénne glanced over Arthfael, finding the symbol. Her face contorted in disgust. Arthfael glared back at him, though not a word was said from him. Micario moved forward, whipping his left hand around to give Arthfael a punch across the jaw, causing Arthfael to stumble back. Etiénne jumped in protest, moving to put her arms infront of the advancing Micario, yet to no avail. Quickly Micario lashed around to shove her back, and point his dagger at her.
" Learn your place, back off. " Arthfael glanced between them, and words pried at the surface. Before he knew it, they came from his mouth, although, somewhat of a smirk formed at the end of his mouth as he said them.
" Aw, is that why you hit girls and hang out with a buncha' vain men? " He whipped his hand to the group of followers behind him. His gaze snapped to Arthfael, and he growled.
" What was that? " He advanced on Arthfael, whom moved aside. Some bit of amusement came to Arthfael. Lash had already noticed the commotion and began to make his way over, hand on his dagger.
" Ooh, sorry, man. Not interested. " A smug grin formed upon Arthfael's face, although, steam nearly blew from the man's ears. Micario advanced a step forward, and Lash neared, but as he did one of the men in the back rose his hand and the crossbow string sung a simple song. The bolt flew over Arthfael's shoulder, and into Lash's eye. He muttered once, before limply falling to the floor. Guardsmen began to move in, and Micario's chance was lost. All eyes shot to his body, Arthfael looked back to Micario, whom was looking back to Arthfael, but not before the scrawny teenager leaned forward and threw his shoulder at Micario's abdomen with renewed force. And onto the floor, as the gangmembers looked down, confusedly at their leader's struggle with his assailant. Micario's dagger flew to the side, and he looked up to his comrades, whom moved to flee as guardsmen armed with maces approached. Etiénne wasted no time to saunter off, as well.
" Help! Get this rat off of me! " Yet to no avail, his comrades already fleeing. Guards broke off to give chase, yet one behind Arthfael pointed his sword at the center of his back, prodding him. Arthfael gave a smirk down to Micario, as he moved to stand, pointing to Micario.
" That man struck me and that girl. " The three guards left stared at both, with shifting glances. Two grabbed Micario who spat at Arthfael with a hard glare.
" Ya' rat! Ya' tattle-tale! " Arthfael couldn't hold back a grin, as he and Micario were hauled away by the guardsmen...
" It's the truth, I swear it. I ran into that girl, was helping her up, he came up and struck us. " Arthfael insisted to his interrogator, whom had introduced himself as Lieutenant Jack Gerradin of the Guard. He had sleek, dark brown hair, and brilliantly-colored armor on. He rose his eyebrow, his posture rather laidback. A symbol of Saradomin lay on his person, Arthfael's own symbol of Zamorak around his neck. The Lieutenant narrowed his gaze onto Arthfael, giving him a judging glance.
" And you expect me to believe a sly-tongued Zamorakian, do you? " He rose his hand up to point to the symbol, Arthfael's gaze following his finger, before he rose his blue gaze to the man with a shrug.
" It was my father's, LIeutenant. " Arthfael's gaze was firm and his voice was dull once more. He gave an audible sigh, but Jack shook his head. He gave a long, hesitated sigh. He voice spoke of one whom didn't completely trust even his own word.
" Okay, then. " His voice turned firm, as he pointed a gauntleted finger at Arthfael's chest. " But if I see you out there, 'round trouble again, kid, I'm not going to be as trusting. Dono what it is, but you have that spark in ya', that tells me I can trust you. Don't use up this chance too quickly, boy. " Jack took to a stand, and beckoned him towards the door. The plates clanged against each other as he walked. Arthfael's gaze was cast to the stone floor of the jail, as he was led through, and to the door. Judging gazes took to Arthfael as he passed, some averting him. He was led out the door, and Jack pointed to the street.
" Don't be gettin' in any more trouble, kid. " With that, he moved to step in. Jack had remembered whom Arthfael was - Aravis' boy, whom had now grown to be a young man. Arthfael gave him a nod, before moving out into the street, and back towards his group's hideout. The streets bustled with commoners, even as the Sun dwindled to its last moments before night. Arthfael's gaze swept over to see the sunset, before it casted out infront of him. A new spark came to life inside of him, and feeling resurfaced. Not anger, not sadness, nor hate. Love had come to him - he was falling for Etiénne.
Everything to Lose
Months had followed. The pain of the lashes, the torture and isolation from his fellow gang members seemed to become irrelevant. A new idea, a new Arthfael began to grow from a malnourished seed within; everything that he had known and endured pointless to him now, whisked away by a face.
A face still lasting upon his mind, the image of a young, beautiful girl he had met months before. It kept him going, revived him. He began to see his reality, and possibly his new confidence, emerge. A calm spring morning, Arthfael had been finally tasked by Lavalle to gather more coin for the group, as the spring season began to start, and the harsh winter subsided. Arthfael was excited to escape into the air, into the public; something about it had always put a smile to his otherwise distant, emotionless expression.
Into the marketplace he had almost skipped, if it weren’t odd for a young man to be joyously prancing in dark robes and a hood. Eyes wandered over the teen, some could not help but stare at the blatant Zamorakian. Arthfael had long since gotten used to the odd looks and frowns at his religion, choosing to ignore them instead of glaring back at them like the others did. He had moved to step up to the bakers’ stall, where for years, the kind middle-aged man had sold his latest pastries. Arthfael drew his hands up, and removed the hood veiling most of his hair and face, brushing a hand through his hair. The baker grinned widely to the teenager, and waved to his arm over the pastries and breads. The aromas beckoned Arthfael’s stomach to growl out, and Arthfael dug his fingers into his pouch. Yet, a small figure, dressed in white and blue robes, with a hood veiling her features, except braided, brunette locks that cascaded from within came up to set down a gold coin. Her eyes went to Arthfael, whom took a moment to register what she’d done, her lips spreading into a warm smile. Arthfael pointed to a loaf, and then to a pastry or two with a wide grin to the baker, then to the girl. After collecting them, the baker smiled to Arthfael, whom would give him a wave. The girl turned, yet not before beckoning Arthfael to follow with her fingers. Arthfael moved to step up and follow her, holding the delicate pastries in hand.
She led him out of the market, and towards the alleyways, until they’d reached the outer neighborhoods of town. Then, she turned, and moved her hands up to her hood to draw it back. Etiénne. She smiled brightly at Arthfael, reaching a hand out for one of the pastries.
“I paid fair’n’square for those – I deserve at least one.” Arthfael gave her a grin, his expression smug. Slowly, he would reach his hand out and offer her one of them. She narrowed her eyes at him, taking it with a bright smile that cleansed her earlier expressions.
“You come from a wealthy household, don’t you? Couldn’t you just get these if you asked?” Arthfael tilted his head to her, peering down at either good in his hands, as if choosing what to have first. It had indeed been a while since Arthfael had been able to have even such a small selection. After a few moments, their eyes met and she replied.
“Yeah, sure – but it isn’t as fun. Besides, I kind of want to talk to you.” She nodded, shyly smiling at Arthfael. If it did not already, a newly gained confidence would be radiating in his crooked smirk.
“But I’m just a mindless dog – I couldn’t hold up a decent conversation.” Amused, Etiénne had grinned and a giggle was released from her lips.
“No, I- “After a moment, she replied with a shake of her head. She would continue after hesitation followed her admitting her wrong. “I misjudged you. You were just trying to help.” Arthfael would raise his eyebrow at her, and then from behind his lips came a dog’s bark. She broke into a bit of laughter, and his lips spread into a grin, as he put his hands onto her shoulders, and dramatically spoke towards her.
“Are you going to be alright?” She giggled until hiccups began to take form, playfully shoving Arthfael back, and putting her hands up to her mouth, as if to hold the hiccups, yet to no avail. Arthfael let out a laughter, biting into the pastry as he waited for her to calm down, which was only a few moments later. She looked up to his eyes, and her head tilted.
“So, what’s it like? I mean, in that gang? Beating up other guys, getting the girls and running from the law?” Arthfael’s gaze locked onto her large, brown eyes for several, long moments he remained quiet, and then his eyes were casted to the ground. He gulped, and released an answer.
“It ain’t quite like living a dream nah, it's a nightmare. You got others with their blades aimed for your heart, the odd looks from the people about their own business; I didn’t do anything to them, yet you’re looked at like a demon. It starts to sink in, y'know. Then, right at home, you’ve got your own people. Ah’mean, I’m barely looked at as an equal – just vermin to them.” By the time he had finished speaking, he had realized he had almost ventilated years of loneliness, pain and anger onto a girl he’d barely known who stared at him with a slightly gaping mouth, and wide, curious brown eyes. He opened his mouth to speak, shuffling the pastry between hands and glancing down to his feet. “I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have said any of that. M’bad.” He spoke finally, his gaze locked onto the dirt. She would come forward, and moved to wrap her arms around him in a comforting hug. Shock shot through him, and for a moment he hesitated, his brain attempting to find the answer, until finally, his arms had shifted, and wrapped around her. Several long moments ensued, and she glanced up to him and smiled.
“It’s okay. I didn’t realize that your life is so terrible. I-I didn’t think my brother, Hayvell, would cause you such grief.” She spoke softly, yet Arthfael had moved to step back hands on her shoulders. His head dipped downwards and his blue gaze settled onto her.
“Your brother is Hayvell?” He would say, his tone took on a firm quality – something he had not meant. She looked up to him with a worry washing over her face. For a moment, they stared at each other before Arthfael opened his mouth to speak.
“Hayvell killed my parents. Left a young baby to die, left me with nothin'. An' I could not bring myself to hunt him down, to bring him pain. Why?” Etiénne would frown, and shook her head. At first she wouldn’t, she couldn’t believe it. Her own brother would murder and do such horrid things? For long moments, she was skeptical, but a deep feeling inside brought his words to be believable, as one could see in his lively blue eyes that he had truly felt the emotions. She looked away, and avoided his gaze.
“No, Hayvell wouldn't have done that. He had told us that Daddy had been killed fighting armed Zamorakians, that they had felt the pain that he did.” She spoke up, glancing up to Arthfael’s gaze again, searching for his reaction. Arthfael exhaled a sigh, and a glare had dissolved.
“I killed your father, but he had murdered my mother in her act of defending my sister and I from him.” He went to continue, but she trembled – she didn’t want to believe it, the cold truth. Her hand swatted outwards involuntarily, shooting over his face with a loud slap across. Arthfael had stumbled back, and into a wall, holding his reddened cheek.
“Don’t lie to me! Don’t tell me my father, or my brother, had done such horrid things. My father was a good man, loyal to his god, loyal to his family. You don’t know a thing, Zamorakian rat. What can you say for yourself; you are utterly useless to your own god!” Arthfael flinched, as Etiénne began to dwell into silence, save the sobs that came every few moments.
“You’re right. You’re all right, I mean, why didn’t I just let the wolves get at me, give me the slow, painful death I deserve for breathing your air. I apologize that my existence insults you.” With that Arthfael didn’t manage to speak another word, nor did he glare at her. Instead, his head casts towards the floor, he turned and stepped away from her. Regret boiled with her, and then the guilt shot onto her expression. Her arm rose up, and her palm outwards desperately to gather his attention.
“Wait! Please, don’t go – I am sorry.” Arthfael had stopped, and he half-turned, his gaze over his shoulder on her. He wouldn’t speak, but she had filled it in with her own words, soft and filled with guilt. “What’s your name?”
“Why?” Arthfael shot out after her question, his tone holding more venom than he’d intended. She frowned, and looked away from him, then back, and their gaze would meet. Arthfael calmed slowly, though she spoke timidly to him.
“I’m just curious; I don’t want you to go. You’re- “ She hesitated for a moment, before continuing. “The only person that’s been so friendly to me in a long time – please, forgive me?” Arthfael moved to step back, and nodded his head, extending his hand as he stepped towards her.
“Arthfael.” He spoke confidently, their hands meeting, and he simply moved to shake it. Etiénne smiled, and withdrew her hand after the moment had ended.
“Etiénne.” She spoke softly after, before glancing up to the sky, as it started to dwindle in the hours that had past. She looked to him with a frown, moving to step forward and wrap her arms around him again.
