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Boreal Cursebreaker

Liberation of the Tormented

By Brin J.Published 2 years ago 18 min read
3
A Map of my Story's World.

There weren’t always dragons in the Valley.

Once upon a time, long ago, the Country of Häddenbar was ruled under one Kingdom.

The nation, even though united, was always in dispute. The cold North versus the warm South.

The South began the estrangement among the Kingdom, refusing to trade and pay taxes due to inequality.

Claiming they worked hard to feed the mouths of the Northerners who never showed any appreciation.

The Northerners voiced their own disdain. Stating, that they provided the South with medicinal resources as well as mined and manufactured steel and minerals to meet the Southerner's high demands, and should be grateful.

As time went on, the discord grew, and the King did nothing to assuage his subjects.

It resulted in a Civil War, and the fight took place where the two halves met; in the Valley below the Vliegerian Mountains.

The nation fell into poverty. Innocents starved. Southerners invaded the North and raided villages, while Northerners would set fields aflame in the South. Those involved in the fight were reckless and thoughtless about how their actions affected those around them.

One day, a civilian from a town caught in the heart of the onslaught decided he had had enough. He begged the Deities to end his settlement’s suffering. Beseeching them to stop the war.

The Deities answered, but not in the way he had hoped.

Fire rained down from the sky, creating a maelstrom of smoke and ash.

The once lush lands became incinerated. Towns had been reduced to embers. The battlefield, full of warriors, turned into obsidian dust. Neither the North nor South were left unscathed.

Finally, the majestic Palace of Häddenbar crumbled into ruins. Taking the King with it.

The inferno caused by monsters was indiscriminate as they ruthlessly desecrated the Country.

Those who survived withdrew into hiding until the reptilian beasts retired from their retribution.

They became dormant inside the summit above the Valley, which stands separating the land, after the Deities were content with the result.

This was not what the man had envisioned when asking for the Deities’ help and denounced them, refusing to recognize them as benevolent for their heinous resolution.

The Deities were infuriated by this mortal man’s insolent response. Finding his lack of appreciation insulting, they delivered him a more malicious form of punishment.

The civilian, as well as his entire settlement, suffered the consequences of the Deities’ condemnation by becoming cursed as Servants of the winged serpents, under the obligation of maintaining the divide between the Northern and Southern halves of Häddenbar.

Their eternal servitude meant they could never leave the Valley. They could never proliferate, and they could never die. The intent was to make the mortal man endure his guilt perpetually.

It was atrocious what the Deities had done. But, mercifully, all curses can be broken.

Their curse breaker is said to be of boreal birth. A bold, blue-blooded conqueror with the name of a savior.

For over a millennia these individuals have been enslaved, all because a single man requested peace, waiting for the one prophesied to free them of their metaphorical chains.

Häddenbar, 1613 A.D. (After Dragons)

“Sláinte- Mhath!” The dining hall erupted into cheers.

“Nawthin’ like a drunk bunch o’ warriors to cel’brate yer conquest.” My commander, Michael, chuckles.

I smile. There hasn’t been a dreary moment since claiming the quiet land of Pythiria for ourselves.

But I wouldn’t call it a conquest. Not like other towns I’ve overtaken. The poor, weak individuals that possessed this verdant valley below the Vliegerian Mountains stood no chance against my assembled soldiers.

“Aye. The mon deserve it.” I remarked and took a sip of my own ale. “Thae ‘av again helped mae expand my Kingdom. This here land is feasible fer devel’pment, and an excellent roote fer oor trades.”

Michael nods. “Ye were right to take it, yer Highness. None o’ yer forefathers ventured this way ‘cause o’ tho’ moontains. Thae dinnae kin this valley below it existed.”

Something about the mention of my forefathers not venturing this way makes a dim memory surface. Not enough to recall the thought, but it triggers unease.

The sound of booming laughter grabs my attention and the moment becomes forgotten.

“How manae casualties?” I ask my commander, running a hand through my dark shaggy hair as my eyes scan the small room full of my men. It is laughable compared to my castle’s dining hall, but it suffices for now.

