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Fantasy Fiction

For the first time in centuries, Eradon could not bring himself to clean the blood from his sword.

He didn’t let the armorers stop him at the gate. A purple ooze dripped from his chest plate and onto the stone where he walked. The sunlight, limited to him, felt warm against his skin, and the air pure to breathe compared to the vileness of the Abyss. He filled his lungs as deep as he could with every breath, knowing soon he would have to go back. 

He made his way to the Resting Point. His sword, a weapon forged from the stars, scraped against the stone behind him. It left a trail of ethereal sparks the color of celestial clouds. He dragged his sword until stopping at the three statues where he would soon become the fourth, resting for a decade, then waking after the years to fight once more.

The other Starforged Knights who arrived before him now posed as statues. Tela had her arm raised, sword pointed toward the sky. Her skin glowed with the essence of the galaxy. It wouldn’t be possible to awake her until the creatures of the Abyss returned. Aiken stood beside her, frozen in time with his blade in mid-swing. His hair spilling out from his helmet changed from a garnet red to a cerulean blue. Along with his armor, it rotated through the aesthetic allure of the galaxies' colors. Wymond, behind the two, knelt with his sword held over his shoulder.

Eradon approached. He would take his place among them and pose for the sake of the people, who would visit from across nations to see the statues that their saviors had become. Every ten years, when he returned from battle, there used to be thousands of visitors. They would bow, cheer, and parade for the Starforged. They would fill the town square, sitting on rooftops and crowding the streets as far as he could see. People would reach out for the Starforged Knights as they passed by. Rumors had it a touch from one could bring eternal luck. Now, apart from a few armorers, the town square didn’t hold a soul. 

Eradon stopped before taking his place.

No. He would not stand with them. He would not become a statue. This time he would finally be free.

“Era,” a voice spoke behind him. He turned to face the fifth member of the Starforged. Kyoka stood with her armor shining, helmet held under her arm. Sunlight gleamed off of her silver hair. “You threatened the armorers. Why would you walk coated in the blood of our enemies? You will worry the people if you rest like that.”

“I don’t see any now,” Eradon said. A pool of purple blood, as slick as oil, grew beneath him. He stared up at the statues as he spoke—he would not become one of them this time. “They stopped holding parades for us ages ago. They use us, Kyoka. We’re tools to them. We’re shackled in an endless war they refuse to aid us in.”

“They are not shackles, brother,” she walked to approach him, her Starforged armor clicking against the stone. “We do what mankind can not. Cease this foolishness and remember your honor-”

“I’m leaving, Kyoka.”

She stopped. Her helmet slipped from her grasp and hit the stone. She turned to the other Starforged who couldn’t help her—they would be stuck in time until the next battle. In the abandoned town square, only the two sentient knights remained.

“We were human once,” Eradon continued, “were we not? Over the thousands of our battles, I’ve forgotten who I was. I've forgotten why the Starforged chose me for this duty. Yet, I know now that I regret taking this blade." He held the sword in front of him and stared into its depth. An endless pattern of cosmic dust flowed across its surface. “I regret now the life I’ve chosen, being stuck in this endless loop of fighting and resting. I yearn for freedom. A stop to this madness. Today I take my leave and make my own choices.”

“Era, if you renounce that blade you will wither away.” Kyoka placed a hand on his shoulder, “please, come rest. We will forget this conversation happened and we’ll continue in our duty of keeping mankind safe. It is not about the parades they throw us or the stories they’ll write, it is about honor-”

“To damnation with honor! Tell me, Kyoka, are we saviors, or are we prisoners? Are we knights, or are we the pawns of humanity?” Eradon turned to her and removed his helmet. He dropped it to the stone. “Are we following the path of honor, or are we following the path of the insane?”

She stepped back. A gust of wind blew past and hair flowed with it. “Speak none of this,” she said, “in time, humanity will find a way to purge the creatures of the Abyss. Our fight shall be over soon, my brother. We need to hold out until their research can end this war once and for all. They need time and we fight for it!”

Eradon laughed. Broken noises of exasperated gasps. The first time he had laughed in centuries.

“Don’t speak to me of time, for it has been an eternity.”

He gripped the hilt of his sword with both hands and brought it down against the stone. It broke into the rock with an explosion of astral light. Tremors shook the ground, and cracks in the earth trailed out in snaking patterns. Ethereal sparks flew off the sword until the patterns on it faded, becoming still, a static image of the stars. The Starforged blade rested in the stone, awaiting the next chosen.

Eradon had renounced his bond. The strength imbued to him faded, his shoulder plates now heavy. His agility vanished, and he no longer felt light on his feet. His balance left him, and he swayed from side to side, falling his knees, waiting for his skin to wither to dust. He waited for the thousands of years he had laid dormant to catch up to him. Kyoka watched in horror, yet nothing happened other than the constant drip of the violet blood off of Eradon’s armor.

He stood and he smiled. Freedom. A life he could pave as his own—one no longer stuck in an eternal loop of rest and battle. 