“I think I have to get home, Arthfael. It was nice speaking to you. “She leaned back, as Arthfael did, and once more their eyes met. Etiénne looked away with guilt, and moved to turn and step away, pulling her hood up. Arthfael rose his hand and called after her.
“We’ll meet 'ere tomorrow, right?” She stopped, and turned to him with a smile and a nod. And then, she turned and walked away, although the smile lingered. Arthfael watched her leave, before moving towards the marketplace, to pick off a few coins. Though, as he left, a new smirk crawled at one end of his lips…
His arrival brought curious gazes onto him from his comrades. Some whispered among them, giving him suspicious stares, as he walked past. He grinned to them, though, and raised his hand to brush it through his dark hair. He stopped as Lavalle stepped up to meet him as he passed, looking Arthfael up and down. His thin eyebrow rose, and he spoke sharply.
“What took you so long? People are hungry, Rat.” Arthfael raised his gaze to Lavalle, and gave him a nod. His hand lowered to the worn, leather satchel at his side, moving to raise it and offer it to him. Confidence would burst through the scrawny teen, and he smiled.
“My name is Arthfael.” Arthfael almost hesitated, but, confidence quickly filled the holes in his speech. Lavalle gave him a glare, snatching the satchel from him sharply, and walking away. Crowds that had gathered were silent; had the Rat finally shown some strength? The scrawny teen looked to them with a single nod and moved to step past, and through the cavern, seating onto the benches among the crude tables underneath torches and chandeliers. Lavalle returned moments later with a grin, none coming to join Arthfael, except Lavalle, who approached and moved to set his hands onto Arthfael’s shoulders.
“Let us take a moment to congratulate Rat on his little achievement. It appears, he has grown up; not only has he brought us back dinner, he has stood up for himself – my, my. He has the makings of a great thug.” Lavalle would move to shove Arthfael forwards, thrusting his face hard into the table. Despite resistance, Arthfael could not break away from Lavalle’s grip on him, whom now raised a knife from the table up to Arthfael’s throat, pressing it lightly in, as he leaned over to hiss at Arthfael’s ears in a low tone.
“If you attempt something like that again, Rat; I will have you beaten, and then I swear I’ll carve this through your neck, you piece of dirt. Ain’t no one gonna be there to save you – ain’t no one gonna care.” He straightened, and set the knife down, releasing Arthfael, whom stood up and moved to step away, hand upon his eye, which swelled fast. Anger coursed through the boy, whom had stepped away from people and moved on to isolate himself.
Although, despite this incident, it did not seem to deter the teen, and instead, it fueled a fire burning within him, a desire for which he could not have. In the days that past, Arthfael continued to meet up with Etiénne, and each time they had said farewell, his smile grew brighter, his heart raced, and feeling coursed through his veins. Etiénne was concerned when she had seen his eye, which had a dark color around it. A frown formed onto her face, and she tilted her head.
“What happened?” She had spoken with concern clearly in her tone. Arthfael shook his head, and his lips had tugged into a smirk slightly.
“It’s nothing. Lavalle hit my head against a table, is all.” She had known who Lavalle was – the Zamorakian gang’s leader, a dangerous man with little restraint on his anger. She frowned even more, and had rubbed her hand against the eye causing Arthfael to yelp in protest and sudden pain.
“You’ll need ice or something on that.” She beckoned him, continuing firmly as she moved to turn to the market. “Come on. I’ll get you some.” Walking towards the market, the duo had walked up to a pump away from the stalls. Etiénne produced a rag from her satchel, and dampened it with the stream coming from the faucet, moving to hold it up against Arthfael’s eye after she had rung it out. After some yelping, Arthfael managed a grin, his hand rose to meet with her own, holding it to the eye. It was cold water, not nearly freezing, but it had soothed him slightly.
“Ow. Are you trying to hurt me or heal me?” He spoke with some sarcasm in his tone, and she pressed hard with a frown, causing Arthfael to release a couple yelps and ‘ows’, and stumble backwards. She pulled it away, with a giggle, although, Arthfael had fallen back to his rear, pulling Etiénne down with him. Some laughter and awkward chuckles followed, as they found themselves staring at each other. Confidence starting to build within Arthfael and he leaned forward, bringing Etiénne into a sudden kiss; his mind raced, with his heart beating with a new excitement, butterflies seemed to fly in both teens’ stomachs. For several long moments they had remained together, yet it came to its end, and Arthfael raised his hands up to her cheeks after it was finished with a silence. Etiénne smiled, and moved to sit up, putting a hand over her mouth. Arthfael raised his eyebrow, and sat up, as his confused eyes looked to Etiénne. Had she rejected him or had she liked him as much as he liked her? She stood, and moved to pull the hood over her head, managing to speak frantically over her shoulder.
“I have to go, Arthfael.” She turned a corner, then another, her footsteps broke into a run and her lips curved into a smile, leaving the scrawny boy alone and utterly confused. Though, as they met with each new day, a new thought brewed within their minds, slowly rising to the top. Why did it matter anymore? Although both knew within them their newfound love would not be accepted within the city, where either teens’ friends and family fought against each other – they would be forced away from each other, beaten and punished for following their hearts. They knew, deep inside, they had to run – and they had to run far.
Why Did It Matter?
Their plan was spoken between them, and although they were reluctant to complete it, fearful of its result, their goal was to bring their gangs together in a large fight, and in the midst, they would flee. They would go into the woods, deep into the heart and live within the cottage Arthfael had lived before, several years in the past. And through several months, Arthfael and Etiénne would meet, and discuss their plans further until the day had come to act.
By dawn, dampened, yellow, orange and brown leaves had covered the floor, as the year crawled into the heart of autumn. Etiénne woke up, and smiled into the ceiling. The night before, she had told her brother that their rivals had taken her and given her a message for her to take to Hayvell; the Zamorakians wanted to meet and settle this dispute once and for all. The Saradominists rose to the challenge, yet, Arthfael had said the same to Lavalle, tricking them into meeting each other for a fight. He had told him they wished to meet and settle their rivalry in the Marketplace. This made Lavalle’s lips curve into a grin, as he called over his men, and began to speak with them on the matter.
Some hours later, both gangs stepped into the streets. The Zamorakians clad in dark brown robes with fingerless gloves, which had steel studs embedded within the leather. The rising sun greeted the metal studs with blinding reflections. Arthfael was among their ranks, which spoke quietly amongst themselves. The scrawny teen grinned madly, constantly looking from the road, to the marketplace that sat infront of them. The Saradominists, mostly noble boys with swords at their hips were led by Micario and Hayvell. The stalls were not open, and neither guard nor market-goer roamed the square. Both groups stopped, either side glaring at each other. Hayvell glanced over us with a frown, his face contorting in disgust.
“You wanted a fight, fiend? We’re here to fight.” Lavalle gave him a nod, reaching to pull out his curved dagger, gripping it at his side. He looked back to his men with a grin, and back to Hayvell.
“Alright, men; let’s show these brats how to fight.” The Zamorakians grinned, and moved to pull out their daggers and knives, and with a wave of Micario’s hand, so did the Saradominist thugs. Lavalle stepped forwards, and the swarms of thugs threw themselves at each other. The sounds of fighting, beating rose into the sky. Arthfael glanced around, and found Hayvell and Lavalle fighting each other. Arthfael quickly moved in their direction, hand moving to take the dagger from its case at his belt. In his advance, Arthfael’s path was blocked by a thug, whom raised his dagger to Arthfael, growling at him.
“I ‘ave a bone to pick with you – where do you think you’re goin’, ya’ rat?” With a malicious grin, he stepped forwards. Arthfael raised his hands, as Micario threw his right hand out at Arthfael’s left shoulder, although, the scrawny teen raised his wrist, and his fingers gripped around the man’s right wrist, forcing the dagger to a halt. Within a moment, Arthfael rose his other hand up, and the studs would connect with Micario’s jaw, his head shoved to the side by the blow, and he fell backwards. Arthfael stepped forwards, moving to kneel down and lunge the dagger’s point twice into Micario’s torso with furious stabs. Arthfael rose to a stand, as Micario gurgled and gasped, his hand clasping the dagger left in his chest. Stepping over the downed gang leader, Arthfael began to take into a sprint, his direction moving at Hayvell whom had pulled a long, dark and slender blade from his belt and sent it deep into Lavalle’s abdomen only moments before. Bruises and cuts were already visible on Hayvell’s face, the signs of a fight already set into his features. With a loud hiss, Arthfael leaned forwards and threw his shoulder into Hayvell’s side, sending both teens to the floor in Arthfael’s tackle. Arthfael quickly took to dominance over Hayvell, seating himself onto his torso; Lavalle had fallen to his knees holding the hole where the slender dagger had slipped into his stomach, blood dripping from his lips as he fell towards the side with a final gasp. The long, bloodied dagger now several feet away from them, though as Hayvell reached for it, Arthfael threw a studded punch at his face, causing his face to swerve to the side, shredding deep into the left side of his face. He reeled his hand back, both hands moving to clasp around his neck in a furious rage. His grip tightened around Hayvell’s throat; the downed boy had fearful eyes set onto Arthfael’s icy blue eyes, Arthfael baring gritted teeth at him. Life quickly made an exodus from the boy’s face, color changing quickly. Then the voice of Arthfael’s mother came to his head, the voice of his father next. He released, and stood up, Hayvell choking back to life. Arthfael looked at his hands, and then he moved over and takes the long dagger, opting to run, as a weak Hayvell began to rise. He broke through the fights, and into the crowded neighborhoods. Citizens came to watch, and guards ran in with yells after Arthfael’s exit. His heart beat quickly, as he found the sounds of fighting to quickly reduce to nothing.
Arthfael had finally come to a halt; his breathing was ragged after sprinting some distance from the fighting. He leaned against a wall, and lowered to a sit, holding the dagger with both hands infront of him, staring at it. Etiénne broke from an alley quickly, dressed in robes with a hood drawn over her head. She jogged over to Arthfael, kneeling infront of him, and peering at the blade in his hands, offering him a curious tilt of her head. He raised his gaze to her, and smiled, beginning to set the dagger down.
“Your brother stabbed Lavalle. I think he’s dead. We need to leave.” She did not argue this, and moved to help Arthfael stand, the scrawny boy moving to take his new dagger as he stood. Together, they gripped each other’s hand and made to leave the city, leaving the cries of a dying battle, and a wakening city behind them…
… Months followed, and the day he’d ran with Etiénne lasted in his mind still, setting a smile on his lips. They had made it to Arthfael’s former home, where two makeshift graves had been built. Seeing those for some time had put a pain in his chest, though, a comforting hand on his shoulder from Etiénne had soothed him, until the pain seemed to wither away completely. Arthfael had begun planting seeds, as the months of spring began again. He was now seventeen, and using his knowledge from his father, had begun to hunt and trap animals for food. Life was good, and finally, peace came to the couple. Etiénne rubbed her belly at times, which jutted out after some months, speaking to Arthfael dreamily, as if in some distant thought.
“What will we name him?” Arthfael smiled, and tilted his head. He looked up as if in thought.
“What if it’s a girl?” He had said almost sarcastically, chuckling afterwards. She smiled, and moved a hand up to tap her chin.
“What about… Sarah?” She spoke in question, as if reaching for his opinion. He gave a nod, and grinned widely, though he didn’t speak, as this was all he needed to do to make his opinion known; he liked the name.
“What do you think she’d look like?” He raised his eyebrow, and offered her a devilish smirk.
“Very, very beautiful,” he said with the same smirk, hesitating only for a moment before speaking again. “Like you.” She smiled, content with his words, raising a hand to meet with his. They had decided that Arthfael would need to go down to the city to retrieve a nurse in the final days. Months passed quickly, and her belly bulged out more with every given month. The time came quickly for Arthfael to depart for the city, leaving in a reluctant farewell, Arthfael went through the woods at dawn, and by night he had reached the city.
The streets bustled, as lights began to dim in the streets, and the looming stars warded off families to their homes, guards patrolling the streets in an almost robotic fashion. Since the fight, the guard had cracked down on the gangs, many members having been imprisoned or ran out of the city. Arthfael strode through the streets, stopping in front of an inn, wherein a soft tune from an instrument played to the outside. He turned, and moved to step in, glancing around with his blue eyes. He strode past seats, until he had reached the counter, moving to fish a finger through his pouch and find a coin to set it down. He had requested a room for the night, moving to turn and walk towards an empty seat, sitting down and leaning onto the table infront of him. An empty seat sat opposite of him, a large window peering into the dark outside to his immediate left. He let out a relaxed sigh, and moved to straighten as a man in a hood strode past, putting a hand on Arthfael’s shoulder, and jabbing his knife’s point into his side, uttering quietly to the young, thin man.
