Tak’s mind was swirling with a black mist and thoughts of yelling and screaming. His breathing was heavy and he could feel his muscles tense. The leviathan marking across his back burned as it seemed to sliver across his back. He let out a loud yell as his mind began to clear.
He blinked his eyes and his vision became clear.
There standing in front of his were his friends, Sigthyme, Grace, and Juniper as well as The Dwarven Warrior, Noruid and The White Dragonborn, Trav. They all looked at him with looks of tension and fear. Trav held his spear in a tight grip as both Grace and Juniper had a hand on their respective weapon. Only Sigthyme wasn’t wielding something.
“Hey, Tak. Are you alright?” Sigthyme asked.
“Head hurt,” Tak said.
He tried to raise his hand to his head, but his arm only made it part way. He looked over and metal chain was clamped onto his wrist. Tak looked at it as he struggled against the chain.
“Stuck,” Tak said.
“Woah. Just take a minute, Tak,” Sigthyme said.
“You are you, right Tak,” Juniper said, still holding her bow.
“Yes. I’m me,” Tak said as pulled on the chain again. “Release me.”
Trav raised his spear.
“Stay still, beast,” Trav said.
“Woah. That’s totally uncalled for,” Sigthyme said. “Tak is our friend.”
“He unleashed some sort of uncontrolled magic,” Trav said. “He could have killed any one of us.”
“Siggy, what is going on?” Tak asked.
Sigthyme looked over Tak.
“Well…uh… buddy. We were in the middle of our trial and you sort of… unleashed some sort of magic. Did you know you could do that?” Sigthyme asked.
Tak stopped struggling against the chains and dropped his arms.
“Leviathan,” Tak muttered.
“So you do know what it is,?” Trav asked.
“Darkness and destruction,” Tak said.
“Well that doesn’t sound good,” Grace said.
“Eh. We fight dark monsters all the time,” Noruid said.
“Tak is not a monster,” Sigthyme said.
“Never said he was,” Noruid said. “But he is obviously a danger if he has these powers that he cannot control.”
“Monster,” Tak muttered to himself as he looked at the chains on his wrist.
“Can we take these off of Tak now?” Sigthyme asked.
“As long as he doesn’t do anything like that again,” Trav said.
“Trav, lower your weapon. The Goliath here is back to being himself,” Noruid said. “Release his manacles.”
Trav let out a small growl but complied with Noruid’s orders. He lowered his spear and undid the manacles holding Tak’s wrists. Tak rubbed his wrists and sat up. Tak noticed that he was laying in a large bed.
“Bed?” Tak asked.
“Noruid and Trav actually had to move you to this bed,” Sigthyme said. “I was pretty beat up after our trial, and Juniper was focused on healing.”
“Hey, I helped too,” Grace said.
“Yeah you were pretty good with the manacles,” Sigthyme said.
Grace’s face went red and she turned away.
“Whatever,” She said.
Tak gave Sigthyme a look of confusion and Sigthyme shrugged.
“We are glad you are alright, Tak,” Juniper said as she pulled a chair over and sat beside the bed. “We were very worried about you.”
“Yeah, big guy. We had never seen anything like that before,” Sigthyme said.
“Sorry,” Tak said. “Leviathan dangerous.”
“Yeah, that’s something I would have been appreciated being told earlier,” Juniper said. “I don’t really care for secrets. Especially dangerous ones.”
Both Sigthyme and Grace silently stirred.
“Sorry,” Tak said again. “Thought under control.”
“How often does that happen to you, Tak?” Juniper asked.
“Rare,” Tak said. “Happens when I’m in danger.”
“Danger?” Sigthyme asked. “So Trav attacking you caused it to happen?”
“But we’ve been in fights before. It didn’t happen then,” Grace said.
“Don’t know,” Tak said. “Thought under control. But Leviathan dangerous.”
“Maybe Ms. Zaffre can help us understand it,” Grace said.
“I don’t know, Grace,” Juniper said. “Beside, she is already working on so many things for us. My brother. Riffen.
Juniper let out a sigh.
“Riffen. I totally forgot about Riffen. We need to get over to the place where he left his ring,” Juniper said.
“Well I don’t think we’ll have the luxury of saying we are a part of The Titan’s League,” Sigthyme said.
“And why would you say that?” Noruid asked.
“Oh, sir. Sorry, I didn’t know you were still standing there,” Sigthyme said. “I just figured after what happened during the battle, we failed our test.”
“I don’t know where you would such an idea from,” He said. “What I saw out there was real potential for you two.”
“What? You are seriously allowing them to join after what he did to me?” Trav asked.
Noruid turned toward him.
“I am,” Noruid said. “Even though that last bit was a big surprise to us all, I saw some real skill during your trial. Both of these landed strong hits on you after all.”
Noruid turned back toward the group.
“Now we will have to work on a few things, the magic burst included. But for now, I accept you two both as warriors fit to join my ranks here in The Titan’s League,” Noruid said.
“Thank you so much, Sir. We appreciate it,” Sigthyme said.
“If they are members, do they have to stay here?” Grace asked.