“Eradon!” Kyoka called, “you can not leave us! We need you or we will fall in battle, the creatures will overwhelm us without you! Mankind will not last a day with your absence and it will cause an apocalypse!”

“So be it,” he said. “They’ve had their chance to help and I’ve served my sentence. Nothing you say will convince me to pick up that dreaded blade once more. Either you let me walk, or you kill me, sister.”

She turned to the Resting Point. “There’s no honor in murder,” she said, “you’ve abandoned and condemned us all.”

For the first time in centuries, Eradon walked a free man. He turned back to see Kyoka take her place as a statue, her face a twisted look of fear. In a decade the Starforged would awake as four instead of five, and they would fight a battle they could not win.

So be it.

July 08, 2021 06:56

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24 comments

Jon R. Miller
12:36 Jul 12, 2021

The worldbuilding is excellently woven in with the story, and what's more it's really interesting. I'm left wanting to find out more about the Abyss and its creatures and how this war came about. The dialogue was also well written. The warriors have a diction that evoke their origins way back in the past when they first became Starforged. The face of Kyoka (as a statue) twisted in fear was also a neat touch.

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Alex Sultan
12:58 Jul 12, 2021

Thank you, it's always nice to hear such kind words from another fantasy/sci-fi writer. I really like how Era and Kyoka turned out, and I'm glad their dialogue came across right.

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Chloe Johnson
07:51 Jul 09, 2021

I love this, it's so well written! And the idea of the Starforged is so cool.

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Alex Sultan
09:47 Jul 10, 2021

Thank you! I was hesitant to write this story at first, but I like how it turned out and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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Blue Green
15:53 Jul 15, 2021

Solid sf, an interesting idea and very well written! I like the way you only vaguely mention the Abyss, and it's up to us to imagine the horrors which are contained there :-) Nice work!

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Alex Sultan
18:47 Jul 15, 2021

Thank you for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

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08:15 Jul 14, 2021

I really like your choice of words at some places, and the story is extremely well told. Good story!

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Alex Sultan
18:44 Jul 15, 2021

Thank you for the kind words!

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06:46 Jul 16, 2021

Of course! its really good

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Elle S
13:39 Sep 13, 2021

This story presented itself as an analogy for my current life's unfolding of events. Relatable and full of depth. The synchronicity has served as an assurance that I'm on the right path. Isn't it wonderful, that merely by following your passion and life purpose that you effortlessly help others? There is also a pattern which I have discovered throughout the stories I've read so far (not all of them, just can't pinpoint): Both "off" and "of" are prepositions and I believe that it is grammatically incorrect to place one directly in front of a...

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Alex Sultan
21:10 Sep 15, 2021

Thank you! I'm glad you liked this story, it is one of my favorites. I always enjoy writing high fantasy stories like these. Along with thrillers, it feels the most natural to me. I do agree this story is lacking some polish(I feel like the more recent my stories, the better they are) and I appreciate you pointing out what could be improved - I've noted it down. :)

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A B
13:20 Sep 09, 2021

Super amazing! love the world you set it in! You made the words really flow and slide like a river. Such a great beautifully crafted story! Just like everyone else please do a backstory on the abyss and government and the times before where there used to be parades. And a part 2!!!

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Eric D.
05:01 Jul 13, 2021

Epic beyond proportion, well done!

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Annalisa D.
23:34 Jul 10, 2021

I really enjoyed reading this. It's an interesting world you've created. I could easily read more stories from within it.

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Alex Sultan
10:40 Jul 11, 2021

Thank you for the kind words. I feel like I could write more with this and might expand on it someday. I'm glad you liked it.

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Elle Boyd
20:12 Jul 10, 2021

Wow. Great worldbuilding, great characterization, great description, great job of showing instead of telling. We learn so much about Eradon and Kyoka in just a few words. Great all around!

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Alex Sultan
10:50 Jul 11, 2021

I'm honored to hear such kind words. I really like how Era and Kyoka turned out, they were a lot of fun to write. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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18:27 Jul 10, 2021

I liked the story a lot. Especially the detailed description of the Starforged. Keep it up!

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Alex Sultan
10:50 Jul 11, 2021

Thank you, friend. Going into detail about the Starforged was my favorite part as well.

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17:53 Jul 11, 2021

Great to know! Can't wait to read your other stories.

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Tommie Michele
21:09 Jul 08, 2021

I love this story! The worldbuilding was well-developed without feeling forced, and I really like the “so be it” at the end.

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Alex Sultan
21:15 Jul 08, 2021

Thank you for the kind words. This is one of my favorite ideas I've had, and I'm glad you liked it.

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Mark Tay
23:50 Jul 17, 2021

Simply amazing! This story really sucked me in. I love how all the characters are portrayed and I love the loyalty and internal struggles they have. Any chance you will finish this story or would like to collaborate to turn into a full story?

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Alex Sultan
02:38 Jul 18, 2021

I have many ideas for Eradon's character and a world left destroyed by the Abyss - something I could definitely work into a novel one day. While your interest in a collaboration is appreciated, I much prefer to work alone. Nevertheless, thank you for the kind words.

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