Chapter 01

Hi there, GX here, have fun with the story!

Chapter 01: The Gift

Author: GX

Editor: Ash,Tyx, Demen, LosThanatos, Vanagandr

In a secretive fortress on a mountain which location was unknown, in a huge strategy room, only two men were present:  the tribe’s king Norn and his viceroy. They were looking at a small model of their mountain, which was positioned on the large table in the center of the spacious strategy room. It was one  sole peak surrounded by a mountain chain with four winding roads leading outwards the four main directions. A river was flowing around it.

They were discussing in secret about the events that would occur in the following days as the armies of The Enlightened moved closer from the north and east, while the armies of The Ascended were advancing from the south and west. The situation was hopeless, they were surrounded.

The enemies were indeed outnumbering them one to a hundred, but they had a huge weakness: they hated each other.

The Enlightened wholeheartedly embraced technology and science, while The Ascended researched magic and alchemy and loathed those using technology. However, they had recently formed an alliance owing to the fact that these damned dwarves dared to combine technology with magic and managed to establish the so called ‘Tegical objects’.

From their point of view, these dwarves must be eradicated from the world. Because it went against all principles of technology and magic to bring both together and will cause great calamity upon oneself and the world, since the knowledge of technology is to know how to support the laws of nature, while magic brings wisdom how to bend them to one’s will. But the dwarves found new aspects of technology and magic which build upon each other and combined them.

“Norn, we’ve got to do this,” Murlon said, who was wearing his usual attire with a Jerking in dark blue and a chainmail over it and the matching trousers, with his beards tied in braids and his copper brown hair were falling down his head wildly and was about 5 inches long, “The armies of The Enlightened and The Ascended are closing in. Our allies will not arrive in time, and even if they did it would be their certain deaths. I never thought that the enemies would gather their entire forces. The barriers and shields have been set up and will buy us time. But in the end, they break through our defenses. We have to do it!”

Norn’s dignified face darkened. “Are you sure that the children will be fine if we use the capsules?” The magic Norn spoke of was developed to send some one to the future, and some would say, it isn’t safe enough yet.

“Of course. We already tried it years ago, and of the 100 people we sent, 99 were safely transferred.”, Murlon said, ”, Our only worry should be the period during the activation sequence of the magic circle. The capsules will stay in the air throughout the entire time during the sequence, they will be easy targets for the artillery of The Enlightened and the magic troops of The Ascended. And even worse, the enemy has definitely sent their air units.”

“Then we will also send our units into the air. How many airborne tegical drones are currently available and how many can still be produced?”, Norn asked.

“We have a total of 3000 in stock and we can still manufacture 50 more. But that’s it.” Murlon replied.

Norn asked with clenched teeth, “How many of the fully teginized dwarves are willing to support this endeavor?”

Murlon replied with slightly damped eyes, “All of them, but there are not many of them because since the beginning of the war they were mercilessly hunted down and destroyed by the enemies. From the original 10000, only 200 survived and among the younger generation, we only have 50 fully teginized, all of them are ready to sacrifice themselves for the next generation.”

The fully teginized were the ancestors who discovered the link between technology and magic and tested this new knowledge on themselves. They were stronger and more powerful than before, but at the same time, they lost the ability to reproduce and after a big fight the core would need at least a week to replenish. The biggest advantage was that they could live as long as they want, as long as they could provide their core with magic.

Norn asked in a muffled voice, “It might be worth the risk. What about the volunteers who will attack the enemys’ cities? Are they ready?”

“All of them are in place and have started overcharging their secondary cores. They will wait for our good news, that we have won and the army of those bastards have retreated and they will discard the cores and obliterate everything within a 50 km radius, if the transition orb they took with them breaks or if we give the order to do it through the orb. But Norn, do we really need to do that?”, Murlon didn’t try to mask his concerns about this.

The transition orb was a special item which could also be used for communication. They were all linked together while the main transition orb was in the fortress, if that main transition orb breaks, then all the other transition orbs will also break. The main transition orb will automatically break under some certain conditions, such as if the person in charge of it looses the magical connection with it for over one hour. It could also be manually broken by draining all the energy from it, which takes about five minutes to be fully drained. The  easier way would be just smashing it with a hammer or whatever is available.