“You aren’t safe here, rat. We know what you’ve done, and we’ll come and destroy everything you have.” He spoke with a hiss, though the shadows veiled his visage. He pulled the knife away, and moved to stride past him, another man following after him. He pondered who it had been, but, now he knew he and Etiénne were no longer safe. His glare locked onto the table, until a few moments later, a woman would sit at his table, tilting her head to him. She had a smile on her face, and he raised his eyes to her. She had to be about twenty or so, with a sharp, angular face and dark black hair that went down to her shoulders, neatly combed; she wore a simple gray blouse, her shoulders revealed from its design.
“What was that about?” She asked in a soft voice, smiling brightly still. He returned the smile, and shrugged.
“Old friend, I suppose. Is that why you came over?” She nodded her head at his reply, after straightening it.
“He seemed frightening – I was concerned.” She giggled, and reached her hand over towards him. Slowly, Arthfael extended his hand to meet her own hand in a quick shake. “I’m Brianna.”
“Arthfael.” He spoke with a grin forming on his lips, drawing his hand back. She smiled in return, tilting her head slightly to the side.
“You sound like you’re from around here, but I’ve never seen you around.” Arthfael nodded, and waved his hand to the window subconsciously, just before he spoke.
“I live just outside the city, in the woodland.” She grinned, and looked outside then back to him with an expression that seemed to take surprise.
“Ooh; what’s it like out there?” She smiled, awaiting his reply eagerly.
“Streams, trees, animals – everything you would imagine in a forest.” He spoke sarcastically, leaning in a relaxed manner onto the table. She giggled, and gave a nod. She rose her eyebrow to him, her expression becoming curious.
“Have you ever ran into a bear?” She spoke excitedly, again, looking impatiently for his reply.
“Nope – not yet, at least.” He grinned to her, somewhat enjoying the attention. After a moment, she waved to the bar, to which Arthfael glanced to. A blonde woman sat next to an empty stool waved to him, and he nodded back, looking to Brianna. “That your friend?”
She glanced over, then back to Arthfael with a giggle, and a quick nod. Arthfael grinned at her reaction.
“She convinced me to come over here and talk to you.” He nodded after she had spoken, her tone hinting at an exaggerated exhaustion with a sigh, his lips tugging into a smirk and he tilted his head.
“For her or for you?” She shrugged her shoulders, offering a grin. He nodded, and she opened her mouth to speak.
“So, want a drink?” His head tilted the bar; he’d never had a drink before, and the desire to taste alcohol pried at him. He looked back to her with his smug grin cracking his lips.
“Why not?” He continued to grin, and she stood up, moving to beckon Arthfael with her hand. He rose from his seat, and moved to follow after her, seating herself at the other side of the empty stool beside her friend, allowing Arthfael the stool between them. She waved to the woman, whom would grin at Arthfael, and then back to the scrawny young man.
“Arthfael, this is Liza. Liza, Arthfael.” Liza quickly raised her hand to greet Arthfael, whom would bring up his own hand for a quick handshake.
“Hi. Do you have a girlfriend? Because, Brianna here really likes you – she said herself.” Arthfael grinned, and glanced to Brianna whom offered a sheepish smile to him and a glare to Liza.
“Liza!” She replied to her with a whine in her tone, and, looked to Arthfael with a wave to Liza, and a smile.
“What she meant to say was: she really likes you.” Liza opened her mouth wide to Brianna’s accusation, and giggled at him. Brianna set a few coins down for two local brews, glancing to Arthfael with a grin.
“So, what made you choose the forest?” He yearned to say the truth, but with the incident earlier, there might be prying ears. He grinned and shrugged.
“I guess it just pulled me in. When I was younger, my father pulled me on hunting trips of his, sometimes to go fishing along the river. I believe I just got a little attached to it.” He smiled, adding on a few words afterwards. “You should see it at night; the stars are a great sight to see out there.”
She smiled in return, giving him a nod, and tilting her head with a devilish grin.
“Would you take me there some time?” She had said suggestively, awaiting his reply eagerly.
“Possibly – but you might have to convince me.” He spoke with a smirk, grasping the handle of his glass, pulling it up to his lips to take a sip, before setting it down. She gave him a wide grin, and nodded her head.
“I think I could, Arthfael.” Another devilish grin crossed her face, and he tilted his head to her.
“So, do you know if there’s any nurse around?” She smiled, and nodded, putting a hand to her chest.
“I am a nurse, actually – why?” She looked to him curiously, smiling at him warmly. He gave a shrug in response, grinning as he spoke.
“My lover is pregnant, and we need someone to deliver the baby in a few weeks.” Her smile faltered a bit, but she nodded, and renewed with another smile.
“Oh, yeah, of course; I can do that, I guess.” She nodded, looking past him to Liza whom would frown with a shrug. Arthfael tilted his head, glancing between them with an eyebrow raised.
“What?” Brianna hesitated, and shook her head, and frowned in response, offering him a reassuring wave of her hand to dismiss it.
“It’s just… I didn’t think you had a girlfriend.” He smiled sheepishly, and glanced to his glass, tapping it lightly with his fingertips. The silence grew awkward, the three finishing their glasses in silence. Occasionally, he looked to the two. After finishing, he rose to a stand, and moved to reach into his pouch and pay for his drink.
“I think I am goin’ to head up to my room.” He offered her a smirk, to which she replied with a smile, as he added on. “But, I did want to ask you if you’d like to come help me deliver the child.” She smiled, and nodded her head. She tilted her head after a few moments.
“Well, I might be around tomorrow, but, I could come with you and talk in your room.” She smiled, and began to turn red before adding new words. “About the nursing job, I mean.”
He grinned, and waved his hand dismissively. Arthfael glanced towards Liza who smiled with a nod.
“I’ll be fine.” Liza said, grinning past Arthfael to Brianna. After a moment, Arthfael moved to walk towards the staircase, both women staring towards him, before Liza looked to Brianna as Arthfael ascended.
“Good luck.” Liza spoke to Brianna with a smile. She nodded in reply, and moved to stand up and follow after Arthfael.
Up the staircase, and down the hall, she would enter the room after Arthfael, the boy waving his hand to the bed for her to sit. She smiled and sat down, as he stood, closing the door behind her.
“So, you said she was going to deliver soon?” She spoke softly, tilting her head lightly. In response, the young man nodded, rubbing his fingers over his chin.
“Yeah, give it about a few weeks and it’ll arrive.” He spoke with a sheepish grin. She returned a similar grin, nodding slightly.
“Oh, is it her first?” She spoke softly, still sheepishly smiling at Arthfael. He stepped forwards, and sat next to her, moving to nod his head.
“Yeah, it’s our first.” He spoke with a grin, and a solid nod. She let out an ‘awh’, in one note, tilting her head with a smile.
“Have any names, yet?” She slid slightly closer to him, as she spoke. He noticed her movement, but hadn’t acted on it, only responding with a grin.
“Oh, well, for a girl, we’re going for Sarah. We’re still deciding a boy’s name.” She smiled, nodding slightly, although, her movements became slow, as if she had become distant from the conversation. Her teeth nibbled at her lip subconsciously, as she spoke.
“Awh. That’s a cute name.” She smirked at him, and he nodded in response. Her eyes attempted to make contact with his, and at first, he avoided it, but offered her a glance. His eyes were glued to her own gaze, a green, finding he was unable to look away, they leaned towards each other and slowly met in a kiss. His heart beat against him, but his mind jumped in every direction, allowing the kiss to proceed for what seemed like awhile, against his own mind, before moving to put his hands on her shoulders, and scoot a bit away.
“I- I think we should talk tomorrow.” She opened her mouth slightly but nodded quickly after, and stood up, moving quickly to the door. She giggled awkwardly, and left with soft words.
In the morning, he would leave without speaking to her again; instead, he left the city alone. By sunset, he had arrived onto the plain surrounded by a grove of trees, where his cottage lay. He found Etiénne, her stomach seemed to bulge even more since he’d last seen her only a few days ago. She had been tending the plants before night fell, which grew close to harvest, when she looked up to see Arthfael’s lone approach. She frowned, tilting her head curiously, and spoke over to him as he approached.
“Did not get a nurse?” He nodded in response to her question, moving to embrace her with his arms.
“No, I could not find a good one.” He spoke disappointedly, adding on a frown. She reached her arms up around his neck and moved to kiss him lightly. She pulled back, with a slight shrug to him.
“I think you can deliver a baby yourself.” She looked up at him with some hope in her eyes and voice, tilting her head. For a moment, Arthfael remained silent, and then, he smiled and nodded.
“Yeah, I can do it.” He spoke softly, moving to set his forehead against her own head, resulting with a smile from her, which quickly formed into a grin as she pecked him again.
“I love you.” She stepped back, offering her hand out to him. He moved to raise his hand, and take her hand with a smirk.
“I love you, too.” He spoke again, softly, before they had stepped back in, hands held…
A little girl, Etiénne would give birth to only a week or two later. The delivery was tiring on Arthfael and Etiénne alike, yet both were pleased with their new little child, to which they had named Sarah as planned. They had decided only some time before that if she were a boy; they would have named him Shane. Little Sarah was a quiet baby, for the most part; and for about three months, Arthfael and Etiénne happily and peacefully nurtured the child all they could. Harvest had come, and they had picked their produce from the ground, vegetables like potatoes and onions.
One morning, the three were sat around the table, Arthfael holding little Sarah in his arms, looking down to the child with a smile, before standing and stepping over towards her, moving to offer the child to Etiénne, whom reached her hands out for her.
“She’s such a beautiful baby, don’t you-..” She was interrupted by a projectile, breaking through the glass above the sink, and whizzing just past Arthfael’s head and sticking into the wall. She let out a yelp, and Arthfael moved to pull both down. He looked back, and let out a hurried command.
“To the nursery – they’re here for us.” He spoke firmly, glancing into her protesting eyes, though she protected the baby with her arms as stepped around and jogged into the nursery, Arthfael’s old room. In her mind, Etiénne had wondered who had come for them, forgetting the gangs in their pasts. Arthfael reached to his side, as a foot slammed into the doorway, sending it inward with a loud creak, Arthfael spinning to meet the intruder. A figure stepped into the cottage, his burning hazel eyes setting onto Arthfael. Hayvell. His head tilted to the side, and his lips turned into a crooked smile. The left side of his face was scarred deeply, with long cuts. He wore simple leather clothing, with a symbol of Saradomin hanging loosely from his neck, and dirtied, brown work boots.
“Hello, Arthfael. How is my sister doing?” His head snapped to either door; he had known she had left with him. Etiénne stepped out into the doorway, glaring at her elder brother, though she would not speak a word to him. His hand pulled the sword from his side, and he turned to see Etiénne.
“What? Has he told you lies about me – has he truly been the Zamorakian you were raised to hate, to judge. No-no, sister – you’d rather live happily-ever-after.” He released a chuckle, though coughed weakly, his skin on his face a blank pale. His glare flickered to Arthfael, whom he gave a crooked grin as he began to struggle new words out. “First, I am going to let you watch me slaughter your beloved, my sister,” he grinned at her, raising his sword towards her heart, glaring hard at Arthfael, whom had gripped the long, slender dagger at his belt. “Then, I’m going to slowly beat you, and let you die in agony.” Etiénne yelped as her brother advanced onto her, though, Arthfael lunged onto him quickly after, shoving him into the counter, just beside the sink and broken window, and sending his sword away from them. Hayvell had weakened in the time away, allowing a much stronger, although, thinner Arthfael pin him to the wall, Arthfael’s dagger held against his throat. He grinned at Arthfael, as they stood face to face, gritting his teeth as he spoke wildly towards him.
