This is a non-Bionicle story I wrote awhile back, about some dudes who go on a mysterious quest and find out they didn't know as much as they thought they did. It's relatively long, so I'm gonna try putting it out in relatively short installments so it's not hard to keep up with. Let me know if this is too long or too short for one installment. Also let me notice any bad formatting, or, naturally, if you have anything to say about the story itself.
Table of Contents:
...No chapters for you!
Part One: A Tale of Eberhard
Eberhard, a skilled young warrior garbed in leather armor, gripped a sword in his hand. In his dark eyes was a look of intense determination. Suddenly, he landed on his back, defeated.
“Excellent work, both of you,” said Tirem, the master of Eberhard and his opponent. He was of ambiguous stature and age; he stood tall and had no wrinkles on his face, but his weathered gray cloak and matching beard gave him the appearance of a wise sage. Turning to the other pupils, he added, “These two, Eberhard and Llwelyn, have provided the best example of the Tsaeb mode of combat I have seen in many Offerings.”
The master and his students were gathered in a small forest clearing. Winter was approaching, as evidenced by the bare trees and gray sky. Tirem and his students met there daily to practice the Tabocim, the defensive arts. Mastery of these abilities allowed them to ward off the myriad dangers that always loomed just beyond the mist.
“It should come as no surprise to anyone that they are to contend for the favor of Agomnan tomorrow. All of you are worthy to serve Agomnan; but only they have shown the fortitude to accomplish Agomnan’s uncertain challenge.
"I believe this has been enough for one day. I shall see you on the morrow, when the Offering shall take place, and we shall discover who will win the favor of Agomnan. May this land of Illeway fare well till then. Hwyl fawr.”
“Hwyl fawr” was the customary farewell of the people of Illeway, the Syrochii. Like many of their expressions, it came from the language of the Kelbyaji, a race of powerful, benevolent beings who had once ruled the known world. Their downfall came when one of their number, Atukam, became power-hungry and locked them in a special prison that would transfer their powers to him. He then had little difficulty turning Illeway and the surrounding lands into his empire, over which he wielded power of the most oppressive kind. So cruel was he that his subjects would refer to him only as “the Nameless One.”
Thankfully, Agomnan, the Spirit of Power, had arisen shortly thereafter, seemingly out of nowhere, rallying the people against Atukam and banishing him to Suratis, the underworld. In return for this great service, and so he could keep Atukam at bay, he demanded a day of Offering each month. On this day, the people of each settlement would gather, and led by Agomnan's appointed priests, each individual would surrender a piece of Minaru, a metallic gray metal that was abundant in Illeway's riverbeds. Its exact properties were unknown, though it was not difficult to sense, inexplicably, that it held some hidden, mysterious power within. Despite Agomnan's protection, however, the people lived in fear that one day Atukam might break loose, beginning a war of unimaginable devastation.
After being dismissed, Eberhard stopped for a drink from a nearby stream. As he raised his cupped hands to his mouth, he felt a soft kick in his side. Above him stood Llwelyn, a jovial grin on his face.
“You really ought to be more careful,” said Llwelyn. “You never know when someone might sneak up behind you . . . and they might not be as friendly as I.”
“They might not be? Well, then, perhaps I shouldn’t envy you for being the presumptive champion,” Eberhard replied, still a bit flustered. “Whatever task you are charged with, I’m sure it will involve a great deal of peril.”
“No doubt, Eberhard, no doubt. But don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re as able a warrior as I; fortune has been kind to me of late, nothing more. Who knows if it will still be with me tomorrow.”
“I’d not bet on it to change. Still, I’ll welcome it gladly if it defects.”
“Well, there’s little use for mere mortals to predict the future. But I grow weary as we speak. I bid you a good night, Eberhard. Hwyl fawr.”
“Hwyl fawr, Llwelyn.”