“Have our people been spared when they conquered our cities and villages? No! They were all killed, without exception. Then those bastards hung the corpses on branches and poles! Those were millions of lives! Millions! They will pay for it. They must be completely annihilated, for the future, for our allies, for our children. It is time for our revenge. Give the command to increase the production of drones. And place all the cores not needed for the barriers or the magic circle at the strategic points. If we have to die, then at least we will take them with us. You should go home now, have a good time with your family. I will do the same. We do not know what will happen. Let’s hope for the best.” with this, the king left the room and Murlon followed.

They could only send away one child from each family. What wouldn’t they give to sent more children away, but there was no time to make more capsules. And the magic circle needed more energy the more capsules they sent, and they could barely manage to send as many capsules as they were planning to do so and afterwards, there would be no energy left for the defense of the fortress.

Outside of the fortress

A gigantic magical rune-hexagon-circle slowly appeared in the sky. The people outside stopped what they were doing and watched. An unnatural silence creeped in, which was then suddenly interrupted by explosions still in the far distance. Everyone knew what was happening and what was going to happen as they hurried home to discuss who should be saved and sent away.

Norn’s house

“I am home!”, Norn called out.

“Welcome back, dear darling.”, Harkara, Norn’s wife, greeted . She was a fine woman, one of those who aged beautifully. At the age of 300 years, she was in the prime of her life. Her eyes were dark brown and she seems always to be smiling. Her curly nut brown hair was partially tied up in a knot on top of her head and partially pouring down her back. When Norn returned home, she had just finished feeding their youngest son Noradin.

“Welcome home, Father!”, Their youngest daughter Helona was playing with the 10 months old Noradin. She was a 20 years old daring young dwarf, who was the flower among her age, with her big eyes, in the colors of foliage of bamboo grove during late spring, and her glossy red hair, bound together to a ponytail. Her face beamed innocently when she saw her father.

The minds of dwarves grow slower than those of humans, generally dwarven minds grow at a speed of 3/4th that of normally growing commoner human. So Helona would be at the mental stage of  a  fifteen year old human girl.

Norn walked over to them, lifted small Noradin to give him a hug and patted his adorable daughter’s head.

“Where are your older brothers and your sister?”, Norn asked.

“The five of them are in the garden; four are training their fighting, and the oldest is reading the history of our ancestors”, Harkara, their mother, answered. Helona took Noradin from Norn and was about to continue to play with him.

“Helona, go watch your brothers’ fight, and don’t forget to take Noradin with you. There is something I have to discuss with your mother.”

“Ok”, Helona said, taking Noradin to the garden.

“She has grown up to be quite the fine lady, don’t you think?”, Harkara asked, while walking into the living room. From the window there they could see their children training.

“Yeah, her 20 birthday is tomorrow, right? We shall celebrate from today evening onwards till the day after tomorrow. It is an important Birthday: from tomorrow onwards she will not be seen as a child anymore, but a preadult. It’s a pity that we have wartime, otherwise we could have sent her to a good master for her to study.”, Norn’s voice was sad. “Is everything ready for the party?”

Harkara replied. “Well yes, everything is ready. And don’t you forget the birthday present you promised her.”

Norn smiled, how could he have forgotten the bastard sword their daughter always wanted, since she was one of the best among her age.

They turned around when the noises in the garden had gotten louder. What they saw was not unexpected: The four boys had ganged up to fight against Helona and their eldest daughter, Helisha. It was an uneven fight, since both girls each possessed one gift from the warrior category and one from the magic category, though the magic gifts were from different branches: Helisha was in the branch of the elementarists and Helona in the branch of the wisemen.

The Boys didn’t possess these sort of gifts, but with the will and stubbornness of a dwarf they learnt how to fight, even though inferior to the sisters, they were better than a human warrior.

The dwarven children will get a gift on their 10th birthday and another one five years later. On those days, they would go to the chamber of the gift where they stand on a podium and grab one of the floating gifts in front of them.

Both of them shook their head and couldn’t help but laugh over the the boys who, one after the other, were now getting beaten by the girls.

“Harkara, which of them do you want to send away, into safety? I don’t know whether we will win the upcoming fight for the fortress.”, it was not an easy question for Norn..

“How could I decide that on my own. We need to talk about this with the kids, most of them are not children anymore. They know that the coming fight will be hard, which is why they are training so hard.”

Half an hour later

The children had finished their fight and came into the living room to grab something to drink. “Kids, have you decided who we will sent away?”, Norn asked with a slightly bitter smile.

