Prologue: Child from the Mountain (WIP)

Gidion could hear the babes cries as he climbed further through the mountain path. His dark eyes searching constantly for any obstacle. In the back of his mind he wished that the babes mother would just quiet it already. The echoes made it harder to pinpoint where the noise originated.

Reaching the pennicle of the mountain, his eyes finally saw the most likely source of the noise. Village lay just below, smoldering from flames that had long spend its fuel. The dead lay about, scattered among the remains. His feet trudged slowly, not wanting to see the damage to the crying child, knowing it must be injured in some form. Knowing no sane mother would just abandon her child.

Gidion tried not to stumble among the bodies. Seeing the cause of the trouble which plagued the village it only made sense as to why the child was left alone to die. If his assumption was correct, it had been sacked by an Orcish raid. What made little sense however was how many bodies lay around one small hut, barely a lean to, most of the bodies belonging to the Orcs themselves. Whatever lay in that shack was something they couldn’t get past it seemed. Maybe the mother to the child was a powerful mage.

He slowly pulled back the broken makeshift door, only to be greeted by the wails of the child. The shack was empty except for the babe, who could be no older than two, possibly three, there was no furniture, just straw scattered about, littered with blood.  Gidion sauntered closer, taking a look at the babe, covered in blood, with no obvious wound.

Gently, he closed his fingers around her sides, picking her up to inspect the little one closer. Her eyes, an unusual color, something he hadn’t seen before, like green glass, clear with something reflecting behind her thick lashes. She stared back at him, almost knowingly, it sent a chill down his spine.

“Stay away from that thing..” something in the shadows groaned.

Instinctively Gidion pulled the child closer, protecting her with his arm as he turned to the voice. “Who goes.” He demanded, short with whoever the unknown voice was.

“Are you deaf, I said stay away from that thing.” The voice retorted hostilly. “It isn’t from here, it isn’t a mere child that’s for certain.” The voice was from an Orc, who was now pulling himself from the shadows, and apparently the source of the blood.

His words only made Gidion hold the child closer, “What do you mean.” He was growing irritated with Orc by this point.

“No child should be able to conjure anything. Especially not an atronach. It killed half of my men before we took it down.” The Orc was now teetering towards him, dragging a war hammer behind, covered in what he could only assume was Breton blood.

“A child can’t summon anything, not one this age, it must have been another mage here.” Gidion stated harshly, trying to back his way from the shack. “I’m taking the child, and you are going to let me.”

“I can’t do that, that child has to…” the Orc wasn’t even able to finish his sentence before he fell to the ground, cut short by some invisible force. Gidion stared in disbelief as a trail of fire circled its way through the shack, igniting the Orc once more for good measure before circling him passively.

His eyes lowered to the child, who was clutching his shirt, eyes closed in peaceful sleep. He hadn’t noticed she had stopped crying until now. He didn’t even notice where the atronach came from.

Quietly, he made his way back out of the village and down the mountain path. Somewhere behind him followed the flaming conjuration, ensuring his passage was safe until it returned from wence it came.


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