“Yes, Arthfael; kill me like the beast you are, slay me where I stand, infront of your beloved. Prove you are nothing but a thoughtless murderer.” He encouraged him with another grin. Arthfael glared hard at him, though, did not act, allowing him to continue. “Let’s just remember what you did to poor Micario – he’s dead. You just stabbed him, and stabbed him. No thought, just your intent to kill everything – you are truly a Zamorakian monster, a demon, like my father had said. You killed him, too, so why not me, huh?” He waited, glancing to a frowning Etiénne, whom Arthfael also looked to her, before shaking his head and moved to step back. Then he whipped forwards, and gave him a hard left hook to his jaw, causing him to fall to a darkening daze to the floor.
“I’m not a murderer.” Arthfael said simply, and moved to sheathe the dagger. Etiénne walked over to Arthfael’s side, as Hayvell groaned and fell limp in the floor, except the breathing from his torso. Arthfael stepped towards him, and took the scabbard from his side, moving to take his sword and sheathe it into the black leather scabbard. Then he extended it towards Etiénne, with a frown.
“We need to move south, now.” He said firmly, and she nodded her head, moving to tie the sword to her belt. Quickly, the couple packed food and belongings, necessities and souvenirs, wrapping young Sarah in a blanket before drenching the cottage in oil and hay, lighting the building aflame with an unconscious Hayvell dragged outside of it. Then, without a look back, the couple evaded to the south…
Smoke rose above the forest sky, and several men had descended upon the grove and cottage, to which was reduced to a grim, blackened corpse. Seven men passed by two graves, with crossed planks marking the graves, flowers lay upon the soil, although, what seemed to be left untouched for some years. They stopped as they came to the side of the weak, barely conscious Hayvell. He breathed an exhale, twisting his head to see the men, to which were all dressed in black leather armor, each with a band with a four-pointed Saradominist star on their biceps, and a sword at their hips. Their leader turned his head to one at his side, and raised his hand to Hayvell, his index finger jutting out at the downed, weak figure.
“Joseph. Give him Saradomin’s mercy.” The hooded man labeled as Joseph stepped forwards, and moved to kneel down next to the man, whose vision blurred and cleared, though, through the veil he could almost see a pair of purple eyes gazing down at him. Was it a hallucination or was it real? Joseph slipped the small, long-bladed dagger from his boot’s casing and moved to raise it, putting his left hand onto his neck, yet the dying man spoke, managing through weak gasps.
“They- they went south.” Joseph would then thrust it into his side, the dagger lunging deep into the torso of the man, and with a final gasp, he fell limp to the cold grasp of death. Joseph uttered words inaudibly, and then stood up to look to their leader. The man had a firm, cold stare with high cheekbones and graying, long black hair. Pale, steel-like gray eyes peered out towards Joseph, the masked and hooded Saradominist.
“The deed is done, Lord Malien.” Malien nodded once to him, after Joseph had confirmed his kill, and raised his hand to the five others around him, speaking in a dull, yet commanding tone.
“Men, we march towards Yanille. We shall remove the disgrace that my nephew has put upon our order, and my niece has put upon our god. There will be no words, only just execution. With each Zamorakian’s end, the world is a greater place, and tomorrow, we will restore the honor my brother had once before. We will not falter; we will not crumble until the very last man. Those that threaten order, those that do not believe, will be given Saradomin’s ultimate mercy: death.”
Silence followed, and Malien would begin towards the southern forests, his six men marching after him…
… It was only a few days later, that Arthfael and Etiénne would arrive in the city of Yanille. The large town was enclosed in giant walls, and wizards and mages roamed within, mostly. Arthfael took quick interest in the magicians, and the people of Yanille had seemed welcoming to the family that had arrived. Their tired feet pleaded to rest, and finally, they came across an inn, in which they paid for a night within and quickly went up to rest in. Barely a word was spoken on their escape, the memory fresh on the mind, but maybe, it was finally the end. Maybe, the couple finally had peace, and they were away from their pasts?
“How did you know it was Hayvell?” Etiénne finally spoke to Arthfael, looking to him confusedly, slowly rocking little Sarah in her sleep. Arthfael looked up to her, having sat on the bed, and her on a chair opposite him. He let out a sigh, and frowned, shaking his head.
“A man had come up behind me with a knife a couple months ago, when I had left for the nurse. He said he knew, and ‘they’ were coming. He had another with him, both were hooded, and in dark clothing. I didn’t tell you about that.” He continued to frown and she sat up and moved to seat herself next to him, leaning on him to comfort him.
“It is okay, Arthfael. It’s over now, my brother’s gone, and he won’t know where to find us.” She smiled reassuringly at the scrawny young man, whom had managed to nod and lean his head onto her head, though, the thoughts still pried at his mind, and for hours, and even into sleep he remained in thought of what had happened.
Morning broke, and Arthfael awoke to the sun shining through the window. Sarah and Etiénne were still asleep beside him, as he sat up and moved to the table, to retrieve his dagger and set it at his waist, moving to step towards the door. Etiénne awoke, and raised her head to look at Arthfael, whom would open the door, looking back to her with a smile.
“I’m going to go look for work.” He said with his tone confident and solid. He had wanted to push away the thoughts of doubt and fear, and renew his confidence of before. He stepped out after she smiled, and hugged Sarah tightly to her. Arthfael stepped down the staircase, after closing the door, and moved into the bar. He moved past, and out of the door, off to find work…
Seven figures clad in dark leather armor, Saradominist stars displayed on their right biceps, marched into the town, and stopped as their leader did. He shifted around on his heel and straightened his posture with the others, barking at them audibly.
“Spread out, men. Go door-to-door; request the location of Arthfael and Etiénne. Search inns, and slaughter any that get in your way. Move out.” With neither protest nor hesitation, the six others spread into the town, beginning their work on locating the two. Malien had turned and moved to march towards the Square, awaiting reports from his six men…
They had spent several days within the inn’s room, Arthfael had found work, and was saving up to buy a home in the town. He had noticed the armor-clad men going door-to-door, each with a distinguished four-pointed star of Saradomin embroidered onto bands on their right biceps. He put them away in his mind, his concerns returning to his family. He stepped in, closing the door behind him, Etiénne rushing up to greet him with an embrace and a smile. Work at the local mill exhausted him, though; returning home had always soothed the aching. In the days that had followed, Arthfael had forgotten the men clad in dark armor, and had fully focused on work and family.
“How was work?” She grinned at him, tilting her head to let brunette hair dangle from her head. He smiled in response, and shrugged his shoulders.
“It’s exhausting, Etiénne, but I know that I am closer to our happiness. Your smile keeps me going.” He smirked devilishly, after speaking, leaning in to kiss her lightly before moving away to rest. She smiled brightly at him, and moved to seat herself next to him.
“Well, you’re charming, Arthfael.” She had grinned, raising her hand to wave her fingers, a golden ring set onto her fingers, speaking to him softly. “I’m glad I chose you.” He leaned towards her with a smile, leaning in close to utter words.
“I’m glad a chose you, too.” He grinned, and she leaned in, as well, moving to meet his lips…
The morning after, Arthfael had heard the mill had been burned to the ground through the night, leaving Arthfael suddenly unemployed. He had returned to the room with a frown, sitting down next to Etiénne quietly. She looked to him with concern flickering in her gaze.
“What happened?” Arthfael looked over to her with a frown, and opened his mouth to speak.
“The mill was burned.” He muttered in frustrated words, running a hand through his hair. She raised her hand, and set it onto his shoulder, soothing him slowly.
“We’ll find something else, Arthfael.” She spoke soothingly, and moved to sit up and hug him tightly. His lips would spread into a grin, and he nodded to her, reassured. Then, a knock came upon the door, and both would cast their gaze onto the door in silence. Arthfael rose to a stand, and stepped over, his dagger’s hilt in hand as he reached for the doorknob, and pulled it open. A bald man, with dull blue eyes stared at Arthfael from the other side of the doorway. He spoke in a demanding, almost robotic tone, as if some kind of drone.
“Are you Arthfael?” The slender, young man gave a simple nod and narrowed his blue eyes on the man.
“I am; who are you?” Arthfael spoke sharply, yet, the armor-clad man would only respond with unsheathing his sword and pointing it outwards at Arthfael’s chest.
“You must come with me, on the order of Saradomin, to face your execution. If you refuse or resist, I will kill you where you stand, Zamorakian.” He spoke, lacking an answer to Arthfael’s question, yet, it was all he had needed. Arthfael’s reaction was vicious and swift, swinging his left hand up to swat the sword away with his leather glove, and he advanced, thrusting the dagger into the soldier’s chest, tearing through his dark leather gambeson, and into his chest. He released a gasp, as Arthfael moved to yank it out and stab him twice, three times. Then, he was pulled back by force, as Etiénne closed the door, and footsteps of two men jogged through the hall, to aid their dying comrade. Arthfael sat onto the bed, and Etiénne moved towards the awakening baby, moving to step over to a table and set her down, covering her in blankets, though, not to smother her, but hide her. Then, Etiénne pulled her brother’s sword from its scabbard and held it up. A studded boot kicked in the door, causing it to swing inwards forcefully. They entered, swords brandished in front of them, out towards the armed duo. Etiénne went forwards first, moving to use her hand-guard to deflect her opponent’s slash to the side, and she moved to raise her foot, and kick him in the side of the knee, her body moving around so that she buried the blade straight through the back of her opponent, which jutted through his front in a brutal fashion, before she tore it away. Arthfael ran forwards, as the other looked upon his comrade being slain by the woman, throwing his shoulder into his abdomen, and thrusting the man forcefully onto the bed, reeling back his left hand and sending it into the man’s jaw, and then, Arthfael would thrust the blade of his dagger into his eye. Pulling it out, as the man fell limp. Two more men sounded up the staircase, and Arthfael stepped back, sheathing his dagger, and reaching for the dead soldier’s sword. As the first man entered, Etiénne stepped suddenly from the doorway, thrusting the sword through his abdomen, and felling the soldier, quickly. The next shoved Etiénne back, and held his sword out towards her throat, though, Arthfael moved to throw his arm out and shove him towards the side, the soldier moving to swipe his sword down at Arthfael’s shoulder, though, Arthfael rose his hand up to catch his blade by the hilt, raising his other hand, to bring the sword up, which slashed at his face. The man stumbled back, hand on his jaw as the blade ran a deep scar along his face, up towards his eye. He would surge forwards, moving to grasp his hands around Arthfael’s throat, and pin him to the bed, standing over him as he began to strangle the scrawny young man. Dim, violet eyes seemed to peer down from the soldier’s veiling hood, anger coursing through them, visibly. Arthfael rose his knee up and rammed it hard into the man’s groin, causing him to stumble back and release Arthfael, whom stood up after him, and grabbed him by the collar, moving to throw the man through the window behind him with vicious force. Glass shattered loudly, and the man was thrown onto the roof, rolling around in the glass, limply, as he fell down off the roof, and into bushes below. The inn returned to silence, as guards began to fill it in, and stepped into the room, fully-armed.
Inside they found Arthfael, sitting against a wall with ragged breaths, and Etiénne, sprawled on the bed with the same, ragged breathing. Two men lay dead by the doorway; one stabbed three times, another, once. One lay on the bed, with a stab wound through his eye, and the last, with a clean stab through his torso. Their officer raised his voice to the two, glancing around at the horrific scene.
“What had happened here?” Arthfael raised his head to the man’s voice, and moved to stand up. He waved to the men, and then looked to the guards.
“These men could’ve my family, pulled their weapons on us without much explanation.” The guard nodded, looking to the bodies.
“You must be Arthfael, right?” He spoke curiously, tilting his head, before adding on words. “There have been reports of these men asking around about you. Witnesses speak of dark-clad men fleeing the scene after the blaze started in the mill. Look, come with me, and we will sort this out with the Commander.” With a nod, Arthfael looked to Etiénne, whom stood to get Sarah before they would leave in the guards’ escort…
Arthfael and Etiénne had explained their story, defending their innocence to the guard commander. Witnesses rose to their defense on the case, and soon, it would close with their innocence and release. Words were not spoken, though, as the trio began back into town, which dimmed in the dusk sky. They reached the inn’s doorstep, but, Arthfael stopped and turned to Etiénne with a solemn expression. He breathed a sigh, and moved to wrap his arms around her and their child, as tears formed onto his face. She raised a hand to wipe them away.
“Etiénne, go with Sarah to the nearest port, and go the farthest you can. With our past chasing us, it is only a matter of time that Sarah will be the victim of it.” She opened her mouth to speak, shaking her head, and now tears swelled in her ears.