“Yes,father, we have. We all want to send our little Noradin away, since he is still so little and can’t fight. Besides, you taught us that dwarfs will never back down. no matter what stands before them. We will overcome everything, even calamities.”, Their oldest son answered for the children, not without pride.

“Father I have a question.”

“What is it Helona? You can ask us anything.”

“Teginizing, how do you do that?”

“Well, with teginizing we separate your soul, memory and your gift from your body. Then your body will be modified, or you can choose a completely new body, which then is created from scratch. During this process you will be unconscious in order to prevent you to feel the pain. Originally, you could only be partially teginized, which means if you lost an arm or leg we could replace it. Later on some of our ancestors went further and further with replacing their own flesh till they were completely tegnized. It is not recommended for young ones to do it since there is a chance that you may not wake up again.”

“But will they also have the power that the ancestors had?”

“That is uncertain since there is a chance that your soul is not fully merged with the teginized body. Also it will take at least a day if not more to be comfortable with the new body.”

Norn had a vague understanding of what this daughter of his was thinking, so he did not tell her everything, in order to prevent her from doing something reckless. Teginizing was so great because with it you could restore some lost body function like sight, smell, taste, hearing or feeling. The downside was, that once one was completely teginized he would be more like a machine filled with magic than a living being.

“Enough of the teginizing. Go and prepare for the party. It is your birthday after all. What do we Dwarfs say?”, Norn asked.

“We party when it is time to party, we fight when it is time to fight, and we drink when it is time to drink!”, the six chorused  in union.

“That’s right. Now go and prepare everything. I still have some matters to attend to, I will be back in a few hours”, Norn said, then he addressed his wife in a low voice “Harkara I will take Noradin with me.”

“It is Ok I know what you want to do”, Harkara answered with an expression full of understanding.

Norn took the little Noradin and left the house. His destination was the Chamber of the gifts. The place where children, which were 10 years of age received their gifts. But under these circumstances, he could not wait any longer and took Noradin there, in hope that his son had enough magic and willpower to grab one gift.

Chamber of the gifts

Norn went with slow and firm steps into the chamber, and to his surprise, he found his friend and confidant Murlon there.

“Well well, Murlon. Apparently we both had the same idea!” Norn laughed.

“You sure are not the only one worried about his descendants. Let’s go in before more of them come.” Murlon nodded to his friend and then lead the way.

They went to the podium, located in the center of the chamber. In the chamber, thousands upon thousands of spheres glowed in various colored lights. In these spheres were the gifts which would be catched by the will and magic of a child. The devices helping him or her to integrate the gift with his or her body were contained within the podium. The device was not really necessary, but without it would take 5 hour to merge with one sphere. A child could of course catch several of those spheres, but most didn’t have enough magic to catch more than one.

“Murlon you were the first one here. You will go first.” Norn said.

“No, how could I. After all, you are our King. I would be honored, if you start.” Murlon did not want to take the antecedence of the tribe leader.

“Marlon, you have advised me for over three hundred years and have always followed the rules. But today is special, and different. We are here as fathers, not as a king and his adviser, so you’ll take your turn first. Now  go, or do I have to order you?” Norn was only half joking.

“Thank you, my friend. I will be the first then.” Murlon went to the podium and carefully put his daughter on it.

When he left the podium, all the spheres began to circle and swirl. Slowly, they hovered down and finally concealed the view of the child. Steadily dancing, circulating and exchanging their places with one another. Due to their movements, a noise like waves breaking on a cliff emerged.

Slowly the balls wandered back towards the ceiling and were silent again. Murlon and Norn looked at the podium, where the little girl was lying, over her head hovered a sphere with the size of a watermelon, glowing in a magnificent mix of turquoise and azure colors.

“Congratulations Murlon, in the future, you will have a great singer and magician in your family.” Norn congratulated his friend, who was still surprised by the result. No matter at what time, choosing a gift was always an important event.

Murlon focused on the ball that slowly merged with the body of his daughter. When the procedure was over, he quickly walked over to her, lifted the 9 month-old child and went back to Norn.