“Well they are not forced to stay here if that’s what you mean,” Noruid explained. “But I do insist that members take advantage of the sleeping quarters and facilities here. Plus members will have a variety of chores and tasks to do while not on mission.”
“Chores?” Sigthyme asked.
“Of course. This place doesn’t clean itself, now does it? Plus things like maintaing equipment, doing luandry, and cooking. All essential life skills.”
“Right,” Sigthyme said.
“Plus there will be training with me, Trav, or other members of the Guild,’ Noruid said.
Trav scoffed again.
“I’m heading out into the city for a little bit,” Trav said as he planted his spear into the floor.
“Very well, Trav,” Noruid said. “But I expect to see you back here for supper.”
“Fine,” Trav said before leaving, the door slamming behind him.
“Don’t mind him,” Noruid said. “I’ve seen this before. His pride is a bit hurt, but he’ll come around. The bonds forged here are strong and not easily broken.”
Noruid flexed and even though he was an older dwarf, he still had a lot of muscle.
“Does this mean that we can go try to find our friend in the city?” Sigthyme asked.
Noruid thought for a moment and then nodded.
“You may go explore the city if you like. I do expect you two back here for supper,” Noruid said. “And your lady friends can join as well.”
“Thank you,” Juniper said.
“I do expect both of you to behave while out in public. You both represent me and my name. I don’t want it sullied any more than it has been. Those Robinhearts already look down on me and my establishment.”
“Understood,” Sigthyme said.
“I also have a list of things you can pick up from the market on the way back here,” Noruid said.
“Let me guess, milk and eggs?”
“Among a few other things,” Noruid said as he handed a piece of parchment to Sigthyme. “Now you are free to go. I will have more information like bunk assignments and chore assignments when you get back.”
“Alright,” Sigthyme said.
Noruid took a moment to focus on Tak, who had been silent, and then gave a nod to the group and then walked away.
Sigthyme turned toward Tak.
“You ok, big guy?” Sigthyme asked.
“Fine,” Tak said. “Just shaken.”
“Alright,” Sigthyme nodded. “Well I guess we better rush off toward Krumb’s hideout. We only have a few hours before we have to be back here.”
“Right. We need to move quickly,” Juniper said as she stood up.
The group moved toward the front door and prepared to leave.
“Uh, actually. Can I have a moment alone with Juniper?” Grace asked.
The group turned back toward Grace. Sigthyme and Juniper exchanged a quick glance.
“It will be real quick. I promise,” Grace said.
“Yeah, real fast,” She said.
“Sure. Tak and I will just wait outside,” Sigthyme said as they both left the building.
“So, what is it?” Juniper asked.
“You know how you just said that you didn’t want any secrets between us?” Grace asked.
“Yeah,” Juniper said. “Can you also explode magic out of your body?”
“No,” Grace shook her head.” But there is something else.”
Grace took a few steps back into the room and quickly glanced around to make sure no one was watching. Juniper looked at her was an inquisitive look.
Grace took a deep breath and then she felt a spark go through her body. In a moment she summoned large, black-feathered wings from her back. Juniper let out a gasp.
“You have wings?” Juniper was in awe.
“Shhhhhh. Not so loud,” Grace said as she looked around. “But yeah, I guess.”
“How? How?” Juniper asked.
“I’m not really sure. But yeah I have them,” Grace said.
“Do you have them all the time?”
Grace shook her head.
“No. It’s some sort of magic. I can summon them, but they don’t last forever.”
“Can you fly?”
“I’m not really sure. I haven’t really tried it out,” Grace said. “But they only last a minute or so.”
“That’s pretty incredible,” Juniper said.
“Thanks,” Grace said as the wings on her back vanished into a black mist. “Just please don’t tell the others, ok? I really don’t know that much about them and I don’t want anyone thinking I’m weird or anything.”
“Oh, Grace,” Juniper walked up and placed a hand on Grace’s shoulder. “They won’t think you are weird.”
“Just please keep it between us, alright?”
“Of course,” Juniper said. “But one day we’ll need to test them out.”
“Yeah maybe,” Grace said. “We should really catch up with them.”
“Right of course,” Juniper said before they both left the building.
Juniper and Grace met Sigthyme and Tak outside the building and they made their way toward the center of the city.
As they walked, Sigthyme held Juniper back a bit so they could talk.
“So how did your talk go?” Sigthyme asked.
“It was fine,” Juniper said.
“Anything I should know about?”
Juniper shook her head.
“Just some girl stuff. You wouldn’t understand,” Juniper said.
Sigthyme wasn’t completely sure that Juniper was telling the truth, but he decided to drop it. Today was already a strange day and he didn’t want to push Juniper about it. Plus he was already worried about Tak and stressed out about Riffen. If it was really just girl stuff, then Sigthyme didn’t need to know and if it was anything else, he was sure Juniper would tell him in time.
“Alright,” Sigthyme said. “Just let me know if it’s anything more.”
“I will, Sigthyme,” Juniper said.
Sigthyme gave a nod and they all prepared as they made their way toward Krumb’s hideout and the last known location of their friend, Riffen Selorn.
Header Photo Credit to Skull Spliter Dice