He rubs his thumb across his chin as he thinks. “Seventine o’ oors, and fity-nine o’ thaer’s.”

I give Michael a disapproving look. “Naw, thae’r nae tha enemy anae moor. Thae’r under mae rule now. So, seventy six total.”

He lowers his head. “Apologies, yer Highness. Aye, tha’s correct. An’ Ah ‘lready sent werd to Meldar’s Keep, summoning healers.”

“Good mon.” I tell him, grateful I didn’t need to ask. Michael knows me well enough that I’d never leave any wounded man left unattended.

I recline in my seat. Considering that there are over four hundred villagers here and my military is nearly a thousand men, that’s a miraculously low number.

Still, I wish they had just surrendered instantly. Instead, they provoked us to attack even though they knew they wouldn’t win.

I don’t understand why they wouldn’t want to be housed under my reign. I thought I had been reasonable. I offered protection, and goods, and for the first year would not collect taxes. With the exception of allowing people from my overpopulated Kingdom to relocate and form a trade route through their town, they needn’t worry about me imposing on their peace. There’s more than enough room for extra people, and the passage between the mountains is favorable.

The Western King wouldn’t have been as considerate if he took the land. He would’ve left the wounded, demanded they pay taxes quarterly, and insisted they acclimate to his customs.

I won’t force these villagers to change their way of living. They can continue with their culture as long as they don’t refute my lordship. They are a strange community, not having any fighters. Michael learned from one of their priests after their submission, that they are worshippers of strange Deities we are unfamiliar with. Claiming to be peaceful people of this Valley, they call Pythiria, who chose to live a life in solidarity.

I almost feel guilty for disturbing them.

The hall’s festivity is interrupted as the doors swing open, and three of my men enter, dragging a restrained Pythirian man with them. His reddish-brown robes are torn with specs of blood. From the battle, no doubt, but still his condition bothers me. He’s one of my people now.

A young blonde woman burst in behind them, wearing similar robes but in sky-blue. Screaming in a foreign language with ferocity at my men.

I jump to my feet. “Wha tis dae meanin’ o’ this?”

The woman is apprehended by two of the soldiers as the third pushes the restrained man onto the ground before me. I cringe at the sound of his knees colliding with the stone floor, making a loud crack that reverberates throughout the hall.

The Pythirian man looks up at me with loathing.

“Dis mon here‘s been spewing curses towards yer ruling, yer Highness.” The soldier says.

“I’m not spewing curses!” The Pythirian hisses with an odd accent. “I’m warning people.”

My head tilts in suspicion. “Warnin’ people ‘bout wha?”

He glares at me. “Who the frick are you, boy? Have you not heard the legends about this land?”

I stiffen. The soldier who brought him kicks him in the leg. The woman snarls and tries to break free from the other soldier’s hold. “Ye’ll show yer new King respect or he’ll ‘av yer hied.”

“Naw.” I announce. It’s not the first time someone’s pointed out how young I appear, which is two decades, and it won’t be the last. “He’s right to beh angry tha’ a boy took ‘is village.” I look at the Pythirian again. Grinning tauntingly. “Ah dinnae ken yer legends, as Ahm nae from yer lands.” I gestured with my hand for him to speak. “Enligh’en mae.”

He gives a bitter laugh. “They’re not my legends. These are the legends of Häddenbar. From centuries ago. Our village remembers, even if the rest of Häddenbar does not. It was intentional that this valley remained unknown to outsiders. We aren’t just villagers. We‘re Servants.”

My innards twist. Servants? Where have I heard that before?

I raise an eyebrow at Michael. “Ah though’ ye said thae wer’ worshippers?”

He gives the Pythirian man an annoyed look. “Aye, Servants o’ supreme be’ngs thae sed.”

“Those supreme beings are not Deities.” The blonde woman sneers, and the Pytherian man whispers something harshly to her in another language.

I looked between him and the woman. “How dae ye mean?”

He snorts and shakes his head. “Why do you think none before you have ventured near the Vliegerian Mountains? Why our town is not on your map?" His eyes narrow, scrutinizing me. "What have you even heard about these summits?”