“No, Arthfael – you are talking crazy. We don’t have to do this; we can board a ship together, and start a family in Asgarnia…” Her tone was empty and pleading, her tone trailing off as they embraced and he spoke softly in her ear. She didn’t want him to go, her hold tight on him for some time. “… It doesn’t have to be like this, please, Arthfael.”
“No, I won’t run from my past, love, I will run towards it. Please, you must go.” He said firmly, although, his tone became soft, as his eyes were cast to the floor. She nodded, burrowing her head into his chest before stepping back.
“I’m scared, Arthfael, please, do not kill yourself – I don’t know what you plan, but, do not throw your life away.” Her voice was hesitant, hinting at her reluctance to let him go. Strength carried in her veins, as she glanced down at a sleeping Sarah in her arms. She reached out to offer her to Arthfael. “I will send letters, Arthfael.” She said firmly, giving him a saddened look, and moving in with him to meet in a long, passionate kiss. After they pulled away, Arthfael looked down to the small, sleeping baby in his arms, and he leaned down to kiss her on the forehead, keeping in place for some time, before raising his head slightly.
“Be safe, little one. You have an amazing future.” He whispered gently, raising his saddened gaze to Etiénne, who matched his saddened eyes. He extended the child out to her, whom would start to whimper and stir from sleep. Etiénne and Arthfael looked between each other, attempting to comfort the sobbing child. And then both began to separate, moving quickly into different directions, yet not without three words for each other.
“I love you.”
Two figures departed in the night, never to see each other again, their fates and destinies ahead of them now. Both had grown up, both knew that it was dangerous for them to remain together. One brewed a new ambition, yet the other would fall into a relentless depression, never finding something to fill in the wound left in their heart…
… A figure crouched like a hunter atop a rooftop, clad in a dark leather gambeson, with a sword at his hip, watched the young man’s figure stride through the dimmed streets, his lips curving into a grin as he turned his head to the figure standing behind him, clad in the same armor. He looked back as the young man stepped into a tavern.
“What now, m’lord?” Joseph’s voice came from behind the crouched figure, his gaze locked like a hungry vulture upon the tavern to which the young, scrawny man had entered, as well.
“We wait, we rebuild, and then,” he said with a chuckle, as he stood. “We march.” In the moonlight, a face became slightly clear; the defined visage, with a set of dull blue eyes, and graying, long black hair. The figure was Malien.
The Answers Within
Days passed, yet, days turned to weeks. Arthfael went through the same empty routine since separating from Etiénne, wasting his time in overwhelming thoughts and a deep depression that swarmed him persisently. He longed to see her face again, and for her comforting embrace; yet, life did not yield his desires, and only returned it with a wounded heart.
Time passed quickly, yet as days went by, Arthfael found he was growing attached to the magicians in town. Many flaunted their abilities of spewing fire, or conjuring water from what seemed like nowhere. Only in stories, had Arthfael heard of these wizards, whom spend most of their time in magical towers, with hundreds of books surrounding them. He grew fascinated by them, dreaming of being able to do such things himself, and had briefly forgotten losing Etiénne and his daughter, Sarah. At day, Arthfael would go off to see the magicians perform in the streets, watching in silence as they conjured elements out of thin air; they spoke of rune-stones, small rocks that glimmered with runic energy. His fascination brought him to one mage’s tent, set out just outside of the town. Smoke billowed from a fire pit in the middle of two tents, where small flames still lay. One was opened, and inside, sat a crossed-leg man in dark blue robes. He had to be in his forties, his face had a dark moustache, sharply-pointed and going along his top lip, with a patch of facial hair vertically going up his chin, and stopping at his bottom lip. He had his eyes closed, his body relaxed, with curly, graying hair going down to his shoulders. He had a few pouches at his hip, loosely tied to his belt, with a dagger sheathed in a small scabbard at his waist. Arthfael tilted his head at his discovery, and had opted to speak to him.
“Hello?” Arthfael spoke simply, grinning with some fascination at the man. Silence followed for long moments, and Arthfael began to think the man had not heard him. Had he spoken too quietly? He was beginning to speak again, when the man opened his eyes and raised his brown-eyed gaze onto Arthfael. He had a crooked smile, and breathed in audibly.
“I sense a great magical prowess within you, child.” He spoke to him calmly, his body seeming to remain relaxed and sat. He studied Arthfael’s reactions with squinted eyes, as if judging him.
“What do you mean?” Arthfael replied with some bewilderment in his tone. He was intrigued by the man, and his words seemed to bring a slight grin to his face.
“It could mean many things, young one. I suspect, you have an untouched affinity – have you never tried magic, child?” He had tilted his head, his expression remaining the same neutral, yet unreadable, as always.
“No, I lived poorly for most of my childhood. My family could never afford runes, so we didn’t have the luxury.” Arthfael seemed surprised, yet, returned his judging eyes with a smirk.
“Come, child, sit.” He would reply, beckoning Arthfael to sit in front of him with his arm extended, before continuing. “Not to be rude, I assume by your stature and your lack of will that you were a greatly underestimated child – not only by your parents but – by those around you. Am I correct?” He narrowed his eyes at Arthfael, awaiting his reaction with a smile.
“My father wanted me to learn how to hunt, and set traps. I was pretty good with setting the traps, but I was never strong enough to use a bow. At home, the city, I had gotten in with some of the thugs, but, they only saw me as a rat – it was my name to them.” Arthfael spoke with a nod, recalling the memories with a long sigh, strained by old, pent-up pain.
“Then, perhaps, you were merely looking in the wrong direction?” He smiled, speaking with a confidence apparent in his tone, his right hand rising to tap his chin. “Perhaps, young one, you merely need to find out what you were destined to do.” He added with a grin.
“What is my destiny?” Arthfael’s voice was filled with a new yearning for answers of long-asked questions. The man’s reaction started with a rising hand, his finger extending outwards to jab into his chest. He grinned, and raised his chin.
“The answer is within.” He had said simply, adding a nod and dropping his hand. “I can offer you the path to finding your fate, but, I will not give the answer. That is for you to find, as only you know what it truly is.” He added with a smile, tilting his head to await the young man’s next words.
“What is my path, then?” Arthfael replied with a smirk. He seemed to take a liking to this man, clear in his now-cheery expression.
“You may become my apprentice, child. In my hands, I will be sure your untouched prodigy rises, and I will give you the knowledge necessary to discover your unseen destiny.” He smiled, raising his hand to tap his fingers against his chin in thought, observing Arthfael’s face for a reaction.
“When do I start?” Arthfael spoke enthusiastically, adding a smirk tugging at his lips. The magican smiled, and nodded his head – he loved the young man’s enthusiasm. He reached for his pouch, and retrieved runes from his pouch. He would bring them up, and count them before setting them into another pouch carefully, and extending it to Arthfael with a smile.
“Immediately,” he said with his smile, allowing Arthfael to take the pouch, and curiously look through it, before he raised his hand to a book at his side and extended it to Arthfael.
“Here is a basic spellbook. It will teach you the arcane arts, from beginning to mastery. Remember, child – magic is not simply a toy to play with. It is a weapon, as well as a utensil for many things. I request only two things of you as my apprentice. Undying will and proper use – we will not want to explain how you burnt some man to a crisp.” He chuckled, and extended his hand to Arthfael after speaking. He would not continue, as he had assumed Arthfael would understand the gesture. Arthfael gave him an acknowledging nod, and raised his hand to greet his.
“Deal.” Arthfael had said simply, and their hands shook. The magician grinned, and pulled his hand away, smiling to his new apprentice.
“I am Vincent; my training comes from the Wizards’ Tower, and many other institutes around Gielinor. I have brought my talents to Yanille, in hopes to teach others the arts and display what I’ve learned.” He said with a grin, and tilting his head, waiting for the apprentice’s introduction.
“I am Arthfael – I come from Ardougne, yet, I am here to settle and face my future.” He said with a smirk, and a nod. Vincent offered him a grin, and nodded along with him.
“Then, I shall be your guide, as you face what lies beyond.” He raised his hand after speaking, pointing his finger into the outside, to the other, and enclosed tent. “Now, you should meet your peer, Abe. He’s quiet and not quick to trust – yet, with a little patience, you two will be great friends.”
Arthfael looked back to the tent, then to Vincent with a nod. He moved to stand, taking steps towards the outside, which by this time had lit up with the summer sun. He stepped towards the tent, and moved to tug at its flap, as if to signal to anyone inside.
“Come in.” A young man’s voice, lightly laced with an accent from around Yanille or Ardougne, rose to beckon the visitor inside, after a moment of silence. Arthfael answered by sliding into the tent and glancing around until his bright blue gaze sat onto a young man sat a few feet away. He wore light tan robes, split from the belt down with buttons locked together along his torso. He wore simple trousers and leather boots, which were crossed infront of him, his golden hair styled with spikes. Dull blue eyes looked up to Arthfael curiously, his eyes narrowed, and his lips did not utter a word as he judged him. A book was in his lap, which he held open with both hands.
“Allo, I am Arthfael, Vincent’s newer apprentice.” Arthfael stepped forwards with a grin, and extended his hand out, to which Abe would stare at before giving a glare up to his new peer.
“You don’t look like a mage.” He said bluntly, glancing over Arthfael with his hard glare. The young man was dressed in a leather coat of a plain white shirt, and simple, dark gray trousers. His dagger was sheathed at his hip, the dark black metal of it wrapped in a cloth and leather grip. Arthfael narrowed his eyes, and let out a sigh and a nod. He didn’t speak a word, and instead turned and walked out at the sudden judgments given by Abe…
Through only a few weeks, Arthfael discovered he was quick to learn the arcane arts, his speed at which he had picked up the skills were much to Abe’s dismay. The two young men had seemed to never speak to each other, to which Vincent picked up on fast. Training continued throughout the months, and as it carried on, their unspoken of rivalry built within. The jealousy and exchanged glares became so much of an issue prying at Arthfael’s mind, that he confronted Abe after training, late in the day.
Arthfael stepped towards Abe, and stopped some feet infront of him, tilting his head with a blank expression on his face. Abe returned with a glare, though he did not speak.
“What did I do, Abe?” Arthfael would ask directly, narrowing his eyes at the young man’s face, as if watching for a reaction. For long moments, he remained quiet, although, finally the words pried towards the surface.
“The master always likes you, tells you how great you are, and how fast you learn. I bet you get so much attention at your hometown, huh?” Abe spoke with a hiss, glaring hard at Arthfael.
“You don’t know a thing about me, Abe.” Arthfael spat back, raising a finger accusingly at him. “You don’t know what I dealt with, and you don’t know what I’ve done.” He would add, his right hand clenching into a fist. Abe glared back at him, and shook his head.
“Yeah, right – stop being a drama-queen.” He spat back viciously, before turning away angrily. Arthfael growled and advanced, grabbing Abe by the collar and throwing his back into the base of a tree. Fear flickered in the boy’s gray eyes, yet he returned the glare as they stood face to face.
“When I was just fifteen, I watched my parents die. Left alone in the dark, I had to find my way back to the city. Street thugs took me in, beat me and tormented me for years. I was vermin to them, and that was all.” He paused, letting that register in Abe’s mind. The glare remained for a moment, before it calmed and he hung his head in guilt and dying spite. “So, before you judge me, Abe, get to know me.” He added, before dropping his collar and moved to storm away. Although, Abe’s voice called out to him as he left, and he raised his hand.
“Wait, Arthfael,” His voice was desperate and filled with a sense of guilt. “I didn’t know… I judged you quickly.” Arthfael had looked back as he spoke, giving him a nod and his glare calmed down. Abe grinned, and raised his hand outwards, towards Arthfael, which for a moment, the young and scrawny man would stare at before he turned around, and extended his hand to meet it. Afterwards, Arthfael turned and moved to walk away from Abe, moving back towards the camp. There, Vincent had been awaiting his two apprentices’ arrival. Both came in silence, and trudged off to their tents, leaving the events unspoken.
Though, as training carried on in the next days, Arthfael and Abe no longer looked upon each other with glares, instead choosing to remain disconnected and neither with a single word for the other – hateful nor friendly. Both young men grew stronger as a year passed, and Arthfael had taken quickly to learning and harnessing the spells as they were taught, reaching the age of eighteen. Vincent had even began teaching them ways magic could be used for a weapon, or for a tool. The old mage had given both men wands, so that they may begin focusing their magic through these new utensils.
