Argumand: Guardian

(Author’s note: This comes directly after Alfarand’s Plea posting got a bit mixed up. My apologies.)

The days have blurred together while waiting for my eventual execution. I’ve only received tidbits of information regarding Garalith. Once the day arrives, Alara promised the resistance would be ready. In a moment’s notice, the day arrived.

“You! Out now! It’s time you pay for your crimes against Alfarand. Our lord king Ephram awaits!”, a guard loudly yelled at me. I was hauled across the city. The feeling of weakness did not repeat itself like the first time I was brought here. There was a magical stability around the statue of the guardian. It was clear it was still there, holding the integrity of the world together. Its magic kept the fabric of Alfarand from tearing apart and destroying itself. As I admired the statue one of the guards said, “You like it? It’s the beast your people so ruthlessly murdered! All of you will pay for what you did”. Clearly blinded by anger and hatred, nothing I said would move these people to more peaceful ways. I was pushed to kneel before king Ephram, the main ruler of Alfarand and its people along with a small group of people which flanked him. Many of them were really old, perhaps the remaining ancestors of the original council that once led this world. “I hear you are a child of Earth and a descendant of a power wizard from Argumand”, the king told me. It was a surprise he learned so much about me in particular. I didn’t expect them to care that much for prisoners. I replied, “Then maybe you would understand that I did not have a full choice in this matter. The guardian I inherited told me we had to defend Argumand at all costs. I have seen a lot of hatred in your eyes. The years of war have blinded you”. Before I could continue one of the guards screamed out, “Silence whelp! Shall we execute him now my lord?”. Ephram simply waved his hand and a nearby guard prepared a sharpened ax. The king started to move away with his entourage when a sudden blast hit the city. All the guards scrambled around while another blast was seen somewhere else. “We’re under attack! Guards, defensive positions! Kill him now!”, Ephram screamed at the executioner, but before he could properly swing the massive ax he was stunned by a small bolt of magic. Frozen in place, most likely paralyzed by the energy he was hit with, the executioner could only watch as the resistance moved in. They pushed Ephram away and freed me from my shackles. Alara gave me a small crystal and told me to channel my magic through it. It would help me restore my magic and protect my energy from being drained by magical voids. Meanwhile the cell that holds Garalith is at the other side of the guardian statue. I had to quickly sprint towards the cell and use all my might to free Garalith. Once there I blasted away the few guards that remained there and made short work of the sealed doorway. When Garalith emerged he looked like a starved wolf. He explained that the cell kept him from accessing any magic, starving was truly the best description sadly. Not a minute passed when I lost track of one of the guards. The man threw a javelin at me. It all happened so fast I barely had any time to react to the attack. Then the unthinkable happened. Garalith used his remaining strength to jump between me and the spear. It struck him right on the chest. “Garalith!”, I screamed out, then sent a powerful bolt of lightning that tore through the guard’s armor and sent him flying away hundreds of feet. The bolt had such immense power that for a second everyone around halted and stood in silence. I could feel the rumble of the ground as the energy shockwave traveled outward. I held Garalith as he spoke to me his last words, “Take the orb on my tail, it will survive me. Guard it with your life and in return it will provide for you. Goodbye Jake…”. I did as he told me. His body disappeared in a burst of light and sparkling dust. I held the small orb in my hand. My magic was fully restored. An army of soldiers approached. Their presence was more marked now. Without hesitation I unleashed a magical force that swept the soldiers off their feet. All the magical energy at my disposal, yet despite my anger at the Alfarand soldiers I would not unleash horrors upon them. Instead I directed as much energy as I could towards the statue. A beam of magic pierced the layer of stone and revealed the scaled skin of the great dragon guardian. The statue slowly crumbles and reveals the ancient being. With its release a wave of energy washed over everything. It calls to me, “Thank you for freeing me, I will pacify the people here”.

Days went by and the changes made themselves felt almost immediately. Fields of dust and sand started to grow new plants. Trees grew in once dead forests. The guardian roamed the entirety of Alfarand in a few short minutes. It was impressive. Kind Ephram heeded the wise guardian’s words and halted any further advances. A few people formed a council from Argumand and declared a ceasefire. The changes could be felt in Argumand too. My own role in all this would not diminish either. With the help of Alara and others we helped rebuild the old capitals of each world. Everyday holding on tightly to Garalith’s legacy. His sacrifice made this all possible, I think deep down he knew what had to be done.

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