I frown as I try to recall the stories my mum used to tell me before I slept. “Tha’ thae’r moonsters tha’ slumber deep within the moontains.” I shrug. “Tis jus an nichttime story fer wee ‘uns.”

The woman expels a disbelieving breath. “Bedtime story? This is no myth to put children to sleep. It’s to warn you about what happens when you rouse the Deities’ wrath.”

The silent room breaks into laughter at her outlandish outburst. Even though I laugh, the unease I felt earlier returns.

“Wrath ye say?” One of the soldiers holding her asks with skepticism. “Wha ‘re ye? A zealot?”

The Pythirian man glares at the soldier. “Do not speak ill of my daughter. I already told you, we are Servants. Of House Wëssner. Obligated to protect these lands.”

“Ye failed.” Michael notes, and the chamber explodes into laughter again. This time I don’t join.

The Pythirian man exchanges a look with his daughter that doesn’t sit well with me.

“Ah though’ ye sed ye weren’t believers?” I ask the woman accusingly.

The muscle in her cheek flexes. “And I thought you said you didn’t know our legends? You do, but only to be lulled to bed when you were a babe.” Her glacier-colored eyes flick over me quickly. “Which doesn’t seem all that long ago.”

My eyebrows shoot up at her jab. The men around us snicker at our exchange.

She’s got a tongue on her. I know she meant to insult me, but I can’t help but be intrigued. She’s either foolish or brave.

I move around the table until I’m in front of the Pythirian man. “Wha’s yer name, kin of House Wëssner?”

He looks up at me with resolute grey eyes. “Pyter.”

I nod and stare at his daughter. She’s remarkable, young, and definitely foreign-looking; with light skin, ashy blonde hair, and grey-blue eyes. “Yers?”

No answer. She just glares at me defiantly. Her father says something to her in another language, and her lips twitch into a smug smile. “I’m Fleur.”

My eyes narrowed on the blonde woman. Her beautiful, yet cunning smile makes me distrustful.

“Ahm Alasdair Norgurtern, King of Eyerden.”

The man's eyes widen and he looks over his shoulder at his daughter. “The prophecy.” He whispers to her before glancing at me again. “Eyerden? You are a long way from home.”

I raise a brow in question at this prophecy but then squash the curiosity. They are religious fanatics and I am not interested in entertaining such nonsense.

“Tis true.” I grunt. “Mae Kingdom is fa’ nor’ from here.”

But I’m here with a purpose. The mystifying increase in storms is destroying our shipments of merchandise before they can cross the Caldric Sea. My solution is to find an alternative way to exchange goods with the Southern Kingdom of Leipzenburg; part of the lower continent of Häddenbar, unreachable by land because of the Vliegerian Mountains. Or so we had thought. Now we know there is a valley suitable for travel between the summits.

“But tis necessary fer locatin’ a terrain wh’re we coold make trade wi’ the Kin’dom o’ Leipzenburg.” I add. “The Caldric Sea’s storms ‘av been vicious o’ late. Tis oor only option.”

He nods. “You may think that. But you just disturbed peaceful lands, and broke the boundaries set by the Deities.” His grey eyes became full of mirth, completely opposite of what I’d expect from his statement. “Now, the dormant beasts will wake once more.”

The hairs on the back of my neck rise with trepidation. Something feels wrong.

As if on cue, the ground begins to tremble. I brace myself, though not everyone is as sober as I, and men fall to the floor unseemingly.

“Wha’ is tha’?” Michael shouts, coming up next to me. “A ground-quake?”

“No.” Pyter corrects. “A reckoning.”

I’m about to ask what he means when a loud roar ruptures beyond the dining hall.

Everything becomes eerily quiet as we listen. The faces of those around me blanche in horror. I feel the blood drain from my face as well.

I’ve never heard a sound so monstrous.

Then something far more frightening happens. More roars resonated, dozens, as though returning the call.

“Wha the frick is tha’?” The soldier that brought Pyter shrieks.

The Pythirian man looks straight into my eyes when he answers. “Dragons.”