“Children; be careful with these, for they will be your greatest ally against a foe – one could easily destroy this, the bridge between your talents and magic, and it could leave you without any sort of defense. Responsibility is your friend, children – do not take this opportunity for granted.” He said after he had given them their wands. They would both nod, their lips taking into grins as they turned to walk off into different paths. Arthfael headed towards the town, clasping the wand to his belt. Arthfael had obtained robes in his time. They were a dark brown, and like Abe’s, split at the bottom, to which was separated from the top by a leather belt, where several pouches sat. At his right foot was his long, slender dagger with the dark blade – the miséricorde. He had stepped into town, glancing around at the buildings he had long gotten used to, his footsteps taking him immediately to the tavern. It was small, with chairs lining the walls and a bar counter only a few steps from the doorway. Young women and men would converse loudly, drunkards passing as Arthfael made to sit down at an empty table.
Within moments, Abe would enter the tavern in his light tan robes, he was only a few steps inside when someone called to him, and stood from the bar where two women sat next to him. People turned to see what the man was doing, after he called out.
“Ay, look – it’s the clown.” The man had said, moving forwards to grab Abe’s wand from his belt and yank it up with a chuckle, showing it to the others with an ensuing chuckle. This act came with an audible protest from Abe. “And he has a new little magic stick.” He added, his audience letting out an amused laughter. Arthfael had lowered his hand to his pouch, watching the scene unfold with icy blue eyes. He stood up, bringing out a group of air runes, and holding them in his hand as he stepped towards them. The large, older man began tapping Abe’s head with the wand’s tip, and making ‘poof’ noises audibly, finding amusement at Abe’s expense.
“Careful, you might hurt yourself.” Arthfael would stop some bit away from the two, his words coming from across the room. While Abe was only about 5’10”, the two older men were just about the same height of 6’0”. Arthfael had a much more lanky build than the larger man, who turned his figure to see Arthfael, giving him a grin.
“What did you say?” He had said, his tone blunt and aggressive as he dropped the wand onto the floor and approached Arthfael, until they had stood face-to-face. Arthfael’s lips tugged into a smirk in return, and he put his right hand behind him.
“Maybe you did not hear me,” Arthfael said with a grin, before raising his hand and flinging a bout of air at the man’s torso. His form was quickly picked up with the gust and thrown across the room and into a wall with a loud ‘thunk’. Afterwards, Arthfael lowered his hand and chuckled amusedly before continuing. “I said back off.”
Silence followed, as Abe turned his head to Arthfael with a wide grin forming onto his lips. Arthfael’s own head turned towards the bar, and he raised his eyebrow to the spectators, who had watched the scene in awe.
“Anyone else?” He had added with a grin, prompting a smaller man to stand up from his seat and raise his fists, advancing on Arthfael. He swung a hard right at Arthfael, who would only duck underneath and swung his fist into the man’s gut. Abe stepped forwards and swung his left fist forward as Arthfael’s blow made the man double over, thrusting it hard into the side of the man’s jaw, causing him to propel towards the side, and hold his abdomen in pain. Arthfael took a step back as Abe threw the punch, the two apprentices exchanging grins. The bartender raised his voice to the two victors, narrowing his eyes on them.
“Are you two going to cause trouble?” He said with a glare to them both, prompting Arthfael to move forwards and sit onto the larger man’s seat, shaking his head to the bartender.
“Of course not,” he said with a devilish smirk taking shape on his lips, as he jabbed a thumb backwards. “They started it.” The bartender shook his head to the thin man, though raised his hand to the bouncer that had approached, gesturing to the two men that had been defeated.
“I want them out,” he said with a nod to confirm to the bouncer, who would approach both men and drag them out of the tavern. Their company, two women, had followed them out, leaving Abe to be able to seat himself on the stool next to Arthfael, still grinning haughtily at his defender.
“You defended me against them, Arthfael… Why?” He asked with the tilt of his head, though he kept his haughty smirk.
“Simply the right thing to do – I couldn’t let some big buffoon pick on you.” Arthfael responded with a smirk, and had turned towards the bar when a brown-haired woman turned to look at Arthfael, and tilted her head at him. He glanced over to her, offering her a smile as his eyes swept over her face – it was familiar.
“Arthfael?” She said with a smile forming at her lips, continuing with a look of hope coming onto her face, as if she wished he remembered her. “It’s me, Brianna?”
Alarms fired off in his head, and for a moment he paused and did not speak a word, before his head moved into a nod, and he grinned sheepishly. The memories had washed over him, and he remembered making an effort to avoid speaking to her again after the incident. Brianna tilted her head, a look of concern quickly flickered and disappeared from her expression.
“The one and only – hey there, Brianna; what’re you doin’ down here in Yanille?” He finally replied, his cool returning to him, as he gave her a grin. She smiled back, and shrugged her shoulders, glancing around the tavern before meeting his gaze with her own.
“Oh, I suppose I wanted to come down here, and see if anyone needed a nurse. No luck yet… Hey, where’s your girlfriend?” She tilted her head after she had spoken, looking past Arthfael to Abe, who minded his own business within a spell-book. Arthfael would grin and shrug his shoulders to her, as he shifted towards the counter.
“We separated some time ago, sadly.” He said with a nod, and raised his hand to rub against his chin subconscious. Brianna replied with a frown, and an understanding nod.
“Oh, well, I am sorry about that.” She would say after some bit, attempting to spark conversation where she could. She seemed to like this young man, offering him a reassuring smile.
“It’s alright, Brianna. Want a drink?” He spoke after another few moments, offering her his haughty grin. She nodded her head to him, offering a smile to him.
“Yeah, of course; so, what have you been up to, Arthfael?” She said, continuing to smile as she shifted towards the bar counter. She reached out to touch his dark brown robes, and he smirked, laying down a couple coins to pay for their drinks.
“I’ve learned a few tricks since we’ve last met.” Arthfael spoke with a grin forming at his lips, turning to retrieve his glass of local brew and raise it to his lips for a long sip before setting it down. She grinned, nodding her head.
“Ooh, tricks?” She spoke with a smirk, and leaned forwards with a questioning eyebrow-raise. “Can I see a trick or two?” Brianna continued with a suggestive tone in her voice, adding on an innocent smile. Arthfael leaned back, and brought up his sleeve as if to check a watch, before looking back up to her with a smirk.
“I might have some time.” He said with a grin, his tone also taking something of a suggestive, playful expression. He looked over to Abe, offering a tilt of his head to him. “Abe, are you alright with me leaving for a bit?” He directed this to Abe now, who raised his head to look at Arthfael with a nod, and a grin.
“I can handle them, friend.” He chuckled, waving his hand dismissively. Arthfael nodded, and moved to stand up, reaching out to Brianna, who took his hand and stood with a grin. He led her outside, until they had met the dirt by foot. The sun was just settling, as the afternoon hours began to shift towards darkness. He reached a hand into his pouch, and brings the runes out to allow their energy to dissolve into his hand, before it was cast out and began to take form of heat. He led her over to a bucket, and swung his hands and fingers over the water within, causing it to quickly arouse to a boil. Brianna nodded, smiling in a bit of awe at his display. He lowered his hand to his pouch, and let the heat dissipate; using new runes to cast at the water, to which both kneeled by, Arthfael faced his palm onto the water, and flicked his wrist towards Brianna, causing the water to splash over into her face harmlessly, causing her to sputter and fall back with a giggle. She looked to him with a shake of her head, and moved to reach for the bucket of water, thrusting it up and out towards Arthfael to cause a wave of it to splash onto his face, causing him to sputter and spit with strained laughter. Their eyes met, and silence fell between both, before Arthfael leaned towards her and met with her lips, raising his hand to her cheek.
“Ooh-… Mind showing me more of your tricks?” Brianna said after they had pulled away from each other, grinning madly. Arthfael tilted his head and rose to a stand, moving to grab her hand, and gently pull her up with him. The two joined once more for a passionate kiss, as Arthfael led Brianna into the inn…
“Our time is close, Joseph.” A figure, cloaked in the shadows of a building, upon a Yanille rooftop had spoken out towards the armor-clad figure stood behind him. The figure turned, moving to step off towards the center of the rooftop, and descended onto the balcony. There, a man in similar armor stepped up towards them. He wore neither cowl nor helmet, and had neatly-combed blond hair, and fair skin. He looked between them with a nod, raising his hand to his chest to salute.
“Sir,” he paused, allowing Malien and Joseph to shift to his address; within a moment after he turned to Malien, and spoke swiftly, as if in a hurry to speak a serious matter. “Our target has two allies, from what we’ve seen. One is a talented wizard and the other is a fellow apprentice. The apprentice and our target are at the tavern currently; they had seemed to cause a big scene with two other men, and the target appears to have sorcery. He threw a man across the room with a single hand, with what seemed to be nothing.” Malien had shaken his head, a puzzled expression coming to his face in response. Joseph remained there, though his head turned to Malien for answers or orders.
“Sorcery thrives in this town – it was only a matter of time he had taken it up. The target is a much more pressing matter, though once we’ve taken him out we will focus on eradicating magic from Saradomin’s world, starting with this wretched town.” He raised his hand to Joseph, and turned halfway to speak towards him.
“You are to join me to meet with the target,” he paused, turning back to the soldier who had come in to speak of the matter. “Officer Le’Avelli, report to the base and begin rallying the others. Men, our work is almost complete, and soon, we may revel in a better world. Those that oppose Saradomin’s holy decrees shall be slain by Saradomin’s Hand – move out.” With his words spoken, Le’Avelli made way towards their headquarters, as Joseph and Malien began towards the tavern with their goals set…
Just the Beginning
Arthfael made down the staircase, after several hours spent in his room with Brianna. He had moved up to an empty table by a window, looking out into the dimming town, with lanterns in the streets flickering to their last life, and the orange-reddish glow of the sky began to fade to darkness and reach into dusk. Lights in houses turned out, and citizens ran their final errands before night fell onto the city, and silence dropped gracefully. Arthfael seemed to grin, with his eyes set onto the table, though a man approached him from behind calmly, moving to sit opposite of Arthfael quietly, giving the scrawny young man a grin. He leaned onto the table, elbows propped up and his fingers interlocked in the thick, leather gauntlets with steel studs lining the knuckles. He had a wrinkled, aged face with dull eyes set onto Arthfael’s face, and a beard began to line his chin.
“Hello, Arthfael.” The man said, his lips twisted into a crooked grin. Arthfael’s eyes would squint as the man called him by name, tilting his head confusedly to the side.
“Who are you?” Arthfael said in reply, his untrusting gaze still kept upon the man’s own expression, which continued to grin. The man would lean back, and raise his chin slightly.
“I am Lord Malien Andelle of Saradomin’s Hand – you may remember my armor; you destroyed most of my forces only a year ago. You may also know my niece, Etiénne; she is a lovely young woman, isn’t she? A damn shame you two had to split up.” He chuckled after introducing himself, offering a hand over to the heated Arthfael. After a moment he pulled it back with a haughty grin, and added words. “It is truly crazy what a person does for love, is it not? But, from what I see, you’ve already moved on; pretty young lass you were with there.” He continued to grin haughtily at the fuming Arthfael.
“I could kill you right here, Malien.” Arthfael uttered angrily, though, his tone was tame and he began to calm. Malien continued to haughtily grin at Arthfael, thoroughly enjoying his taunting.
“But you won’t,” he said, raising a finger to wiggle in the air, before extending it towards the left, where a hooded man sat with the same armor. “Because, he, will end your life before you can lay a finger on your weapon.” He added after his gesture. Brianna appeared from upstairs, walking only a few steps towards Arthfael, before looking between the two men. She noted Arthfael’s angered expression, and moved to slip into a seat nearby, though, she closely watched the conversation. Arthfael looked towards the man, then back to Malien with a nod.
“What do you want?” He said bluntly, leaning his arms onto the table. Malien raised his finger to tap his bearded chin, making a sharp inhale before he grinned haughtily once more.
