My Burden is Lifted!

Well, I am finished with the horrible ordeal of “rewriting” chapter 4. I still have to get it edited and such, but you will be seeing it FOR REAL, I PROMISE, on Friday. I am not overly pleased by the work, but there wasn’t much that I could actually change, and I couldn’t make it much more interesting without extending the chapter too much. Sorry. However, I do think I managed to make the chapter read a bit more smoothly. I will be taking a brief break from my writing, about half a week, because I bashed my head in (figuratively) trying to crank out this chapter, to the point that I didn’t actually do what I set out to do with this particular chapter.  I just need to recover from what ultimate boils down to me overthinking this and burning myself out in the process. Sorry. Anyways, I have another one of my legendary weapon segments. This is probably going to be most of my bonus content for a while.

A Blacksmith’s Adventures with Weapons of Legend: Aegis of the Giant

“How did I get myself into this situation?” Tom spoke aloud but to himself.

He ran barefoot down the narrow corridor, wearing nothing more than a pair of baggy, decrepit old slacks. His only weapon was an unlit torch, being more useful as a flimsy club than a light source. Somehow he had manged to outrun his pursuers, perhaps due to his bareness and their heavy armor, but he knew that if he couldn’t find an exit to this labyrinthine dungeon, he would inevitably be caught. And he sincerely doubted that they would be so kind as to lock him up once more. No doubt the guards he incapacitated would be opposed to further watching over him. Tom briefly stopped to catch his breath, leaning against the refreshingly cool stone wall. Still, he could not help but worry about Dustin, who had been imprisoned here longer than Tom. In fact, that was why Tom was out here. After escaping himself, he freed Dustin, and they split up to increase the chances of one of them escaping.

“Dustin, I hope you’re faring better.”

“Who’s there? Come on, boys! I think one of the escapees is over there!” some random guard shouted.

“Damn me and my big mouth!”

Tom took to fleeing once more, charging down the nearest hall, only to end up at a forking path. After a brief mental debate, he pressed onward down the left path. The path steadily rose upwards, and, before long, the the stone ceiling and walls gave way to caged walkways that crossed over the prison cells below. Tom spotted a bedraggled figure on another bridge and stopped.

“Dustin!” he shouted.

“Tom!?” the man shouted back in confusion. “I found a shield!”

Dustin lifted up a large, intricately designed, lustrous black buckler. Tom had an idea of what it might be, but he had to get closer to confirm it.

“I see a corridor up ahead!” Tom shouted. “Let’s meet there!”

“Okay!” Dustin replied, before looking back and running.

Tom soon saw the reason for his haste, as a group of guards charged after him. Tom had to move himself, as he could hear his own pursuers rushing his way. He ducked into the corridor where he and Dustin were to meet and used a lit torch to set his own on fire. He did not give his pursuers a chance to see him, however, and quickly moved on. Tom charged towards Dustin, who was clearly affected by the weight of the shield. He was not alone; three or four guards were close behind. Instinctively Dustin lowered the shield. Tom launched himself towards the shield and pushed off it, nearly touching the ceiling. He then tossed his lit torch into the crowd of guards, causing a sufficient stir. Tom quickly confiscated two of the guards’ clubs, a decidedly non-lethal weapon, but certainly effective enough against unarmed, unclothed prisoners. It was true that the guards had swords, too, but in such a confined space, you risked hurting yourself or your allies as well as your foes. Tom, in an impressive display of skill and prowess, handed the enemy quite a beating. There was no time to rest, though, as Dustin warned of more foes coming, this time from the other way.

“Let me see that shield!” Tom demanded.

After a quick inspection, Tom confirmed his initial assessment: this was the Aegis of the Giant. Legend stated that it was the first godsteel weapon ever created, handed down to man by the Thorn King, the earth guardian that is said to inhabit the Thorn Crown Mountains and the eponymous giant in the shield’s name. For centuries, the mountain tribes had been oppressed by invading armies, until the Thorn King’s champion rose up from the as yet unknown Koelings and fought back the invaders. From this act of bravery and kindness, an eternal peace and friendship was born. The truth, as Tom knew well, was that it was not even close to the first godsteel weapon, as the method of forging went back to at least a century before, though few, not even Tom, actually knew how godsteel weapons were forged. It was, in fact, a man-made weapon. It was, however, the first godsteel weapon to be used by a Koeling and not by the mountain folk, and it was true that it was the symbol of a united front against a mutual foe of the mountain folk and the Koelings. A minor war, but one that left an indelible mark on both their histories.

“It’s just a shield! How does this help us?” Dustin fretted.

“Not just a shield. Mostly a shield, but-” Tom exclaimed as he reached into one of the narrow gaps in the back of the shield, “also a miniature armory.”

He pulled a dagger, whose steel was just as dark as the shield.

“That’s just a dagger!”

“A very, very well made one. Here, take these,” Tom commanded, producing two more daggers, both a bit longer than the one he had, and both made of godsteel. “You can dual wield, right?”

“Yeah, but these better be as good as you say!”

Tom simply smiled, as he ran to meet their opposition. The guard weapons simply glanced off the shield, as if they were hitting it with twigs. Tom easily cleared a path, while Dustin made sure to dispatch anyone who got too close, his weapons tearing through the flimsy chainmail of his foes. All of a sudden, their purpose changed. Rather than just escape, Tom and Dustin had the prospect of seeking some vengeance. As soon as they reacquired their own weapons, of course.