A sudden sense of dread hits me with force from the memory that tried to resurface earlier. The reason why my forefathers never strayed down towards the Vliegerian Mountains.

There weren’t always dragons in the Valley…’ Was how my mother’s bedtime story used to go. Sharing that once upon a time the North and South of Häddenbar used to be united as one. Governed by a tyrant ruler that never pleased his people, resulting in a War. That was, up until reptilian monsters that breathed fire, came, unleashed their fury, then sought dwellings in the summits.

Depending on where in Häddenbar you are, the myth is told variously. But no matter how it's told, each of these stories agree they arrived with animosity. The 'why' was always controversial. They wanted bloodshed and were not satisfied until they ripped the Kingdom in half.

Western people say they arrived starved, having eaten everything from which they came, and fed on our people until their hibernation. Ancient scripts say Southerners claimed they probably grew bored and found entertainment in terrorizing us. The Northerners, however, believe that they were summoned as divine punishers, to terminate the constant greed and hate between the lands. Once they were done, Servants maintained the divide as they slept.

Which, now that my memory is jogged, weren’t the Servants people of the Valley?

Could the Pythirians be none other than those Servants?

I’m not a superstitious believer. I’ve never trusted the stories my mum used to tell me. So this must be a coincidence... right?

Micheal curses and begins ushering men to leave, helping those who aren’t sober out the back.

“We need to run,” Fleur says, kneeling before her father. I noticed my men let go of her. “To the safe haven. Leave these barbarians to their fates.”

I growl at her. “Barbarians? Ahm a King.”

“Not my King.” She returns scathingly, and I clench my teeth.

The ground shakes again and the roof caves in, collapsing in front of the entrance and on most of my men- barely missing us.

Sounds of groans and coughing fill my ears as I unsheath my sword and grab Pyter. Fleur screams.

I turn him and cut his ropes, freeing him of his restraints.

He looks at me in shock. “Go.” I tell him. “Retreat to yer haven.” I know I shouldn’t have done it. But I didn’t like the idea of Fleur comparing me to a primitive savage.

“Let’s go.” Fleur pulls at him.

He holds a hand up to her. “No Fleur. The prophecy. Boreal birth. Conqueror with a name of a savior.” He says in reminder, with suggestiveness in his tone. “He must come with us.” She seems to understand his implications because she looks at me again with a gleam in her eyes.

“Wha prophecy?” I snap with irritation, as I rise and help them to their feet. We need to evacuate before we end up buried with my unfortunate men.

Pyter looks at me with grey eyes filled with hope. “The prophecy that ordains a savior; a bold, blue-blooded conqueror who will come from the north, and free us of our chains.”

“Free ye from yer chains?” I snicker. “Ah thaw ye were devoted te yer obligations from yer supreme be’ngs.” I quickly escorted them through the backside of the building. We don’t stop until we’re clear of the structures.

Once we’re outside the village, Fleur levels me with a look. “We aren’t devoted to Deities, or whatever you think we are. We are the innocent settlers who were caught in the crosshairs of war centuries ago.”

Centuries? I scan her, disbelieving. She looks no older than I.

My brows furrowed. “Oche, now yer soundin’ a wee mad.”

Michael appears next to me, disheveled. “Mad? Thae’r bampots! Les go.”

“No!” Fleur shouts and grabs my arm. Her grip is stronger than I expected. “You’ll be unsafe. Father is right, you need to come with us to the haven.”

I might not be brilliant, but I’m not dim either. Her attitude towards me has changed. She wants something.

I look at Fleur, ready to tell her I’m not foolish enough to trust her when the side of the mountain explodes.

My jaw drops as I watch a giant, slate, reptilian monster with leathery wings emerge from the smoke and flames. It bellows a mighty roar- the roar I heard earlier- before beating its wings and shooting into the sky. Dozens of slightly smaller ones follow it.

The frick did I just see?

“Listen to me,” Fleur demands, and stands in front of me unfazed, as though this is a regular occurrence for her. “We are Servants to the dragons. Cursed by the Deities. We can’t leave. And if you’re our only hope…” Her eyes become dark and sinister. “...then you’re not leaving either.”