“A great warrior knows defeat isn’t truly a loss, but a chance to renew their skill – a chance to get greater at what they do; you see, even if you took on my forces and defeated me head-on, I know that all I have to do is change my tactic – besides, giving you a quick execution allows you to escape your torment too easily.” He spoke as haughtily as he grinned, then, pausing to let this register before continuing. “My plan? I am going to tell your sweet Etiénne that you’ve found another love, and then I am going to tear everyone you know away from you. First, your master and your apprentice friend, then we are going to kill the nice lass you seem to know very well. And then, when you’re on the floor suffering from agony, I am going to have you beaten to dust – slowly and methodically.” He grinned once more, before standing and beckoning the other man to follow. A robotic march ensued, until both men had stepped out into the night, leaving Arthfael to his thoughts. Brianna stood, and quickly walked towards the door to exit.
Moments later, a scream shot through the air, and Arthfael’s eyes looked up to the door, as the screaming continued. He stood up and reached to his dagger, shifting forward to walk out of the door. In the dimmed torchlight, a struggle was visible. Three men surrounded a woman, attempting to restrain her. He rose a rune up and from his hand came a shard of earth, thrusting deep into one’s chest, causing him to stumble back. Another looked to Arthfael, leaving the last, a hooded one, to deal with the woman. His hand went to his sword, and Arthfael tugged on his dagger, moving forward. He unsheathed the sword, and swung it outwards at Arthfael’s right shoulder, though, Arthfael raised his hand up, and used the curved crossguard of the dagger to deflect the blade the sword, locking it towards the side. The soldier raised his left fist over it, swinging it up at Arthfael’s jaw with vicious force. His head jarred back, and to the left, his legs going soft underneath him before he fell back to the floor in a daze. Brianna’s voice called out, as the blackened haze fell over his vision, and he fell into unconsciousness – it was hopeless and desperate, carrying a sense of fear.
His eyelids opened to a breaking sunlight, and he turned his head as the light made his head throb. Feeling and senses returned to him, and his eyes opened with Abe kneeling in front of him, a look of concern on his face.
“Arthfael, are you awake? Thank the gods.” He said in exasperation and shock, running a hand through his spiky hair. Arthfael sat up with a frown, the throbbing centered on his jaw. He felt around, and without his dagger, Arthfael’s heart jumped in place, and his eyes shot around until he had caught sight of it. He grabbed it, and sheathed it with a glance to Abe. He had noticed they were in an alleyway in town, long from the camp, as the memories of the night before slowly flooded into his mind, Abe would rub his fingers down his face as if stressed over something.
“Arthfael, men in dark armor – they took Master Vincent, and tried taking me but I ran to find you…” He said with a sigh, and Arthfael looked towards the sides with a nod.
“They took Brianna, too.” He said with a disappointment set into his tone, rubbing a hand through his dark hair. Abe looked to him with a frown, shaking his head and looking to the floor.
“What’re we going to do, Arthfael?” He looked to Arthfael, searching his peer’s face for any sense of hope or answer to his question. Arthfael raised his gaze to Abe, the blue eyes taking to a new firmness.
“What we have been taught to do, what they won’t expect us to do: kill.” Arthfael stood up, and moved towards the street, Abe hot on his trail.
“We don’t even know where they are, Arthfael,” his voice filled with some reluctance, as he started to catch up with Arthfael’s footsteps, he continued. “Besides, we aren’t just going to walk in head-on.” He said, seeming opposed by Arthfael’s idea of exacting revenge.
“No,” he said with a glare at the floor, pausing for a moment to inhale. “That is what they will expect – we won’t give them that luxury. They will be looking for you, more than likely.” He looked over to Abe, who tilted his head in confusion, his face giving the same appearance.
“They are after the people around me – these guys really hate me.” He said with a chuckle, stepping out into the streets, and looking to each side, before looking back to Abe.
“Let’s investigate the campsite.” He moved to step out and towards the campsite, moving on towards the outside of town quickly. The duo would enter the woods, trudging on until it opened out to the campsite, where three tents surrounded a dead fire-pit; two men with long halberds stood guard around the fire pit, the tents opened and seeming to be searched and shredded in places. As they approached, Arthfael held a hand up to Abe to stop him, observing it with a shake of his head.
“Let’s take one out, capture the other.” He looked to Abe, whispering to him to him quietly. “You take a rock; on my signal, hit the other halberdier with your rock.” Abe nodded, and moved to reach down for a decent-sized rock, before slithering around the campsite. Arthfael took a step forward, and dug his hands into his pouch, lifting a rune up to dissolve into runic energy. The magic took form into a shard, and propelled itself across the clearing, and burrowing deep into one of the guards’ throat. Alarmed, the other rose his halberdier, though unaware of the rock that would thump against his head hard. He fell forward with a groan, and faded in and out of consciousness. Arthfael stepped forwards, Abe dropping the rock and stepping back as Arthfael moved to turn the guard over, and sit on top of him. He grabbed him by the throat, the guard taking in audible breaths and releasing them with pained groans.
“Hello there, beautiful,” he grinned smugly at the guard, bringing his head forwards. “Now, this is how this is going to go: you are going to tell me where your base is, and you will be given mercy.” Arthfael said, holding him against the ground by the neck. The man’s eyelids struggled to remain open, his frightened gaze still locked with Arthfael’s own icy blue eyes.
“… Saradomin, have mercy.” He paused to breathe, rolling his head to the right, and continuing. “We have a tower, not far to the north, in a grove of woods.” He hesitated in his speech, pausing for painful breaths before continuing to speak. Blood trickled from the back of his head, pooling on the ground, the color beginning to fade, though he breathed in and out audibly. Arthfael’s hand went to his dagger that was sheathed along his boot, moving to remove it and set it next to the man’s side, lowering to whisper into his ear.
“Zamorak guides you to new purpose, even in death.” The miséricorde sank deep into his side, and he let out a final gasp, before his body went limp. Arthfael pulled the dagger out and slipped it back into its leather sheath. He moved to stand up, Abe following him and looked to him confusedly.
“Why did you kill him?” He said, looking down to the defeated guard, then back to Arthfael.
“He was going to die anyway. I gave him mercy, over a slow death.” Arthfael looked to him with a slow nod, and a sigh, moving to step away and towards the north. Abe looked down to the two dead guardsmen, before running over to catch up with Arthfael, following him until they had come across a clearing sometime later.
Arthfael stopped as they approached, putting an arm out to stop Abe from moving any further, as he stepped up to observe the fortifications. Stood atop steep, rocky hills, they would overlook a tall, stone tower wrapped in vines and surrounded in thick brush. The barely-visible doorway was covered by two men with spears, their shafts crossed at chest-level. Two balconies were on the tower, one covered by an archer, and the other barely seen in the angle Arthfael had been in. A moat ran around it, with a stone bridge leading up to it from a path going into the forest. Arthfael turned, and beckoned Abe to follow him as he led him towards the road. Wheels rolled against dirt and gravel as a caravan began to pass towards the bridge. Arthfael put a hand on Abe’s shoulder, signaling him to lower to a crouch as Arthfael did, waiting until the wagon had passed. It was covered by a light tan cloth, and led by a horse or two. Arthfael stepped forwards, moving to leap into the back of the wagon, commanding Abe to follow suit. Once within the wagon, both men hid underneath the sacks and crates within the back of the cart. Hooves trudged, and wheels rolled until the entire wagon came to a complete stop. Two soldiers stepped up, one getting into an inaudible conversation with the driver, and the other circled to peek into the back. Finally, the two guardsmen cleared the wagon, and it carried on into the property, circling the tower until it had reached a cargo depot, where it would come to another halt. The driver dismounted, and moved around to the back, moving to enter and begin checking inventory. Arthfael watched as he began to lean over, looking into where Abe was hiding, sliding a hand down to the dagger, and as he pulled back what covered his comrade, Arthfael rose to a stand, and went forth, grappling his left hand around the man’s mouth and the dagger coming up to propel into the man’s side. Silence followed, as Arthfael moved to set him down onto the cargo. With a silent hand gesture, Arthfael and Abe jumped from the back of the wagon, and moved to crouch along the side of the wagon, sliding towards the doors, which swung open with ease into a cargo hold. The room was empty, and both men closed the doors before approaching the staircase leading to another door, to which they slithered past and into a foyer. A stone staircase, worn from time and use, sat to their left, with a closed door to their right. Torches lined the wall to which the staircase ascended, and to the front of them was a double-door, closed and unguarded. The duo moved on towards the stairwell, moving to ascend into the next level. They stumbled upon a barracks, to which the duo quickly avoided by sliding against the wall and moving on to ascend. Finally, they would come across a door. They would exchange glances, and move forward, Arthfael went to raise his boot and thrust it hard into the door, sending it creaking inwards. Inside was an office, lit with a chandelier above the desk. Stood in front of it was a hooded man with a knife holding Brianna against the desk by her neck, his hand holding the knife just over the torn dress before the door shattering inwards forcefully caused him to look back, catching him by surprise. Brianna kicked her leg outwards, her boot slamming against the back of his knee, and causing him to stumble, though, in a vicious response he brought the knife up and brought it down with brutish force into her chest, her lips leaking an audible gasp as it sank deep into her torso. The hooded man looked over his shoulder, though did not hesitate to flee up the staircase, leaving the dying Brianna upon the desk, holding the hilt of the dagger. Arthfael rushed forwards, moving to grab her by the shoulders, and lean over.
“… Arthfael.” She spoke weakly, attempting to breathe, though, pained gasps followed. She grabbed his hand with a firm grasp, using the last of her strength for her final words, the process clearly painful in her hesitated words.
“Kill… Him…” Her eyes faded, and her grasp went weak and limp, her head rolling to the side, as her eyelids closed slightly. She was dead. Arthfael froze, his face going pale before he glanced towards the staircase, and moved to step towards it without a word to Abe, whom would glance from the dead woman, to Arthfael, before quickly following him. The duo moved up the staircase, finding themselves in a new room, where five men awaited their arrival, spearheads pointed at the duo, quickly, the formation moved to surround the two, forcing Abe and Arthfael to position back-to-back. Either side remained in these positions, before the door swung open and Malien stepped out, his left hand around Vincent and holding him close, his dagger pointed against his throat. The Hand’s leader led his hostage towards the two, stopping to display the man to them, whom bled from his lip, and had a black eye – Vincent did not struggle, and instead was limp, looking to his apprentices with a look of defeat and failure.
“Stand down, or I slit his throat now, Arthfael.” Malien called over to Arthfael, gripping the dagger so tightly, his knuckles turned a bright white. Slowly, Abe and Arthfael descended to their knees, Arthfael’s hands out, though close to his sides, while Abe held his hands up. Malien released Vincent, kicking him to the floor beside them, before raising his hand to flick it to Abe. A spearman walked up, raising his spear so that his right boot was kicked into Abe’s gut, forcing the small apprentice to the floor, where he was kicked again. Malien stepped forward, raising the knife and his hand, as if to reach out for Arthfael, though Arthfael jammed both hands into his pouches at his hips, and raised them. The runes of air and fire in large hand-fulls dissolved into magical energy quickly, and then took form of their elements, as Arthfael stood up and flung his arms around, causing the room to be lacerated with flames and air with each swing. Arthfael had swung until his energy faded, and he collapsed to his knees, though, his work had caused the Hand’s soldiers to be thrown about like ragdolls or scorched by the flames, the walls and wooden furniture quickly caught ablaze.
Abe slowly took to a stand, as with Vincent, both grabbing either of Arthfael’s arms and moving to stand him up and walk him into the next room. Arthfael faded in and out of unconsciousness, struggling to focus as they came upon the groaning body of Malien. There he lay, sprawled and scorched in multiple places, fire still licking at his hair and face, letting out defeated moans. Vincent moved around Malien, bringing his wand up to wash a bout of water at the flames, and kneels down. Arthfael stepped forwards, kneeling down beside him. Abe looked around, the room dim even with the chandelier lit, although, a window several feet behind Vincent was visible. After slipping his dagger from its sheath, Arthfael moved to reach towards Malien’s shoulder with his left hand, and his right moving to burrow the dagger into his heart and end his life.
Slowly and exhaustedly, Arthfael brought himself to a stand, and raised his gaze to Vincent, who also stood. Abe glanced between them with a grin, with even Arthfael able to manage a haughty smirk.