“I‘m glad of her gift, she will be one of the best magicians in the future, and I hope she gets to learn the song due to this gift. She can sing that song for Noradin in the future, hehe! Thank you, my king and friend, for this honor.“

The Song Murlon was talking about is a very personal song. In the legends, this was the very first song the founders of the dwarven race – the two main gods of the dwarves – composed together while having  their minds and feelings fused together. The emotions in it were stronger than death, time and fate together. That is why only those who have the gift of singing or music or those deeply in love could learn this Song.

It was not something one should or could sing carelessly, since if two people who are truly in love sing it together , the magic of the Song will let their soul touch each other and their feelings will be transferred directly. And through the contact of the souls their magic powers will be greatly enhanced, since the secret of the gods will be revealed to them. But if the two of them were not meant for each other or true in their feelings, the Song  will pose great danger to the mind and soul of the one whose feelings are insincere. So if the Song could resonate between the two performers, it will form a bound that will last even after death.  

“Hohoho, Murlon, you are already matchmaking? Then, since you wish to be my brother in-law, you don’t need to be so humble. Now let us see what my little boy can do. He has always been a weak child, I hope he gets some strengthening gifts, so that, if he has to be with your daughter, he can protect both, her and himself.”, Norn said with a bitter smile, as deep down in his heart he believed he won’t be with his son in the future. With slow steps and a heavy heart, he walked to the podium and gently placed his son on top of it.

As he left the podium, the spheres came down again and slowly circulated around the child. But it was different from before, which was not surprising, since the spheres react differently to each child.

Slowly the spheres formed a rotating six-sided Prism. On five of the six oblique sides, animals of magic and mysticism were displayed. Norn and Murlon saw the faces of the pyramid and they recognized the animals. One was a dragon just spreading its wings to use an element magic. The second was a Stalking Thunder-wolf. The third, a gryphon was  gliding and circling in the air. The fourth was the Phoenix that was just resurrected from its mystical element. The fifth was a Sabertooth sunbathing. However, the sixth was empty and they could not see anything.

After the pyramid spun three times, the spheres ascend back to the ceiling and returned to their original positions. Throughout this whole time they could hear the laughter of the child. What Norn and Murlon saw was hard to believe. The little guy’s magic firmly kept three spheres.

The first was navy blue mixed with sea green and was as large as a head. It stood for the Friend of the Sea and the Friend of the Forest, this means animals that naturally inhabit forests and seas, those filled with saltwater, will be friendly to him and will spare his life even if they will starve to death. The second sphere was a red-gold sphere with silver circles on it, representing the eye of a Dragon. It had the same size as the first sphere and was the gift of the dragon’s sense, meaning all senses will be naturally enhanced, and can get a buff at special times. The last and most mysterious one was opal colored, it was fistsized, the smallest of the three. The two dwarves did not know what its effects were, as there had never been such a gift.

Murlon noticed Norn stopping  and staring at the boy he held and hastily went to them to look at what made Norn startle. Once there, he stopped and was fascinated by the boy’s eyes. There were sure other changes to the child, but they still were not visible. Steps from outside woke both of them from their trance-like states. There were more parents to let their children come and pick a gift. With their children in their arms, both hurried out of the chamber.

Next, they went to the hall of the beasts, to find a companion for their children, which could defend and help them at the new location.

To get a beast-companion the child could only choose those who responded to the child. In a magic tank there were pups and eggs of various magical or mystical animals, placed just for this one purpose. Those little animals float in front of the child, if there is some sort of connection between them.

Hall of the Beasts

“Murlon, how about you go first again, since I feel like it today. Consider this as part of a Thank-you for your help all these years. And come to my house later, we still need to discuss the strategy.”, Norn said this with a voice which did not allow disagreement.

A few years earlier, they found a phoenix egg and an egg of an unknown beast, but nobody could make a contract with them till now.

Murlon understood why Norn let his daughter be first. She could have the chance on both the Phoenix and the mysterious beast.

Murlon put the child onto the chair, and after awhile the beasts entered them and the cages began to float. But even after tens of minutes none of the cages flew towards her, then finally the eggs were put in, but still neither the young beasts nor the eggs flew towards her. Just as the dwarves were thinking that this little girl still needed some more time, the little one started to laugh, and what a wonderful laugh, it was melodic and full of joy.

In reaction to the laugh the egg of the Phoenix slowly floated towards her, and slowly landed near the chair. Both of the adults were surprised that the little girl could really charm the phoenix egg, and blankly stared at her. Finally Murlon reacted, he joyfully walked over to her. Since his daughter was still too young to speak he recited the contracting chant instead of her. The only thing she did was to put her small hand on the egg during the chant.