I hear her, but my mind is still reeling from the dragons. Before I can grasp her intent, she whistles. Men appear out of nowhere, some bloody, some completely clean, and all surround us with weapons.

“Frick!” Michael curses and huddles next to me. “Ah lef’ mae sword inside.”

I didn’t. I hold it out in front of me, ready to cut the person who dares attack me. My eyes dart between the men, noticing they hold their swords with skill. I grip my hilt tighter. They’re no longer pretending to be the docile villagers we originally thought they were.

This had been a trap.

“You can’t beat us,” Pyter announces. His demeanor, cocky. “We’re immortal. Cursed by the very Deities I begged to save our Kingdom sixteen hundred years ago.”

My eyes grow large. “Tha’s impossible.”

“It’s true.” Fleur states, and gestures to the men around her. “All the people you thought perished, live.” I inhale a sharp breath as I recognize some of the men as those who had fallen. Her lips curve into a devious grin. “You see, we needed you to attack us for our plan to work. We saw your invasion as an opportunity to once again wake the dragons. Hoping by doing so, it would set events into motion that would free us. However, what we weren’t expecting was our curse breaker to fall right into our grasp so soon.”

“Oh yea?” I sneer. “An' who’s tha’?”

Her smirk grows. “You.”

My stomach plummets as my mouth goes dry. “Me?” That makes no sense. I don’t even know anything about the Pythirians or their curse. But I do know, whether I’m their curse breaker or not, they’re not letting me leave.

The dragon screeches once more, the sound splitting through the clouds like thunder, and I instinctively look up. Big mistake. I’m distracted. So fearfully fixated on the creature from myths, I don’t even notice when someone comes up behind me and hits my head.

Black spots emerged following the pain and I crumpled to the ground. I hear Michael grunt and collapse immediately after me. I roll onto my back and look up at the sky with semi-blurred vision. My mind tells me I should move, that I’m in danger, but my body’s only reaction is my eyelids drooping. Then, something dark comes into view.

A large ebony dragon swoops down, breathing orange flames, and lands near where I lay. Shaking the earth once more.

My heart leaps into my throat.

Fleur looms over me. “Thank you, Alisdair, for ‘conquering’ us.” Her words are laced with sarcasm. “Although, now that I think about it, we should have anticipated our curse breaker would be the one to disrupt the divide. Now that the first step in freeing us has commenced with the rise of the dragons we can begin phase two.”

Phase two? I guess that's where I come in.

She looks up at a man who lowers next to me. “Bring them to the haven.” She demands. Even though I fight it, my eyes slowly begin to drift close.

I feel myself being lifted. My debilitated state renders me unable to fight, unable to make any sounds other than grunts and groans.

Words are tossed between everyone in their foreign language, Fleur and Pyter are among those voices.

The last thing I remember was cheering as I was being carried, thinking to myself they would regret attacking me.

Then, there was only merciful darkness.

Fantasy
3

About the Creator

Brin J.

I never believed the sky is the limit, therefore my passions are expansive. My interest in writing stemmed from poetry but my heart lead me to Sci-Fi Fantasy. Consequently, my stories are plot-driven with splashes of evocative elements.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (5)

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  • Kyle Maddox2 years ago

    Great work! I also loved the dialogue as the way you’ve written it adds so much character development. Also, that map is a really cool idea. I wish I had thought of that! Good luck.

  • Ulla Lorenz2 years ago

    Love this story! There is so much going on and the dialogue adds character and draws the reader into the story! The map is super creative and adds to the imagination. I hope i will get to read how this story unravels :)

  • Hester Moses2 years ago

    I'm super drawn in. I want to know what happens next! I found myself speaking the dialogue out loud to myself which was super enjoyable haha. Also love the world that you've built :)

  • I want to read more! What happens next?? So enjoyable to read! ❤️

  • Dylan Crice2 years ago

    Great historical background that seems to mirror America’s civil war. Beautifully written. Very unique use of colloquialism for dialogue throughout passage. Good luck with contest. One of the better entries I’ve read.

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