“We won,” Abe had spoken, though maybe too soon, as suddenly movement came from the shadows, possibly too quick for either to make sense of, as a blade sank through Vincent’s back, and escaped from the front with a spurt of blood. Blood trickled from his mouth, as the sword was viciously yanked from Vincent’s frail, limp body, causing him to fall to the side, revealing the hooded man from earlier. Without much thought, Abe propelled himself forward in a cry of battle, thrusting his shoulder hard into the man, and both figures would be driven through the window, a loud shouting was heard from the two falling figures, until the sound of a loud splash was heard…
The Twisted Reality
And then silence. Not even the birds could manage a chirp, as the world around Arthfael began to become unreal, and his vision began to haze with blackness. Adrenaline pumped through Arthfael, and the distant sounds of footsteps thumping against the ground as he forced his weak body forwards, moving toward a desk, where he took the candles and threw one of the lit candles and towards the door, causing the hot wax splatter and flames to lick against the wood, while Arthfael threw the other at the rug, resulting with it too, combusting. Arthfael turned and moved towards the window, moving to climb down onto the vines and overgrowth all over the tower, moving to climb down, and once upon the ground after several minutes of climbing, the tower began to fill with a billowing, dark gray smoke. Arthfael took his hand to his dagger, raising it to severe the line to a horse on the caravan, and moved to mount the large creature, commanding it to move along by jabbing his heel into its side. He saw the moat, as it filled with blood, though no body rose to the top, and nor did he wait to see who had fallen victim. He rode the horse off of the property, though, the trudging of hooves made him look over his shoulder. Arthfael’s vision caught sight of the hooded man, his eyes blinking rapidly, as if he’d seen a hallucination from his exhaustion. Though, reality came to him, and the pursuit continued as Arthfael led the man towards Yanille. Arthfael looked back, the man raising his crossbow up to aim at Arthfael’s back, though, Arthfael yanked the horse hard towards the right, causing his mount to veer awkwardly, and began to tumble, the bolt descending into the horse’s side, and causing the mount to tumble across the dirt with a loud yelp from Arthfael. The horse cried, remaining on its side, as the hooded man commanded his horse to stop, moving to dismount and walk towards Arthfael slowly, his right hand moving to his curved dagger, and yanking it from its leather scabbard. Arthfael reached to his dagger, and yanked it out; his movement slowly took to a stand, his left hand digging into his pouch to withdraw several air runes. The man charged forwards, and shoved Arthfael painfully to the floor. He moved to kneel down and sink the dagger into Arthfael’s chest, though, the scrawny man would raise his left arm, setting the forearm against the large man’s throat. For a moment, Arthfael’s bright blue eyes met his opponent’s dim violet eyes, but as they did, Arthfael’s dagger burrowed deep into his chest, causing him to yelp. Arthfael moved to shove the man off, and towards his side, before moving to sit on top of him, raising the pointed, slender dagger to his opponent, though he flicked his left hand out to swat the blade off to the side, Arthfael following with a left hook against the man’s jaw, causing his head to jar to the left, and his hood to reveal his bright violet eyes and light brown, reddish hair. Arthfael moved to stand, after knocking his opponent out-cold and stepping towards his dagger, to scoop it up and begin to limp towards the town, though his vision hazed, and his feet began to feel numb and powerless. And even through the gates, Arthfael’s conditions worsened, and he began to stumble and trip, his feet dragging against the dirt, until he fell onto his palms, his movement became drowsy and his eyes closed, where he would let out a final sigh and slump against the floor, the world enclosing in darkness as muffled footsteps surrounded him, and faded, following the smoke that billowed from the forest…
He groaned as the world opened around him; his senses would begin to fill in which they had fled from. The environment was calm, except the quiet, hushed voices of two females. He took in a deep breath, and raised his head with a groan as an aching wave washed over him, his right hand rising to rub his forehead as he sat up and glanced around. Two young women, likely in their late teens, were in the corner of the room, one sat within the chair, whilst the other stood above her. Both women smiled at Arthfael with quiet giggles, though, their laughter suppressed quickly as a new figure walked in. An older woman, with aging marks over her features, yet with sharp features, and high cheekbones, and gray streaks over her pinned-up hair, to which was delicately placed in a bun. She glanced over Arthfael with a warm smile, before she looked towards the two young girls.
“Girls, retrieve the poor boy some water.” She spoke with command in her tone, before stepping towards Arthfael, whom remained seated, giving them quiet glances, as they both nodded to the older woman.
“Yes, mother.” They said, before standing and scurrying off out of the doorway. Arthfael’s blue eyes cast on them, before looking to their mother whom sat onto the bed and tilted her head at Arthfael.
“Hello, boy – you seem to have awakened; what is your name?” The woman asked with a smile, her head remaining tilted curiously. Arthfael smiled widely, and shrugged his shoulders, his blue eyes looking towards the doorway subconsciously.
“I am Arthfael-… Where am I? I remember passin’ out in the streets and that was it.” Arthfael spoke with a groan as his head began to throb again in an apparent headache. The woman smiled, offering him a nod.
“You were found in the streets, and taken here. You’re lucky you didn’t fall victim to the next thief, boy. In any case, I am Keilizah, those two were my daughters, Avelia and Sarana.” She had said with a smile. He took notice of her slightly pointed ears, and gave a simple nod to her, his gaze fixating onto the doorway as the two girls re-emerged, and moved to step forward, one setting the glass down onto the end-table at the bedside. Arthfael gave her a friendly smile back, though only turned his gaze to stare out of the window, where a reddened sky sat in the horizon. He looked back to Keilizah, and raised his eyebrow.
“How long was I out?” She smiled warmly and looked to her idle daughters before nodding her head.
“A day or two, at least,” she had said at last, tilting her head towards the side, continuing to speak after a moment of dwelling in curiosity. “Why?” Arthfael offered her a shrug, and moved to roll off of the side of the bed, looking down to the other bedside table, where his dagger, pouches, and robes sat. He moved to take his robes, and drape them over himself, adorning them. The eldest of the two young women spoke out to him, as he took his dagger and strapped it to his belt.
“Leaving so quickly?” She said with a frown forming onto her lips, and her mother would speak out directly after her in response.
“Do not meddle in our guest’s affairs.” Her voice lashed in its lecture, though, quickly afterwards the hallway echoed with a loud cracking sound, following after a thump, and the front door swung open. A short silence, before boots began stepping against the floorboards of the cottage, prompting Arthfael to gather runes in his hand, to which dissolved into magical energy. The footsteps closed in, and there in the doorway was the same hooded man from before. He still wore his dark leather, studded gambeson with a holy symbol around his neck, and embroidered into his armor’s right bicep was the four-pointed star insignia of Saradomin. He raised his crossbow, and pointed at each person, his bright, violet eyes set onto them angrily.
“Give the boy to me.” He said bluntly, raising his left index finger to Arthfael, indicating to him. The women looked over to Arthfael, listening as the masked man continued. “He is a Zamorakian and must be properly executed as the Lord wishes. His sorcery slew my master, and his heresy poisons Saradomin’s world.” His glare locked onto Arthfael’s furious eyes, before one of the women spoke. Avelia.
“Prove it.” She said skeptically, glancing between both in the intense situation, to which both men stood facing each other with glares. The older woman almost snapped back at her, though, the masked intruder interrupted.
“I do not need to prove what is proven; give the boy to me, or you all will face the Lord’s punishment for harboring this scum.” He said with a glare in Avelia’s direction, raising the crossbow to point at her, though, quickly their mother acted, throwing herself in the way of her daughters, though as she did, Joseph would release the bolt into the air, which pierced her chest with a loud yelp from her before she collapsed in dying, struggling breaths. Arthfael swept his hand forward and the strike of air was sent forth, ramming hard into the man and sending him sprawling into the doorframe with a groan. Arthfael advanced quickly, his fist thrust out with a furious hook to the left side of the intruder’s face, causing his head to jerk to the side. Though, as he regained himself his hand went to his blade, and pulled the thick blade from its sheath. moving to lunge it into Arthfael’s abdomen, in which, Arthfael had attempted to grab the man’s wrist and halt it, though, he failed and the blade slipped into his abdomen, with a painful groan from Arthfael, before it was pullen out, the pommel swung against his head with disoriented results. Arthfael stumbled, feeling the world around him go in and out of darkness, as he fell to his rear, watching the man approach the two girls, next to their now-lifeless mother. Arthfael growled, and threw his hand into his pouch for runes, turning onto his side and attempting to concentrate. Avelia and Sarana stood, weeping, and as Joseph approached Avelia stood infront of her younger sister. Joseph angrily pierced the dagger into Avelia’s abdomen, with little resistance from her, the blade sliding deep into her body, as she cried out for a moment before going limp. Joseph threw her aside, and moved to raise his hands and grasp them around Sarana’s neck, and pin her towards the wall. Though, Arthfael raised his hand and flung a bit of clumped, rocky earth at his skull, causing his head to jar forwards, before he stumbled dizzily onto the wall. Sarana raised her knee and forced it into the man’s groin, causing him to drop to his knees, as Arthfael rose to a stand and moved to grasp the hilt of his dagger, approaching in limping steps. Sarana cried out and fled away to her lifeless mother and sister, as Arthfael approached moving to grasp Joseph’s collar and raised his dagger’s blade to rest against his neck gently. The two men stared at each other for several long moments, both severely disoriented.
“Kill me, Zamorakian… Like the coward you are, slay a man when he’s down.” The intruder encouraged him with a glare, though Arthfael shook his head in defiance.
“No, I am no coward. Your order is crippled; your leader and your base have been felled. Why do you continue?” Arthfael said, after shaking his head. Joseph only grinned widely, and released a chuckle.
“Do you not see it? Your actions only helped my order grow stronger – your execution was never about religion to me or Le’Avelli, as it was to Malien. He was a puppet, and you were an obstacle to our true plans. Now, Le’Avelli has control of our order, and as we speak he sails for Asgarnia to find your beloved, Etiénne. You see, even if you kill me here, Arthfael, you have only failed to save the day once again.” He released a chuckle, though, Arthfael angrily drove the blade into his throat, and tore it to the side, turning to allow the man to drain crimson onto the floor, and sheathing his dagger as he approached Sarana, whom had been weeping, holding her mother.
“We need to leave.” Arthfael said softly to her, offering his hand out to her. Sarana looked over in despair, staring at Arthfael’s face, and then his hand before she took it and rose to a stand with him. In a fit of cries, Arthfael would lead her towards the door, her gaze locked onto the floor s they exited, and fled into the town, leaving the bloody scene behind them for only bad memories.
Time continued to pass, and Arthfael began to forget the worries of what Etiénne would be told – he knew they would never find her, and it was true. Only sometime after, Le’Avelli was captured by naval authorities and imprisoned for some of his crimes, and his involvement with the unlawful Saradomin’s Hand. Sarana and Arthfael parted ways; Arthfael went off to pursue a future of magic, learning and ambition whilst Sarana parted to find her path in mercenary work. Once more, loneliness settled into Arthfael’s life, though he began to find a new way of finding company, something he hadn’t seen in him before began to emerge as his life began to resolve. Etiénne began to stop writing letters, leaving Arthfael to worry, which was quickly swept away by his antics to gather female company for some nights. Though, despite this, his ambition for the next level in life grew as his life continued on, and quickly, Arthfael began to finally discover peace in his life – something ripped and replaced from him multiple times before he’d finally grasped it tightly in his hands, victorious…
Arthfael has passed away due to natural causes.
- Arthfael resurfaces, alive and well.
- Sarah Olivriar - Daughter - Thirty-one
Taylor Olivriar - Daughter - Twenty-one
- Velos Olivriar - Cousin - Fourty-five
- Andrei Valyno-Olivriar - Son - Twenties
- Arthfael 'Junior' Olivriar - Son -Twenties
- Anthony Aravis Olivriar - Son - Twenty-eight
- Clara Olivriar - Daughter - Twenty-eight
- Scarlett Olivriar - Daughter - Twenties
- Cailee - One-Time Fling/Lost Friend - ???
- Sophia Duphrane - Ex-Lover - ???
- Alexis Renderra - Ex-Wife - Fourty
- Arthfael became Zamorakian solely based on his background and his father's allegiance to the God.
- Arthfael had slain a black dragon, alongside other fighters. Later in life, he would face a red dragon which endangered his family home on the southern coast of Asgarnia, where he would slay it. As loot, he obtained their heads and some of their hid for armor.
- Arthfael's favorite color is orange.