Norn waited until the procedure ended and then, with Noradin in his arms, he walked over.

“Congratulations Murlon, your daughter will have a good companion in the future.”

“Thank you my friend, for giving my daughter this great chance. I will never forget it.”

Now it was Noradin’s turn. Norn carefully put him into the chair and the cages and eggs started to float again. After quite a while Noradin woke up from his nap, and observed the things floating in front of with great interest. A few minutes passed and Noradin finally saw the mysterious Beast egg. The moment he saw it, he stretched out his hand for the egg with a longing expression, as if he finally found his long lost favorite toy. What surprised the two adults even more was that the egg reacted to him and was floating towards him, until it slowly stopped before him. The moment Noradin reached out and touched the egg, it shrank, which allowed the kid to hold the egg with his small hands.

Startled by what they saw, Norn and Murlon forgot what they were about to do. They stood there for quite a while. Then the they could hear the clock announcing the eighteenth hour.

“Murlon, go home first and fetch your family. I am having a party at my house since it’s the birthday of my youngest daughter Helona. She will be 20 tomorrow.”, Norn said while walking to the door of the hall of the beasts. Murlon followed quickly, while carrying his daughter and the Phoenix egg.

“Time really flies by, they grow up so quickly. Too bad it is war, else she would have left and looked for a master who is willing to teach her. Is she still into fighting like when she was younger?”, Murlon asked, while remembering the peaceful days 10 years ago.

“Hahaha, She is as lively as ever and she can even beat two of her brothers at the same time, well, she do have the gift of a warrior.”, Norn said laughing.

“See you later my friend.”, Murlon answered.

Normally dwarves enter their preadulthood with twenty, with 50 they enter their adulthood, and with 80 they enter the years of wandering, where they would leave their masters and go wandering in the world to gather experience. After 20~30 years they would return home as a true dwarf, who has earned the right to build a house in the mountain kingdom of the dwarves.

In preadulthood, most dwarves would find a master, who will be teaching them for the next period of their life. Some also went to dwarven kingdoms to undergo the doctrine there. Before that all dwarven children went to an academy, where they soon specialized in one field.

Each of them learn a craft, learn how to use magic or mysticism, but all learn how to fight. It is a cruel world where they could easily die.


Norn’s House

“Where have you been, Father?”

They hardly entered the house, when Helona came running and snatched Noradin from Norn in order to play with him. And naturally, she noticed his eyes. “Father what happened with Noradin’s eyes, they were just like mother’s before. But now, they are like opals.”

“Oh Helona, you are too observant. I was just visiting the chamber with Noradin, for him to get his gift. But it is a secret, don’t tell anyone, alright?”

“What!? You were there without me? I wanted to be there when he gets his first gift, too! This is so unfair”, Helona was pouting.

“You know it is unusual to do this before your brother is ten. I didn’t want any attention drawn to this, and with your popularity, we couldn’t leave the house without all the youngsters from the whole city notice us. ”

“Yea, yea, you are right.“ Helona was resigned. “But you promise me to bring me along next time. I want to watch my cute little brother receiving his next gift. Can I go and play with him now?”

“Yes, but don’t go too far off, the guests will arrive soon.”

“Alright”,Helona ran off with Noradin.

Hakara pulled Norn to the side.

“Our young Helona is a little too attached to Noradin, don’t you think?”, Hakara commented and smiled.

“She is the youngest, so she is happy to have a little brother to play with.”, Norn answered.

“But what happened with Noradin?”, Hakara was half worried and half curious.

“Well, you wouldn’t believe me even if I told you, I’m not sure I believe myself.”, Norn smirked.

“Just tell me.”

“Our little Noradin was able to select his gifts, do you believe it?”, Norn announced.

“Of course I believe you, why shouldn’t I … wait, did you say gifts? Do you mean more than one?”, Hakara inquired curiously.

“Well yes, as of now our little one calls three gifts his own. And on top of that, one of them is extremely mysterious and even I don’t know what it does. The other two are the Friend of the Forest and the sea, and the sense of the dragon”, Norn was very proud of his little son.

