Another tale from me.
This time, just a translation and a bit of a correction of an old tale I wrote in czech.
Here ya go! :D
Tira was standing on a cliff above the sea. She was watching a white swan that was flying in the sky. She whistled and the swan came to her, it landed in her arms. Then the girl turned on her heel and wend towards the forest that was spread behind her.
Tira had a sword at her waist and was dressed as a boy, complete with high leather boots.
The forrest was wast, dense and almost non-passable, but Tira knew her way around in it perfectly. She grew up in it after all. Weawing through the trees she came to a clering and there was her stallion.
She swinged into the saddle and rode a narrow path. Her swan was sitting on the saddle in front of her.
When the day was nearing it's end, she reached the edge of the forrest. And there she spotted a dark figure with an even darker aura.
"Weird..." she thought.
Usually, noone would be there, apart from Tira of course.
"Who are you?" she asked, but got no answer.
The figure was just standing there with nothing happening. So Tira spurred her horse to take her closer. And then she sent her swan to do some exploring. But when the poor bird reached the stranger, she was engulfed in flames. Only a pile of ashes was left.
And now Tira was angry! She drew her sword and spurred her horse Darf. When she was reaching the figure, she spied something akin to a forcefield around him. Immediatelly, she stopped and jumped down from her horse. She picked up a rock and threw it at the stranger. The stone went up in flames and melted into a smoldering goop.
And suddenly the stranger moved and spoke: "Welcome to Darkland. And hopefully, you will not be opose to doing a little something for me."
"Who the hell are you? And what little something are we talking about?" asked Tira in an annoyed sort of voice.
"My name is Drakel," said the stranger. "And what I want you to do is something I cannot do myself."
"Well, I still don't know what you want me to do..."
"Let me tell you a story," said Drakel.
"When Darkland was created, there lived two very powerfull mages. Their names were Sangrel and Hellman. They were inseparable. Couldn't be without each other until... The older one, Hellman, decided that he wants Darkland for himself. He wanted to be the sole ruler.
And so it happened. He chased Sangrel out of the country. But before Sangrel left, he hid something that was supposed to lift the shadows from these lands... And your quest would be to find it, if you accept."
Drakel ended his story with a querry.
"And what is the reason that you cannot go searching for this thing yourself?" Tira wanted to know.
"Because I used to be dark. And therefore am unable to touch the thing," he explained.
"Very well, I'll do it," Tira finally agreed to this quest... mission... thing.
And so Tira started on her way. She traveled north to the Great falls. After at least a week of travel, she reached the edge of a swamp. So she left her horse and continued on foot. Tira loved her horse, but the swamps were dangerous and she didn't want to risk her frined's life. It was better to let him go.
Never before was she in this part of Darkland, but something was guiding her. Showing her a safe passage. And Tira was very glad for it. Otherwise she whould have been long gone somwhere at the bottom of one of the swamps.
Slowly, she was making her forward when she heard something rise out of the water. Turns out it was a huge hydra. Beyond it was only a thick fog without a chance to see what there was.
The hydra spoke: "What do you want and why are you waking me?"
It's voice was deep rumble, like the waves of a stormy sea.
"I am seeking a passage. Nothing more. And I'm sorry I woke you," Tira said in a strained voice.
"Too bad, girlie," the hydra laughed, "who wakes me up has to fight me. And only if they win, can they pass."
"Fine..." grumbled Tira, very unhappy about this development.
"A bit of warning, so far, I'm undefeated," the beast laughed some more before lunging forward, intending to swallow the girl.
The fight was brutal. The hydra hardly stopped attacking and Tira had a really hard time deflecting the attacks. But as the fighting continued, Tira saw a pattern to the attacks and managed to think up a strategy to counter them.
At fist, she was very carefull about it. Avoid here, small hit there, but in the end, it didn't matter anyway, because when the sun came up in the morning, the hydra turned to stone...
"Well dam! Now I'll never know if I would have won or not..." Tira grumbled, but ultimately, she was happy the fight was over.
Tira was about to continue on her way, but decided to check out the lair first. And when she stepped through the waterfall that was hiding the entrance, her jaw dropped.
"Good thing I decided to check this place out..." she muttered.
Because right behind the fall there was a small temple dedicated to Sangrel out of all people.
The floor was flooded and across from the entrance were stairs leading upward. The girl waded through the water and started her ascend.
When she reached the top, she was on a clering surrounded by cliffs and moonlight was shining on a crypt made of stone. And Tira was almost sure that inside the crypt she would find the remains of Sangrel and so she made her way over when she heard a tiny voice...
Tira looked down, but saw nothing. So she continued, but then she heard it again. This time, she managed to understand.
Every third step made from water,
Step over it and then listen
To a riddle from a sphinx.
Should you answer correctly,
You'll get what you need.
And then the voice faded out. What followed was deadly silence. Deciding to heed the advice, Tira went down the stairs and inside the tomb. She reached the bottom and the sphinx guardian with no problem.
The sphinx was huge and Tira stared in awe at it. Well, her, as it was obviously a her. Then, the sphinx spoke in a deep voice.
"I will give you a riddle. Should you answer correctly, you will pass, speak nothing and you can leave, but should you answer wrongly, I will devour you. Here is the riddle:
Surpressed by slavery,
Bind by rules,
Yet not ment to be controlled."
Tira repeated the riddle to herself several times, but could not think of anything. And yet, it seemed like the answer was just at the edge of her mind. So close and yet so far away.
Closing her eyes, Tira took a deep breath. And then spoke the first thing that came to her mind:
And the sphinx smiled at her nad disappeared. In her stead was floating a crystal. Or maybe a gem. It seemed like both at the same time, yet neither. It was softly pulsing, as if it was alive.
Slowly, Tira stepped forward and took the crystal/gem into her hand. At that moment, the ground shook and skeletons and zombies were risingn from it. Hordes of dead were comming at her, and suddenly, she was not in control of her own body, which was ironic, considering the riddle from the sphinx.
She raised the arm that held the crystal above her head and spoke ancient words of power. A pulse after a pulse of energy left the crystal and onne by one, the undead fell. Crumbled to dust. But the waves didn't stop there. Tehy spread over the whole country, destroying every single eveil creature they touched. And slowly, the dark clouds dissipated and for the first time in centuries, sun was shininng on the land, the darkness being no more.
Years… No decades later, a young man on an adventure stumbled upon the crypt and found Tira's body. She had a rock in her fist and was surrounded by mounds of dust and ashes.
The man burried her and then continued on, never speaking about this straneg encounter.
And so years came and went and soon, nobody even knew that there ever was a girl named Tira.
Darkland was filled with sun and the people were happy.
But nothing lasts forever and somwhere far away, in a land inhabited by vampires, evil was gathering forces, but that is a different story.