“Incredible, our little Noradin? How wonderful. Could you imagine this? Our Noradin has a great talent for magic. Oh i can’t wait for him to grow up. What could this mysterious gift be? The other ones are sure nice. Sense of the dragon is nice. And even better if he receives fighting gifts next time.“ Hakara was excited and was glowing with pride. ”And Friend of the sea and forest. Another blessing. I really want to watch him grow up.”

Little did she know, the world will change in a few days, and so will the gifts.

“Don’t worry, my sweetheart, he will be okay. we will fetch him once the war is over.”

“Yes. yes.”, Hakara distracted the sentiments. “Why did Helona ask about his eyes, what changed?”

“Well, after merging with the three gifts, his eyes’ color changed from brown to opal with green and blue lines in it”

“That is not good, how can he grow up quietly with strange eyes like this? We don’t want any attention drawn to his gifts. I will make an amulet to make his eyes appear like before.”, Hakara suggested.

“I will help you.”, Norn nodded, and points out: ”We can make it invisible so nobody will notice he is wearing one, that will be more convenient. We will also  need a small magical cage for his companion.”

“Wait, you also went to the hall of the beasts with him? I thought you would let me do it!”, Hakara stared at Norn with a mocking expression.

“Sorry, my love. I met Murlon on the way and we went there together. How about you name the beast?”, Norn tried to appease Hakara.

“Haha”, Hakara couldn’t hold in her laughter any longer. “The same Norn as ever, hahaha, it is alright my darling. I will name it? Let’s see, what sort of beast is it?”

“Well, did you see what Noradin was holding in his hands? That was the egg of the beast. Hopefully he won’t eat it.”, Norn said waggishly.

“Oh, don’t tell me it is the egg of the mysterious beast, the one nobody knows what it is… ?!”

“Well, then I won’t say it, honey. How should we name it?”, Norn was grinning.

“You … let’s see who gets the last laugh. Hm… a name for an unknown beast … hm …well, how about Nilantiem?”, She suggested.

Just when they were deep in thought, pondering the fitness of the name, the first guests arrived, It was Murlon with his family.

“Ah Murlon, Giliz, welcome! Almost everything is prepared, make yourselves at home. Now, where is Morior? And Glorilin?”, Norn welcomed his guests.

“We met Helona on our way so both of them are now accompanying her.”, Answered Giliz while taking off her mantle and shoes.

“That little dwerb finding every excuse to be with her. Tell him if he ever does something unreasonable I will take care of him.”, Norn said jokingly and laughed.

“ Norn! You know Morior is already afraid of you, so stop scaring him.”, Hakara scolded.

“Norn, you are the same old strict dwarf father as ever. Your daughter needs to grow up anyway. Or are you going to shield her forever?”, Giliz asked.

“I am not strict!”, Norn protested while leading the guests into the living room. ”Helona is just still so young. And after she got her little brother she is sticking to him every second. Her eyes only on him  and she is not aware of her surroundings. That is why…”,  Norn trailed off as Hakara pulled Giliz away to the side, saying that she needed her help.

“So Murlon, how is the situation with the enemy? How far did they break through? And How are the guerrilla troops doing?”, Norn asked and lead Murlon to a more private place in his home.

“They are still at the outer shields, it will hold at least for another day. ”, Murlon answered in a low voice to keep it between them. “The guerrilla troops are doing their best in sneakily attacking the enemy’s supply troops.”

Once they entered the study they locked the door. Then they sat down in those comfortable chairs where the children used to read their books about gifts or other things.

“They are firing their artillery no stop, just how many supplies did they bring along?”, Murlon continued, a bit worried.

“The more they use now, the better will it be for us, once they finally arrive at this mountain.”, Norn answered with a smile. “Look at it this way: Now we have free fireworks for Helona’s birthday.”

Murlon laughed loudly at this, hitting his knee with his hand. “Norn you are the same as always. Where do you get all those ideas.”

Norn grinned in response, but turned serious again. “Back to topic. How far is the magic energy gathering for the time-dimensional circle, how much longer do we need? I hope it is finished before they break through the penultimate shield.”

“It must succeed since this is the last hope for us, we have already lost all the other cities.”, Murlon said in a sad voice while remembering how his home city was destroyed 100 years ago.

“We will win this war my friend, don’t worry. For now just let them exhaust their supplies.”, Norn argued firmly, trying to keep his friend from sadness.

Both of them started to discuss the different strategies they had for the following days.

Half an Hour later.

The doorbell rang and called them from the study and into the hall  The other guests have now arrived. Norn greeted them friendly with a big smile. Some of them were the families and clans from the other cities who survived.

Helona was still nowhere to be found. It couldn’t be helped so Norn bid goodbye to Murlon and went to find her.

“Where is this girl hiding this time”, Norn mumbled to himself walked through the house. “I thought she would be back ealy.”

He went upstairs, but only found Helisha playing with Noradin.

“Helisha, have you seen the person of honor for today, your sister Helona?”, Norn asked.

“She should be down stairs with the guests, I think.”, Helisha replied. Noradin was playing with a small animal figure, seemingly interested in its taste as he put it into his mouth.

“Nor, stop it!”, Helisha took the figure out of his mouth.

“Helisha, while I’m at it. What did you Kids prepare for Helona as a present? You guys made a big secret and I am really curious about it.”, Norn inquired. No one knew what the five  of them planned to give Helona. They all knew that Helona would receive a sword modified by Norn, which was actually a family heirloom, just like them when they turned 20. Although they received different things.

“It is a secret”, Helisha said with a mischievous smile. “You need to be patient, father. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore.”

“Alright, I will wait like everyone else. Now come down and greet the guests. … Oh no wait, that wouldn’t be very good. We need to hide  Noradin’s eyes first.”, Norn interrupted himself and then was deep in thoughts. “Your mother still needs some time to finish the amulet. What should we do? Hm… We can’t let the others see his eyes. They will want to know …”

“I will just come down later.”, Helisha was trying to stop Noradin from putting other things into his mouth.

“It is not good if the oldest daughter doesn’t greet the guests. Let’s call Norrim and let him take care of Noradin for a while. Go get him, I will wait with Noradin. And don’t forget to greet the guests.”, Norn took Noradin into his arms.

Helisha nodded and went downstairs to find Norrim.

Norn left the room with Noradin and in the corridor he waited for Helisha and Norrim. “Oi little Noradin what do have here?”, Noradin was grabbing onto a little necklace which was around his neck. ”Ah it is the first magical cage used by your brother to store his companions egg. Cherish it, since he made a lot of modifications on it.”

A few minutes later Norrim emerged from the stairs.

“At last you’re here, Norrim, take good care of him, and come downstairs when the celebration is about to start.”

“Yes father.”, Norrim nodded.

“Ah! And no more teasing tricks against your sister for today and tomorrow. You can start again after all of this.”

“Can’t be helped, since it is her birthday. Huh?”, Norrim exhaled and exclaimed a bit unwillingly. “Well alright,  I promise.”, This would have been the perfect chance to teach the little one some gimmicks to tease Helona.

Norn nodded, pleased about the mature reaction of Norrim, and passed Noradin to him. He  went downstairs to the guests again.

-to be continued-





11 thoughts on “Chapter 01

  1. Here’s some constructive criticism:

    1. Pre-story works fine, but prequel has a different meaning. So delete the parentheses and its contents and you’ll be correct.

    Prequel only refers to stories that happen beforehand but are written afterwards. Yes, I’m the same arse that got finicky about the prologue thingy.

    2. Capitalize the enlightened and the Ascended to show that they’re names. Right now they’re kinda awkward with the Ascended capitalized and the enlightened not. Capitalize the “the” in front of them as well to show more emphasis.

    Ex: “The Enlightened”
    “The Ascended”

    3. Learn better placement of commas and periods. Some paragraphs have perfect grammar while others are pretty much giant run-on sentences with commas abused to duct tape it together. Also there’s random commas outside of quotes awkwardly as if parts were rewritten or corrected but you forgot to tidy it up.

    Ex: What do we Dwarfs say?”, asked Norn.

    4. Inconsistent paragraph sizes. There’s some paragraphs that have maybe 1-2 sentences while others seem to be huge and have 7-10 paragraphs. This is acceptable in paperback but on online formats it will annoy people, especially mobile users. I suggest aiming for a happy medium of 3-5 sentences per paragraph.

    When you look at 3 and 4, it becomes quite obvious that your editors are good at spotting spelling errors, but terrible at catching grammar errors.


  2. Nice story. Make me wonder, will the time-transfer go to the past (you know, change the future thingy) or go to the far distance future.

    Anyway, this one has potential. Will look forward to the next story 😉


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